Flexible

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There’s something that’s been a little difficult for me but I am learning it more and more.

It’s the art of being flexible.  No I’m not talking about wrapping my legs around my head until I can’t breathe using some yoga technique.  I mean flexible in how I expect things to go.  It can be really easy to plan how something is going to go and then when it doesn’t I can end up getting frustrated, upset, and even angry.

But none of that helps me.  It  just keeps me stuck, and ruins my day and my plans.

A far better approach to handling things when they don’t go as planned is staying flexible. Make a plan but know that things may not go the way you want and if they don’t, you will be okay.  You can adjust and make changes.

Life will always constantly be bringing changes, and things that weren’t planned will always pop up.  What’s worse is those unplanned course altering events seem to happen at the worst possible times.

But by changing the way you think about those situations, and coming to expect them, you will be able to then deal with them and keep going.

Never Tell Me The Odds

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People love to tell other people what can’t be done. They love to say that you can’t.  Much of this stems from resentment and fear that they can’t pursue their own dream.  It’s very easy to shoot down ideas as impossible. Whether you are shooting down your own idea or that of someone else.

But you have to take the odds and throw them out the window.  Odds don’t matter.  If you look at history, everyone who ever tried to do something great was shot down by everyone around them, but they persevered, ignored the odds, and achieved their goal.

Odds are simply numbers to be broken.  You can make it to your goal, you can make it to your destination, and regardless of what people say will or won’t work, go after it with all your heart.

You’ve got one shot at life, make the most of it, and look at the odds as numbers to defy.

Making It

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Starting out to do something is scary stuff, we often don’t know what will happen. There are unknowns, questions, and doubts.

We doubt the outcome, doubt our success, doubt whether we should have even started in the first place.

Understand though…..this is NORMAL.

Anyone who’s ever done great things has had theses struggles, has had doubts.  We often think that those who have done amazing feats are somehow superhuman and never get scared, never doubt, and never have an issue with anything, but this is the furthest thing from the truth.  Anyone who has triumphed has overcome some very hard obstacles and has gone through difficult times.

Everyone at some point wants to give up, throw in the towel, and just give up.  So recognize that it is a normal part of the process, one that will pass, and that you have to get through. Otherwise you will quit and never make it.

So keep going, don’t quit, and accept your doubts, then move on past them.  It will get better.

What Do We Know?

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I was listening to an audio book this morning dealing with the Afghanistan war.  There was a striking point that the author made.  He was talking about what it was like watching the news while he and his fellow soldiers were stationed overseas and hearing a bunch of news people vehemently argue the different points of the war.  He then stated how none of them really knew what they were talking about.  Sure they may have done some research but they hadn’t BEEN there.

How much do we look at life like this?  We are so quick to shout out our opinion (I admit I’ve done it many times), when we haven’t even experienced whatever we are shouting about.  We point the fingers at things we assume are wrong, but we’ve never been through it, seen it, or walked with someone who’s been through it.

We think we have it all figured out, when in reality we don’t have a clue.

For instance what if I was describing what the ocean was like, and was talking about what it was like on my recent visit to it.  Now suppose someone butted in and started telling me I was wrong about the ocean, because he had read some books on it, and watched some youtube videos about oceans, though he had never been there. It would  be frustrating right?

It really made me stop and think about what things I am for and or against, and how much more I really need to understand before I just jump out there and shout out my opinion on some things.

Above Your Means

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How often do we feel we need something?  We want to buy things it makes us feel good. Whether it’s for personal use or for the intent of trying to impress someone else.

But what it really does is get us into trouble. Everywhere you look these days we are bombarded with credit, 0 down, and no interest for however many months.  We are accustomed to buying things when we don’t have the money.

But this is a dangerous game to play, because it stretches us beyond what we should be capable of.  It builds our debt rather than our wealth, and it doesn’t teach us to wait for things, but feeds into the idea that whatever we want we can have now.

What’s worse is it feeds into a cycle, you want to feel good, or better so you go buy that new toy, but soon it loses it’s lack-luster and it’s time for the next bigger and better thing. Your phone still works great but 7 months after buying it the newer version comes out and you have to get it.  Why is this?

It’s time we are more aware of our buying decisions and start to be cautions with our spending as well as putting off purchases that we can’t afford to make.

It will be worth it.

