Sunday, August 21, 2016

People Really Don't Care What You Know Until They Know That You Care

First I want to take the time to say thank you again to those of you who are subscribed to my blog! If you aren't subscribed yet please do so by entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" box to the side of this blog! Now for this week's thoughts!


"People really don't care what you know until they know that you care." We have heard this over and over again but how much do we really believe it. I believe life can be narrowed down to one simple overarching concept: Relationships. Life is all about relationships, there is really no way around it. I think we were built to function that way. It's especially true in the teaching and coaching world. Athletes/Students want to feel believed in, they want to feel like someone truly believes in what they are capable of accomplishing. You could have all the top knowledge, all the "right" answers, the best resources and much much more but without a genuine relationship between the coach and the player (or a teacher and the student) then I believe you have missed out on the greatest blessing in life. You have probably missed out on some quality growth as well because the foundation of the relationship was never solid and genuine.

You see, I think God is way more concerned with out relationships than he was with what we felt like we were accomplishing in life. I mean whether we play a sport for a living or we run a business, I think God is more concerned with how we conduct our relationships within the things we do. Jesus spent his whole life here on this Earth teaching us how to have a relationship with God and how to have relationships with others. That's all the bible is....it's a book about relationships! So if Jesus's focus was on relationships then I want my focus to be on relationships as well! 

How can I show love to others? How can I put others needs before my own? How can I illustrate that my relationship with God is the most important relationship in my life and that my relationships with others is my next priority.

It is so easy to get caught up in how the world wants us to view relationships. The World tells us that in order to be better we have to put ourselves above others in whatever way possible. It's all about self advancement, putting yourself first and others second. Jesus never did that in his own life, he always did the opposite.

So as I begin this school year. As I begin to prepare myself to teach and to coach, I want those around me to see that I care about people first and everything else second. I'm no where near perfect in doing this consistently but I do believe that lives are changed when I stop worrying so much about myself and focus more on how I can serve other people.

Coached In Truth

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Truth is Truth, Whether You Like It or Not - Guest Blog Post

Thank you so much Shawn Lesile for taking the time write for Coached In Truth. Take some time and dive into this thought provoking perspective of truth!

Truth is Truth, Whether You Like It Or Not

The world around us is rapidly changing, almost faster than we can compute the changes, let alone process them and figure out if they’re changes for the better, or if everything has begun spinning inexorably toward the abyss. Our top political candidates for the presidency are the biggest wild cards our nation has seen so far in history; terrorism is on the rise, becoming more of a household topic than a black dot on the news once or twice a month; human rights advocacy has gone from race, to gender, back to race, back to gender, creating walls, destroying walls, creating equality, destroying equality, inventing new angles to defend, new issues to address; technology is becoming more innovative, creating new advances in the automotive industry, not only giving drivers the chance to experience a car driving itself, but also giving drivers a scare with the ability for computer hackers to literally commandeer the vehicle and control it.

So what do we do? Where do we turn? How do we handle all of this?

I believe it all has to start with the truth. The dictionary.com definition of the word truth is, “the actual state of a matter; in conformity with reality.” So we need to look at the actual state of the matter at hand, at the actual reality of what’s going on, and make a decision from there.

An interesting note about this definition: notice it doesn’t mention anyone’s perception or feelings about a matter. Part of the many changes we are experiencing these days is a progressive emphasis on feelings and perception. A lot of what people hear about different situations is, “well, that may be true for you, but it’s not true for me,” or “oh, well my reality looks different than yours.” But to look at a situation from the angle of THE truth -  the actual state of the matter, the reality of the situation - your truth and my truth don’t matter. My reality and your reality are irrelevant. The only way to accurately approach a situation and hope to gain any bit of insight into what’s actually SUPPOSED to be going on is to look at the truth. What is true?

