Guess what?

I fail.

My regular morning routine was interrupted by my failure to get up on time this morning. But, not to worry. I have wonderful resources from which to draw. Welcome to the new followers for today. You have started the journey with me on a peculiar note. Please feel free to peruse the archives or take advantage of something from one of my favorites.

This link leads you to Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan book. I am in the process of reading it and will probably refer to it often.

http://michaelhyatt.com/email

Have a great day!

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Unload

Do you ever get overwhelmed with the thought of the things you have to do?  Does it ever feel like everything has a due date of “Today”?  Sometimes when you get up in the morning, are you hit with all the pressures of the day, week, month and year? And the rest of your life?

Although this may not be a constant issue, when it does happen, you can take steps to relieve the stress.  If you make the habit of meeting it head-on, eventually it can be a freeing process.  One that lets your mind break free of chains that keep you from performing at your best.

One habit you can start is doing what some would call a “brain dump”.

Dumping

This is a habit that was made popular by the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.   Depending on who you are, it can be done in the morning when you first get up or at night before you go to bed.  The feeling that you get from unloading it into the cloud server gives you freedom to think.  Consider it prayer, talking to God about it as you go. Just putting it out there rather than keeping it in yourself.  Because if you keep it in yourself, you are not relying on Him at all.  It is like saying “Not today, God.  I got this one.”

Really?  By your actions, do you say “I’m good.  Don’t need you right now” and move forward?

Making a good habit is more difficult than picking up a bad one because of just that reason:  the difference between “making” and “picking up”.  This is one habit that a directed effort to start, will yield less stress in your life.

Cast your cares…

Unload…

Baby Steps

It has been a long time since we had a baby in the house. I can honestly say that until you actually have a baby in your house from infancy, there are some things that you may have difficulty learning. I say this because as you experience certain things, your environment and circumstances make you ripe for the learning and absorbent to wisdom. It is still your choice regarding whether or not you choose to learn.
One thing that I learned during this time happened because someone had the boldness to speak at a time when I was struggling with failure; not just one certain failure, but repeated failures.
babysteps
He said that when we are babes, are curious creatures. We try this and test that. We touch things we are not supposed to and get our hand slapped while other things are not only OK to touch, we are encouraged to do so. We depend upon adults to meet our needs, while slowly taking some independence, at different paces, strike out for independence.
When you try to take your first steps, you stumble and fall and land on your butt. Then one day, you actually maintain your balance to the point where you stand up and take that first step. You do it and take another. You grin. You try to take one more and you land flat on your face. You cry…and you never try to walk again because that failure is just too much to bear…


Now you know, that is not how the story ends.
There are certain things in life involving independence, that failure is required. Yes, required.
If you can take this bit of wisdom and run with it…
Your baby steps are important.

A Different Power

Have you ever been driving down the road, having an OK to great day, cruising at a safe speed, listening to the radio…and then, out of the corner of your eye, you get this:

Hey...Pay attention to the road!!!
Hey…Pay attention to the road!!!

What is the first thing out of your mouth? “What?!?” “Idiot!!!” “Where does he get the right to…!!” Maybe worse.
Well, congratulations! Your mind has just been controlled. You went from mellow to blood pressure issues in a few seconds and it was your choice. Yes, it was your choice to be controlled and you chose to allow your emotions to go in that direction.
Now, we can think about what you could have done. Something a little more “controlled”. Just like we talked about a couple of days ago, certain things make the “true you” come out.
Examine this power. Not the power that you gave to that guy who pulled up next to you and yelled, but the power in you. It is you who has the power here.
The power is forgiveness and the way you read about it here, may not be what you are expecting.
When exploring your own heart, digging around for nuggets, soul-searching…what are you finding? Are you finding things that make you sad, angry, beaten? Forgiveness is a power that you have…not only to forgive those who wronged you. You have the power to let go and forgive those who have inadvertently made your life take an unintended direction…and they actually did nothing against you. Maybe I need to rephrase that. You forgiving in this way is about straightening up your life, not theirs. It could have been anyone from your father to some guy on TV…It could even be God.
God needs no forgiveness from you for Himself…
but you may need to forgive Him…for you.

Back to that guy in the car (although we might need to meditate on some of the previous words for a while).
He does not need you to say “Oh, you poor soul. I forgive you”. Truth is, that guy could have been you and you probably would not be interested in forgiveness at that time. But you need the act of forgiveness coming out of you.
This is a gap that many fathers forget because they have not learned to deal with it themselves. This is a power that when wielded properly, can lay spiritual and physical enemies to waste quickly. One that empowers you.
A different power.

Move

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart). Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”  Proverbs 16:2-3

Building upon the thoughts of success and failure, this verse was put before me.  Sometimes in the past, I have made decisions that I was leary about moving forward with for fear of failure or embarrassment.  Most of those times, I had inadvertently left out the One who could set my path straight.  As you read this verse, you see that it is more important to keep your intentions in check.  Your methods will then be guided in agreement with His will and you will succeed.

When I see this, I think “processes”, but all of the best processes in the world will fail if the intent is not in line.  There is an exercise for managers called “The 5 Why’s”.  The intent of the exercise is to get to the root of the issue by asking the purpose.

Example:

Problem:  I was late to work today

Why?:  Because my car broke down

Why?:  Because I didn’t put oil in it

Why?:  Because I was too busy writing my blog.

