Saturday, May 29, 2010

Getting Organized in the Google Era... a new covenant

by Dale Shumaker

Getting Organized in the Google Era
by Douglas C. Merrill, once the Chief Information Officer Google. He learned a lot while at Google. Many systems were created to increase internal efficiencies which Google then introduced to the public at large... such as Google Mail, Docs, etc. Merrill shows us how to use technology for increasing working efficiency... as well where paper still has a place. Having to struggle with dyslexia, Merrill in overcoming his disabilities created methods for being organized that help the most unorganized person become perfectly organized.

His methods can be applied to personally organization and enhancing learning skills. In
Getting Organized in the Google Era, Merrill establishes 21 principles of organization. It's an interesting read. His style has a conversational flow making you feel he is right there talking to you. Here are his 21 principles in a capsule.

(1) Organize life to minimize brain strain. (2) Get stuff out of your brain as quickly as possible to prevent information over load. (3) Multitasking usually makes you less efficient. Encoding is required for information to stay in the long-term memory. (4) Stories store information in useful order. Use stories to remember. Our brains aren't good at multitasking, remembering, or making decisions. So goals and priorities are essential to narrow down decisions that fulfill goals and priorities.

The fifth principle of organization is just because something is done a certain way, doesn't mean it should be. Who made 9 to 5 so sacred. Our society doesn't function as one set of preset blocks of time. How we work and how we live are conflicting structures. (6) Knowledge is not power. The sharing of knowledge is power.

We all have constraints. Douglas had dyslexia. It can be anything emotional, mental, physical that hinders us. Principle #7 is to organize around actual constraints, not assumed. (8) Be completely honest but not judgmental with yourself. Others who see our strengths and weaknesses can help us be objective. Don't over think. (9) Know when to ignore your constraints. Fear is a constraint best ignored. Control what you can, let go of what you can't control.

The tenth principle of organization is know exactly where you're going, and how you'll get there, before you start the engine. Define goals for tasks you're facing. (11) Be flexible about how you achieve. Some mid-course changes may be required in mid stream. Learn to delegate. Make a plan of action. Identify resources and strategies to work around constraints and accomplish your goals.

What is the new organization and how do we achieve it? Our traditional methods for being organized don't accommodate our individual differences. (12) Today, search is what we need to survive. Don't file your information, use search to find it. You don't need to put email in folders. Search will find it. To get the most out of search be descriptive as possible. Use quote marks around phrases to find that exact phrase. Use adjectives, such as say "cheap," "budget," hotels in search to narrow down categories.

Merrill has other Google tips for using search. Google calculates, spell checks, has a phone book. Search can even search documents in your personal computer. (13) Only keep in your head what truly needs to be there. Filter out what you don't need. (14) Break up big chunks into small ones. What can you ignore; what can you use later. (15) Dedicate time each week to review key information. Merrill uses colored markers when reading to highlight or note important or interesting information to read later. Use stories, use repetition on key information, priorities, identify limits to your concentration.

Principle no. 16 says there's no such thing as a perfect system of organization. Remember your goals will guide you. Use the tools that best support your goals. When to use paper? To get stuff out of your head write it down immediately. Sometimes technology is not available. Solve problems on paper. When digesting a lot, read it on paper. Keep financials on paper as well as legal documents. Paper is great for taking quick notes. Keep important documents backed up on the Internet (the cloud). (17) Whenever possible use tools you already know. (18) Add relevant key words to your digital information so you can easily find it later. Gmail has friendly features to store and easily retrieve information. Google apps has numerous tools to simplify organization such as calendars, personal document storage, to-do lists. Google reader will bring you the relevant blogs, news you want to read.

(19) Take notes to help you shift contexts later. (20) Group tasks with similar contexts together. The brain works better when it can shift from one thing to another of the same context.

(21) Integrate work with life instead of balancing the two. Too much overlaps in life, so go with the flow. Merrill goes into detail with many personal examples of apps and Google helps. At the end of the book, he lists the tools he loves and likes. He says not one size fits all. We all will have certain preferences over others.

Merrill talks extensively about that the way we do things in
business and education are outdated structures. They don't fit the era we live in and these structures had origins for a culture over 100 years ago.

"Many of the most established structures and beliefs in our world are all wrong (e.g., 9 to 5, summer breaks for school). Too often we try to make our lives work within outdated structures, rather than revise our structures to work within our lives."

There is a new era with new technology to
assist us in living life and doing business in a new way.

