You’ve no doubt heard the business adage: “What you don’t measure, you can’t improve.”
It’s certainly true in business, sports, and science, but what about life? How do you measure progress with your life?
With work or business, it might be a little easier because we can use our income. But what about our
health, or our relationships, or our intellectual growth? That gets a little fuzzy, doesn't it?
Now there is a great tool called the LifeScore Assessment that helps you do this in less than 5 minutes- but only for a few days, so you'll want to hurry! (And it's FREE!)
I'll be honest with you: I generally find internet or magazine quizzes frivilous, non-helpful and meaningless. But not this one.
Y'all know that I am a Michael Hyatt groupie. That is because he is one of the most helpful people I've come across when it comes to quality of life, living intentionally, and excersing personal leadership.
He's the real deal. He wants to help, so he made this assessment free-but it's only available for a short while.
When I took the assessment, it helped me be honest with myself-something that can be hard to do sometimes. Often we are either too hard on ourselves when we compare against others, or sometimes we can ignore reality and pretend everything is fine. That is just as dangerous.
So... try it out! It will only take about 5 minutes. If you have a spouse or a partner, older kids or other family members, this would be a great thing to take separately and then have a discussion about, to take a snapshot of how the family is doing.
This is a great opportunity, and I'd love to hear what you think of it! Email me your score and I'll send you mine. :) Have fun with it!
I am soooo ready for Christmas. The world has been a bit crazy lately, so as the song goes, "we need a little Christmas, now!" This independent movie, "WInter Thaw" is free to all, and is a great way to get started.
Have you heard the Christmas story about a man who was told that the Christ Child was coming to visit him? He made food, cleaned his house and made many other preparations to receive Him and then waited. As Christmas Day went by, three different people came to his door and asked for help. Not being a man of great means, he ended up giving all of the food and everything he had prepared for his visitor to these unfortunates. As the day closed, the man was disappointed that the Christ Child never came. Or did He?
It's a familiar tale, originally written by the incomparable Leo Tolstoy. This great movie is a variation of the story and features the fabulous John Rhys-Davies (Gimli from Lord of the Rings). At just under an hour, it's not too long and not too short. And though it is definitely a Christ-themed movie, it is also non-denominational, so it's a great resource to share with friends who may attend different churches. It made us examine our own hearts and it was the perfect thing to watch on a cold and windy Sunday night. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!
You can find it here. And remember-- it's free!
Merry Christmas, all.
Family Discussion Guide
-What do you think prices should be based on? Supply and demand, cost of materials and labor, ect? Do you think the butcher was right to raise his prices?
-Why was Martin so prickly?
-What caused Martin to have a change of heart?
-How did Martin alienate his son? Why is it so easy to do this?
-Why did Martin choose to give to others?
-What was the hardest gift for him to give (and the most meaningful)?
-What did Martin mean by the carving he left?
-How can we look at our own hearts and see what needs to be changed?
Today feels heavy.
Sometimes there things we can't fix for those we love, no matter how hard we try. Today, I feel frustrated, sad and helpless for those I love who are mourning right now. Though it won't fix anything or help anyone, binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies sounds like a really great plan.
So today, I want to share a book with you that Grandma Cathy shared with me when I suffered a loss, and it was very comforting. It felt like the book understood me. Maybe you are sad right now, too. Maybe your child, sister, best friend, co-worker, father or someone else you know is suffering. This book is my go-to gift to let people know that I care enough about them-- to be sad with them.
Well, the U.S. 2016 presidential race is over. Thank goodness. Didn't it seem like it lasted FOR.EV.ER?!
But now we have to work through what is happening between people because of the outcome and the emotions people are experiencing. Some people are happy, some are devastated. Some are disappointed in the whole process. And many people are angry: Hillary Clinton supporters are angry she lost. Donald Trump supporters are angry that Hillary Clinton supporters are so angry. It is a very sad thing to watch.
But one thing that has been absolutely fascinating to me as I have watched my social media feed, is how my friends (a fairly similar group of people) can see things so very differently. I think of them as a snap shot of the nation.
Here are some of the viewpoints I have seen in the last few days:
Does that cover it? Did I miss anything?
The people we disagree with aren't stupid (even though we often think they are). They have a reason for thinking the way they do. But good golly, it is really hard to figure it out sometimes, isn't it!? But the way to healing our nation is to understand each other, not villainize each other.
And let's not forget that our kids are watching.
I am fortunate to have a few friends who contacted me, and wanted to talk about the election in a civilized, respectful, seeking-to-understand kind of way. I really value these people and the example they gave me. Though we disagreed and after we spoke, I thought, "Man, I forgot to say _____!", I understood them better and they gave me valuable things to think about. I am a better person for having spoken with them. We need more people like them. This is the way that we heal our nation.
