Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Day TODAY

I have decided that New Year's Day should be everyday.  I have been the guy in the past that made the LIST of new years resolutions.  I have been the guy that met some of them and missed some of them.  In recent years, my philosophy has changed on the subject and I share it now with you.

SELF HONESTY TODAY
If I approach everyday as the "new" day, then I am more likely to be honest with myself.  There are those of us who, when wanting to start a diet say, "I am going to start in two weeks or the first of the year" or whatever.  Or you are going to quit smoking, or watch less TV or read your Bible more or whatever it is for you.  Here is the bottom line on what is important for starting or stopping something.  Everyday is "New Year's Day" for whatever is important for you to do for yourself, for your family or for God.  Stop procrastinating and make today the best day it can be for all the right reasons.  I hear so many people that have had more birthdays than I say, "I got out of bed this morning so it was a great day!"  So many times we don't approach life that way.  We need to look for the good in everyday and make that day what it needs to be and it all starts with being honest with ourselves.

THE MAN (WOMAN) IN THE MIRROR
There is a poem I have ran on this blog before with the title above.  The bottom line of the poem is this.  If life is not or has not been what you wanted or want it to be, blame no one but the person you see when you look in the mirror.  This is yet another level of self-honesty.  When you communicate with other people, you look them in the eye.  Maybe sometimes we need to talk to ourselves.  Try this.  Go to a mirror in your residence where no one else can "hear" your conversation with yourself.  Look in the mirror.  Look at yourself in YOUR EYES.  Now, get the conversation started.  What do you want to talk about?  What do you LIKE about what is happening in your life?  What do you NOT like about what is happening in your life?  This is a great starting place to really get to the root of how you feel about what you have happening in your life.  If you are honest, there will be things that you like and things that you don't like.  Don't be too hard on yourself, but don't be too easy either.  Be realistic about what you CAN do something about and what you CANNOT do something about.  But, do what you can and the conversation with SELF gets easier.

WHY BOTHER?
You might say all of this sounds silly.  OK, maybe so.  But, don't knock it before you try it.  Make today your New Year's Day.  Be committed to making your life the best life it can be one day at a time.  There will be detractors, doubters and people/things that are an outright negative influence on your life and the way you want to live it.  But, for me I know I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.  I need His strength to take the place of strength I don't always have.  And if I will let Him be with me, I will be honest with myself most everyday.  Then, I will recognize what needs to change and rise in the morning making every day my New Year's Day.  Make today and everyday the very best it can be no matter what your circumstances in life.  Look for the good, don't focus on the bad and live life to it's fullest.

Monday, December 20, 2010

QUESTIONS, WISDOM & WORRY

QUESTIONS
I don't know about you, but sometimes I have more questions than answers.  Seems like when I was younger, I had more answers than questions.  Again, I don't know about you, but I also had an opinion on pretty much everything too.  But today, I try and gather more information when I am trying to come to an answer or reach a conclusion.  And, with reference to the opinion, I still have one but I try and consider a broader scope of information before I share it.

WISDOM
We have always been told we should respect our elders, the people with the white or gray hair.  Now, as the color of my hair begins to change, I try and think more carefully about what I say if someone asked me what I think.  Sometimes, I don't know what I think.  If you take a look around at the world that we live in, as much as it seems things have changed, they probably have not.  Different day, different faces and names, many of the same situations, just different people.  As for wisdom, if we've got enough of it to ask folks who have walked before us what "their" experience is, we might not make some of the same mistakes.  And, if we can, share something with someone so they don't have to make the same mistakes we made.

WORRY
I think if you look the word worry up in the dictionary, you would find, "negative goal-setting".  Nothing is ever accomplished by worrying.  I have heard of research that says 92% of what people worry about either never happens, is something they can't do anything about or is so un-important that it is wasted energy.  Trying to guess what might happen will only lead you down a negative road and make you physically sick.  Work toward the light instead of the darkness.

As we think about coming up on the close of one year and the beginning of another, I would ask you to consider the following.  Understand the importance of questions YOU answer and questions you are ASKED by someone else.  Use your WISDOM to do the best you can and respect the opinions of those who have gone before you, even if you don't agree.  And, do what you can about what you can and don't worry about the rest.  Life will happen, we just have to happen (and live) as part of it and not let it just happen to us!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HAPPINESS

What is happiness?  I would propose that for me and you, happiness is in the heart of the beholder.

WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
I guess when I think about what really makes me happy I have to think about priorities first.  My first priority for happiness is my relationship with God.  If my relationship with God is not right, for me nothing else can be right.  So, the cornerstone of happiness for me is my relationship with God being what it needs to be.  Again, for me and for the rest of us if we believe in God and are honest, if that situation and relationship is not right, nothing else will be either.  While everything might not always be the specific way you want it to be or I want it to be in my life, I need to just keep everything in perspective with the big picture.  So, the foundation for happiness for me is my relationship with God.

FAMILY
Next for me in the happiness lineup is my relationships with my family.  I care for and am concerned about their well-being and I do my best to encourage and help those closest to me.  Ultimately, those relationships might not always get all of the time and attention I would like for them to have but I continue to work toward making those relationships what they need to be.  I have not always been all that I need in all of those relationships but they know I love them and I always try and do better.  Ultimately, relationships with family represent the second layer of happiness in my life.

FRIENDS
I will have to say personally, I have let this part of my "happiness" suffer some in recent years.  Sometimes, we are so focused on what is out there in front of us, that we fail to acknowledge other things that are important to us too.  We have to invest time in friendships to make sure those relationships not only continue but are something that both parties benefit from long term.  Sometimes, it is easy to let things that really don't matter get in the way of things that do.  Friendships matter.  I know in the year to come, I need to give more attention to my friends and being the support and encouragement for them that I should be.  

WORK
We have to be careful about how this impacts everything else.  The time, effort and energy that our work gets can have both positive and negative impact on so many other aspects of our lives.  For some people this one is easy.  You go to work, put in your 8 hours and then you go home.  Tomorrow comes and you do the same thing again.  You care about your work and are committed.  For others, especially if you are self-employed the hands on the clock are often at times broken.  You sometimes forget where the day begins and ends.  And when that begins to happen the separation you need for your personal and professional life begins to blur too.  But ultimately, there must be balance here for everything to work.  All work and no play, you've heard the expression before and it is the truth.  We all have to figure out how to make work "work", but not let it consume our lives to experience happiness here too.

THE JUGGLING ACT
Ultimately, I am not perfect and provide full disclosure in saying I am no where close!  I do realize that for me to be happy it takes a careful balance of many different aspects of my life.  And, for the end result of my life on a daily basis to be "happiness", I have to try and keep everything in perspective and achieve the balance we talk about every week in this blog.  So here we are in the grips of the time of year when people often consider their individual "happiness".   I propose we should all think about what makes us happy and make sure those "parts" of our life are where they need to be.  If correct is needed, set about making it happen.  Maybe then, we will concentrate more on things that matter and less on things that don't.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

COMPROMISE OR COMPLETE FAITH THROUGH FEAR

FEAR
Emotions are an essential aspect of who we are as human-beings.  When I was a kid, I had a couple of dreams that appealed to my emotions and my subconscious would serve them up on a somewhat regular basis.  One dream was fun, the other dream was scary.  Today, as an adult, I have come to understand something very important about my personal emotions and one of the strongest emotions of mankind, fear.

FEAR COMPROMISES OR COMPLETES FAITH
Pardon for the discourse from my normal format, but this is a thought that came together this past week and I wanted to share it with you.  Have you ever been afraid about something?  I recently experienced fear (or maybe anxiety) about a few things over which I had no control.  My tension, fear and anxiety did absolutely nothing positive for me and in fact, had the potential for making the situation worse (than I already thought it was).  After this personal experience, I then had a couple of people express to me their fears about particular situations in their lives.  One person talked about praying about their situation but then talked about being afraid the outcome of the situation would be unfavorable.  This person then went on to say they were afraid of what might happen even after they had prayed.  Then, it occurred to me, this individual was in danger of letting their fear compromise their faith.  Had I done this before?  You bet I have, many times over.  Then, as I continued to consider this thought, I realized that fear could also complete your faith.   So my conclusion, either fear compromises or completes faith.  Now lets consider exactly what that means.

FEAR DEFINED
(man’s definition) An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.  Being afraid of someone or something as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. 

FAITH DEFINED
(man’s definition) Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.  Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.  Hebrews 11:1  says “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God.  Personally, my definition of faith is believing the Bible is God’s word, trying to better understand it and apply it to our lives daily and sharing our conviction of its‘ power and impact with others.  Faith is loving, respecting and fearing God so much that we want to do all we can to please Him now and eternally.   

