Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Save Me

She's sitting in the corner
With her head down in her hands.
As the tears roll off her face,
She wonders who she is.

It's cold and he's all alone.
He puts his glass down.
Not sure if it's his last one,
He knows there's got to be something else.

"Who's going to save me?
It can't be me.
Who's going to save me?
I'm tired of failing."

She picks herself up,
And makes her way to a church.
Even though the doors are locked,
She feels like she found God, and she knocks...

"Are you going to save me?
I know it can't be me.
Are you going to save me?
I'm so tired of failing."

"I may not know what's in the book.
O my God, I hope it works.
My wife and kids are waiting back home,
They need their daddy to be strong.

Will you save me?
I know it can't be me!
Will you save me?
I'm so tired of failing."

- by Chris Barr

© Chris Barr Music

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Posture Yourself To Perform

Remember when you were young and your teachers and parents suggested that when you study you find a good seated posture, proper lighting, and a quite environment. For some reason, lounging on your bed was not the ideal study posture.

Remember how your coach spent so much time instructing you how to address the plate, address the ball, or address the free throw line? For some reason, your physical posture was important to good form in athletics.

Do you recognize how so many employers and leaders put so much focus on your attentiveness and outward posture in front of their clients and customers? For some reason, your physical posture is important in communicating certain messages of attentiveness and readiness to those you are trying to serve.

We can see in so many areas of our lives the value of posturing ourselves before our work or craft. Why is this?

When we spend the necessary time focusing on preparing ourselves physically, we are spending the same amount of time on preparing ourselves mentally. I fully believe that the mental preparation far outweighs the physical preparation, but it is the physical preparation that allows our minds and our hearts to be drawn into the moment or the task. As you focus on your physical posture and breath control before a free throw, you are also calming your mind to allow you to perform unhindered and un-distracted, and therefore, perform to the best of your ability.

When you sit up and prep your study environments, you are convincing yourself that this is important. Focus. Pay attention. Remain calm. Retain. You are focusing your mind.

No matter what you are giving yourself to, if you want to succeed, you must posture yourself correctly. Your posture sets your intentions, and your intentions determine your success.

What is vying for your attention, focus, and time? Is it your family, your children, or your spouse? Is it your career or craft? Is it school or a sport? Is it a character trait that you hope to shape, or a discipline that you are trying to sharpen? No matter what it is, posture yourself. Prepare yourself physically and mentally as you approach these areas of life. When you do, you communicate to yourself and to those around you that this matters to you- that they are important to you, and you bring yourself into a place ready to perform- ready to succeed.

How do you posture yourself?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Practice To Perform

We've all heard it before. "Practice practice practice," or "practice makes perfect." If we are going to be honest with ourselves for just a moment, we really know two things to be true about these phrases. One, these phrases conjure up memories of some coach or teacher trying to get us to be better at something when we were younger that we really had no desire to ever perform. And, two, they were right. Practice does make perfect.

I mean let's be honest here. How many times have you found it to be true in your life that one day you woke up, tried something for the first time, and were already the best that you could be? Don't misunderstand me. We've had those experiences where we tried something for the first time, and bam. Light goes off. You made contact. The equation computed. The painting was awe inspiring. While these experiences are indeed incredible and yes, even good performances, they weren't perfect (and rarely even great). They were, however, gripping. That moment reeled you in. You were now...a lifer. It didn't matter what it was going to take. You were committed to that game, that sport, that academic, or that career path, forever more.

How many lifers out there are excelling in their crafts and their fields, without practice? A few? None? Sure, there are a few with that raw, natural, born innate talent that gives them a skillful edge over their competition. But, even the naturals will plateau without practice. They will stop climbing, they will be surpassed, and then they'll wonder what happened. It takes practice, and we know this to be true.

So, what do you practice? Or, let's ask this question of ourselves first. What do I perform? I'm not talking only about sports in this case. What roles do I play? What do I do? What do I spend my time doing? Do you golf? Do you cook? Are you a husband or a wife, a son or a daughter? Are you a barista or an accountant? Are you a Christian? We may have never thought about these questions before in this light. But, if you answer yes to some of these questions or ones similar, then you have identified the ways in which you perform.

So, what do you practice? Why do we only attribute practice to sports or music from our childhood? If practice makes us better in those areas of sports and musicianship, then why not in the other areas of our lives- that maybe even matter more. Speaking for myself, I would rather be better (and maybe even moreso) at my relationships current and future and my devotion to God.

Let's try taking time out of our days to practice. If it's golf, let's take time to chip and putt in our back yards or workout when we can't swing a club. If it's cooking that we love, then let's read blogs and taste unique foods and try new restaurants and pay attention to all of our senses. If you're a husband or boyfriend, then let's practice loving and serving one another. If you're single, then let's practice all the qualities and characteristics that we know our future spouses will need or want us to be. But, let's be intentional. Let's understand that practice makes perfect. Let's understand, that I may not be perfect now, but I want this! And, then let's practice practice practice until we have it, and then practice some more. Let's never settle for a high plateau. Let's always resolve to keep getting better.