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?

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?

Don’t Stop Now…

Now that we’re past the first week of the New Year, you’re going to begin facing challenges with your New Year’s resolutions. Why? Statistically, this is the time when people begin to quit. 98% end up failing to make their resolution goals reality. I want you to be in the two percent that do…

So, think about this…

1. 90% of failure is because of QUITTING – don’t quit! Remember all of the reasons you made your resolutions. Etch them in your mind. Write them down. Read them aloud. Use them as motivation to help you remember WHY you’re doing them. If you have a good enough reason, you can do almost anything…

2. If you haven’t started on your resolution yet because you’re procrastinating, start now! Don’t become a vicitim of the Law of Dimishing Intent. This law states that the longer you wait to do something, the less likely you are to do it at all. GO. START. TODAY!

While the rest of the world seemingly toils in misery these days, you can make 2009 the best you’ve ever had. Set your goals, write them down, get started now, follow your plan and remember why you’re doing them. You CAN do it…

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?

It Doesn’t Take Much…

I like to leave my sweet wife little notes in her office when she’s not looking.  She then finds them when she returns to the office after I’ve left.  They are usually little notes of encouragement and affection that take me about 30 seconds to write.  The last time I was in her office, I looked above her desk and was suprised to find that she’s kept all of those little notes.  I asked her why she has not thrown any of them away and she said she likes to have them to remind her how much she’s loved.  She said she would never dream of throwing them away.  I then thought to myself, “What if I didn’t take the time to write those little notes?”  What is just a little gesture on my part goes a long way.  I get a much bigger return in how those notes make her feel than my time invested in writing them.

What if we all did that?  What if you did little things each week for your family and close friends to let them know how much they mean to you?  How much stronger could those relationships be?   If a fundamental need for us as humans is to know we’re loved and appreciated (especially our kids), how can we fulfill that need for others?  For me, I was suprised to find out how little time and effort it takes to make a lasting impact.

So, over the next few days, try doing something small for someone special to let them know you’re thinking of them.  If you get a chance, let me know how it worked for you.   I think you’ll be glad you did…

A Life Lesson in Crabbing… No, Really…

Ahhh.  I bet you’ve never heard this metaphor before, but it’s a good one…  

A few weeks ago, I was on a boat crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay.   To do this, a trot line is set with chicken necks and sits on the bottom of the bay.  The boat rides alongside the trot line with a rig that pulls the line up out of the water as you pass by.  Hungry crab that are holding on to the chicken necks come up with the line.  The trick is to catch the crab in a net before the let go of the necks and disappear into the depths.  Even though I can’t eat crab (I’m allergic), it’s always a fun outing with my wife’s family. 

This particular morning, the water was choppy and the angle of the sun made it difficult to see the crab until they were just about to the water’s surface, which is usually when they let go.  It’s best to spot them a few feet down so that you can prepare to get the net under them.  I was having a very hard time catching the crab because I couldn’t see them clearly.  I decided to put on some sunglasses to cut down on the glare.  That helped.  We also strategically turned the boat around and approached the line from the opposite side.  This changed the angle of the sun on the water and I was astonished at how clearly we could now see the approaching crab.  Rather than letting them pass by unnoticed, I began catching them one right after the other. 

All right, here’s the lesson…  Life’s opportunties are always in front of us.  Sometimes, we have to change our perspective to SEE them.  Just because you don’t recognize them doesn’t mean they’re not there.  If you’re ignoring them or not looking for them, they can pass us, just like the crab.  We complain because we don’t get the promotion or the raise we desire, but are we really doing what we can showcase our talents?  What opportunties are we missing to show our spouses our love?  What special moments are we missing with our kids because we’re always in a rush?  What opportunties are we letting slip through our fingers to make a great impression on our customers in our businesses?  Too many times, these moments that could make for something significant in our lives just pass by unnoticed; wasted. 

So, how can you begin watching for new opportunties to change your life instead of just letting them disappear into the depths below?

From My Wife’s Blog…

The following post if from my lovely wife’s blog over at eveannunziato.wordpress.com.  I think it’s worth sharing…

“You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There’s an old saying; Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the Present.”
Oogway (The Tourist from the Movie Kung Fu Panda)

As promised, here are my honest uncensored thoughts on the above ancient and wise philosophies from the latest DreamWorks cartoon:

1.    About Yesterday – let it go already! I’ve made some stupid and pathetic decisions in my past. There are risks I’ve regretted and paths I should have never traveled. But I have news for ya, in the eyes of your merciful, all loving God of the universe, they’re over, they’re forgiven, they’re forgotten and buried on the ocean floor never to resurface. If our heavenly Father can, than why can’t we forgive ourselves? Recently, I’ve started to adapt this philosophy and sure enough, over this past year in particular, I worked hard to break this habit of tossing and turning over “Eve’s pathetic moves!” I’m glad I’m making strides and growing in this area; gaining more joy in my life and a lot more sleep!! Should I learn from my unwise choices? Certainly. Have a teachable spirit, acquire the knowledge, and then move on… After all, it’s history already!

2.   About Tomorrow – who knows? For example, my lovely and beautiful mother has cancer. There I said it. I despise even mentioning the dreaded “c” word. However, it’s a reality. We were once again saddened to find that it has resurfaced and reared its ugly head. Over the past few months, the bad cells have spread and she’s fighting hard as the pain has increased. Her next move is back to the dreaded chemotherapy treatments causing sickness, nausea, and many other negative side effects. Yes, Mom will prevail and I have complete faith will WIN the battle through Him. On my upcoming vacation, I will see mom and plan to love on her and tell her EVERY DAY that I value her, appreciate her and will fight with her. Yes, her pain breaks all of our hearts for no one wants to see our loving, thoughtful, caring, gracious, positive, uplifting, encouraging, friend go through an ounce of pain (I could spend all day listing her positive attributes to our family and the Kingdom!). This year we’ve traveled with Mom visiting great places like Disney World (at her request) and have seen her more over the last 12 months than in years past. We’ve decided to take her anywhere anytime and never take her for granted. Next, we’re thinking about a return to Europe. She loved Italy when we took her, and lately she’s mentioned Spain. When she is finished treatment, I imagine I’ll be booking that trip next! My point – what does the future look like exactly? I have no idea hence it’s indeed a mystery.  Should you plan for the future?  Yes.  Should you live in the future?  No. 

3.    About The Present – Our days are numbered and everyday is a Gift! So, go on and LIVE IN IT! Enough said.

Thanks, Eve, for a great post! I love the point. By the way, if you liked this post, you might like the book, The Present, by Spencer Johnson.  It’s available at most bookstores and online. 

So, what’s keeping you from living in the present moment? 

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… 

 

Just a Thought About Common Sense…

Sometimes, in our society (and in my own life), there seems to be a disconnect between our actions and common sense, ie., how we spend money, how we treat each other, how we raise our kids, how we watch TV, what we think is important in our lives.  It seems as though this happens more today than in years past.  If that’s true, does it mean that common sense is becoming revolutionary (something that is rare, a good idea and can change our world for the better)?   For instance, author and TV host Dave Ramsey has made a good living from telling people to spend less than they earn.  Isn’t that a principle of common sense?  But so many people don’t do it that it seems like a revolutionary way of handling money.   Here’s another question…  If Dave Ramsey built a business around common sense, can you?  How can you become a person of influence by simply offering advice on how to use common sense in situations most of us don’t?  What opportunities are out there?  How can you use more common sense in your own life?  Just a few thoughts…