Legacy: What Are You Handing Off And To Whom?

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 were the first Chinese Olympics ever held.

There were many “firsts” in that particular Olympic, but one of the most unusual was the lack of any American runner on the podium after the relay races.

Relay running was first introduced into the Olympics in 1928, and TEAM USA had been on the podium at every Olympic since then, usually awarded the gold medal.

But there were none at all in Beijing.

Outside Jamaica, most of the fastest runners in the world that year were American, but most unusually they had no medalist in either the men’s or women’s 4×100 meters relay.

Why?

Again and again the spectators in Beijing and around the world heard the eerie sound of a hollow aluminum tube hitting the track.

The American runners had dropped the baton.

The US teams had the speed and the strength; they were brilliant individual runners, but they had not mastered the art of the handoff.*

The American malady at the Beijing Olympics is a parable of a far deeper problem affecting many of us today. As individuals and families, the question becomes, are we passing on our legacy from generation to generation?

How we answer this question has profound affect on how we live our personal lives, and how we nurture the values and traditions of our family — from generation to generation.  Each of us is an important link in a chain and what we do in our lives and with our lives directly affects our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren. And each of our legacies, yours and mine, blended together forms the very fabric of our society.

Unfortunately we have become a one-generation society.

Every generation (about a 30- to 40-year span) wants to discredit and distance themselves from the previous one and start their generation with a clean slat. But that’s a remedy for disaster.

We often think of legacy in terms of possession, money, or wealth. But as the old saying goes: the deepest things passed down in families do not appear in the will. Faith, Character, Values, Memories, Traditions, Continuity, Solidarity is what’s really passed down from generation to generation—sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

So the question is,

What are you and I doing in our lives and with our lives that we intentionally want to pass on to our family and our family’s family?

By God’s grace, and some purposeful thinking and really hard work, let’s not drop the baton. Generations are depending on it.

Living On Purpose,
Ken L Roberts

*Excerpt from Impossible People, by Os Guinness (one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long, long time).

How I So Relate To Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (It’s not what you think)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is considered by many to be the greatest Russian writer of the twentieth century. I wish I could relate to him on those grounds, but that’s not a reality.

I do relate to Solzhenitsyn, however, on his sense of “calling” and his urgency to fulfill that calling.

Here’s how and where Solzhenitsyn discovered his “calling”—in a very unlikely place!

For eight years Solzhenitsyn was sentenced to live in the Gulag—a Soviet concentration camp. It was during his imprisonment that Solzhenitsyn experienced a deadly struggle to write and, through a friendship with a Jewish follower, also became a follower of Jesus Christ. It was during these eight years of imprisonment where Solzhenitsyn experienced his call—what he explained as “a deepening burden to put the dying wishes of millions” on record.

Concerning this clarity of call, Solzhenitsyn writes:

The one worrying thing was that I might not be given time to carry out the whole scheme. (I so relate to this feeling in my life right now) I felt as though I was about to fill a space in the world that was meant for me and had long waited for me; a mold, as it were, made for me alone, but discerned by me only this very moment. I was a molten substance … to be poured into my mold, to fill it full … It was only later the true significance of what happened (the discovery of his call) would inevitably become clear to me, and I would be numb with surprise.

Of course I can’t relate with Solzhenitsyn’s experience in the Gulag, nor with his reputation as a brilliant thinker, writer, and revolutionist. Nor can I relate with his full head of hair or awesome beard. BUT I SO relate to his sense that he has a place in the world to fill (a purpose to fulfill) and his sense of urgency to fulfill it.

Let me ask you:

  • Do you know what space is in the world that’s waiting to be filled by you?
  • Do you have a sense of urgency to fill it?

I’m no Solzhenitsyn, but I do have a space in the world to fulfill, and I do have a strong urgency to fulfill.

What about you?

If I can help, I’d be honored: Coaching Services

Living ON Purpose,
Ken L Roberts

 

Material from the book Day By Day, by Peter Scazzero

Photo of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (cropped) from the Dutch National Archives licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 NL  

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Does This Temptation Trip You Up? It Does Me

I must confess, my biggest temptation isn’t watching porn, cheating on my taxes, or skimming money from our church’s ministry funds.

