Goals for 2009

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.”
-Michelangelo

Think about this each time you set a goal for 2009. May this year be everything you want it to be!

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The Storms of Life…

This morning, I’m watching big storms roll through the midwest.  There are waves of severe weather affecting areas like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.   It’s 5:51 in the morning and there are already three tornado watches that stretch from the midwest to the east coast.  Here’s a storm report from the National Weather Service after a storm passed through Rush County, Indiana, during the early moring hours…

SEVERAL HOMES HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED AROUND THE TOWN OF MOSCOW. POLICE REPORT UNKNOWN NUMBER OF INJURIES AND NUMEROUS PEOPLE MISSING.

These are the kind of reports we hate to read.  Now, people will be left to pick up the pieces and recover from damaging storms.  Ask anyone who has been through it, recovering from tornadoes and severe weather is not a fun process…

Here’s a map of the severe weather reports from yesterday (June 3rd)…

Severe Weather Reports, June 3, 2008

Each dot is a report of severe weather.  The blue dots are wind reports, green = hail and red = tornadoes (there were 16 reports of twisters yesterday).  Needless to say, the weather has been very active… 

So, what’s causing all of the active weather in the midwest?  The answer – the controlling pattern is imbalanced.  The weather is the most severe where the imbalance is the worst.   It’s just the way the weather works. The atmosphere naturally wants to be in a state of balance and when it’s not, it tries (sometimes violently) to find a balanced state.  Take a look at this video takes from a security camera as a house across the street takes a hit from an EF-5 tornado in Parkersburg, Iowa, last month…

This video shows the atmosphere trying as hard as it can to return to a balanced state.  The more imblance, the more turbulence… 

Let these scenes be a reminder to you that the storms of life grow larger when you live without balance in your own life.  Here’s something else to think about:  If you have a spouse and kids, your imbalance doesn’t just affect you, it affects them.  When you’re going through a life storm, those around you often feel the fury, too.

So today, take some time and think about your life.  How can you work to create more balance and peace?  How can you change your schedule to spend more time at home?  What can you do to make sure your kids know how much they’re loved?  What can you add (or take away) from your diet to make it healthful?  What can you do today to make your life better tomorrow?  If you feel stessed, out of control and highly imbalanced, please don’t wait until your storm of life is big enough to blow apart your home.   Work on creating balance now.  Sometimes, it takes less energy than you think to make your life much better… 

 

 

What’s REALLY Bothering You?

This is a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Some people get it right away – I didn’t. Here’s the lesson: When you are at odds with someone and their response to you seems way out of proportion to the situation, there’s generally something else going on. If you’re not mindful of this, you can get into arguments that you shouldn’t be in. For instance…

Snow in Middle Tennessee is a rare treat so when it’s in the forecast, lots of people wait with bated breath for the first few snowflakes to fall. A few years ago, a forecast for snow didn’t pan out and I received several e-mails from disappointed viewers. But one was particularly harsh and personal. I was the worst meteorologist she had ever watched and she was never watching again! As I read, it made me angry. I started to fire back an e-mail in response but then I stopped… I tried something different. This woman was way too upset at me for what actually happened. So, I wrote back a note and told her that I, too, was disappointed with the missed forecast. I remembered how let down I felt as a youngster waiting all night for a snow that didn’t happen. Finally, I told her I appreciated her taking the time to write, whether good or bad, and that I hoped she would again one day give my forecasts a try.

Later that day, I received a note back. It was a note of apology. She thanked me for responding and went on to explain she was sorry for what she had written. She wrote a story of some very tough times she had seen over the last few days and that she was just taking out her frustations on me. Last, she told me that she would certainly watch again…

I learned a big lesson that day. What if I had fired back an angry response to her? Where would that have gotten me? I could have made the situation even worse. This is the way a lot of arguments with spouses start. Someone has a short fuse because of a bad day but the other doesn’t give a little grace. An argument escalates and by the end of it, you don’t even remember what you started arguing about in the first place. Sometimes it just takes stepping back and asking, “Is what we’re talking about the REAL problem here?”

So, watch out for those times when the response seems totally out of proportion to the situation. There’s generally something else at work here. Try to remain calm and show a little grace. This could save you, especially in your close relationships, from some very hurtful and unnecessary arguments…

You’re Worried About What???

There was a day I used to stress and worry about much more than I do now.  It took a
lot of life experience to teach me that not everything in life deserves the same
amount of my attention and energy.  We only have so many hours in a day – we all
know that.  But what we sometimes forget is that when we waste our thoughts, time
and energy on something insignificant, it means we’re not spending that time on the
things that REALLY matter in life.

Author John R. Noe, among others, wrote that out of everthing we worry about, only
eight percent is real and legitimate.  The rest either won’t happen, happened in the
past or is out of our control.  That means 92 percent of our time spent worrying is
wasted.  Considering that most of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day are repeats
from the day before, that’s a tremendous amout of time we just throw away.  Almost
shocking…

So, the next time you catch yourself worrying about something, ask yourself, “Does
this really deserve all of this attention from me?”  Because we can only have one
thought at a time, redirect your mind to something positive and constructive.
Become a master crafter when it comes to using your time.  Think more about your
goals and passions, how to serve your spouse, kids, family and community and about
all you have for which to be thankful.

Just remember, God gives us a limited amount of time here on earth and you have a choice each day about how you spend your time.  Make it count…