Dave Rave – 5 Things We Say We Don’t Mean


If you’ve never heard or listened to anything I’ve ever said, please listen to these next words.  Words matter.

We fail to understand the impact of our words.  We use them to hurt people or to express anger, and fail to realize the wounds they cause are very real and sometimes lasting.

Here are the five things that we say in expressing frustration, anger, or disappointment that we don’t mean.

  1. I don’t care. Just the very fact that you said, “I don’t care” means that you care.  This is a statement of frustration to which there is almost never a positive response. You do care.  Express that you do and why you’re upset in positive, simple words.
  2. It doesn’t bother me. Again, this is like the first.  The moment you say it doesn’t bother you, you’re expressing that it bothers you.
  3. I just can’t take this anymore. The truth is, you can take a lot more than you think you can. This is another way of expressing the urgency of what you feel about the moment.  But if it really is true you can’t take it anymore, it cuts off conversation.
  4. I just wish I were dead. This is the verbal equivalent of throwing a bomb in the middle of a crowd.  How do you respond to that? Are you serious?  Should I take you seriously?  If I don’t, and you actually commit suicide, how are we going to feel?
  5. I’ll never be able to trust again. We all understand that it is hard to face betrayal, but we also understand that healing can take place and you can come to a place where you can trust again.  Maybe the next time it will be trust and verify, instead of trust and walk away.

Dave Rave – 5 Self-Examination Questions You Need to be Asking


If you’re like me, you don’t like to be managed, coerced, or told what to do.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to be sometimes.  That’s why I always include dissenting voices in my life.

As great as it is to have people in your life to whom you are responsible, it’s far superior to develop the self-discipline of asking yourself certain questions that help you reveal hidden feelings and motives that can go unnoticed in the hurry and scurry of daily life.  Here are five questions I ask myself on a regular basis.

  1. Am I more interested in the work I am doing for God than I am the work God wants to do in me?
  2. What temptation am I flirting with that seems to be under control today, that left unchecked can raise its head and derail me tomorrow?
  3. What lessons am I learning that will help me get better at the service I offer to those around me?  If you just always do what you’ve always done, you’ll wake up one day and be left behind.  So you constantly need to be honing your skills and learning about a way to do what you’re passionate about doing.
  4. Am I living today out of the overflow? Or am I just pushing myself, relying on my internal strength, ignoring the fact that one day I am going to hit the wall if I don’t take time to sharpen the axe?
  5. Who are the people in my life that I’m reaching out to; not for what they can do for me or help me do in the future, but just simply people I can help, show compassion to, and be a listening voice to help them through the hell they’re going through right now?

These are not the only questions.  I’m sure you can think of more.  But use these five to get started.  Examine yourself.  Make corrections before you see yourself drifting, or even beginning to cheat a little bit.  Listen to the warning signs that you’re running on empty, and take the time to sharpen the axe. You’ll be far more productive, far more effective, and a lot happier.

Dave Rave – 5 Signs You’re Not Focused


To achieve anything of significance in life requires focus; not just focus for the moment, but focus over time, a focus that is fixed on learning, growing, and mastering a subject,a problem, or an opportunity.  Here are five signs you’re not focused.

  1. You don’t have a plan. If your life is a wandering generality, hoping to just happen to you, then you certainly are not focused.  Your sight is defused, looking at many things instead of the one best thing for you.
  2. You can’t assess your progress. Of course if you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to assess where you are. Someone has said that what gets dated gets done.  It takes courage to plan your life and then work your plan.  Are you able to answer this question: “Have you grown over the last 12 months?  Are you making progress toward your life’s goal?”
  3. You won’t be still without a baby-sitter. I was raised in a generation where we constantly had to have something going on: the TV, the radio.  Today these are replaced by iPods, iPhones, all kinds of ways in which we get stimulated. But to get focused on anything, you’re going to have to learn how to be still without stimulants, except the subject at hand.
  4. You never take the time. To be focused on anything requires time. People often ask me, “How do you write a book?”  It’s this easy and this hard.  Set your butt in a seat for hours on end and focus on the task at hand. Time passes whether you like it or not.  But all the hours I’ve spent writing books that have been published and go around the world in five different languages, is time that I’ve captured forever.
  5. You offer no unique insight. The fruit of focus is insight.  A unique observation that is quite unlike anyone else is what creates your unique voice.  It allows you to make a contribution and fly your flag in a crowded market.

