Archive for November, 2007

the dip – a little book that teaches when to quit (and when to stick)

I just read thedip.gif “The Dip – A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick)” by Seth Godin. I like this book for several reasons…for one thing – it’s short! and it’s fun to read. But it also has a really thoughtful approach to quiting.

The basic idea is that in many areas of life, there is a dip. And the worst thing we can do is quit while we are in the dip. Godin points out that excellent/successful people recognize the dip in two ways:

  1. They know how to avoid the dip. In other words, they recognize early when to quit something. Godin points out that we have a mindset that it’s not OK to quit, and that the right thing to do is press on. But he points out that in reality – success at times requires quiting. But the best time to quit is before you get into the dip.
  2. They recognize when they’re in the dip – and that the end is worth fighting for. He points out that so many people quit things while they’re in the dip. They’ve put a lot of resources and energy into something – then quit at the worst time.

He uses snowboarding as an example. Many unsuccessful snow boarders quit in the dip. They get far enough into it with all the equipment but don’t have the drive to work through the dip. The successful ones are either smart enough not to get too far in, or are driven enough to work through the dip.

The challenge of the book is to recognize the dips in your life, and evaluate weather it’s worth working through them before you are in the dip. This has challenged me to think about excellence in my life, and be a little more open to the idea of quiting something (before the dip) and working through other things that are worth it in the end.

This book could be viewed as a purely self-help book, but I think from a Christian perspective it can encourage us to be thoughtful about excellence in our lives – and having Christ join in this excellence in our lives, because this is not something we achieve by just self-helping ourselves.

Here’s a quote from the book that got me thinking…

Some Reasons You Might Fail to Become the Best in the World

You run out of time (and quit).
You run out of money (and quit).
You get scared (and quit).
You’re not serious about it (and quit).
You lose interest or enthusiasm or settle for being mediocre (and quit).
You focus on the short-term instead of the long (and quit when the short term gets too hard).
You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world (because you don’t have the talent).

I’m working through a dip in my life right now that I probably could’ve avoided…

i love stainless steel coffee mugs – “finishing”

Apparently, I’m really good at drinking coffee and bringing stainless steel coffee mugs to work. I’m not so good at taking them home….sorry Lib.

img_5517.jpg

I hate doing things half-way, but I’m good at it. It’s easy to start something (like taking coffee mugs to work) but I need to work on the finishing part of things…two good friends recently encouraged me to finish something I’ve been trying to finish for the last 2 months. Why are some things so hard to finish??? even if they’re important?

Hey – what do you need to finish that you’ve been putting off?

Here are a few pictures from my typical work set up….this is where it all happens.

my-office-2.jpg

I like VW’s and Audi’s….and other things from Germany (like my wife)

my-office.jpgshelf.jpgimg_3971.jpg

sharing a meal with sonny, perk and ??? – a simple act of worship

Ben and I set out for our bi-weekly homeless lunch. It was a misty cold day with an overcast foggy skyline. We walked around Market and Rodney Square looking for Charlie or Eric or Donald, but we didn’t find any of them. But we did find 3 other guys.

Ben was up first this week, he asked me if he should go up to 3 guys standing together. I’m the skeptic cheap guy so I said to Ben, “Dude, you want to take 3 guys to lunch???” He said, “Yeah, good point”…then he proceeded to go up to them and ask if they were up for joining us for lunch. That’s so like Ben…

Well they were up for lunch. We met the coolest guys – Perk, Sonny and another guy who would not tell us his name for security reasons. He said he doesn’t give out his name to anyone. We were like, “Hey that’s cool – we don’t need your name, just come anyway.”

They asked us why we would take them to lunch. Ben gave this awesome response of why we’re doing this, I’m sure he’ll mention it on his blog – check it out here.

I can’t even begin to describe our lunch, but fun is a good word to start with. We threw together our $$ and had just enough to pay for all five lunches. I think we had $3 dollars left. The small restaurant we go to is called Benjamin’s on 10th, at 204 West 10th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. The place is great, one person behind the cash register, and one cook. They only take cash. I got a BLT, Ben got ham & cheese, ??? got a BLT, and Perk and Sunny got large cheese steaks with everything.

