6 views to change for a more fulfilling life

pablo (4)
This post was actually inspired by another that I felt was quite shallow.  It claimed that we need less attachments to have peace but it actually went a little too far (in my opinion) by suggesting that we should have more of a “sweep responsibility under the rug” mentality.  Of course, if you sweep too many things under the rug, a hump develops that will cause people to trip.

 

I prefer a more straight-forward approach that is meeting your issues head-on.  These are 6 areas that I believe will lead to a much fuller life; one with meaning and purpose.

 

Seeking Others’ Approval
This is somewhat true and somewhat false.  To be able to get things done in your own life, there needs to be some approval by others.  Living your life to please others is different…because it is impossible to please everyone.  But I guarantee you, if you want to ever have a happy marriage or decent career, you need to find the happy medium.  If you are so selfish and so rich that you believe that this doesn’t apply to you, have a happy empty life and stop reading this post.

 

Social Media
For the most part, social media is something that you can control.  If you do not want to see the embarrassing pictures from when you got drunk at the party last weekend, stop doing stupid shit like that and they won’t have anything to take a picture of.  And if you are using any branch of social media as your main means of communication, you need help.  Try Skype (That’s a joke).

 

Posterity

“Live in the moment” is commonly heard these days.  While there are @theTimSpencegreat reasons to experience great moments, if that is what you live for, your life will be empty and you may die that way.  Better said may be to live as if it were your last day alive and care for your posterity, not so much your posterior.

 

Previous Relationships
Rather than toss your exes out on their arses like dirty laundry when you have had enough of them, maybe you should look introspectively and figure out why you end up with short term relationships, abusive people, etc.  Examine your own choices rather than tossing them in the dirty laundry bin.  Keep it up and sooner or later, the dirty laundry will have to be dealt with.

 

The Fallacy of Indecision
Indecision has played itself off as a procrastination or longer choice for making a decision.  Here is the truth.  Indecision is a decision.  It is Plan C when you only had Plan A or B.  Make a conscious decision to make a decision (even if it is the wrong one) or alleviate the phrase “I don’t know” from your daily vocabulary.

 

Dwelling on the Past
The only thing you can change about the past is how you look at it.  There are always, I repeat, ALWAYS something positive that can come from any negative event in our life.  For examples, please refer to the Not So Typical Thanksgiving List.  It really does depend on how you look at it.  I have seen people give thanks for some of the most horrific events because it led them to a new understanding of their own purpose in life. There is much healing in this.

 

While these are just short bits of wisdom that have been learned through much trial and error, each of them can be expounded upon greatly.  Of course, you don’t have to agree with all of them.  You can choose to find out for yourself…and make your own mistakes to learn from.  I prefer to attempt to “stand on the shoulders of giants” whenever I can.
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Who are you choosing to be?

Recently, someone said “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”. Now, for some of us, this can be a scary thought. What if you spend most of your time with your children, does that mean that you are the epitome of those children, all rolled up into one mass of terror? Sometimes, you do not have the luxury of choosing who you you work with…so does that mean that you are doomed to be the conglomerate of your closest five co-workers?

Now before you start getting all negative about your future, let’s examine something. For someone to be influenced, there has to be an influencer. That person would be called a leader in some circles. If you look at that person, why are they influencing others? or why are they doing the influencing? Is it because they set out from the beginning of every day, to influence others rather than be influenced? In some rare cases that may be true, but those “spawnings” of influence usually do not last long…and there is a good reason. They are like seeds that sprouted on a rock, only to find that there was no ground under them; nothing under them to support them. Their influence needs something to root itself into; some solid ground to grasp.

The influencer has a foundation and it usually was birthed early in their life but sometimes it was created later on, having such a profound impact that it became a formed habit. The influencer can be good causing everyone around them to be better, or bad making sure that no one can infringe on their turf. Either way, they are the primary influence, whether influencing all or not. So if you are not that “influencer” or at least you think that you are not, what can you do to keep from taking on the negative attributes of the “sum of five”?

The saying referred to the “who” of your influences but not of your “what”. Let’s make a few quick “sum of five” lists.

What are the last five books you read (or at least a part of)?
What are the five TV shows that you choose to watch the most?
What are the five websites that you direct your attention to the most?
What are the five places, besides home and work, where you spend most of your time?

While it would take a while to examine each of these areas at length, let’s just look at one and you can examine the others later, if you choose. In fact, I recommend it. OK, so what are the last five books that you read with the intention of finishing one day?

You know, reading is kind of magical. In a fiction book, it has the ability to take you a foreign place and thrust you into an adventure that few, if any of us would ever see in our lifetime. In a non-fiction book, it brings a reality to light and causes us to examine our own lives at times. Either way, reading has this method of getting inside of your mind and causing you to think, form ideas and then execute. Unlike watching TV, when reading, you pause and elaborate at times to expound and create.

Keeping that in mind, what things are you putting in your mind to expound and create upon. These things are influencing you and many times, they find their way through you to influence your “five”. You may be the influencer and not even know it.

