Saturday, 25 May 2013

LEAN principles - Six Sigma

LEAN principles - Six Sigma

In lean Six Sigma, there are five principles that are used:  

•    The first of these is the law of the market.  This signifies that the customer is always to be put first.  The company must implement this immediately and make sure that all employees adhere to it.  The company wants the employees to understand that without the customers, there would be no business.

•    The second of these principles is the law of flexibility.  If a process is easily maneuverable, it is easier to work with.  A method of business that cannot be changed for any reason can cause problems.  

•    The third principle is the law of focus.  This is meant to keep the focus on the problems within the company and not the entire company itself.  Executives and employees should concentrate on just the portions of the company that are causing problems and fixing those problems, dismissing distractions by other areas of the business that are not having problems. 

•    The fourth principle is the law of velocity.  This means that if a process has many, many details that have to be performed, it may be slowing down the process.  The work put into the process should be proportional to the results the company sees.  

•    The fifth principle in lean Six Sigma is the law of complexity.  Simply put, keep it simple.  When a process is complex and difficult, it may have elements that are not necessary. More complexity does not necessarily mean more valuable or more important.  In fact, it could mean just the opposite.


Martin Seligman on Authentic Happiness

In an interview with Allan Gregg, Dr. Martin Seligman discusses Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness, including what we can do to promote our own happiness.

The Concept of "Flow"

Psychology Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi's "The Current Model of the Flow State".

The concept of "flow" is like a "complete absorption in what one does as it progresses well". As shown below, it is related to the skill level and challenge level an individual is encountering.

"Flow is experienced when perceived challenges and skills are above the actor's average levels; when they are below, apathy is experienced. Intensity of experience increases with distance from the actor's average levels of challenge and skill, as shown by the concentric rings."

Nakamura, J. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. The Concept of Flow Chapter 7 in Handbook of Positive Psychology, Eds. C.R. Snyder and S.J. Lopez (2002), pp. 89-105.

Friday, 24 May 2013

How to Profit from One's Faults - PART 3 - Joseph Tissot

How to Profit from One's Faults - PART 3 - Joseph Tissot

3. Never be discouraged with our faults
a. We should not be discouraged on seeing our faults

1. "I have forgotten to give you a very important piece of advice: Come what may, do not ever get discouraged!
--- Unknown Retreat Master

2. "Do not ever despair! I will say this every time I address you, in all my conversations.[...] Our salvation has two mortal enemies: presumption while innocent and despair after a fall. The second is the more terrible." ---St. John Chrysostom, Homily On Penance.

3. And if he (Satan) does manage to lead it to total despair, the least he does is to paralyze the soul on its way to virtue [...] to weaken its more powerful efforts and freeze its fervour. Thus the soul is led to melancholy and discouragement; everything is turned turtle, 'no care is now put into making reparation for faults and this leads to real lukewarmness' with its almost irreparable harm." 
---Fr. Tissot

b. Has God's mercy been abused?

1. "Despairing soul: What gives joy to the enemy are not so much your faults as the depression and the distrust of the mercy of God which they produce in you. [...] This is the greatest evil which can come over a creature." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letters 35 and 5

c. Weakness is no great evil

1. "One should die rather than consciously and deliberately offend God. But if we do fall, we should try to be prepared to do everything before losing enthusiasm, hope and resolve." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 771

2. "The distrust you feel toward yourself is good, provided that you use it as a basis for the confidence you ought to have in God. [...] Never permit your spirit to dialogue with or rebel in favour of a disquiet or dispirited heart to which you may be inclined... not even on the false pretext of humility." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Superior of the Visitation, 706.

d. A paradox

1. "The sinner falls through having ignored his own weakness and through having exaggerated God's mercy. After the fall, these two sentiments are reborn, but in reverse. Weakness acquires excessive proportions in one's eyes [...] The guilty soul fears him [God] and is ashamed of itself. [...] This is discouragement..." 
---Fr. Tissot

2. "It is a real pity that simply having a desire for perfection is not sufficient to actually have it; one may have to attain it by the sweat of one's brow and the effort of work." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent

e. No reason to lack confidence in God

1. "Feed your soul with a filial confidence in God. In the same measure which you find yourself replete with imperfections and weaknesses, lift up your heart to regain hope." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 814

2. "After falling, we ought to say to our heart, 'My friend, take courage in the name of God; let us tread with care; let us ask our God for help.'" 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 831

