Category Archives: Career Development

A Story of Repentance

My life changed forever about 9 years ago. I can’t remember the specific day or even the time of year but I remember the moment. If my life was a lever this moment would be the fulcrum. It’s the moment that I let go of myself and decided to trust Jesus. I don’t think I’ve ever written about it in detail before and I want to take some time with it today.

The only person with me at the time was my girlfriend Edith. This was before we got married. We were alone in the old apartment that I used to share with my brother Bob on Touchton road. It wasn’t uncommon for Edith and me to spend our time there. I can remember many Friday nights spent there together drinking homemade margaritas and playing darts on our twenty dollar Walmart dartboard or playing Tetris on goofy little game system that we could plug into the TV. Those were some of the best times of my life.

The source of hours of enjoyment

This was the year that I finished losing weight. I was 29 years old, 245 pounds, in good shape and I was happy. I remember that clearly. It was the first time in my life that I was really happy. This was a huge change for me, it was a revelation. I’m embarrassed by who I was before this period in my life. I was very angry. In my anger I rejected God. I knew who he was. I had been saved long before this and I had experienced his love clearly during the period when I was just leaving my teenage years.

Things changed for me though. Events happened that hurt me in fresh new ways that seemed at the time to be indescribably cruel. It felt like I had found a port after coming through a horrible storm only to have it ripped away from me again, leaving me in shock and defenseless against the pain. It was as if I had let down my defenses just to be attacked and defeated anew. This period of anguish peaked with my 21st birthday. I remember it clearly. I had moved back in to my father’s house after I left college before graduating and I was working my first serious job trying to earn enough money to move out. I remember that evening, I spent it utterly alone. I remember breaking down and bawling as I sat on my bed in the dark talking to my mother and telling her how lonely I was. Read the rest of this entry

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Decision Making

Author’s note:

I hope everyone is enjoying the build-up to Christmas. This is slowly but surely becoming one of my favorite times of the year. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can get away with whistling Christmas carols without people looking at my funny. In any case, I don’t foresee this being a long article this weekend. I’ve been maxing out at work the last couple of weeks which has minimized my writing time. That being said, I want to keep my weekly pattern going. Last month marked the 1 year anniversary of Bootstraps. I’m so happy with the year’s worth of progress, so happy with myself for sticking with it and most of all I’m so happy for all of you who have been along for the ride with me. If you’ve gotten half as much out of it as I have then it’s been a win/win.

Decision Making

Decision making is one of the most important skills that we have, both and work and at home. The ability to make high quality decisions quickly is one of the key traits shared by successful people. It makes me laugh at myself when I say that because it convicts me for the willy-nilly way that I make decisions around the house. At home decisions are typically based on a quick calculation of priority, emergency and effort. In other words:

Do I have to get off the couch? Yes.

Is it an emergency? No.

Ok, I’ll make it a priority later.

Ok, it’s not that bad, well, not all the time. I should probably do something about it, but it doesn’t seem like an emergency, I’ll make sure to get to it later :-).

While our decision making at home can be suspect (re: lazy), we don’t get that luxury at work. The decisions that we make throughout the day at work drive our reputation and ultimately our success. Yet for some people it seems that their process is no more rigorous than flippant way I described my process at home. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There is actually a common factor that can be used to predict good decision making and poor decisions making – Information. Read the rest of this entry

Guest Post

I recently had the opportunity to write a guest spot over at Analyfe.com. I’ve been subscribing to Erin’s posts at Analyfe for a while now. I love her intelligence, her open spirit and her honesty. I encourage you guys to click on over there to read my article and check out Erin’s other work.

Here’s the link http://analyfe.com/2011/10/09/living-in-the-world-that-is-not-the-world-you-wish-it-was/

Enjoy!

Jonathan

Your Guide to Avoiding Displacement

Displacements are an ugly fact of life in the world of big business. Sometimes they occur because the company has become more efficient or automated a process and rendered some jobs unnecessary. Sometimes it happens because organizations are realigned and redundancy is identified and eliminated. Sometimes it happens simply because the company needs to spend less money to improve their bottom line.

These situations can be unfortunate. Sometimes very good people are caught up in the backdraft and don’t have a chance to save themselves. In many, if not most, cases the people being displaced would have held down their job for years performing at an average level. These are typically not people who would ever be fired; they aren’t bad enough for that.

As a result, this is a very touchy subject. When someone is displaced they do not want to believe that it’s anything they could have prevented. It feels better to believe that they just got caught up in a numbers game. We disagree with that way of thinking here at Bootstraps. Here we believe in growth, we believe in self-development. It’s a harder road, but it is the road to success and the road to fulfillment. The path down this road starts with a simple decision. It’s the decision to take personal responsibility, to be accountable. That means that we look at the good and the bad in life and try to see what we can learn from it. What could we have done differently? What could we have done better that would have led to a different outcome?

The truth is that you have a significant amount of control over whether or not you are displaced. Keep reading and you’ll find 3 things that you can do immediately to increase your chances to staying employed. Before we get there, you may wonder why I believe that we have more control than we think. Read the rest of this entry

Teamwork: Tearing Down the Walls

I had the awesome opportunity to give a presentation on teamwork to one of my customer groups this week. I was absolutely thrilled. It gave me the chance to share the type of material that I’ve been writing about with a live audience for the first time. The speech was 20 minutes long and I’ve cut it into 3 parts for easy viewing. I’m very proud of this one, hope you enjoy. Read the rest of this entry

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