Not Another Resolution

AA017935Ah, New Years. It’s that lovely time of year where well intentioned resolutions, die a slow (or truthfully, fast) death as life rolls on. Can you relate?

I wish I could tell you that as I look back over the many years, I see nothing but completed objectives and fulfilled dreams. I wish I could say that every time I set my mind to it, I was able to change this habit or that behavior. Unfortunately, I know all too well the regret of leaving something incomplete.

What starts as a truly motivating desire to see improvement in a relationship, a project, a personal goal…ends in a “oh well, maybe next year” or worse “I wish I had stuck with it“.

Have I depressed you? I think I just depressed myself!

So, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to let 2017 be another year of the same old thing? Or, are we going to take this annual “reset” and be greater than our 2016 self?

If you’re reading this post and thinking, “I never keep the resolutions I set“, then let me throwout some ideas so you can tell your subconscious “it wasn’t my idea“…”I’m just doing what someone else suggested“. (Note: if that sounds ridiculous, then you haven’t ever had the internal dialogues that plague so many of us when it comes to motivating ourselves. I can motivate others, but sometimes motivating me to exercise or read a book or whatever, is like coaxing a donkey to climb up the Himalayas)

Alright, here are some suggestions that may help you on your way to becoming a better you in this new year:

  • Exercise 3-5 times per week. Everything stems from your health. If you are in better shape, you will think better, relate with people better, sleep better, etc etc.
  • Read 1 book every month. Might be easy for some, but for many it’s a daunting thought. Reading is a fantastic way to increase your mental capabilities, vocabulary, stimulate creativity, etc. (extra credit: read the bible weekly, if not daily. no other book can encourage you and challenge you all at the same time. the time spent in this activity is invaluable.)
  • Spend more time with good people. I mean the people that “give” life, not suck it out of you. Don’t surround yourself with gossips, negative thinkers, etc. Place yourself in an environment that lifts you up and gets the most out of you.
  • Speak life. In every situation, you have the opportunity to change the atmosphere. Speaking life into other people’s lives will encourage them (and you).
  • Give away money. Yeah, that’s what I said. Tithe at your church, give to missions organizations, donate to folks trying to adopt, etc. Giving away a portion of what you worked hard to earn is a transforming exercise in seeing the world beyond your small part of it.
  • Be a better leader. Whether you are a boss or an employee, you have the opportunity to be a leader. Start this year by being intentional with what you say, how you act, etc in the workplace.
  • Remember to breathe. Working hard is great, it’s awesome to accomplish a ton of stuff. However, that is not all that life is about. Take time (on a very regular basis) to chill out. Go for a walk, take a nap, go to the movies, roll around on the floor with your kids, take your spouse on a date…breathe.

Certainly not an exhaustive list, but hopefully one or a few of them have sparked something in you. (I know they have in me)

I wish you luck as you begin this year, desiring to live intentional. May the grace and peace of God be with you everyday.

Written by Andrew Pino

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Becoming A Great Leader

AA018357If you’ve been a leader for any amount of time (at work, at church, wherever), you’ve probably come to realize that your habits and beliefs play a pivotal role in the success of not only your business but also your individual team members. You are the one who can, and should, set the tone of the working atmosphere.

To help you figure out how to go about doing this, I’ve listed a few points below from an article I read some time ago on the topic. Also, at the bottom of the post is a link to the full article.

They Collaborate Rather Than Grandstand
Great leaders realize that success doesn’t have to entail only individual accomplishment. They redefine that emotionally-packed word “success” so that wealth, position, and fame are no longer what really matters. They realize that group success is entirely consistent with individual accomplishment.

They Laugh At Problems (and themselves)
Great leaders use humor to put worries into perspective, so that we can laugh at ourselves and the situation before tackling hard work. The ability to tell the right joke at the right time reduces office stress and builds camaraderie, which is a real advantage in today’s intense, fast-paced work environments.