3. "There is no reason to lack confidence, for however miserable they may be, God is merciful towards those who truly want to love Him and who have placed all their hope in Him." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 173

f. Hope and fear

1. "'Have fear--but hope!' Fear so that you do not fall into pride; but hope so as not to fall into despair or to become discouraged. For hope without fear is presumption. [...] With confidence and great fear we should fill those valleys of discouragement which were formed when we got to know our sins." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

g. The devil confesses

1. "The devil repeated: 'If only I had a single instant of the many you waste. Just one moment and a Mary, and I would not be a Devil.'" 
---Eyewitness Sr. E.C. of Tours, sacristan of the first convent of the Visitation of Annecy. Declaration on the miracles and favours worked at the tomb of Blessed Francis de Sales

Never be discouraged with our faults
How to Profit from Your Faults

Friday, 17 May 2013

How do the best teachers prepare to teach?

How do the best teachers prepare to teach?
Taken from "What the Best College Teachers Do" by Ken Bain

1. What big questions will my course help students answer, or what skills, abilities, or qualities will it help them develop, and how will I encourage my students' interest in these questions and abilities?

2. What reasoning abilities must students have or develop to answer the questions that the course raises?

3. What mental models are students likely to bring with them that I will want them to challenge? How can I help them construct that intellectual challenge?

4. What information will my students need to understand in order to answer the important questions of the course and challenge their assumptions? How will they best obtain that information?

5. How will I help students who have difficulty understanding the questions and using evidence and reason to answer them?

6. How will I confront my students with conflicting problems (maybe even conflicting claims about the truth) and encourage them to grapple (perhaps collaboratively) with the issues?

7. How will I find out what they know already and what they expect from the course, and how ill I reconcile any differences between my expectations and theirs?

8. How will I help students learn to learn, to examine and assess their own learning and thinking, and to read more effectively, analytically, and actively?

9. How will I find out how students are learning before assessing them, and how will I provide feedback before--and separate from--any assessment of them?

10. How will I communicate with students in a way that will keep them thinking?

11. How will I spell out the intellectual and professional standards I will be using in assessing students' work, and why do I use those standards? How will I help students learn to assess their own work using those standards?

12. How will the students and I best understand the nature, progress, and quality of their learning?

13. How will I create a natural critical learning environment in which I embed the skills and information I wish to teach in assignments (questions and tasks) that students will find fascinating--authentic tasks that will arouse curiosity, challenge students to rethink their assumptions and examine their mental models of reality? How will I create a safe environment in which students can try, fail, receive feedback, and try again?

What do great teachers know about how we learn?

What do great teachers know about how we learn?
Take from "What the Best College Teachers Do" by Ken Bain

1. Knowledge is constructed, not received
2. Mental models change slowly
a. learners must face a situation in which their mental model will not work
b. learners must care that their mental model does not work strongly enough to stop and grapple with the issue at hand
c. learners must be able to handle the emotional trauma that sometimes accompanies challenges to longstanding beliefs

3. Questions are crucial: Teachers define the questions the course will help them answer
4. Caring is crucial: A caring teacher motivates

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Decisive Quotes from Pope Francis - March 21, 2013 to March 28, 2013

Pope Francis - Decisive Quotes - March 21, 2013 to March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013 (Mass of the Lord's Supper)

It is the Lord’s example: he is the most important, and he washes feet, because with us what is highest must be at the service of others. This is a symbol, it is a sign, right? Washing feet means: “I am at your service”. And with us too, don’t we have to wash each other’s feet day after day? But what does this mean? That all of us must help one another. Sometimes I am angry with someone or other … but… let it go, let it go, and if he or she asks you a favour, do it.

Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this what I am doing, and doing with all my heart, because it is my duty.

As a priest and a bishop, I must be at your service. But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I love this and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has taught me to do. But you too, help one another: help one another always. One another. In this way, by helping one another, we will do some good.
March 28, 2013 (Chrism Mass)

 What I want to emphasize is that we need constantly to stir up God’s grace and perceive in every request, even those requests that are inconvenient and at times purely material or downright banal – but only apparently so – the desire of our people to be anointed with fragrant oil, since they know that we have it.

We need to “go out”, then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live our priestly life going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.

Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.

March 27, 2013

We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered.

Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting. It is a time of grace given us by the Lord so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the light and the joy of our faith in Christ.
March 24, 2013 (Palm Sunday)

And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement!

Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus!

We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world. Please do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let hope be stolen! The hope that Jesus gives us.

Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money that you can’t take with you and have to leave. When we were small, our grandmother used to say: a shroud has no pocket. Love of power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And – as each one of us knows and is aware - our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation. Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.

You (young people) have an important part in the celebration of faith!

Prepare well – prepare spiritually above all – in your communities, so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world. Young people must say to the world: to follow Christ is good; to go with Christ is good; the message of Christ is good; emerging from ourselves, to the ends of the earth and of existence, to take Jesus there, is good! Three points, then: joy, Cross, young people.
March 22, 2013

That, indeed, is what matters to the Holy See: the good of every person upon this earth!

Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.

My wish is that the dialogue between us should help to build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced!

It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.

And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity.

Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Summary of Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith

The Holy See
William Cardinal Levada

I. On the level of the Universal Church

1. The main ecclesial event at the beginning of the Year of Faith will be the XIII General Assembly of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, convoked by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012, dedicated to The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. During this Synod, on 11 October 2012, there will be a solemn celebration of the beginning of the Year of Faith, in remembrance of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

2. In the Year of Faith pilgrimages of the faithful to the See of Peter are to be encouraged, to profess faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in unity with him who today is called to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith (cfr. Lk 22:32). It is also important to promote pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the place which first saw the presence of Jesus, the Savior, and Mary, his Mother.

3. During this Year, it will be helpful to invite the faithful to turn with particular devotion to Mary, model of the Church, who “shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues.”[19] Therefore, every initiative that helps the faithful to recognize the special role of Mary in the mystery of salvation, love her and follow her as a model of faith and virtue is to be encouraged. To this end it would be proper to organize pilgrimages, celebrations and gatherings at the major Marian shrines.

4. The next World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, will offer a special occasion for the young to experience the joy which comes from faith in the Lord Jesus and communion with the Holy Father, in the greater family of the Church.

5. It is hoped that many symposia, conferences and large gatherings will be held, even at the international level, to encourage encounters with authentic witness to the faith and to promote understanding of the contents of Catholic doctrine. Noting how, still today, the Word of God continues to grow and spread, it will be important to give witness that “all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfilment”[20] in Christ Jesus and that faith “becomes a new criterion of understanding and action that changes the whole of man’s life.”[21] Some conferences should be particularly dedicated to the rediscovery of the teachings of Vatican Council II.

6. The Year of Faith will offer a special opportunity for all believers to deepen their knowledge of the primary documents of the Second Vatican Council and their study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is especially true for candidates for priesthood, particularly during the propeduetic year or in their first years of theological studies, for novices in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as for those in a period of discernment for joining an Ecclesial Association or Movement.

7. This Year will provide an auspicious time for a more attentive reception of the homilies, catechesis, addresses and other speeches and documents of the Holy Father. Pastors, consecrated persons and the lay faithful are invited to renew their efforts in effective and heart-felt adherence to the teaching of the Successor of Peter.

8. During the Year of Faith, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, various ecumenical initiatives are to be planned, aimed at “the restoration of unity among all Christians” which “is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.”[22]In particular, there will be a solemn ecumenical celebration in which all of the baptized will reaffirm their faith in Christ.

9. A Secretariat to coordinate all of the different initiatives promoted by various Dicasteries of the Holy See, or other events relevant to the Universal Church, will be established within the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. This Secretariat should be informed timely of the main events and can also suggest appropriate initiatives. The Secretariat will open a dedicated website with the goal of making available useful information regarding living out the Year of Faith more effectively.

10. At the conclusion of this Year, on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, there will be a Eucharist celebrated by the Holy Father, in which a solemn renewal of the profession of faith will take place.

II. On the level of Episcopal Conferences[23]

1. Episcopal Conferences, in light of the specific mission of the Bishops as teachers and “heralds of the faith,”[24] can dedicate a day of study to the topic of faith, its personal witness and its transmission to new generations.

2. The republication in paperback and economical editions of the Documents of Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium is to be promoted, as is the wider distribution of these texts through electronic means and modern technologies.

3. A renewed effort to translate the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church into languages which lack a translation is desirable. Initiatives of charitable support to enable translations into the local languages of mission countries, where the local Churches cannot afford the expense, are to be encouraged. This should be done under the guidance of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

4. Pastors should work to promote television and radio transmissions, films and publications focusing on the faith, its principles and content, as well as on the ecclesial significance of the Second Vatican Council. This should be done using the new styles of communication, especially on the popular level, making these things available to a wider public.