WE EACH DECIDE EVERYDAY
Let your fear be of God, so your faith will be stronger.  Better know God and His word so your faith will be completed by your fear.  Examine your life, make your fear a meaningful fear that will help you grow in spirit and better handle the challenges we face while in this life.  If we believe in God, then fear and respect Him.  Don't let fear compromise your relationship with Him, but when you pray to Him, know He hears your prayers and will give you what you need even though the outcome might not always be what you  think it should be.  Complete your faith with fear, don't compromise it.  Do not conform your life to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds and be what God wants you to be, Romans 12:1-2.  Show Him respect, love , honor and fear in this life and the rewards He will provide are eternal.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

SUDDEN IMPACT


Ecc. 7:2 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting...."
I went to a funeral about a week ago honoring someone that had a great deal of impact on my life.  And, ultimately I don't guess I realize just how much impact he had until I was attending his funeral.  I did realize over the years that his guidance and wisdom were important to me at a crucial time in my life, but I never really thought about how much his guidance and wisdom had impacted my life until now.  The counsel he provided me 27 years ago was brief (two short meetings) but it had SUDDEN IMPACT (a career choice) in my life that has ultimately lasted 27 years and beyond. 

Really when you think about the impact of a decision, there certainly are short-term results from decisions but many times, the impact decisions and counsel have in people's lives really takes a while to grow.  And really, do we ever think about the impact others have had on our lives OR the impact we might have on the lives of others too when we give or get counsel?  Let me share some of the lessons I have learned from the funeral I attended and the SUDDEN IMPACT this individual had on my life.

1.  WISDOM.  Listen to the wisdom of others when they are willing to share it.  And, by choosing to listen to what they say their words can have impact in your life for many years to come.
2.  GIVING COUNSEL.  When someone ask for your opinion on something, give your words careful consideration.  You never know, your words could impact someone in their life in a very dramatic way that could last a lifetime.
3.  THE EYES OF OTHERS.  We should be willing to see ourselves through the eyes of someone else.  In getting access to YOURSELF through the eyes of others, they might have the wisdom to see something in you that you could never see for yourself. 
4.  DIFFERENCE MAKERS.  Be a difference maker.  Make a difference in everything that you touch.  Live an active life to the best of your ability and make a difference in whatever you choose to be involved in during your life. 

INVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE
This man I am talking about, made a difference in my life profoundly when he had nothing to directly gain from investing time, thought and energy into helping me.  This individual was a banker in his career when I first came to know him but he had many careers and professions over his life.  I guess as I think about it, he may have been more aware of me than I realized.  He lived "across the fence" from us in the home where I grew up.  When I needed a student loan, it was his bank that had a loan program that I borrowed from to help fund my college education.  And, then when I needed advice in my career, he was the one whom I asked for advice and he invested in me to provide it.  I am thankful I had the good sense to listen to what this man said.  I have enjoyed much of my business career because of the path he helped set me on when he INVESTED HIS WISDOM in me, never expecting to receive any specific return to himself. 

I also found out while at this funeral that I was not the only one that he had "invested his wisdom" in over the years.  Apparently he knew the value of investing in other people far more than I ever realized.  So today, I asked myself and I would ask you to consider the same question, "are we investing ourselves in making a difference in the lives of others today?"  I have tried to do this over the years but I can assure you that now I will be more committed to listening and helping provide insight I have gained to others as they begin their journey in life.  Make it be your goal to have SUDDEN IMPACT in the lives of others that will last a lifetime.

Monday, November 22, 2010

OPINIONS AND EARS

Sometimes an ear is better than an opinion.  

OPINIONS
I have an opinion on just about anything, just ask my wife!  And, most of the time I am right (yeah, do you believe that) at least in my own mind, just like the rest of you.  But you know sometimes it is better to give someone your EAR instead of your OPINION.  Opinions are colored with lots of different variables.  We can either develop and nurture opinions over an extended period of time OR we can draw conclusions very quickly without much information.  Which way is the right way to develop an opinion?  Well, both approaches might be right based on the individual circumstances of the situations we are dealing with at any given time.  But, for the most part, opinions I think should be formed with more careful consideration than we are accustomed to in the hurry up world that we live in today.  