Dave Rave – 5 Things you Can’t Avoid


Let’s face it.  In a perfect world, there are a lot of things we would choose not to experience.  And yet, we don’t live in a perfect world.  We live in the real world where some things simply can’t be avoided.  And if they can’t be avoided, they should be faced, and used to your benefit.  So here are five things that you can’t avoid, but you can embrace and turn into your advantage.

  1. You can’t avoid disappointment. To have expectations of anyone or anything at anytime is to set yourself up for disappointment.  But that’s ok.  Disappointment reminds us what’s important.  Disappointment reminds us that we’re not there yet.  Disappointment reminds me that I need to grow.  It’s a punch in the gut, but if you face it and find out what went wrong, you can face less of it.
  2. You can’t avoid failing. Again, no one likes to fail. We avoid it at all costs.  But it is an essential part of learning, growing, maturing and becoming excellent at something important to you and the world.  Failure is when I fail to get back up and learn and grow and become better.  Failing is being human, growing and stretching, and attempting to go to the next level.
  3. You can’t avoid turkeys. I’m not talking about the kind you eat on Thanksgiving.  I’m talking about the kind that stand in your way, make promises they don’t fulfill, and oftentimes, outright oppose you. Remember this: hurt people hurt people.  And you’re going to find your share of them as you go through life. Be ready to embrace the good and guard yourself against the bad.
  4. You can’t avoid pressure. The only thing in life that is pressure-free is dead. All things that are growing, moving ahead and achieving, accomplishing and making something of themselves find pressure. The goal is to have the right amount of pressure, to not be under pressure all the time, to find margin, find ways to renew and recharge yourself.
  5. You can’t avoid waiting. One of the things I’ve struggled with most of my life is waiting. You’re on go, you’re ready to pull the trigger, but the people around you are either slow or disinterested.  Waiting is a part of life.  It’s what you do while you’re waiting that is most important.

Here are five things you can’t avoid. Maybe you can think of more.   Talk to your team about how you deal with disappointments, failing, non-performing people, the pressure of competition and oftentimes the waiting that is involved before something can happen.

Dave Rave – 5 Signs You Shouldn’t Go Into Business for Yourself


When someone asks us who we work for, most of us would give the name of the company that signs their paycheck, or the place we go show up every day and do our thing.  Yet, in this new economy, more and more people are taking on the entrepreneurial mantle and launching out on their own.

As much as I applaud this new movement, there are people who need to be the supporters of the dream and not the dreamer himself. Don’t feel intimidated or insecure if an entrepreneur’s mantle is not for you.

Here are five signs you don’t need to be going into business for yourself.

  • Sign # 1: You have no skill or knowledge that can be outstanding. Businesses are driven by ideas; compelling ideas that get turned into products and services.  If you’re fuzzy on your big idea, if you don’t have a problem you’re willing to own and obsess over solving, you probably shouldn’t be in business for yourself.
  • Sign # 2: You’re not a self-starter. One of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face is they are not on a clock.  They can work when they want to, as long as they want to, and as much as they want to. Someone had laughingly said that if you work for yourself, you’ll have the worst boss you’ve ever had.  And I see the truth in that because you’re the one who has to tell yourself when to get up, when to get into the office, and when to make it happen.  If you find self-starting, self motivating difficult, you should probably be working in a company where someone else does that for you.
  • Sign #3: You don’t know how to set boundaries. This is the opposite of  Sign #2. More times than not, the problem with entrepreneurs is not that they don’t start; they don’t know when to stop. They simply work way too much, way too often, and they don’t know how to set boundaries.  This is particularly true if you work from home. Sometimes you work in a place where mere inches separate your work space from your living space.  If you can’t set boundaries and turn it off, you probably don’t need to be working for yourself because you’ll burn yourself out no matter how passionate and motivated you are today.
  • Sign #4: You don’t like chaos. The old axiom simply says this, that growing things change; changing things create chaos. If you need the nine-to-five and the orderly life, then certainly don’t embrace the chaotic life of an entrepreneur.  As thrilling as it us for those of us who love the chase, discontinuity and uncertainty shut other people down.  They are simply unable to operate without the orderly atmosphere and environment provided by our “work for the man” job.
  • Sign # 5: You are afraid of risk. Now, obviously I need to make sure you understand that I don’t like risk.  I don’t take any more risk than I absolutely have to.  But neither am I afraid of it.  I realize that to risk nothing is to mean that I can expect nothing in return.  It’s the farmer who risks his livelihood every Spring by tilling and planting.  And if the harvest doesn’t come, he can indeed be ruined.  So while risk-seekers are really just foolish people without discipline, risk-takers are those who calculate the risk and take only the risk that has a high probability of success, as well as a high probability of return or profit.

