Archive for August, 2014

August 19, 2014

No Risk, No Reward

by Lester Young

Risk and reward are not principles limited only to Wall Street and the financial-securities industry (although on that particular playing field rewards are much more commonly called ‘returns’). No, the two are alive and kicking all around us every single day. Eying them from perhaps the most boring perspective possible, you take a risk every time you make your commute to work. And the reward for your bravery? Well… you don’t get paid if you choose not to show up. Although such risk might be considered negligible, it’s still undeniably present.

But let’s break things down further and see risk’s involvement in more basic behaviors than that. For instance, have you ever stopped to consider that you run a risk even in doing simple little things like being kind to people? C’mon, now, don’t lie – of course you’ve considered it. So have I. We’ve all hesitated just before we were about to perpetrate a random act of kindness and thought to ourselves, “What if they’re not nice back to me?” Or, “They probably won’t even acknowledge that I did anything for them!” Or maybe this old standard: “If I give him this five dollars, he’ll probably just go and buy more booze with it” – or any one of a dozen other ‘selfy’ or ‘judgy’ sentiments we’ve all entertained before.

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August 11, 2014

It’s Only “Impossible” if You Look at It

by Lester Young

Hi, kids! Remember last time we talked about the utter impossibility of this thing called “impossibility”? Well, let’s continue splitting hairs this week as we take a more in-depth look at why so many things have remained impossible for us – even though it’s been established that nothing’s impossible.

In the last thirty years or so, a major proliferation of ‘motivational’ information has flooded the consumer marketplace. Yet of the many different sources, the vast majority tends to have a few fundamental tenets in common. At one point early on these principles were even packaged as a fresh source of enlightenment called “New Age thinking.” But there was one problem with that advertisement: it was just plain false – because there’s nothing really ‘new’ under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, 3:15). Let me explain.

One of the most basic exercises taught by many of today’s motivational experts is to use your imagination. You’re to spend to spend time daily actively imagining yourself – that is, using your mind’s eye to see yourself – being what you want to be, where you want to be and having what you want to have. (Now please be aware that I’m not attempting to disparage motivational teachers – in actuality, quite the contrary; and you’ll see why.) You’re also instructed to use the concept of visualization: for instance, if you want a particular new car, you cut out pictures of it and put them on your refrigerator door, desktop and night stand. With these two techniques, you can keep your goals before your eyes and fresh in your mind at all times. The experts have realized that if you continue focusing on them, those things will eventually get down into your spirit and become part of you – and your spirit will then begin to motivate you to action toward those goals.

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August 4, 2014

The Impossibility of “Impossible”

by Lester Young

“That’s impossible!”

“I can’t do it!”

Do you realize that those two phrases should not even be in your vocabulary? As a matter of fact, they shouldn’t be in the collective human consciousness at all. Why would I say something as outlandish as that? Because of two even more amazing statements that have gotten far less critical attention from us than they should. You might recognize them:

• “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37); and
• “If you can believe – all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:23).

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