“You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone” (Al Capone). If a gun was held to your head or that of a family member and you were told you must stop a bad habit to prevent death, you could do it. That is called intrinsic motivation. We don’t want to coerce anyone, although we must sell ourselves in order to achieve our dreams. Desire the acquisition of dreams come true as badly as you crave the air you breathe. Dare to be original by being good and principled, while upholding steadfast concrete moral values and associate with people that sustain and reciprocate the like.
“He that won’t be counseled, can’t be helped” (Benjamin Franklin). Remember that the Bible, among other wise suggestions, philosophies, and advice give extremely helpful tools to live prudent and productive lives. You must decide for yourself what works best. Please remain open-minded, while embracing PMAs. Why is it that everyone is trying to do me good?
“The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do” (John Stuart Mill). There is not tomorrow, only right now. Live courageously by the motto, carpe diem, which means seize the day. In the tragic, yet emotionally poignant movie, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams showed his students a trophy case in the school he taught at while describing to his pupils that all those trophies and pictures of people once their ages who were then old and gone had won at sports and in life do to seizing the day. Robin Williams profoundly said, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”¹⁰ Live with a sense of urgency and make your dream life a reality, today.
“A mature person is one who does not only think in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life” (Eleanor Roosevelt). View life in triads of opinions, advice, expertise, and suggestions. Professionals and skilled individuals may believe they ultimately have your best interests or solutions at hand, while reality and reason points out three drastically opposing views. Seeking out multiple physicians within different specialties regarding treatment modalities can reveal optimal strategies producing superior outcomes. Similar philosophies hold true regarding seeking out great advice from people that have 10 to 20 years further experience beyond ourselves about the dealings in life we desire to victoriously overcome or goals we ardently want to achieve. Be humble, patient, merciful, and grateful, while crossing every person’s path, as these are signs of real maturity.
“The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn’t” (Joseph L. Mankiewicz). Don’t follow or succumb to characters in fictitious movies, which are not true representations of actual joy-filled lives. Life is real and takes hard work all around that is not depicted in most movies and novels. The excessively bolstered esteem characters portray might very well be animated fabricated facades and illusions, not to be trusted. Don’t be misled by mirages not based in reality. Learn from inspirational and wholesome movies. Stop allowing vices toward violence, disrespect, anger, profanity, and lax standards sway the goodness that truthfully resonates in the core of your soul.
People can save their own lives by forming and implementing life-transforming habits each day. Their positive example has the power of sustaining grace to help save many lives as well, even without them knowing. Physical activity is an excellent method that helps replace and break bad habits, in turn, feeling energized, focused, and being in control again while creating a calm, cool, and collected peak mental state.
“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.
“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.