The Defense Won’t Rest

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | 2 Comments
David and Stacy have a real challenge when it comes to communicating. Neither of them ever feel they are truly heard by the other. When they discuss points of conflict, they automatically default to arguing mode; they completely miss the opportunity to share their true feelings with each other. When they talk, defensiveness rules. They refuse to admit responsibility for causing their spouse pain, and instead, they place blame back on the other.

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the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More

What Do You Think of Me?

By | Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Relationships | No Comments
A few nights ago, I was taking my wife to get a cup of coffee at the local Panera.  I was getting ready to turn left into the parking lot, but waiting for the traffic to clear, when I heard a horn honking from behind me.

As I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see a lady in the minivan motioning for me to move into what she obviously thought was a turning lane.  It wasn’t.  I had a double yellow line, and if I’d moved into the lane she was suggesting, I might have been in the path of oncoming traffic.

I quickly responded by glaring into the rear view mirror and giving this lady my best “Look lady, I’m following the laws of the road.  If you don’t like waiting on me to turn, why don’t you just go around?” face.  Somehow I don’t think she got the message.  She responded with her best “You’re an idiot” face.

This, of course, happened within the span of just a few seconds.  Very quickly, the cross lane cleared and I was able to turn into the parking lot and park.

What surprised me was how hard it was to let those few seconds go.  What if that lady did think I was an idiot?  I thought.

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After Betrayal: Does Forgiving Someone Mean You Have to Trust Them Again?

By | Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments

“Forgive and forget” may be one of the most unfortunate phrases that has somehow seeped into our cultural dialogue.  It makes forgiving someone a very difficult (and potentially risky) task.  It asks the person who was harmed or betrayed to somehow make believe that one of the most terrible moments in their life didn’t happen.  In essence, to “forgive and forget” means that the offended party should somehow mentally undo the damage the other person has done.  Not only is this virtually impossible, it is unwise. Read More

Before You Say Yes…

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges | No Comments
Don’t you love that feeling of a promising new opportunity?  There’s terrific excitement packed into that new job offer, new dating relationship, new house, or new business partnership.  But sometimes the excitement of new possibilities can eclipse our common sense. Read More

Book Review – The Entitlement Cure by Dr. John Townsend

By | Authors and Books, Book Reviews, Leadership, Life Challenges, Relationships | No Comments
A couple of years ago I was attending a one-week intensive training for counselors led by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud.  Dr. Townsend was in the middle of a lecture when he mentioned that he was working on a new book.
“I’m writing a book about the fact that the hard way is usually the right way…” he said, “I’m going to address the issue of entitlement, and what it costs our lives, our families, and our culture.”
Immediately, I knew I had to get my hands on this book.  This topic was screaming to be addressed.  And I knew if anyone could do it well, it was Dr. Townsend.

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Here’s What Your Last Marital Fight Was About

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | 2 Comments
Imagine this… you’re at your local hospital being prepared for a major surgical operation.  The anesthesiologist activates the drug stream that will send you off to la-la land, as she asks you to count backwards from 100.  You float away on a pink cloud, and the operation begins.

An hour later, you wake up mid-procedure.  You’re in intense pain and you expect the surgeon to do something about it… right now.  You scream at him to do something.

Oblivious, and holding your spleen in his hands, he responds: “Gee, I don’t think you’re really awake.” Read More

How to Bounce Back After a Mistake

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges | No Comments
I am personally convinced that one of the biggest differences between leaders and losers is what they do after they make a mistake.  Successful people manage to use their mistakes to go further in life.  They take a hard look at what each misstep can teach them, they learn those important lessons, adapt, grow, and become better at what they do.  Losers, on the other hand, fight the lessons that mistakes can teach.  Because they feel entitled to success, they struggle to embrace the reality of their failures.  We all fail.  The key to a powerful life lies in how we recover from failure.

 

So, how do you bounce back after a mistake?  Here’s five key steps that will get you back on your feet: Read More