EARS
Sometimes we are so busy giving people an EAR FULL, we fail to use our own ears.  I certainly have been guilty of passing out the ear full.  Generally speaking, I try and be, feel and live a very optimistic life and that creates a lot of energy that seems to come bubbling out of my mouth.  And while generally, I hope and intend for that to be a good thing, maybe sometimes I should work more on holstering my weapon, my words.  Don't get me wrong, my intentions are well intended but sometimes those intentions can fall on "deaf ears" because I failed to use "my ears" for what they were intended.  When I have done corporate training programs in the past, I often quoted the statement, "the good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth and we should use them in that proportion".  I often have to remind myself to also, "practice what you preach".   

OPINIONS, EARS, EYES or HEART....WHICH IS RIGHT?
It is not always easy to know what people need, but maybe we need to use all of the resources the good Lord gave us.  If we use our eyes to see and our ears and hearts to listen, we will probably give our opinion on situations a little bit less.  And, in the end, if we are trying to help someone maybe they don't need our opinion but they do need us to see them with our eyes and understand them with our ears THROUGH our heart.  Try and make a difference in the life of someone else this week, especially when they least expect it.  And give the encouragement they need to deal with the ups and downs they are riding on this roller coaster of life.    

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THE DRUG YOU CANNOT BUY

MEDICATIONS
I have the good fortune of not having to take any prescribed medications and that is pretty good for a guy just past the half-century mark.  But, I have a 92 year old aunt who at this point could own a pharmacy with all of the medications she has purchased and had to take.  But, for all the drugs she has to take, she must have a prescription from a doctor to get them and take them.

There are also lots of over the counter medications that you can buy and self-medicate with based on your symptoms too.  But what I want you to consider for your mental and medical well-being is, "the drug you cannot buy".  

The drug you cannot buy (tdycb) can be one of the most powerful medications known to mankind today.  Tdycb can heal people from despair, tragedy and almost every human emotion you can imagine.  The drug you cannot buy is not grown in the tropical rain forest or in a remote undiscovered village in South Africa.  So what is the drug you cannot buy and where can you get it?  

THE DRUG YOU CANNOT BUY
It's passing along the encouragement we get from others.  It comes from the hearts and minds of men and women who have been given the words to say by our creator.  Tdycb did not cost you anything so give it away.  And, hope that the encouragement you received and in turn gave, will be as much a blessing to you in giving it, as it is to the one who receives it.  

Over the years, I have had the good fortune of getting the drug you cannot buy from many people.  I am not sure that I have always given it away as much as I have received it.  So, I am resolved to do a better job of distributing the drug you cannot buy to people every day of my life.  I would encourage you to do the same and together we can all know the pleasure of doing what we can to help our fellow man.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HOW WE SEE THINGS

No matter who you are, no matter how old you might be, you have your own unique perspective on life.  When I was doing training seminars on a regular basis, I often used formal definitions to describe words and then I would provide my own definition.  For perspective, the definition is, "a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something".  My personal definition of perspective is, "the way you see things".  The way we see things or your perspective is very individual.  Now, here comes the important part of understanding perspective.  Although I have a perspective, it does not mean it is the perspective that everyone else will share (Sorry to have to inform some of you about that, see some people think the way THEY SEE THINGS is the only way a "thing" is).  You see, I think perspective is "colored" by everything which we have experienced in our lives.  In fact, I believe the person we are is greatly influenced by the experiences we choose to draw from in our past that can/has/does influence our perspective.

CHOOSING YOUR WARDROBE  
Do you like clothes or are they just something you have to wear?  I really kinda like clothes, ask my wife!  Really, I don't want to be wearing something that is out of style.  I want to look as sharp as I can, it makes me feel better about myself.  I go back to the radio ad we use to hear in the town where I grew up, "wear the clothes that make the man".  And, while I knew then and I know now that clothes don't make me who I am, they can sometimes be a reflection of what I think or how I feel.  

I think our perspective is very much the same way.  If I CHOOSE to let the things that have happen to me in my life which were not pleasant and did not influence my life in a positive way define how I feel and who I am, I have CHOSEN to act on the negative perspectives that have colored my life.  If I CHOOSE to let things that have happen in my life which were pleasant influence direct my life, then I have CHOSEN to act on the positive perspectives that have colored my life.  And then finally, another way to consider this situation is, you can take the perspective of looking at the negative things in life and turning them into learning experiences so you really don't have to choose a wardrobe of non-pleasant life experiences.  Just say, some experiences in life are more pleasant than others, but we can learn from everything that happens to us.