Discuss these five points with a friend, your spouse, and ask yourself, “Am I an entrepreneur, or am I better off on a high-power team, supporting the big idea of other entrepreneurs?”

Dave Rave – 5 Reasons We Fear Being Fired


As part of a series entitled, “When You’re Going Through Hell Don’t Stop,” I spoke for the first time this past weekend about my experience of being fired 5 years ago.

I did this in part because I’ve come across literally hundreds of people who have been fired.  I had no idea it was such a common occurrence, because it has only happened to me once.  And I have to tell you, once is enough.

But as I’ve gone through my own journey, I’ve identified 5 fears I had to deal with while I was going through my own private hell of being jobless for the first time in my life.  And I’ve found an awfully lot of people face them as well.

  1. The fear of rejection. At the core of every person I’ve ever met (including me) is the primary fear of not being wanted, not being enough; smart enough, good-looking enough.  Whatever you call it, it’s ultimately the fear of being turned out and rejected.  At the core of losing a job is realizing that fear.  Someone is literally saying, “We don’t want you here anymore. Your services are no longer required.”
  2. The fear of failing. Why we are so afraid of this, I can’t quite understand because everything any of us have achieved in our life has come through a series of failings.  We fell down the first time we tried to walk.  Even professional baseball players are considered wildly successful when they can hit 3 out of 10 times at bat.  And yet somehow we have failed to distinguish the difference between failing and failure. Failure is when you fall down and refuse to get up, to learn from the failing, and get back in the game.
  3. The fear of humiliation. My firing was very public.  It made me feel like I had let everyone down.  It was humiliating.  But I found that humiliation is a part of my faith.  Humility is something that God is going to cultivate in my life whether I cooperate or not.  I can take the humiliation of my firing and learn from it, and allow it to make me truly humble.  Or I can become bitter and angry and arrogant for no apparent reason.
  4. The fear of isolation. When you get fired, you have nowhere to go.  You no longer have the privilege of an office and all the amenities, a team, a group, comraderie.  You’re isolated.  You get up at home, and there you are.
  5. The fear of being cut off. All of us have this core fear. We see it a lot in the children of the Depression.  As they became adults, they became hoarders and stingy.  Some call it frugal, but really it’s cheap for fear of not having enough money, of somehow waking up and realizing there is no more salary, no more retirement, no more insurance; what am I going to do?  You feel abandoned and isolated.

If you’ve been downsized, laid-off, or fired and you’re facing these fears, the best thing to do is to get up and move against them.  Let them be your teacher.  Better yet, go to iTunes and search David Foster at The Gathering and subscribe to the podcast so you can hear each one of these weekly talks that will help inspire and move you ahead as God seeks to forge a firsthand, fruitful faith in your life.

Remember, pain in life is not optional.  Gaining from that pain, is.  Those who go through it and understand God’s purpose in it get better, not bitter.  Which are you?

