On Purpose, Patterns and Passion

On Purpose, Patterns and Passion

On Purpose

I think.

A lot.

On purpose.

I like it when “Life” makes sense.

But it doesn’t often.

When “Life” doesn’t “make sense”, I think you have to make Life make sense.

And I’m not alone in this.

Viktor Frankl wrote “Man’s Search for Meaning.” I’d recommend you read it for yourself. Part of his key message is to find meaning in existence – and thus give yourself a reason for living. His credibility flows from the fact that he managed to do this as an inmate of a Concentration Camp.

My quest for meaning led me to become a Theologian (of sorts!) I went to Theological College and walked away with a love for Wisdom and Inspiration. The Apostle Paul said that, “All things work together for the good of those who love God…” (See Romans 8:28) Paul and Viktor were always looking for a pattern that made sense – that made their circumstances serve them or a higher goal.

They lived their lives “on purpose”.

So, even when “Life” seems both kind or unkind, ask yourself these liberating questions:

“How can this serve my purpose?”

“How can this serve me?”

If you’re even more assertive – make it serve you. Adam and Eve were put on Earth to rule the Planet (according to the Scriptures) – not to whinge and whine. Dominion was their job description! Later in History, when the storm threatened to sink the boat (Mark 4:35-41), Jesus was asleep! The text suggests that He expected His disciples to do something about it.

Whatever your theological position, these messages are about humankind creating purpose and taking action. You are naturally creative – so create value in whatever you experience.

Live deliberately… on purpose.

When you need a better Pattern

If “Life” isn’t working…

…you need a better pattern.

If “Life” doesn’t make sense…

…you need a better pattern.

When humankind has forgotten the “kind” part of “Humankind”…

…we all need a better pattern.

That’s what revolution is – changing the paradigm – upgrading our thinking – creating a better pattern.

If your life seems flat – remember that’s the way the Earth used to be to multitudes of people who were wrong. They had the wrong pattern. Now the pattern is different – now the pattern is round.

The Earth used to be the Centre of the Solar System – now it plays (an important) part, but it’s not the Centre of everything.

You can have a well-rounded life if you take you out of the centre of everything! Light, Life and Laughter – like the Sun – doesn’t revolve around you, you revolve around it. If you want to evolve, revolve! That means making some cause or someone else the Centre of your Universe. That’s a revolutionary pattern.

You are amazingly designed to discover patterns. That pattern of discovery will never end. You’ll always be learning. Don’t fight this, embrace it. If you see a “pattern of behaviour” you don’t like, change the pattern. When you change your thoughts, you change the very chemistry of your brain. When you change your chemistry, you change your behaviour. When you change your actions (your observable behaviour) you change your History. You cannot change your History without changing mine. Let’s change History together.

It begins with another pattern… a pattern of thought.

The Passion

They can make software and robots to do many of the tasks and activities that take up my time. I have access to a washing machine – I don’t need to spend hours going to the river to wash clothes. Sewing machines can sew my clothes. My computer can even back up my memory so that I can remember birthdays and get to meetings on the right day – without having to think.

But, the software and the robots will never have my passion. They may be able to mimic passion, but they can never have my passion. That’s unique. That’s the spark. When that goes, the spark dies.

So today’s blog closes with this imperative:

“You need to control your chemistry.”

You are more in control than you’ve yet realised. “Enthusiasm” is a chemical reaction. “Love” is chemistry. “Faith” is chemistry. “Hope” is chemistry. It’s “stuff”. And you can make this “stuff” in your very own Chemistry Lab. It begins with a thought and a purpose. You can lead your thoughts. Your thoughts become the catalysts for the kind of chemical reactions that happen next. You can put that chemistry in motion – that’s why we call part of the process “E-motion”. Choose the thought, add the passion, trigger the reaction, watch the result as you witness the magic unfold.

You are the Chemist.

You just might be an Alchemist.

It’s time to stir yourself!

The Power of Speech: Your Slogan of Destiny

JPG-Slogan-Blogpost

What Is Your Slogan?

Until we truly can talk to the animals and understand their languages, we assume that we are the only species on Earth that can articulate their ideas and consciousness in speech.

This is our power.

