Refining Life, on Purpose

Impostor Syndrome and Giving Up Control of the Narrative

Impostor Syndrome keeps us from being who God created us to be. And the Devil loves it. But we don't always have to control the narrative. Take out the earbuds, and thrive.

I learned about something called Impostor Syndrome a few years ago. It gave me an understanding of something I intuitively knew, but couldn’t label. In short, it’s a concept describing high-achieving individuals who have a fear of being exposed as fraud. They are worried they will be “found out” as posers or hacks. That they don’t deserve their success. These individuals are generally successful, but have trouble internalizing their accomplishments. My Struggle with Impostor Syndrome I grew up in a home where we depended on food stamps – actual food stamps that could not be hidden at the checkout. I […]

Can Your Family Life be Better? I Mean, Really Better?

Last week, I enjoyed an amazing Spring Training experience I’ll never forget. It’s memorable, of course, because I was watching the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs four times at three different parks and taking in many Arizona sights, including a tour of Chase field. However, the biggest, most impacting take-away is the time I spent with a good friend and his parents. These folks are the very definition of what you might call “good people.” They’re much more than that, though, and they went out of their way to make me feel as much like a part of their family as they […]

Metaphorical Earbuds and Their Impact on Control, Inclusion and Loving thy Neighbor

The metaphorical earbuds we knowingly and unknowingly wear signifies many things. This includes desire for control, lack of inclusion and even weakness. Many world events shows how we often plug our ears, cover our eyes and hide from what we don’t want to face. It shows the ripple effect that happens when those earbuds or blinders are removed and we have no choice but to face reality.

The metaphorical earbuds we knowingly and unknowingly wear signifies a lot of things. Some of those qualities include the desire for control, a lack of inclusion and even weakness. I’m particularly reminded of this given that, as I write this post, I am watching the movie 42, about the astonishing opposition to Jackie Robinson joining the Major League Baseball roster of the Brooklyn Dodgers.   The events of that season presented the many ways in which we plug our ears, cover our eyes and hide from what we don’t want to face. It shows the ripple effect that happens when […]

Are Millennials the Lost Generation? A Review of Abandoned Faith

Abandoned Faith by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez

I have heard about the rise of the Millennials for the vast majority of professional career. And, as one of the youngest GenXers, born just a couple years before the commonly accepted Millennials origin date, I’ve had a unique perspective. On the one hand, I am the apathetic Xer. Although, and on the other hand, I am the head in the clouds GenY idealist. Interestingly enough, I have always found that I identified with my grandparent’s generation more than I did with my own. Yes, we have heard much about the Millennials, though. But, it might be surprising surprise many […]

Take Out Your Interpersonal Earbuds to Create Sweet Spots for Connecting

There are a lot of ways we create interpersonal interference - our earbuds. Look at your personal behaviors and habits. Where do you need to take out the earbuds and how can you create welcome mats to build a sweet spot for connecting?

We all have metaphorical earbuds that we are using as interpersonal barriers of relationships. Sometimes, those “earbuds” are intentionally put in place as we are zoning out and keeping ourselves solitary. Other times, they’re in place without our conscious knowledge. Regardless, though, they are leading to missed opportunity. Consider the following scenario from the book, Next Door as it is in Heaven: Living Out God’s Kingdom in Your Neighborhood by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco: …the Lord prompted me, ‘Take out your earbuds.’ I thought ‘Wait a minute, I really like this song!’ But I took my headphones out and […]

Our Spiritual Headphones And Where We Are Really Missing Out

Our personal headphones lead us to missing out on many things. This includes our ability to listen and hear, our ability to know what is right and to serve God's world.

A lot of people suffer from the fear of missing out, or FOMO. You see, we all like to be included and don’t want to be the one missing out on the good times, great experiences and epic moments. During a conversation with a worship leader, I was struck by her reference of a need to sometimes “take the earbuds out” when it’s evident that she is not connecting with those she is expected to lead. Indeed, it’s a powerful metaphor. In the context she provided, it’s about a missing connection. I think it goes deeper than that, though. As […]

Viewing Life with a Mirror and Microscope – 7 Posts

When it comes to viewing life, we have a tendency to paint everything according to what we know through experiences, education and more.

There are many ways we can go about viewing life. That’s because there are many ways in which we filter the way we see. Be it experiences, education or otherwise, we have a tendency to paint everything according to what we know. Of course, we could get more granular, but from a macro-perspective, we have listening up and considering mirrors and microscopes. Both instruments are great for inspecting, but only the mirror can put your involvement into proper context. You see, a microscope allows you only to inspect and judge others. That 360 degree view is missing. In addition, the microscope allows you […]

Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg – a Review

Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg - a Review

As a parent, I’ve always believed in the impact of reading to kids. Though my kids are getting older, I’m always looking for fun and engaging books that teach powerful, spiritual lessons without purely preaching. John Ortberg’s new book, Your Magnificent Chooser is a book that accomplishes that very well. I no longer get to read to my kids as often as I once did. They are at an age where they should be the readers. What’s more, we’re constantly competing against the distractions of technology, like tablets and phones. So, when I saw this title, I used it as a great […]

How Mirrors Can Be Powerful Leadership Tools

There are many leadership tools that can be used in life and business. As a leader, pack the mirrors, but leave the microscopes at home.

If you are a leader or want to be a leader, and you are trying to identify good leadership tools, I suggest you pack a mirror. Yes, leaders are expected to have and share a vision. They need to set a direction and clear a path forward. While we commonly think of a mirror as a means of looking in the rear-view or seeing ourselves, I would content that mirrors can also be used as a power leadership tools for guiding others on the road ahead. Mirrors are Leadership Tools for Self-Reflection The most obvious use of a mirror is […]

4 Reasons You Need to Fix it

Instead of saying it ain't broke, ask how can it be better?

You may be familiar with the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s practical advice. Unfortunately, though, it discourages the taking of risks.I Iwas am reminded of a time when I was challenged along with a group of other like-minded individuals, to think beyond the idea. We instead began asking, “how can it be better?” And honestly, it was a breath of fresh air in many ways. Maybe it’s because I am a constant tinkerer or am always “wordsmithing” the things I write, but I have never been one to settle for status quo or mediocrity. That challenge […]