Today has been quite the change of pace compared to the past month and change. I didn’t have to wake up at any specific time. There was only one thing planned that I was responsible for today, taking the boys to their Scout meeting at 4:30 and pick them up afterwards. That was it, nothing else on the agenda.
Wow did it feel great to take things at my own pace. There was still a lot that got done, but it was wonderful to get it done at the pace I wanted. I worked for a while and then chilled. I got a handful of things done that I’ve wanted to do for a while and then got a nice run in. The boys and I played a game of Catan and then I had time to chill again.
When I was a kid days like this would drive me nuts sometimes, I’d just want something to keep me busy and moving. Now as an adult days like this are fantastic once in a while! With getting some work done I feel like I’ve had a chance to re-charge and I’m ready for the busy week ahead.
Our deacon tonight gave a fantastic homily focused on the difference between admiring someone and being envious of someone. To help set the stage, let’s see what the definitions of each are.
• Admire – Regard with respect or warm approval
• Envy – Desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else
One emotion, admiration, is very positive and helps us learn how to be better people. The other emotion, envy, is very negative and a major source of our unhappiness.
When giving example Deacon shared the example of John Lennon and the song All You Need Is Love as it said how easy love is to find. He’s envious of John’s ability to find love to be easy when so many of us find it to be a continuous work in progress that requires great work and dedication. He then shared the examples of Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr to show people he admired. Deacon Dave openly shared that even though he admires those two individuals so much he is certainly not envious of them, especially the sacrifices they both made.
In my head I started to think about the times when I’ve have strong admiration for people. As I made the mental list my smile grew wider and my heart filled with joy. I could feel my happiness increase just thinking about why I admired those individual. I then thought of the people I am envious of. In some cases they have things I want, live a lifestyle I want, and so on. As I thought about them my heart sank and the joy left. Taking time to analyze what just happened I realized I’d violated that major rule of joy. Joy is not about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have. When I thought of those things I wanted my joy fell flat.
This mini thought experiment in church got me thinking. What a wonderful self-reflection question! When thinking about a person, their qualities, or their belongings I am going to pause and ask myself that question. Am I admiring them or am I envious of them? If I am admiring, how can I focus on what I specifically admire about the person and try to live it more in my life. If I am envious I can pause and think about what I wish I had. Why do I want that? Do I already having something similar? Do I have something different or better? How can I turn it into wanting what I have? In either case, admiration or envy, I can use the thought process to help me learn more about myself while adding a little joy to my life. Not too shabby!
Today’s post is totally a short one as I am going to maximize the subject of tonight’s blog 😉
This week has been crazy busy all the way through. Not in a bad way or anything, just one of those nonstop weeks that didn’t involve much for actual downtime.
After blogging I’m totally plopping my butt on the couch, popping open a beer or two, and possibly falling asleep on the couch while watching a movie with the family. Normally I’m a go go go kind of guy, but tonight I’m thankful for the time to just wind down after a busy week!
Over the past couple of days there’ve been more than a couple of times in which someone has asked me a very insightful question. Most times the person has asked the question with the intent of finding an answer and learning, but it seems as if each time I walk away feeling like I was the one who learned the answer. I’m not quite sure how to say it, but the questions cause me to pause and think internally. When I spend time thinking about the answer my mind drifts into the “why” stage and I end up learning something I could do better myself. Make sense?
After these though provoking questions I’ve been thinking about what specifically got my brain going down that path. The questions are almost all open ended. After the question is asked there are response questions asked to learn more about the initial question. In the dialogue and answers to the second set of questions are brutal honesty and a focus on the reality of the answers. In helping to answer the question examples and previous learning opportunities, good and bad, are shared openly. Those examples lead to more questions. From there it’s not really about one person giving the right answer, it’s more about both people constructing a potential correct answer together. In those moments both parties gain knowledge and are able to improve and grow. It’s pretty wild!
Maybe this has always been the case, but I feel like my ego has gotten in the way in the past. I used to see those questions as a way show off my successes and would give a direct answer and not listen to the question with the intent of learning. My heart sinks a bit thinking of all the times I could have learned more from a question instead of just answering it to brag.
