Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Orchestras Melody

Tamara is on the bottom left :)

I got a great chance to hear from one of my great friends this week. Sister Gray. Sister Gray was my advisor in BYUSA my freshman year. She was great! She was a great example to me and I look up to her a lot. I value a lot of what she says.

She talked a lot about using our time wisely. I’ll be honest, I thought she was going to tell us technique and skills to acquire to be affective with our time, but she really taught us why we shouldn’t let time stress us out. I thought that was a lot wiser than a lot of little tricks to time management.

In her presentation she talked about juggling and an orchestra. She talked about how juggling really just makes you stressed. Instead of throwing around all our activities and things to do, like you would while juggling, Tamara advised that we should smoothly use our time like a conductor of an orchestra. I don’t know much about music, but I have watched Mack Wilberg, the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle choir, and whatever he does makes the choir sound amazing. He knows how to ignite and calm the choir. He knows all the arrangements and when they come in and out. He orchestrates a balanced melody, something that needs to be more in my life. I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but in my orchestra of time and priorities, if you remember last week my number one goal was to be a good husband and father, I haven’t been on a date in 3 weeks and counting. My social life is roto. That means broken in Spanish. It is almost silent. Mack could ignite that by pointing at me and then do the raise your voice hand motion. I’m actually out of the house tonight. Does that count? But……I may or may not be writing while we are not doing anything. Pretty much I’m being really bad at my first goal. I just have a lot of broken strings in my orchestra since coming home from my mission that I have decided to slow down, but I think this is a wakeup call.  I feel good about the time I’m giving to my work, to school, church, and to my roommates. My orchestra sounds good, but my cellist’s strings are broken and something is missing in the melody.

I may not have a perfect melody in my life, yet, but I’m going to get it going. Here are some goals that I have to help me use my time better this next week that will point me in a direction toward the goals I set last week and will give my orchestra melody.  

  1. I will go on a date next weekend
  2. Buy a bike (going out today to look!)
  3. Home Teaching done before the last week. 

I know that these goals aren’t really new but I am committing to have a great story about my date next week, a picture of me on my new bike, and update on home teaching (we have one person left. We just got her address Thursday night).  

Tamara gave us a fun list of truths and fallacies of time. I don’t remember them all, but I do remember how people always say, “I don’t have time.” False. You don’t own time. In reality you have the same amount as everyone else and it’s not like you can fully control it. In short we have all the time we really want. 

Sometimes in school and work there are deadlines that put a “limit” on time. Tamara taught us that we need to be able to go about our life in a “peaceful hurry”.  That would mean to be able to recognize the fallacy while being able to meet certain requirements. Since I’ve been home from my mission I feel like I have learned to be in a peaceful hurry. My first day home I didn’t have ANYTHING to do or ANYWHERE to be. I remember waking up and going for a run. While I was running I saw a beautiful sun rise. I stopped. Why? I realized I didn’t have anywhere to be but enjoying God’s creation. It was great!. I have tried to take that same attitude with me. Now that things have picked up with school and tasks when I start to feel stressed or burden I tell myself to stop. When I stop I seek to find the Lord somewhere. I loved how Tamara put it. She said that we need to push on the brake to slow our car down to let the Lord in front to show us the way.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

I want to start by reporting on my last goal. I observed others and myself being servant leaders. The three things that I saw take place by other people was:
  1. My roommate made brownies for this girl in our ward
  2. I went on a run with another roommate and he told me how he loves to make people smile. People will be alone walking on the way to campus or on campus and he just says something to them to boost them up. The whole time we ran he tried to make someone smile. 
  3. I went to institute and there I watched my teacher go up to this handy cap girl and talk with her and also helped her to participate in the class
The three things I did this week:
  1. I made dinner for my roommate
  2. Another one of my roommate’s computer was not working so he could Skype his girlfriend who lives about an hour from here. I prayed that night that the next day he would be able to Skype her. My prayer was answered. He was much happier.  
  3. I went to take my foster sister’s kids out to play. She is pregnant and kind of sick. So I went to help take off the pressure. (PS That was my sister’s idea. She’s great)
Goals from my mission and  recently being home
We had a great class this week with Brother Bond as our speaker. He spoke on leadership and I was really surprised by one thing. He talked about the importance of vision, enduring to reach our goals, and seeking happiness. (3)  Vision is so important. In Proverbs 29:18 it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  A vision is not what you will accomplish, but the result; where you see yourself. A final product you may say. You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything in between and how everything will end up. That’s what goals are for. Goals are your markers that indicate how close you are to your vision. Sometimes as you are going form goal to goal you realize one of them isn’t really on the path toward your vision or it’s not doable. Change it. Make it worth your while to be acting toward the vision. It is more important to keep the law and be happy then to simply be about doing. 