From a biblical perspective, it’s set up pretty cleverly. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said, in John 14:6. Jesus very clearly said that he was the truth.
I heard it said in a sermon once that everything was perfection when the world was first created, when Adam and Eve existed in the garden of Eden, communing with God as he walked among them. True paradise. But when they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they fell. Perfection became imperfect. When the Law was set forth, in all the dry, tedious glory of Deuteronomy, God wasn’t trying to punish the Israelites or make their lives difficult while they were on earth because God was such a prude and the people couldn’t do anything remotely unclean. No, he was giving them directions on how to be closer to him. On how to get as close to that perfection as possible under the impossible umbrella of imperfection.
And then when Jesus came and fulfilled the Law, our Sinless Savior became perfection. So the actual state of the matter is that Jesus is perfection. And in that perfection, we have a conduit by which we can commune with God, the Creator of the Universe, the fullness of Love itself.

It’s always interesting to me that people get upset and bitter when their life doesn’t work out the way they want it to, even though they have prayed every single day for years for the same thing, and still nothing changes. Though when God says, “my thoughts are higher than your thoughts, my ways are higher than your ways,” and “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” and “be holy, as I am holy,” he isn’t concerned about people’s lives working out the way they want them to work out.
The actual state of the matter is that when we read the bible, we see the heart of God, that he works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11) and that he does everything for his name’s sake (Psalm 106:8). At the same time, he doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10) and he wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He sent Jesus to this world to save it (John 3:17), but called those who wanted to follow him to a high standard (John 8:31, Luke 9:23-26, Luke 14:25-33).

Isn’t it fascinating how there are two things at work at the same time? God is for us (Romans 8:31), and is for himself (Ephesians 1:3-14). But the reality that these situations conform to is that one doesn’t happen without the other. Now, our perception or our feeling on the matter might reflect a different picture, but given what we’ve talked about so far, it’s not true. Yes, life may sometimes suck - sickness and disease abound, hate and anger thrive in this world, deception and lack of integrity have become the new norm - but that doesn’t make those core statements any less true. The fall of man happened, and Satan is the ruler of the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4), so no matter what we do, how much we obey God, pray to God, give to God…it’s not going to exempt us from living on this fallen world, subject to the ails of the age, until it is time to go Home.

However, we do have “his very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4a) that we can lean on, feed on, rely on, and cling to in the meantime. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:4), “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Psalm 62:1), “God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8), “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). There are thousands upon thousands of promises that God has given us, “so that through them [we] may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:4b).

Seek the truth, and don’t be swayed by perceptions or feelings. Let the truth be your guide.

Shawn

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Your "Why" Gives Life to Your "What"

Stop for a second and just think....Why? Why do I do what I do? Why do I think the way that I think?
This is an incredibly powerful way of thinking. Your "why" is the reason you do something. It's the purpose behind your task. It's the driving force behind the decisions you make and the direction you take. Your "what" is simply the task at hand. It's the actual work you accomplish each day. It's the decision you make. 
Many of us, myself included, spend WAY more time thinking about our "what" rather than our "why". As a result of us focusing more on the "what", we are more likely to forget our "why", lose interest, or just not care about "what" we are actually doing. On the flip side, when we understand our "why" then it really doesn't matter "what" we are doing because at the end of the day we aren't living for the "what", we are living for the "why".

I hope this makes sense because this is something I think about almost everyday. I get so caught up in the day to day tasks that all I can focus on is getting the task over with. That's why I believe so many people say they have lost their passion behind what they are doing. People will become so focused on what they are doing that they forget "why" they are doing it. When we focus on our "why" first then we can truly approach each day with a true passion and a dedication that goes far beyond a task or job that we fulfill. Our "why" is the supporting framework for our entire home. There are lots of ways to build a house, but it doesn't matter how nice that house is if the framework is messed up. If the foundation of the home isn't solid and aligned correctly, nothing you build on top of it can be sustained.

I believe this is another big reason people struggle when they are trying to better their health. They get started but because they didn't spend the time to really understand the purpose and the reasons why they need to take care of their health. They end up focusing more on how exercising will change the way they look versus focusing on how it is transforming them on the inside. Many people don't realize that the purpose for exercise goes way beyond how it changes our appearance, it does more for our body on the inside than it does for our body on the outside. We won't realize these things until we have spent time thinking about the "why".

