In Relationship (Part Seven)

fightHealing or Terminating a Relationship

Relationships are rarely strife free. And when conflict enters a relationship it must be dealt with quickly and decisively for the continued health of the relationship. The two options for a broken relationship are: 1) Heal the relationship; 2) Terminate the relationship. Allowing the relationship to go on in its broken state is not an option.

How do you heal a relationship? You must confront the other. Passive aggressiveness solves nothing. Passive aggressive people will act as though they are the righteous ones as they avoid confrontation. They act as though they are the ones committed to the relationship. They will not be the ones to end a relationship. But truthfully, they don’t care about the relationship at all. They want the relationship to end. They don’t want to put in the work to heal it. And, when the relationship does end, they can take the high road and say, “Well, it wasn’t me who ended it.”

Confrontation always involves the risk of termination. Each time you confront someone you’re in relationship with, with the purpose of healing, you risk ending the relationship. And if that happens, so be it. Allowing the relationship to go on in its broken state is not an option.

How to confront? One way would be to write down all the actions of the other which are bothering you, and have the other write their own list as well. Then, sit down together and go through each other’s lists. Predetermine to not leave the room until you come to some solution. The solution might lead to the healing of the relationship, or the termination of it. If there is to be healing, both parties have to be willing to compromise. If one or both parties are unwilling to compromise, termination will be the result. If that happens, accept it and move on peacefully.

Also read In Relationship Part One; Two; Three; Four; Five; Six

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Visionary Leaders Vs. Masters Part Four

goal-vs-vision-1024x732I recently finished reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams. In it, Adams makes a good suggestion which goes something like this: Don’t set goals in your life, rather, build systems.* And that got me thinking about the difference between Visionary leaders and Masters — Visionaries set goals, Masters build systems.

As I wrote about before, a Visionary leader does not have much to offer other than his vision. To follow the Visionary you must celebrate his vision, but after that, you’re mostly on your own. And if you do not celebrate his vision you become a pariah. In fact, you could be very good at what you do, but if you don’t celebrate or connect to the vision you’ll be ignored. And vice versa, you could be terrible at what you do, but if you do celebrate the vision you will be promoted.

Visionary led movements which never transition to Master led movements usually die with the Visionary. I grew up in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). The CRC was founded in 1857 and has roots going back to the Reformation. I don’t doubt that the CRC will still exist 100 years from now. I also know of Christian church movements which are only 40 years old. These movements are Visionary led and I don’t see them lasting another 40 years. Once the Visionary dies, the fuel feeding the movement burns out.

So I agree with Scott Adams, but I will change the wording: Don’t rely on vision, rather, build systems. Systems will outlive the Visionary. You can start with a Visionary, but don’t die with the Visionary.

A system does not mean a bureaucracy. It’s true that can happen, but a Master won’t allow it. A Master creates a system in which everyone can operate freely and not be bogged down by unnecessary rules. Systems are not void of progress; they create an environment in which progress is normal. For example, a friend of mine is trying to lose weight. In the past he would always set a goal of how many pounds he would like to lose. He would reach that goal, but never sustain the new weight. Now, he has abandoned the goal setting and is creating a system instead. The system is not pushing toward a specific weight but rather is creating a lifestyle in which a healthy weight becomes normal.

Christian Visionaries love to quote this Bible verse: Where there is no vision, the people perish… See how important vision is? It’s in the Bible! But, it’s funny because they don’t quote the whole verse. In fact, they don’t even quote the full sentence. The whole verse is this: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) The word vision in the passage is the Hebrew word châzôn, which refers to a prophetic vision. The prophetic vision here is not some scheme conjured up by a leader, but rather it is a divine revelation from God instructing us how to live our lives. What is that divine revelation according to this verse? It is the law. And what is the law? It is a system.

A system sustains life and is superior to anyone’s vision. A system is intergenerational whereas a vision is only held passionately by the originator, and maybe by his immediate successor… maybe.

Forget the vision. Be a Master and build systems.

Read: Part One; Part Two; Part Three

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* “A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I’m suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.” ~Scott Adams (from the book)

Visionary Leaders Vs. Masters Part Three

one-size-fits-allIt’s easy to have strong opinions about generalities. It is equally easy to speak in absolutes when you think you know everything. But often these opinions and absolutes are not qualified. And once you start asking detailed and specific questions, those strong opinions and absolutes begin to break down. There is nuance to life and only God can see and know everything. As for us, we can only speak in absolutes when we know 100% of the facts (very rare) or when we repeat what God has already said (and even that is often argued about).