This is our pitfall.

Why? Because our power of speech programmes us – and does this from the earliest ages. If you want to know what your family slogans are, just listen to your children as they begin to learn to talk. You’ll hear them using your phrases!

Bang your finger with a hammer and you’ll find what words are at the top of your brain’s search engine!!!

Mohammed Ali believed in affirmations – that what he repeated often enough would come to be believed by others as well as himself. Whether he was right or wrong, he’s not alone in that belief. The Good Book is full of commentary on the power of speech.

“Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.”

So if you could choose life – choose a slogan for you that empowered you – what would it be? When you need to speak to the mountains of resistance in your life, what would your power-phrase be?

Brands know the power of this – hence brand slogans like,

“Just Do It!”

Propaganda knows the power of this –

“Keep Calm, and Carry On!”

If our subconscious mind is truly programmed by the words we speak out, let us choose those words carefully. Here are some really good slogans:
• All things work together for my good
• I can find positive meaning in everything and anything
• With a strong hand (My family Clan motto)
• My body is my temple
• Carpe Diem (Seize the Day or Seize the Moment)

“Carpe Diem” is a favourite as it comes from the idea of plucking. It could literally be translated as “pluck the day” – because the day is ripe. Well friends, for good or for bad, the day is ripe for plucking!

[btw, Latin phrases are invested with more power in our imaginations for some bizarre reason. In the scarey movies, the baddies chant in Latin, but so do the heroes too. See if you can find a Latin phrase that works for you. Check out your Clan or Family Motto – that’ll be in Latin. Speak it like a spell (a good one in a Narnia kind of way!)]

Let me conclude with this: you can change your personal history and destiny by changing your slogan. Try on a new slogan until it fits. This can be like a pair of shoes that are too gorgeous to resist. You buy them even though they don’t quite fit. You know that they are more likely to wear you in than you to wear them in… but somehow it works.

Sometimes we need to grow into a slogan – so pick (or pluck) a good one!

Moodscope: The “Interested” Card

The Interested Card

“Interested” – defined by Moodscope as: “wanting to be involved in something”.

This is a lean-forward, edge-of-the-seat, cock-your-head-to-one-side type of mindset.  Notice how many of those phrases are physical.  When we want to be involved, we naturally incline our body forward.  We are ‘inclined’ to be involved!  When we want to listen attentively, we most often move our heads to an angled position – perhaps to get a better ‘stereo’ sound reference.  Why we do it is not as important as the fact that we do it instinctively.

Walking in Agreement

Psychology and Physiology are the best of friends.  “Can two walk together unless they agree?”  (Amos 3:3)  They ‘agree’ with one another.  They are congruent with one another.  As with the mind, so with the body; as with the body, so with the mind.  Every time you shift your posture – you have to change your mind.  Why?  Well I’m playing with words but what I mean is that you are triggering a different pathway – a different pattern of neurons.  These patterns of ‘thoughts’ group together in clusters of associations.  So, your body knows what position it should take if you feel uninterested just as your body knows the position it should take when you’re interested.

So what?  Well we do the Moodscope cards because often we are not interested in being involved in something.  We’ve lost our Oomph!  Our get-up-and-go, got-up-and-went!

My suggestion (and I’m looking forwards to your suggestions) is to run after our get-up-and-go!  How?  By moving.  By moving our posture forward towards something.  By breaking any pattern in our body posture that ‘says’ “I’m not interested.”

Practically, if I’m finding it hard to stay engaged in a conversation, I deliberately sit up, move forward on my seat, lean forwards, and put my head to one side as if listening more attentively.  I don’t know how it works.  I don’t know why it works.  But I do know that it does work.

When you change your (physical) attitude and position you change your (mental) attitude and position.

Folks, the consequences of this are utterly life-changing: if you ever get stuck in an attitude you don’t like, you can only stay stuck if you stay stuck in that position.

If you ever get stuck period – change your physical position and new patterns of thought will flow.  Keep changing until you get some thoughts you like.

What’s your inclination today?

Assume the position!

Sermon: How Much is Your Self Worth?

How Much is Your Self Worth?  Yes, it’s time for the Sunday Sermon for the non-religious!