SEEING THROUGH OTHERS EYES
I don't know about you but I get pretty wrapped up in what I have to do and get accomplished on a regular basis.  I have all of these responsibilities out in front of me and I sometimes seem overwhelmed.  I am trying to get all of the things accomplished I need to accomplish and I sometimes fail to think about how what I do or say has impact on other people.  We probably need to give that thought more time and attention but we are all too busy, right?  Well, maybe we just need to take a little more time to consider our "line of sight" with regard to the situation, circumstances and the people involved.  Maybe we need to take a little more time to "train" our perspective.

Perspective can be something (how we see things) that either just happens to us and then we react OR perspective can be influenced more by the things we THINK ABOUT and then how we act on those things.  I guess in the end, our perspective can be influenced and trained more by us as individuals if we are just willing to take the time.  And that, is the difference between going through life just "bouncing off the walls" and dealing with whatever happens OR making informed choices, influencing your perspective and thinking about what you want your life to be.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SPECIAL POWERS

Back a few years ago, I noticed that things which were closer to my face were harder for me to see.  Hmm, why might that be?  All of a sudden, my arms just did not seem long enough.  The farther I could hold something away from my face, the easier it was to bring it into focus.  Then, I figured it out, I needed something to help bring the world into focus between the length of my arm and a reasonable distance from my face!  It was a reality that lots of folks face at different points in time in their life, I needed some of those cheap reading glasses.  Now, I didn't need much, really the weakest ones you can buy and that is what I am still using today, but I still need them and I need them absolutely every day to see things clearly at that distance from my face.  But then, there are the things that are in the same range of distance from my face that I don't see, like last night.  We went to some friends house and I was driving my wife's car.  We parked  the car, got out and I proceeded to jam my forehead against the edge of the top of the door.  As you might imagine, severe pain, a breech of my skin and liquid red stuff followed.  This was then all followed by ice, swelling and getting to explain to others at the get together my injury.  So why didn't I see the edge of the car door?  I wasn't paying attention and accurately navigating my environment.

X-RAY VISION
Really, that is what this blog is all about.  Vision and direction.  And, really I am not talking about the vision where you see the PHYSICAL, I am talking about the vision that provides direction in life unrelated to what we do or don't see in our lives.  So, to keep the physical vision of life and the "life direction vision" separate, let's call the "life direction vision" X-RAY VISION.  Just like with super heros, X-RAY VISION allows you to see things the way they really are right down to the bone.  X-RAY VISION gives you insight and a reality check because you can see all levels of something instead of just what is on the surface.  X-RAY VISION gives you clarity, purpose and helps set the stage for getting through whatever it is you need to deal with because you can see if for what it is, (person, people or situation) not just what you see with your eyes.  I don't know about you but sometimes I forget to turn on my X-RAY VISION.  It is always there, but sometimes I just forget.  Your X-RAY VISION comes with years of experience and unlike your normal vision, it can and should get better as you get older instead of worse.  It is one of the most important super powers anyone can have in life, but each of us as individuals has to develop this special skill.  When I get discouraged in my life, if I check, I will find I forgot about my X-RAY VISION.  And usually, if I am discouraged, I have let the things I CAN SEE get in the way of seeing what is not there that I need to see to stay on track in my daily life.

INTERNAL GPS  
Along with X-RAY VISION, we need to better develop our INTERNAL GPS to stay on track.  Have you ever noticed how much we have come to rely on the GPS's in our cars or on our phones?  It seems like we can barely go a few miles from home and not need to use the GPS.  TV comedy shows even show people driving into lakes (probably not far from the truth!) following GPS systems in their vehicles because the GPS cannot be wrong!  I think sometimes this dependency on something or someone else telling us where to go has also made it more difficult for us to find our way in life.  The INTERNAL GPS works with our XRAY VISION.  Really, our XRAY VISION and INTERNAL GPS should work together to find our way.  And, I don't know about you but even when I use my INTERNAL GPS it needs to be programmed by God and not by me.  He is a lot better at mapping than I am.  

