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.

Distracted

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Last week when my wife and I were on vacation our cruise ship did movies on the deck at night, one of which was Noah. We hadn’t seen it since watching it in the theater and so we settled in to watch it. I found myself coming away from it with new things that I hadn’t seen the first time around.

One of those was when Adam and Eve were walking in the garden. Typically when we think of the fall of man it’s really easy to blame Eve for eating the fruit, we say, it’s all her fault. Well in the movie it shows Adam being distracted with the serpent’s shed skin while Eve walks up to the fruit and eats it.

How often in life does this happen? We blame someone else for something that happened, when all the while, we knew what might happen but chose to look the other way? We were distracted with our own problems, or our own misery. What would have happened if Adam stopped Eve, if he had stepped up and said, “no, we are going to hold one another accountable.”

Rarely are things one persons fault. We all have a role to play, we all have responsibilities. Are we living up to them or are we allowing ourselves to be distracted?

What Scares You?

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We all can think of things that have a tendency to scare us. From things like heights, to snakes, to more difficult issues like being vulnerable, being honest etc.

It can be a scary thing to allow yourself to be vulnerable. After all isn’t that how people get hurt? Isn’t that how hearts get broken? Well in all honesty, yes.

But when we close ourselves off we may guard ourselves against getting hurt, but we also keep ourselves from experiencing some awesome adventures.

The truth is, yes, being vulnerable will hurt us at times, it’s part of the way life goes, but it will also bring us great joy. When we do get hurt we have to keep getting up and trying again, nothing good ever comes from staying down.

We don’t ever fully begin to live until we open up ourselves fully and embrace who we are, give ourselves the freedom to be vulnerable, and take the leap into vulnerability.  It’s scary, it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

I’m Back

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Back to normalcy.

It’s always bittersweet coming back from vacation, it’s always nice to get back to normal life and back in a routine, but it also sucks not being free to do whatever you want to in a day.

My wife and I got back yesterday from our cruise in the Caribbean. It was great to see our daughter again after a week away from her, and now the ten loads of laundry and grocery shopping begins.

We hit the ground running our first day back. College starts for both of us, back to work, meetings, and the like. Workouts were great on the cruise ship despite the small gym, the view made up for it.

I went unplugged for the week, naturally unplugged from phones and internet because on a cruise ship the price to get online could fund your own personal boat fund.

I love being connected with all of you digitally, but I will say I think we all need a break at least once a year from all forms of social media. It gives us a chance to refocus and renew, and that’s exactly what this vacation allowed us to do. This wasn’t the first cruise my wife and I went on. I think the thing we most like about it, is that we are completely free to come and go as we please. We are blessed with grandparents who watch our child for the week so we can be by ourselves.

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Free to laugh, to eat whenever we want, stay up however late, go to the gym whenever.

While vacation is awesome, the best thing about it, is getting time to reevaluate where you are in life, make new goals, new plans, new deadlines, so that you come back to life renewed, and ready to hit the pavement.

Vacation was amazing, and being back is equally so.

Unplugged

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Today I am heading to meet up with my parents where my wife and I are dropping off our daughter for the week while we go on a cruise.  While there are many things I like about cruises, one of my favorites is the ability to unplug.  Cell reception is nowhere, and I find myself leaving the cabin room without my cell phone all the time, (something I wouldn’t think of doing when I’m going out at home).

This next week I will not be posting.  I debated pre-scheduling my blogs, but really think it’s good to just be totally off the grid.

So I will be gone this week, catching up on some much needed away time, and enjoying being with my wife.  Hope everyone has a fantabulous weekend.  We’ll talk again in 9 days.

Don’t Just Know…Believe

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Knowing something and believing something are two totally different things.

Knowing something is nothing.  Anyone can know something.

Let’s say you know that someone gave you 50 bucks.  They told you they left it in your mailbox.

You go and look in your mailbox and see a $50 bill sitting there, you look at it for a moment, then close the lid, leaving it inside.

Then lets say you go to the store to buy something, only you get to the register to find you have no money to pay for it.

You can say “I know I have $50, but knowing you have that means nothing.  You didn’t believe, you did’t reach out and take it. You left it as knowledge only.

How many things in your life do you have knowledge about, but don’t believe?  Don’t just have knowledge.  Knowledge is good, but by itself it won’t ever get you anywhere. You have to have knowledge, and you have to believe, and those two things,  will get you far.