My biggest temptation is self-pity.

When things in life and ministry aren’t going the way I want, or the way I think they should, that’s when I start whining. I start having a good “oh, woe is me” pity party. I start feeling real sorry for myself. I want to just check out of life and go hide in a cave somewhere.

But over the years, here are three practical things I’ve learned to do to combat the slide into the black hole of self-pity.

  • Practice Gratitude:

I know this isn’t a new idea, but I’ve found so much power in the practice of gratitude. Anytime I’m starting to feel sorry for myself, I start making a list—either in my head or on a sheet of paper— of all the things I’m grateful for. Once I start doing this I’m reminded of just how much I do have. All the thoughts about what I don’t have or wish I had are replaced with all of what I do have, and the feelings of self-pity quickly fly away.

  • Serve Others:

At the root of self-pity is self-centeredness. When my world becomes all about me—what I want but don’t have, what I think should be going my way but isn’t, what I think should be working out for me but isn’t—that’s when self-pity starts hanging around my front door.

So when I start feeling self-pity, I look for ways to serve others. Whether that’s calling someone on the phone to say hello and ask how they are doing, or offering a helping hand to a friend or neighbor, or sending an e-mail to encourage someone, or helping my wife do the dishes or clean the house, or whatever it may be—when I take the focus off myself and put it on serving someone else, it closes the door to self-pity.

  • Take Action:

Victimization is a very close cousin to self-pity. When we are having self-pity and we start adding to that thoughts like, “I can’t do anything about what’s happening in my life,” or “My life’s not going in the direction I want it to go, and I don’t know what to do about it,” that’s self-pity leading us into a mentality of victimization.

But what I’ve learned is, when self-pity starts a conversation with me and wants to keep the conversation going, when I begin putting a specific plan in place to do something about the thing or situation that caused me to feel sorry for myself in the first place, well—then self-pity can’t stay around. When self-pity is sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear, get up and do something. Put a plan in place, act on that plan, and self-pity will leave, guarantee!

Self-pity is my single biggest temptation in life.

What’s yours?

I’d love to hear your response. Please leave a comment below.

 

Building and Living A Life That Counts,
Ken L Roberts

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When P-E-R-S-E-V-E-R-A-N-C-E Pays Off

My wife is an artist. The picture above is her working on one of her paintings.

Every time she starts a new painting, there are two critical times in the process for her.

The first one is when she decides to start. It’s during this part of the process that that little voice starts yelling, “You can’t do this. You know the painting won’t turn out right. The dimensions will be wrong. The colors won’t work. Even if you do get started, you’ll never finish it.”

The second one is half way through the project. After my wife’s been working really hard on a painting, and it’s not coming together the way she wants, I’ve heard her on more than one occasion say, “I just can’t do this. It looks terrible. I’m going to throw the whole thing away.”

Sometimes, she’ll draw me into her own self-doubting dialogue and ask, “Honey, how do you think this looks? Do these colors work? Does the nose look right? Is this any good or should I just scrap it?”  I find this part of the conversation a scary place to be! Usually with a nod and a few affirming words, the painting is safe – at least for another day.

The key during these two crucial times in the process is for my wife to keep going.

One more stroke of the brush followed by another, followed by another. Try a different shade of color here; rework this part of the painting over there. Eventually, yes eventually, she finishes another beautiful painting.

The same is true in our own lives.  

We just have to keep going! Growth and greatness are always the result of a lot of hard work over a long period of time. In the end P-E-R-S-E-V-E-R-A-N-C-E always pays off.

When you think of Michael Phelps, who at the age of 27, became the most decorated Olympian of all time, you should remember that he logged hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles in the pool, stroke by stoke, day by day, and year by year, for twenty years – before he reached his status of “success.”

Building a life that counts is no different. It’s a step by step, day by day, line by line, season by season, year by year, decade by decade process. At the end our life won’t be perfect, but at least we’ve made progress we would have never made if we had never started or stopped in the middle. So keep at it! Perseverance pays.