So if you are an influencer, and are choosing the things that influence who you are going to be, who are you choosing to be?

Dam

So much has happened since Thanksgiving that it would an injustice to myself to NOT write anything. Time has been flying by and it seems sometimes that I cannot catch up with it all. Some years it seems that the holidays drag by but not this year. Until this moment, and probably afterwards, life has come very fast. I have just had to hold on for the ride. That being said, life is directable, yes, but unstoppable. How can that be? I liken it to a river.

 

Consider a small river, flowing through a forest. You cannot step into the middle of it and stop it. In fact, you and a hundred others stepping into the middle of it cannot either. It is not stoppable in that manner. But yet a small group of animals carrying one or two branches at a time can eventually direct it and in the process, make a cozy little home for themselves. In fact, carrying that thought a little further, they can concentrate the force of that river and make it calm in one section and raging in another. The river that may have been uncontrollable in the beginning, has succumbed to the efforts of a couple of small animals and its power harnessed to work for them.

 

I know that you didn’t expect a nature lesson today but you got one anyway.

 

So how is it that a large rodent with a flat tail can teach us about handling life? Well, it is obvious that its ability to harness the power of the river is monumental. The beavers also chop down large trees, store their food in the still portions of the river (a home-made refrigerator) and build tributaries and canals for the river to spread throughout the area. Do they do this because they know that the surrounding habitat needs it and that there efforts will be heralded at the next Annual Forest Convention? No, they do this because it is how they were taught and it is their instinct.

 

One thing to note though is that beavers are not perfect. Sometimes, when they are constructing and doing things instinctively, they have a dam collapse or a bear attacks and they can get hurt or a member(s) of their family dies. Sometimes pollution or human progress causes them to move. When this happens, do you know what they do? They adapt to their new surroundings and do what? What they were taught and do instinctively.

 

What are you teaching your friends, children or grandchildren to do instinctively? Yes, I said friends too. In case you haven’t noticed, when you hang around others, their habits and sayings tend to rub off on you and vice versa. This is why it is so imperative for you to exhibit leadership habits. Not so much to show off or try to be the big shot but to offer good teachings and instinctual habits for others to glean. And you do not have to be perfect in your efforts.

 

After all, you can direct life without having to stop it. And you can lead with out being the leader. One or two small branches at a time.

Less Stressing, More Blessing

The motto for the day (week, month, year, life). In essence, it means that no matter what is coming at you, focus your energy on the good of others. It goes hand in hand with the quote from Zig Ziglar, “You can get what you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

 

Where this statement gets its weight is that we really do not know what we want. We don’t. Really. You may think that you want to be a best selling author or maybe a professional dancer. Maybe you have the dream of having your own successful business or an in-demand speaker.

 

Well, to achieve those goals, you need to:

1. write what others want to read

2. perform the way others will enjoy watching

3. produce something others will buy

4. speak about subjects that others will want to hear

 

Just another way of saying, “It is not about you”. Don’t stress about the things you cannot change, but bless others with what you have to give…and seek to get better at it so you can give better. You will get what you really want by turning the focus away from you.

The weight of the world comes crashing down…

So, mornings are tough when the weather changes and even more tough when crisis strikes…and even more tough when both strike at the same time.  Ha, when it rains it pours.

It will not keep me away from sharing with all of you, though.  Many things have happened to shed more light on life and I am eager to be transparent…to your benefit, I hope.

The weight of the world comes crashing down.WeightoftheWorld

You had one of those moments before?  I woke up the other morning and I felt like stress found me.  My pastor had said in his message the day before that in an average day, a person makes approximately 168,000 decisions.  Now I could have let that statement go, maybe zoned out during his talking and not let that sink in.  But for someone who has fought through some major and minor decision-making issues in his past, that statement sunk my boat.

I usually do not know when stress is happening until I physically feel it…and WOW! did I feel it.  A mental fog set in and threw my day out of whack.  I was just operating on auto-pilot the whole morning.  I am glad that some good habits were formed in me so that I could work by going through the motions, though.  It took some real intense thought and prayer to claw my way out of the most of it.  Some of it still remains.

But what if I would have chosen to stay there.  Have you ever had that happen to you and you stayed there…in that muck and mire…wishing for someone to reach down and pull you out?  Or maybe you didn’t hope for someone to show up but you just gave up?

When this happens, it really is a matter of perspective.  Our society has become so computerized that we have forgotten the value of the physical pen and paper.  Getting yourself transparent and writing things down is a humbling experience at times.

Questions to yourself need to be answered.  Here is one:  How much of this can I change the outcome?  Can I somehow produce an outcome that will decrease its “worry” weight?  If not, then you are just a spectator.  Prepare for how it will affect your world to lessen its effect.

Another question is:  Is it my problem?  Is this based on someone else’s decision?  Even if it is your adult child that you raised, does lamenting over the crazy things they do change what they do?  Again, you are just a spectator.  Prepare for how it may affect your world.

