One Thing for Men Presents – That Day

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That Day is a play about Daniel Scott Mathewson who has been pursuing the American Dream since graduating from college. His lifelong focus centered on the next deal, the next promotion, the next bonus, and how far and fast he could climb the corporate ladder.

Today Daniel is on the cusp of achieving everything he’s ever dreamed of…right up until the plans he had for his life comes to a screeching halt as he suddenly faces the reality of eternity.

Our endless pursuit of aspirations, goals and dreams come with a price, one which is paid by our family, friends, and co-workers if we are not careful. 

One Thing Men’s Ministries is excited present a performance of That Day at Independence High School theater in Alpharetta, Georgia on Saturday November 8th at 7:00 pm.

The Bible Miniseries – Must Share TV

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This Sunday, 3-3-13, the History Channel will broadcast a 10 hour, 5-week miniseries called The Bible. An epic docudrama which will walk viewers through the Bible, from Genesis through Revelations, featuring key IMAX moments from both the Old and New Testaments in a way they have never been visually told before. With the help of the Oscar awarding winning crew from Gladiator and the latest in computer generated imagery epic stories like Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, Daniel in the lions den, David and Goliath, and Moses parting the Red Sea all come to life before your very eyes.

4 Components For Personal Growth

Photo credit iStockphotos © 36clicks
So you find yourself entering into a season of growth.  How do you get started?
Experience has taught me that there is a principle that must be understood and embraced in order for a desire of growth to take hold and for momentum to build.

Growth Is Gradual and Change Is Immediate

Far too often in my life, and maybe yours as well, this principle was overlooked. You start with a plan; you put your head down and focus on taking careful steps in the direction of your goal. Early success creates momentum, but as the path becomes familiar and comfortable, there is a tendency to question the pace.

The world we live in makes sustained growth tough. Society has conditioned us to expect quick fixes and overnight successes, to anticipate that these will be the norm and not the exception. If we want to grow and choose to embrace the effort needed for sustaining that growth, we must first shift our mindset from what culture has conditioned us to believe toward what we know to be true.

Growth is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  

Personal growth is  contingent on how we choose to condition our minds so as not to not think as culture has taught us.  

This was never more evident than how I came to run the Peachtree Road Race in 2009. The Peachtree, as it’s called, is the world’s largest 10K with 55,000 people running 6.2 miles through Atlanta on Peachtree Road the morning of July 4th. I never set out to run the Peachtree, and if I had it, odds are I would have never run found myself in that race. But it became a destination in a journey of personal growth.

In 2007, I needed to lose weight, a lot of weight, and get healthy. For me walking to the end of the street and back was a challenge but it was a starting point for my journey. My focus centered on steady and continual progress, where the wins were measured by adding one street at a time not miles. Eventually I realized that as those streets formed a long loop, maybe a mile was within my reach. It didn’t matter how fast I was, all that mattered that there was growth and progress.

Over time as my body got in motion and healthy eating choices were introduced, the weight started coming off a lot faster. There was never a specific number in mind, only growth and progress toward living a healthier lifestyle. But had I focused on how much I wanted to lose and not growing healthier, those early weigh-ins would have led to discouragement, not losing almost 200 pounds in a three year period.

As I thing back over my journey, these four components, are the foundation for creating an environment for personal growth in your life.

Understand – where you are now, where to you want be, and why this is important to you now. A journey can never begin without a vision of where you want to go and why you want to do it.

Announce – what you want to achieve to someone you trust and give them permission to be both be coach and cheerleader. A journey is so much more fun when it’s shared with someone who wants to see you succeed.

Measure – progress not only by what’s accomplished but also by how far you’ve come. A key component in growth is ongoing development, and the best way I’ve found to measure development is by recognizing how far I’ve come.

Celebrate – everything and celebrate often. Celebrating all those little wins creates momentum which launches us toward those big wins…growth and life change.

What’s your story…when you’ve achieved success and personal growth what were the key components that made a difference that time?

Next post I’ll share an area where I want to experience growth, but in the meantime where do you want to experience growth?

~Tom

trusting God period!

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ONE WORD 365 – Growth

iStockphoto © sefaoncul

My One Word for 2011 was “pause.” 

Who would have known this one word could have impacted my mindset throughout the most challenging and rewarding year of my life.

~2011 was a year where my dream of being a husband and a father became reality with one single “I Do.”

~2011 was a year where I faced cancer for a third time and battled to the best of my ability through five months of chemo and trusted God period for what I could not control.

~2011 was a year, had I not slowed down and paused through in the midst of every challenge and in every blessing I would have missed seeing God’s handiwork in my life and the lives of those who joined me in this journey.

My One Word for 2012…hmmm? My One Word focus for next 365 days err…325 days?

After much thought and deliberation it has to be Growth, a word that is so appropriate to focus on after the year I had in 2011. I want to take all the life lessons learned…the good, the not-so-good, and the awesome and grow from them. I want to share them with the hope they may help and influence others in a way that they too can grow from my experience.