Today’s lesson will begin in Matthew, chapter 20.  [Text from New International Version (NIV) via biblegateway.com]

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Author’s Intended Meaning vs this Sermon

Clearly this is a parable about the generosity of God and the repeating motif of the fact that the last will be first, and the first will be last. If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll realise that my sermons are not for those with a particular faith but rather are a channel for learning life’s principles. Living Coaching is what I have in mind!
There’s only one verse I want to focus on today:

“Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?” (v13)

That’s a pretty powerful summary of most people’s lives: they’ve agreed to work for whatever their particular ‘denarius’ is.
We live in a Universe that has riches in abundance. We live on the most abundant, resource-rich, and perfectly-suited planet. Nature is generous. Real Wealth never disappears; it just changes hands and form. Humans have even created new genuine wealth – more of it. So let’s get one hurdle out of the way:

there are plenty of denarii to go round!

That leads us to the big question: what is your self worth?

Obviously I’m enjoying the play on words here. I’m asking what your talents are worth in the market, but I was also alluding to the fact that the value you put on your talents is often indicative of your self-worth – the value you put on yourself.
When life gives us a bit of a bashing, it’s easy to begin to devalue your life-currencies: your time, your fees, your ideas, and your attitude. It is, however, the greatest foolishness to let circumstances or even the market define your worth. Consider how many artists (Vincent van Gogh instantly comes to mind) were not valued in their time – but whose works are now worth millions. You might say to me that this is the opposite of the point I am making. You might say that the market is now saying how much they are worth. And you would be right.

stone_table 3

Deeper Magic Before the Dawn of Time

I, however, am talking about the “Deeper Magic before the Dawn of Time”. What do I mean? I mean there is a ‘worth’ that goes far deeper than the magic of market forces. This deeper magic is far more influential on the final outcome. The fact is that:

Vincent van Gogh’s pieces of art were always worth millions – if we value their true worth.

In the current world paradigm, where the art appears on the time-line is defining its worth. That’s the magic of marketing. The market is defining the price. My point is that YOU are more than the time-line you are on. Vincent van Gogh is worth more than his pictures. The artist (i.e. you) are worth more than your art. This is the deeper magic.

In the New Paradigm, the Artist sets the value.

This is what the workers in the vineyard did at the beginning of the day. They agreed to work for a denarius. Later, by comparing themselves with others, they became dissatisfied. Assuming a ten hour day, and taking into account that the last workers got a denarius too for just an hour’s easy work, even the market was valuing them at an hourly rate equivalent to 10 denarii-a-day – ten times their own estimation.
So, if you charge by the hour, how much do you charge? (If you are an employee you can easily work out your hourly rate too. It may even be explicit in your contract.)
Now times that by ten.
That’s a good start.

Delivering Value

I can hear rebellion in the ranks! The thought arises: “No one is ever going to pay me that rate!” You’re right. If I can paraphrase Henry Ford,

“Whether you think you are worth it or not, you’re probably right.”

But…
True wealth comes from true value. Value begins at home. You’ve got to value yourself – otherwise you’ll end up bitter and twisted like the first workers in the vineyard. Notice that by under-valuing themselves they actually became envious of the others because of the Vineyard Owner’s generosity.

Undervaluing yourself does no one any favours.

You and I need a New Paradigm of just how much we are truly worth. Then we need to play to that value. We need to deliver outstanding value.

The Heart of the Agreement

The Vineyard Owner said, “Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?”
Here’s a glimpse of your future:

Don’t agree to work for a denarius. State what you’re worth.

You can pull a “Mr Scott” if that helps. You could say, “I agree to work for ten denarii, but I know you won’t pay that so you’ll give me ____ at this point in time…” They may look at you strangley but the valuable point has been made. Mr Scott was famous for his estimates on repairs. If the Starship Enterprise needed fixing, he’d say it would take so long, then agree that the crew didn’t have that long, so he’d do it in ____ – and you can fill in the gap depending on the episode.
The point is, he delivered the value regardless of the timeframe. He valued his work highly and he was highly valued for it. The timeframe didn’t define the value. Mr Scott’s uniqueness did.

You are unique

You should be internally referenced and externally calibrated.