5. The Saints and the Blessed are the authentic witnesses of the faith.[25] It is, therefore, opportune that Episcopal Conferences work toward the dissemination of a knowledge of the local Saints of their territory, also by modern means of social communication.

6. The contemporary world is sensitive to the relationship between faith and art. It is, therefore, recommended that Episcopal Conferences maximize the catechetical potential – possibly with ecumenical cooperation – of the artistic patrimony of the region entrusted to their pastoral care.

7. Educators in centers of theological studies, seminaries and Catholic universities should be encouraged in their teaching to demonstrate the relevance within their various disciplines of the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and of the implications derived from them.

8. It would be useful to arrange for the preparation of pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature (cfr. 1 Pt 3:15), which should be done with the help of theologians and authors. Every member of the faithful would then be enabled to respond better to the questions which arise in difficult contexts – whether to do with sects, or the problems related to secularism and relativism, or to questions “arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries,”[26] or to other specific issues.

9. It is hoped that local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches would be examined to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.[27] Should a catechism or supplement be found to be not totally in accord with the Catechism, or should some lacunae be discovered, new ones should be developed, following the example of those Conferences which have already done so.

10. The Year of Faith will also be an appropriate time to examine, in collaboration with the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Ratio of formation for future priests, ensuring that the contents of the Catechism for the Catholic Church are present in their theological studies.

III. At the Diocesan level

1. It is hoped that each particular Church would have a celebration of the opening of the Year of Faith and a solemn conclusion to it, in which to “profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world.”[28]

2. It would be desirable that each Diocese in the world organize a study day on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly for its priests, consecrated persons and catechists. On this occasion, for example, the Eastern Catholic Eparchies could hold a meeting with their priests to give witness to their specific experience and liturgical tradition in the one faith in Christ. Also, in this way, young particular Churches in mission territories would be able to give renewed witness to that joy of faith which is so often particular to them.

3. Each Bishop could devote a pastoral letter of his own to the topic of faith, keeping in mind the specific pastoral circumstances of the portion of the faithful entrusted to him, reminding them of the importance of the Second Vatican Council and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

4. It is hoped that in each Diocese, under the leadership of the Bishop, catechetical events will be organized, especially for the youth and those searching for a sense of life, helping them to discover the beauty of ecclesial faith, promoting encounters with meaningful witnesses to the faith.

5. It would be appropriate for each particular Church to review the reception of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its own life and mission, particularly in the realm of catechesis. This would provide the opportunity for a renewal of commitment on the part of the catechetical offices of the Dioceses which - supported by the Commissions for Catechesis of the Episcopal Conferences – have the duty to care for the theological formation of catechists.

6. The continuing education of the clergy can be focused during this Year of Faith on the documents of Vatican Council II and on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, treating such themes as “the proclamation of the Risen Christ”, “the Church - sacrament of salvation”, “the mission of evangelization in the world today”, “faith and disbelief”, “faith, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue”, “faith and eternal life”, “the hermeneutic of reform in continuity” and “the Catechism in ordinary pastoral care.”

7. Bishops are invited to organize penitential celebrations, particularly during Lent, in which all can ask for God’s forgiveness, especially for sins against faith. This Year also provides an appropriate occasion in which all can approach the Sacrament of Penance with greater faith and more frequently.

8. It is hoped that there will be a renewed creative dialogue between faith and reason in the academic and artistic communities, through symposia, meetings and days of study, especially at Catholic universities, in order to demonstrate that “there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth.”[29]

9. It is also important to promote encounters with those persons who, “while not claiming to have the gift of faith, are nevertheless sincerely searching for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the world,”[30] taking as an example the dialogues of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

10. The Year of Faith can be an opportunity to pay greater attention to Catholic schools, which are a perfect place to offer to students a living witness to the Lord and to nurture their faith. This can be done by making use of good catechetical tools, like the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Youcat.

IV. At the level of the parish/community/association/movement

1. In preparation for the Year of Faith, all of the faithful are invited to read closely and meditate upon Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei.

2. The Year of Faith “will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist.”[31] In the Eucharist, mystery of faith and source of the new evangelization, the faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and strengthened. All of the faithful are invited to participate in the Eucharist actively, fruitfully and with awareness, in order to be authentic witnesses of the Lord.