Final question:  Can I talk to someone (close friend or spouse), that can offer a different perspective and will I shut my own mouth and listen?  This is the key many times.  When you have experienced levels of distrust in their life from those who are supposed to be responsible, you tend to lean on yourself because at least you know what to expect from yourself.  You may have heard the saying “Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman”.  I will tweak that saying and say “Behind every successful person is a trail of people who teach”.

Plain and simple…You do not know it all.  The answers to all of your problems are not lurking around in your subconscious, waiting for you to catch them.  I know that there have been self-help teachings that say the “Greater Consciousness” will give it to you if you ask.  Well, here is a shocker for you:  Just like God uses you to help others, He will use others to help you.   Part of the problem with “self-help” teaching is just that:  It teaches you to only rely on yourself for answers.  Don’t act like the word “ASK” is a four letter word.

We do not know it all.  Never stop learning.

Lay down the weight of the world.  It is not for you to worry about.  You do have responsibility to make good decisions for the future, not for the past.  All 168,000 of them.

GoalPraying

     Life is really a set of goals, if you can look at it that way.  You are born and as you learn new things, you challenge yourself to do new things.  Sometimes those new things are goals you shouldn’t accomplish, like testing the heat of a hot stove.  While others are good to achieve such as catching a ball headed for your face.

 

     You can look at goals as simple tasks to set and achieve throughout your life but at some points in your life, you are hit with rejection, discouragement and pain.  You learn that the stove is hot, glass breaks, baseballs are hard, and so on.  When learning these tenets of life, you still move forward with a mixed set of emotions about these experiences that inevitably form the person you are in the future.

 

     For example, you can take the experience of baseball.  When you join a baseball league, remember the first time you tried to play with a team.   Now if you say that you just went out there and started playing and learned as you went, you need to think back a little bit.  Think of what you did in preparation for it.  What about the first time that you caught a ball, was it on the baseball field?  The first time you ran as fast as you could to a certain point?  How about the first time you hit something with a stick?

 

     When playing on a baseball team for the first time, you get an idea of what you are supposed to do, but a coach and a few other experienced players guided you through the experience, using what you already learned to apply it to baseball.  You may or may not have done well but the experience shaped you.

 

     The process of succeeding in life is just the same.  You work at the basics, little by little, until you reach each goal that you set.  So why is it so hard to do goal setting?

 

     Sure, you can say “I am not going to stop until I make $10,000 per month!”  Yes, it sounds good but there needs to be a plan because that $10K/month is not usually going to happen in a short amount of time.

FootballGoalpost

     The art of setting goals is as much needed for success as it is to achieve them.  If you do not know how to set yourself up for success then when you fail, it will be more difficult to get up.  Each goal has to have some key ingredients and each one is important for its own reason:

 

1. Challenge

2. Interest

3. Definition

4. Finish Line

5. Believable

 

Challenge

     What would a goal be if it were not a challenge?  It would be a “motion” like turning off your alarm clock.  No achievement necessary, just do it because if you don’t, it will just annoy you.  Some people set goals to where the consequence of failure is painful.  Truth is that all goals cannot work this way.  There needs to be more.

 

Interest

 

     Compare this to eating when you are full.  God has ingrained in you certain interests that excite you and make you want to move but there are others that are necessary but not fun.  For example, what if your goal is to find everyone you have wronged in the last 12 months and ask for forgiveness.  Not fun, but you have to generate the drive inside of yourself to be able to accomplish the task.

 

Definition

 

     This is an area that you need to spell out clear and concise.  If you do not, it is just a direction or vague purpose.  So lets define it.  A goal is the result or achievement toward the effort is directed; aim; end.  It is what constitutes the end of that journey.  Define it.

 

Finish Line

     With the way society is today, if you did not put a time limit on goals, they would never get done.  If you set a goal to write for 30 days, how would you feel if it took you 6 months to complete it? What about if it took 40 days?  34 days?  30 days?  Yes we fail and would feel better if we did it perfectly, but it is better to fail at a goal than to never set one to achieve.

 

Believable

 

     This depends on your definition of believable.  Your idea of impossible is just that…impossible.  Take these words at face value.  Set yourself up for success.  Chop those big goals into small nuggets that will seem monstrous when they are done, but not while they are being done.

 

     Combine your goals with your prayer list.  Read through the list when you go to bed or early in the morning before you start your day.  Edit it, change it, tweak it.  Make it YOU.  It is for you.  Keep it on your computer, smartphone, tablet and/or notebook.  It is notes for you to steer your purpose.

 

Do you remember the first time you were supposed to memorize something?  A verse, a poem, a song.

After you were successful with the memorization, how long did you remember it?

Do you still remember it?

Do you think that if you read those words again today, it would all come back to you?

It has been proven that putting information to music helps the brain remember things.  Some cultures sing their prayers.  Do you think they are onto something?

 

     Your prayers are your heartfelt desires and requests.  Even if you really don’t FEEL the desire to “goalpray” for something when you put something on your list but feel that you need to, it still is beneficial.  Put someone on your list that you have a difficult time getting along with.  You may not want to but just the act of seeing it everyday will guide you.  Sometimes you will see that the problem was more of you and not of them.

 

Each goal is a prayer.