Motivational Mondays, Uncategorized

Do we NEED a following?

Long ago, in a place far away, Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage.”  Little did he know how much truth would be found in that statement in the age of YouTube and Instagram stories.  A little over a year ago, Jon Acuff wrote a post, “The old rules don’t apply” and the following paragraph really struck me:

When my grandfather was my age, he couldn’t build an audience easily. What would he have done? Run for local government? Try to get a radio show? Write for the city paper? He couldn’t reach a million people with a tweet. He couldn’t live broadcast from his own house with his own phone. He couldn’t sell something on Amazon.

The conclusion of the article is that now we CAN build an audience easily.  We don’t have to run for local government.  We don’t have to get a radio show at a radio station.  We don’t have to write for the city paper.  We CAN reach a million people with a tweet.  We CAN broadcast from our home on our phone.  We CAN sell things on Amazon without ever actually seeing or touching those things.

I guess the question I have is although we CAN do those things, SHOULD we?  Don’t get me wrong.  I am obviously typing this on a blog, trying to reach people and establish a following.  I love listening to podcasts.  I have a Twitter account.  And I have tried selling things on Amazon (failed miserably, but I tried).  But, our world has become so much about “likes” and “followers” and “vlogs” and “pods” that we often fail to give those who are actually going through life WITH us (not following us, but walking along side of us) enough time and attention and love.  I also fear that we have lost our ability to move through life quietly and contentedly.  And I fear that our society has now become more likely to reward those with large followings than those with large hearts or large minds.

What does it do to us when our values are more tied to how many strangers follow us and like us more than giving to others or making the world a better place.  It is hard to be a parent in these days.  It is hard to be a teacher in these days.  It is hard to be a human in these days.  Changing our focus towards the One we follow rather than how many followers we have will be helpful.  So, this week, I plan to do just that.  Stop focusing on posting things on Facebook to be liked.  Stop worrying about whether my blog is being read by many or only a few and focus more on the message I am sharing with others.  Stop looking backwards for followers and start looking up to follow the One who leads best.

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My 2014 Resolution Challenge Part One

2014

I’ve been poking around on the internets for ideas on how exactly to best come up with resolutions AND keep them in 2014.  I found a lot of challenges I’m interested in – reading challenges, fitness challenges, etc. but I want to have well-rounded resolutions that provide me with a balanced life and gives me some things that I’ve been wanting in my life.  So, I’ve thought about having a monthly challenge.  But, I tried that back in 2011 and it failed miserably.  So, then I thought maybe I should do a 52 week challenge.  But, I was a little intimidated with coming up with 52 things to do by January 1 and I want to have something well-planned when the year begins.  So, I’ve decided to have “focus areas” and each week, I will dedicate at least three hours (I admit the three hours is a totally random amount of time – but, it seemed doable – 180 minutes a week, divided up however it works out) to EACH of the focus areas.  That way, I have balance on a weekly basis.  So, you’re probably wondering what my focus areas are going to be.  I am too!  🙂  I am actually going back to an exercise we did in one of my leadership workshops this semester.  The leader of the workshop is a counselor in the student counseling center (not academic counselor, but psychiatric counselor) and her presentation was on prioritization and making good, healthy choices during a busy time (aimed at students, but us fellows were probably equally in need of the message).  She gave us a stack of cards, a little smaller than playing cards, kind of the size of business cards.  On each card was a word with a short description when necessary.  So, here are some examples:

And so it goes.  There are 20 cards.  She first had us go through and “discard” anything that wasn’t in our top concerns.  Then she had us repeat that – obviously, taking into consideration that at first we though all of the things left were “top” concerns.  We did it three or four times until we got down to five or six cards.  So, I’m feeling good about getting down to seven.  And those seven can become my “focus areas”.

If you would like a list of all 20, email me and I will send them to you with the short descriptions.  It is a fantastic exercise to do with family, friends and even workmates to see where different people’s priorities lie.  It also is good for decision-making since you can easily identify your top concerns and make your prioritized to-dos based on that knowledge.

So, tonight I will identify my seven areas and then I hope to continue this post in Part Two by identifying some specific action ideas/steps I can identify for each of those areas.  So, there is a priority and a to-do list based on that priority.  Some, I am sure, I will have many to-dos based on, others I may only have a few that will be repeated over and over again.  I’m kind of looking forward to this as it will help me to really be specific about my resolutions!   See you in Part Two!