Archives For focus

Lately, our company has been going through the best-selling business leadership book, Good to Great by Jim Collins.  Featured in the book is the “Hedgehog Concept”, which serves as an illustration of why we should master one simple thing.  In the Hedgehog’s case, he has an amazing simple defense with is his spiky needle-hair and ability to roll up in a ball. Foxes and other animals may try to be sly to take him down but he does this one simple thing really well and succeeds.

It got me thinking about other ferocious little animals we can learn from today.

Apparently 37 million people on YouTube agree that the Honey Badger is a hero to all nations.  I kind of feel like this blog would be best  if I could do a video post and imitate the narrator of the popular video. But I don’t because it would be terrible in my voice so here is my attempt to make further use of Honey Badger. As an homage to Honey Badger and “Randall”, the voice behind the narration, here are five life lessons from Honey Badger.

1. He is patient.  Honey Badger always takes his time and goes at his pace. When attacked by other animals, he simply waits them out because his endurance is better than theirs.  Does he set goals? Probably not but in his head he just knows what he needs to do and does it well because of his patience.

2. He is not a people pleaser. Honey Badger doesn’t care what other animals are doing or what they think about his activities.  This behavior is incredibly intriguing because I fall into this trap of pleasing too many people.

3. He is resilient and focused. Honey Badger gets knocked down and gets back up and keeps going. When Cobra takes Honey Badger down with venom, he accepts the short loss but then quickly gets back up  and is on to his original task. We all experience failure like Honey Badger. But we like Honey Badger need to recognize that this is only a short setback and we need to get back up and eat Cobra. When he’s being attacked by a swarm of bees and other animals are trying to snatch his food that he caught, Honey Badger stays focused on his prize.

4.  He knows how to use the right tools:  Honey Badger is known to adapt tools in his environment to dig holes and move objects when his claws won’t do.

5. He focuses on his strengths.  Honey Badger doesn’t try to fly. Honey Badger doesn’t try to juggle too many rats. What is his Good to Great “Hedgehog Concept”? He probably eats Hedgehogs of course.

All this being said, the only weakness I can find in Honey Badger is that he is a bit of a lone ranger and doesn’t seem to work well with other Honey Badgers.  Then again Honey Badger would simply say to me, “I don’t give a $#!&.”  So be it, Honey Badger.

What else can we learn from Honey Badger? 

Are you not entertained?

December 9, 2011 — 6 Comments

“Are you not entertained?”

These were the words shouted by Maximus in the amazing movie, Gladiator (2000). After slaying Roman soldiers in The Coliseum, former General and now slave Maximus gave them what they wanted.  He gave them entertainment.

I am an entertainment and information junkie.  Pre-digital age, I could spend hours in a library or a Barnes & Noble just filling my brain with any type of information possible. I even subscribe to Entertainment Weekly as it is my magazine candy.  How appropriate.

I read blog post after post about being distracted by the entertainment of this world.  I’m the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to this.  I often wonder what I would do if I couldn’t access “entertainment” and “information” at every moment? To illustrate my point, I’ve got ESPN on in the background as I writes this (cue me taking a moment to turn the tv off and actually focus on writing this to avoid extreme hypocrisy).  It hit me how much I try to cram in so much information into each moment when my body, heart, and mind can’t process it fast enough.  I’m simply not created to effectively keep up with this information madness.

I can feel God saying in my life, “Dave, you need to have balance. Focus on me first and slow down.”

Today’s reading from My Utmost for His Highest put it into perspective for me,

It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best.

But is it sin to be constantly distracted?  By my experience is sure feels like it.  Oswald Chambers points out that even though some of the things we fill our lives with are good, they still keep us at a distance from God.  It keeps us from the “best” God wants for us. I fear being behind in the information age but I’m reminded by God in his whispers that I need to focus on Him first to make sense of it all.  So that leaves me with this commitment:

 I’m going to spend more time thinking.

I’m going to spend more time dreaming.

I’m going to spend more time praying.

After that, I have a stack of books (physical and digital) that I have waiting to read.  He will bless in that time after spending time first with Him.

Furthermore in My Utmost,

If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road.

God gave us Matthew 6:33 for a reason:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

It is not easy. It is not supposed to be but know that you are not alone in this daily if not minute by minute battle.  But I know in those moments when I do seek him first, the blessing is beyond imagination compared to any entertainment.