Saying No

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If there’s one thing we have no shortage of in life. It’s options. Everyday we have to make choices from the clothes we wear, what time we get up, what food we will eat, how productive we will be at school, college, or our jobs. We make decisions like where to live, what kind of apartment or house to get, what kind of car to buy, how we want our house decorated, what kind music we listen to, what type of friends we have.

It’s often very easy to say yes to things, but we have a much harder time saying no. For whatever reason saying no is something we usually try to avoid. We try to avoid it at all costs, by coming up with excuses, just going along instead, or simply ignoring it.

But “no” is a word we need to be more comfortable with. Saying no more often can save us so much heartache, pain, and misery.

There are always those times when we give in to something even if we know it is wrong simply because we don’t say know. A friend says something and rather than point out what’s wrong with it or reject it, we give in go along with it because we don’t want to seem weird or “offend” them.

But in truth by saying no to things that aren’t healthy and are not good, you often times gain respect, and become a better person and make those around you better people. If by saying no and standing your ground you lose some friends, it’s okay, they probably weren’t true friends to begin with if they don’t respect what you think.

So get comfortable with saying no. It will be worth it and far more beneficial for you in the end.

“No” is okay.

You Are Who You’re With

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We all meet lots of people in our life. Some of them are quality people and some of them are not. It doesn’t take long to hang out with someone to know what they are like. Whether or not they are someone who is going to build you up or tear you down. We’ve probably all experienced both, but sometimes it’s hard to realize those who bring you down.

Some people are subtly negative. For instance the person who looks at situations and points out the bad. The bad may very well be true that they are pointing out, but by focusing on that the good is lost, and emotions become heavy.

If you hang around that kind of behavior on a regular basis it will drag you down eventually. And it will come on you subtly as well. You won’t notice becuase it starts off very small. Little things begin to annoy you. Little things that are bad grab your attention and your words will start to follow. Just saying things like “this is pointless” etc can all lead to looking down on the world. Because the more you speak it and hear it spoken the more you come to believe it.

So be careful who you spend your time with, don’t hang around those who drag you down, find others who are positive, and maintain positivity in your own life.

Ignite The Fire

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What makes you absolutely come alive?  Think about it for a minute.

Maybe it’s something you haven’t done in a really long time, maybe someone told you it was dumb so you stopped, maybe you think it’s silly, maybe you failed at it once.

Here’s the deal though.  That one thing that burns in your heart and makes you come alive is the match that others need in order to come alive.

See, we think that pursuing our passion is only about us.  And while it is important to us, it’s also important to others.  But we tend to only see those who think negativity towards what we want to do.  But for every negative person there are two who need our passion, our excitement, and our example to ignite themselves.

We are like lighters, igniting others.   One match can set a huge fire off.  So go after what you makes you come alive, ignite your own future, and that of others.

Be True

 

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Have you ever felt like you have to prove yourself to someone else.  You feel as if they are controlling your life more than you are. Like they have some kind of say as to what is good enough and what isn’t?

Allowing others to control our decisions and actions can be very dangerous because in the process we lose ourselves. We lose our character, and what makes us unique.

Stay original, stay true to who you are.  We can take others viewpoints, and see if there is anything we can learn from it ,but we shouldn’t just take what others say at face value without questioning their motives or whether or not they are looking out for you or themselves.

Those who truly care about you will encourage you in your pursuits, and they will ask questions that make you think rather than degrade what you are doing.

So examine those around you and cut ties with friends who may try to bring you down.

Stay true to you.

Challenge Each Other

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I have a tendency to struggle with friendships.  The reason is I don’t easily allow myself to get close to people.  It’s an issue I have that I am trying to get over. One of those things where you get hurt when you are younger and so you think the best thing is just to not care anymore.

But that’s the worst thing.  It’s taken me awhile but I am realizing the importance and value of friends.  The Bible states that iron sharpens iron, and so it should be in friendship.

Now there are definitely times when you need to cut out certain friends because they are influencing you in a way you don’t need to be influenced.

But quality friends should encourage one another, should challenge each other. Should ask the tough questions.

Even Jesus had his close 12 friends. He confided in them, challenged them, and encouraged them.

So if you are afraid like me of friendship, don’t be. Healthy friends can really help grow you as a person.

 

Dream Big

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Risks.  That can be a scary word.  It can strike fear into the heart of many.  After all, aren’t we supposed to keep from doing anything risky?  Aren’t we supposed to stay safe, keep all our ducks in a row and do what is expected?

There is a difference between risk and irresponsibility.  We have certain things in our lives that we need to be responsible over, doing good at our job, providing for our family, bettering our lives and those around us.  These are good qualities.

But taking risks can actually be the responsible thing to do. We are responsible to use the gifts that we are giving.  Every one of us has unique talents, and unique passions that we are just born with.  We can’t explain why a certain thing makes us come alive and excites us, it just does. And it’s meant to.

We have to be responsible with these talents and passions, we need to use them to the fullest extent, and often doing that requires us to take big risks.  Sometimes quitting our job and taking that other job with the temporary paycut is what we need to do.

Sometimes moving to that other state is the right choice.

Sometimes making that phone call to that friend who cussed you out is what you most need to do, or offering love to your spouse even if they don’t “deserve” it.

There are a million “risky” things that we need to on a daily basis.  So start taking risks today.

When You Don’t Want To

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Sometimes it’s really hard being a strong person.  It can mean a lot of sacrifice a lot of heartache, and a lot of worry. People often think you have it all together, but that’s not the case at all. The same worries, struggles, and fears play havoc in our minds too.

We mainly just do a better job of not allowing those things to come out, because we can’t, or at least feel we can’t and keep up our countenance.

It’s important thought to have someone in your life who you don’t have to be a rock to. If you are married this should be your spouse, if not find someone, a friend, a mentor who can pour life into you, and listen to your worries and stresses.

Having this support will not make you weaker, but rather make you stronger.

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.

Seeing The Best

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It’s really easy to be judgmental.  Whether it’s social media, the news, our coworkers, there always seems to be someone doing something that we disagree with, or don’t think is right.

But that is okay.

What makes us all unique is our difference in opinions.  So what if our friend doesn’t see things the same way as us?  So what if our family member, likes this and we like that?

See the best in people, even if you don’t agree with what a lot of things they do, find something you can praise them for, find something to encourage them in.

Another thing that tends to be common is if we don’t argue our side of it then we think we are giving in to their viewpoint.  This is crazy!  Arguing a point isn’t going to make them change their mind, it’s just going to make both them and ourselves mad.

It’s okay to agree to disagree, respect people, respect their viewpoints, yes even if you disagree with them.  To them, their viewpoint is just as valid as your own.

The Problem Is Me?

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It’s really easy to blame people.  And if we don’t blame them, then it’s really easy to make an excuse why what they are saying is totally true.  “but you don’t understand…”

It’s so easy to fall into this.  We want to save face, we want to do good.  We can’t be perceived as weak, fragile, or as being in the wrong.  We have to be strong and perfect.

Um, no.

First off being perfect is impossible, second, when we try to act like we are, we usually end up just being a jerk to those around us. When we try to be perfect, and try to uphold that we end up pushing those close to us away,

We end up hurting the ones we love because we become so focused on how we must be right, that we stop taking into consideration we might be wrong.  We get puffed up, and pride sneaks in.  It takes over and before we know it, we have become the “me-monster”.

Admit that you are not the greatest thing to walk the earth, admit when you fall short and fail.  It’s okay, we all have our moments.  Ask for forgiveness, forgive yourself, and learn from your mistakes, then move on.

You will be amazed how much more helpful this is, then trying to pretend you are right to begin with.