Category: Leadership

What I learned from watching the Olympics in person

 

gold bars

Everyone has gold inside of them.

“The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself.”
– Dawn Fraser (Australian swimmer, 4-time gold medalist, 8 medals overall, and 1 of 3 people ever who won the same event in 3 consecutive olympics)

I returned a couple weeks ago from a bucket list trip.  I went to Rio with my best buddy from high school for the Olympics.  It was wild.  It was crazy.  It was educational.  It was inspiring.  The night before I left I was packing with Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA playing at full volume.  I got a retweet from Lee Greenwood himself!

This trip started off right!

This trip started off right!

Over the next few posts I will share some experiences and fun stories and what I learned.  But I want to start with the biggest lesson learned.  Everyone has greatness inside.  Did you see this commercial that played in August?

We all have 0.2mg of gold inside each of us.  The highest concentration is in the heart.  But what is 0.2 mg in real life?  Common household items that weigh approximately one gram include a paperclip, the cap of a ballpoint pen, a stick of gum, a U.S. currency bill, a quarter teaspoon of sugar, a raisin and a thumbtack.  (source:  this article)

But 1 mg = 1/1000th of a gram.  Most things that weigh 1 mg are invisible to the naked eye.  0.2mg is 1/5 of that which is 0.0002 grams.  So 0.2 mg is 0.0002 of the weight of those items mentioned above.  Or 1/5 the weight of a small snowflake.

Gold.  It’s in us all.  Do you have the strength to dig it out?  Out of yourself?  And out of others?  Everyone has it inside of them.

One of my mentors Pat always says we hold a crown above people’s heads and let them grow into it.  Hold that crown above them and draw that gold out.  Gold.  It’s in us all. We need to have a vision for who they could be.  Gold.  It’s in us all.  Do you have the courage to call greatness out of others?  And out of yourself.  Do you have a vision for who you could become?

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”Wilma Rudolph, American runner and three-time gold medalist.

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Should you see it?

captain america

Did I ever mention I love movies?  They are one of the most powerful means of communication.  Stories are king.  And movies with good stories usually do really well at the box office.  I wanted to apply a processing method called the 3-D view by a social media guru named Walt Mueller who you can find at www.cpyu.org

Discover, Discern, and Decide.  This week we will cover “Discover”.  Next week “Discern” and the rest of the method.

Here goes a review of Captain America:  Civil War.

captain america 3 half faces

PLOT RECAP:  This movie is very difficult to review without spoilers but I’ll do my best not to give away anything major.  A long movie but it didn’t drag.  The world decides that the Avengers are too powerful to operate on their own so they want to govern them by a commission.  The superheroes are faced with the dilemma: submit to a 117-country United Nations committee oversight or continue as an independent operation but outside (and in violation of) the law.  Some want to go with the UN, some want to continue calling the shots.  It is filled with lots of fun, new characters, funny one-liners and lots of great action.

Discover:  What did it say? (listing some themes or thoughts)

  1. Fight for what you believe in. Every character had convictions and acted on them.  Some in a surprising manner.  It was a challenge to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong.
  2. Vengeance.  It was encouraged as an acceptable option, for most of the movie.  There is a moment when it would seem to suggest that forgiveness is even more powerful than revenge, and more difficult.  “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” –Buddha
  3. There is a monster within each of us…the darkness within. We are all capable of very bad things.  Even really “good” characters did some really evil things.
  4. Loyalty. But loyalty to what?  Friends?  Principles?  Is Captain America loyal to a fault?  There were several changes in loyalty.  When Captain America went into his deep sleep everything was a lot clearer. Everything was black and white. Right and wrong. Good and evil.  Now the modern-day world is a lot more complicated–so many more “gray” areas.
  5. The tension of freedom (ability to do as we choose) vs. security (another entity “restricting” personal freedoms for the greater whole).
  6. Suspicion of any authority.  The resistance to trust important decisions to a higher authority.
  7. Loss of loved ones is devastating. All of the main characters had some type of loss of loved ones.  They all dealt with it in different ways, most trying to avenge (haha pun intended!) the loss.  But one of the most poignant moments in the movie is when someone decides to break the cycle.

