“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.
“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.
“Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential” (Andy Stanley). Be brutally honest while self-reflecting on right and wrong. Your answers are perceptions related to personal principles, beliefs, and experiences. Make sure your ideal self and real self are congruent, therefore creating peace and abundant fulfillment within. What do you stand for and why?
“Sometimes what counts can’t be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t count” (Albert Einstein). Do not compare yourself with anyone, except who you were yesterday. Your very own intangible character traits based upon what you stand for helps preserve visions, dreams, and goals while persevering toward greatness, despite adversity. Know both what to do and what not to do in varying situations, thus expediting your journey toward becoming the best version of yourself. Furthermore, another person’s perspective, especially from a leader, mentor, counselor or coach can guide, teach, inspire and direct our steps, additionally, helping to hold us accountable. Strive toward becoming the person you truly desire and are fully capable of being. Be you!—everyone else is taken.
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.
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.). It has been hypothesized that humans only use 5 to 10 percent of their brains, while gold medal Olympic medalists use up to 20 percent capacity. Imagine if you tapped into your full potential each day. Your dreams, goals, and achievements can truly become boundless. Decide to use your mind creatively, curiously, passionately, and diligently, becoming unstoppable. Be the best version of yourself by doing your best in all you do.
Think of learning a new skill or observing a child acquire one. It took deliberate conscious effort. Riding a bicycle or learning to swim may have been scary at first, although once learned became automatic. Patience, courage, and deliberate intention produces results we desire when our want exceeds our fear. Tell yourself, “I am sick and tired of not achieving my aim. Do you mean it or not?” Write the goal down and get busy working on it day and night. Muster up the courage and just do it, leaving no excuses not to finish. Respect yourself enough to honor and complete your adamantly honorable desires. Persisting at anything long enough with sustained self-control will elicit all the blessings this world offers in direct relation to your endeavor and personal effort. Always do your best. What do you enjoy doing when time seemingly disappears? Why not do this more frequently and study the flow of your passions and desires more in depth?
The initial insult creating lack of oxygen or damage to the brain is usually the culprit toward later profound disability. Quality of life that does not permanently impede the functioning mind allows for hope, in turn, happiness. There are quadriplegics, people without legs and arms, individuals dependent upon a machine to act as a synthetic kidney, poverty-stricken families—all who choose happiness because it is a choice. Our thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and environments truly can create heaven or hell. The movies we play in our minds are of our making—always have been, always will be. If you don’t like the movie that’s playing, choose to make a new one or edit the existing film—Mr., Mrs. or Miss Producer.
Use the law of replacement to exonerate suffering from the aforementioned sins, encompassing anger, hatred, resentment, revenge, guilt, envy, self-pity, greed, blaming, complaining, and gossiping. Positive in, positive out (PIPO). Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO). Positive mental attitudes, behaviors, and environments can replace the negatives. Determination and persistent positive repetition until our dying day is the way toward embracing this wonderful freedom. Is it worth it? Just ask any successful joy-filled person. Otherwise, ask any miserable unsuccessful individual. Success is a relative term, therefore defining yours will facilitate ascertaining an understanding about your definite purpose in life. Remember to listen in order to understand and respond emphatically to yourself and others. Use your two ears and one mouth accordingly. Beware that misery, indeed, enjoys company. Be careful not to become someone else’s prey, or your own personal victim. Belief in yourself matters most. Turn away from darkness in the underworld, not being afraid to walk alone in the light of grace.
“To teach is to learn twice” (Joseph Joubert). We grow as we learn and we learn as we grow. We learn as we teach and we teach as we learn. Teaching helps increase our own comprehension about a subject, fortifying the knowledge in our minds, like a sculptor etches together a marble statue. Every cut is important, yet the sum total creates the masterpiece. Assimilate vast knowledge, intellectually and from experiences, into all-encompassing growing understandings. New individually acquired information becomes hardwired through repetition of thought, doing, and subsequently being. We can even think and be by harmoniously thinking and feeling what we desire. Remember what the Bible depicts in Proverbs 23, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Let’s continue developing and passing our torches of greatness so others can see brighter light as we become encapsulated in the infinite glow of health, wealth, love, and joyfulness.