Sonny is a blues man. He is definitely a believer in Jesus. We started talking about worship and he said so many wise things. He said he follows a hard Jesus (as opposed to an easy Jesus) and that Jesus has always given him a door to take out of bad situations (like Vietnam). He travels from city to city and apparently plays a lot of blues. He said he worships through the blues, because God sees his heart.

But one thing he said in particular really hit me. He said that no matter what we sing, we need to “Lift Him”. Maybe it was his deep raspy bluesy voice, but for whatever reason there was a lot of weight and honesty behind his words. He kept saying “Lift Him” over and over again when he described how to worship. I told him that when I lead worship sometimes it seems that people are not really worshiping like they could. He said that whatever song we sing, no matter how we sing it we need to “Lift Him”. And he said maybe we’re not “Lifting Him“. I need to give his words time to sink in. Especially “Lift Him”.

Another highlight was when Sonny started chatting with the waitress and all of a sudden he had his harmonica out and he was singing her a bluesy love song. It was so awesome, I wish you all could’ve been there.

I learned so much today. Here are a couple of pics from Ben’s phone to prove we’re not making these lunches up…

me sonny and perk…

terry sunny and perk

sonny…

sunny

happy thanksgiving

I asked our 3 year old some questions about Thanksgiving…

me: Eden – what do you love about Thanksgiving?

eden: Uh, candy corn and marshmallows.

me: What does Thanksgivng mean?

eden: ‘Cause it’s fun. Do people have to go to thanksgiving?

me: no, some poeple don’t celebrate. What are you thankful for?

eden: Jesus died on the cross. Thanksgiving and Halloween. Let me write my name.

eden

Ali Cooper – EP

I love great indie music! Check out Ali Cooper’s new EP here. Or click on the i-tunes link below. Her EP came out today.

When you buy this EP, turn it up loud – it’s that good! Here’s my mini-review.

|| rich tones || beautiful lyrics || warm melodies ||

This EP is full of rich tones and authentic lyrics. The lyrical content has an honest confessional feel but doesn’t waver from a hopeful outlook in the end (Psalm 119). The melodies are beautiful and connect really well to the lyrics. The instrumentation is intricate, with unique piano melodies and guitar layers.

I love Ali’s voice! It’s got a very warm tone, her voice sticks with you after you listen. The voicing on (I Don’t Belong Here) is beautiful. Overall, the voices blend well and the harmonies are not over done.

(Mosaic) stands out as a beautiful tragic love song.

The mixing and recording are excellent, but not over produced.

I think you should buy the whole EP, it’s that good.

Ali Cooper - Ali Cooper - EP - Mosaic

Christmas tunes…

Libby and I love Christmas music.  We usually wait ’till Thanksgiving weekend to put our first Christmas record on.  That’s also when we go cut down our tree with Brett & Lori. 

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But this year we broke tradition and started listening early.  It’s been cold and rainy lately, so Christmas music just works…

Here are some of our favorite Christmas albums….

  • Darkest Night of the Year – Over the Rhine
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • When My Heart Finds Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr
  • Joy: A Holiday Collection – Jewel
  • Snow Angels – Over the Rhine

Now it’s your turn…

  1. when do you start listening to Christmas music?
  2. any favorite albums???

it’s a catpad! (the fuzzy lense of adulthood)

I love that kids see things as they are.

My son Eli (5) and my daughter Eden (3) are like little computer kids. I guess all these kids growing up now are going to be crazy computer kids.

My wife has a mousepad with a cat picture on it. Lame I know. I said something about our mousepad and Eli said “It’s not a mousepad! It’s a catpad!” We had never explained what a mousepad was…so it was a catpad to him.

There have been so many times that our kids have seen things the way they really are, and not through the fuzzy lense of adulthood.

It’s helped me take a second look at so many things, like Jesus for one.


author – Terry Foester

I'm a family man at heart. I admit my world revolves around my wife Libby and our 3 hooligans...Eli, Eden and Silas. They are easy to love. I'm trying to learn to love the rest of you. I also like to ask questions.

Give Herman One Dollar

Greylias Worship
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