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The 'Splinter Effect': Wounds, Pain & Healing

The 'Splinter Effect': Wounds, Pain & Healing

Most of us have been punctured by an actual wood splinter in our life. I know, I have had many. 
Splinters seem irrationally painful. Something so small causes us so much pain
A splinter is a source of pain in our life. This splinter could be a bad relationship, work situation, or an event in our past. It is something that has made its way into our life and is continually causing pain, not allowing us to heal.
Removing a splinter is not easy. Being small, it requires precision and likely tweezers of some kind to remove. Usually, if we have allowed a splinter to stay in our life for an extended period, it's because we don't know how to remove it or we are unwilling to do so. Our unwillingness may stem from fear, pride, or shame.
Once we are able to remove the splinter we have made a huge step towards recovery. Our wound cannot heal when the source of it is still there.
Two beautiful things happen when we remove the splinters of our lives.
First, we can see the wound, or in other words, the gap that has been left in us. I recently decided to shut down our marketing company. It left several splinters in me and by removing it, I saw the gaps in myself, my marriage and my relationship with God. It wasn't until I let it go, was I able to see this.
Second, we can begin to heal. Healing takes time and is best done with others. At first we may be ultra sensitive, but as we heal we are able to handle more. By walking away from our company, I have been able to work through issues I never knew I had.
Once we have healed we may have a scar, but it can serve as a reminder of the growth we experienced through the pain and healing we received. 
Unfortunately, we will all experience these splinters in our lives. What matters most is how we decide to respond.
What pain in your life is being caused by splinters?

April 9th - Weekly Content Roundup

Latest blog post: Interfaces: The Ways We Work Together | Question of the week

I am currently reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best In Writing

7 Creative Proofreading Tips To Transform Your Jaggedy Draft into a Polished Post

"We take for granted that the blog posts we interact with or spread around online make sense to us. Even if we disagree with a blog post’s author or misconstrue his intentions, we have still comprehended the text well enough to form an opinion about it."

Best In Marketing

Technology Marketers Urgently Need to Document Their Content Marketing Strategy

"Our research has shown time and again that marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective than their peers who do not — they face fewer content marketing challenges, as well."

Best In Science

Audio (Medium Length): Moon's Age Reveals Fine Tuning

Best In Images

Best In Faith

The Collision of God and Sin

"The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross"

Best In Funny

Video (Short): The Danger of Wet Floors

Video (Short): Cell Phone Crashing @ Disneyland

Best In Trailers

Video: Jupiter Ascending Movie Trailer

Video: Honest Trailer for Frozen

Interfaces: The Ways We Work Together

So, there I was in the Arby's drive through lane. My radio was on, and the heater was blasting. My wife loves Arby's, and let's just say it is not the fast food restaurant I prefer. One day, she asked me to go to Arby's to get her Jalapeno Poppers and a Dr. Pepper. As I was ordering, I had a hard time hearing since the intercom was full of static. I figured, I had such a small order there would be no way they would get it wrong. I drove up to the window, and they handed me my order. 

As I drove off, I realized they did not give me a drink. I thought the order must have been wrong and so I drove back to correct it. Looking at my receipt, I saw the order was for chicken fingers. I had ordered a Dr. Pepper and Jalapeno Popper, so now I am wondering how I ended up with Chicken fingers. I went inside and after 15 minutes we resolved the discrepancy and I finally got what I ordered.

This is the Chaos Interface.

I was in chaos while I ordered, and the store had their own chaos in taking the order. For us both to get what we wanted out of the situation, it required additional effort, time and clarity as we sorted through our chaos. All of which, could have been avoided if we had not been in chaos. When we are not intentional while working with others, the chaos interface is the one we tend to fall into. 

Now, one of my favorite fast food restaurants is Chick-Fil-A. They have great food, service and ordering processes. 

When I go, I ask for the Spicy Chicken Sandwich with pepper jack and no pickles. While ordering, they ask me if I want the meal or just the sandwich. I let them know I would like the meal. They then ask me what I would like to drink, and I say I want a Coke. They then ask me if there are any condiments I would like with my meal, and I say Buffalo sauce. They let me how much my order will cost, and I proceed towards the payment window. 

This is the Filter Interface.

Chick-Fil-A has a process and regardless of my awareness or understanding of it, they lead me through it. They take me from my temporary state of chaos and put me into their state of order. In this transition, I choose to yield to their ordering process for a temporary amount of time so I can get my food. The filter interface is where one party has a clear process and they lead a guest through it. 

