Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the category “Time Management”

Smell of Sweet Success

So I have written recently about my official NFL licensed #18 Peyton Manning Bronco jersey. Remember?  All season, I would wear it, like many other fans with Bronco jerseys, on game days, and maybe even on the Friday before a Sunday game. In the playoffs, it became time to step it up.

Last week, in preparation for the AFC Championship last Sunday, I started wearing my jersey on Thursday and continued on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Then, in celebration, it was appropriate to wear it on Monday.  Similarly, Tuesday and thereafter, I felt it my duty to keep up the team spirit by wearing my jersey each and every day.   I have followed that course of duty each and every day.  That statement is not fully descriptive.  I meant day and night, for luck is a fickle thing and night loyalty might be even more important than day loyalty. 

With the Super Bowl approaching, and only one more week before the game, it has seemed important to me to stay the course.  I imagine that there is a Seahawk fan out there, wearing a Seahawk jersey relentlessly.  It is between him and me.  Which of us is the stronger of spirit?

My wife, Miss Sugar, is, as I have often observed, just a girl.  She does not understand manly things.  She sees no harm in washing my lucky jersey.  That is just what my Seahawk counterpart is waiting for.  And I am waiting for his wife to wash his jersey.  That is when I will have him.  At that moment, the Bronco Super Bowl victory will be sealed and they will have little old me to thank for it. Coach, I can beat this guy!

Oh, sure, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS Sports and all the commentators won’t give me credit, but I won’t mind.  I don’t need credit for the victory.  I just want to do my part for the team. 

It is only crazy if it does not work. 

Suggestions From A Searcher — Part Twelve

This is the twelfth section of Suggestions From A Searcher.  It is about the paradox of freedom through structure by persevering in daily disciplines.

Suggestions From A Searcher — Part Eleven

This is the eleventh installment of Suggestions From A Searcher.  It is about action plans for implementing your goals.

Suggestions From A Searcher — Part Ten

This is the tenth installment from my book, Suggestions From A Searcher.  It is about mission statements and mottos for goal-setting.

Suggestions From A Searcher — Part Nine

This is the ninth installment of Suggestions From A Searcher.  It is about your unique mission in life.

General Math

I have been reading about the Generals who have been investigated recently.  One has exchanged 20,000 – 30,000 emails with a woman (not his wife).  This occurred during a two year period.  Wow!

I don’t know how long were the emails nor how fast are the correspondents as typists.  Let me made an estimate.  Let us assume two minutes per email.  Multiply two minutes times 30,000.  That would be 60,000 minutes.  Over two years, dividing 60,000 by 730 days ought to be how many minutes per day.  I calculate that to be over 82 minutes per day, every day.  What if the emails take four minutes to compose?  That would be 164 minutes per day.

So, I’m guessing around an hour and a half to two and a half hours per day.  I doubt it is less.  It could be much more time spent, but let us say two hours per day as an average.  And that is with a friend who is not his wife.  Of course, he spends much more time corresponding with his wife, but what if it is equal time?  Then he is writing to two women four hours per day.  He might have other friends and family members to keep in touch with.  Maybe that takes another hour per day.

He ought to take time to eat, sleep and exercise too.  And for prayer and devotions maybe.

In his spare time, isn’t General Allen supposed to be commanding our troops in Afghanistan?    My what a guy!

Just sayin’….

Persevering in Daily Disciplines

This is the twelfth excerpt from Suggestions From A Searcher.

V. Diligently Follow Daily Disciplines –The Process of Perseverance

      A.  Paradox of Structure Bringing Freedom

One might expect that lack of structure is more “free.”  I have learned that the opposite of that expectation is true.  Those who lead very disciplined lives are actually the most free.  I think it is because they actually have more time to be creative because they have taken care of the necessities.  More importantly, those who are mission-oriented feel they are on the right track.  How satisfying to confidently feel you are doing what you should be doing.