Dave Rave – 5 Ways to Obsolete-Proof Yourself


One of the constant fears and challenges all of us face is losing our job, our income, and status; especially in the new economy as you get older.  You live in constant fear of being replaced at work, and even at home with a younger, cheaper model.  The only way to confront this fear as you get older is to get better and more indispensable.  Seth Godin calls it, to become a lynch pin.

If you want to be in demand over time, you must continue to grow in character, competence, and skill-set. Here are five ways you can obsolete-proof your life.

  1. Become a knowledge expert at something lots of people need to know, and will want to have. What is the body of knowledge you have that you have been gathering over the years?  One of the great things in my life is that I paid the price early for college, seminary, and graduate school.  Ten years of academic training: reading theology books, history books, biographies, learning foreign languages, all seemed like a waste of time at the time.  But now as I reflect back, I have a body of knowledge that I continue to build on, that if I hadn’t gotten early, I would never have been able to get later.
  2. Take care of yourself. Why is it that when we get older we look old and tired and bent-over?  Just watch people today as you go about your business and see how slowly they move as they get older.  People who are in their fifties look like they are in their sixties.  People in their sixties look like they’re in their eighties. Here is the remedy.  Just take care of yourself.  Work out.  Maintain a healthy weight.  Dress in clothes bought in this century.  You don’t have to be fad-ish and spend a lot of money.  But when you enter a room let people take notice that you are to be taken seriously, because you take care of yourself seriously.
  3. Willfully, joyfully, and generously give away what you know. Share with others freely.  When you’re asked for advice or even invited into a mentoring relationship, say “yes.” Love people.  Pour out into them.  Build into them what others have built into you.
  4. Ask for help from lots of people. There is nothing more flattering than being asked for your opinion.  Let people know that you need them.  Welcome them into your life, into your space.  Don’t allow yourself to become invisible and aloof, and blame it on the fact that you’re introverted.  Keep your network large and include people by asking them for help.
  5. Forgive past hurts and slights quickly. Do not allow resentment to take root in your life.   Bitterness will make being around you painful and draining.  Make sure that when people are with you, you don’t go into a tirade about past injustices.  And the only way you can do that is to keep all accounts current and let the weight of the past indiscretions and betrayals go.

These are a few of the ways I’ve tried to work in my own life to make sure that I stay current, relevant, excited, and enthusiastic about the day’s work and the people I’m around.  Discuss this with your group, organization, or your team. And ask yourself, “Are these qualities we see developing in each other?”

Dave Rave – 5 Lies We Believe About Love


The most powerful force in the world, hands down, is love.  We know it’s the driving force of the Creation and why God sustains it even unto this day.

It’s the glue that holds relationships together and it’s the power that drives the passions of our movements and organizations.

And yet for all of its power there is the true belief, at least in personal relationships, that loving puts you at a disadvantage.  So here are 5 lies that we believe about love.

  1. If you’re loving, you’re a doormat. This basically means that love makes you passive.  It tells you to allow people to treat you shabbily.  They think because you’re loving, you somehow can’t be tough and strong, that you can’t stand up for yourself.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Love can be tough and tender.  And at its best, it is both.
  2. If you’re loving, you’re gullible. A person who’s loving believes anything.  They can be lied to.  Somehow we think that loving makes you stupid, because whatever you say, love just believes it.  yet one of the most powerful concepts in the world is wisdom.  Love plus knowledge plus time, equals wisdom.  Loving people know that it’s a dangerous world and things happen, that people hurt people and that they can be betrayed at any moment.
  3. If you’re loving, you’re soft. Again, the idea that if you’re loving, you can be pushed around.  A lot of people mistake being loving as being emotional.  Emotions that lack discipline cause you to allow other people to treat you badly.  But that’s not love. That’s a need expressing itself as love.
  4. If you’re loving, you’re a wimp. Not only do loving people allow other people to take advantage of them, they themselves fail to have the backbone to do and say the hard thing.  That’s the lie, isn’t it? At the core of what it means to be courageous is love.  Courage is the will to defend, protect, and promote the very thing that is the object of love. Loving people can be tough.  Loving people can say no.  Loving people can call people to an accounting according to the rules.  Sometimes the most loving thing is to say “no.”
  5. If you’re loving, you’re vulnerable. Let’s face it, the world can be a very dangerous place.  There are people who have evil and malevolent intent.  And somehow we believe that if we go into the marketplace, that we’re at a disadvantage because love has somehow blinded us to the realities of those around us.