Some great quotes:

“An empire that is destroyed by its enemies will rise again. But an empire that crumbles from within will never again stand.”  (very similar to Mark 3:25//Matthew 12:25 A house divided against itself cannot stand)

“We may not be perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”

“Compromise where you can, but where you can’t, don’t.”

DECIDE what to do with it?  WATCH IT.  It’s a great way to kick off the summer with an action flick.  Light-hearted but a little dark, and discussion provoking.

FINAL RATING:  18.5 out of 20.  Excellent!

Who’s side would you be on?  Why?

 

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Do you eat or dissect media? 3 more questions to ask during movies

Media watching -- dogs with food on TV

Last week we started on the journey of how to process media.  I offered 2 questions that have been very helpful to me.  CLICK HERE for those questions.  Another critical element for me has been my attitude.  How do I approach TV, movies, music, etc.?  When I employ a positive, critical, discerning, teachable attitude, I find I learn exponentially more from that piece of media.  When I learn more I experience more.  When I experience more I learn more.  There is something redeeming to be found in almost everything.  It’s like listening to speakers or learning from professors.  Whether the speaker or professor is good or bad, we can learn.  Even from a terrible speaker we can learn what not to do, or how we don’t want to present.

Now this doesn’t mean we should watch anything and everything.  Certain things have no positive value and can actually hurt us.  Certain elements of media can have disproportionate effects on us.  We each are wired a little different.  Some of us have special sensitivities to specific elements (violence, crime, language, sex, etc.) and we should limit our intake of media that include them.  Some media’s redemptive value is limited because of how dark they are.  The difficult part is to figure out which these are.  (I probably err on taking in too much…OK definitely err on that side!)  There are some great websites that give info and ratings and include the exact content and why it got its ratings.  Here are some of them: Common Sense Media  Kids in Mind Movie ratings  Plugged In   Parent previews

What is the biggest mistake we can make while watching TV?  It’s one that I make regularly.  (but a little less than I used to)  It is taking everything in with no engagement and not involvement and no evaluation.  It is using TV as an escape, to numb the mind.  When I find myself “deserving” to watch a good chunk I am looking to the TV for something it cannot provide.  I also find it way easier to watch questionable stuff when I am looking for comfort and mindless entertainment.  Now this is not to say that TV can’t be recreational or relaxing.  There is a subtle difference but it’s a big one.

3 more questions that can help in processing a movie or show or entertainment:

  1. What was your favorite scene/part/song? Why?  What do you think was the writer’s, producer’s, composer’s, author’s, etc. favorite part?  Why?
  2. What was this movie’s message/summary in one sentence or less? (what was it trying to communicate?) Why do you think it said this?  Do you agree with it?
  3. What part/character do you most identify with? Why?

 

Do you have any questions that have been helpful as you watch?

 

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2 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN WE WATCH A MOVIE (or The Bachelor or really anything)

eyes pic 5 -- kid with glasses on

I am a movie buff.  I love watching movies, in the theater or at home.  I am easily impressed.  After college I moved to Virginia Beach and knew 3 local people total.  So I would go to the high school football game on Friday night (for my job with Young Life) and then after see if any high school guys wanted to hang out.  Usually they didn’t because I was new and starting a new chapter at a new school.  So then, alone, I would go to Blockbuster and rent several movies for the weekend.  Later that year I received a Blockbuster Gold Card in the mail.  Cue the choir singing.  You can’t buy it.  You can’t request it.  You can only earn it.  By doing what you might ask?  Renting 100 movies in one calendar year.  Yes, you heard that right.  100 movies.  That’s 2 a week…EVERY WEEK!  If you miss a week, then you have to rent 4 the next week.  The perks were great:  every movie I rented I got another free, no rewinding fees (haha), 4 hour movie reserve privileges, and much, much more.  I know for those of you under 25 this doesn’t make sense but that was the grind.  We had to travel to a store to rent a physical movie.  And for those of you over 25 you’re wondering if I had any type of life.  Don’t worry.  I didn’t.  I was a recluse.  And became a big fan of movies.  But I watched them all the wrong way.

With all my recent posts about The Bachelor and love and soulmates, I thought it might be good to talk about How should we watch The Bachelor?  Or movies?  Or videos?  Or really any media?

What do we do with it?     Swallow it whole.