Selfless

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How do we be selfless?  What does it mean to do acts of service?  Does it look a certain way?  Sound a certain way?  Or is it simply a mindset we have towards others?

In our day and age it is really easy to become self absorbed.  It’s not even intentional that we become self absorbed, but between our social media, get ahead, me first society it’s very easy to lose sight of helping other people. It’s easy to lose sight of how we truly gain in this world by giving of ourselves.

It doesn’t have to be a certain way, look or sound a certain way, it just needs to be done out of self service.  You giving of yourself to make it better for someone else.  It can be as simple as a kind word.  Going out of your way to get someone something they love.

Do a chore for someone, help someone mow their lawn, clean their house.

It doesn’t have to be any big thing, it’s just simply showing someone that you care enough to do something kind for someone else.

What Are You Doing?

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While life throws a lot of curve balls and plants a lot of obstacles in our way, there is really only one obstacle that we have in our life, and that is ourselves.

Every single person has dreams and aspirations of what they would love to be.  But not everyone actually becomes those things.  Why is that?  Is it because some just aren’t meant to achieve their goals?  Or is it something more?

Life is going to throw an insane amount of things your way, but how you respond to them and what you do is going to determine whether or not you make it to who you want to be in life.  You have to make choices and decisions that will require a lot of sacrifice and hard work in order to get to your dream.

But it is possible.  If you are dead set on achieving your goal then the word failure shouldn’t even exist for you.

It’s up to you on who and what you will become.

Distractions

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Distractions are everywhere.  They keep us from doing the things we were created and meant to do in this world.  They come in all shapes and sizes, from hobbies that take over our lives, to video games, to social media, television, even families can be used as a crux and distraction from us pursuing our calling.

It can be very challenging to pull ourselves away from the distractions.

If you feel like you are being overwhelmed with distractions, take a few hours sometime this week to get by yourself.  You may have to get up really early in the morning before the kids, or blot out a few hours from your weekend, however, you do it, take a few hours.  Don’t your phone, don’t have a tablet or computer.  No television or music allowed.

Get a notebook.  You know one of those things that is bound and has pages in it to write on.  Get a cup of coffee or tea, or whatever you enjoying sipping on and just think about the things you love.

Make a list of all the things you love to do, maybe they are things you haven’t done in ages.

Once you are done with your list, pick a few of the top ones. Then plan how you are going to do get involved in at least one of those the next week.  Right down specifics, including when you are going to do it, what you’ll need, etc.  Continue to do this each week.

A few hours each week. The second week reevaluate your list, you’ll probably find you have thought of more things to add, or creative ways to do the things on  your list.

Get free from distractions and start being in control of your life again.

It Gets Better

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Sometimes we go through really hard times in a relationship. We question everything we thought about the other person.  Question whether they truly love us or care about us. When things are hard, they are usually really hard, and it can be difficult to see beyond the pain and the hurt.

Then to make matters worse our mind starts racing with all these worst case scenarios. We wonder what will happen since our significant other is angry. Will they do more things to hurt us?  And so our imagination runs wild.

One of the best and most helpful things to remember in times like these, is that the current situation will pass.  You won’t forever feel this way, neither will the person you love.  When the dust settles, and smoke clears, you’ll find that you are the same people.  In marriage this is crucial.  You have to hold onto the reality that your spouse does love you, just at the moment neither of you “feel” any of that towards each other.

Coming to terms with that will make it better, and then realizing it won’t be like this for long. Whatever the disunity stems from, be humble, ask for forgiveness, don’t hold out and try to “win” the fight.  It’s not about winning.

Stick with it in hard times.  You agreed to that.  For better or worse. And while in a perfect world the worse wouldn’t exist, but it makes the better all the more good.  So stick with it.

Staying Positive

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It can be easy to have a negative outlook on things.  Whether it’s our family, our work, bills, we tend to focus on what we don’t have, what we wish we had, or what we could’ve had.

There is always going to be something we wish we had.  A better job, car, house, etc.  But when we spend our lives consumed with what we don’t have we make both ourselves and those around us miserable, because we focus solely on our own miserable state.

When we look at the positive side of things our whole attitude will change to match it.  Each day remind yourself of what you are thankful for.  Be thankful for the job you do have, even if it’s not your ideal, you are able to pay your bills, your family, a car that runs. A place to live.  If you have these things you are considered rich when compared with the world.

There are always things you can be thankful for.  Focus on those and stay positive, you will be much happier.