My Offer To Help  It really is my hope that you are living a life that counts. Below are two offers that might help.

3 Easy Steps To Immediate and Massive Growth
If you haven’t gotten my new 3 Easy Steps To Immediate and Massive Growth—get it for free now! Simply enter your name and e-mail address at the top of my website.

Life-Focus Coaching
If you are interested in focusing your life so you can live a more fruitful and fulfilling life, contact me coaching services.


Living on Purpose,

Ken L Roberts

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Do You Have A Personal Compass? Everyone Needs One!

If you don’t know where you’re going, guess what? You’re lost! – Anonymous


A few years back, my wife and I got lost. Really lost!

We were staying in a cabin in a remote area in northern Minnesota, got up one morning and randomly decided to take a hike. We drove to what we thought was a marked trail head, and headed out for a few hours of a leisurely hike.

Several hours later we started having that gnawing feeling that we might be lost. We weren’t sure, but that unsettling feeling was settling in on both of us.

The uncertainty intensified. Should we take the trail verging off to the right or should we stay on the trail we’re on and forge ahead? Should turn around and try to retrace the several turns we had already made? Should we should forge ahead and see if this was one long loop that would eventually take us back to where we started?

I tried to trace the arc of the sun and figure out what direction we were headed, but realized my Boy Scout survival skills had vanished years ago.

Then I had a  brilliant thought. 

I took my iPhone out, hit the on button, waited for a few seconds and hurrah, I miraculously I had two bars showing a faint sign of cellular service.

My wife and I knew we had started on the trailhead from the north and had headed south. I pulled up the compass on my iPhone and set it due north. Sure enough, several hours later, just before dark, we arrived back at our car.

Knowing your  life purpose is similar to having your own personal compass.
It gives you a basic direction to head throughout your entire life journey.

Life knocks all of us around. Sometime so much that we can loose our way in life. But when we have a clear North Star—our own life purpose —it’s like having a personal compass so we can continue to find our way.

So what about you?

  • Do you ever feel lost in life?
  • Feel like you’re moving in this direction for a while and then moving in that direction?
  • Do you  have a personal North Star?
  • Do you have a personal compass?
  • Do you know your life purpose?

If you already know your personal life purpose, keep moving in that direction.

If you don’t yet have one, these related posts below can hopefully help.

Living On Purpose,
Ken L Roberts

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Do You Feel Stuck In Your Spiritual Growth? If so, check this out.

Do you feel stuck in your spiritual growth?

Do you feel frustrated in your spiritual growth?

Do you feel like you’re falling short in your spiritual growth?

If so, let me help.

A Personal Invitation

I want to invite you to my new spiritual growth membership community! I feel like my whole life has been preparing me for this moment.I know that may seem like an overstatement, but I sincerely don’t believe it is.

Growing spiritually, as well as helping others do the same, has been a primary area of focus of my life over the last twenty years – if not the primary area of focus. That’s why I want to personally invite you to ….

Join me in my
Spiritual Growth Membership Community!

Introductory Video
WATCH NOW

The 3 F’s of spiritual growth

During these last twenty years, I’ve observed three consistent challenges to a person’s spiritual growth.

  • Frustration with our spiritual growth.
  • A lack of Focus in our spiritual growth.
  • A sense of Failure in our spiritual growth.

This is why over the last 20 years I’ve developed clear and concise content, along with a simple “practice” that can be done within the routine of our 24/7 life – to help you consistently grow in your spiritual life. 

My New Spiritual Growth Membership Community

My new Spiritual Growth Membership Community, is a way to help people, like you and me, consistently grow in our spiritual lives.

My Four 1 to 1 Plan

Here’s what the spiritual growth membership community provides. I call it the FOUR 1 to 1 plan.