I want us to take a step back a minute and watch this video. Please think of someone who you might disagree with right now. Let's call him Bob. Try to watch it from Bob's perspective, as well.
I love these steps and think they are applicable even after we have made a decision--they can help us understand others as well. So I am going to use three of them, apply them to our situation, and then add a fourth.
1. I love how the first step is to ask a question. As we try to bring peace back to our nation, let's analyze what happened. What was your most burning issue that led you to vote for your candidate? Was it borders, race relations, international relations, the national debt, gender and sexuality issues... what? More importantly, what was Bob's issue?
2. Gather your information: Go watch the network news that is opposite of your own. Keep an open mind. Is there any credence to it? Ask Bob to explain what he liked so much about his candidate. Don't try to change his mind, try to learn.
3. Apply the information: What assumptions are you making about politicians? What assumptions is Bob making? Is your (and his) interpretation logical or emotional? Are you dismissing any information because of your bias?
When we go through these steps, we have a compassionate eye towards Bob and others we disagree with, and we can see their hurt or fear. We also look closer at ourselves. When we do this, I think we will see a different kind of dialogue on Facebook or Twitter, with protestors, and just life in general.
4. The last strategy is to use empathy. As we figure out how to use it, I really love this video from Brene Brown that explains what exactly empathy is and how to use it. We might not understand exactly how Bob and others feel, but we can sure try.
I think THAT is how good can come from this election. We have been divided for so long, and feelings run so deep, that this is a wonderful opportunity to illustrate to our children how to build bridges. HOW to get along with others when we disagree. HOW to feel empathy for someone who is bitterly disappointed, or FORGIVE someone who contributed to our being bitterly disappointed.
We show them emotional intelligence and resilience. We show compassion and love. This election cycle is a textbook opportunity to walk the talk and show our children how to raise the good, when it would be easy to get discouraged or be bitter. I have confidence that we can do this.
Community Question: What are your best tips for building bridges?
Guys, this is the COOLEST website EVER! It is so great, that I wish I had done it.
I really mean that. Are you a parent who:
This website provides all of that. I love it!
The Kid Should See This (TKSST) is an amazing website that culls the internet for videos that were not necessarily made for kids, but are super great for them. Founder Rion Nakaya and her two young sons scour the internet and find great videos from TED, DIY, Edutopia and other places. They have a particular interest in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) topics, and don't think that things need to be dumbed down in order for kids to understand them. (Bravo!)
Here are all of the topics they cover:
They also have a crazy goodgift guide that has really fabulous ideas that I have never seen before.
I know that I am totally gushing right now, but I can't help it! Yesterday my kids and I watched two cute, little elderly Asian women get ready to go to work. They put on their bonnets, took their carts with them, and waved to the neighbors as they walked. They are the sweetest looking grandmothers. Their job? Waiting in the rocks on the seashore in the dead of night to catch poisonous snakes by hand. With no protective clothing whatsoever. What?! You can't make this stuff up! It was equal parts hilarious and scary.
Then we saw a man work a lost art of sculpting suckers into realistic animals and paint them. And then we learned how to make our own toothpaste. It is all so fascinating!
We could have watched these videos for a long time, and I suspect this will become a permanent fixture in our home. Plus, it is so great to have something to turn on when my kids want something to watch that won't kill brain cells! :)
I am thrilled to have found The Kid Should See This, and I hope you give it a try, too!
Community Question: What is the coolest video for kids of all ages that you've seen? Share it with us!
This. kid. is. amazing.
I am completely in love with how he is true to himself and by doing that, he has helped and inspired so many. I would love to have kids who are true to what they love (and not what is popular), and who make the world a better place like Campbell has done.
"He looks at sadness and tries to turn it upside down."
"There's a little bit of magic in them (the teddy bears), but a lot of magic in Campbell, though."
This story made me cry. There's not much more you can say! You can find his facebook page here. His website is here, and if you want to help donate to his cause, his GoFundMe account is here.
Family Discussion Guide
-Why did people think Campbell was weird?
-Did Campbell change because of what they thought?
-What does "being authentic" and "true to yourself" mean?
-Can being different from everyone else be a good thing?
-Could Campbell have made a difference for others and become an expert at what he does if he would have listened to others and tried to "be normal"?
-What do Campbell's bears REALLY symbolize?
-What internal gifts does Campbell have?
-What internal gifts do YOU have?
Hi, I'm Jen! I adore chocolate, I'd rather read than clean my house, and I haven't seen my abs in I-don't-know-how-long. But I love my husband and kids to death and try to Raise The Good within myself and my family by making wise and uplifting media choices and having a deliberate family culture. You are probably doing the same thing. Let's share what works with each other!
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