Posts Tagged ‘decision making’

Need to or Should do?

May 6, 2010

I am a very good money manager.  I understand budgeting, planning and the difference between needs and wants. 

I am not as good at managing my time. 

For almost two years I have posted a new article Monday through Thursday pretty consistently.  That may now change.

I am going to try to apply the same reasoning to my time management that I do to my money management.  Need versus Want: that expresses my understanding of money issues.  It is translated into: Need To, Should Do and Want To when it comes to time matters.

I am going to do what I need to do first each day.

Then I will do as many of the things that I should do that I can find the time or energy to accomplish.

I will fit in the things I want to do when possible.

Writing new articles is something that I should do, as I feel that it is an extension of my ministry, but it is not something that I have to do, so there will be some days that it does not happen. 

We’ll see how it goes.

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Cricket in a Skillet

March 25, 2010

Last night in Bible study, a lady referred to a “cricket in a skillet”.  She was illustrating how sometimes people can be very busy, but not accomplishing anything.  We began by discussing what it meant to be lazy.  We had agreed that laziness was difficult to define, but that it could be understood as an imbalance.  On one end of a scale are people who work too much, and on the other end of the scale are people who work too little.  Work could be described, not simply as manual labor, but any helpful, productive activity.  We recognized that “work” would mean different things to different people, and that our type of work would change throughout our lives. 

Then came the question of the person who is busy, but not accomplishing anything.  They are not lazy, but they are misdirected; the cricket in a skillet.  We agreed that it was important that God give us wisdom to properly direct our activities, so that we can be productive.  We want our lives to be balanced, focused; and directed by the Holy Spirit.

Courage, Confidence, and Recklessness

February 10, 2010

The New Orleans Saints are Super Bowl Champions.  There were several key moments.  Towards the end of the first half, the New Orleans Saints went for the touchdown on fourth and goal.  They were stopped short.  However, they managed to get the ball back, move it downfield and score a field goal in the little time that remained.

At the start of the second half, the Saints tried an onside kick.  It worked, they recovered the ball, and went on for a touchdown, and the lead.

These calls showed the courage of the Saints coach, Sean Payton, and the confidence that he had in his team to make the gambles pay off.

What if things had gone the other way?  What if they had been unable to get that field goal at the end of the first half?  What if the Colts had recovered the onside kick, and they had gone in for the score?

Then Sean Payton would be the goat, instead of the hero.  There would be lots of people vocally criticizing the calls that they now praise.  He would be called reckless, instead of courageous.

His courage to make risky calls, and his confidence in his team, may have been a part of what inspired them to perform so very well.  The reception by Lance Moore for the two-point conversion was a beautiful example of a player going beyond expectations, as he managed to gain control, and reach across the goal line, while tumbling head-over-heels.

Congratulations to the Saints. 

It worked.

This time.

Logic, Reason, and Rhetoric

February 8, 2010

I am starting to think that everyone should take a course in logic.  This is not just because I teach logic, but because I am amazed at how commonly fallacious arguments, and weak arguments, are used to convince people to accept certain positions.   

People like to think that they have  good reasons to hold their positions.   They have listened, maybe, to what others have had to say, and are persuaded to believe in something that sounded good, or right,  to them.

Rhetoric, as I am using the term, means using persuasive language or techniques to get people to agree with your position.  Effective rhetoric may use logical reasoning, but it often involves fallacious reasoning, and emotive language.  People are persuaded to believe that something is true, using manipulative tactics.  Sometimes this is unintentional, and sometimes, the individual employing the tactics knows exactly what they are doing. 

If people were trained to recognize good arguments they would be less likely to be persuaded by manipulative tactics, and we would have more rational debates, less shouting matches,  and maybe come to better decisions.

I’m not going to hold my breathe.  I suspect that many people won’t even read this article, after they look at the title.

Sigh…

Bad Judgement

February 2, 2010

What were they thinking???

A group of ten people from Central Valley Baptist Church in Idaho have been arrested in Haiti and charged with child trafficking.  They arrived in Haiti, gathered a group of children,supposedly orphans,  loaded them on a bus, and headed back out.  They never intended to try proper channels.  

They thought the end justified the means.

They were wrong.

The goal of providing good homes for orphans is a wonderful goal.  That doesn’t mean that you can just go grab a few children off the streets and make a run for the border.  They should have gone through the proper channels and done things legally.  Yes, it takes longer, and costs more money, but it should be done the right way. Of course, now that they are sitting in a jail, they probably realize that they should have done things differently.  I do not believe that they were going to harm the children.  I believe that they have good hearts…just really, really, really, bad judgement.

