Originally posted on Medium · 5 min read I think anyone who reads my content with any regularity probably has a sense that I am one who reads a great many leadership books and soaks in more than my share of non-fiction. Long time readers are likely to know that I have an affinity for […]
In these troubling times many of us have experienced change or loss. While the sting of those losses, some professional, too many personal and all deeply impactful, remains with us, we find ourselves facing the winds of change, off balance and chasing who we used to be. In the aftermath, many of us find ourselves […]
At a time when we feel our differences are unprecedented and we feel the divides and “space between us” are insurmountable, there is solace in recognizing that we have always had differences. We have always had deep rifts in our national “tribal subcultures.” Nearly 30 years ago, in 1992, George Carlin exposed a great many […]
As you scroll through your social media feed today, the day after the president-elect was projected by the media. The day that some celebrate in anticipation of that projection being ratified, even while others struggle to reconcile whether that truly is the final result of a contested American referendum… As you swipe through stories, as […]
Sometimes someone relates to our willingness to be awkward and vulnerable and it brings value to their lives.
What is our posture supposed to be like as we are pushed into further and further division? Amazing words of clarity from my favorite teachers.
Does (y)our approach around asking questions have an impact on culture? A couple of years ago, I facilitated a discussion on another forum centered around the questions spurned from a previous post : No Capes. It was interesting to enter into dialog with folks both within and outside my profession around the topic of people […]
When we take on massive change and we seek to overhaul huge swaths of any organization, system, process and/or culture, we, in essence, create a man-made storm. If we try to predict everything that will happen, we are, just like the so-called “layman experts” described above, deceiving ourselves. Never have I guessed perfectly what would happen, never was I fully prepared, often I have been underwhelmed, but too frequently I have been surprised or overwhelmed.
The revised blog post: I’ve been reflecting on the words of one of my HR leaders a great deal in recent weeks: “We get to change.” I’d credit her by name, but I do my best not to call out the details of my “day job” in this blog. That job and my other paid […]
We must overcome our flawed lenses on the past and future to be less fearful in the present.
I admire the daylights out of this man and appreciate his impactful TED Talk – learning from others we view as different than us is more critical now than ever…
Hi Soarers! I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I have been dabbling with recording podcast versions of the blog. The podcast can be found on multiple platforms where podcasts are available like Spotify. I am using an app called Anchor and my iPhone to create the podcasts and right now they […]
It strikes me as worth noting that man has struggled with the same challenges throughout time. Witness what the Roman statesman, Cicero, who lived from 106 BC to 43 BC, wrote all those centuries ago. We observe these obstacles in our every day lives in the 21st century and as you can read in his […]
The poet of my youth was one Gordon Sumner, aka Sting. The first concert I ever went to was Dream of the Blue Turtles, his debut solo album. A bit odd for a kid my age as all my other friends went to the Journey, AC/DC and KISS concerts, and I loved all that music […]
If many of you were to write a blog about your mom and titled it ” A mom for all seasons” I suspect your story might be about one special woman who showered you with unconditional love, who was your rock, your inspiration and a guiding light in your life. Still others of you might […]
How many times have we left for work, fully intending to play the part of the ever-composed, quietly observant, always benevolent Jane Goodhall, only to find ourselves at the end of the day, flinging feces at our teammates in a primitive display of dominance and one-upmanship? “You cannot get through a single day without having an […]
Do you need all that junk you are carrying around? How much of what you encounter every day is because of what you choose to take with you everywhere you go? Luke Skywalker: What’s in there? (Motioning toward a cave) Yoda: Only what you take with you. (Luke grabs his belt with lightsaber and blaster). […]
Once, I thought all tension was “bad” or “negative.” I was under the assumption that making others uncomfortable (or my making a mistake) was always a “mark against me on the scoreboard of life.” This could be because I am innately, at least according to many of the personality inventories I’ve taken the last 40 […]
Why do I write this blog? What is this whole #four4soaring thing about anyway? As I ponder this question I am assaulted by what Steven Furtick calls the Chatterbox in my own head: You are writing this blog out of ego. You want to be liked. You crave attention. You don’t really care about anyone […]
Faith is not blind. It sees. Where we falter, it renews. I have always been fascinated by dogma. Fundamentalism is something of a preoccupation of mine. So much so that I used to equate those two things with Faith and in particular following Jesus. I used to think that there was a requirement to believe […]
What is it about our human nature that is so stoked in fear that we are constantly looking for any excuse to find the exit? What saturates our brains in flight or fight neuropathy so much that it feels like we are always either defending our flank or leaping like an antelope for the safety […]
I write two blogs. This one and one for work. This one is called Four4Soaring, as you know, and the one at work is called Friday Food For Thought. I suppose, something about “F” sounds and the word “for” just speak to me. I think it is because I do my best to be ” […]
My brother in law and I were joking about my relationship with my kids over the holiday break. He is the cool uncle, the fun one, the world traveler that takes them out and shows them how to have fun in the world and how to live in the moment. I am very thankful for […]
As I walk my dogs each day I am struck by the beautiful oaks my neighborhood offers as majestic diversions along the roadway. One such oak must have had an interesting history because it has somehow found its balance much like a waiter with an outstretched arm holding a platter? I sought to capture a […]
I follow this guy on Instagram who posts quotes the way I often do. He issued a challenge the other day to sum up my 2018 in one word. The first word that came to mind was blessed. I thought about sharing that word because it fits so perfectly and then I challenged myself to […]
So we bought this thing called a “flocked tree” and I was thinking…someday I would love to Meet the Flockers. Who are these people that put flock – some sort of glue like substance that mimics snow- on the trees? I decided to build a set of questions to ask about these mysterious creatures and […]
Read the full Story on Medium “John, when your hand is open you can give things away and at the same time make room for more.”