Now, after going to Chick-Fil-A regularly, I have learned their process. I know how they are going to take my order and it allows me to pro-actively give them the results their process generates. So now when I order, I say I would like a #3 with pepper jack cheese and no pickle. I will make it a meal with a coke. I would like Buffalo sauce and that will be all for my order. I say "thank you", and they say "my pleasure". I then begin driving towards the payment window.

This is the Direct Interface. 

The direct interface is when both parties are using the same process and definitions of words. When we operate in the direct interface we are exponentially more productive as the result of eliminated waste. 

The beauty of this productivity is not the time we save, but the time we can now use in building relationships with our team and clients. I believe we ought to be more productive at our work so we can give more time to people.

In your work, what interface do you operate in?

April 2nd - Weekly Content Roundup

Latest blog post: Life & Water - Proactive or Reactive? | Question of the week

I am currently reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best In Purpose

Top five regrets of the dying

"A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?"

Best In Marketing

9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips From Buffer

"We’ve experimented with lots of different content marketing methods at Buffer, so I wanted to share with you 9 of the best ways we’ve found to increase engagement and improve your content strategy."

How to crowdfund (and win.)

"Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds for your next project, idea, start up, charity, or cause. But despite what many think, crowdfunding is not found money."

Best In Stories

"Starting in 2007, we set out to create a company we believed would take us towards our dreams & passions. Instead of arriving there, we arrived in a place of survival and isolation. Once we realized we had been going the wrong direction, we stopped and altered our course. We then set out to create a thriving company with purpose striving towards a unified vision. As we arrived at this vision internally, it led to an unexpected year of release where we would eventually let the company go. We share our story because we believe it will inspire others towards intentionality. This is our story..."

Best In Science

Hypernaturalism: Integrating the Bible and Science

"Though the views of naturalism and supernaturalism often pit science and religion against one another, hypernaturalism is proposed as an alternative that combines divine power and natural law. It is hoped that such a synthesis of science and faith can help religious people become more accepting of science, and place Christianity in a logical framework that the scientifically minded can accept."

Best In Faith

The Flood - Noah - A Deeper Look

"The March 28 release of the much-anticipated film Noah provides an opportunity to discuss the plausibility of such an event from a scientific and biblical perspective. What most people have heard or read about Noah and the ark from childhood storybooks onward strikes them as utterly preposterous. Not only does the story seem to contradict multiple disciplines of science, but it also seems to contradict the Christian doctrine of an all-knowing, all-loving God. With that in mind, RTB has dedicated a page of resources to help foster positive, respectful dialogue with truth seekers."

Being an Example of His Message

"As His disciples, our lives must be a holy example of the reality of our message. Even the natural heart of the unsaved will serve if called upon to do so, but it takes a heart broken by conviction of sin, baptized by the Holy Spirit, and crushed into submission to God’s purpose to make a person’s life a holy example of God’s message."

Best In Relationships

Five Communication Mistakes Almost Every Couple Makes

"No matter how in tune you are with your partner, misunderstandings and communication gaffes are always possible. Here are five of the most common, yet avoidable communication mistakes that could harm a relationship."

Best In Happy

Video: Parking Tickets That Make You Smile Prank

Video: From Bump to Buzz

Best In Trailers

Video: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Video: Edge of Tomorrow


Life & Water - Proactive or Reactive?


We use a filtered water pitcher in our home. Our pitcher has two reservoirs. The top reservoir is where we add water, and the bottom reservoir is where the filtered water goes. The top only holds a fraction of what the bottom can hold. To keep the bottom full, we have to fill up the top many times, and the filter's slow pace means we have to wait a significant amount of time to fill the pitcher up once it is empty.

In our marriage, we can be reactive and attempt to fill our spouse's pitcher, but as much as we fill it, the filter can only process a certain amount of water. If we are having problems in our marriage, reacting may be of help for a time but there is limited bandwidth.
In business, we can't expect our client relationships to maintain themselves. Over time, clients will feel empty and they will start to wonder and question the partnership. 
We can't resolve these with a quick fix or a silver bullet. For long term change and growth, it requires us to consistently be adding water to our pitcher.
Reactivity says, fill it up only when it's empty. Reactive is a roller coaster of emotions and stress. Reactive never allows us to become full. Reactive is always a step behind.
Pro-activity says, fill up the pitcher every time we use it. Proactive is consistent and healthy. Proactive is always a step ahead.
Like the pitcher, we also have limited bandwidth for giving and receiving. To live a life of thriving, this requires us to be pro-active in maintaining what is important to us.
Are you being reactive or proactive in your life?

