Think About It

Externalisation

Have you noticed the increase in demand for fields such as counselling, coaching and mentoring over the last few decades? There is something highly beneficial about talking with someone else about what is going on in your life, especially what is happening on the inside of you. It is sometimes referred to as “externalisation.” The story is told of Einstein going for a walk with a friend. At the time, he was struggling with a problem he couldn’t solve. In the process of telling his friend about it, he ended up getting an idea about how to fix his situation... Read more →


Self Care

Have you been on an aeroplane lately? Before the plane takes off there is always a safety spiel – which we all pay close attention to. Right? Right. The instructions always include something like this: “In case of an emergency, an oxygen mask will fall down from above you. Put it on yourself before assisting others.” Have you ever thought about that? It sounds a bit selfish doesn’t it. If it was a Christian flight, you’d think it would say, “Put it on your neighbour first!” But no, ‘self-care’ is primary. Why? Because if you aren’t breathing, you are of... Read more →


Influencer

Think for a moment about ‘atmosphere’. Every room has an atmosphere – it could be bright or dark, hot or cold, pleasant or smelly. So does every family, every team, every school, and every workplace. That atmosphere is usually the composite result of the people in that group or of its strongest influencers. Two particular instruments deal with atmospheres. First there is a thermometer, which measures the temperature of a particular room. If the room is hot, the thermometer goes up. If the room is cold, it goes down. It is a reactive instrument. Then there is a thermostat. In... Read more →


Optimism

Generally speaking, there are two types of people in the world – pessimists and optimists. Pessimists: believe that bad events will last a long time, imagine the worst, tend to see themselves and situations as ‘helpless’ give up more easily, tend to ‘awfulise’ and ‘catastrophize’, turning mere setbacks in disasters, and are more stressed than the average person, Optimists: see bad events as temporary and surmountable, are happier, and more content then other people, have greater coping skills, achieve better than pessimistic people, their health is unusually good, and they age well and live longer. Of course, unrealistic optimism can... Read more →


Your Story

Every one of us has a story to tell. Your life is your story. Your story is your life. Like a story, your life has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. There is a theme, characters, subplots (work, family, health, happiness, friendship), trajectory, and tone. What kind of story is your life? A comedy? A drama? A thriller (horror) movie? A romance or a love story? An action movie? A fairy tale? In reality, each of our life stories is an EPIC. It’s a long journey with many scenes, experiences, twists and turns, characters, and smaller individual story lines.... Read more →


Conflict Resolution

Have you had a conflict lately? When we are hurt by other people we all respond differently. David W. Johnson, author of Human Relations and Your Career, has identified five styles of conflict resolution: 1. Some people are like teddy bears. They keep the peace at all costs, even if it means giving up what they think or want. 2. Other people are like turtles. They withdraw when conflict comes and they avoid it at all costs. 3. Other people are like sharks. They respond to conflict by going on the attack, seeking to win at all costs. They often... Read more →


Re-Fuel

Have you ever been on a long drive interstate that took a few days? One of the things I hate to do is stop for petrol. Do you know why? It’s because all of those semi-trailers, caravans, and slow pokes that I have meticulously passed are all going to pass me while I am filling up! Now, that’s annoying. I wish someone would invent a way to fill up without having to stop. But the truth is that unless you stop and refuel you’re not going to make it. You are going to stall and be stuck by the side... Read more →


The Audience of One

Every one of us experiences something we could call “the grandstand affect.” From a very young age, we have people watching us and responding to our choices and actions. If we do something that people like, they cheer us on. If we do something that people dislike, they frown at us or they may even boo us. Over time, we can easily learn to play to the grandstand. We thrive on the applause so we seek to please people. We hate disapproval, so we try not to disappoint anybody. The danger with this is that we can become addicted to... Read more →


Move On

Have you ever been to a really bad movie? I’m sure you have. Did you go see it again? Of course not! Did you buy the DVD? Come on ... Why would you watch through something you didn’t like all over again! That would be silly. But in reality that’s something we all do from time to time. Have you ever done something you regretted? Have you ever had someone really hurt you? Did you find yourself replaying it over and over again in your mind? Some people even replay it in high definition ... in surround sound ... and... Read more →