3. Priests should devote greater attention to the study of the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, drawing from them resources for the pastoral care of their parishes – catechesis, preaching, Sacramental preparation. They should also offer cycles of homilies on the faith or on certain specific aspects such as, for example, “the encounter with Christ”, “the fundamental contents of the Creed”, and “faith and the Church.”[32]

4. Catechists should hold more firmly to the doctrinal richness of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and, under the direction of their pastors, offer guidance in reading this precious document to groups of faithful, working toward a deeper common understanding thereof, with the goal of creating small communities of faith, and of giving witness to the Lord Jesus.

5. It is hoped that there will be a renewed commitment in parishes to the distribution of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and of other resources appropriate for families, which are true domestic churches and the primary setting for the transmission of the faith. This might be done, for example, during the blessing of homes, the Baptism of adults, Confirmations and Marriages. This can contribute to the deepening of Catholic teaching “in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times.”[33]

6. The promotion of missions and other popular programs in parishes and in the workplace can help the faithful to rediscover the gift of Baptismal faith and the task of giving witness, knowing that the Christian vocation “by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate.”[34]

7. During this time, members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life are asked to work towards the new evangelization with a renewed union to the Lord Jesus, each according to their proper charism, in fidelity to the Holy Father and to sound doctrine.

8. Contemplative communities, during the Year of Faith, should pray specifically for the renewal of the faith among the People of God and for a new impulse for its transmission to the young.

9. Associations and Ecclesial Movements are invited to promote specific initiatives which, through the contribution of their proper charism and in collaboration with their local Pastors, will contribute to the wider experience of the Year of Faith. The new Communities and Ecclesial Movements, in a creative and generous way, will be able to find the most appropriate ways in which to offer their witness to the faith in service to the Church.

10. All of the faithful, called to renew the gift of faith, should try to communicate their own experience of faith and charity[35] to their brothers and sisters of other religions, with those who do not believe, and with those who are just indifferent. In this way, it is hoped that the entire Christian people will begin a kind of mission toward those with whom they live and work, knowing that they “have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man.”[36]


Faith “is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us. Intent on gathering the signs of the times in the present of history, faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world.”[37] Faith is both a personal and a communal act: it is a gift from God that is lived in the communion of the Church and must be communicated to the world. Every initiative for the Year of Faith should be designed to aid in the joyous rediscovery of the faith and its renewed transmission. The recommendations provided here have the goal of inviting all of the members of the Church to work so that this Yearmay be a special time in which we, as Christians, may share that which is most dear to us: Christ Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind, Universal King, “leader and perfecter of faith” (Hb 12: 2).
Given in Rome, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on 6 January 2012, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.
William Cardinal Levada 
Luis F. Ladaria, S.J. 


[17] Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 150.
[18] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 15.
[19] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, n. 65.
[20] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 13.
[21] Ibid., n. 6.
[22] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Decree, Unitatis redintigratio, n. 1.
[23] The following recommendations made for Episcopal Conferences are also offered, in an analogous way, to the Synods of Bishops of Patriarchal and Major Archepiscopal Churches, as well as to the Assemblies of Hierarchs of the other Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris.
[24] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen gentium, n. 25.
[25] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 13.
[26] Ibid., n. 12.
[27] John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution, Fidei depositum, n. 4.
[28] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 8.
[29] Ibid., n. 12.
[30] Ibid., n. 10.
[31] Ibid., n. 9.
[32] Cfr., Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini, 30 September 2010, nn. 59-60, and 74.
[33] ID., Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 8.
[34] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Decree, Apostolicam actuositatem, n. 2.
[35] Cfr. Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 14.
[36] Conc. Ecum. Vat. II, Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes, n. 1.
[37] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, n. 15.

Friday, 3 May 2013

BOOK SUMMARY: The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive - Brendon Burchard

The Charge - Brendon Burchard
Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive

BASELINE                                  FORWARD
HUMAN                                      HUMAN
DRIVES                                      DRIVES

1. Control......................-->   6. Charge
2. Competence..............-->    7. Challenge
3. Congruence...............-->    8. Creative Expression
4. Caring.......................-->    9. Contribution
5. Connection...............-->   10. Consciousness

The Baseline Drives

Not things we necessarily need to survive, but they are things we want to have.

