Tag Archives: Christian principles

Competition keeps you focused

Yea, competition is, in our politically correct little La-La Land, a bad word. But since most of the politically correct don’t really have a proper appreciation of gender differences, they want to live a quiet mediocre little life, really can’t adapt or accept differences (despite their rhetoric) we feel we have to accommodate the mediocre and unmotivated among us.

We really don’t frankly, they should be ignored, because they just don’t know what they’ve talking about and just don’t care. Their responses are usually emotional outbursts, although they condemn that in other people. They’re usually little bullies, physically, only if they can get away with it or emotionally. They will resort to petulant adolescent outbursts, instead of reason and resolution, despite what they think they’re not very smart, and they can’t understand why someone would respond emotionally. It’s their way or no way. Yea, I know, being a little harsh. The fact that there are those out there who are weak, passive or whiney is not an excuse to stomp on them either. Quietly correct them and move on. They will fuss at you as you’re leaving and will try the usual passive/aggressive undermining, but be assured no one really takes them seriously. For the rest of us who want to move on and actually do something in our lives we are the stronger and have to live that out when dealing with the, frankly, weaker and unmotivateable. Ya, I know that’s not a word, but it is descriptive.

The impetus for this rant is an article in Mens Health (May 2015 pp 130-134) The writer (couldn’t find his name) writes about personal rivals. Ya, that can get ugly sometimes, but the fact is that if you’re doing anything with your life, you will have rivals: “If you don’t think you have a rival, that could be your first problem. There is truth in one Holly wood agent’s assertion that ‘you’re no one in this town unless someone wants you dead.'” Ya, again a little harsh, but if you’re not worthy of someone else’s, let’s say dislike, you are just part of the mediocre crowd. Again, competition is not an excuse for playing dirty, lying, cheating, etc. It’s a way to motivate and strengthen.

For those of us who are Christians, we see rivals all through the Bible. God’s people simply had to stand up to their rivals in order for us to move along according to God’s will. The early Christians had the Jewish establishment and the Romans to compete against. They could have passively rolled over to them, but they knew what was right and took a strong, principled stand and so should we as Christian men in our daily life.

The author of the article points out: “Our recurring competitive bouts against known rivals ratchet up anxiety, excitement and also performance. Oddly, considering that rivals date back at least to Cain and Abel, the science of rivalry is relatively new,…” Yes, that was not a healthy rivalry and did not serve to improve anyone. Frankly it’s a better example of the nastiness of the mediocre and uninspired then it is of the positive affects of rivalry.

The writer refers to a positive example of how rivalry motivates us: “…NYU’s Gavin Kilduff, PhD studied the running community in State College, Pennsylvania he found that going up against a rival could cut 25 seconds off a competitive runners 5K time.” It may not seem like much, but I would love to be able to improve that much in a 5K, that’s a huge improvement.

“In one experiment, Uris Gneezy, PhD, an expert in behavioral economics at UC San Diego, gave people the choice to earn money at either a piece rate or a competitive basis for solving puzzles. Men (but not women) preferred to compete – going  against rivals dramatically increased their output.” There are numerous examples of the impetus of competition has created something better, and has done something difficult a lot faster. In 1961 when President John Kennedy challenged the United States to put a man on the moon before 1970, there weren’t many people around who were going to put money on that, yet because of the competition with the Soviet Union, eight years later the goal was accomplished with a few months to spare.

The writer points to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, yea, maybe not buddies, but smart enough to compete against each other and produce music that is still mainstream 40 years later.

Can women compete? Yes, of course and they do and there are many who do it in an inspiring way. God bless ’em. But again for those of the “don’t try to confuse me with the facts”, the mediocre, lazy and frankly just plain lame, competition is part of men’s makeup.

“When you’re the champ in any kind of competition, testosterone levels often quickly rise in your blood stream, says Matthew Fuxjager PhD, an assistant professor of biology at Wake Forest University.”

“Experts hypothesize that a rise in testosterone feeds your noggin’s reward system. And an influx of T may equal more receptors in brain structures that feed competitiveness and social aggression.”

For those in public education that simply can’t understand, identify with and are incapable of properly channeling this in boys, they really need to accept the facts and get out of the way, stop stifling this in boys. So many in today’s society think that they somehow get ahead by dragging someone else down, especially when they do it from ignorance and laziness. That’s not acceptable. Those who go out and accept the challenge are to be encouraged over those who prefer their laziness and passivity. In fact the writer concludes by saying that this chemical affect on a man has the affect of growing and building and helping to make life better for all of us, versus the mediocre la-la-ness. “Additional T receptors are probably still hanging around in your head long after your victory, Fuxjager says. The effect? You’ll be more likely to aggressively repeat the steps that led to your last win.”

