Something more personal…

Something a little more personal today.

I feel bad, ashamed, and sad that I just plain old chose to miss “it” yesterday.

The Story

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4 Steps in Creating Your One Sentence Mission.

So yesterday I wrote about my one sentence mission. Or my “OSM.” I recommend you take the time to create one for yourself. It’s hard, takes time and yes it can change over time. For me, at least, it brings clarity to the here and now.

Often people have asked me, “Where do I start.”  Here are my thoughts based on my own journey. I have divided this post into 3 parts.

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How David Beat Goliath…Statistically

I just read Malcolm Gladwells latest editorial in “The New Yorker” titled, “How David Beats Goliath.”

I found this editorial fascinating to say the least. There could be many, many interesting thoughts and potentially conclusions that come from it and I recommend people read it. In a nutshell Malcolm points to some research by Arreguín-Toft, a political scientist.

Toft, studied epic battles and wars fought where one side was at least 10 times more powerful than the other side. (through technology, armor and just sheer number of people) What he found wasn’t too surprising. The “goliaths” won the battles 71.5% of the time. While not too surprising that they won more often than they list, what is surprising is that the underdog, a 10:1 underdog at that, won one third of the time. Incredible if you think of it. But the surprise is still to come. Toft did some further research.

Gladwell shares that the biblical story of David and Goliath made Toft re-analyze his data. David after all decided not to use the Kings armor, sword and shield. Instead he took a few stones and sling and killed the mighty giant. The underdog won that battle. When Toft went back and analyzed all the battles where the underdogs won. What happened, Arreguín-Toft wondered, when the underdogs likewise acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional strategy? He went back and re-analyzed his data. In those cases, David’s winning percentage went from 28.5% to 63.6%. When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win the majority of battles. Two thirds in fact.  Arreguín-Toft concluded, “even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.

People, the press, the world in general often look at these upsets as flukes, bad luck, etc, etc. Throughout the article Gladwell shares example after example of where the “David” of the story didn’t win by random chance but by meticulously thinking through the options, being creative and by not playing the game by “Goliaths rules.

Almost always i find myself assuming the rules of engagement, of how I ought to do this or that. Not that I face a ton of “goliath’s” in my life. yet again, any small obstacle is still some sort of goliath that I must face and hopefully overcome.

I have no hard and fast conclusions from this but this story and statistics have been floating around in my head constantly since I read them. What do you think could be some outcomes for the church, for Christians, for yourself, if you chose to fight the battle, to face your Goliaths on your terms/rules that you set. What would change in how we act, what we say, teach, how we program, how we teach, how we live if we chose not to play by Goliaths rules?

Perhaps nothing would change…somehow I doubt it.  Any thoughts or comments?

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