Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Don't Miss Any Opportunity to be Generous

Our Generous Mind team attended the International Christian Retailing Show a few weeks ago. It was a great time to connect with publishers and authors as we strive to help mentor thought leaders in building long-term platforms to share their ideas. We had so many great conversations.
One of those conversations was with an author named Ron Wagley, retired president, CEO and chairman of Transamerica Insurance. What an amazing and godly leader with a servants heart. He shared his passion for discipleship and how that passion produced his new book "Finding Strength in Tough Times."
We talked about the lessons he had learned as he discipled people from his community and church. We learned about his heart for reaching out to other CEOs and his love of golf. He showcased what it meant to be a Generous Mind!

Just a few days after that event we learned that he passed away suddenly from a heart attack. What sad news. It was tragic to hear of such a passionate servant loosing his life so suddenly.

But as I thought about meeting him just a week earlier, I rejoiced in one thing. He was faithful in God's call to be a generous mind. Sure he could have put off gathering his thoughts, capturing his insights and producing a book. But he didn't. He obviously felt God wanted him to share what he had learned and now we will benefit for years to come even as he is worshiping next to his Savior.

It reminds me of the urgency that comes with all of God's directives on our lives. If God is challenging you to do something, like being a generous mind, don't wait. This might be the very moment when he wants you to impart those ideas and you may not get another chance. Or maybe you will . . . the point is obedience.

Just like Ron responded in obedience and left his legacy in this book, along with many other ways, God wants you to respond to his challenge on your life today. Will you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Want to experience Generous Minds in action? Be a judge...

...of a writing contest that is. I just recently was a judge for MAI's blog contest. What an honor to read through these amazing posts from around the world and learn from writers on every continent. When you put yourself in the position to interact with what people are sharing it is an amazing opportunity.

Make sure to check out these amazing entries and check back to see the winners.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Being Generous Starts with Your Notes

I'm not a good note taker. That is a very valuable skill and one that some possess in greater quality than others. But that doesn't mean that note taking isn't extremely important. Taking notes is a skill that equips us to follow through on what we are learning and committing to as we attend meetings and connect with partners and friends.

In fact, note taking is at the center of being a Generous Mind. There are two main ways that note taking helps to be generous with your ideas:

1. So many of our ideas come at strange times and in awkward places. We are not always ready to share them when we get them. That means that sharing them requires that we write them down for use in the future. We have all had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night with an idea, assuring ourselves that we would remember it, and then subsequently forgetting it entirely. Notes capture our ideas and allow us to share them in the future.

2. When we are with people in meetings or at events (like the ICRS conference I'm at right now), we commit to share many things. We want to connect people, share links, and send resources. Many times we make these promises but don't actually follow through because we don't have notes to remind us. Taking notes of our action points is key to being generous with those we are engaging.

So are you taking notes today? What do you need to be writing down in order to be a Generous Mind?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Tyranny of the Too Much

Recently I was at a meeting with a friend of ours, Robin Jones Gunn. We were talking about many interesting things related to our writing, global publishing, marketing and such. During one of our conversations, Robin said something like this, "We have gone beyond the Tyranny of the Urgent and now we struggle with the Tyranny of the Too Much."

That was a simple and powerful way to describe the way most people feel every day. We feel overwhelmed, inundated and unable to process all that comes our way. Just following twitter can make your head spin as the articles, quotes and news come flowing in.

One of the questions we have asked ourselves with the Generous Mind cause is this, "Are we simply making the problem worse by challenging people to create even more ideas and information that no one has time to read or process?"

What a question! Are we part of the problem or presenting a solution? I sure hope we are part of the solution. But how can more information and ideas being shared generously be a solution to anything???

One common misconception about the Generous Mind cause is that it is a challenge to simply be generous with "your" ideas. We think of the world very individualistically so we immediately assume that we must be generous with what we possess.

However, generosity of ideas can apply to things developed by others. Unlike with money, you can be generous with what others are creating. This makes idea generosity a bit unique and very exciting. One of the key ways to be a Generous Mind is to be on the lookout for worthwhile ideas that others are sharing and help get them out to more people.

So as you wake up tomorrow and start your new week, be on the lookout for important ideas that others are sharing that deserve a wider audience. Look for them and then, with appropriate attribution, send them along to your audience. This is something that we do every day on our twitter feed in our effort to be generous with the ideas of others. We hope you will join us in this essential part of the cause.

As a good way to get started, find one great idea out there and share it as a response to this blog!

Monday, July 02, 2012

On Coming Home

When I thought about coming home, I was concerned about the impact of the devastation on our daily life. It’s disturbingly small. Some people in our circles lost everything while our pocket of the city was spared by a four lane road and a stop light. When I look at the mountains out my window, the deep evergreen color has turned two shades darker to black, but it almost seems as if a cloud’s shadow is passing over.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I know that I said that I wanted to accept God’s provision in my life even if it meant simply the ability to cope—and I do. So, why am I having trouble accepting God’s provision for the little girls in my daughter’s class who have lost their homes? Why do I doubt that He will provide for them as He will for me and my family? Why should I doubt that He will be faithful to draw them to himself for comfort?

I sat down to my desk this morning to work and I couldn’t. My work as a writer is to make sense of life, and life doesn’t seem to make much sense. A few days ago the light of the afternoon sun was snuffed out, the air chokingly thick and ash littered the few belongings we crammed in the van. Now I’m back in the same house, breathing fresh air with invisible pain all around me.

I got a whiff of campfire smell and immediately felt irritable. How am I supposed to continue meeting deadlines, having meetings, shopping, and facilitating social engagements as if nothing happened at all? I suppose I can’t. Not by myself. I guess even though the fire skirted us physically, it impacted us emotionally and we need to acknowledge that, give ourselves room, and ask God to use it in our lives.

Oh God, show me what you’re doing in my life and in the lives around me. Make sense out of this chaos and help me to rely on you for not only my own needs, but the needs of others. I pray that you WILL work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Amen.