This means that you alone decide upon your true wealth and value (internally referenced) but you also remain sensitive to where you are on the timeline and what the market environment is like (externally calibrated). The external does not define your true wealth. Work for what you can work for but always deliver based upon your internal reference of what you’re worth. You’ll play a higher level game. You can play from a 2 or you can play from a King (or an Ace when Aces are high). Your choice will be driven the internal reference of your true value.

Wealth begins within.

I had “Rule 5000” stuck to the top of my computer monitors years ago. That was the value I’d put on my day-rate, and that’s what I sought to deliver. It worked for me. The ‘rule’ has changed but the commitment to deliver, and to do whatever it takes to deliver, remains.
Here’s the warning: if you undervalue yourself you will make negative comparisons between your rates and other people’s. You will grumble and become envious. Flipping that over, if you are grumbling and envious because you are comparing yourself against others (if, and only if, they deliver similar or less value than you but get more for it), you can bet your bottom-line that you have seriously undervalued your worth.

So I ask you again, what will the internal sum be that you agree to work for?

What’s your self worth?

Get it right and the last shall be first.

Amen.

Sunday Sermon: Listen, lest we forget

We-Remember_7634

It’s Remembrance Sunday here in the UK.

This reminds me of the three reasons important matters don’t get done:

  • I ran out of time
  • I misunderstood
  • I forgot.

Well, in many ways we are all running out of time – not in a grim way like that may at first sound, but as a species, we have some decisions to make and some behaviours to change.

We’ve certainly misunderstood a lot of important messages that both our Planet and our history have sent us.

And it’s all too easy to forget the clear lessons of history.

I remember reading in an anthology of poetry this brief yet poignant poem from Steve Turner:

History repeats itself

Has to

No one listens

Well, today is the perfect reminder of history.  So many lives sacrificed because of human nature – and perhaps because of misunderstandings too.

My beliefs still include the power of education and the development of intelligence.  An emotionally intelligent person cannot do harm to another.  A financially intelligent person cannot accept the cost of war (unless they have an interest in the commodities that fuel a war).  A morally intelligent person cannot ask others to do what they wouldn’t do themselves (thinking of the class divides in war).

So what can we ‘learn’ from History on Remembrance Day?

In one sense, to my mind at least, history is the history of bullying.  Those with lower intelligence and who have made less progress along the evolutionary pathway make a wrong turn.  This turn is a fundamental decision: “I am different from you.”  This leads to some beliefs and behaviours: “This means that I may legitimately treat you in a way that I wouldn’t treat someone like myself.”

Sounds like the opposite of Jesus’ Golden Law: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  In the case of the bully, the ‘other’ is not in the same class, therefore the rules don’t apply.  I’m pretty sure this is why hostages in movies are encouraged to get their captives to learn their names and use them – a bridge of equality through mutual recognition.

So there’s a lesson to start us off: we are all connected.  That connection is strengthened by the use of a pleasant name.  Ergo, let’s be careful to use people’s preferred names to demonstrate respect and connection.  This is one reason I appreciate the War Memorials – the names.  Everything that is that person is associated with their name.  Their name is an anchor chain that pulls up the anchor of their memory lest they be forgotten in the depths of time.

Leonardo da Vinci believed that everything was connected to everything else.  I agree.  It’s just ecology… an ecology that now stretches to human interactions, technology, climate change, and all the other aspects of history that are changing our World.  Are we listening?

My identity is central to the way I live in that ecologically closed system we call the Earth.  If I see myself as separate, or superior, or different – it allows me different ‘rules’ than if I see myself connected.  I am connected.

History is also the history of beliefs.  What wonderful good beliefs have done in our history.  The abolition of slavery is a favourite since this echoes the truth of our similarity not our difference.  The falling of the Berlin Wall is another.

berlin20wall20freedom

And what terrible evils have been done in the name of beliefs in our World.  These continue to be perpetrated – and will do so until we recognise our fundamental sameness to one another.  We are one species.  To harm another human is to harm the species – evolutionary suicide at the macro level.

As we Remember today, we would do well to learn that some beliefs are harmful and need to change.