Brother Bond also talked about John Plaso. John was a man that really helped and inspired Brother Bond to accomplish his goals. He was someone that brought out his best work. (2) I hope to help others around me by listening. I feel the way to gain someone’s trust is showing your interest. If it matters to them, it should matter to me. If you really listen, you will know them. If you know them, you know how you can serve them. If you serve them, then they will not only do what is required, like Br Bond, but they will begin to act for themselves. That is the greatest thing that can be passed from one person to another; recognizing the power that one has within. 

One thing that really intrigued me in his lecture was when he pointed out the fact that we fail. We will fail a few times in our quest to reach our goals, but it should never be the reason we quit or stop working to reach our goals. I’ve looked back at a few experiences where I didn’t start what I wanted to do or just didn’t finish. I realized it was because I had a failure and stopped or I was scared of failing.  That really brought a greater understanding of leadership to me because I know that I can’t be a perfect leader, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a darn good one with a few learning experiences along the way.

I have recently returned from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Coming back is quite a change. It goes from full focus on others to starting from square one in your personal life. Sometimes square one is just finding out if you need to head north, east, south or west. That’s where I’m at. I would like to share with you something that has helped point me in the right direction in my life ever since I learned it. I used it before and during my mission to help me to make the most of my time and circumstances. It’s a basic outline that helps me to organize my thoughts and help me to get things accomplished. 

Vision: I will rely on God to illuminate my road and make things clear. I will be ever watching and acting in making decisions that will determine my destiny.

Mission: Every person ever born in history now in the future is influenced by the light of Christ for goodness. As we yield to that influence to do good and become good then the light of Christ increases in us. –Elder David A. Bednar

  1. Be a good husband and good father
    1. I am not married, but I know it is the next most single important decision in my life
    2.  Read Book of Mormon with a focus on being prepared for marriage (Daily)
    3. Go on a date once a (Weekly)
  2. Fulfill my calling
    1. 100% home teacher (monthly)
    2. Be prepared for the sacrament/come with a question (weekly)
    3. Come to church prepared to teach class/read less and have an outline (once a month)
  3. Choose a major by December 14
    1. Questions to ask
      1. What do I like from my classes?
      2. What do I not like from classes?
      3. What will point me in the direction of providing for a family?
      4. What will provide me with time to serve in the church?
      5. What do I enjoy?
  4. Go on a cross country bike ride starting next summer
    1. Buy a bike (By Sept 30)
    2. Create a vision for the trip (By Sept 30)
    3. Create team (By January 31)
    4. Find sponsors (By January 31)
    5. Bike daily
I know this is where I am heading