“All About Steve” a commentary

January 14, 2010

The movie All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock was very different from The Proposal or The Blind Side, all of which came out this past year.  Basically it is the story of a women who creates crossword puzzles for the local paper for  a living.  She loves what she does, but does not make much money, still lives at home, (with a cover story of her apartment being fumigated) and is not in a relationship.  Still, she appears happy with who she is, and her life in general.

One day, after a particularly disastrous appearance at a local schools career day, she literally throws herself at Steve on their first date, which had been set up by both of their parents.  She writes a crossword focussed on him, loses her job and chases him around the country.

At first, I thought the movie was pretty stupid, but then I realized that they were trying to make a point.

Be happy with who you are, don’t let other peoples’ expectations guide your life. 

I like that.  Once I realized that the movie was not just a silly spoof, but a social commentary on how pointless it is to try to fulfill other peoples’ expectations it became much more enjoyable.

Choose to Act?

December 22, 2009

Our actions can be chosen after careful thought.  When we have a decision to make, we have the ability to carefully consider our options, and make the optimal choice.

But do we?

There are many times when what we “feel” like doing at the moment is not the same as what our rational mind would lead us to determine is the best action. 

Do we act according to our reasoning, or our feelings?

It depends on which is stronger at the moment of action.

Then, of course, there are those times when we simply react.  We say or do something without considering the alternatives or the consequences.  These reactions can be fostered by a whole host of various criteria. There are occasions when there is no time to think, simply to act.  Stress, emotions, fatigue,  and other factors can influence our response.

As Christians, we seek to live our lives in  a way that is pleasing to God.  We should ask God to guide our thoughts, our words and our deeds.  If we are “in the Spirit” our actions, and our reactions will be the right ones.

The “To Do” List

December 7, 2009

I have used a “to do” list since I was a MIMMS clerk in the Marine Corps.  (For those of you who know me and thought that I was a tanker; I was a tanker, who was assigned to serve my company as a  MIMMS clerk for part of my enlistment.)  The list helped me to stay organized and gave me a sense of how much was done, and how much was left to do. 

To this day, I use a “to do” list.  In my case there are five sections: the first section is the daily list, those things that I do every day.  The second portion is the contact list, those people who I need to visit, email, call or write.  The third portion is the today list; that is comprised of the things that are scheduled and need to be done on that particular day.  The fourth portion is the top six things that are waiting to be completed if I have time to work on them.  The final portion is labeled extras and is everything else that I would like to do, or need to do, but that is not a high priority.  These items are placed on the list and dated, so I will know how long it takes to get them done.  (Some things are on the list for years!) 

Monday through Thursday, I update the list and print it out.  This enables me to take it with me, cross things off as they are completed, and helps me to remember what needs to be done.  Once it is on my list, I won’t forget, but it might take me a while to get to it.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, have their own lists,  but those lists are primarily in my head, although I may work off of Thursday’s list. 

The list helps me to organize and prioritize my day.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment as I check things off.  It helps me to know at the end of the day how to answer the question “What did you do today?”  I am not chained to it, but it certainly helps me to stay organized.

Just Back

November 3, 2009

We just got back from a week of vacation visiting our family in Minnesota.  It was a wonderful time together.  During the week we helped our son get settled in at his new home in central Minnesota.  It is an exciting time of life for him, as he starts fresh in a new community; new job, new church, meeting new people, and making new friends.

He does not have internet, and so I did not post anything while we were gone.  I started to write this morning a blog on the community of believers, but it was much too complicated for my brain to deal with on the first day back.   There is a lot to do, and only limited time so that post will have to wait for another day. 

Choices, you know are very important.  So today, I will keep it simple.  After all, I am just getting back.

In God We Trust

August 4, 2009

I am thankful that my faith allows me to face the future without anxiety.  I do not often worry about what might happen.

I trust in God.

That being said, I do try to make good decisions.  I try to look ahead and plan for the future.  I try to make good use of my resources.   In fact, my wife sometimes complains about THE PLAN.  Or perhaps, more accurately, the way that I react when things don’t go according to my plans.

The really, really good thing is that I don’t have to understand everything.  I don’t have to have everything planned out.  Life does not have to go according to my plan.

God has already done that.  God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. He knows exactly what is going to happen and He has promised us that He will be with us always.

As our country is making some big decisions about the future.  I believe that we should do our part, that we should address problems, make plans, take action…. and trust that God will help us.