Monthly Archives: September 2008

Crazy Busy

Ironic I know, seeing my last post was all about trying to eliminate busy-ness by focusing on the important as opposed to the urgent. Nevertheless my current week has been one that hasn’t allowed me much time to post and for that I apologise 🙂

I’m currently working on a series of posts to follow on from the “busy-ness = value” myth which will be a how-to guide on focusing on the important and setting ourselves a vision and goals. So stay tuned I hope to post the series once a week over the next few weeks so we all have time to put what we learn into practice

Cheers!

Ed

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The “busy-ness = value” Myth

I believe this is the single-most damaging myth we can believe today. Why? because this myth will rob you and/or your organisation of its passion, drive and effectiveness. Being ‘busy’ is one of the most counter-productive states we can be in because being ‘busy’ doesn’t allow us to focus on what is really important. It doesn’t allow us to be effective in what we are doing or to make the best effort possible to achieve.

Urgent vs. Important

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey states that to be truly effective in your life you must focus your attention on what is important not what is merely urgent. I’m sure you’ll agree that the majority of our lives, both private and professional is taken up with things that are urgent. All your work seems to be urgent, on tight time frames and needed now now now! After a long day at work you rush off to do the shopping or get the kids from their activities, to cook and clean and bath and feed and before you know it you’ve crashed on the couch in a heap dreading the fact that in six hours the mad cycle begins all over again!  

Covey’s point is that there will always be urgent things to take up every moment of your life if you let them. The whole idea here is to stop and think about what you do and why you do it in order to find out what is important rather than just urgent. As a Life Coach my desire is to see people figure out what is important to them and to go after it and achieve it. Sure there will always be urgent things that we just have to take care of but if we define what our goals are, what we want to achieve, then the urgent wont take over our lives.

Busy-ness = Value = Busted

I don’t understand how we can really believe this Myth. We think that if we’re doing-doing-doing busy-busy-busy that we must be achieving something because we are expending so much time and energy. But when we sit down and look at the things we’ve done during that period, how much of it can we say we did well?  How often do we forget to do something in our busy-ness or find we have to go back and re-do something because we didn’t get it right in our rush? How long can we manage to keep it up before we crash and burn physically, emotionally or mentally? This is no way to live! It’s not time effective, its frustrating and it kills productivity, passion and drive. 

Important = Value

So where do we find value? How do we end the busy-ness cycle and make the best of what we have with what we’ve got?

We need to define what’s important to us. We need to look at what we want to achieve and then look at how we are going to get there. We need to take the time to sit down and ask ourselves some probing questions:
“Why am I so busy?”
“What am I doing that I don’t need to be doing?”
“What should I be doing in order to achieve what I want to achieve?”
 

When we define what is important to us and set goals for us to achieve them we find value in what we do and in who we are. And found value is the biggest motivator for success, it ignites passion, fuels drive and increases effectiveness and efficiency. When an individual finds value in themselves and what they do, there is no limit to the things they can achieve. Think about what this means for your life, your work, your business… the potential for success is huge!

Final Words

Busy-ness does not equate to value. In fact busy-ness kills value and productivity. True value comes from identifying what is important and focusing on achieving the important. Try it out, see for yourself how taking some time to identify what is important can greatly increase your time, efforts and energy levels. If you’d like some advice on how to get started just ask I’m more than happy help and I’d love to hear how it worked for you!

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What’s up with Sundays…?

Lately I’ve been mulling over the question “what is the purpose of a church service?” I have the privilege of leading the worship team at the church I attend so this question is quite relevant to me at the moment.

I believe God has been working in my life recently and teaching me about Worship. I’ve spent quite some time lately looking at what is worship, why do we do it, how should we do it and what does God require of us in worship. I’m finding that God is asking me to look deep into the reasons and motives I have for worship and why it is that I worship Him.

As I read through the Bible, especially the Psalms, I am confronted with the rawness of worship. There is no hidden agenda, there is no holding anything back… it’s all laid out there in front of God. There is praise, worship, adoration and commitment but there is also anger, despair, frustration, regret and shame. Nothing is held back from God, He knows it all anyway, but He waits for us to express it to Him.

I started to wonder are we that authentic in our worship today? Am I that authentic? Am I willing to let it all hang out there before God and other believers? Do we actually encourage this in our worship/church services? Do we provide a space where people can authentically worship God, offering to Him their entire lives, warts and all?

