Living A Lie

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Sometimes there are points in our lives when we come to a discovery of ourselves.  We find ourselves seemingly for the first time.  Sure we’ve always known who we were, but  not really.  We’ve seen it through jaded eyes, through the lens of others expectations.

We have this tendency in life to think that if someone else doesn’t pursue the career choice that we deem best, then they are going about it wrong.

Or if they are raising their kids different than us then they are in the wrong.

Or if they are pursuing a relationship that we disagree with they are headed for trouble.

All this is just us being insecure and feeling we need to validate the way we live by invalidating other people.

Each of us as individuals is unique, none of us have the same exact personalities, dreams, or passions, and we shouldn’t.

Encourage others to go after things that are way different than how you would do it.  We need more creative people, more diverse actions.

Don’t live a lie because someone else thinks you should do plan A or B. And don’t make people feel that they have to live a lie because you think differently.

We are meant to build each other up.  Let’s start today.

Reconnect

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Hope everyone is having a great labor day and maybe taking some time to reconnect with yourself.  Take some time to refocus on what you love, on your dreams, on your goals.  Where were you this time last year?  Where do you want to be next year.

Dream big, live loud, and chase your adventures, no matter how crazy.

 

You Don’t Know Where It Will Lead

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I have a really bad habit of not doing things when I can’t see the end.  I am a notorious planner.  To a fault.  I’m the guy who wants to know where we are going, when we are leaving, what time we will get there, etc.

This is good at times especially for goal setting, but it’s also bad because there are those things in life that when you decide to do it, you don’t really know where it will take you.

I am facing one of those areas right now in my life.  I am making steps towards starting something, but I can’t see the ending.  So yes it makes my OCD hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I got breakfast with a really good friend of mine the other morning, and he reminded me of Proverbs 16:9  “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps”.  Basically what that means to me is yes I have to make a choice, God can’t make that choice for me, and then I have to trust that as  I make that choice God is going to determine my steps.

And I have to realize that even if those steps take me to a different place than what I may think, I will still be stronger and know more than when I started.

Again, I am not ready to divulge what this new step is for me, but it will be forth-coming in the next couple months.

 

Stop Using Your Kids As An Excuse

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My wife and I discovered something after we had a child.  It’s really hard for us to ever hang out with anyone with kids.  Most of our friends are either single, or married without children.

Why is this?  Well, it’s pretty simple, we’ve found a lot of parents who use there kids as excuses of why they can’t do something.

As a parent now for 2 years I don’t understand this concept at all. My wife and I have a lot going on, between both of us working going to school full time, hitting the gym 5 times a week, plus my wife runs a non-profit, as well as her own business. This is aside from our blogging, e-books, and other projects we have going on.  Yes we are extremely busy, but we don’t know any other way.

So naturally we brought our child into the world expecting her to be a go getter.  And that she is.  When she knows we are going somewhere she runs and grabs her shoes, starts laughing hysterically and then proceeds to beat on the front door until we leave.  She loves to be on the go as much as her parents.  She is very used to going everywhere, she never meets a stranger, and has no fear of anything.

We love this, we want her to see by example how to live a full life.  As a dad it scares the crap out of me all the time when I hear crazy stories in the news, and I will probably be stalking her first boyfriend. But I want her to experience life, and experience it fully. I don’t want her to see her parents just wasting away time, watching TV and staying inside the house.  She is already learning this.

Kids are not an excuse not do things, they are all the more reason to do things.

He Already Knows

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It’s easy to forget that we are being watched. We get in go go mode and think we are all alone, that we have to be strong enough, smart, enough, good enough.

The truth is none of us are.  We are incredibly imperfect. We let those we love down, we do things we know we shouldn’t, and we fail to meet both our own expectations and the expectations of others.

But God hears us, He knows us, and He cares greatly about us.  I know that sounds cliche.  But it’s so very true.

We too easily forget, we can call out and God hears us.  No that doesn’t mean He’s a genie that grants whatever we ask, but he our companion and our friend, and He’s there for us both through the good times and the bad.

