“I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up wrinkles the soul” (Douglas MacArthur). Through proper exercise, combined with embracing dreams, attitudes, principles, moral codes, life philosophies, and ideals we can feel young at any age. Doing the most challenging exercises in any work-out regimen first, allows the body to expend more glycogen (stored usable energy), while optimally completing each exercise routine. The same principle applies toward performing the most energy-consuming tasks prior to doing less strenuous responsibilities throughout the day.
During a Kari Jobe concert a man spoke about a young boy he observed while on a missionary trip. The child kept tiptoeing up to a volunteer missionary lady and saying, “Hola,” with a great big universal smile spanning from ear-to-ear while giving her monstrous hugs. The boy would hold the woman tight in his arms, while grinning extremely wide, day in and day out. He said, “Hola,” hugged her, smiled enormously large, and darted away. The boy’s behavior began to seem peculiar. Later, the volunteer missionary man found out through a translator that the boy had been bounced from one home to another, over and over, throughout his young life. From the ages of four through twelve, the boy fought to stay alive, while transiently living alone on perilous streets in isolated regions of South America. Finally, the young boy found a home where he became loved unconditionally and consistently, which gave him stability and hope.
“…Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV). Nourishing our mind, body, spirit, and soul with truths and life-giving principles keeps our cups plentiful. Worry does not add life, peace, joy, health, wealth, love, or any good thing to anyone. Stop being anxious and let it go. Be grateful for everything, use it advantageously for good, and drive on. The road toward sunrises and sunsets are but one beautiful ride. Replace fault-finding with good-finding and change pessimism to optimism, therefore transforming your life.
“I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLV). Moreover, the pain and suffering that child endured and overcame instilled strength, courage, resilience, and compassion into the depths of his soul. The boy cried when the volunteer lady had to leave because she reminded him of his new mom whom loved and cared for him dearly. The boy was immensely grateful.
Furthermore, through World Vision, a 13 year-old boy from Ghana in need of sanitary water, food, shelter, education, and hope is being sponsored. I am not asking anyone for donations to this cause, although start someplace by giving a portion of your money, time, talents, gifts, skills or abilities to a mission, vision, and purpose you believe to be worthy. Ideally, 80% or more of your monetary donation should go strictly toward the helpful cause and not to overhead, such as administration and marketing costs. Investigate and choose accordingly. Giving not only shows that we care, but creates an abundance mindset that we have more than enough. The character built through giving is infinitely more valuable than the act itself.
“Don’t be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7 NIV). God knows our heart’s genuine intentions, therefore let’s purify our love with sincere wholesome purpose. We truly do reap what we sow, thus sow seeds of greatness, today.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant” (Robert Louis Stevenson). The art of living is sowing seeds of greatness, much more so than reaping. Let serving and giving be pivotal maps that direct decision-making. The byproducts of giving and helping others think, grow, and become their best is cosmically of greater value than monetary gains.
“On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time” (George Orwell). Divine instruction embraced, combined with unwavering hope as a result from experiencing progressive light can tame humans and negate the savage within. Additional insight and enlightenment from teachings through the attitude of keeping an open, willing and cooperative mind allows empowering, gracefully brilliant light, to shine through crippling black, secluded, cold, damp utter darkness and merciless evil perils. Let your newly lit light shine on through to this side of ABLE.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love” (Maya Angelou). Additionally, truly and sincerely complement others frequently. Tell folks when you like their hairstyle, article of clothing, or smile. Encourage people with kind words. Say, “You will do great at anything you choose,” only if it is genuine and you actually mean it. See in others what they may not see in themselves. People can easily discern flattery from a genuine complement or remark of heartfelt appreciation. Give honest praise to people in public and private often. Sweet talk can cause more harm than good. Let’s remain blatantly honest, while thoughtfully considering another’s view and desires ahead of our own. Those are wonderful gifts we can give daily, which return additional rewards handsomely.