REALITY CHECK
Seeing things the way they really are and knowing where we are going are both essential to living a fulfilled life.  We have to use our personal experiences to see the reality of life and learn from those experiences.  And, if we have a clear vision of where we want to go and what it takes to get there, our life experience will be a lot more enjoyable.  This is not to say that from time to time we will not have the clarity of vision we need.  And that is not to say that from time to time we might take a wrong turn.  But, the good news is our vision will clear and we will get back on the right road to our destination.  And when you think the bumps in the road or the wrong turns or the foggy vision have overpowered your ability to function, just turn on the X-RAY VISION and your INTERNAL GPS.  Control what you can and it makes it easier to deal with the things that you can't.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CHOICES

Every choice we make in life has impact on other things which happen.  And, when we make decisions about choices, we ultimately do not know what the outcome might have been if a different choice had been made.  But, the bottom line is this.  We can either get paralyzed in "pondering" or we can get busy making a decision and moving forward.

IMPACT CHOICES.  No matter what your age, young or old, there are choices we make that can have dramatic impact on our lives.  Too many times, choices are made in a split second, but the outcome of those choices can last for a lifetime.  We can be sorry about making bad choices but ultimately "being sorry" does not always change the outcome of the choice we have made.  There are many examples that people of all ages make to "fit in" with their friends and they end up paying a very high price.  So if you are facing choices that can be impact choices in your life or the lives of others, consider your choices carefully.  This rule applies to ALL of us no matter how YOUNG or OLDER we might be.

HOW DO YOU MAKE A GOOD CHOICE.  That seems like a pretty fundamental question if not really a stupid question, right?  Well, if that is the case, then why do so many people make so many bad choices?  I believe we usually make bad choices because we do not collect enough information to think the situation or choice through before we act on the choice.  Also, many times people make choices that are emotional choices and that can truly be a knife that cuts both ways.  But ultimately, when making choices, the foundational element that should drive those choices are our values.  And, you know really, as I look around the world that we live in today, it seems like lots of people have forgotten what values are and how they should direct our lives.  Again, I know I am not perfect and I know I have made mistakes.  I know I am not always the person I need to be or should be but ultimately, I do have values that provide direct and guidance for me in my life on a daily basis.

WHAT DO YOU VALUE?  There is an old saying that goes something like this.  "What you are doing speaks so loud I cannot hear what you are saying".  Or, I guess you could say, actions speak louder than words.  Ultimately, the actions that occur in our lives on a daily basis reflect what we value in our lives.  And, how we live and deal with what happens in our lives also is a reflection of how we live our values.  Then, ultimately, the values in our lives and how we deal with what happens in our lives will ultimately influence the choices that we make.  It is the cycle of our lives and we get a chance to correct the path (as long as we have a pulse) on a daily, hourly, even minute by minute basis if we get off course.  Yes, we can make bad decisions and there very well may be a price to pay for that bad choice.  But, ultimately we can take the position of recognizing where we are in our lives and deal with the circumstances we face at any given time.  And, make the choice to make our lives the best we can make them today.  Today and this week, be committed to making the best choices you can based on the values you have in your life.  If the values are not established, take one step back get that straight first, then the right choices will fall into place quite easy.

Goals, commitment, focusing on what you can do and understanding what is important to you can all work together to improve the quality of your life and the lives of people you touch in life everyday!  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What YOU CAN Do Something About

In thinking about what I was going to post this week, I have changed my mind no less than 4 times.  And, ultimately what I am writing about is as a result of conversations I have had with a number of people in just the last week.

WHAT I CANNOT CONTROL.  Have you ever stopped to think about the elements of your life and living over which you have absolutely no control?  Well, there are lots of those things over which we have no control.  Some are big issues and some are not so big issues.  Do we have any control over the basic price of gas for vehicles or the cost of energy for our homes or how the local, state and federal government values taxes?  I think you know the answer to all of these questions.  In these situations, we can only control the amount of gas we consume or the setting on the thermostat or the value of our assets which will be taxed.  But, ultimately, most of those types of issues are not something we can have direct impact on directly at the root of their cost.  There are also things over which we have no control like a family members illness or even worse death.  Those last two are much more difficult to deal with, especially if you  like to be in control.  So, what is the answer to how you deal with things you cannot control.  Recognize, understand and admit, you have no control over those things!  More on this in the wrap up.