1. CONTROL - To regulate and influence our overall life experience

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Control your outlook and character
                     i. Control what kind of information you let into your brain - Let good information in.
                    ii. Be an optimist
                   iii. Control the quality of person you will be on an everyday basis - intention is not
                         enough: actions must show character
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Control for "new"
                    i. 90 day mental getaway
                   ii. New dining events (new restaurant, eat with friends)
                   iii. What's happening in your area this weekend?
                   iv. Travel adventures
                    v. Expand your peer circle
                    vi. Develop new skills
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Control workflow
                     i. Be fully involved in two to five major projects from beginning to end
                    ii. STOP BEING DISTRACTED! Order your day toward accomplishing real work
                        tasks. Emails last.

Charge points:

1. If I were to live at a higher level of character and maintain a more positive outlook, I would have to begin _________________________________.
2. Two things I could schedule in my calendar right now to control for "new" and introduce novelty and challenge into my life are ____________________________________.
3. A project that I could get involved in or create immediately that would allow me to be more fully invested in my work and shepherd a project from beginning to end would be ________________.

2. COMPETENCE - The ability to understand, successfully perform in, and master our world

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Assess and direct your desire to learn
               i. See yourself using the new skill in the future and see it contributing to who you are
              ii. Learn for intrinsic value - Learn something you find personally meaningful
             iii. Learn something useful to you
             iv. Don't avoid learning because of some "imagined" opportunity cost that doesn't exist
             v. Don't avoid learning something because you are afraid of the time it will take for it to
            vi. Be in control of the outcome of learning something new. Do not let fear of failure stop
                you from beginning. Your hard work pays off!
           vii. Create meaningful relationships along the way; Make sure you are supported in your
          viii. Do not be afraid to over-extend yourself! Over-extension leads to growth!
            ix. Consciously evaluate the resources you would need to begin learning something new
             x. Make sure you are given the trust you need to begin learning
HOW have I been approaching new learning situations?
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Set a real challenge, plan for success, and get a coach!
               i. To grow in life, you need to focus on growth!
              ii. Are there any important areas of your life that you have not improved in a while?
             iii. Choose real, observable, time-bound challenges that will advance your life. YOU set
                  the challenge. PUSH yourself. Do it for no other reason than to grow.
                            ---. Be a planner
                            ---. Have someone to coach and encourage you through it
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Integrate successes into your identity
                 i. Take time to give yourself credit for what you have learned, even on a daily basis

Charge points:

1. One area I would have to develop more skill and competence in, if I am going to make my dream future come true is _____________________________________.
2. A 60 day speed-learning challenge I am going to give myself is _______________________.
3. One of the ways I am going start celebrating my wins and integrating my successes into my identity is to _________________________________.

3. CONGRUENCE - To live in consistent alignment with who we think we are, how we want others to perceive us, and who we want to become

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Set new standards for yourself. 
                 i. Be congruent for yourself and with others and consistently live those standards
                ii. Consciously describe who you want to be for yourself
                iii. Consciously describe who you want to be for others
                iv. Consistently live your vision
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Set your mood meter: Have emotional congruence with a positive 
What mood do you want to have? Why?
                 i. Do physical movement (exercise) often
                ii. Play positive music or sounds
               iii. Pay attention to positive and shut out the negative stimuli
               iv. Surround yourself with positive people
                v. Be enthusiastic about the future
               vi. Start the day with positive expectation
               vii. Drink water all day long
               viii. Look for reasons to say thank you and complement others
                 ix. Have lunch with friends
                 x. Write in a journal each night
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Keep your word and follow through
                 i. Understand the depth of the impact of your words
                 ii. Follow through with your responsibilities and duties
                    (follow through with what you know you should be doing)

Charge Points:

1. To live my 6-word standards each day, the behaviours I would have to stop/start in my life, to be more congruent with them, are _________________________________.
2. Three things I could do every day to manage my mood, so I could have a greater day-to-day congruence in how I feel are __________________________.
3. Five commitments I am going to make and keep in the next 60 days are _______________.

4. CARING - To care for others

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Care for thyself
                  i. Drink a lot more water (6 L a day)
                 ii. Sleep more
                 iii. Smaller portions, more produce (one third of a plate)
                 iv. Exercise at least three times per week
                 v. Meditate (twice a day)
                 vi. Give yourself a little credit
                 vii. Engage your emotions more often
This is an aspect of congruence as well
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Be more vulnerable and allow others to care for you more
                   i. Let your guard down
                  ii. Be bold and open yourself to care from others
                 iii. What challenges or problems are you having in the areas of life? What are your
                     ambitions? Will you go it alone in these problems & dreams -- or will you ask for
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Be more present, interested, and attentive to others
                   i. People need our presence, not our presents
                  ii. When someone talks about a personal experience, ask this question: "Wow! How
                      did you feel when that happened?"

