Never Again Return to What Hasn’t Worked

Never Go Back: 10 Things You'll Never Do Again [BOOK REVIEW]

Depending on who you ask, success looks different and has many definitions.

Although some define it differently, successful people have common trains. According to Dr. Henry Cloud, author of Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again,

Successful people have certain realizations, or awakenings, that change the course of their lives forever in a positive way. These realizations are essential to a good life and are both scientifically and spiritually backed.

He describes ten of those awakenings in Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again. The first awakening, Never Again Return to What Hasen’t Worked hit me like a ton of bricks.

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Never Again Return to What Hasn’t Worked

Make sure that if you ‘go back’ [to an old relationship, an old job, an old way of thinking] you’re not going back to the same thing . . . Remember there’s a reason it didn’t work. If you’re going back make very, very sure that reason is no longer there. . . Ask these questions: Am I different in some way that would make this work? Is the other person different in some way that would make this work? Is the situation fundamentally different in some way that would make this work? (pp. 17-18).

Everyone makes mistakes, even the most successful people out there. But, what successful people do better than others is recognize the patterns that are causing those mistakes and never repeat them again. In short, they learn from pain—their own and the pain of others.

I once heard someone say,

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable, but repeating the same pain twice, when we could choose to learn and do something different, is certainly avoidable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, do you agree or disagree?

What To Do When Facing Dark Days and Sleepless Nights

What happens when you combine trust, faith, and hope?  They produce grit.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grit in the context of behavior is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit.”

In light of the recent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas Police Officers, I decided to tweak this definition to be the ability to keep going despite setbacks, even when your efforts are not rewarded.  Grit is what you need when facing dark days and sleepless nights.

Grit (1)

The Dark Side of Success

Beware of the Undisciplined Pursuit of More

There’s a dark side of success and many don’t like talking about it.

It can leave you feeling empty.  If you’re not careful, it can lure you into a false mindset that says, “since I’m so awesome, I can do anything.” The more successful you are, the more opportunities you’ll pursue. This mindset leads you down the path towards “the Undisciplined Pursuit of More,” according to Jim Collins.


The Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Past success lures you into pursuing “more ventures, more opportunities, more acclaim, and more of whatever you see as success,” says author Jim Collins. We behave as if we’re King Midas and believe everything we touch turns into gold. In turn, we lose sight of what we truly value and soon lose passion for these pursuits. It happened to King Solomon and it can happen to you too.

It’s What You Don’t See That Matters Most

3 Essential Traits Effective Leaders Possess

We’re all living and working in an increasingly fast-paced and ever-changing world.

Succeeding and excelling in today’s world requires you to consider certain traits to be effective. In order to thrive in a fast-changing world, effective leaders make and implement decisions, possess agility, and include others in decision-making. Regardless of their respective industry, effective leaders make decisions and implement strategies to implement their decision.

Youth Decision Making Concept, Feet in Red Sneakers from Above Standing at Ground with Decisons Title Printed, Top View

Making and Implementing Decisions

The critical task of leadership is making decisions.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to know the outcome of the decisions we make. Effective Leaders must decide where they’re going and how to get there.

Deciding where to go could be considered the vision. Having the plan to get there is the strategy. Once a leader decides where they’re going and how to get there the next critical task of leadership is implementation.

Ask yourself: What decision am I making and what’s my strategy to implement it?

Pivot: How One Simple Word Can Change Your Life

Starting something new is much easier than transitioning something established.

Currently, I serve as lead pastor of the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago. I succeeded my father, the late Rev. Dr. Clarence E. Stowers, Sr. who served for thirty-six years. The church I inherited was a traditional African American Baptist Church rich with tradition.

After five years of praying, meeting, teaching, leading, and building supportive teams, we transitioned to a contemporary church. During the process, I almost quit, but decided to pivot and stick it out. It was the best decision of my life. In life, you’ll eventually come to a crossroad. When it happens, you must decide if you’ll stick with it, quit, or pivot. How do you know which choice is best? I chose to pivot.

In life, you’ll eventually come to a crossroad. When it happens, you must decide if you’ll stick with it, quit, or pivot. How do you know which choice is best? I chose to pivot.

Top View of Business Shoes on the floor with the text: New Life - Old Life

So What Does it Mean to Pivot

I love sports, and when I hear the word pivot, immediately basketball comes to mind. When basketball players stop dribbling the ball, they must decide which foot is their pivot foot. Upon deciding, they can’t switch feet. Pivoting is the term used to define both the act of keeping one foot in place while moving the other and the actual foot which remains on the ground.

Keeping one foot in place is necessary when a player stops dribbling the ball but wishes to reposition himself for a pass or shot. A player may rotate and move around as long as one foot remains in place, on the floor. The foot chosen is known as the “pivot”, or “pivot foot”, and if it comes off the ground, or otherwise shifts position away from its original spot on the floor, a travelling violation will be called.

The Real Reason Why Every Moment Matters

Successful People are Great Editors

Every so often something or someone comes along and changes your life forever. It happened to me.

I’m learning that all successful people live by this principle: Edit as you go. Remember, life is about seizing opportunities and moments. And if you never make changes, you’re always living in that would-have-could-have-should-have world.

How To Livestream Using Facebook Live in 10 Minutes or Less

I have a confession: I’m a certified geek pastor and make no apologies.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t happy when Facebook made live streaming available to celebrities and those with verified pages (pages with those little round, blue checkmarks right next to their names). Immediately, I Googled every possible phrase to find an alternative and found nothing except Periscope.

Recently, Facebook added the ability to live stream on Facebook Profiles, in Groups, and on Pages. So what does all this mean for churches, pastors, and church leaders who rely on Facebook to communicate with their Facebook communities?  A lot!

How To Stream Live

I use Facebook live to make the sermon stick past Sunday. You can read more about why I chose this format to engage our congregation beyond Sunday HERE.  Find a quiet place and take copious notes while I explain how to live stream using Facebook Live.

How to Make The Sermon Stick Past Sunday

Give Me 10 Minutes and I'll Show You a Strategy That Will Keep Your Congregation Talking About Your Sermon Beyond Sunday

Leading a church in Chicago, IL is tough.

It’s even tougher during our brutal winters. So what does a pastor to do when the temperature dips below zero, and the wind chill factor dips to double digits? Cancel service? Oh no! We’re the City of Broad Shoulders, and we don’t dare cancel services due to inclement weather.

Imagine making your sermons stick past Sunday? Imagine a proven strategy to get members and guests engaging with your messages long after Sunday. Are you interested? If so, read on.

Hand holding tablet with Live Streaming word on wood table ,Internet marketing concept..

My generation experienced the election of the first African-American President, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, Desert Storm, Iraq War, historic government bailouts, the passing of healthcare reform, and the greatest economic downturn since The Great Depression. However, in my opinion, the greatest shifts are happening now!

Work On It – Not In It

Sometimes Stepping Back Is Good

This is a Periscope replay of the #MotivationalMoment.

Sometimes life’s consuming, taking up all of your time, thoughts and energy.  Do you want more success in life? Do you think you’ll have to work harder to get it?

In this special edition, you’ll discover why sometimes moving ahead requires you to step back…sometimes way back.  If you are interested, I broadcast three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) on Periscope. I mainly share tips on living and empowered life.  And I always take some off-topic questions.  You’ll need to download the free Periscope app if you want to watch live. Thanks!