I used to dream of the ability to shower people with gifts that I thought would thank them properly and adequately. I used to pine tirelessly to imagine a way of thanking my bride for all she did to lift me up with “a big house” to quote Elton’s poet, Taupin: “where we both could […]
Some months ago I wrote a story about my grandfather and how he taught me how to be full of CHIT: Curious | Humble | Intentional | Teachable. Today, I want to talk about this World War II veteran and how he has lived a life as a gritty hero, not just of World War […]
Who do you let in? Who do you seek out? How often do you stop, cup your hands to your mouth and cry: Hello in There? We all yearn to be known. We have this inborn appetite to be seen. We are also prompted to connect with others. The opposite, isolation, is both physically and […]
On October 21, 2018, I was one of four people asked to share some of my thoughts with some of the gathered family and friends of Tim Sader at only the first of two services. The following is the first draft of what I shared. As usual, on the day this was shared the words […]
According to his parents May 19, 2011, was a Tuesday, it was the day they lost their first son and it was a day that his brother had the hardest time writing his blog, Tuesday’s Torch, but he wrote it anyway. He wrote it dutifully, beautifully and eloquently for 9 years. He wrote it to […]
Our childhood wasn’t all Charlie’s Angels and Bosley to be sure! We rallied around each other when times were tough. I call them my war buddies because we’ve seen and been through some scary stuff together….I can see when someone has the potential to grow from obscurity to the highest heights… My sisters are such people…read more: click on pic or link in bio
Today, I feel compelled to write about what we DON’T GET TO do. We don’t get to be more than we were created to be. ..Read more at four4soaring.com
Change your lens on life and change your life (and maybe others?) for the better. Read more at http://four4soaring.com .
I am a restless person. You might even call me “Restless by Nature.” That is not quite as cool as “Naughty By Nature” but I am anything but cool. This restlessness is all too big a part of being human. We struggle from the moment we emerge from the womb. If you believe Maslow’s hierarchy (or […]
One of the most powerful ideas I have heard recently is that when you share a concept, in reality, you as the presenter are not the hero, your audience is the hero. Nancy Duarte shares this concept with us in her TED Talk as she reveals her passions for presentation. This is how she describes […]
As I prepare to sit through this storm my thoughts and prayers are not for all the THINGS that are already lost and will be lost.
My friends, what I have now realized is that those sunk costs had me sunk. I was drowning in them. I was mired in a morass of my own self-absorption, intent on getting and keeping…
One of the starkest tragedies of our lives is that we are horrible predictors of the future. This affects us in a myriad of mundane and profound ways. We can be hurt by this in the way we choose our kitchen tile or cast our vote, by our inaction around saving and multiplying our money from a young age or when we fail to see the good things happening around us or, tearfully, when we give up. Even when we don’t do something as extreme as giving up permanently, those of us who fall prey to a life without hope can find ourselves existing day to day, as Andy Stanley explains, as a “languishing life preserver.”
A quote about two very different futures by Eric Haseltine of Ted Talk fame. I love what he describes here as it speaks to both our limitations to imagine the future and the endless possibilities. In my estimation, our job is to realize as many of those possibilities as our talents and gifts permit while […]
When you are lost and you feel like no one is in your corner it is easy to gravitate toward hate. Hate is seductive. Hate is unifying and affirming in a sick sort of way. Hate feels good at the moment your stoking it or feeling it. Hate can be a crucible to burn off, and distract from, your feelings of rejection, discontent, and discomfort. The ironic thing is the whole time your hating you are secretly yearning to love and be loved…read more at http://four4soaring.com
What’s the alternative to telling someone to shake it off? When you see someone who consistently falls down, do you lecture them, run the other way, or do you lean in with grace and compassion?
I had the right people around me at the right times to avoid the “summer melt.” Summer melt is a term that refers to a phenomenon where every year, many students who have overcome daunting obstacles in high school receive good news — they’ve been accepted to college, and often they have been awarded enough money to attend, but they don’t show up to start classes.
I was treated to a great lesson on influence recently at a conference I attended. Justin Elam’s message was one he has been sharing for a while now about how to equip others by asking questions vs. providing ready answers. The outline of his talk started with this Strauss quote: “The wise man doesn’t give the right answers. He poses the right questions.”
There is a hilarious image I have in mind of a cartoonish, slightly more balding version of me, giving myself a Homer Simpson slap on the forehead and exclaiming “DOH!” as I think back on just how many things I got wrong as I was growing up. For instance….
Should we strive to be the golden child or should we suffer as the pariah? What is the right posture to assume as we move through life? Is this the right choice? Must we choose one of these paths or is there a third choice that leaves us better positioned for true success?
Moms. They are our champions. Whether it is your actual Mom or someone who simply pulls you into their circle and treats you like their child, like the best teachers do, they are fiercely and ferociously for us. They provide us with the unfathomable, unconditional love that we typically only receive from one Other Place, far above this one.
(Hint: You may have to click this open to see it formatted as intended 🙂 ) Look Up When you want to look down Look Up When you feel like a clown Look Up When you’re lost and not found Look Up When you’re slammed to the ground Look Up When you’re feeling sad Look […]
I still need help practicing consistently: quickly changing my response from one of “equal and opposite” reaction to one of service, grace and compassion
What kind of society could we have if we unleashed our children to play and fall and re-work their environment as the wolves did in Yellowstone? What kind of society will we have if we don’t?