Thomas McGreevy

Inner Necessity

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“The person who is going to change is going to change anyway. She has no choice. She is impelled by inner necessity. While the person who is not going to change is not going to change no matter how many seminars or retreats she attends or how much money she pays to those who promise to help her make the change” – Steven Pressfield This certainly puts a damper on the whole self-improvement industry.  Personally, I think there is value in hearing positive messages from credible people who can encourage…read more

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Goals

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When I hear the word “goals”, or when people talk about goal-setting, something inside me cringes.  I picture some kind of schoolmaster getting in my face telling me to make something of myself.  He’s pacing back and forth, staring at me over the top of his glasses and telling me all about how I am failing to meet expectations. My mind becomes flooded with the multitudinous tasks that I never seem to make much progress on and I try to figure out how I could be more productive.  It eliminates…read more

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Belief

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A centurion walks up to Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament (Matthew 8:5) and asks him to heal his sick and suffering servant.  The centurion has heard rumors about Jesus (see Luke 7:3).  He has no relationship with him.  He has no personal experience with him.  He doesn’t even have the religious background to know that such a man as Jesus is expected to come and what he was likely to be capable of.  He has simply heard stories about what Jesus was doing as he exercised his authority…read more

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Old Patterns

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Its Sunday night and I’m staring down the barrel of another week.  We’re in that long cold grey stretch between the beginning of the new year and Easter.  We’ve got a fresh blanket of snow from the latest winter storm.  I’ve got a strong dose of the Sunday-night feeling that I remember having as a kid.  Here we go again.  Where is any of this toil going to lead?  What will come of it? It’s an old pattern that I developed when I was a student in school that is…read more

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Let it Ferment

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If you want to make bread like the best in the world, like the artisans, you only need 5 ingredients.  You need some kind of yeast starter, flour, water, and salt.  If you find the best source for each of these and mix them together in the right ratios and then bake it, you will end up with a brick that has no flavor. Why?  Because you forgot the one ingredient that is responsible for bringing about the characteristics that we look for in a good loaf of bread.  Time.  The…read more

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It’s OK to Lead

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I used to think that leaders were just people who were too inflexible and too selfish to live in a world that doesn’t bend to their own will. In some cases that is absolutely true. There are many leaders who are leaders because they simply can’t have it any other way. They walk into a room and dominate the conversation because that’s all they know. When it comes to making decisions they see themselves as the right person to decide just because that’s how they’ve always seen it.  These narcissists…read more

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When You’re Ready

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How will you know when you’re ready? Ready to speak up… ready to start your project… ready to decide… ready to engage deeply with the people around you. I find myself waiting for a comfort level, or for a break in the conversation/noise that is so long and so awkward that it practically begs me to make my move.  I tend to feel ready after it’s too late, when I feel the sting of regret that comes with having missed the opportunity.  Then I’m scrambling and grasping to bring it…read more

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Bye Bye Albatross

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“Instead of the cross, the Albatross, About my neck was hung”  Samuel Taylor Coleridge Have you every had a burden upon you that spanned more than a decade? After such a long time you wonder if you will ever be free from it.  It becomes difficult to imagine life without it lurking there in the back corner of your mind. I owned an apartment house for nearly 14 years.  At first it was our primary residence and wasn’t much of a burden at all, but after about 5 years we moved…read more

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Divine Discontent

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“We have come to the wrong star … That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. The true happiness is that we don’t fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.”  G.K. Chesterton There is great freedom in being able to admit that you want something else… something more. Chesterton refers to it as the divine discontent.  At first it might sound self-centered.  Who are you to be so focused on your own desires? Aren’t you supposed to set them aside so you…read more

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I Know It (vs)… I Like It (vs)… It is Good

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Its very easy to confuse the three of these.  The dopamine reward system makes it entoxicatingly pleasurable to treat them all as the same thing.  Dopamine release is a key mechanism behind drug addiction and, in the same way, it is a key mechanism behind our addiction to the familiar. Essentially, we experience a great amount of pleasure when our expectations are met.  We love it when we can anticipate something and are accurate in doing so.  There’s nothing like familiar territory… at least at first.  The familiar feels good right…read more

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