New Address

Thanks so much for reading my blog.  However, the location of my blog has changed.  Please go to www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com now.  The format there is easier for me and, I hope, for you as well.  Also, check out the “subscribe” box on the upper right hand side.  You can have new posts delivered to your inbox — and they’re easy to read — one of the main reasons I switched.  I hope you like the new format.

Warmly,

Connie

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Maybe Adversity Isn’t So Bad After All

I’m reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s an excellent book about what really makes people successful (it isn’t what you think).

He tells the story of Jewish lawyers in New York in the 1950s.

Basically, if you were a graduate from a law school and you weren’t a WASP (white Anglo Saxon Protestant), you weren’t going to get hired by the exclusive New York firms. It didn’t matter how smart you were or where you went to law school, a Jew would NOT get hired.

So what was a Jewish lawyer to do? They started their own firms and did the work that was beneath the “white shoe” law firms — namely litigation and hostile corporate takeovers. These two types of law were far too adversarial for the genteel white shoe law firms.

Gladwell tells the story of one lawyer in particular, Joe Flom, who graduated at the top of his Harvard Law School class, practically without studying. He was interviewed by the most exclusive law firm in New York which told him, honestly, they were just meeting him on a lark. There was no way someone with his “antecedents” would be hired at their firm. Seriously, “antecedents” was the word they used.

Joe met up with four other Jewish lawyers who were starting their own firm. It was a huge risk because they had nary a client among them.

Joe joined them and became an expert in hostile takeovers. If you wanted to take over a corporation and you had the money for the best in the business, you hired Flom.   He didn’t care if such adversarial work was “beneath him”.  He had drive and desire and didn’t care what it took to succeed.

Fast forward 20 years. Suddenly, attorneys who did hostile takeovers were no longer looked down upon. In fact, they were in high demand. The white shoe law firms tried to jump on the bandwagon, but it was too late. Flom, and attorneys like him, alread had the experience and the reputation for being the best. The old school attorneys couldn’t catch up. Nowadays, Flom’s firm employs almost 2,000 attorneys in 23 offices around the world and earns well over $1 billion a year.

Gladwell writes, “[Flom] didn’t triumph over adversity. Instead, what started out as adversity ended up being an opportunity.”

Those words resonated in my head and heart and spirit last night. I’ve been discouraged and depressed because of my seemingly intolerable circumstances. What I needed to remember is that God often disguises our greatest opportunities as insurmountable problems. Of course, I knew that, but knowing something in your head and knowing in your spirit are two different things. I guess my spirit needed to be reminded!

Have a great weekend. Another book giveaway starts next week. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions has anything to do with diet, exercise and weight loss, you won’t want to miss Monday’s review.

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You Do Not Have Because You Do Not Ask

I mentioned yesterday I was feeling lost and forlorn, but that I had a “glimmer” of hope and motivation when I awoke yesterday. I must admit I had a little voice inside me saying, “God, is that you?” and my big, booming psyche saying, “Probably not.”

Imagine my surprise when I awoke (or was awakened) early again this morning and, try as I might, was unable to go back to sleep. The feelings of hope and motivation burned a tiny bit brighter. So, again, I got some exercise, spent some time praying and am beginning to wonder if this hopeless-for-so-long feeling might not lift after all.

You do not have because you do not ask. Yep, that would be me!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out http://www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com and give me feedback on the new blog format. Unless I hear a major outcry, this blog address will be defunct by the end of this week.

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Resolutions for 2009

 

I hope the New Year finds my readers healthy, happy and progressing merrily on keeping their resolutions.  Check out www.43things.com .  It’s a site where you can post your resolutions and get encouragement from other readers.

I promised I would let you in on my “areas for change”. I didn’t actually make “resolutions” and haven’t attempted any improvements, so I guess at this point, I’d call them “hopeful intentions for future change”.

One is physical, one is emotional and one is spiritual.

The physical change is, not surprising, to eat healthier and get back into an exercise routine. I thought when I became a vegan it would be difficult to keep eating junk food and abusing my body. Not so! The abusive foods are different, but it’s still quite easy to be malnourished as a vegan! At least I’m only hurting myself and not the beautiful four legged creatures in the world who deserve so much better than they get.

The spiritual change I need to make is to rededicate my time to prayer. I have been feeling forsaken and alone lately. This is not surprising since my prayer life has been all but nonexistent. God never goes anywhere. We humans, on the other hand, move close to Him and far away depending on our moods, discipline and circumstances. I have walked away and then wonder why He doesn’t care. How screwed up is that?!

The emotional change I need is to shake this feeling of depression and despair. To be honest, I could easily sleep 18 hours a day just so I wouldn’t have to face life.  There are real reasons for this — none of which I can change — so I have no choice but to change my reactions to my circumstances.  This is really all any of us can do in most instances anyway!

I realize all three areas for change are interconnected. Research shows that exercise is as effective at treating depression as medications and I know if I spent more time talking with God, my funk would lift as well. I also realize that I need God’s help to make physical and emotional changes which is an incentive to work on the spiritual changes I need to make. I know if I were eating healthier and exercising more, I wouldn’t be so tired when it comes to praying.

Now, what I don’t know is what it will take for me to get beyond the knowledge of what needs to be done and actually make a commitment to DO IT. I can’t seem to psych myself up to break out of a paper bag and I know I need a lot more “oomph” to make these changes. Although I desire the results such changes would bring, I honestly don’t care enough to lift a finger to change any of it. But I’m not content by any means, so accepting the status quo isn’t a workable solution either.

If anyone knows of a motivational technique to shake me out of my apathy, I’d be grateful to hear it.   By the way, I did wake up this morning with the tiniest bit of hope and motivation.  I got a little exercise and re-introduced myself to God.  Hopefully one baby step will build on another.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com and give me feedback on the new blog format. Unless I hear a major outcry, this blog address will be defunct in another week or so.

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Potential New Blog Address

I am considering changing my blog address. I have a new blog set up and have been publishing my posts to it for the last week or so to get the hang of it. WordPress has undergone some changes recently which make posting and editing a pain for me. Also, I haven’t been happy with the option for readers to subscribe. You have been able to enter your e-mail address to receive new posts in your inbox, but the print is so tiny, it’s almost impossible to read. Please check out the new blog address, www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com and let me know what you think of the new format. I will continue posting in both places for at least another week. If I don’t hear any drastic objections to the new blog location, I’ll make it a permanent move and make this one defunct. Please check out the “subscribe” option in the upper right hand corner of the new blog address and also check out my list of recommended books.

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Book Giveaway Winners!

only-nuns-cover2Congratulations to Trudi of Foley, Alabama, and Karin of Tenstrike, Minnesota, the winners of the Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight book giveaway. 

Only two people told me their New Year’s resolutions:

  • Physical exercise!!   Spiritual – write in my prayer journal at least a couple of times a week.  Emotional- Stay in contact with my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins).
  • Looking for an opportunity in every difficulty!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  Keep watching over the next couple of weeks for more book reviews and giveaways. 

I’ll share with you my resolutions/areas for improvement next week!

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Book Giveaway Drawing Tomorrow

only-nuns-cover1Reminder: I have two copies of Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight by Karen Scalf Linamen to give away. To enter the random drawing, please e-mail your name and mailing address to seewhykinsman@yahoo.com. I’ll double your chances to win if you tell me your #1 New Year’s Resolution — the one thing you really WANT to change; I’ll post the answers I receive anonymously. The drawing will take place this Friday, January 2, 2009. Good luck.

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