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    New Year’s Resolutions and The Slow Process of Change

    I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. On the one hand, I’m enamored by the idea of a fresh start and a clean slate every time that big, jeweled ball drops in Times Square. Reflecting on the past and looking to the future with anticipation and hope – who wouldn’t enjoy that euphoric sense of optimism?  And yet – I’ve been around the block for enough countdowns to know that, though I may have my sights set on a handful of goals in the new year, life has a tendency to distract me from those ideals, often before Ryan Seacrest wishes us all goodnight.  Apparently I’m not alone.…

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    How to Embrace Necessary Change

    Seasons of life change, careers change, organizations change, and relationships and friendships change. Change is—as they say—inevitable. How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it, reluctantly (and stubbornly) submit to it, or run full-speed in the opposite direction of it? I’m a loyal person by default. Perhaps you are as well. I’m loyal to good people, good organizations, and good products. There’s nothing wrong with loyalty per se, except when that loyalty exceeds the season for which that allegiance is needed. Thus I find I struggle with change.  Well-known author, leadership coach, and clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud believes that if we do not embrace necessary change (i.e.…

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    How Change Happens

    On a 2010 trip to Australia, one of the topics I was asked to address at a conference featuring a redemptive view of homosexuality was “Is Change Possible?” This is a controversial question because there are some loud, insistent voices in the culture who say, “Unless you never again have a homosexual thought or feeling, you haven’t changed. And since no one admits to that, any claim of change is an illusion.” No one would apply that strict a standard to any other issue! Former alcoholics living sober and free from the chaos of their drinking for decades still would like a cold beer on a hot day, but that…

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    Unrealistic Expectations

    Lots of things can keep us stuck in places that are hard to get out of. Like harboring unrealistic expectations. When my first son was four years old, I found myself angry and frustrated with him a lot. One day I “happened” to see a book on the inspirational display at the grocery store, Overcoming Hurts and Anger. I don’t remember anything else from that book except the wise counsel to adjust your unrealistic expectations. I realized that although my son was four, and a smart, prodigious four at that, it was still not fair to expect him to be and do things appropriate for a twelve-year old. It was…