The truth is, love knows everything, and it loves anyway.  Love understands how treacherous business can be.  It thinks and plans of a better way to be, of a better way to respond to the pain and the suffering around us.

Love is tough.  Love is strong, but love isn’t lazy. Love pays the price.  It gladly sacrifices something it loves for something it loves even more. Love is the thing that will keep you pliable and keep you human.  Love will motivate you to read, to learn, and to become more than you are today. Love will draw people in and move movements ahead.  The world truly is spinning around today by the power of love.

Dave Rave – 5 Reasons to Read


I have to tell you that I am shocked when I hear people say, “I’m not a reader.”  When I hear that I want to say, “You don’t have to tell us.  We already know.”

I know, that’s a little harsh, but hey, reading is important!  Where did it ever get a bad name?  I know, grade school, high school – you know those things we had to read.  Reading was punishment.  But, my friends, reading is freedom.  Here are five reasons you should constantly read.

  1. You should read for stimulation.  Oftentimes there is a debate between whether I read fiction, nonfiction, self-help, or only those books that teach me about business.  The truth is, any book, fiction or nonfiction, that stimulates your creative inner mind, that stimulates an inner dialogue, that leads you to new ideas is a good read.  It is amazing how your mind can make connections, creative connections that have almost nothing to do with what you’re reading.  Reading stimulates your mind.  It is a must.
  2. You should read for insight.  Often an idea, a paraphrase, an illustration will close the loop and allow you to get hold of  a new insight into a problem or even an opportunity.  Insight comes through stimulation of new ideas.  And those ideas are found in books.
  3. You should read to remain relevant.  Everyone around you is reading.  People in your field are reading.  As a matter of fact, that becomes their competitive edge, when they know more information than you do.  How do you digest information and stay relevant?  Reading.  Reading the most relevant, effective books. When you’re reading what everyone else is reading you remain relevant to the conversation.
  4. You should read to write.  One little known fact is that all writers are readers; maybe not in their area of expertise, but they read.  They love to ingest the written word.  They know that a good book has been written and rewritten maybe a hundred times.  The ideas have been distilled and put into practical, forceful, compelling language.  It’s where writers learn how to write better – by reading better writers.
  5. You should read to stay interesting.  Readers are interesting people.  Interesting people have influence.  Influence is leadership; impact.  When you read, your conversation changes.  Your vocabulary increases.  Your knowledge of the world expands and you become a more interesting person.

Think about it.  Every day in the books around us we find the best ideas in the world written, distilled, researched, and delivered to us at discount prices.  With the rise of Kindles and e-books you can carry an entire library with you and read whenever you choose.  The challenge is not what you read, or when you read, or even how much you read, but that you read.

Dave Rave – The 5 Moments That Make or Break You


One of the challenges of life is that most of it happens in the mundane.  You know, like today.  Not much happening today.  Today’s not special, spectacular, not wonderful, really no opportunities to be amazing today. Just get up and do the work.

But that is the treacherous nature of life; it’s that we fail to realize those big moments, those defining moments that come into our lives, and take advantage of them. Here are five moments that happen in the mundane.  And depending on how you respond to them, they’ll make or break you.

