Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Excelling at What You Do ~by Rick Warren

This was my daily devotional today and I thought it so good it was worth sharing.

Rick Warren is the pastor of the megachurch Saddleback Church, and New York Times bestselling author. He was asked by President Barack Obama to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration earlier this year.

When looking to improve and excel, it only makes sense that you look to people who are excelling in their particular area of expertise and learn what THEY did. Here, Pastor Warren shares some sound, biblical principles regarding excellence.

Have an EXCELLENT day!

August 12, 2009

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV).

During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps gave us an extraordinary display of the pursuit of excellence. But the truth is every athlete in the Olympics pursues excellence as peak performers in their categories of competition.The Bible identifies five characteristics of people who excel at what they do.

1. People who excel work with enthusiasm. Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their best effort, no matter the size of the audience: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV).

2. People who excel sharpen their skills. They never stop developing, growing, learning, and improving: “If your ax is dull and you don’t sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it. It is smarter to plan ahead” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 TEV). It takes more than desire to excel, it takes skill! Remember, you’re never wasting time when you’re sharpening your “ax.”

3. People who excel keep their word. They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they’ll do. So they excel because people of integrity are rare in our society: “Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” (Proverbs 20:6 TEV).

4. People who excel maintain a positive attitude. Even under pressure, or change, or unrealistic demands, they don’t allow themselves to become negative: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life . . .” (Philippians 2:14–16 NIV). And remember: “If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes” (Ecclesiastes 10:4 NLT).

5. People who excel do more than is expected. This is a secret that every successful person has discovered. You’ll never excel by only doing what is required. Jesus said, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously” (Matthew 5:40–42 MSG).

The Broadway lyricist Oscar Hammerstein once told the story of seeing the top of the Statue of Liberty from a helicopter. He was impressed because of the incredible detail the artist had sculpted on an area that no one was expected to see. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was completed with no idea that man would someday be able to fly over the statue!

When you’re tempted to cut corners, thinking, “No one will ever know,” remember God is looking down and sees everything you do. Give him your best this week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

INSANITY - week 4 - Shoes, Toes, Legs, & Sweat

Okay, so I've not been as good as I thought I'd be about sharing my journey here. Oopsie. Man, summer is full when you run a home business and have 6 kids! ;o)

So playing INSANITY catch up:

Week 1: I thought it was a blast, but was concerned that the muscle groups (predominantly legs) weren't getting enough of a rest to really heal. On day four I was feeling an injury from overuse starting to come on in my quads (vastus lateralis to be exact). It was on both quads, and I really babied it while I continued to do the workouts. I realized about day two how critically important GOOD SHOES are for these workouts. On the second workout I started out with some cool looking shoes that are clearly NOT for this type of cross training. I paused in the warmup to change my shoes. My running shoes arent good either for this. They dont provide enough support around the toes/metatarsals for moves like Suicide Drills. I recommend supportive, but not clunky cross trainers.

Week 2: The vastus lateralis apparently was just awakening as the pre-injury no longer even hints at taking a break. I'm encouraged. I'm loving the workouts, and am feeling stronger and stronger. Im starting to dig deeper, squat lower, and move faster without having to pause to catch my breath, punch my leg, and jump back in. I'm starting to miss my P90X weight workouts, not gonna lie. (not to mention that Horton guy :))

Week 3: Fit Test #2! Man, my numbers are through the roof! I was feeling stronger, but there is nothing like taking a test to determine your growth! I cannot believe how in two short weeks I went from feeling like the test was beating the tar out of me, to feeling like a worthy match for this bad boy. :)

**Got a chance to speak with Shaun T(hompson) and felt like I really got to know him as a person. I am happy to report that he is every bit the good guy I assumed he was from the little interaction I've had with him personally before these calls, not to mention how he reads from the tv. He has an incredible story, and I was THANKFUL he graciously carved out time to spend with our team on our National Team Genesis Call. :) Team Gen now Hearts Shaun T! :)

Week 4: Broken Toe: DOH! On Saturday night - the night before my weekly day off I hit my pinky toe so badly I'm cringing as I type it to remember it. I was barefoot in the backyard with an armload and walked too closely to a deck chair! OW!!!!! I separated that little toe so far out my skin split. <<>>

I immediately iced it and elevated it to reduce swelling, and thanks to my friend Anne Dovel I put on a shoe first thing the next morning to hold in the swelling. This worked, and though it did swell in a funky shoe pattern (I should have taken a picture) it didnt swell nearly as badly as if I'd left it uncontained. By Monday it was a bit black and blue, still swollen, but I was able to tape it and get my Pure Cardio workout in.

Now, I'm not an idiot (well, about this anyway ;o)) and would not have done the workout if I felt pain. But I just adjusted my moves so I predominantly moved off my big toe and hardly felt it but a few times. :) YAY!

So far my experience with INSANITY is a love fest! :) I can visibly see the difference in my legs, and as I said before, my stamina is THROUGH THE ROOF! :)

Oh! I almost forgot to write about the joy of finding that I DO SWEAT! For those who know me, you know I dont really sweat. I get a little "glowey" ;o) but even in my marathon I didnt do much more than glow. And I'm working hard - dont get me wrong, its just a genetic thing. But with INSANITY - I am literally dripping wet after the first half of the workout. The first time I felt sweat running down my forehead I thought it was my bangs falling out of the clip. Then it ran into my eye. ??!?!? I excitedly but sarcastically said to KC, "What is this salty discharge??!" So for me it must be keeping my heart rate high consistently that does the trick, but its a nice feeling to finish your workout and be dripping wet. It just FEELS like you really brought it. :) I love that.

Little nervous for the next phase, but just taking one day at a time for now. Its all I have to really work with, anyway. :)

Be blessed today!