Category Archives: Leadership

Faith and Thinking.

Symbolic
I have often heard religious people say “god told me to do…” and worse are the religious leaders who say “god told me that YOU should do…” and expect unquestioned and total compliance.

I have seen this in practice in some churches, it is not healthy or desirable. I would go as far in saying that if you see a religious or church leader/pastor behaving like this, leave that organisation or at least investigate the true motivations of such a person.

I am a man of faith, but I have an issue with “god told me to” or “god has told YOU to…” statements. I think they’re dangerous and an excuse to do your own thing regardless of how irrational it is.

A friend once said “God has given you a brain so use it”, I agree with this statement. We have all been given the ability to freely think through things and come up with rational or logical decisions. Whether we choose to do that is a another question.

Do I believe that God is concerned with our daily lives? Yes.

Can God interact with us? Yes

Have we been given the ability to think and make decisions for ourselves? Yes.

Should we have to give up/surrender free will or logic or critical thinking just because someone tells you (or you tell yourself) “god says so”? NO.

It was not that long ago when people who said they heard the voice of god were institutionalised.

Recently, someone made a great statement “blind faith equals stupidity” and I agree entirely.

It is a dangerous situation when people in positions of authority make absolute statements like “God said…” and that people will follow blindly without thinking for themselves.

Being a person of faith does not mean that you should become someone who cannot think for yourself.

Questioning is not wrong – but some will be threatened by it.

Doubt can be a good thing – it can lead you on a journey of discovery.

Thinking is to be encouraged – it will help you grow in understanding.

If you disagree with something, investigate it, hunt for the truth (whatever that is). Don’t just take someone else’s interpretation, misunderstanding or manipulative personal agenda as truth absolute.

Faith is a choice, make your choice an investigated one.

Paul S Allen

Fear

Fear in itself is neither positive or negative. It is a result of the stimulus of a situation on an area of our psyche that produces a chemical reaction in our bodies. The fight or flight response.

The Long Dark Shadow

The Long Dark Shadow

Fear should not be eliminated altogether it serves an important purpose, that is to protect us from harm.

What is needed is, to be able to control and use it. We need to take note of it and understand it then make a decision how we are to act.

React or respond? For the most part the best result of the onset of fear is for us to respond, that is, to act in a considered way.

The main way fear becomes truly negative is when it cause us to become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. Fear can be tamed. When I went to Toastmasters I was taught that it was not about getting rid of the “butterflies in my stomach” it was about making them fly in formation.

Fear should highlight areas that need to be addressed and either fixed or avoided. What fear are you facing?

  • What are you being challenged by?
  • What are the things that you need to let go or move away from?
  • Why do you react the way you do to certain situations?

Fear should result in change, either to the situation or your response to it.

Fear comes in many guises, danger: things that could lead to physical harm or death; change: letting go of the past, moving out of comfort zones, moving from familiar to unfamiliar, risk of loss.

No forward progress can be made if you are tightly holding onto the past.

To get over fear you need to build strategy, develop the ability to control the adrenalin rush. Talk your situation over with trusted friends, mentors, coaches.

To have courage you need to be en-couraged. The great thing about this is when you have courage you can become the encourager.

The wisdom is in knowing which fear needs to be respected and which needs to be dealt with.

Paul S Allen

There are many irrational fears, phobias and anxieties, these need to be addressed with care and often with professional assistance. 

Juggling too many chainsaws

I can juggle 2 balls in one hand just fine, 3 balls in both hands OK, any more than that it just gets messy.

In life it is important to know your limits, especially for those who have a tendency to say yes too often or take on too much and over commit.

All to often I find that I start to juggle OK then add another ball then another and every now and then a chainsaw comes along. Out of necessity you (I) will catch it once or twice but it will be inevitably dropped and cause damage in the process

The trick with juggling is to not try something without building up the skills required before hand and to know your limitations. Do not be tempted to go from juggling balls to juggling working chainsaws in one step.

“What can’t you do?” is just as an important question to ask as “what can you do?”

If you have taken on too much and you are trying to juggle beyond your skill level or ability you have to make changes. Get help, coaching and training and/or put those items you are juggling down and work out which ones are the important ones for you to continue.

You need to do this before you damage yourself or others.

Yes, stretch yourself, work hard at increasing your abilities, but do not burn yourself out in the process. When you are handed chainsaws to juggle you need to have confidence in your own ability to juggle them, and that confidence needs to be based in reality. Do not try to juggle them because you think you can you have to know you can.

So be careful juggling chainsaws.

Paul S Allen

I promise you this

Apparition in Chingford Park 1

I promise you this

Nothing is certain in this life except for death and taxes, according to the saying anyway.

There is one thing, however, I can guarantee without question or doubt. It is a certainty beyond all others and a promise I will keep even though I do not want to.

It isn’t riches, power, fame, comfort or security, it isn’t health, safety, salvation or peace.

It is a promise that will annoy and disappoint you, it will be frustrating for others and myself.

It will be something I can learn from and grow through but still it will happen again-and-again.

All I ask is that you will encourage me as I keep this promise, even though I will try to break it, and when I keep the promise, I hope you will understand that I am only human, nothing more and nothing less.

So forgive me…

My promise is simply this…

… I will make mistakes.

Paul S Allen

Caution

Think for yourself

The Long Dark Shadow

The Long Dark Shadow

Beware of leaders who tell you what to think. Think for yourself, if they are threatened by that, good.

One of the problems of society as I see it today is that we spend far too much time trying, and succeeding, to not think. We have been spoon fed doctrine, ideologies and propaganda without taking time out to analyse what we are being fed. It is far to easy to go along with the masses with the assumption that everyone else is doing it/thinking it so it must be right.

To think for yourself carries its risks. Your independent thought might just upset the people around you, it might upset those who manage the status quo and those in authority.

A true leader will always encourage free thought amongst their team.

One of the keys to successfully solving problems, fixing that which is broken or bringing about longstanding change is to simply allow yourself to think freely, independently and then collaboratively with other such free thinkers.

I dare you to have an opinion, don’t just mouth off over some minor irritation, investigate the issues, ask questions – expect and demand answers, be prepared to be wrong and to back down, but you must have your opportunity to think. The problem often is not what you think, it is whether you actually do think.

Never be made to feel inferior because you have your own thoughts on an issue. You do not have to just believe everything that so-called leaders teach you. Learn to question do not be put off or intimidated. People may not like the question, those in authority may especially be threatened because you question them, or seek clarification on points that you do not understand.

A belief system should be able to withstand rigorous questioning. Any belief system that does not allow deep questioning of its core beliefs and values should be treated with utmost caution.

The older I get the less afraid I become, and I find myself questioning the very core of my faith systems. What I find out is that there is so much I don’t understand and that I don’t have all the answers (and neither does anyone else), I do not have all the wisdom and I especially do not have any right to judge others.

The older I get the more issues become grey, and so does my hair.

The black and white taught thinking patterns I had when I was young have changed because I realise so much is beyond my limited understanding of the universe. As such I will not blindly follow any doctrine, belief, ideology or mass hysteria. I will question, I will not be satisfied with the status quo, I will think for myself and if others do not like that, tough.

I will not tell you how or what to think but I will encourage you to think. We may not agree on many or any issues and that is good as long as we respect each other for having the ability to think freely. May be one day we can dialogue and collaborate on an issue and bring about great and positive change. In the meantime think for yourself.

Paul S Allen

%d bloggers like this: