Character & Leadership, Heiress of His Promise

“This is Enough.”

Last Sunday, this was my take-home line from the preaching. That day, we talked about the importance of not making money or other achievements our treasures, but that we lay up true, lasting treasures in heaven. A reminder to control our money, lest our money controls us.

As he talked about being content with what we have and living a simple lifestyle, he said this line,

Learn to say in your heart “This is enough”.

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Character & Leadership, Heiress of His Promise

Pareto Principle ~ Grace

Usually my bosses, who are so much like mentors to us, would send us some articles or readings that would be helpful for us. Maybe it’s a new discovery in public health or a story about professionalism. Recently, one of them sent an article about the Pareto Principle. In summary, this is what it meant:

“The 80-20 rule or the Pareto Principle is a rule of thumb that states that 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of all causes for a given event. In its simplest terms, it will typically show that a disproportionate improvement can be achieved by ranking various causes of a problem and by concentrating on those solutions or items with the largest impact. The basic premise is that not all inputs have the same or even proportional impact on a given output. (1,2)”

It was very interesting to discover that there’s actually a term and a theory for this concept that I’ve observed for a very long time. We’ve all probably had that friend that reviewed very little in contrast to the entire scope of a test and those came out as the major topic covered. Or maybe we saw other groups work quickly or even cram a project, but in the end their efforts paid off better than others who spent so much time doing the work. Maybe we have observed this in ourselves, how we feared that our output is not adequate, but later we find out that the seemingly insignificant output contained the essential elements that the teacher or boss wanted to see, thereby making our work actually excellent for them.

To me, this is an economic principle that also perfectly describes the grace of God. In truth, 80% of what I do has very little impact on the outcomes of my life. Honestly, I would say I have done very little to get where I am now compared to the grace of God that abounded in my trials and pruning seasons. In reality, even if I have done that 80% effort, that’s probably never enough to be translated into something worthwhile.

Conversely, there’s that 20% of God’s grace that produced 80% of what is my life right now. There may be correlation to my efforts and what I achieve or produce, but there is absolute causality when it comes to the grace of God. In fact, if we take it to the extreme. Even if I only allow 1% of God’s grace to flow in my live because of my stubbornness and selfishness, God would still be the cause for 99% of my successes. Scratch that, how about 100%?

I just can’t help but believe and bask in this picture for my life. Concentrating on the grace of God will more likely produce the greatest impact than otherwise. And God’s grace is so powerful we can’t really quantify it in percentages or a series of values. When I keep this a daily mindset or the overall paradigm of how I live my life, all the more I realise that my dependence on God is valuable in the transformation of my life to what He has designed and purposed for me. And in that place, I achieve my fullest potential, my 100% outcome. Perfection. But perfection not in the worldly definition, but perfection in achieving what I was placed in this world for.

References:
(1) The 80-20 Rule by Investopedia
(2) Pareto Efficiency by Investopedia

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Character & Leadership, Creative Writing, Relationships

Influence vs Authority

Influence

This is definitely one principle that we really have to assess and understand both as followers and as leaders ourselves.

Do we understand the difference of influential and authoritative?

As followers, let’s look at people who have authority over us. Do we allow them to influence us or do they just exist as autocratic authority figures? Are there strong influencers in our lives who are not necessarily in a position of authority? What is it about them that has an impact in our lives?

As leaders, do we exercise our authority in order to influence others? Or do we influence others (hopefully positively) even without necessarily being in a position over them? Do we focus on authority? Do we live as a positive influence over others? Do we understand how much influence we can make on other people?

Having a clear picture of our influence and authority over other people can really improve our leadership towards a more effective and more authentic one.

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Character & Leadership, Creative Writing, Personal

To think, think, think

Prompt #18: In the past month, what have you learned?

April was a month of thinking. In my fast-paced life in college, I had to be quick in making decisions. I had to be vigilant in every move I make. When we trained for student council elections, we had to learn answering questions for just the amount of time the question was being stated, which was thirty seconds or so. But, in this more tranquil season–thinking, deeply thinking, has become part of my everyday life.

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Character & Leadership, Heiress of His Promise

Who is your Leader?

I thought about my decisions in the far and recent past and the factors that made me decide to push through or not. This includes both the big and small decisions that have defined my life as it is now. And I realised there were a lot of times I was pressured, instructed, or influenced by leaders around me. It could be someone superior in organisations I belonged to or even spiritual leaders at church. Many times it was my mom. It can also be friends who I considered were ahead of me in certain aspects or issues in my life, even though they weren’t my “leaders” per se.

They didn’t have to have an official title or position, but it was a matter of how I myself placed them in my life.

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