Furthermore, the best way to care for others is by taking care of ourselves first. No, this is not selfish. In contrast, taking care of ourselves first can be the most unselfish and beneficial thing we can do for others. If oxygen masks come down in an airplane and a man places oxygen on his helpless infant son before himself, subsequently passing out, he would be of no further service to anyone. The same is true regarding living healthy lives with appropriate nutrient and caloric intake, exercise, sleep, and total self-care so we can function optimally in order to give, do, and be our best.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT). Don’t steal from your future just to make today easier. Discipline yourself to invest in health, wealth, and relationships, while choosing to love, learn, grow, and live your purpose. Focus on living out your principles. Bumps in the road will come, although principles remain unchanging, thus impenetrable to enemy forces. Keep on doing the right thing, despite others’ opinions and small judgmental minds. This way of living leads to personal significance and fulfillment. Raise your standards. Be you, not someone else. Don’t chase after someone else’s worldly dreams, fixated on fame, power, or excessive possessions. What gives you peace and makes you happy? You owe yourself the best of you—all of you. Be unapologetically you.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, describes that his core meaning in life is to help others find meaning in theirs.⁵ A truly noble, humble, selfless, and splendid goal indeed. We can succeed as individuals and as a human race through not giving up persistent hope, purpose, and faith, both in ourselves and in the people surrounding us. Courage and resilience ignited from hope, purpose, and faith produces fuel to press on through any horror life throws at us.
“Always be a little kinder than necessary” (Sir James Matthew Barrie). Be considerate too. What kind and helpful things can you do for someone today? If we are not focusing on sharing and offering positive thoughts, deeds, peace, and kindness to the world than we can decide to change our thoughts, attitudes, vocabulary, words, actions, and behaviors before it’s too late, thus helping others and ourselves.
We harvest seedlings planted in either fertile or desolate rock and weed infested soil. Start plucking unwanted thorns and weeds from your mind, in turn, producing health, wealth, love, and joyfulness. Choose to gift yourself the blessings of eliminating devastating anger and resentment from your life, today. Unnecessary pain and suffering gradually subsides into oblivion. Call, write, or just choose to forgive.
We each have the same amount of time each day to live our lives. Remember, it’s not about managing time, only deciding what to do with this time by managing ourselves. Our priorities don’t lie being we ultimately do what we care about most. When it comes to values, beliefs, principles, and boundaries, look toward actions, not words.
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense” (Buddha). We live vibrantly and courageously or die dastardly, mostly because of habitual choices we make. Let your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, and environments lead to fuller, more joy-filled lifestyles. To each their own—nihilism or usefulness, meaning, and dignity. We must decide for ourselves the best path for our own unique journey through time. Insight, advice, principles, other peoples’ experiences (OPEs), beliefs, and suggestions from others can help formulate what we ought not to do or must do to acquire all the splendors this wondrous world offers. Live without regret, guilt, resentment, blame or shame by owning your own discerning decisions, while not judging others. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Learn to smile and laugh during any situation, for suffering and death are only parts of life, which help us feel—knowing we are alive with breath in our lungs, while transcending and transmuting fear, anxiety, and depression into forgiveness, joy, peace, and love.
Serotonin can enhance mood, memory, and intentionally positive behaviors, among other beneficial responses. Serotonin may be more available when we obtain recognition, praise, inspiration, motivation, exercise, healthy food, sunlight, and by taking certain antidepressant medication. If we constantly have negative self-talk, antidepressant medication and exercise will not bring us out of diminishing energy levels, poor moods, and feelings of not being fulfilled until the underlying thoughts, attitudes, and self-limiting beliefs are remedied. Choosing positive thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and environments will change your life. Somebody else is not responsible for your happiness. Thinking that someone else can create your long-term happiness is an erroneous, futile, and impossible feat. Get off that slippery slope before falling into icy waters, which will freeze an already cold and hardened heart. Only you hold the key to true lasting joy, peace, and happiness. Shred or delete your façade and discard. Transform through becoming love.