  1. The moment of temptation. Temptation sneaks up on you because it starts small.  It attacks your mind. You begin to think about how you’ve been slighted, unappreciated, maybe even cheated.  And all of a sudden you feel justified in cheating yourself, cheating on yourself, quitting your commitments: you know, a thousand different temptations, a thousand different strokes.  It’s how you respond in the moment of temptation that will determine how you can respond in the rest of your life.
  2. The moment of testing. Testing has to do with will.  In the Scriptures it says “we get knocked down but we get up again.”  That’s it, isn’t it?  How strong is your resolve? It will be tested, and how you respond in that moment determines the depth and the quality of your life.
  3. The moment of quitting. Everyone faces a quitting moment. Think about a man and a woman standing at an altar, pledging undying love.  They are married.  But they fail to take into account, you don’t marry a perfect person. You aren’t perfect either and sometimes you feel unloved and unwanted, and the temptation to quit.  That’s when you have to respond.  You go to work and you don’t get the raise, or you’re passed over and you want to quit.  You get discouraged and you want to quit.  It’s pushing through those quitting moments.  It’s the power to prevail, when everything inside of you wants to give up, that makes the difference.
  4. The moment of opportunity. Opportunity is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t come with bells and whistles.  It often comes as one choice among many.  It takes wisdom to know which one is the right one for you.  But it also takes courage to seize the opportunity of a lifetime during the lifetime of the opportunity.  Windows open; windows close.   Doors open; doors close. You have to go through them or the opportunity is offered to someone else.
  5. The moment of choice. Each and everyday, you have ultimate power because you and you alone make your choices.  If you give up those choices, your life is ruled and run by arbitrary forces.  For fear of making the wrong choice, some of us get stuck in a rut.  Wrong or right, a choice needs to be made.  And it’s your ultimate power: the power to choose.

Dave Rave – 5 Ways Not to Start the Sentence


Each and every day as we enter our lives, whether at work or at home, even at play, we are forced to use words, to form sentences.  It almost seems second nature.  But let’s face it.  Sometimes we’ve said things that we wish we hadn’t.

As a matter of fact, there are some habit-forming words we use to form sentences that always keep us limited by their affect on others.  Here are five I’m trying my best to avoid.

  1. I’m trying not to start a sentence with the word, “why.” That usually is looking for someone to blame.  “Why isn’t this done?  Why weren’t they here? Why didn’t I know?”  It has an air of accusation and almost always puts the other person on the defensive.
  2. I’m trying not to start a sentence using the word “who.” Again, this is looking for someone to blame, to shift responsibility. “Who failed?  Who can we hold accountable? Whose responsibility is it?” All things that no one wants to hear, especially when they are the object of the “who.”
  3. I’m trying not to start sentences using the words “I disagree.” You may indeed disagree, but this is an aggressive statement and it almost always puts the listener on the defensive.  And all of a sudden it becomes less about the content over which you disagree, and more about the way you’ve disagreed or disrespected the person making the statement.
  4. I’m trying not to start sentences using the words, “That’s stupid.” I know this sounds almost self-evident, but how many times have we allowed a conversation to become emotional and then become personal?  And as a defense or even in an attack mode we’ve blurted out, “That’s stupid.”  Well, if I said it, then it makes me stupid.  And all of a sudden we’re attacking one another.  And people who attack one another never get to “win-win-or-no-deal-always.”
  5. I’m trying not to start sentences using the words, “I’d never.” Have you ever said, “I’d never do that. I’d never say that.  I’d never pay them that. I’d never go there. I’d never get fired.” only to end up having to eat those words?

Maybe you have more words that just get in the way of human relationships and learning how to work together in healthy environments.  Send me some.  We’ll make a list and try to ostracize those out of our language.

Dave Rave – The Five Things I’ve Stopped Doing


I don’t know how you feel, but sometimes I feel like I’ve added so much to my life that I feel weighted down by all the good things.  Sometimes I need to stop and jettison some things that are slowing me down.  So here are the top five things I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing.

