“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering” (Yoda). Be appreciative for all parts of your journey. Both the challenging and difficult times in life make us who we are. Live intentionally with a passionate purpose. In every situation, ask yourself, “What opportunity awaits me here?” Be a good-finder by seeking and expecting good, and you will find and have it.
“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?
“Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning “Good morning” at total strangers” (Maya Angelou). If you have children and a family, consider starting to become better there first. Family must be the primary initial and lasting focus in order to be genuinely peaceful and successful. Remain fully engaged, attentive, loving, caring, and giving toward your loved ones first and foremost. Paradoxically, improving and loving yourself first allows the best of you to rub off on those you love most.
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry on as if nothing had happened” (Sir Winston Churchill). We must courageously heed truth when it helps us make a positive difference in our lives, in turn, in the lives of others. Let’s stop wasting our invaluable time and begin living meaningfully focused, purpose-driven lives. Time and truths have the potential to heal all wounds. Why not allow healing to begin?
“This is the first test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible value to him” (William Lyon Phelps). Having observed an intoxicated driver hit and instantly kill an innocent young teenage girl as she drove home from work one night was heart-wrenching. The intoxicated individual stumbled out of his car and sat on the curb with a minor physical injury to himself. Caring for offenders that fatally kill, shoot, or stab innocent victims can be challenging. Knowing that people are children of God places different lenses over my eyes, therefore seeing them as potential beacons of light, at times in a dark, dreary, cold and unjust world.
We create our own mindsets and reactions to people, circumstances, problems, and events. The harnessing power of rejecting or accepting into our minds what we choose, allows us to craft how we think, feel, and behave. Others’ opinions of us are not our business, thus do not concern yourself with them. Do you. They are not you. Furthermore, just because we are cut off in traffic does not mean we should become upset, think what a jerk, retaliate, or perform any inexcusable contemptuous gesture. It may have been an honest mistake. Regardless, let’s give others the benefit of the doubt and choose to love them anyway. Why should we let an external stimuli rob us of our joy, peace of mind, or self-control in any given moment?
“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.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” (Franklin D. Roosevelt). Most of the time, fear is a byproduct because of thoughts entertained by our imagination, including death. If death is an ultimate fear and the worst thing that can happen, why be worried about what other people think about you? We all will die someday, which is inescapable. What truly matters is how we live each day. Isn’t staying true to yourself more important than wasting your invaluable time or thoughts on frivolous nonsense?
“Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not” (Epicurus). Do not fear death. Comedian, film maker, writer, actor, and musician, Woody Allen, has remarked, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Death can be a sweet reward by living abundantly, while spending that beautiful tangible and intangible wealth throughout. Demise clears a way for new, allowing greater good to triumph. Persevering through struggles with thoughtful reflection, permits growth and progress, which can be a wondrous upward lifecycle.
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.