WHAT I CAN CONTROL.  There are things and really many things in life over which I do have control. And for me personally, I have to start very basic and fundamental.  I can control what I eat.  Eating has really become a national pass time.  We seem to eat for recreation, out of boredom, because we are nervous or just because the food is there.  This is something I have dealt with since they pulled the "huskies" out from under the counter where "all of the normal people's clothes" were displayed when I was a young boy.  But today, I have the ability to control what I eat.  I just have to want to control it enough to do what it takes to make it happen.  And, then there are the excuses.  I don't have time.  I have too many other obligations.  I am really happy the way that I am (please).  The toughest part of controlling what I can control is taking control of myself.  And, ultimately I discovered a few years ago that for ME (maybe not you) to have control, I had to give control of my life away to God.  Now I am not trying to preach a sermon here but what I discovered was that for me to have control, I had to quit trying to "pack the load of life" on my shoulders and give that load to God.  And, I have found when I give God the heaviest issues in my life to carry for me, then I can deal with the other parts that I need to deal with and that I personally can do something about.


DON'T WORRY.  So really the equation is not that difficult.  Do what you can about the things you can do something about and don't worry about the rest.  Determine what you want to accomplish, set your goals and develop an action plan.  Recognize what you CANNOT CONTROL and what you CAN CONTROL.  And, if you believe in God and you are willing to give Him the "heavy lifting" then everything else will be easier to deal with too.  For me, when I recognize and follow this formula, there is really nothing I cannot achieve if I stick to the plan.  And, ultimately, I feel better about myself and everyone that I encounter every day of my life.  Is my life perfect?  Do I run into situations everyday which challenge me?  Do I have difficult days, weeks, months, even years?  The answer would be yes, yes and yes.  But, the good news is that when I do control the things I can, everything else falls into place just a little bit easier.  Next week.....choices.  Have a great week!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The 4D's

In last weeks blog I discussed the importance of DESIRING to experience clarity in our lives.  It reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago after my father shared his idea about the 4D's with me.  I won't go into the poem, but here are the 4D's and I think they will help you with the clarity issue we discussed last week.  I am revisiting this thought myself right now.  The 4D's are:  Determination, Desire, Dedication, Discipline.

I like the 4D's because I think they can really help get focused and find the clarity needed to get our lives going in the right direction.  Ultimately, as I revisit the poem, I found that I probably added another "D" to the 4D's and did not even realize it.  Before you do anything else about achieving clarity and implementing the 4D's, you have to make a decision that something is important and needs to change, be done, planned for, whatever it is that you want to have impact on in your life.  So, the first part of the decision this week in achieving clarity and life in balance is MAKE A DECISION.

DETERMINATION.  Then, after you have decided what is important to you to do, for yourself, for your family for whatever reason it is important, you first find and develop determination.  When I think about determination, I think about not letting ANYTHING stand in your way of what you want to accomplish.  You develop and maintain focus on a vision of what you want to achieve and you are committed to it 110% everyday.

DESIRE.  Second, is desire.  For me, desire is the fuel that keeps the engine running for the journey toward the goal.  When you have that strong desire, you remain focused on it and you even tell people about your vision because you see it real and you want them to see it real too.  This is positive reinforcement to help you take that subconscious desire and try to materialize it to make it more real everyday.

DEDICATION.  Third is dedication.  This one is simple.  Well, not really or more people would do it.  Dedication is not quitting on whatever it is you what to accomplish or change.  Dedication is reaching deep into your soul and making sure your vision lives in your life daily, so you do not become side tracked by other people or things that can cause you to not accomplish what you desire.

DISCIPLINE.  Finally, is discipline.  Discipline is the rudder on the ship.  Discipline is effort implemented daily so you will see tangible results toward the success you want to achieve.

Put them all together and you have the decision, determination, desire, dedication and discipline.  Together, they can help can make anything possible.  So DECIDE what is important enough to you that you are willing to put the 4D's to work for you.  Get focused on at least one important issue which can have impact on your life and help you have more clarity of what you hope to accomplish.  The 4D's can then help you to create a clearer roadmap for what you want to have happen.

If you have specific topics you would like to hear discussed in the blog, just let me know.  Thanks for the feedback I have been receiving from some of my readers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Moment Of Clarity

CLARITY.  There have been times in my life that I thought it had happen but never with the clarity which I experienced this past weekend on the first day of starting this blog.  I personally and very profoundly experienced, "a moment of clarity".  I mean this was not one of those, "tap you on the shoulder" moments in life, this was one of those, "hit you in the head with a baseball bat" moments in life.  A true and meaningful, inner me experience that was the result of many things which had happen in recent days, weeks, months and even my lifetime.

From my experience, the moment of clarity doesn't just happen by accident, it happens because you, "are ready for it to happen".  Now exactly what do I mean by that?  Let me take a shot at explaining my perspective on this thought.

