September 26, 2013Tweet
I was thinking this week about having peace of mind. How useful is “peace of mind?” When you are at peace in your mind, you are free to work through any challenges or tasks set in front of you. When you are at peace in your mind, you are free to make good decisions and wise choices.
I was standing over a birdie putt on a difficult par five hole. It was fifty feet long, a monumental task for my skill level. I needed the putt to fall to defeat my competitor and to reach my goal of breaking 80. I looked it over, settled in, cleared my mind and struck the putt. A few seconds later it went in. That got me thinking…my mind was at peace and I performed to the best of my capabilities. In contrast, two holes prior I missed a three foot putt because I was thinking about missing it and about the bad shot before and the next tee shot I had to hit. My mind was far from peaceful and it resulted in poor performance.
If you are like me, then your mind is on overdrive all the time with thoughts of the past and future and uncontrollable worries and events. It is maddening to try to settle your thoughts at times, especially when you are in a pressure situation. In sports we praise the “clutch” performer that performs at their best during the high pressure moments. I suspect that the ability to be “clutch” is directly related to the player being able to obtain a peace of mind in a moment of pressure and chaos.
How then do we achieve a higher degree of peace in our minds in order to perform our best in whatever situation we find ourselves in? I believe the answer is prayer, preparation, practice, and prayer. We pray to communicate our hearts and burdens to a loving God who is capable of providing answers and peace when we are incapable of finding any. Prayer, in a constant stream, provides confidence and comfort in our lives because we have let go of those things that would steal our peace. Preparation and practice provide a basis for peace in our tasks because we know we are capable of performing the task ahead. I have run the trap play hundreds of times and know how to execute it, I have hit a million golf balls and know I can hit this shot, I have shot a million baskets and know I can make a free throw. In the moment, my preparation to do my best provides me peace and calm.
Will we always be successful in that moment? No. But, we will retain our peace of mind because we were prepared to do the best we are capable of doing. Focus on peace of mind and incorporate it in to all of your endeavors.
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.
September 19, 2013Tweet
A “Voice” is an interesting thing. There are certain voices that command respect, ones that are annoying, certain ones that are quiet, and ones that are loud. We tend to associate authority, humor, fear, love, or other emotional responses with certain voices. Voices are also infused with the character of the speaker which causes us to listen or discount the words being spoken. In my own life, my wife and kids are curious and put on edge when I put bass in my voice. Often, in a discipline situation, my voice inflection is all that is required.
Coach Thomas’ voice was distinctive. Casey Wiegmann recounts that even in a noisy crowd you could pick out Coach’s voice and that you would listen to it. It just stood out. It was the sound of the voice, its passion, and the reputation and character behind the voice that made it distinctive. At practice, in the halls, in the classroom, in a game, regardless of the chaos going on around you, you could hear that voice and would pay attention to what was being said.
I wonder about the voices we listen to on a daily basis. What voice gets your attention? Are there many competing voices that push or pull you in different directions? What about our own voices, are they backed by character and listened to? Do we have a voice in the arenas that matter to us?
For me, there are many voices, and I am sometimes pulled off track by ones I choose to listen to. I am reminded how important it is to choose the right voice to listen to. If I am listening to the right voice then my voice will matter more at home, at work, and with my friends. Too often I listen only to my own voice without considering others and this inevitably leads to poor results.
I would challenge you to consider the “Voice” that you listen to. Consider your own voice and what you are saying and building in its use. In chapter 10 of the Gospel of John, Jesus teaches that He is the great shepherd and we are his sheep. A key characteristic of the shepherd is his voice. His sheep know the shepherd’s voice, listen to it, and follow him. I contend that it is the voice of Jesus that is the one voice we should listen to and allow to shape our own voices. Listen to His voice in scripture and prayer, and you will find a worthy leader, answers, changes, comfort, and peace. Your own voice will become one to be respected and followed, as well.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 (NLT)