One Thing You Can’t Escape…

Folks… I’m hearing a lot of stories of people going through unhappy times. It’s rough – I know. Sometimes, life just kind of deals you a bad hand and you have to make difficult choices on how you respond. My prayer for you is that you respond in the best way possible…

But here’s the thing – the largest number of people that I’m hearing about who are having a hard time with a particular situation brought it on themselves with bad decisions. Now, nobody is going to make good decisions 100% of the time but here’s the inescapable truth – you have to live with the consequences of your decisions 100% of the time, whether they were good or bad. Take your time and really think about what you’re doing and why – especially when the decision involves your faith, health, family, career and money. These are the biggest categories that give us BIG trouble when we repeatedly make bad decisions. If you’re facing one of these challenges, I encourage you to get past your pride, get past your insecurity, get past the blaming,  quit running from the issue and get to work on fixing the real problem. It’s not always easy but it has to be done. What other choice do you have?

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Get Away from Negative and Draining People

The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” It’s hard to have happiness in your heart when you’re surrounded by negative and draining people. Surround yourself with a community of people who are positive, energized and balanced. If you do, you will be amazed at the difference in your state of mind. These are tough times for many, no doubt. But you can choose to wallow or climb. It’s easier to climb with people who are moving with you and not against you.

Do not underestimate the influence of those around you. Make sure those people are part of your solution, not the problem.

Let Today be THE Day!

Does it seem like you’re always waiting?  Maybe you’re waiting for:

-Things to get better with the economy.

-Your spouse to apologize.

-To win the lottery.

-For your boss to notice you.

-For it to stop being so cold.

You can continue to sit and wait if you want.  But, wouldn’t it be better to affect your world rather than waiting for it to affect you?  Wouldn’t it be better to be proactive rather than reactive?  Why wait when you can DO?

Try these steps to overcome the reasons for waiting listed above:

-Creatively look for NEW ways to increase your business in a bad economy.  Most of your competetors are sitting on the sidelines waiting.  This is your opportunity to jump ahead.

-Look your spouse in the eye and say, “I love and cherish you.”   I feel pretty certain your spouse wants to hear those words from you.

-Chances are, as you know, you’re not going to win the lottery.  What can you do with the money you’ve been spending on cards and tickets that will actually create income?

-The one thing that will make your boss notice you more than any other is to go beyond what is expected of you.  Most of your co-workers will do less.  Do more and you will be noticed.

-I used to hate cold weather.  It’s still not my favorite kind of weather, but I don’t let it stop me from enjoying the outdoors anymore.   Amazingly, layers of clothes actually will keep you warm.  I’ve enjoyed more beautiful frosty early morning  jogs this winter than ever before.  I realized I was missing out on some of nature’s greatest moments while on the treadmill.

Let today be THE day that you’re going to stop waiting for the world around you to change and begin changing your world instead.

Get started!

What’s first on your list?

Another Great Reminder of the Need for Balance

 
Courtesy Rick Shanklin, NWS, Paducah, KY
Courtesy Rick Shanklin, NWS, Paducah, KY

A huge winter storm is ravaging parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley. Inches of ice have left thousands without power and many towns paralyzed. You’ll continue to see stories in the national news about this storm for the next few days.

The reason for this massive storm is that the atmosphere is highly imbalanced. For instance, in Middle Tennessee on Tuesday of this week, one town had a mid-afternoon temperature of 71 while 35 miles away it was 37 degrees. That’s imbalance! In nature, the bigger the imbalance, the more chaotic the weather.  Hence, a winter storm that will go down in the record books.

The same is true for our lives. When we’re imbalanced, chaos naturally results. It’s just the way the world works. The easiest way to slip into this pattern is to not think about what you’re doing or why you’re doing it on a day-to-day basis. Instead, we just become zombies, doing the same thing as the day before. If you’re tired of living this way, you can change it.

1. If there was one thing you could cut out of your daily routine tomorrow, what would it be?
2. Write down what it is.
3. Underneath it, write down three steps you could take this week to begin elimating (or at least reducing) this from your daily schedule.
4. Do these three things.
5. Keep track of your progress and use it as motivation to keep moving forward.

 
This works amazingly well with lots of little items that take a lot of your time but don’t add much value to your life. The goal is to reduce the number of things that cause you stress which leaves you more time for the things that actually mean something to you. The more you do this, the more time you’ll find in your daily schedule.

So, what are you going to eliminate?

A Thought about Success…

I recently read this quote:

“High achievement always takes place in a framework of high expectation.”
-Jack Kinder

I started thinking about that and realized I need to set my goals higher and expand the realm of what’s possible in my mind. That means squashing doubts and fears when they pop up. Not easy, but necessary…

I’ve had lunch with a couple of people in the last few days who are accomplishing amazing things. They’ve worked very hard to get where they are, but they also believed they could do it…

What do you believe is possible for you?

Life Balance?

There seems to be some argument about whether life balance can really exist.  Understand, balance isn’t a point you’ll reach and always stay there –  that’s not going to happen…  Instead, it’s a way to design your life so that on most days, your needs are met, you genuinely enjoy life and you’re not always on the edge of crisis.

With that in mind, lets return to the question, is life balance possible?  If you ask someone that question who has chronic trouble balancing his or her life, they will probably say, “No.”  However, if you ask someone who lives a balanced life,  they’ll obviously say, “Yes.”  Just the mere fact that there are people who say yes gives you the answer – it IS possible.  That should give all of you who don’t think so some hope.   Don’t give up yet!

What would you say if I asked you this question?

What Makes a Good Day for You?

It’s easy to fall into a daily routine that we don’t particularly like.  We end up doing the same thing over and over, day after day.  We get up after not getting enough sleep, hurry ourselves and our kids while getting ready for work and school, run out the door to a job which we may or may not enjoy all that much, get through a mundane work day, sit in traffic on the way back home, walk in the door exhausted from our crazy day, make and eat a dinner that probably could be more healthful, turn on the t.v. and watch a show we hope will take our minds off of real life for an hour, go back to bed a bit later than we should only to get up and do it all over again the next day.  Weekends seem like mini vacations compared to our hectic weeks.  We live for Saturdays and dread Mondays.  Are you familiar with this?

We THINK that this is the way it HAS to be.  It was the way we grew up.  It’s the way all of our friends do it.  It’s the way everyone with whom we work does it.  But, that’s not true.  If you’re not happy with your routine, it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can change it.  It can be different.  It can be better.  But, it takes effort.  It takes effort to analyze your day to discover what you can cut out to make more quality time with your family.  It takes effort to look at how you can use your time at work more effectively so that you’re able to actually get your work done and leave the office on time.  It takes effort to get to bed a little earlier so that you get more sleep and feel better the next day.  It takes effort to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their lives.   It takes effort to find quiet time to renew your mind, listen to your thoughts and pray.  It takes effort to tune out the noise and find true voices of value that add to your life experience.   After you expend a little effort to begin doing these things, you gain momentum and change comes more naturally.  It gets easier.  The hardest part about starting something new is just starting.  Once you’ve spent a few days trying new things, finding a routine that you like better, examining your life to find what brings you true joy, it becomes something you’ll want to do.  It’s a great feeling to experience change for the better.  It’s great realizing that life can be different from the same old routine.  People are changing every day.  They’re finding a new path that takes them where they want to go.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve done it.  It’s fun.  And a great way to start your life change is to simply ask this question:  What makes a good day for me?  Once you answer that, your goal should be to do what you can each day to make that happen.  A little effort, a change here and there, some thought, some planning, some action and before you know it, you’ve created a life in which your good days happen more and more.  You CAN do it.  Just give it a try…