I know this effect. Twenty-nine years in the Coast Guard competing against Mother Nature. Despite what the La-La’s think Mother Nature is an unforgivable competitor, she won’t hesitate to kill you if you make a mistake. When we went out and pulled someone out and got them to safety and help it was definitely a rush. For those who think drugs, booze, twinkies or just plain laziness is happiness, they will never know that rush. But I can tell you from personal experience, the next time I was called out, I had more knowledge, better prepared, bolder in accepting the challenge, and more motivated to pursue success. I’ll bet the person I rescued was probably pretty happy about that. For the mediocre and unmotivated they will never know that fulfillment and sit around and whine about it.

God equipped men to stand to the challenge, to be pushed to strive harder, God gave us rivals to push us and challenge us, to do things that will improve lives for other people too. It is not an excuse for men to stomp on others, to take what’s not theirs. But we should strive to serve God, our family, our community to the best of our ability and God gave us the make-up to do that and we should. God did not put us on the earth to be mediocre, passive, lazy. Read the Bible, I don’t see anyone in their that could be described positively in those ways. If someone pushes or inspires you to be a hero use that and always remember that it’s to the glory of God, His leading, His encouraging and in His service.

Integrity in the workplace in faith in Christ

Father Nkwasibwe raises a point which I think deserves a lot of consideration in terms of organizational management. “Only a leader who has undergone a personal path of conversion and lived with an interior attitude of conversion and humility can be an example of the effort to downgrade workplace religious bias, prejudice and discrimination and other sinful inequalities. Such a leader enjoys the moral courage of freedom, responsibility and participation in social, cultural and religious interchange and promotion of the common good.”

Ya, ya, I can hear the clenching from here. The contemporary wisdom goes something like this, you have to hire someone who is completely unbiased, unattached, uncommitted, just “un” everything. I have to wonder if that is someone you can really trust. One of the main reasons for this blog is to champion the concept of living one’s faith life out in the workplace. Now, I will grant you that many see their faith life as converting the heathen. And I’m certainly not saying that given the opportunity in the workplace that I wouldn’t witness to Christ. I have, but when I do/did, it was with integrity. I’m there to present Christ, to tell people what He’s done in my life. What the Lordship of Christ in my life means, and what eternal life means. Now to be truly faithful to that, my witness has to be one that is with integrity, doing my job in a way that glorifies Christ. Not getting into holy wars, not picking on people, not discriminating etc. Always remembering that part of living my life in Christ in the workplace is to do my job with integrity and not using it as a way to abuse my position in favor of those who agree with me. Is that easy? No.

On the flip side, that person who has no scruples in terms of their life regarding “God”, however they see that, that’s better? No, it just isn’t. This is a person who’s decided that they know best, they trust only in their own judgment, or the judgment of other people. That is the continued downfall of secularism. We continue to try and impose individual, unguided, uncritical, frankly mostly about how I can do things to enhance me, and then expect that person to make principled, unbiased judgments. That’s a ridiculous expectation. This person is, bottom line, all about him or her. If anything they will discriminate against people of faith, like the college professor who picks out Christian students and decides that for a variety of reasons, they just don’t have it, tries to bully them into denying their Christian convictions. Come on, are there more Ken Lay’s and Bernie Madoff’s in the business world, or more David Green’s (owner of Hobby Lobby)? Ya right, who would I trust more? Come on! Who could I expect to hold accountable and who would think that they are a law unto themselves?

I’m not saying that Christians are always the most humble or the most principled. But I can go to David Green and if he’s not acting according to Christian principles I can hold him accountable. Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff et al, the only thing they are accountable for is the bottom line, investor value anything else, they will do as they judge and that’s what will get the secular man or woman in trouble every time.

“Self leadership, which is an offshoot of conversion, is that leadership that spurs others through moral values and exemplary skilled practices because nemo dat quod non habet. …Latin … “nobody gives what he or she does not have’. No matter what, this cannot be bypassed if effectiveness and righteousness are to be realized… Undergoing a path of conversion involves sustaining on-going renewal and connotes persevering in holiness, true friendship and altruistic service. … a journey of discovery, spiritual progress or soul’s journey toward God…”

“…it is also when conversion occurs that the leader can develop courage to lead the workplace community to ascend from the disrepute to which unethical practices and religious rivalry and confrontations have drawn most business actions.”

A man of faith is going to be a lot more likely to step up and take the heat and trust God’s providence as compared to the just cowardly, infantile, pathetic actions of people like Lay, Madoff and Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco. Just squirrely little weenies. I know, not very charitable, but it is what it is. (Quick note, I had to Google Tyco. You know what the first reference was “tyco scandal”. Ya, just how you want to be remembered.)

Popular media likes to try to portray people of religion as bigots, narrow-minded, abusive. But the reality completely contradicts the popular fiction. I’d rather work for Hobby Lobby or Chick Fil A before I worked for Dennis Kozlowski.

Our group meets for discussion on Wednesday 10am, coffeehouse at the corner of  W King and Beaver Sts. Parking is behind the church 140 W King St, about a 50 yard walk from there. No charge, no committment, I will even buy your first cup of coffee. We are still in Gene Veith’s book, “God at Work”. See you then and God bless you.