There’s a lot of helpful how-to content online, and I’m often thankful for it. If I want to fix a broken appliance or learn a new skill, there’s bound to be a video tutorial posted somewhere that I can follow. In some ways it’s sad that our first place to seek advice is now Google instead of a real life social network of family, friends, and neighbours. However, my friends and family have almost certainly never replaced a ball-bearing unit on a Hotpoint X350KW. So I am thankful for strangers who make online tutorials.
They certainly make a lot of them. You can get how-to content on pretty much anything these days. One popular genre, which I’m sure you’ve seen, is successful influencers and millionaires posting about how they made their money or gained their audience, and how you and I could do the same if we would just follow their five-step fail-proof system. First, they talk about how they started with so little (showing their common, ordinary origins), and then they describe their ascent to greatness before coming back around to their humble beginnings and finishing with an encouraging comment like, “If I can do it, anyone can!”
Continue reading If I Can Do It, Anyone Can
Dream Small was released four weeks ago, and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has gotten the book and interacted with it. For this week’s blog post, I’d like to share with you some links that relate to the book–some from myself, and some from others. First, a couple of articles I’ve written recently for other sites on themes relating to the book:
Continue reading Writing Roundup
The internet has the power to connect people in ways no one could have anticipated. Now I can keep track of where my old acquaintances go on their holidays, see pictures of lovely dinners eaten by people I haven’t spoken to in years, and find out what my childhood playmates think about government policies. Amazing, isn’t it? Through their pictures and posts, I get a glimpse into their lives—their homes, families, travels, and their stunning accomplishments and successes.
I’m glad for them, really. But sometimes I also wonder—how does my own life measure up to theirs? Is my life still important if it doesn’t include the same kinds of successes that I see other people achieving and enjoying? If they reach higher and go further than I do, am I just one more loser bringing up the rear in some kind of cosmic reality show competition?
Continue reading The Success Of Others
I took a workplace assessment once to determine my strengths and weaknesses and find better ways to integrate them with the strengths and weaknesses of my teammates. When the results came back, there was one thing that stood out about my strengths, and that was that nothing stood out. There were a number of areas where I scored well enough, but nothing I was particularly good at, though I know myself there are definitely things I’m particularly bad at. The assessor hastened to reassure me that this can be an advantage. I’m a good all-arounder, passably good at a lot of things, even if I’m not excellent at any of them. That’s fine, and I see his point, but in that case I’d at least like to be an excellent all-arounder. Like the best all-arounder around, you know, if I can.
Continue reading What If I’m Not The Best At Anything?
It can be hard to find good role models these days. Often the people who are famous and the first to promote themselves as the ones we should be following are the last people on Earth we should be following. The world has no shortage of role models and leaders who are leading us astray.
Unfortunately, this is not only true of leaders in politics and entertainment, it is far too often true of Christian leaders as well. Celebrity culture has made itself at home in the church, and some of the people who rise to the top of Christian organisations and mega churches and TV ministries and yes, even regular local churches, get there for all the wrong reasons. They have charisma, but lack character, they have business savvy, but lack integrity. Maybe that’s why so many Christian leaders fall in scandal and shame—they never should have been there in the first place. They were good at building organisations and personal fame, but they were bad at living like a Christian. In their ministries they made disciples, but not disciples of Christ—they made disciples of themselves, teaching others to look at them and compromise for them instead of looking to Christ in trust and obedience. We need better role models for the church, but how do we find them?
Continue reading What If We Honoured Integrity?