Standardized Test Scores Predict Nothing

VERY intriguing video from Angela Lee Duckworth at a Ted Conference on what makes a good student (or a successful person in general). It’s not IQ, Standardized Test Scores, perceived safety, or Socio-economic Status. It’s just pure grit.¬†

Another interesting observation is that a person’s view of failure is crucial. Failure is not permanent. You simply change and grow based on that failure. We need to learn to focus more on that in the school systems. If we could get kids to understand that pop quizzes show them what they need to focus on for the bigger test, perhaps we could help them in developing that mindset of failure.

Something I wonder about is whether the Christian Faith helps in the formation of that grit. If the concept of failure not being permanent is a key, it seems that is at the core of Christianity. Isn’t that what we base our salvation on? The Grace that our failures are not permanent? What do you think?

This is a very short video. Please check it out.


Screen Shot of Grit video

A Life Lived

Fearless by Eric BlehmI just finished reading the book Fearless by Eric Blehm. This book is simply incredible! Adam Brown, the Navy Seal who the book is about, was simply incredible! I could hardly put the book down. Adam Brown is a man to be looked up to and admired in all areas of his life. I would encourage anyone to read this book and be inspired.

The author spent countless hours interviewing friends, family, co-workers, and others who knew Adam and he puts together a detailed look at Adam’s life, both the good and the bad. That’s one of the amazing things about Adam Brown. [Read more…]

Who Really Loses?

Rock'm Sock'm Politics

Photo courtesy Connor Tarter

I read an article today talking about the recent debate going on in Washington about the extension of the “Bush Tax Cuts”. Some are saying that Obama has sided with the GOP in regards to extending all of the tax cuts instead of just the tax cuts for those making under $250,000 per year.

I have a contention with the statement that he has sided with the GOP. [Read more…]

I’m Right and You’re Wrong


Photo courtesy candycanedisco

Have you ever gotten the impression that some people think that the world revolves around them? Or perhaps they think that their opinion is the only one that counts?

The other week I had an interesting¬†occurrence. I run the sound system some weeks at our church. During communion time, we often play some music from a CD while the juice and wafer are being passed out by the ushers. Personally, I prefer it when some of our very talented members play a nice piece on piano or guitar during this time, but that doesn’t happen often. I usually end up grabbing one of the CDs that are sitting around the sound booth and find something suitable to play.

Later that week a friend mentioned to me that they had heard a complaint from someone that the music was not appropriate for their communion time. The music was too upbeat and actually had words not just instrumental!

Why is it that people insist on complaining when something isn’t to THEIR liking? It’s not like that particular selection is representative of what is played every week. Normally it IS just an instrumental piece. These same people are the ones that complain that the worship team doesn’t play enough older hymns, and at the same time that they play too many older hymns. You cannot please all of the people, all of the time. Why can’t people just acknowledge that there may be others who DO like a particular selection and maybe they should just endure and move on because it really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

By the way, the selection I chose for that week was “Love Came Down” by Lindell Cooley. Here’s an excerpt of the song.

I could sing about His forgiveness
I could praise Him till the sun goes down
I could say that I am a witness
I was there when His love came down
Love came down on me
Love came down on me

Totally inappropriate for a communion meditation, isn’t it?

Are You Strong Enough to Quit?

Quit Now

photo courtesy fuzzcat

The other day I was listening to a podcast by a fellow Free Agent Academy member, Andy Traub, in which he talked about the fact that he was a quitter. He said he’s quit tons of stuff. In fact he’d just quit serving in a roll recently at his church. He was quite proud of being a quitter.

So obviously there’s something more to this story, right? There is. He is talking about quitting things that aren’t in your strengths so that you can make more room for the things that are. So often we get ourselves involved in a million different things at once just because there’s a need, or it’s something we are capable of doing, but it isn’t really within our strengths or passions. When we allow that to happen, often the result is that other areas of our lives suffer. We shouldn’t allow that to happen.

Another positive thing about quitting is that at least you tried it in the first place. Many people live in fear of failure and never even strike out to try new things. How do you know if you’d be good at it or that it’s something that really fires you up? There is no shame in trying something and discovering that it’s not your thing and then gracefully backing out of it. Don’t let your fear of failure hold you back. Failure is a part of growth. Learn from it and move on.

Are you a good quitter? What do you need to quit at?