 

Adversity Makes You Stronger

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Adversity makes us stronger. It really does. It is never fun when we are going through it and we think “why me”.  But looking back it shapes us into who we are.

Walt Disney said it well when he said “a kick in the teeth may be the best thing for you.”  It’s true.  Adversity isn’t something we stay up late hoping will come in the morning.  It usually blindsides us when we are least expecting.

We can handle it in two very distinct ways.  One is to let it hurt us, let it damage us, and be the worst for it.  The other is let it challenge us to rise to the occasion, to strengthen our morals, and character and mold us into a better person than we were before.

Think of adversity as opportunity.  You have the ability to be thankful, and use it to strengthen you.

Not For the Faint

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We’ve probably all heard the saying go big or go home.  We watch movies that preach that, and it’s easy to say that when we are trash talking, but when it comes down to it, do we really live that mentality?  Or do we live the, “go safe and then go home” mentality?

I know for me, it’s really easy to think some pretty grandiose ideas, and talk up a big game, but then when it comes down to the decision making, my knees get weak, and the doubt comes creeping in, “what if I screw this up?”, “what if they think I’m stupid for trying?”, “what if I fail?”

All these thoughts come rushing down on me like Niagra falls and I’m struggling just to find my way back to the surface.

The good news is that the most challenging things we will ever face are in our minds.  That’s right, if we can get over those nagging thoughts that parade around in our brains, we will have most of the battle already won.

Don’t let doubt keep you down, your fears most likely won’t ever come to pass.  Climb your mountain, only your mind stands in the way.

 

 

Mondays Can Be Good

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Mondays kind of  get a bad rap.  I can understand why.  They seem to take away our precious weekend, our time with family, our time doing the things we love.  Mondays often get categorized with things we hate.  We assemble lists like:  fruit cake, homework, and Mondays.

But what if Mondays weren’t actually so bad?  What if we just need an adjustment for how we look at them?

What if we looked at Mondays like we look at the first day of road trip, or the first day of a new job, the first day of college, or the first day of marriage?

If we looked at it with a positive outlook instead of a negative one, we might actually find a lot of good things in it.

Mondays give us a chance to start a fresh week.  Maybe last week didn’t go so well, make this one better.  Start off on the right foot, change your attitude, and determine that this is going to be a great Monday and a great week.

If you look for the good in today, you will find it.

 

Follow Through

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I think we can all admit that following through with something can often be very difficult. We start off strong with something but soon loose support, motivation, or stamina to keep working on it.

This is why when you set a new goal, you should first sit down, make a list of all the reasons why you are setting this goal, list what your motivation is, write down how you think you will feel when you reach your goal, write down what obstacle you think will stand in your way and why you feel you can overcome those obstacles.

Keep this in a safe place and on the days when you are tempted to give up, pull this out. Remember your why, remember why you started, why you wanted this, and how you will feel when you hit your goal.

No matter how impossible it seems, if you stay at it long enough, you will hit your goal, it can be done. It takes time, and in the middle of it you may not see any progress.

Rest assured, because if you are continuing to be faithful, you are making progress even when you can’t see it. Follow through and you will be so glad you did. You got this.

Allowing Yourself To Be You

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I just finished reading a book called “The Gift of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. I highly recommend it. It talks about how we expect ourselves to live up to expectations that are not our own, and we end up becoming someone we don’t want to be.

One of the big points I walked away from the book with was the fact that things I enjoy aren’t necessarily bad things. We tend to look at our accomplishments in life or how much we’ve done on our to-do list each day to measure ourselves on whether or not we have done a “good enough” job.

We think that tasks that are fun or hobbies have to go by the wayside if we ever expect to get anywhere in life. But Mrs. Brown argues that if we fail to do the things we love, then we are slowly dying inside, we are stifling the creative and fun things that we hold as passions. She argues that we more fully live when we embrace the things that bring us life. She also points out that we are good enough just the way we are. We don’t have to get to that next dress size, or bench press 400 in order to be worthy of love.

We are worthy enough just the way we are, and the things that make us come alive regardless of what they are, are good thing. So stop feeling guilty, do the things you love and allow yourself the freedom to be you.