Charge Points:

1. Five ways I am going to start taking better care of myself include _______________________.
2. If I were willing to be more vulnerable in life, I would probably start asking for more help in the area of ___________________________________.
3. Three ways I will start demonstrating more care for the people in my life are to _____________.

5. CONNECTION - To feel connected to others

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Define and design your ideal relationships
                i. Family
               ii. Friendship
               iii. Intimate relationship
               iv. Coworker relationship
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Practice positive projection
                i. Project positive traits onto others -- they will live up to them
               ii. See others in an overwhelmingly positive light (make excuses for others)
              iii. Stop seeing others as obstacles, but see them as teammates or "worthy opponents"
              iv. Give 5 times more praise than complaints or negativity
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Find and cultivate "growth friends"
               i. Choose how much time you give your friends
               ii. Choose how much you will develop the quality of such relationships
               iii. Make the choice to surround yourself with remarkable friends that will help lift you to
                   the level you know you should be at
               iv. Get real about the friends you will develop deeper relationships with
                             ---. Write down all the friends you've ever had
                             ---. Write a short description of 1. What about them you liked as friends;
                                   2. Why you are still or no longer friends with them.
                             ---. Categorize as 1. Old friends; 2. Maintenance friends; 3. Growth friends
                             ---. Share your true thoughts, feelings and ambitions in life
                             ---. You want growth friends? Model the friendship.

Charge Points:

1. Five things I could do immediately to create happier and deeper relationships in my life would be ____________________________________.
2. If I did a better job in positively projecting toward my spouse or significant other, I would start to give that person credit for these things ______________________________________.
3. The growth friends I have in my life, or will now try to cultivate include ___________________.


The Forward Drives
The ability to master the baseline drives dramatically affects our ability to activate our forward drives

These drives shake you up, are less comfortable to fully activate, but are more satisfying; they demand planning and demand more of yourself, acting more boldly than ever before

6. CHANGE - Intelligently and strategically manage (CONTROL) your desire for change

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Make change about the gains, not the losses
                i. People fear what change will bring because of
                          ---. expectation of loss
                          ---. expectation of the pain of the process of change
                          ---. expectation of bad outcome
               ii. Focus on gains
               iii. Focus on new challenges
               iv. Change the negative "what-if" statements to positive "what-if" statements
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Get clarity, think big, and be bold
                i. Defined, detailed vision for what you want to accomplish and have been
               ii. Think big and it will demand all the best in you. "SMART" goals are not good enough.
               iii. Chase a goal that is unthinkable for others; get up again and again
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Make real choices
                i. Make real choices in advance of setting out for change
               ii. Make clear and focused statements on what you want (this) and what you don't want
                               ---. I want this, not that
                               ---. Do more of this, no more of that
                               ---. When this happens, do that (hook new habits onto old ones)
                               ---. Always choose this, not that
                               ---. Do this now, then that

Charge Points:

1. A major change I have been holding back in my life, because of a major loss, process or outcome pain is _____________________________________.
2. A clear and bold new change I could make in my life would be to ____________________.
3. The "this-that" rules I could apply to this clear and bold new change would be ____________.

7. CHALLENGE - Challenge yourself!

          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Choose more fulfilling challenges
5 aspects of fulfilling focuses
                 i. Demand singularity of focus
                ii. Stretch our efforts and capabilities
               iii. Ability to "score" your performance and progress
               iv. Allow for sense of completion
               v. Allow a sharing of experience and achievement
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Focus on the journey and don't fear rejection
Two enemies of challenge:
                  i. unmet expectations
                 ii. paralyzing fear of rejection

          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Set monthly, 30-day challenges
                  i. Check in each Sunday and at the end of the month
                  ii. personal development challenges
                  iii. social challenges
                 iv. giving challenges
                 v. contribute to the world
                        ---. DO NOT avoid a challenge because you can't envision the solution!
                        ---. DO NOT address these problems alone!
Charge Points:
1. The next big and bold challenge I am going to take on in my life is to __________________.
2. If I stopped fearing rejection, a challenge I would have taken on earlier in my life would have been to _______________.
3. The 30-day challenges I could set for myself, over the next 12 months include ____________.