History is a catalyst that can drive us to a better future.  We have stunning capabilities now.  India is receiving some criticism at the moment for funding its space missions but neglecting its poor.  It’s an interesting dilemma but not my point.  (After all, the USA and Europe and China have their own poor to worry about.)  My point is that India can build a spaceship as good as the old Empires of the USA and Russia.  India has new capabilities.

With these new capabilities come new behaviours that transform culture and thus history.  The internet, the greatest connector in history, has levelled so many playing fields.  Combine this with education and a pleasant revolution follows: power to the people.  I love the fact that the bullies of the Banks are being brought to their knees and being forced to change their behaviours.  Their deeds, done in the dark, behind huge bank doors, are being dragged into the light.  There will be more revelations to follow.

I’m not sure how I feel about Wikileaks, but it is another example of our new collective capability to access and share information – and to change our behaviour as a result.

The behaviours that defined the First World War were largely changed by the Second World War.  These acts of violence are now different today in Syria and other troubled places around our pearl of a Planet.  Perhaps we all need to look back – at History, and up – at the stars.

 We Are Stardust

We are part of one pretty small but really rare planet.  There may be other life out there, but at the moment we aren’t helping them and they aren’t helping us (as far as I know!)  So, we need to help each other and our home.  This means looking after the environment in which we live and move and have our being.  We are family – we even breathe the same air and are made of the same stardust.

So, on a day when we are asked to Remember those who’ve sacrificed their lives – the highest love – so that we may continue the mission, let’s remember some great words of John F. Kennedy:

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

We went to the Moon, and we looked back, and this is what we saw…

Our Pearl of a Planet seen from our satellite, the Moon

Our Pearl of a Planet seen from our natural Satellite, the Moon

So, I conclude with the lessons that I am learning and that perhaps we can share…

  • I am connected to you – to hurt you is to hurt myself; to help you is to help myself
  • I am fundamentally the same as you – I breathe your air and you breathe mine; we are stardust
  • I believe we all have the right to be free, happy, healthy, and wealthy.  My freedom is not freedom if it restricts your freedom.
  • I am capable of so much more – therefore I dare to dream of a better future for my children and grandchildren and for your descendants too.
  • I choose to change my habits on a daily basis to promote peace and symbiotic harmony on this Planet.
  • I work to leave the environment in which I was born in a better state than when I inherited the Earth.

Moodscope: the “Entusiastic” Card

I’m a huge fan of Moodscope – a way of measuring your mindset on a daily basis.  Moodsope uses 20 words which you rate between 0-3 to get your ‘state’ or mood ‘status’ for the day.  10 words track positive states.  10 words track negative states.  It’s a brilliant way to spot patterns in your life.  Today, I’m turning my eager attention onto the word “Enthusiastic”.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Enthusiastic” is defined by Moodscope as “showing eagerness”.  Here’s a screen shot from one of my favourite linguistic tools: Visual Thesaurus

VT-Enthusiastic

I’ve saved this one up as it is one of my favourite words… and “Wow!” does it show!!! I can’t hide it.  If I’m enthusiastic about something – it ‘leaks’ from every pore and broadcasts from every muscle.  Just look at those exclamation marks!!!

It says, “Let me in there, Coach!  Don’t leave me on the bench!”  And yet “Enthuse” is even more exciting than the feeling of that inner puppy in me that’s about to go for a walk.  The roots of the Greek work mean “God within” (en Theos).  Whilst the use is not always positive, the intention of the Moodscope card is totally positive.  It’s about having drive and movement towards something – it’s a momentum word.

Herein lies one secret of stirring up enthusiasm if it is lacking today.  Get some momentum going – some movement.  For example, I really don’t have much ‘enthusiasm’ for vacuuming.  I like the result, but not the process – not when there are so many other exciting things to do.  But once I get moving to a rhythm, my enthusiasm comes upon me as if moved by the Divine!  My secret?  Wagner!!!

Nothing gets me to wield the vacuum cleaner more vigorously and effectively than a good blast of “Ride of the Valkyries” – after all, wasn’t that why the Walkman and then the mp3 players were invented!  It works for washing up too!  In this case “Ride of the Valkyries” is too dangerous – more a case of, “I’ll do the washing up, if you’ll pick up the pieces…”  So for washing up, a good bit of crooning works well (for my tastes) – a bit of Julie London, Bing Crosby, Matt Monroe, and, of course, Nat King Cole.