THE HEAR AND THE NOW.  The first thing that I realized was for you to experience that moment of clarity, you had to be open to the thought of clarity which you collectively did not have before.  What does that mean?  Live in the moment, but in living in that moment, bring together all of the other moments that you have experienced in the recent and distant past as they are appropriate.  The hear and the now is a great place to be, but you must also think about the experiences you have had in the past.  The good experiences and the not as desirable experiences.  You have to think about the current experiences you are having in life and how those experiences are having impact on your life.  And, you have to be able to "step away" from those hear and now experiences to be able to gain a "objective perspective" to enjoy clarity.

THE HEAD GAME.  Clarity is all between the ears.  Like, when I wrote this my mind was racing, a million thoughts going through my head.  I could barely sleep any the previous night.  Was it because of worry, or doubt or anything negative at all that I had trouble slumbering the night away and sleeping late on Saturday morning?  NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!  It was because my mind was actively engaged in LIVING and BEING ALIVE.  And, that was because of all the things that collectively came together at this point in time for me.  All of this together represents my perspective in life at this moment in time.  That is another topic and something which we will talk more about in the weeks to come, perspective.  A really cool thing about yourself (or myself anyway) is if you can really drill down into what you have experienced and how it makes you feel, there are lots of rich resources there to take you to where you want to be if that is different than your current reality.

LIVING AT A DIFFERENT LEVEL.  When I say, living at a different level, do I mean the kind of car you drive or how big your house is?  No, living at a different level is not necessarily your vehicle or house, but it might be.  The car or the house though can definetly be results of living at a different level but I am talking about mental awareness, not the physical trinkets and toys (let's call them t&t's) of life.  And, believe me, the more "life experiences" you have, the less the t&t's mean to you in life and the more experiences and perspective direct, empower and change your future.

So, can that moment of clarity happen for you?  Absolutely.  No doubt about it, without question you too can experience your own very personal moment of clarity.  When in the past I have provided corporate training seminars I always felt as though my job was to give people the tools they needed to help them find their own way on any given topic or skill building set.  The personal moment of clarity any of us can experience in directly related to our DESIRE to experience clarity in our lives and how we live.  So, examine your past, think about where you want to go, where you are right now and then set your sights on making everyday, every moment the way you want it to be as much as it is within your control.  There is no end to the journey of clarity and I believe the, "moment of clarity" can now become on-going "moments" of clarity for the rest of your life.

ASSIGNMENT.  In talking to a friend, earlier today I decided that I need to create a weekly challenge for everyone as it relates to the blog so here is the challenge.  I challenge you to challenge yourself to "experience clarity" based on what is happening in your life right now.  Don't get stuck in the past or present, but use those as tools to help pave the way for the future.  The future is going to happen for sure, just make sure you approach it with clarity of purpose for your life and how you want to live it.  Writing things down helps to more clearly outline this information or talking about it with someone who is a close trusted friend.  Maybe it won't be perfect clarity at first, maybe there will be a fog, but when I hit fog and I am driving, I just keep driving.  Don't let the fog get in the way because if you keep driving, it is always beautiful just a little further down the road!  Make some notes about where you want to go and the next blog will give you more resources to help you more clearly define the next steps.  Think, I promise it won't hurt!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Live In Control

What a challenge, right?  Yeah, living in control in a world that is out of control doesn't always seem easy. We all experience our ups and downs and figuring out how to find, "the middle" is the challenge in life.  So, what is living in control really all about?  It is about NOT settling for "the middle" but figuring out a way, on your own terms, to live and experience life at a higher place than everyone else things you should or maybe can. Living in control is about discovering what makes you content with life, but keeps you challenged. Living in control is about making the experience of life everything you want and NEED for it to be so you can be complete as YOU!  


This blog will provide you with self-educational tools to help you take the necessary steps to reach your full potential.  And, if you don't think you really have any potential, then we will give you ideas how you might find what makes you the most complete you, YOU can be.  Nobody is perfect, especially not me.  I have made a few mistakes, how about you?  I have done better at times in my life with the "live in control" approach to life and I have done worse too.  Nobody has all of the answers.  But, one thing is for sure, if we all work to share in the life experience that we all have with one another, then we are sure to benefit from those relationships.  Not only in what we give to others, but also in what we get from digging into the experience.  Some people might call this nothing but a lot of motivational dribble but that might reveal a weakness within themselves to seek and find what makes them challenge themselves to make THEIR LIVES what they want it to be.