Catholic Commute S01E32 5 Stories to help in a storm

Although storms are painful, stories of others can help

Currently my wife and I are going through our own storm.  In the midst of this storm, there are several stories that I’ve encountered that have been really helpful.  These are stories of how great faith can overcome any storm and result in a goodness that only God knew of.  There are no points or lessons in this episode.

I hope that you will find these stories helpful.  Sometimes stories can point out in our own lives the ways that we could be doing things better.  Sometimes stories can bring us to tears (that happened to me for one of them.)  Whatever your current state of life, I hope one of these stories is helpful to you.

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Confrontation and You: Steps to Success

This post is a review of Michael Hyatt’s podcast from Season 2, Episode 5: How to confront someone who offends you (or others) without ruining your relationship.  I strongly encourage you to go listen to this podcast, it’s fantastic!  Everyone struggles with confrontation, but I think men have a particularly hard time with confronting without causing damage.  Hopefully this article will give you some new techniques to improve your confrontation skills in any relationship.

Michael presents 6 steps to handling confrontation.  As you read through these, I want you to picture confrontations you’ve had in different important relationships.  Perhaps you recently had a disagreement with your wife or children.  Perhaps you’ve disagreed with a parent or in-law.  Remember what happened, and now ask yourself “what could I have done differently?”  I’ve added some of my own discussion to each step below:

1. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt.  It’s a good thing this one is first, because without this step you won’t get anywhere.  I personally have found that this one step can solve probably half of the arguments I have whether at home or at work.  There are so many times I have responded poorly to a comment from my wife when I assumed the worst.  Many harsh words later, the truth of her real intention was uncovered, but it was too late.  Words are like arrows: once loosed, they can never be recalled.

There’s a second part to this step: you don’t have to confront every minor injustice you encounter.  Michael gives a great story in his podcast that just touched my heart.  A passenger on a commuter train is riding home one evening when a man and several children get on the train.  The children are poorly behaved and bouncing all over the train.  The man seems aloof and distant.  After a certain amount of time, the first passenger decides to confront the man about their behavior.  The man responds “Oh, I’m so sorry, they just lost their mother and we’re all pretty broken up about it.”

Lead from Your heart

Have you ever been part of a team where the person in charge didn’t seem to care about the project? It’s not a secret when a leader isn’t passionate; other members can sense it and start questioning the meaning of the project. Whether it’s at work, community events, or at home with your children or your spouse, true leadership comes from the heart. I don’t mean some kind of feminist foo-foo warmth here; I mean real passion, excitement, and engagement.

All too often we stumble through our days, simply trying to diffuse one crisis after another – living only to avoid pain. If your heart isn’t engaged in your daily activities, you’re not really living – and you’re certainly not fulfilling your mission of leadership. You have to put all of yourself into your life – every little bit of enthusiasm and conviction you can muster. Sound scary? It sure is. When we put our heart first, it can be hurt. If we don’t though, the consequences are even worse.

This article is inspired by a podcast by Michael Hyatt, an expert on leadership. The podcast can be found on his website. I highly recommend you go and listen to it. It will make a difference in how you live your life.  He takes a slightly different perspective, and he’s a fantastic speaker!