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Just Start!

starting line

 

But it has to be good before I start, right? 

I don’t want to disappoint anyone. 

I can’t release poor work.  I can’t let “half way there” be seen.  My words have to be perfect.  My content has to be flawless.  My ideas have to be complete.  I must begin at expert level.

My first work has to be my best work.

Isn’t that ridiculous? 

At one point Michael Jordan learned how to dribble a basketball.  At one point, Eric Clapton was taught how to hold a guitar.  At one point, Google looked like this

Everyone must start somewhere.  Everyone must start.

So go start!  Go make mistakes, misspell words, butcher jokes, break prototypes.  Go be awful! 

After all, better to be dreadful today, (when your audience is small), than when you are expected to produce great work.

Something down on paper is always better than the idea that stays in your head.

Remember Today:  JUST START!

Window Washer and Pidgeons

 

On a recent trip to Chicago I saw something truly inspiring. 

Throughout the trip I interacted with people who had a financial interest in being excellent at their job, and in providing excellent service.

I met doormen who opened doors, carried baggage, hailed taxi cabs, and made small talk, all with a wide smile on their faces. 

I met shuttle drivers who offered facts about the history of Chicago and asked about my hometown, all with smiles on their faces.

I met restaurant waiters who took their time explaining menus and going as far as to bring out every cut of meat available for me to choose what looked the best.  They made recommendations and praised my selections, all with huge smiles on their faces.  

All of these men and women HAD to be excellent at their job.  If they were anything but wonderful, I may choose to stay in a different hotel, take a different shuttle, or eat at a different chop house.  I appreciated their service, but recognize the motivation behind their actions.

Then I witnessed a window washer at the O’Hare Airport.  I am sure I was the only one watching him.  Sitting in my car waiting to be taken to downtown Chicago, with taxis and limos speeding around us, everyone trying to get to their destination, surely no one noticed him.  I watched as he ran a wet sponge down the window, cleaning off weeks of grime and dust.  I noticed how he was careful to work around a bracket holding the enormous window.  I looked on as he overshot with the sponge and soaped the bracket.  I watched as he took out a rag, wrapped it around his finger, and carefully wiped the excess soap off of the bracket.  He was practicing excellence in his window washing career.

He did all this in hiding.  He had no reason to impress me.  I am sure if he had left the soap to dry on the bracket, no one would have known otherwise…but he didn’t.  He practiced excellence. 

You may think your job is mundane or small, but take a lesson from the window washer at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. 

Be excellent for the sake of being excellent. 

You may never get a thank you or pat on the back, but you can rest in the knowledge that you were your best, and that is worth millions.

Remember Today:  THE WINDOW WASHER!

 

Feed the Wolf 

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is EVIL.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, and lies.  It is pride and ego.  The other is GOOD.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, encouragement, kindness, and empathy.  It is truth and humility.”

 

The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

 

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

 

 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.     James 3:3-5

What tremendous power the tongue has!  The words we say have the power to injure, upset, and emotional cripple others.  What you say may invoke tears.  What you say make create rage.  What you say may spark a fire.

Or…what you say may construct a smile!  What you say may brighten a day.  What you say may guide someone to joy as a rudder guides a ship or a bit guides a horse. What you say may change a life!

Ephesians 4:29 says:

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

When you have a choice to say something uplifting, or upsetting, remember the verse above.

You may also remind yourself: “It’s almost 4:30” (get it…Ephesians 4:29?)

Have words ever sparked a fire in your life, good or bad?

As You Associate, So You Become

We become the product of three things: the people we associate with, the books we read, and the media we listen to.

Charge with rhinoceroses, fly with eagles, run with cheetahs, and eat with lions.

Don’t hang around with cows or sheep. They will pull you down.

Associate with doers, achievers, livewires, and people with positive attitudes and you will stay a fully charged person!

Associate with sleeping cows, sloths, or jackasses and you will become complacent and unsuccessful.

Be aware of who you associate with today. Are you flying with an eagle, or walking with a sloth?

Remember Today: YOU BECOME WHO YOU ASSOCIATE WITH!

 

“Restless”

I am the sea on a moonless night,
Calling, falling, slipping tides
I am the leaky, dripping pipes
The endless aching drops of light
I am the raindrop falling down,
Always longing for the deeper ground
I am the broken, breaking seas
Even my blood finds ways to bleed

Even the rivers ways to run
Even the rain to reach the sun
Even my thirsty streams,
Even in my dreams

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

I am the thorn stuck in your side,
I am the one that you left behind,
I am the dried up doubting eyes
Looking for the well that won’t run dry

Running hard for the other side
The world that I’ve always been denied
Running hard for the infinite
With the tears of the saints and hypocrites

Oh blood of black and white and gray
Death and life and night and day
One by one by one
We let our rivers run

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
Looking for you

I can hear you breathing,
I can hear you leading
More than just a feeling
More than just a feeling
I can feel you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
’til the final healing
I’m looking for you

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
The tide of tear and pain subside
Laughter drinks them dry

I’ll be waiting
Anticipating
All that I aim for
What I was made for
With every heartbeat
All of my blood bleeds
Running inside me
Looking for you

I am restless, I am restless
I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

I can feel you breathing
I can feel you leading
More than just a feeling
More than just a feeling
I can feel you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
’til the final healing
I’m looking for you
I’m looking for you

 
“Restless” from the album

 

The Tower of Babel

 1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

In this story from the Old Testament, the people had true unity and a common goal.  They were all working together in the same place, with the same vision.  God himself knew “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them,” as long as they worked together with a common vision.

Our common purpose at Leaders Credit Union is to serve our members.  Nothing will be impossible for us as long as we all take hold of this purpose and work together to ensure we each serve our members at every opportunity.

What is the “common purpose” at your workplace? 

(Fun Fact: This bible story is where we get the English word “Babble” – to say something rapidly and incoherently)