Day 2.

Forgive me, as I was supposed to be more consistent in writing 1000 words a day. I can’t say I was too busy yesterday; with everything going on, I believe I had extra time to write, and I didn’t.

On the other hand, I was feeling a little tired as the afternoon progressed, and it was more fatigue than anything else; It must be because of the hardcore workouts I’ve been doing since Monday – to think, I’m following the beginner circuit.

It never fails; given enough time, things creep up to try to sabotage your progress when you start something good – cigarettes. porn. procrastination. That last item isn’t really something to eliminate more than handle, but the first two? Well, just as I’m full speed ahead with what I’m doing, so the obstacles make themselves known a little bit more.

But press on, we must.

Yes, Yoda.

tl;dr I’m learning from Beyond Talent by John Maxwell regardless of who recommended it. I’m learning from Ragnar Lothbrok, but it gave me cause to question what I’m learning from Beyond Talent. What to do?

Yesterday I continued down the road of listening to Beyond Talent by John Maxwell. I couldn’t help but think of everyone else in church who’s already been influenced by this book, and how I (unfortunately) have an initial condescending attitude towards. It’s sad that I can’t like what who I don’t like, likes. Or, at least I’m having trouble liking the same thing. Can the friend of my enemy be my friend? Or is it even okay to think about it from that point of view?

Nevertheless, I have to admit I am learning from the book so far. Take note that I say I am learning – not necessarily drawing as much energy as I did from the 12 Rules of Life, but I am learning from Beyond Talent. Not really liking how the author emphasizes a new ‘state’ (talent plus, he calls it) to achieve; I get his point, but listening to the words being said and picturing how these aforementioned people I don’t like are going at it with the same principles being said here, well, it kind of puts me off, but curiously enough, it also keeps me going.

Other people may call it (ugh) going to another level, or (ugh) going to a higher level, but I just say it’s us respecting what we already have, and naturally excelling as a result. Different points of view, different people and entities getting focus.

Anyway, like I said, I’m learning. Learning about the add-ons to talent are ways for us to respect our talent. Learning that talent is the first step, or the first space, and we are further propelled by it when we tap other virtues – so far, these are belief, passion, initiative, focus, preparation, and practice. I’m being led to think that this is a big reminder for me to remember that the talents we are given are for others to enjoy, so everyone wins.

Of course, I couldn’t keep on going without insisting that the messages that I churn out of these chapters would not necessarily remind us of the potential WE have – I’m not about to go back to quoting Captain Planet. No, I take all of this as a challenge for me to start off with Christ, and end it back with Christ, with us appreciating the talent we’ve been set free to realize and capitalize on after each message.

Consider the contrast between this and Ragnar Lothbrok, who, in season 3 of Vikings, mentioned that he had no ambitions to be earl, and then king, but the titles just fell on his lap. In the absence of ambition, was it pure talent that got him to where he was?

Or, could we call this the result of a ‘talent plus’ person? The way I see it, Ragnar was doing what he was doing without any need to stop to think about if what he was doing was the right or wrong thing.

Spoiler alert.

The force behind his will was what got him standing from farmer to curious explorer wanting to head west. It was this same will that got him in a deathmatch with the Earl who tried to keep him down, and it was this same will that had him address his powerful enemies – as a result, he became king.

Spoilers done.

Of course, I can’t say for sure that his way is THE way for everyone to follow – no, after all, Travis Fimmel filled his shoes and did a great job in acting, but that’s what all that was – He was successful in a simulated world. Historically relevant, perhaps, but ultimately under the mercy of writers, who themselves are under the mercy of who pays them, who themselves are under the mercy of what corrupts them.

Also, our will can get us far, for sure – but who’s to say that we’re being propelled in the right direction, or who’s to say that we are going as far as we possibly could?

Here I see a dichotomy between initiative and instinct. Too much initiative disconnects us from reality. Too much instinct, and we’re headless chickens.

In this (and every other) dichotomy, I’m reminded of the fulcrum of Truth, reliable in our determining what takes priority in each and every situation where we may need conflicting virtues.

And for us in the Body of Christ, to say ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ would probably present us with clear steps, and even motivation…

…but we must always answer, ‘What Did Jesus Do?’ to make sure we’re pointed in the right direction.

Praise God, for we know Christ, who is the Truth who sets us free.

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