  1. I’ve stopped attending meetings with no agenda. How many times have we wasted a day dreading a meeting, then the other half of the day sitting in a meeting that droned on and on and on with no agenda other than to be critical and complaining about other people in the organization, and at the end of the day, nothing gets done?  I only attend meetings with a specific agenda and a 45-minute time limit.
  2. I’ve stopped caring about what my critics think. Yes, I can’t turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to those around me.  I need to be informed by what people are saying about how I am performing and what I am doing.  I understand all of that.  But I am not going to allow my critics to set the tenor and tone of my attitude or state of mind.  They no longer have the right to take control of my day, my hour, not even a single minute.
  3. I’ve stopped trying to make other people happy. Boy this is a big load to get rid of!  To carry the burden of making your wife happy, your children happy, your father, your mother, your in-laws, your siblings happy: this is a weight no one can carry. The truth is, I can’t make anyone happy.  I can’t even make myself happy.  I can only choose to be happy.  I can only choose the actions that are loving and gracious toward those in my life.  Then they have to choose how they interpret and apply it to theirs.
  4. I’ve stopped doing things out of obligation. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel compelled to do a lot of things.  As a matter of fact, everything that I do in my day is something that I have a high desire, a high sense of oughtness about.  But just to do them out of blind obligation, just to do them because other people said I should, or expect that I should, or demand that I should; no, not anymore.  Everything I do, I am going to do out of intention and deliberation, out of a sense of purpose and passion based on principle, not on fear.
  5. I’ve stopped putting limits on my future. I don’t know if you’re like me, but the older you get the more you start calculating how much time you might have left.  You start worrying about, “am I now at the end of my career, the middle of my career, the top, the bottom?” I’ve stopped doing all of that.  If I live as long as my mother, I’ve got almost 30 years left to live.  So, I may have 30 years, 30 days, or 30 minutes.  Whatever my time on this earth is allotted, I’m not going to limit it by worrying about the false expectations of others, or the dumb limitations I put on myself.  I’m going to know God, love God, and stretch to live the big life that He had intended when He created me.  I invite you to do the same.

Dave Rave – 5 Ways to Sustain a Passion for Life


I’ve seen so many people start out great.  They are excited, full of energy, with high hopes for the future. But as we all know, life has a way of gut-kicking us at times.  And we wind up on the sidelines, nursing our wounds wondering where we went wrong and how to get back in the game.

Here are five ways I have learned, in my own life, how I can sustain a passion for life, even in the midst of the pain, the reverses, and the unpredictable events of life.

  1. I see every day as a gift. Getting up every day and moving into life is a gift.  It is the highest and best gift that God can give anyone: the gift of another day, another opportunity, another moment, another chance to make things right.  Time is a gift.  It is not owed to anyone, and it should be seen as the valuable, sacred stuff of life.
  2. I see every place as God’s place. Wherever you are, there you are.  You may not want to be there, and you can wish you were somewhere else.  But whether it’s the place of failure, divorce, reverse, procrastination, unemployment, sickness, or a thousand other of life’s calamities, this is the place that you find yourself.  And because God always knows where you are, it’s also God’s place.  It could be the sacred sanctuary in which God does the much-needed spade work on our soul.
  3. I see everything as useful. Every delay, every reversal, every missed deadline,  or opportunity all work in the big picture of God’s providence to serve His purposes.  Pain, sickness, unemployment, refusals, reversal, lay-offs, firings: all of these can be useful in the hands of God.  He can redeem anything.  He can reconcile any relationship. And He can restore anything that’s lost.
  4. I see everyone as someone worth loving. Stop looking at people as resources, and start looking at them as the reason you’re here: to love them, heal them, help them, give them a leg up, an encouraging word, or a thousand other ways in which we can employ our lives to make the world a better place, by making the people in it more hopeful, more healthy, and more fired-up about the future.
  5. I see every ending as a new beginning. Here is what I’ve discovered in life: we’re great at new beginnings; marriages, births, first day on the job.  But we’re totally inept when it comes to endings.  And yet, every new beginning has an ending.  But it’s helped me to transform the way I look at things at the end by realizing that for everything that ends, there’s at least one new beginning out in front of me.

These are the five ways in which I sustain a passion for life.  Discuss them with your team, your family.  Ask them to interact.  Add to the list if you find those that are meaningful and email them back to me.  I would like to add them to my list too.

Dave Rave – 5 Ways to Become Obsolete


Each and every day we awake, we dip our toe into a brand new world.  Change and the speed of change can overwhelm us and cause us, out of fear, to procrastinate embracing the new world as it is.