  • Once a Month. The first of every month, via a short email containing a link to a short video (10 minutes or less) you will receive:
  • One Spiritual Growth Principle. This isn’t a bible study, or a podcast, or a sermon; it’s a simple, clear, and concise spiritual growth principle – that will help you grow.
  • One Spiritual Growth Practice. Along with this spiritual growth principle, you will receive a spiritual growth practice that will help you apply/practice that month’s spiritual growth principle. This practice is easy/simple and can be done within the normal routine of your 24/7 everyday life!
  • One Like-Minded Community. This will all be done in the context of a Like-Minded Group of People/Community. Just think about being inspired, encouraged, and offered new ideas from a group of people who have the same goal in mind – to consistently grow in their spiritual lives.

A Personal Promise

Now that I’ve:

  • applied this approach in my own spiritual growth,
  • seen the same results with people I’ve been personally coaching in their spiritual growth,

I’m convinced this Four 1 to 1 plan will help you grow in your spiritual life.

Please Join Me In My Spiritual Growth Membership Community

I would truly be honored if you – along with hundreds of others – would join me in this spiritual growth opportunity.

A Call To Action

Here’s what I’m asking you to do:

Hit the button below and take advantage of my SPECIAL BONUS OFFER.
Join now and get 3 extra months of content…FREE!

JOIN NOW

Don’t Delay

If you are interested in my spiritual growth membership community, here is a free sample of what the monthly video content is like:

Join now and get 3 extra months of content….FREE!

JOIN NOW

 

 Join My New Spiritual Growth Community
Where Limitless Growth Becomes Possible

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Let Me Introduce You To Someone Special

In this week’s blog, I want to introduce you to someone who I think is pretty special.

I’ve known her for many years and recently had the privilege of being her coach—helping her as she’s moving into her next season of life and ministry.

Her consistent walk with Jesus, her ongoing personal, professional, and spiritual growth, and her desire to make a significant contribution in the lives of others are extremely inspirational.

This week she launched her new website and posted her first blog.  Give it a read.  

I know you’ll be glad you did.

“…From Strength to Strength…”

The New and Next Season

http://carolynherbert.com

 

If I can help you as you move into your new and next season of life, I’d be honored.

Check out my Life-Focus Coaching services and contact me for an introductory enrollment conversation. 


Committed to living my life on purpose and helping others do the same,

Ken L Roberts  

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What Are You Working Toward in 2017?
(Here are the top 7 searched on Google)

As we enter into the first weeks of 2017, what areas will you be working toward—to grow in, to strengthen, to rebuild, to start, to restart—for 2017?


Here are the top 7 topics most searched as New Year’s resolutions on Google.

  1. “Get Healthy” – over 62 million searches
  2. “Get Organized” – over 33 million searches
  3. “Live Life to the Fullest” – nearly 19 million searches
  4. “Learn New Hobbies” – over 17 million searches
  5. “Spend Less/Save More” – nearly 16 million searches
  6. “Travel” – nearly 6 million searches
  7. “Read More” – over 4 million searches

Here are my top seven areas for 2017.

  1. Continue to deepen my spiritual life
  2. Spend more quality time with my family and a few close friends
  3. Continue to build my new Spiritual Growth Membership Community
  4. Finish the first full draft of my latest book: Living Like Your Leaving: A Practical Path To A Purposeful Life
  5. Get certified as a life and leadership coach.
  6. Through my speaking, training, writing and coaching – assist more people in their personal and spiritual growth
  7. Through my speaking, training, writing and coaching – help more Pastors and Christian leaders lead well while they live well.

What are the top areas you are working toward in 2017? 

  1. _______________________________________
  2. _______________________________________
  3. _______________________________________
  4. _______________________________________
  5. _______________________________________
  6. _______________________________________
  7. _______________________________________

Please leave a list of yours in the comment section below.


Life-Focus Coaching
If you are interested in personal coaching to help you have a purposeful and productive 2017, then check out my coaching services and contact me. I’d love to help.

Believing for 2017 to be a purposeful and productive year,
Ken L Roberts

 

Please leave a comment:
*PS. The top 7 searched on Google is according to a company called iQuanti

How Would You Rate YOUR 2016? Here’s Mine.

kenlroberts.com

Another year has passed; a new one has begun. As you reflect on 2016—on a scale of 1 to 10—how would you rate your 2016?