March 26th 2014: Best Content of the Last Week

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best In Marriage

Secret #9: Don’t Tell It Like It Is

"To have a happy marriage, you must treat your spouse with kindness instead of “brutal honesty”; although you must be able to be honest and transparent, address difficult issues, and/or joke around, be careful to never do it in a way your mate will perceive as hurtful or disrespectful."

Best In Choices

Confidence is a choice, not a symptom

"It's easy to feel confident when we're on a roll, when the cards are going our way, or we're closing sales right and left. This symptomatic confidence, one built on a recent series of successes, isn't particularly difficult to accomplish or useful." 

Best In Productivity

The Habits of Successful People: They Start Small

"After giving this talk for some time, Carnegie found that the attendees started discussing their experiences and some “rules” emerged. Eventually the talk became a course, and there was a need for a textbook of sorts. Here’s how the now famous book became a reality:"

Best In Short Films

Video: Most Shocking Second A Day

Best In Faith

THE PROBLEM OF CHRISTIAN UNITY (link no longer active)

"So much of the time we lack perspective in our inquiry. Our minds have the privilege of being pessimistic and skeptical about so many things. We demonstrate the tendency to focus exclusively on what is wrong, while we are seemingly oblivious to the those things which are right. All one has to do is reference their own marriage to see the truth of this!"

The Cost of Sanctification

"When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification?"

Affirmation Before Instruction

"A heart that yearns to learn listens best to instruction preceded by affirmation. Genuine encouragement lets another know we care about comforting their heart as well as teaching their mind. Yes, children especially need to be continually corrected, but not without a hug, a kiss on the head, or a compassionate look into their eyes. Language laced in grace gets the best results. Patience is wise to wait and pray before it says what it’s pondering. Affirm, then instruct."

The Discipline of Dismay

"At the beginning of our life with Jesus Christ, we were sure we knew all there was to know about following Him. It was a delight to forsake everything else and to throw ourselves before Him in a fearless statement of love. But now we are not quite so sure."

The Master Will Judge

"Paul says that we must all, preachers and other people alike, “appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” But if you will learn here and now to live under the scrutiny of Christ’s pure light, your final judgment will bring you only delight in seeing the work God has done in you."

Pitching: Why We Ought To Leave It In The Dust


Pitching. It's the idea of doing something for someone without their involvement and then hoping it works out. It comes from a belief that our value, as a person, comes from proving ourselves through excellent performance. 

An example would be a situation where someone tasks us to create something. We go with little direction and our assumptions to create what, we believe, the person will hopefully like the most. We come back to the person with our 'presentation' or 'performance' hoping the 'pitch' will place us in good standing with them.

Pitching tends to end with the surprise of rejection. We pitch because we fear conflict, facing reality or being open. This drives us to work in isolation from whom the work is meant for.

In business, pitching may look like our company being asked to build a project for another. We are asked to put together a proposal and presentation that will show them we can build a project that will meet their goal.

By the way, we likely won't get paid for our time, and they will have several others competing for the business. Over the next week we compete to win the work with no commitment from the business.

It's a connection on our part without a commitment on their part.

We hope to get the work, but often we will be discarded for not meeting expectations which may have never been communicated. At this point, we have a tendency to become resentful. We did hard work, and it seemed as if they took our ideas and hired someone else.

For the times we win the business, we set a precedence our ideas and contributions are of little or no value. From this point on in our engagement, we are more of a commodity, easily discarded when we are no longer of use.
Win or lose, It hurts. We feel used and abused.

With God, many of us have pitched. We may live our lives as good people creating the best life we can. Our expectation is, once we die we can go before God with a case of how 'good' we think we were. We hope this will get us into heaven only to realize, performance does not dictate our acceptance by Him.

We seek acceptance, so we believe performance is our way to get it. What we learn is, this route leads to rejection. It takes us towards the opposite result we truly want.

What are our alternatives to pitching? Relationship. Open Dialog. Vulnerability. Working together as we discover.

The alternatives are hard, but well worth it. 
Where are you pitching?

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Grow Your Life With Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia
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