As our country ages and the workforce ages, one of our greatest dangers is that all of our mind, brain, and emotional willpower will become obsolete.  If you want to join that sad army, waddling off to retirement in a high-rise condo, only to be blown away by a Florida hurricane, here are the five things you can do to become obsolete.

  1. Refuse to change. I am not talking about changing with a fad or changing with every whim of emotion.  I’m not talking about buying Apple’s newest product.  I am talking about fundamental, basic change of attitudes, strategies, and actions that allow you to not just compete in the world as it is, but to excel.
  2. Live in the past.  Constantly rehearse the way things used to be: how customers used to be loyal, or employees used to be counted on.
  3. Find someone to blame. The biggest target, obviously, is the Government.  But your mama, your daddy, your step-mother, your step-father, your college professor, your last boss; anyone will do.  Because when you blame, you shift the responsibility to take action from you to someone on the outside of you. And if you constantly live in inactivity, pointing the finger at other people, you’ll surely wake up one day, obsolete.
  4. Recycle old habits. You’ve heard the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t break it.” There is wisdom in that but sometimes you’ve got to break it before it gets broke.  Reading, hanging around other people who are growing, attending conventions, seminars, and learning best practices from those around us will help us stay current with all the new, fascinating tools that are available to us today.
  5. Reminisce about the good old days. This is the attitude that the future is bleak, black, and dark, that we’re all going to be hunched over computer screens, working from our homes, in little, disjointed communities.  Longing for the good old days, days that really weren’t all that good, will get recreated in our minds as another way to absolutely guarantee you’ll be obsolete.

So here it is.  If you want to be left behind on the sidelines, if you want to be making less and less in annual income and make a smaller impact on the world, just refuse to change, live in the past, find someone to blame, recycle your old habits and attitudes, and reminisce about the good old days and you’ll stay there.

Here is the good news.  If you don’t want to be obsolete and passed over, do the exact opposite.  You can figure it out.  Talk this through with your team or your group and see how each one of these negatives can be turned into a positive. Like number one – refuse to change – can be turned into “take action based upon the new knowledge and the opportunities facing us in the new economy.”

Dave Rave – 5 Times Influence Trumps Power


There’s an awful lot of bad information out there about what it takes to lead.  Most of it revolves around the misunderstanding and the abuse of the use of power.

Whether you want to believe it or not, you have far less power than you think you do.  And that’s ok, because as a leader what you need is influence, not power. So here are the five times influence always trumps power.

  1. Influence trumps power when you need people’s best. People may show up for money.  They may even acquiesce or comply to your demands.  But they’ll never give you their best without being inspired to do so by their leaders.  And that takes influence, not power.
  2. Influence trumps power when guilt and shame are not options for you as a leader. With power you can guilt and shame people, you can threaten them, you can throw a tantrum, but you also create a toxic environment in which nothing of significance can grow.
  3. Influence trumps power when you have long-term goals. If you’re in this for the long haul; your church, organization, business is going to be around year after year after year, you’re going to have to learn how to build healthy environments where people grow and bring their best work.  That’s done in an atmosphere where you inspire and where your influence is created by the inspiration you provide.
  4. Influence trumps power when you care about the people you lead. To lord it over someone else, to exercise punishment or give out threats, means that you don’t really care about the people.  All you care about is yourself and your own private agenda.  And when people pick up on that, they’ll bail out of your organization as soon as they possibly can.  And even those who stay will stay because they don’t have any other options.
  5. Influence trumps power when you demand the best of yourself. I wear a little blue band every day that simply says on it, “Inspire Greatness.” It reminds me that whenever I lead, the responsibility is upon me to be a leader worth following.  And the leaders who lead well always lead from within their community.  And to do that you have to inspire people by your actions, by your character, by your behavior, and by your responses to up times as well as down.

If you are still living by the old paradigm that leadership is power, consider just for this moment that maybe instead of being in the 21st Century, we’re back again to the first century, where the greatest leader who ever lived, the greatest person who ever lived, Jesus Christ, who had all the power in the world and didn’t use it except in the service of others; and who ultimately has changed the world by using His influence rather than His power.