Looking Back

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Today marks my 300th blog. It’s hard to believe.  Looking back I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and at the same time I can’t help but wonder what the future holds.

Over the last 10 months my blogs have been a personal journey for myself, uncovering things I didn’t even know about myself, fleshing out ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

I hope that I have encouraged you and helped you to question things or maybe dive deeper into something you were unsure about.  Something I didn’t expect was to dive deeper myself.  I am the same person I was when I started and I definitely was faced with some challenging issues that I wrote about.

All this is why I so look forward to the next 300 blogs to come. I am excited to share with you more, to hear your feedback, your own stories, and I am excited to see what changes will come in my own mind.

Thanks so much for following my blog, without you it would just be words.  I look forward to our next 300 together!

The Hard Days

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Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could hide in bed all day? Sooner or later we all have one of those days.  We don’t really feel like going to work at the crack of dawn, we’re tired of our diet, or our exercise program.  We feel worn out, tired.

There’s one thing that really helps on days like this.  My wife and daughter.  Somehow they are more than enough motivation to be strong another day.  To work hard, to do my best to be honorable.

Sure that doesn’t mean every day I have it all together.  In fact rarely if ever is life all together.  Each day has its challenges, its hardships, its battles we must fight.

Don’t be afraid to be weak some days.  It happens.  Sometimes you do need to come home and take a nap, sometimes you do need a break and just rent a movie and chill with your friends, your loved one, or your spouse.

In fact it’s these simple pleasures that we find in those we love that make the hard days worth it.

Unless it Hurts

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There are certain things in life that just don’t get us where we need to go without pain.  Why this is I don’t know.

The whole process of working out is pain.  When you lift weights you literally are tearing your muscles.  It’s painful, it’s not a fun experience. I think if we could just naturally get built, or in great shape with a snap of the fingers we would do just that…..but in doing that we would miss out on a lot.

It’s the pain that builds us, not just in a physical sense, but it builds our character, our emotion, who we are as a person.

I can look back on things that have hurt me in the past, some of them were brought on by my own stupid decisions, others were caused by people or situations.  While I don’t relish the thought of those times, I know they have helped shape me into who I am, and for that I am grateful.

Use your hurt and pain to become a better person.

Social Media Is Our New Girlfriend

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We have a tendency to lose ourselves in social media from time to time.  We forget that real life and real relationships are all around us.  We lose ourselves in trying to find out what all our friends have done today by reading their posts, rather than getting coffee with them.

We have a tendency to create our Facebook face, the parts that only the world can see, and hide all the parts we are ashamed of.  It’s easier, in a friendship you have to be real in order to maintain a strong friendship.  In social media you can be fake.

Sometimes we need to unplug.  When you come home after a long day work you don’t need to run to your laptop, you need to connect with your family, your significant other, or whoever you share your home with.

Don’t just post a status telling your friend you are thinking about them, call them up, set up a coffee date, go do something fun with them.

Social media has literally become like a girlfriend or boyfriend for many of us, and sadly at the expense of the important people in our life.

Social media is good, but don’t put it in a place it doesn’t belong.

Back From The Wild

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So I’m back from the wild.  It’s both good and sad to be back.  Nothing like cutting yourself off from the world every now and then and going and living an adventure.

The hike did not all go according to plan but what adventure does?  Due to some mis-turns, and poorly marked trails the hiking group I was with ending up hiking in the dark for about four hours.  I had never hiked that far at night, and actually it was pretty fun.

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Another fun part was attempting to ford the Buffalo River.

All in all we had a blast, got some sore feet, and some great memories.

It’s amazing how entertaining some good friends and nature can be without a computer, cell phone, tv, or internet.

There were times when I think we all asked ourselves “why are we doing this” especially the second day after hiking 14 miles up some serious climbs.  But it’s the pushing on that brings such satisfaction, the knowing you conquered it, and didn’t let the pain get the best of you. . .

This applies to all of life.  I will leave you with the final picture from the hike.  We were tired, but we had won.  Don’t ever let life beat you into the ground, push through the pain and come out victorious with a story to tell.

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Too Tight a Grip

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Have you ever noticed that sometimes the tighter you hold onto something the more it slips through your fingers?

