Are You Present for December?

Out in front of you is a window of time. For the sake of my post, December. The most important question, if the Lord allows, is whether you’ll be present.

Are you present for December?

All of your life in 31 days will be found in December. No exceptions, the happy, the sad, the fears, the events, and more. The question remains, are you present for December?

Many of us sprint through the days that create the months. Busy schedules, busy activities and our lives are wrapped in the doing. Tragically, the being part of life is left in the dust. One of my greatest challenges, and opportunities is reminding and teaching my family the art of being. My family is not unlike most when it comes to the struggle of being. In many ways, I play the resounding gong. A bell designed to remind and encourage the behavior of being.

What is being mean, anyway?

I practice being in the following ways:

  1. Doing absolutely nothing in silence. Many refer to this as mindfulness. I often practice this to hear from God
  2. Stopping to look around me and let my 5 senses take over
  3. Listening
  4. Practicing my art
  5. Romancing my memories. “>Central Park comes to my mind right now

If you live in a place where “being” is a strange concept, you should take the risk and try it. Don’t worry, this is not something you do for hours. Think of it as adding salt to flavor. It’s something small that is really big.

Telling Lies

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I read once that if you want to get comfortable with telling lies to others, you need to get comfortable with telling lies to yourself.  Kind of chilling when you think about it. I agree with the analogy.

Now, what are these self-lies we tell ourselves?  In my case, during my days in the corporate world, it was performance.  For example, if I hit this number I will get an applause at the weekly staff meeting.  I would sit and find myself perspiring and feeling so much adrenaline at the thought of telling my peers how well my group was doing.  The lie I embraced was that age-old dysfunction of; “if I do this or that, I will be liked/loved.”  Did my peers like/love me because of my great feats?  No, and if some were of the flattering variety, it never lasted very long.

Telling, and believing, self-lies is a dangerous habit.  Like an awful addiction to any opiate.  You can never find the strength to stop. It can cripple you from finding and leading an Epic Life.  One scary part is found in how many people/messages are out there to fuel the habit. It ends when the habit births regret.

In the end, lies are lies, no way around it.

Lying to oneself is not only confined to the individual.  But creeps into the organizational world too.  Take the large corporation that proclaims, via marketing, that it values the client.  Ironically, though, its client service department can’t even return phone calls in a reasonable fashion.  The organization continues to print materials, hold town hall meetings, formats focus groups, but the truth is still the same; valuing a client is more of a fantasy.  And by the way, most loyal clients know this.

So what happens if we start embracing the truth versus the lie?  Here are some outcomes to consider:

  1. We can get down to the business of change-for the better.
  2. We’ll stop blaming the competition, our dads, the economy or some other phantasm for our poor results.
  3. Focus and happiness.
  4. A legacy colored in the brush strokes of love and action.
  5. Freedom!

I’m sure there are more outcomes to list, but the point remains for us to stop the lies.  Our Epic Life/Venture depends on it.

A Message to Men

The above is a recent photo of my daughter. She’s beautiful, smart and has an authentic spirit. Now that she is an adult, much has changed. I’ll spare you all the things you know and have heard. My post today is not really about her. This is a message to men. The ones who she might date, encounter or run from.

The behavior of men in the current frame is flowing like water from a fire hose. It’s sad and it’s real. I always knew it to be sad, but not real. The “real” came into focus over the last 2 years. Here’s why:

  • My wife has endured harassing behavior inside of more than one large employer
  • My daughter is heading into a world where immature men seem to be everywhere
  • I’ve spoken to more than a few intelligent women who confirm the first two bullets

My message to men is simple:

Think, stop and back off.

If you’re reading this and you’re a man, I’m trying to keep it simple. If you apply the principle of think, stop and back-off, you will contribute to turning this mess around. It is a mess, by the way.

I think the many men are faced with many contributors to creating bad behaviors.

The end of reason is real. Many of us would have to agree that our culture is one of emotion-driven actions, I feel this way, so I behave this way. Reason restrains and asks the tough questions. Without . reason you might feel that every woman wants to…they don’t.

The disappearance of fathers is real. If you didn’t have a father who took the time to explain that women are co-equals, you might take your cues from music or film. Those two are very flimsy foundations to build on.

The dumbing down of leadership is real. You know it’s true, leadership is now caricature and the playground for men who should not be allowed in. I think many men, if their capable of honesty, would agree that most managers don’t belong in the roles given. By the way, your organization shares in the responsibility here.

I have more concerns and ideas, but I think if all of us men would just think, stop and back-off, we might have a shot in a much needed turnaround. It’s kind of a starting over approach. I’m certain that my wife and daughter would value the change.