Vision

Around 3,000 years ago, one of the wisest men to ever lived made this observation: Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no revelation (vision or insight), people cast off restraint (they perish, run wild or live carelessly); but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. NIV A vision can be defined as "a picture of a preferred future that creates passion on the inside of us." Without vision, life is a bit of a drudgery. The days drag along without much direction or purpose. In contrast, with a vision we live motivated lives. A vision causes us to set goals... Read more →


Thoughts

There is an old poem that goes like this ... Sow a thought, reap an act; Sow an act, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny Your life is shaped by your thoughts. Ultimately, you become what you think about. Life is lived ‘inside out’. It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to it that is the determining factor in your life. Your response to everything is based on what and how you think about what is happening to you. How do you change? By renewing or reprogramming your... Read more →


Atmosphere

Every room has an atmosphere – it includes factors such as the temperature of the room, the lighting, and the freshness of the air – or the lack of it. In the same way, every group – whether it’s a team or a family – has an atmosphere. It describes what it feels like to be a part of that group of people. This atmosphere is a combination of the moods and attitudes of the people in the group. Learn to be aware of your moods – what they are and what may be contributing to them – and then... Read more →


Longings

Every human being has desires on the inside of them – longings for acceptance, for approval, for a sense of identity, for a sense of belonging, for significance and for a sense of purpose in life. Where do these longings come from? Are they merely a “wish projection” or could they indicate that there is something outside of ourselves that we were created for … just like the presence of thirst indicates that there is something called water? History shows us that we will do anything to try to fulfill these desires on the inside of us. One man tried... Read more →


Love

Jesus told us that the two greatest commandments are to (1) love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and (2) to love our neighbor as ourself. Life truly is all about loving God and loving people. Of course, our love is simply a response of God’s love for us. We love Him, and others, because He first loved us. As we receive God’s love, we can begin to accept ourselves, even in our imperfect and frail state. This then enables us to love others … as ourselves. Unfortunately, many people struggle to love others because in... Read more →


A Voice

The Gospel writers tell us that after Jesus was baptized in water the Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove and a voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Jesus knew that his Father loved him. As you go through your day, what voices do you hear? What are they saying to you? Many people hear voices that tell them they aren’t good enough, that they are a problem, a burden or even a failure. What would it look like for you to start to hear a... Read more →


The Love of God

Many years ago, a man living in an insane asylum died and was carried to his grave. When they were cleaning out his room they found some words written on the patient’s wall. This is what he had written … Could we with ink the ocean fill And were the skies of parchment made Were every stalk on earth a quill And every man a scribe by trade To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry Nor could the scroll contain the whole Though stretched from sky to sky These amazing words were eventually incorporated as... Read more →


Trust

Someone once said that trust in the glue of all relationships. Trust holds things together. In contrast, when there is no trust, the relationship starts to break down. Trust creates confidence and removes suspicion and fear. When trust is high in a relationship, you could say the wrong thing and it will be okay. People give you the benefit of the doubt. Where trust is low, you could say the right thing and even then, people take you wrong or misinterpret you. How do we build trust? Trust starts with being trustworthy. Be transparent – open, real and genuine. Don’t... Read more →


The Others

If you think about it, the entire population of the world, with one exception, is composed of OTHERS. What would life look like if we stopped seeking to get everyone else to revolve around US and started taking OTHER people’s needs and interests as our first concern. That would be pretty counter-cultural in a world that tells us to “Look out for number 1!” What kind of a world are we creating when everyone wants everything and everyone to orbit around them? When people do things and give affection to others, only as long as it helps meet his or... Read more →


The Trinity

The apostle John boldly declares that, “God is love.” He doesn’t say that God is loving, although that is true OR that one of God’s activities is love, although that is true too. He says that God IS love – it is the very core of his being and nature. The Christian God is revealed as one God existing as three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – a Trinity. Think about it … If there is NO God, then we are here by blind chance, merely a result of natural selection and love is nothing... Read more →


Forgiveness

Have you ever been hurt or offended by someone? If you haven’t, you probably haven’t lived long or you need to get out a bit more. Everyone gets hurt – many times, either intentionally or unintentionally. When other people hurt us we have two options. 1. Our first and natural response is often one of anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred or even revenge. We want to make the other person pay. Unfortunately, this type of response stops the healing process, which results in dramatic affects on us physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. We were not designed to live with the destructive... Read more →