They Help Others Visualize A Better Future
Great leaders don’t just have a vision of the future. They also have a rare ability to understand and channel the desires and needs of other people. They listen as much as they talk and thus create a shared vision that motivates everybody, not just the boss. They point to a place that we know is better and give us the courage to get there.

They Mentor & Coach
Great leaders know how to listen and give good advice at just the right time. Because they haven’t sailed through life, they know what it’s like to overcome intense obstacles and challenges. Most importantly, they’re willing to let go when you’re competent to make your own decisions without them.

They Integrate Pieces Into Wholeness
Great leaders have the ability to see all sides of a situation and allow conflicting parties to not only be heard but acknowledged. They can gather a group and find ways that individuals can work together. They have an uncanny way of “slicing the pie” so that while every piece may not be identical, everyone feels treated with fairness and respect.

They Create A Climate of Trust
Great leaders know that trust is the glue that holds an organization together. Their commitment to build trust creates a counter force to the deception and political game-playing that makes so many offices difficult places to work. They know that trusting, and being trusted, is the best way to ensure that everyone in the organizations wins.

They Make Peace Between Factions
Great leaders cannot be swayed to side with one group or individual against another but instead work to preserve the integrity of the whole system. Peacemakers teach us that peace is a state of mind and that it’s still possible to be happy even in the midst of turmoil and chaos.

Interested in reading the full article? Click Here

Posted by Andrew Pino

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Engaging People

Up Close and PersonalWow, I wonder what’s wrong with her? Man, he looks like he’s going through it! Are these phrases that have crossed your mind when looking at a coworker, neighbor, cashier, etc? Seeing the weight of the world on their shoulders…eyes puffy and red, posture shrunken down, hanging their head. Sound familiar?

Question: Did you stop and say or do anything?

So many people are struggling, lonely, isolated, withdrawn; thinking no one knows they even exist. That feeling of despair can overshadow every area of their life. What was once a singular problem has metastasized into their whole being. Depression, fear, anger, all consume their emotional state. It’s an awful way to live and certainly not what was intended for us.

Question: Did you know you have the power to change their atmosphere?

There is no magic formula, no special list of things to do when you see someone like this. Instead, it’s simple: engage. In our head down, face in the cell phone world, it’s very easy to move right through life glazing over every interaction, every circumstance, and every struggling soul.

No more. Don’t let that be the way you move through life…self focused, absorbed in the superficial, slave to the immediate. (yes, I’m preaching to me too)

Lets change the environment around us. Lets engage with those we cross paths with. Just an acknowledgement and exchange of a few words from you could mean the difference in a person’s entire day. Imagine if you took it even further and looked for ways to help them in their journey. What an impact you could have on the trajectory of someone else’s life!

There are open doors of relational opportunity all around you. Disengage from the fruitless distractions and engage where true value lies…in people.

Written by Andrew Pino

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Your Title Is Dad, Not Friend

IMG_2617I know some of you may read that title and think “I want to be both” and while that concept is good in theory, it’s often poorly executed and leads to kids with issues.

We are called to be Fathers and lead our children in a way that glorifies God, our Heavenly Father. To model that, takes far more discipline then most of us guys want to exert. We’d rather just leave it to our wives to be “the mean parent” and we’ll be the hero, the cool parent, the fun one.

When we aim for “being a friend”, we miss the target God set before us altogether. It’s through you that your kids will learn discipline, patience, anger management, integrity, character, etc. (Moms don’t get upset, they learn this stuff from you too, but Dads/Husbands are called to lead their homes)

If we will strive to be the kind of Father we’re called to be, our kids will look to us with the respect we so deeply desire. That then becomes the foundation of a lasting and influential relationship with our kids.

I want my daughters to know that I love them and care for them enough to correct them (in love) when they do something wrong. I want my son to see that I can handle anger without yelling and screaming because God has equipped me to do so.

Trust me, I have walked the friend/Dad line plenty. This post is as much for me as it is for you! So lets do something about it. Lets rise to the call placed on us. Lets lead our kids and model what a Father and Husband should look like. I guarantee if we do, our kids will consider us their best friends in the long run.

Written by Andrew Pino

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