8. CREATIVE EXPRESSION - Creatively expressing something of your unique self
The new worker is the "creative" worker, the innovator
          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Amplify creative expression in all areas of your life
                 i. Can you see your creative expression in all areas of your life? Relationships, the
                    home, at work?
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Study people and design
                 i. People watch
                 ii. Get into the arts
                 iii. Notice how things are designed
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Create more; share more
                  i. Actually create something
                 ii. Really creating something requires a long slog of hard work with knowledge
Charge Points

1. To show more of me and express myself more creatively, at home and at work, I will _______.
2. To be more inspired by people and design in my life, I could start ______________________.
3. The next thing I am going to physically create and share with the world would be ___________.

9. CONTRIBUTION - To give something that matters
Contribution is the source of meaning in our lives
Not all methods of contribution are created equal!
Giving of versus Giving to
          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Give of yourself (and give yourself credit while you're at it!)
                   i. Give the best of yourself to everything you do and you will feel like                                       you are contributing
                   ii. Give all your energy, skill, effort, etc... and you will be giving of                                  yourself
                   iii. It is enough to give your best self in everything! Don't try to be                                   famous, just give yourself and let things happen.
                   iv. How have you contributed to the life of your family?
                   v. Recognize your impact!
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Give to deeply meaningful contribution experiences
                   i. You can give your time, energy, effort, resources, skills, connections,                                     attention, and love to others
                   ii. The world already recognizes this type of giving 
                   iii. Choose the right giving activity matters as much as choosing the right                        cause
                   iv. Choose novel, challenging, socially connected and personally                                               meaningful activity
         1. Must have ability to leverage your strengths in some kind of creative activity & must be able to see your creative works come to fruition
         2. The most meaningful experiences almost always involves mentoring others
         3. Satisfying contribution experiences let us see the direct social impact of our efforts
         4. Don't choose the cause that you feel is most important
         5. "Fate funding": Giving to people whom "fate" has placed in front of us--giving to their causes
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Mentor, mentor, mentor!
                   i. You can make an impact, and get paid for it, through your knowledge!
                   ii. Man's main concern is not gain pleasure, or avoid pain, but rather, to                                    see a meaning in his life." Viktor Frankl

Charge Points:
1. I feel I contribute to the world around me by _________________________________.
2. A new, and deeply meaningful giving experience I'd like to create is _________________.
3. Someone who could use my mentoring is ______________________________________.

10. CONSCIOUSNESS – Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?
-Consciousness = the human-bound capacity to be self-aware (human, psychological, in the body)
-Consciousness = non-human, cosmic/divine unifying energy or force (religious, spiritual, outside the body, transcendent)

We can achieve both.
          a. ACTIVATOR 1 = Focus your consciousness
                   i. Be conscious of your thoughts. Where shall I focus my thoughts now?
                   ii. Be conscious of your emotional and physical energy. How shall I feel                                    right now?
                   iii. Be conscious of your behaviour. Always full integrity with self and                                      deep respect for others!
                   iv. Be conscious of others. Know thyself, but know others too. Seek                                 insight into others’ lives.
                   v. Be conscious of your progress. What is your end? Am I moving                                    forward in life?
          b. ACTIVATOR 2 = Transcend consciousness
We seek a connection with a higher purpose, God, ask the existential questions, and to connect with something more than ourselves.
                   i. Be conscious of the present moment. We can sense a oneness right                               now! Am I fully present right now? How present am I on scale of 1 to 10? Be fully present with what is.
                   ii. Be at peace with your past and with what life is now.
                   iii. Be conscious of coincidence and intuition.
                   iv. Be conscious of love. What if love is the force holding the universe                                      together? Live this love. Give love, don’t wait for it, and don’t expect anything in return.
          c. ACTIVATOR 3 = Live in wonder.
                   i. Allow yourself to be amazed!
                   ii. We can steer our free will to create a sense of awe.
                   iii. Meet wondrous thoughts that come to you and wonder about them deeply

Charge Points:
1. If I were more aware and directive of my consciousness in life, my life would change in these ways: ___________________________________________________

2. To connect with a higher consciousness on a more regular basis, I could _____________________________________________________________________

3. The things that inspire my wonder about the world and my place in it include _____________________________________________________________________


          You cannot completely win. You cannot fully master any of the drives. The journey is what makes you “charged”. You can have the commitment it takes to activate these drives everyday more and more. Difficult does not mean “bad”. Challenges make us alive! The struggle is worth it.

Give yourself permission to live fully expressed and live with more life. Challenge others to charge themselves as well.

We experience this when we go beyond ourselves and succeed at it, “out there” in the world. Be bold and ready yourself. You can live every day in celebration.