So why do I coach? Why do I teach? I do what I do because I want my life to reflect my relationship with God (Colossians 3:17, 23-24, 1 Corinthians 1:18 reference to the bottom). I am confident that if I teach/coach for the rest of my life or if I were to change careers and do something completely different, I can still fulfill my "why".
Don't get your "why" and your "what" confused. There is a distinct difference in the two and they are not meant to be interchanged. Your "why" drives "what" you decide to do. Do yourself a favor and don't live for a "what;" think harder, think deeper, and give yourself a "why" that you can fulfill everyday. So....What's your why?


“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:17 NIV

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 
1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

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Coached In Truth

What do you do to make sure you don't get your "Why" and your "What" confused? Comment below and share!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Being Coachable

Before we begin today's topic, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those of you who have subscribed and began to follow my blog. It means a lot to me to have your support as I go through this journey! If you haven't subscribed yet, please do so on the main page of coachedintruth.com or click here

Here we go!

Though I have only been coaching basketball a few years at this point, there are a few things that have stuck out the most in terms of what it takes to be a successful coach. I believe that one of the most important traits a coach could possess would be that he/she is coachable. Well...that may seem a little counterintuitive. Wouldn't something like strong leadership, courage or perseverance fall under the category of "most" important? The truth is I'm not sure, but from my experience, the more coachable I am as a coach, the more coachable my players are as athletes. Jesus taught his disciples how to be coachable, I think he demonstrated what it meant to be coachable through the example he set in his prayer life. He is constantly seen throughout the bible praying, asking God for direction and remaining humble. Jesus in turn strived to teach his disciples to do the same. Let's take a closer look at what it takes to be coachable in our daily lives:


1. Being coachable takes humility. No one has done anything great on their own without making mistakes. We need other people around us who we can seek advice from and ask for help. We need other people to be willing to point us in the right direction when we seem to steer off the path. We must be able to listen without trying to figure out what we are going to say back to defend ourselves and accept what others might observe in us. When we make mistakes we need to be willing to own up to them, we have to learn how to take responsibility of our own actions then strive to get better from there. Some mistakes that we make may be difficult for us to see but through humility and a willingness to be taught, we will grow from our shortcomings. I'm not saying that others are always right when they point out what may be a mistake of yours but if we aren't even willing to hear them out then we are already defeated. Consider what Paul had to say about humility in his letter to the church in Philippi. Philippians 2:3-8 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!"


2. Being coachable takes initiative. John 13:15 says “I set the pattern for you, that, just as I did to you, you should do also.” Jesus took initiative by telling his followers to follow his example. He tells them that he has laid the foundation. He is referring to the fact that just moments before he took the time to wash each individual apostle's feet. Knowing that he is the Son of God, he brought himself beneath his followers to display humility. (Refer to point #1 about humility!) The washing of the feet was supposed to be the house servant's job, yet Jesus decided to take on the role of a servant and wash the feet of his disciples. What example are we trying to set as coaches and then telling people to follow? We have to be willing to stick ourselves out there to public criticism, being proven wrong or even embarrassed. We need to ask questions, seek out answers, and then try to make changes without anyone having to tell us to do it. That's what it means to take initiative. Opening ourselves up to that kind of vulnerability can seem frightening, but that is what it takes to be a great coach. If we are the ones seeking out the help, then that will help us to be much more coachable and less resistant to change. If it is other people always telling us what we need to do to get better then it becomes more difficult for us to take ownership of the things we are trying to correct.


3. Being coachable takes trust. Trust is important in any relationship but especially in coaching relationships. Individuals who don't trust one another make it extremely difficult to be coached. Coaches want to trust the people they coach and vise versa, but if we don't let go of the any negativity or bitterness we may have locked up inside, then that is all we are going to see in each other. Jesus' disciples trusted that Jesus had their best interest at heart and that's why they desired to listen to him. They built trust over time that lead to outstanding coaching relationships. Proverbs 27:9 "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." 

We are all capable of being coaches because we all have God's Word to pull from and use to coach one another (Hebrews 3:12-13).  The moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment we should no longer be coaching, there is no room for that type of attitude when people's future are at stake.


What are some other traits that you believe are necessary in order to be coachable? Comment below!