As in so many aspects of life it’s becoming more and more clear that I can choose the right perspective when someone asks an insightful question. I’m thankful for that realization and am excited to work on it further.
As I’ve started typing this I keep heading in different directions as I think through the day. When I think about it though, there’s a pretty consistent theme. I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many awesome teammates.
How did they exhibit awesomeness that I appreciate so greatly? Here’s a short list (though it may end up being much more inclusive than I originally intend):
- I have a couple of teammates who stepped up to give me some tough love and help save me from mistakes. Those conversations took huge guts on their parts and I’m thankful that they pushed through the awkwardness.
- There have been so many teammates who’ve stepped it up and taken their game to another level. Without being asked they are rising to the challenge, a challenge they are putting themselves to because that’s just how they’re wired.
- Some teammates have pushed through the difficulty of trying new things and learning new skills. They’ve jumped into new tasks with no fear and have shared some of the successes and frustrations that they’ve had. Their growth mindset is so awesome and inspiring!
- One teammate in particular followed our core values to a T and made the right decisions in a difficult situation. Even though it was a totally new task their values led them in the right direction.
- When presented with a bit of a conundrum a couple of my teammates and I figured out how to master the AND of a challenge. I’m so thankful for the way they kept trying to find the right answer instead of settling on the easy answer.
- My teammates didn’t panic too bad this morning when I warned them that I was “even more Kreiling than normal” after I burst into the office after yoga, coffee, and a great conversation.
- There were more times than I could count in which teammates got things done proactively.
- Another teammate noticed something somewhat subtle that I’d done and thanked me to for it.
- Yet another teammate connected on a personal level about a non-work related challenge and it was wonderful bonding with them.
- A couple of past teammates even got in on the action and shared things that made me smile and remind me that even when we’re not working together directly we’re still a team/family.
- On top of all of that there were so many moments of smiles as we worked hard helping people find work and helping work find the right people! How much more could a person ask for?
As you can see from above there were so many moments in the past 24 hours that reminded me of just how thankful I am to be surrounded by such awesome teammates. I am so grateful for each of them. They inspire and motivate me on a daily basis.
Once in a while there are authors and musicians I enjoy so much that I know when their next work is coming out well in advance. When Dan and Chip Heath of Decisive, Power of Moments, and Switch have a new book on the horizon I pre-order it without knowing the details. When The Strumbellas announced the release date of their new album I had the date circled on my calendar in anticipation. Imagine my surprise when I realized I wasn’t paying quite as close of attention as I thought I was. Within the past 24 hours I found out one of the bands I loved dropped their new album about a week ago AND one of my favorite authors released their newest book TODAY!
While stopped for gas on my drive home I pulled up the artist page for Judah and the Lion, a crazy mix of folk and other stuff (I think they call it Folk Hop?). As luck would have it their new album had just been released. I was also pumped to see I had enough cell coverage to download the album and listen to it on the way home… and while running this morning.
When I went through my email this morning I scanned an email from another favorite author who referenced a new book that can out today. Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope is already downloaded on my Audible account and I’ve been loving the first couple of chapters. I know, the name is a little controversial, but the concept is pretty amazing!
With two awesome surprises I’ve got more than enough to listen to in my drive time and down time for the next few days and I’m pretty pumped for both.
The alarm went off entirely too early this morning. I wasn’t ready to be jolted out of bed when it started it’s infernal bleating. As I stretched I considered going to back to sleep, but instead I sighed loudly and rolled out of my warm comfortable cocoon until my bare feet touched down on the cold floor. It’s still debatable whether or not I was awake or sleepwalking when I got dressed and ready to go outside. Eventually I found my way out the door to go for an early morning walk with Becky and the girls.
As soon as we started walking I felt so much better and breathed in the cool fresh air. The birds were singing away as we walked down a quiet road with no traffic. At one point I paused to take a picture of the beautiful scene…
And just like that I felt a powerful sense of calm that stuck with me through the entire day. No matter what happened, good or stressful, my thoughts would gravitate back to that calming view and I knew everything would work out exactly the way it should.
It took a while for me to get up and get moving this morning, but I’m so thankful I did!