Why?:  Because I am wanting to make lots of money

Why?:  Because I am dissatisfied with my job

You get the idea.  It is a cause and effect issue.  Usually, by the 5th “Why”, you have got a good source but it can be carried further.

This is a building block, a gap that every parent should teach their children to an exhaustive degree.  Your actions do not just influence you.

buildingBricks

So taking this back up to your intent and process, figure out why you are moving.  If you can get to the core, remind yourself of it every day.  Place a sign on your computer monitor.  Wallpaper on your phone, tablet or computer.  Put it on your prayer list, if you do one.  Set an event or reminder on a calendar program to send you an email every morning about it.

Stagnant:  Having no current or flow, showing no activity; dull and sluggish and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence.

I don’t think that this describes your purpose.

Your life was not meant to gather dust.

In one word…

Move

Discouragement

It is hard to face discouragement.  When faced with rejection, boredom or failure, your true nature actually shows itself.  Are you moving forward, seeking to move forward or discouraged because “things aren’t happening”?

Everyone loves success.  Things are riding high and emotions are up but what about when things are down.  How do you handle failure?  Do you get discouraged?

Think about this:  what would it take for you to switch your thinking around and respond with excitement every time you fail?

What happens when we fail?

Do we learn?

Think of Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb.  Thousands of failed experiments occurred until he hit it right.

 Why?  Because with every failure, he knew he was getting closer to the purpose he had set for himself to accomplish.  And yet sometimes, we have 1 or 2 failures and lose interest.

Why?  Re-examine your purpose and your commitment to it.  Either rededicate yourself to it with a renewed vengeance or redirect.

Your success depends on it.

To be or not to be

I read in the mornings, every morning unless I fail, which I do.  I pray in the mornings, every morning unless I fail.  I write in the mornings, every morning unless I fail.  I do all of these things in the morning because I made the choice to do them.  The reasons that I do them are many but the initial reason that I started, I cannot put my finger on.

I can say that a certain book inspired me.  It is a small book that was free online.  I am happy to give you the link to it but, truthfully, it may not move you to do the same.  By the way, the link is at the end of this post.

The point is that it is really up to you.  The necessity of starting is important but do you finish your start?  Whatever you are seeking to start, do you end up starting but not doing?  Do you feel like you life is a series of starts?

Well, actually it is.  For example, I started this marriage 25 years ago yesterday.  Over time, my wife and I were determined that whatever happened (Yes, whatever), we would not let divorce creep into our lives.  We had a couple of brushes with it but in the end of each “chapter” of our marriage, it came down to looking at our vows again and not considering divorce.  Has it been hard?  Yes, very difficult at times but I do see that even though there were times that we failed each other, the divorce option was not there.  That choice, itself, caused us to think differently about situations every time.

This choice of thinking differently, a gap if you will, is necessary to look at the habits that are not necessary to achieve your goals, and correct or eliminate them.  I am a former smoker.  I have quit and started smoking many times.  I tell some people that once I quit 3 times in one day…but I did quit (I am at five years now).  Robin Williams, playing a psychiatrist in Awakenings, had a line that summed it up very well.  He said, “You have got to decide whether you are a smoker or non-smoker…and be that”.

Finish your start.  Do not set goals to achieve, achieve goals to BE.

(https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fclairediazortiz.com%2Fthe-present-principle%2F&ei=KbfvUfiSJY6O9ASE24HoCw&usg=AFQjCNFLqo6R9MqLgEXpFg6uaQw1FgKm_Q&sig2=POe96DMv4frc4yqUeVMK5g&bvm=bv.49641647,d.eWU)

Distractions

Sometimes we just don’t understand why things happen.  You work hard on your marriage, job, house and/or family, believing that you are doing well and then something happens that discourages you and takes you off your chosen path. You may wonder “Why? I was making progress.”  Personally, I get annoyed at the distraction because it usually seems like it’s only purpose is to distract.  If I am not careful, it can affect my focus for a long time.  So what is a guy to do?  Not deal with it and have it repeat itself so that it becomes insurmountable to deal with?  What would you like to see as the outcome?  Get creative here.  It is time to fill a gap and possibly set a habit that will serve you for the rest of your days.

Think to yourself, “If this had not happened, what would I be doing?”  You can look forward and see yourself talking about the event and laughing about it and the lessons learned.  But isn’t it true that distractions happen every day and it is really how we react to them that is important?

Sometimes, it is very simple.  It is so simple that the answer is right under our noses.

Focus.

Yes, I know that we realize that a distraction is taking away from our focus and that we need to refocus but let’s simplify.  Focus. Definition. It is both a noun and a verb.  Putting the two meanings together reads like this:

“Adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to clearly see the center of interest or activity.”

Its almost like a command.  We understand the last part.  That is the goal.  It is the first part, the verb that we want.  “Adapt to the prevailing level”.

blindingLight

What would happen if your eyes never adapted to light when you walked out of a dark room?  Hands in front of face…eyes hurt.  You can’t see where you are going.  If you don’t watch what you are doing, you may bump into someone, fall and/or get hurt.  Soon you may get discouraged and sit down.  Then, finally, after you understand that your sight is not going to change, what do you do?  You retreat back to the dark room; go backwards to where you came from…and stay there because you did not adapt.

Realize that this stuff not only happens, it happens more than we think and will keep on.  Your GAP to fill is the realization of this and the maturation involved with being unwavering, steadfast and dependable.  There will be some distractions that are larger than others but you grow from them.  Decide to adapt and keep growing.