Melvyn Tan
November 10, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

The Enemy

[blockquote source=”Psalm 108:12 (NIV)”]Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.[/blockquote] Learning Most professional development opportunities (training, seminars, conferences, books, tutorials, etc) work at two levels, they are aimed at changing behaviors through equipping you with the knowledge and skills. For instance, I once attended a course on Design Thinking, where the […]

[blockquote source=”Psalm 108:12 (NIV)”]Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.[/blockquote]

Learning
Most professional development opportunities (training, seminars, conferences, books, tutorials, etc) work at two levels, they are aimed at changing behaviors through equipping you with the knowledge and skills.

For instance, I once attended a course on Design Thinking, where the trainers taught us the requisite skills for the job. To facilitate the process, a structure was introduced to enable us to employ our newly minted competencies. The course was great and I enjoyed it tremendously.

However, what I faced afterwards is not something uncommon. As I returned to my work environment, it was difficult to continue using those skills because the environment was not conducive. It is not a plug-and-play situation. And due to the resistance, one would usually give up trying eventually. Hence rendering the training to be effective.

There are, in my opinion, many courses out there that suffer from the same fate. As a result, some courses may be deemed as irrelevant or ineffective as it did not perform as advertised.

Those courses that are successful in enabling the participants to not only continue with the practices encouraged, but also sustain it are the ones that address at a deeper level. These are the ones that deal with the identity and probably even deeper at the spiritual level.

Starts with the Identity
One of the recent books I read fall into this category – Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. What this book did at the outset was to establish what Todd described as “creatives”. He defined them as anyone who make a living by turning thoughts into value. Traditional creatives are the designers and artists. But based on his definition, as he argued, would also include consultants, strategists, or even managers. I would go even further and include stay-at-home moms, teachers, and chefs.

Literally, it could potentially include almost everyone if you consider the kind of work that we do and the demands that comes with it. Here, we may see work in the traditional sense, but if we further expand the definition of work to “creating value where it did not exist”, then it could include both work in the traditional sense as well as any other form of tasks that you perform.

Why is this book so important is because only after it has established your identity as a creative, did it share about the strategies and techniques required to make you into a brilliant, prolific, and healthy creative.

The Enemy
As I read the book and attempt to put what it said into practice, I encounter the enemy. The enemy comes in the form of varying degree of resistance. It could show up as a temptation to just sleep in for another hour, or it could be as destructive as self-doubt (who are you kidding calling yourself a creative). And no human can help us with dealing with this resistant, the great enemy. It is only Jesus who is able to help us. Jesus himself had been tempted in all ways possible and had even defeated death itself.

Depend on God
So, while we place our hopes on giants who come before us and paved the ways for us in developing our knowledge and skills, we only have God to depend on to defeat the enemy and combat resistant. And that’s the reason why I commit my time each day to learning the Word and then committing to living it afterwards and eventually to leading others.

Prayer
Dear Father God, while our fellow men equip us with the knowledge and skills; only You can help us defeat the greatest enemy. May we look to You for hope and strength to help us pursue the path moving forward. In Jesus name, Amen.