Jesus' mission was that... to show God's plans for us are relevant to
make us live happier and fuller in our lives. Jesus was the key to bring everyone into a complete, full way of living.

In the Bible, Jeremiah foretold us that God will introduce a binding agreement
with His creation. That God will form a new covenant with His People.

"But this is the new covenant. I will make to my people.
I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. and they will not need to teach their neighbors... You should know the Lord. For everyone for the least to the Greatest will already know me. I will forgive their wickedness and never again remember their sins." (Jeremiah 31: 33, 34, NLT)

The New Living Translation Study Bible (2008, p.1263) comments on this.
"It points toward Jesus whose death would seal this new covenant. The relationship between God and His people envisioned in the Sinai Covenant was surrounded by laws chiseled in stone and a priestly class in charge of all religious institutions and activities. The new differs from the old covenant in one primary way.

It would no longer be external to the worshipers, but would now
be written on their hearts. The great defect of the old covenant was that it lacked the power to enable people to do what it commanded (Romans 8:3). The new covenant would be internalized through the Power of the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling would be made possible through the sacrifice of Christ (Ezek. 36: 24-27). Thus, it would become possible for people everywhere (not just a select few) to fulfill God's covenant plan for life as summed up in the two Great Commandments. You must love the Lord your God (Deut. 6:5) and Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18) combined by Jesus (Matt. 22:35-40) as the two great commandments.

In the new covenant, God's role as Creator goes beyond making all
material things. The new covenant would achieve the goal that the old one pointed to, but could not reach the hearts of others: creating new persons and a new community. The goal is deep transformation of sinners, beginning with forgiveness of sins and culminating in a holiness exemplified by good works (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-10). According to the New Testament, all believers in Jesus Christ will know him directly by the activity of the Holy Spirit. They will know him personally and experience him powerfully, as only a few did in the Old Testament.

Hebrews 8:8-12 quotes this Old Testament passage to contrast it
with the New Testament. Jesus' death brought the new covenant into existence, making Him the mediator of the covenant for whoever believes in Him."

All who believe in Him has access to all of God's Power of Spirit through
Jesus who now lives in us, these mortal bodies, to make us powerful through the Spirit that Works Mightily through us. We have this power and love of Spirit as a practical part of our daily activities.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Energy Bus... abide in love

by Dale Shumaker

The Energy Bus
by Jon Gordon is about how to cultivate energy, maintain it in all circumstances, and then share it with all others. In life, you can choose to see the curse or choose to see the gift. On Joy's bus, she encourages the riders that it's their choice, so choose wisely.

George had a flat tire, so he had to take the bus. There he met Joy, the bus driver, who always was smiling at him. George found out his car had a defective brake system, was part of a recall, and that it would take two weeks for the part to come in. He decided to take the bus the next two weeks.

His job was on the line. George had lost zeal for life. What he learned from Joy turned his life around. Joy had "10 rules for the ride of your life" posted on front of the bus. The next ten days, Joy and her joyful bus riders explained the importance of these rules to George.

Rule #1. You're the Driver of Your Bus. Take responsibility and control of your life. Take it where you want it to go. You must decide what you want, then create it. Don't let the world create it for you. What's your vision for your life, your work, your relationships. The laws of physics point out it's all about energy. What and who increases your energy. Sometimes by seeing what we don't want we see what we do want. Use crisis to create opportunity.

Rule # 2. Desire, vision, and focus move your bus the right direction. Stop thinking about what you don't want and focus your energy on your vision and what you want. Live in your energy field of dreams.

Rule #3. Fuel your ride with positive energy. E + P = O. Events in your life plus your perception creates your outcome. Make P a positive energy perception. You control that. This fuels your vision and puts energy behind your focus and creates positive results. It's like remembering the excitement of a great golf shot. You review it in your mind, tell others about it. Recall the exciting events of the day. Think about your vision, replay it in your mind daily and tell others.

Rule #4. Invite people on your bus and share your vision. Remember you're driving the bus, but you are also asking people to get on. It's too much to do it all yourself so you need an organized, energized team to deliver a successful product launch. When you invite people to get on they need to be excited about your vision too. And don't forget to tell your wife and family... it is indispensable that they be kept in the discussion of your vision.

Rule #5. Don't waste your energy on those who don't get on your bus. You may have some negative team members already. You may have to ignore them and not take it personally. Don't worry about those who won't get on your bus. The less energy you spend worrying about them, the better off you'll be.