As an example of this paradox, consider Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa said about herself that she was “very flexible according to what is needed.”  It is no doubt true that she was extremely intuitive. She was famous for her great compassion.  She cared deeply about helping people because of her extraordinary walk with God.  Yet, she did not just sit around and wait to see what she felt like doing each day.  Her order, the Little Sisters of the Poor, lives by bells.  There are bells for when to get up, when to work, when to eat, when to pray, when to go to bed — many bells during the day.  Mother Teresa was, in effect, the chief executive officer of a worldwide organization, yet she found time to pray five hours each day.  She took the time to talk to her Lord and to listen to her Lord and that allowed her to walk with her Lord.

B.   Routine of Happiness

 1.     Model Schedule

I like to periodically write out a model schedule.  I vary from it, of course, but it gives me a goal for how to fit in what I hope to do during an average day for each day of the week.  It is better than “playing it by ear.”


 Following the example of highly effective people, such as Mother Teresa, and considering your work or school schedule as well as the goals you have already written, design a model schedule for when you want to get up, when you will exercise, when you will read the Bible and pray, when you will work on your action plans for certain goals, when you will spend time with family and friends, etc.   

Your Unique Mission in Life

This is the ninth installment from Suggestions from a Searcher.

A.  Mission in life — What is your (unique) reason for being?

Average performers are goal-driven. 

 Peak performers are mission-driven.”

The primary reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we don’t love them enough.”

Susan Woodring, quoted above, identifies it as a problem that we not love our goals enough.  One obvious solution would be to simply do what you love to do!  There is something to be said for following your passions in life.  In fact, I believe that your worthwhile positive passions were planted in you by God!  However, as we live our lives we take on certain responsibilities and encounter various challenges that might cause us to follow a different path than what we intended.  That too can be the Lord guiding our footsteps.  The beloved movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart, makes that point.  “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.”   Proverbs 16: 9

I am recommending that you consciously allow the Lord to guide your steps.  Everything we have been working on in this book so far is about how you discover God’s purpose for your life — your mission.  The goals of this workbook are to help you understand how you fit into God’s sovereign plan. He has uniquely equipped you with certain gifts, such as talents and opportunities. Use those gifts in serving Him where you are.  But having said that, I must caution you that there will be unplanned problems that may re-define the mission you earlier perceived to be your part in accomplishing God’s sovereign (big picture) plan.  Therefore, be flexible.  Let the Lord use you as His instrument.  Do not try to manipulate Him to be your tool for accomplishing your own plan.

I find myself repeating myself as I go along and I think I know why.  It is because these concepts, these truths, are inter-related.  Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?  Do you first identify your areas of giftedness or first recognize God’s purpose in your circumstances?  I do not have a totally clear or satisfactory approach, but let me suggest this:

               Spend time with God to discover your gifts.

Use your gifts in following His plan.

                       Trust in Him when things don’t go as you want.

                            Remember Who is in charge. (Hint: It’s not you!)

                                                      Recognize that challenges are part of life.

Dr.Blackaby offers the following advice to people who wonder about what God wants them to do:  “Look around and notice where God is at work; then jump in.”  The potential disciple who hesitated to respond to the call to immediately come and follow Jesus apparently failed to recognize that God was at work in Jesus.  He was awaiting the coming of the Messiah but the Messiah was already present and inviting him to join in the work of the Kingdom of God.

Mission statements are popular devices in the business world today.  In the secular use of mission statements, God is often not an acknowledged factor.  In our law firm mission statement, we tried to incorporate our shared belief that God has called us to serve Him as lawyers who see our work as a ministry.  Then we stated what that work consists of for us:  advocacy, counseling and peacemaking. 


 This next exercise is intended to help you come up with a mission plan for this stage of your life at least.  Considering your past success factors, current interests, life-long passions, God-given talents, and core values, think about and pray about these three important questions:

 1)  What are you going to do?

 2)  Who are you doing it for?

 3)  Why?

           Write your own personal mission statement, incorporating your answers to the three questions above.   Your mission will perhaps change at various stages of life.  Think about where you are now.  What is your present mission?  Why did God put you where you are right now?  Where do you see God at work around you in your current circumstances?   

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