Here’s mine.

On a scale of 1 to ten I would rate my 2016,

9.5!

Here’s why.

  • My first grandchild was born. I’m finding out there’s nothing better than being a grandparent.
  • I transitioned out of my role as a senior pastor for these past thirty-three years into my new role as a speaker, trainer, author, and coach. There’s nothing like getting up every morning and spending my day focused on what I’m most passionate about and what I believe is my greatest contribution.
  • In my transition of roles (noted above), I also moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota, back to Cleveland, Ohio to be close to most of my family and some long-held friends and colleagues. There’s nothing like being at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.  Read: Why I Moved Back To Cleveland, Ohio and Why You Should Even Care
  • In the fall of 2016 I started an online Spiritual Growth Membership Community. It’s specifically designed to help people in very clear, easy, and practical ways continue to grow spiritually. I feel like my whole life has been preparing me for this moment!
    Find out more about the launch of my Spiritual Growth Membership Community.
  • I made significant progress on my third book, Living Like Your Leaving: A Practical Path To A Purposeful Life. I’m really excited about this book.
  • I turned 60! Not as crazy about this milestone as some of my other ones, but I know I’m doing what I was designed to do and focused on doing the most productive and purposeful things in this third-quarter season of my life and ministry.  Read: I Turned 60!

So that’s mine.  How about yours? 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your 2016?

_____

And why?

Please leave a comment below.

Believing for 2017 to be a purposeful and productive year,
Ken L Roberts

PS. Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your 2016.

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Are you stuck staring at a horse’s rear-end?

horses

Are you stuck staring at a horse’s rear-end?

The U.S. standard rail gauge – the distance between the two rails of a railway – is exactly four feet, eight and one-half inches. A very odd measurement.

And why is that?

Because that’s the measurement they used to build the railways in England, and since it was the English expatriates who built the railroads in the United States, the same measurements that were used in England were used in the U.S. .

And why did the English build their rails with such odd measurements?

Because the same people who built the tramways (pre-railroad days) built their rails with a distance of exactly four feet, eight and one-half inches apart.

And why did the people who built the pre-railroad tramways build their rails with an exact distance of four feet, eight and one-half inches apart?

Because the tramways reused the same jig, tools, and measurements that had been used to build wagons, which used the same spacing between wagon wheels of exactly four feet, eight and one-half inches.

And why did the wagons have the spacing between wagon wheels of exactly four feet, eight and one-half inches?

Because if the spacing had been different, the wagon wheels would’ve broken on many of the old, long-distance roads in England…which incidentally had wheel ruts with the same spacing of four feet, eight and one-half inches.

And why were the old rutted roads built with the same spacing of four feet, eight and one-half inches?

Because the Imperial Roman Empire built the first roads in England thousands of years ago, and the ruts of these roads were spaced four feet, eight and one-half inches, because the Roman war chariot made the initial ruts.

And why did the Imperial Roman war chariots have roads that had ruts spaced four feet, eight and one-half inches apart?

Because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough – four feet, eight and one-half inches – to accommodate the back end of two warhorses!

So let me get this straight.

The U.S. standard rail gauge of four feet, eight and one-half inches 

came from 

the rear ends of two warhorses? 

What a classic illustration of doing things because that’s the way we’ve always done things.

My Point:

If you’re stuck in a rut and you’re doing the same old things in the same old ways you’ve always been doing the same old things…

well, it may be time to stop staring at the back end of a horse’s rear-end.

It may be time for some changes, some new challenges, some new growth, some new ideas, some new habits, some new thinking, some new adventures, some new risk. It maybe time to get out of that four foot, eight and one-half inch rut and find a better view.

If I can help get you out of a rut

If I can assist you in finding and fulfilling your life’s purpose, I’d love to help:

Living Life With Purpose,

 

Ken L Roberts

* Material from the book, The Seven Decisions, by Andy Andrews, pages 102 – 103.