Visionary leaders tend to speak in absolutes. What they believe they know and what they believe they’ve experienced in life is a “one size fits all” for everybody, and if someone disagrees with them, they can’t except the idea that anyone could correctly see things differently from them.

This single-mindedness is both virtue and vice. Of course a visionary needs to have a single target in sight, and not be turned left or right by self-doubt. But, this also could prevent them from having any relationships with anyone who is not a follower of theirs. Now, a visionary reading this might ask, “So! What’s wrong with that?” And that’s fine if that’s how you want to live. But I think there’s a danger it will make you resentful, bitter, and suspicious. You’re trapping yourself into a limited way of thinking and you’ll be personally offended every time someone doesn’t agree with you or does not want to connect themselves with you.

Be a Master instead…

  • A master strives to have 100% of the facts but always is aware that he rarely does.
  • A master is open to new ideas and is not afraid of change.
  • A master never adds to God’s word, and never condemns where God does not.
  • A master has relationships with other masters and those relationships are built on a love for the work, not politics.
  • A master lets his apprentices go off on their own when they’re ready — he doesn’t expect them to follow him forever. But, he is always there to offer advice when needed.

Read Part OnePart Two; Part Four

The Perfect Forging Hammer

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My main forging hammer – 2.5 lb. cross peen

Forging iron requires hard hitting and good hammer control. Having a well designed and efficient hammer is essential if you want to produce good work and last the entire day without your arm becoming too tired and/or sore. The weight of the hammer head, the shape of the hammer head, and the shape of the handle all need to be considered when making the perfect forging hammer.

Some would say the heavier the hammer the better. But that’s not necessarily true. When considering the formula for kinetic energy, it is seen that acceleration is the more important factor over mass in producing energy. Other factors being equal, a faster swing at a lower weight is better than a slower swing at a heavier weight.

Obviously you will need a heavier hammer for larger material, but if you’re mostly making average size home decor and tool projects, it is good to have one “go to” hammer which can handle 90% of those projects. In my opinion, a well balanced 2.5 pound hammer is the best weight for this.

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Japanese style hammer by GS Tongs

The balance of the hammer refers to the amount of weight on each side of the handle. A perfectly balanced hammer will have equal weight on each side. A front heavy hammer will have more weight on the main face side. A Japanese style hammer has all the weight on one side.

I personally prefer a slightly front heavy hammer as it produces a dropping effect and (possibly) helps with acceleration. But that idea is probably just in my mind. I am not a physicist.

The most common forging hammer will have a cross peen on the back side of the hammer. The cross peen is used for spreading out material. You can orientate the peen in others ways to suit the type of spreading you want to do. The peen should be quite flat with rounded edges. With my hammer (pictured above) I made the peen quite wide as I find this works better for what I want it to do. But of course, the narrower the peen, the narrower the fuller it will produce.

The face of the hammer should be close to flat with a slight crown. The edges of the face should be rounded as sharp corners will show in the work piece. Some guys like to work with a rounding hammer which has a pronounced rounded face, like a squished ball. This shape can be helpful when drawing out material. But the peen of the hammer and/or the corner of the anvil work well for that as well.

The gripping part of the handle should fit your hand comfortably. I like my fingers to completely reach around the hammer so that they just touch the ball of my thumb. You don’t want to have to grip the hammer too tightly as that will cause fatigue and soreness in your arm. You should mainly grip the handle with your index finger, middle finger, and thumb. This allows the hammer to pivot as you swing causing a whipping effect as you bring the hammer down. The handle should not be shaped round, but rather with a square/oval shape. This will better conform to your grip.

I shave down the handle between the grip and the hammer head to a relatively small circumference. This creates a spring effect in the handle and helps dissipate the shock of the hammer blows so the vibrations don’t travel up to your arm.

So this is the perfect forging hammer: A good weight you can work with all day; a properly shaped face and peen; balanced on the handle to your liking; a handle which fits your hand comfortably; and a handle which correctly dissipates shock vibrations from reaching your arm.

Happy forging!

Ten Red Flags Indicating Narcissism

queenNo one wants to work under a narcissist. Below is a video by Dr. Les Carter on identifying a narcissist. He gives ten flags:

Narcissists…

  1. tend to be critical
  2. don’t care about your emotions or feelings unless they want to manipulate you
  3. try to highjack conversations
  4. lack reflective thinking
  5. excuse their mistakes
  6. insist things always go their way and are not flexible
  7. turn conflicts into contests
  8. exaggerate their positives, minimize their negatives
  9. are materialistic and impressed with external success and power
  10. closed minded, impatient, and shallow

Watch the video….

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