For me I’m talking about total…across the board growth, both personally and professionally. Growth in the five areas which I feel encompasses a full and complete life.

Hiatus

iStockphoto credit © James Driscoll

For those of you who regularly visit Leveraging Life, you have probably noticed a lack of posting since the start of the New Year. Now this wasn’t something I set out to do.  It just evolved as the month of January progressed.

Definition of Hiatus:

  • a break in or as if in a material object.  
  • an interruption in time or continuity – a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted. 

I’m guilty as charged! This past December was busy…plain busy! 

Between the blending of two families holiday traditions, Shari’s and mine, along with the year-end craziness at my Subaru dealership there wasn’t much time for anything other than holding on and enjoying the season. And if the busyness of December wasn’t challenging enough, any thoughts of my annual vision casting for 2012 took a back seat to planning for our upcoming “postponed” honeymoon. 

Shari and I had to skip taking the post-wedding traditional honeymoon and opted for a couple of days in the North Georgia Mountains so I would not have to delay starting chemo. 

After seven magical days at Al Cielo, a place I’ll detail in an upcoming Friday Favorite post, I returned home relaxed, recharged, and lost. 

Connections Community Causes

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I love the internet! I love the way it connects people to causes they believe and creates communities which can do more together than they can do alone.

“As of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth’s population uses the services of the Internet, according to Wikipedia.  In 1960’s, when the Internet was conceived, the intent was to facilitate the exchange of information between networks of computers. Today information is still exchanged but what dominates the Internet landscape is the connecting of people. Take a look at the top 10 US websites , half are exclusively community building websites; and it could be argued that actually 9 out of 10 utilize enough group and chat dynamics within their websites that foster community as well.

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

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Most Fridays you will find a something posted here which is a favorite of mine or something recommended by a contributor to the Leveraging Life community. It’s the type of site you go back to over and over because it’s become a resource, a place you find inspiration, or just someplace you enjoy what they serve up. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and I hope you’ll share a few of your favorites for the rest of us as well…and who knows maybe your favorite will show up as a future Friday Favorite.

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The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast  (also can be download on iTunes)

Obviously I’m biased as Andy Stanley leads North Point Community Church and I attend North Point’s Buckhead Church Campus in Atlanta. Anyone who is part of  or is leading any type of organization regardless industry can benefit from the wisdom Andy shares each month on his podcast; “a conversation designed to help leaders grow further faster.” 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of content, just dive in where you have an interest in a topic. Or if you want my recommendation can start with: Listening, Learning, and Leading. You will find so much useful information that will be of value now and in the future.

  • What and who you listen to will determine what your do.
  • Leaders are attracted to environments where their opinions are heard.
  • Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing important to say.
  • You’re probably not the smartest person in the organization you are just the leader. 

Those were a few of my takeaways from Andy’s most recent podcast, Listening-Learning-Leading, please share what you found noteworthy in the comment section below.

~Tom

trusting God period!

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Cancer Road Trip – Part Three

Traveling to Seattle

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One of the things I looked forward to when I was planning my cancer road trip to Seattle was the planning of what I would do in the down time away from the cancer center. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to plan with all the work I had to do at my Subaru dealership before I left town. I literally boarded the plane with only the address of my hotel, what time my three doctor’s appointments were at, and no real game plan for my downtime in Seattle.

The randomness actually started in the seating assignments. Booking the trip within two weeks of the flight left me in a middle seat flying from Atlanta. The thought of over 5 hours sandwiched between two people compelled me to play the medical sympathy card which helped me secure a window seat. Once settled into my seat I began to read Pete Wilson’s Plan B book. Reading held my attention for the first hour or so until I glanced at Delta’s flight tracking map to see how far we had traveled. As gazed where we were and we would go as we were traveling to Seattle, realized how little I have seen of this country.

Not enough personal time, too focused on career, stuck in a routine of visiting the same places because it’s easy…comfortable…and safe.

It was in this moment my cancer road trip to Seattle turned into an adventure rather than a quest for clarity in my cancer journey. Traveling to Seattle offered me a break from my routine, an opportunity to explore the city I had never visited, and a means for personal growth I would not have experienced staying home in Atlanta.

Cancer Road Trip – Part Two

Traveling to Seattle

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I knew my cancer road trip to Seattle afforded me the opportunity to unplug and reflect on the last few weeks of my cancer journey. Eleven hours in the air flying from Atlanta to Seattle and then back to Atlanta, along with the customary downtime in the waiting room gave me ample time to catch up on my reading. The only question was, which books from the growing pile on my nightstand would make the cut and go with me on the trip. 

Transparency

The difference between the successful and the troubled is not error-free living; it is that by discovering and implementing a life calling, the successful stand on their pile of trash while the troubled sit under theirs.” — Dave Ramsey– from the forward of Dan Miller’s book: 48 Days to the Work You Love

Nothing like diving into the deep end of the blog pool for my first post, but the more I thought about the foundation for the blog should be laid with post number one. Quite frankly there would not be Leveraging Life | Now had not there been a radical shift in my thinking.