What should we do with it?   Eat the fish.  Spit out the bones. (first heard from Tim Elmore)

If I’m honest, most of the time I want to watch TV to escape or relax or zone out and I simply ingest it all.  I swallow it all down with little consideration for its message or legitimacy or effects. What should I be doing?  Let me offer these 2 questions that have revolutionized my movie and TV watching:

1.  What did that say?

2.  Is that true?

For question number 1, we want to ask what messages did this movie/TV show/video/etc. communicate?  Was it subtle or explicit?  Was it intentional or by happenstance?  Then for question number 2:  are these messages true?  There are lots of other questions to ask and ways to evaluate and process media but these two are simple, easy to remember and have helped me become a more responsible steward for what I take in.  Another question that follows is:  SO WHAT?  What does this mean for my life and the world?

These are fun questions to discuss over a cookie skillet after an action movie.  You should see college dudes get asked this question.  It’s beautiful.  They squirm a little bit, have a look of confusion, mumble for a minute and then usually come up with something insightful.

For those of you who are people of the Christian faith, these quotations have been helpful to me:

“We must listen to God’s Word and God’s World.”  –John Stott

“We must read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.”  –Karl Barth

I would update Barth’s to the Bible in one hand (first) and then our iPad in the other (after).  Through the process of writing this post I was challenged and convicted about my media ingestion habits.  Usually I just mindlessly take it all in.  I’ve discovered this is my default.  What’s yours?  How do you watch TV?  How do you watch movies?  What are your media habits?

Next week:  Are you making a life-changing mistake while you watch TV?

 

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The True After the Rose Confession by Susan Kehoe

Bachelor gif olivia winning

Happy Easter Monday!  This is a banner day.  Not just because death was put to death but also because this is the first guest post ever!  Meet my dear friend and one of my favorite people in the world Susan Kehoe.  Here’s her reply when I asked how people can connect with her:

Insta: @suzznews or Twitter: @susankehoe or my blog: myblogisbetterthanPete.com

Gold.  Pure gold.  Now you understand one of the many reasons that so many people love Suz so much.  She’s hilarious.  Onward.  Here’s her post:

 

I confess: I used to hate the Bachelor. Now, I don’t miss a week and have been a faithful Fantasy League player for the last 5 seasons. I’m not sure which confession is worse.

In the post-college “I’ll do anything to make friends” phase of my life, I pretended to like the Bachelor to meet girls my age and have something to talk about. I hid my eye rolls and annoyance at the fake romance, but began to be secretly invested in these “journeys” and soon it became must watch TV.

I watch for the drama, train wrecks and cool filming locations, all fully understanding it’s just a game. I get that it’s totally absurd to date dozens of people at the same time and expect helicopter rides and private concerts on every date. All of that is part of the deal when you turn on the TV on Monday nights. It’s “After the Rose” that bothers me most.

Bachelor you tonight vs you tomorrow

We know the odds are stacked against the new happy couple; it’s hanging in the air in the live studio audience that only 16% of final couples “make it.” We want to believe the best for them, but we fear that all the yacht rides, dinnerless dinners on the beach and snorkeling trips won’t replace the need for real connection. So what do they need? Same is true for every couple:

  • Time together. A seasoned family counselor said it’s a must to date someone at least a year before engagement, through all four seasons. Our lives and jobs have busy and slower times and even our brains go through changes throughout the year. Plus, you need to spend a Christmas and birthday with them!
  • Intimacy. True intimacy only comes from repair, and repair comes from tough times together, or so said our pre-marital counselor, and we couldn’t agree more. When we’ve been through hard times, we trust our partner and when we encounter more bumps in the road, we look back to previous hard times with a sense of fondness because we made it through!
  • Death. Okay, hear me out. Jesus says in John 12 that a seed must first die to produce more seeds, that “anyone who loves their life will lose it.” Tim Keller draws upon these words in his book, “The Meaning of Marriage.” He says we fight so hard to keep that new love, the butterfly feeling, but the truth is, the best comes after that love fades away and we develop a deeper, richer, committed love comes after the “thrills” have died away.

I want the very best for Lauren B, Ben and heck even Jojo, Caila and every other girl that wanted that final rose. I just don’t think they have “won” or “lost” yet. If the goal is a long term, committed relationship, let’s not pretend they have arrived. Private islands don’t deliver that, years together do.

 

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