Let the Creating Begin

(A final thought from No One Gets There Alone)

In giving helps for mental toughness, Dr. Bell says that consistency is the key.

Remember, we first create habits, then our habits create us.

Whatever we want to get better at, we must consistently do. Don’t mistake action for achievement. If we want to get better at swimming, then swim; if we want to get better at public speaking, speak. If we want to improve our sales, get a coach. Period.

Whenever I’ve led discussions about spiritual disciplines like prayer or taught on following the leading of the Holy Spirit, comments are always made about not feeling confident on how to do either of these. Let me suggest that Dr. Bell’s encouragement to swimmers and public speakers applies here. Create habits. Be consistent. Just Keep Doing It.

What could some habits be that would create you into a confident disciple?

  1. Pair up with another growth-desiring person. You could do this in many ways. Ask God to bring that person into your life. Be real with them and start pursuing growth together. Chances are that person is already in your life and you just need to take the first step.
  2. Develop your strategy. If you want to read the entire Bible, then find a reading plan that works for you. If it takes you one month, one year, or many years, who cares. Figure out your plan and start moving. 
  3. Say hello to God often. What if you turned off the radio in the car going to or from work just to be alone with God? What if you paused midday to talk about your morning and your afternoon? What if you didn’t get out of bed before saying good morning? What if one day of your weekend you didn’t ask for anything in your prayers and just said thank you? What if you prayed as often as you texted your spouse or best friend?
  4. Test your nudges. It’s possible that thought about that person you rarely think about was a Holy Spirit prompt to reach out. It’s possible that thought to bake your neighbor some cookies was a Holy Spirit avenue to relieve loneliness. It’s possible that cry for sympathy by your waiter’s comment was a Holy Spirit opening to offer a prayer with them.

Here’s a personal example from a different life arena. By nature, I’m not a morning person. I hated my teenage years when my mother would come in my room every morning turning on the lights and declaring it was breakfast time. But you might say, since I began running over ten years ago, I’ve been recreated by developing new habits. The discipline needed to properly train for races has slightly altered me. I now have little problem getting out the door to run by 6am several times a week.  I can even meet people at 6am for a group run and actually enjoy it, occasionally. Let’s not push it.

Who do you want to be? Who is God prompting you to be? What are the habits of that kind of person? Work to establish the habits of that person and let the creating begin.

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2016 Library

In some areas of my personal habits/disciplines, 2016 was a year of resurrection. Blogging was one. Another was reading. Neither have fully come back to previous stature, so it’s a work in progress.

From reader’s feedback, sharing what I’ve read has always been a source of numerous things for you, so as a look back at 2016 I thought I’d simply list my 2016 library for you. 

  • Leadership and Self-Deception, The Arbinger Institute
  • Awe, Paul David Tripp
  • Jesus and CEO, Laurie Beth Jones
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry
  • Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Jon Walker
  • It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, R.T. Kendall
  • Jesus and Mohammad, Mark A. Gabriel
  • How People Grow, Dr. Henry Cloud
  • The Essential Wooden, Steve Jamison
  • Tales from the St. Louis Cardinals Dugout, Bob Forsch
  • The Listening Life, Adam S. McHugh
  • The White Umbrella, Mary Frances Bowley
  • The Power of the Other, Dr. Henry Cloud
  • The Four Laws of Forgiveness, Brad Johnson
  • The Next Level, Scott Wilson
  • The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Peter Scazerro
  • The Prisoner in the Third Cell, Gene Edwards
  • Lincoln’s Melancholy, Joshua Wolf Shenk
  • The Allure of Gentleness, Dallas Willard

This list is in the order that I read them, no recommendations or endorsements. I did grow through their content. And enjoyed reading them all. 

Here’s to more enjoyable, growth-producing reading in 2017!