Innovation is a Requirement for Survival

Many people think of innovation as something that only a select few get to do.  They think of people like Steve Jobs innovating and revolutionizing the smart phone world.  Or James Dyson and his vacuum cleaners.  Or perhaps, on a more local level, Big Sky Collision Center innovating and turning the auto repair industry on its head.

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But those are just the big examples.  Those are some examples that shook up industries and became immensely popular in our culture today.  Innovation, however, happens many times throughout the day on a much smaller level.  In fact, you have probably innovated today without even realizing it.

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We Can Learn a Lot by Watching Nature

There’s a saying, it’s been around for quite a while, that idle hands are the devil’s workshop (sometimes play things is swapped in here).  The exact origin of the saying isn’t quite known, but the phrase has stuck around for centuries.  And it’s often taken the wrong way.

Be productive by following the ant

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6 ESV

Fortunately, we have many other sources of wisdom other than a vague notion that the devil is using our hands when we’re not doing anything else.  Let’s consider for a moment what is meant by idle hands, the ant, and the art of being productive.

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An Argument for the Quest for Knowledge

In 2013, American adults read 12 books.  Actually, half of them read fewer than 5 books, and half of them read more than 5 books with the average number read by any given adult sitting right at 12.  That comes out to one book per month.  Each year I make it my goal to read at least 12 books on top of any journals, articles, posts, or newspapers.  If I hit that average, I am reading more than most Americans do.

If American adults are already reading as much as they do, why is this titled “You Need to Read More”?  There are a variety of reasons, and they stem from a quote in a book I recently finished.

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“Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.” The Judge, page 207 in Blood Meridian

As a human, you should have a thirst for knowledge.  Many Americans have a thirst for knowledge when it comes to celebrities, friends, and family.  They want to know what’s going on.  But when it comes to more practical matters, they couldn’t care less.  They allow things to exist, function, and act without their knowledge and without their consent.

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How to Deal with Uncontrollable and Controllable Events

I recently read the book Chop Wood, Carry Water by Josh Medcalf.  Then, over the previous couple of months, my Biz to Biz group has been going through and having a bit of a discussion on it.  I had the opportunity to talk about one of the chapters last week.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, then you need to pick up a copy, it has a ton of valuable information.

 

I was assigned to Chapter 23.  During preparation, I was able to glean a bunch of insights; and the words of Ben Sweetland rang true, “We cannot hold a torch too light another’s path without brightening our own.”  Here is what I discovered in my journey.

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What Overflows from Your Heart?

I recently finished reading the book “Thinking for a Change” by John Maxwell.  If you have a chance, I highly recommend it.  It walks through 11 different forms of thinking that people seem to ignore, and encourages everyone to think in order to inspire the change they want to see in their life.

What really stood out in the book, however, wasn’t the thinking.  It wasn’t the forms of thinking, how you can get your life together, how you can promote your business, or how you can grow as a person.  Those were all great concepts that I’m working into my life.  What really stood out was his recollection of a conversation with a friend.

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Growing through the everyday “stuff”

Normally I try to sit down once each week and write some brilliant insights.  Generally they are focused on something I have read recently, or perhaps a Bible verse that I found applied to life.  Today… I got nothing.

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I have recently read through the book Chop Wood, Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf.  If you haven’t read it, then I highly recommend it.  The basic premise, at least around the title, is that you have “chores” to do that must be done every day.  If you try to skip them, it throws everything off.  Lately, I have been chopping wood, and carrying water (and taking the morning off to go to the trampoline park with my son).  That means I have been working on these things, instead of exploring insights.

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Get What You Want, Every Time

We all have needs, and we all have desires.  Often, however, we have to put our desires aside because they’re either unattainable, or unattainable at this moment.  But what if I told you that there is an easy way that you can get what you want, every single time, and all you have to do is ask?  It sounds absurd, but we can claim that Biblical promise laid out to us in Mark 11:24

Ask and receive

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 ESV More »

8 Concepts to Keep Your Focus

If you’re like me, you can easily become distracted.  You plan your day, you schedule everything out, and then you end up spending 37 minutes cleaning up your desk instead of working.  Then you have to use the bathroom, and as long as you’re up you might as well get some coffee, and you’re a little hungry so you grab something to eat.  Then you notice that the mugs aren’t quite straight, so you get them in order.  The next thing you know, you’re 7 projects behind.

Maintaining your focus on what matters takes a lot of self discipline.  It can be tough, especially if you work from home.  Fortunately we do have some guidelines.  And if you’re easily distracted by the garbage that is found online (Facebook newsfeeds, cat video websites, adult sites, and the like) then this is definitely something you need to pay attention to.  8 concepts that you can meditate on in order to keep your focus on what you need to get done.

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Your Successful Career Starts with a Prayer

Whether you are working in a field that you love, or toiling away in a job that you don’t really care for, there’s a good chance that you want to experience success.  Naturally nobody ever sets out to fail; we all want our labor to end successfully.  But did you know there’s a way that you can make sure that your plans will succeed?

How to succeed at work

As we looked at last week, success doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.  But when you’re ready to experience success, this is how it is done.

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Success is Easier than You Think

Success is something that many people chase after their entire lives.  They dream of fancy cars, big houses, bank accounts with more digits than their phone number, and all the luxuries that money can buy.  They read about success, the imagine success, and they sacrifice important parts of their lives because they are chasing after the elusive success.

The secret to success

But what if I told you that the secret to being highly successful is incredibly easy?  What if I told you it didn’t mean late nights “grinding”, or notices that your utilities were going to be shut off, or even that you had to be highly skilled.  Success, it turns out, is much simpler and easier than you think. More »