Rule #6. Post a sign that says No Energy Vampires Allowed on your bus. Some who are negative and won't be positive with the vision may need to be asked to get off your bus. Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone's negativity. Your certainty must be greater than anyone's doubt. Lead with your heart. The heart is your power center.

Rule #7. Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride. Everyone around will be in beat to the frequency of your heart. Your positive energy will radiate to everyone's around you.

Rule #8. Love your passengers. Share love generously and you will become a love magnet to everyone around you. What people really want is to be loved and appreciated. When they feel loved employees will do more, and customers will send you more business.
Five ways to love your passengers. 1. Make time for them. 2. Listen to them. 3. Recognize them. 4. Serve them. 5. Bring out the best in them.

Rule #9. Drive with purpose. When you fuel up with purpose you find excitement in the mundane, the passion in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Find your bigger purpose in the here and now and your purpose will find you. Shared purpose keeps your team energized. It is more powerful, meaningful, and inspiring if the team formulates what they want to be. They will be an energized, purpose-driven team.

Rule #10. Have fun and enjoy the ride. Live young, have fun, arrive at your destination as late as possible, with a smile on your face. Put these rules in your bus and the energy bus will give you the ride of your life.

In summary: 1. Create your vision. 2. Fuel your vision with purpose(it's benefit to others). 3. Write a vision/purpose statement. 4. Focus on your vision. 5. Zoom Focus. 6. Get on the bus. 7. Fuel the ride with positive energy. 8. Post a sign "No vampires allowed." 9. Navigate adversity and potholes. 10. Love your passengers 11. Have fun and enjoy the ride. For more go to...

Jesus said when you remain in My Love you obey my commandments. His commands are not burdensome. We are to love God with all our heart and love each other.

In The True Vine by Andrew Murray, he writes about abiding in God's love. (Note John 14 and 15.) Abide in My love Jesus says. We speak of a man’s home as his abode. Our abode, the home of our soul, is to be the love of Christ. We are to live our life there, to be at home there all the day: this is what Christ means our life to be, and really can make it. Our continuous abiding in the Vine is to be an abiding in His love. The love of the Father to the Son is not a sentiment—it is a divine life, an infinite energy, an irresistible power. It carried Christ through life and death and the grave. The Father loved Him and dwelt in Him, and did all for Him.

So the love of Christ to us too is an infinite living power that will work in us all He delights to give us. The feebleness of our Christian life is that we do not take time to believe that this divine love does really delight in us, and will possess and work all in us. We do not take time to look at the Vine bearing the branch so entirely, working all in it so completely. We strive to do for ourselves what Christ alone can, what Christ, oh, so lovingly, longs to do for us.

And this now is the secret of the change we spoke of, and the beginning of a new life, when the soul sees this infinite love willing to do all, and gives itself up to it. “Abide in My love.” To believe that, it is possible so to live moment by moment; to believe that everything that makes it difficult or impossible will be overcome by Christ Himself; to believe that Love really means an infinite longing to give itself wholly to us and never leave us; and in this faith to cast ourselves on Christ to work it in us; this is the secret of the true Christian life.

And how to come to this faith?
Turn away from the visible if you would see and possess the invisible. Take more time with Jesus, gazing on Him as the heavenly Vine, living in the love of the Father, wanting you to live in His love. Turn away from yourself and your efforts and your faith, if you would have the heart filled with Him and the certainty of His love. Abiding means going out from everything else, to occupy one place and stay there. Come away from all else, and set your heart on Jesus, and His love, that love will waken your faith and strengthen it. Occupy yourself with that love, worship it, wait for it. You may be sure it will reach out to you, and by its power take you up into itself as your abode and your home.

Murray continues in Abide in Christ.
"This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you." Let us try in all simplicity and honesty to go out to our home to translate the language of high faith, so that all men can understand it.

Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He can not alone curb it--He can make us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an unkind word about others shall ever be heard from our lips, be laid trustingly at His feet.
Let the gentleness that refuses to take offense, that is always ready to excuse
, to think and hope the best, mark our intercourse with all.
Let the love that seeks not its own, to give its life for others
, be our aim as we abide in Jesus. Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing others.
And let us, in studying the divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

By His grace, the most commonplace life can be transfigured with the brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the divine nature shines out through our frail humanity. Fellow-Christian, let us praise God! We are called to love as Jesus loves, as God loves.