There are many things in life like this, but why do we try to hold on so tightly?  Is it fear, anxiety, insecurity? There are many different things that can contribute to us holding on too tightly.  Perhaps we were hurt in the past, and out of fear of being hurt again we hold desperately to something to avoid feeling that hurt.

Holding so tight however makes things far worse. It puts pressure on us and the person/thing we are holding so tight to.  It is not worth it. In order to be free, in order to be at peace, and move forward, we have to learn to loosen our grips on things in life.

Now I’m not saying let go of your dream, but the unhealthy attachments have to go. We can’t hold on to something so tightly that we drag ourselves and someone else down.

The only thing that beyond doubt we can hold on to without fear of it having a negative impact is God, and He should be the only thing we desperately cling to. Because everything else will just give us a false sense of security.

 

Living For Me?

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It’s easy to live for ourselves. I mean, we have a lot of problems right?  We have to solve them.  Other people don’t understand what we are going through. We have it worse off.

In honesty?  These things are not true.  Sure we may be going through something difficult.  But everyone is.  Everyone has to fight battles every day.  None of those battles look the same.

It’s really important to remember that just because we don’t understand what someone else is going through, or because we are really weighed down with our own, that doesn’t give us the right to act like we want.

We are supposed to help others, not hinder.  I myself am very guilty of this. It’s like I have blinders on and don’t see the reality of the hurt going on around me and can get so focused on my own problems.

But it’s so crucial that those blinders get taken off.  We’ve got to learn to care more about others, learn to listen more than we talk, and give more than we get.

So Selfish!

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I am discovering something as of recently that I honestly wish wasn’t true.  I am discovering I am selfish.

I spend a lot of time thinking about myself, of thinking what bad things are going on in my life.

It’s an unhealthy and debilitating thing to be selfish.

I don’t want to be that way, but it takes work and diligence to break the chains of selfishness, because it likes to hold on and not let go and yell at you how right you are, when in reality you are wrong.

I don’t want to be selfish, but I can’t snap my fingers to make it go away, and me saying that doesn’t make it go away, it takes me deliberately choosing unselfish actions, again and again and again, until it is habit, until selfishness dies completely.

It’s a work in progress.

Cheering On

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It’s easy to look back and think about the person we look up to.  The person that spoke into our lives, that believed in us, encouraged us, and told us what we needed to hear rather than what we wanted to hear.  Those people hold a special place in our lives, and even if we lose touch with them, we never forget what they did for us.

When I think about these type of people in my life I ask myself, “am I being that to others?”  I want to be that person for someone else.  I want to be the person that tells someone else “Go for it!” Not the one who questions the motive and says, “well I don’t know have you thought about this?”

I have to kill my need to see things rationally.  Don’t get me wrong there are many things in life that require us to think rationally about, from our relationships to finances.  We can’t just wake up one morning and say, “I know there’s only $100 in my bank account, but you know what I’m gonna book a cruise!”  No that’s the type of circumstance that needs rationale thinking.

But dreams?  Get rid of rationale thinking for goodness sake.  It has no place in dreaming big.

Fearless Youth and Ageless Wisdom

You know how when you are young you have no fears? Usually this leads to doing many things you laugh about later in life. Asking yourself, “did I really do that?” We will jump off a roof just because someone dared us, attempt to eat 40 marshmallows at once at the risk of barfing all over ourselves, or dancing through Wal-Mart.

On the opposite side of the spectrum as we get older we lose some of the unwise tendencies but with our new found wisdom we also tend to lose our sense of adventure, we learn about real life, we have to work to pay rent, we get married, have children and with the responsibility we become more serious minded.

None of these things are bad, it’s good we grow up, it’s good we gain wisdom, and it is good we take responsibility over the things entrusted to our care. That is God’s will. But we need wisdom and responsibility coupled with the adventure. You see, all too often it’s easy to become very self focused when we become responsible. It’s easy to focus solely on the needs of those around you and ignore the needs of others.

We need to get back a bit of the adventure, and start looking outside just the four walls, not in the dumb sense of jumping off the roof, but in the sense of trying new things, doing things that sometimes scare us, but need to be done.