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interviewing a Leader

Just a little background. I met Mike a little over a year ago as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was introduced to the gospel and us by his girlfriend, soon to be fiancĂ©. They were both in the Disney College Program. The whole time that they were in the program I had the chance to teach them. It was over a 6 month period of time. Mike had is ups and downs in searching for the truth, but I can remember the night he had decided to really change. It was at the beginning of December. We were in chapel right before church. We invited him to be baptized on January 1, 2012. He accept the invitation, but he gave us the disclaimer if he was ready. When he said yes I saw something in him I hadn't seen before, commitment. From that day he read and prayed and got his answer from God. Mike is a very inspiring person to me and hopefully you will be able to see his growth since that day as a member of the church and as a leader to others, including me. 
Mike is a very inspiring and loving person. In the interview he proved why he is a leader to me and to others.  One thing stood out to me right from the beginning; the word happiness. That was something that he brought up in the first few minutes of speaking. Mike defined true happiness as being in the right place. At first I thought of it in the physical sense, which it can be, but he meant more of heading in the right direction. He said, “...even when times are hard you have Heavenly Father on your side.” If you are heading in the right direction it doesn’t always mean it will be easy, but that peace allows one to be happy. Mike through his words showed understanding that happiness isn’t a onetime thing or even instantaneous, but that it is something that comes as in knowing we are doing what is right. Later in the interview Mike said on service, “If somebody had someone that loved them, they would be happier” I believe his ability to seek happiness allows him to be a great servant leader. He understands the simple truth that it isn’t about personal gain. Mike loves his former calling as ward missionary and current calling as first counselor in the elders quorum, because it gives him the opportunity to share with others what has made him happy. His love for others and the gospel builds a trust. They want to be around him and want what he has. That sounds like a good leader to me.
These are the things that I observed and heard from Mike. What I learned, at this time of my life, is the need to reach out. Recently coming home from a mission I just wanted to do everything! After a month or two of that, it has become very burdensome. With the many things and little time it becomes easy to become stressed and start to focus on myself. That doesn’t bring the happiness that Mike described. He described we should just love someone to make them happy. Happiness isn’t in trying to do it all. Looking a little more into what I learned from Mike he stated that his happiness comes from knowing that he is going in the right direction. Coming home has been hard trying to fit in or know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to fit in with the “in crowd” or just got back to who I was. I am a new person.  I know the gospel brings happiness and I’m trying to apply that in my personal living. It’s time to live what I preached for two years. It makes me wonder if I have the faith like some of the people I taught, Mike for example. I know that it will work out. I know that a lot of my confusion and lack of direction will start to become clearer as I reach out to help someone else. I started by trying to do this last week by committing to meet five people. I met Jeremy, Chloe, Liz, Russell, and Kimberly . That was in my first day. This week to reach out more I will take our TA Rebekah’s challenge to write down when people show service leadership and when I do something to be a service leader. I will commit to have 3 of each by the next post. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Servant Leadership- Dean Cox


I sat down in class and heard a lot of people talking about quizzes and homework. I was a little confused as to what they were talking about. I was in room C354 in the Eyring Science Center. The class was small. I thought I was in the right place. I asked the girl to my right what class it was. She said, "Chem dkfjasi." I got lost after she said chem. I left. Obviously. I luckily discovered what room I was supposed to be in and and then I got to class just in time to hear the end of Dean Cox's bio. He stood up and gave a great lecture on Servant Leadership. From what I could observe in his teachings and examples (2) a servant leader is someone who is to lead a people, but does it by helping those he works with, doing it with them, and giving of his or herself  for those they lead. Dean Cox gave us some great stories of people who were student leaders. I thought the most interesting was the one he told about Wilbur Birthwaite. He was a coach of Dean Cox and really inspired him through his commitment to help the students and not just focus on winning. He built the students not a program where students would just come and win.

Look at my dad's face. How do you see servant leadership?
 (3) A great example of a servant leader in my life are my parents. They are in charge of the house. They are to provide for me until I can by myself. They make sure I don't get into to much trouble. Right? They never took the role as a babysitter or ruler of the house. Both my mother and father would treat me as I they wanted to be treated. That really surprised me now. Instead of yelling at me to do something. They would either just do it or most of the time calmly ask me to do whatever it was I was to do. I learned so much from that example. I can do things for myself. I can ask someone calmly and humbly and they will do it. Why? Because of the true interest or love they had for me. That is the most powerful part of servant leading as Dean Cox explained in his lecture. (1) I want to try to apply this principle of sincere interest in my life. I know that I have had a bad attitude in my classes this week as school has started. I have been rather reserved in my classes, to myself. Why? I don't really know but it's not really fun. I need to be a little more friendly to my classmates. Should I get do this for this class, no. I'm not going to either, but I have noticed the difference that comes just in a simple kind communication with someone rather than not saying anything at all. You feel better. My goal is to meet at least 5 people by the next class.  You will at least know there first names by next week.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Right?