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 Your Someday be Today.

I once heard a message by my pastor and good friend, Pete Wilson, on the danger of using the word “someday” too much. It really struck a chord with me. If you use the word “someday” often when you’re talking about your future plans, those plans probably will stay just dreams; they’ll never happen. How often have you said these things?

“Someday I’ll take more time off.”

“Someday I’ll start jogging.”

“Someday I’ll pray more.”

“Someday I’ll say I’m sorry.”

“Someday I’ll give more.”

“Someday I’ll save more money.”

“Someday I’ll follow my dreams.”

“Someday I’ll stop drinking.”

“Someday I’ll eat better.”

“Someday I’ll be a better parent.”

“Someday I’ll be a better spouse.”

“Someday I’ll be the person I know I can be.”

Most of the time, “somedays” never come. They stay out just ahead of us in the future. We become comfortable with saying, “someday.” It’s easier to say it than it is to do what you know you should.

Don’t let “someday” rule your life. Don’t let it become the norm. Fight the urge to say it over and over. Figure out how to turn “someday I’ll…” into “Today I’m…” Stop thinking that a better life is always in the future. You can take your first steps to your changing your life today. All it takes is movement forward. You don’t have to do it all in one fail swoop – just take one step. Once you do, you’ll begin to feel the momentum. The more steps you take, the clearer your path will become. The difference between “someday” being a dream and a reality is action.

You have the choice. Make today the day your “somedays” start to happen.

What’s your biggest “someday” and what’s the one step you can take today to move toward making it reality?

How to Have a Great Week.

If 85% of our happiness is based on relationships, shouldn’t we care for them more than we do? Shouldn’t we WORK on having great relationships instead of just hoping they’ll happen?

With that in mind, here’s how to have a great week (and make someone else’s week in the process).

Step 1 – Make a list of the five most important people to you.

Step 2 – Beside their names, write one thing you can do to let them know how much you care. Maybe it’s just a phone call, a letter or an invitation to lunch. It could be an extra hug or a surprise gourmet breakfast – it’s up to you.

Step 3 – Do what’s on the list this week.

Step 4 – Enjoy the extra connection with someone you love.

I just had someone I know take this to heart. He decided to send flowers to his mother on HIS birthday. She did all the work that day (and for the nine months prior), after all! He told me his mom was so happy she cried. One little gesture made a big impact. Good stuff, huh?

So, who’s going to be on your list?

Becoming the Person You Want to be…

What you think about and focus on most expands in your life. If you focus on the person you desire to become, you’ll become that person. If you think most about your negative habits, relationships and finances, they will all expand. This is why so many outcomes in our lives are self-fulfilling.

To stop this cycle, do these things:

1. Have a clear understanding of who and where you are  currently (but don’t make it worse than it really is).

2.  Begin focusing on the person you want to become. 

3.  Visualize how you would conduct your daily life if you were that person today.

4.  Write down the thoughts and actions which are limiting you from becoming that person. 

5.  Write down how you will change those thoughs and actions to overcome your limitations.  This becomes your plan of action.

5.  Work like crazy on your plan.  Get up every morning thinking and acting more like that person.  If you do, each day, you will be one step closer.

6.  Keep working on the plan each day until you are there.

7.  Enjoy the person you’ve become!

Follow these five steps without fail.  If you do, it will be hard to miss your target.  Don’t make it harder than it is.  If you can conceive in your mind how you want to be, you can achieve it.   My wish for you is for you to do well for youself in 2009!

Great Quote III

Found this quote on Dan Miller’s Blog today.

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” – Pope John XXIII

If only more of us did this…  Can you imagine? 

Can you do this?

Nature vs. Man

Something that I’ve always enjoyed is spending time in nature.  I like the peace, quiet and balance that exists there; it’s cleansing and centering for me.  Nature is a way to be really in touch with God’s creation, and I cherish that.

But I realized something not too long ago.  I thought that being surrounded by nature was the way to be closest to God.  It’s not…  Man is God’s greatest creation.  Instead of running away from people to be closer to God, I should be running TOWARD them.

Do I still need my time in peace and quiet surrounded by God’s trees, blue sky and birds?  Yes.  It remains cleansing and centering for me.  But I no longer see it as the way to be closest to God.  I now see Him more clearly in the eyes of neighbors, friends, family and children than ever before.

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…