Telling Me “It’s Just Who I Am” Doesn’t Work

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Whenever I teach creative people, one of the most common responses I hear is “I can’t change because this is just who I am.” They’re trying to tell me they are wired a certain way and as a result, can’t learn to write a different way, change the way they express themselves, or look at a challenge from another perspective. I agree that each of us are “wired” with certain strengths and personality traits, but too often, we use the “It’s just the way I am” response as a

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Want More Online Viewers? Make It Shorter

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I’ve been teaching for a long time that too many churches and religious organizations are making a huge mistake by only posting full length sermons and teachings on either their website or podcasts.  Certainly it’s fine (and a good idea) to archive your live stream, media programming, and other content in full online.  However, when it comes to people actually viewing it, it’s an

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Culture Watch: Why Many Universities are Failing

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We wonder why colleges and universities are in such upheaval these days. Soaring costs, spiraling student debt, and more and more difficulty recruiting students. I can’t solve the debt issue, but a recent list of college classes reveals a great deal about why more and more students are simply opting out. Read this list, and you’ll agree that the age of studying great books and ideas is growing more and more extinct:

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How Strategic Reading Can Transform Your Career

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This photo is the stack of books next to my desk I need to read. It’s big, but it’s not random. My dad used to read even more than me, but WHAT he read were random books. Books his friends recommended. Others he found on sale. Books he stumbled upon. On the other hand, I read strategically. I believe to maximize your time, and increase your knowledge, you need a strategic plan for reading. Here’s what I mean:

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Free Speech on College Campus: A Thing of the Past?

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The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has reported that nearly 60% of college campuses in 2013 substantially abridged the First Amendment free speech rights of faculty and students. Traditionally, we’ve thought of college as the place where young people can explore new ideas, express themselves freely, and wrestle with tough questions. But the price of a politically correct society is

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Don’t Wait Until the Crisis Happens

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Sir Jonathan Miller is a highly regarded theatrical director based in London, and while I was watching him work on a BBC documentary the other night, he said something brilliant:  “You learn to ice skate in the summertime.”  He mentioned it was a lesson his father taught him.  It took awhile for it to sink in, and then I realized the power of what he was really saying. Once the game, project, production, business, crisis – whatever starts, it’s too late to learn what to do. Take the classes, learn the techniques, get the knowledge before the crisis begins, or

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You Should Be An Expert At What You Don’t Know

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Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had a conversation with Erwin McManus about my new book, “One Big Thing.” We joked about Erwin’s “one big thing” because he’s a very driven person. He’s a pastor, an author, a filmmaker, a designer, and much more, including being a terrific speaker. But even in spite of that, my take is that Erwin’s one big thing is helping people embrace their God-given creativity. If you’ve ever heard him speak, you walk away not only spiritually energized, but

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