Music is often used in religious contexts to stir up the Divine within… so perhaps that’d be a great way to help make your day “Simply Divine, Darling!”  I’m certainly enthusiastic about the thought!

[ps. sometimes enthusiasm can come with a still small voice – being a bouncy puppy like me is not a requirement!  For those of you are quietly enthusiastic, just remember you’re in good company… in the Good Book, God came to Elijah not in the earthquake, fire, or wind, but rather in the still small voice:

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12]

Encourage One Another – Daily

I thought I might return to my roots and begin producing a Sunday Sermon again!  Fret not if you’re not into sermons – this is for everyone, not just for those who attend Church (which I don’t either, currently).

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Hebrews 13:3

Today’s little message is on the vital importance of encouragement… encouragement as a daily prescription for psychological and spiritual health.

Encourage is a wonderful word isn’t it – the english splits to ‘en’ and ‘courage’ – which could be a message in itself – how we can put courage into one another.

The Greek meaning here is more of an intimate urging – to bring comfort or even bring motivation to action.  It is to act as a catalyst to help someone convert inertia into momentum.

Your Personal Coach

Being an encourager is like being somebody’s personal coach – and on a daily basis.  You lovely gym goers will know about the power of having a personal trainer.  Well this is a personal trainer or coach for your soul.  The Scripture here is suggesting this is a role for all of us.  Part of our mission as fully-paid-up-members-of-the-Human-Race is to encourage others.  What do you think of that description:

“fully-paid-up-member-of-the-Human-Race”?

I first heard that used to describe Vanda North (www.mindchi.com).  It seemed a very loving way to describe someone.  When I met Vanda I understood why.  Here is someone who is fully subscribed to being all that’s good about Humanity: compassion, humour, joy… and encouragement.  Vanda is one of those people who sees no value in using one exclamation mark when three would be better!!!  I have never left a meeting with Vanda without feeling encouraged

So how about that as a role for you and me too?

It’s a simple mission: seek to encourage everyone you meet – and on a daily basis!

Of course, there would be consequences!

  1. We might have to cut down on complaining or gossiping – because they’re not very encouraging to hear about are they?
  2. It might not work!  And for this reason, encouraging others needs to be our intention regardless of the outcome.
  3. It might be catching!

Psychological Sclerosis

I thought that would excite you!  Sclerosis is a word used to describe the hardening of body tissues.  The one that interests me here is the heart – the spiritual heart.  It seems that a lack of daily encouragement can lead to a hardening of the heart.  Here it mentions “sin’s deceitfulness” – but I don’t want to be all preachy.  My single point is that discouragement might as well be called sin because it is so destructive and deceitful.  Encouragement is positively righteous!

I’ve met thousands of people with a hard heart… and perhaps thousands more on the way to a hard heart.  It is not attractive.  Well, at least we know the rememdy: daily encouragement.  The Doctor can keep her apple, I’d prefer encouragement any day!

Our Mission/Hour Mission

So are you ready for our Mission briefing?  Being an encourager (or “fully-paid-up-member-of-the-Human-Race”) is about being creative.  Why?  Well some people are going to pose a challenge!  Can you find something good to say about everyone you meet each day?!!!  If not, there’s a “Plan B”.  Plan B is to find something good to say to everyone you meet.

That will still take creativity – especially if you’re not feeling so good yourself – but it can be done.  You see:

“Action follows attention…”

Psychologically, action follows our thinking patterns (obviously!)  And our thinking patterns are stimulated by where our attention is.  Where is your attention?  By drawing someone’s attention to something encouraging, you tamper with their mindset in a good way!  I don’t usually feel happy after watching the News, do you?  But five minutes with Vanda, and I’m grinning like a joyous chap!  I’d love to be able to have that effect on others.

Hour Mission… how about having this as an hourly ambition and mission – find something good to say to someone each hour.  Sounds exhausting?  Actually it’s the nutrition that feeds and fuels life – because I promise you that you’ll find that when you encourage others, you’ll end up feeling encouraged and energised yourself.