Let me clarify that by ‘worship’ I don’t purely mean ‘singing’. Yes songs and music are a huge part of worship but the worship I’m talking about is the time we consciously take to stand before God and offer Him, praise, adoration, confession, prayer and ultimately ourselves. To me, this is our ‘worship’ to God in a service and it needs to happen together, uninterrupted for us to get in tune with God.

That is why I’m pondering the question “what is the purpose of a church service?”

I’m not pointing the finger here at anyone or any place. I want to genuinely ask this question and receive some genuine, well thought out responses. I want to know what the purpose is of the church services I serve at and attend.

Are we coming together to offer God authentic worship, to lay our lives before Him, open and honest, and seek His will for our lives and allow Him to speak to us? Or are we there to hear a sermon and worship happens as a support act to the message? Or is it an information sharing exercise where we come to hear about all the activities going on in the church, to hear from God’s word and catch up with friends?

I’m not advocating that we ditch everything else in our church services and replace it all with ‘worship time’ that would be pointless, but we need to ask the question “are we deliberately taking time to worship God before we ask Him for anything?” God doesn’t want our attention so we can bring our shopping list of requests to Him. God wants our praise first, our lives first, then He will give to us as we need:

Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be given to you as well. 
Matthew 6:33 – The Bible

I’m being challenged to look at the reasons why we do things the way we currently do. I want to ask the tough questions because I believe that through the answers we truly grow. My heart feels that currently we are neglecting God in our church services, we are not taking the necessary time to focus on God and offer our lives to Him. I feel that the worship component of our services is somewhat a poor second to all the ‘other’ things that ‘need’ to be in our church service. We must give God the praise and honour He deserves.

Unless we offer ourselves to God through worship we are not going to hear from Him. God requires us to be willing and available in order to be taught by Him. Worship is the key that unlocks our heart, soul and mind and allows us to hear from God. We must seek Him first, and then we will be in a place where we are ready to hear all that He has for us. Our hearts will be ready to hear, our minds ready to understand and our souls ready to respond. 

We must look at what we do and ask ourselves “what is the purpose of our church service?”

Am I on the right track, do I have it completely wrong? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated

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Great post!

My friend Michelle who serves with me as worship director at our church has written a fantastic post entitled “What can the church learn from Gordon Ramsay” you should go check it out!

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Father’s Day

I love my little family.

Last Sunday was my first Father’s Day and it was amazing! My wife Sam spoilt me with presents and my daughter did too (also bought by Sam 😉 ). I have the most beautiful pink footprint in a frame on my desk at work now to go with my photos of Anabelle, all of which remind me of the reasons I sit at my desk for 8 hours a day when all I really want to be is home with my family.

Presents are great but the best part of my Father’s day was just being with Sam and Anabelle. The best gift I have is my wife and daughter, two people whom I love unconditionally and could never be without. I will do anything for them and I will always love them. I love my little family 🙂

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Planning/Structure vs. Heart/Passion

I was challenged today by a very close friend. They said something that made me stop and think about my life and how I do things. I wont go into all the details of the conversation here but the question I’m pondering as a result is this: “Is it possible that my emphasis on planning and structure is hiding my heart and passion?”

At first thought ‘planning & structre’ and ‘heart & passion’ seem complete opposites don’t they? Planning and structure by nature seems, controlled, logical and sequential while heart and passion gives us the impression of being emotional, wild and unrestrained. Is it possible that they can both work together to achieve something?

It made me think, I dont believe that being well planned and structured squashes my heart and passion, but I can understand how maybe my passion and heart may not clearly be seen through the plans, structures and guidelines that I produce. Somewhere alone the line I have to make my passion and heart known. I need to express the motives and ideas, the heart and passion, that has led to the development of these plans and structures. People need to know the reasons behind why we do something but they also need to see the heart and passion.

Heart and passion are infectious. We can all think of a time when we were encourage and excited because someone shared their passion and heart with us, and as a result we felt that we wanted to get some of what they have, or become a part of what they are doing. This led me to a new thought:

Plans and structure are only truly effective when the passion and drive they flow from is made known and shared.

Now that’s a bold statement isnt it? Do you agree/disagree with it?

That’s what I’ve learnt this past 48 hours… now I want to try it out, put it to the test and see how it works!

What about you… do you think passion and heart are key factors in planning and structure?

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