“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.
“I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more, as I grow older” (Catherine Drinker Bowen). Truths shared can brighten the loneliest and darkest holes of downward cyclical utter despair. Relentlessly seek and share personal truths and be exonerated from any black frightful abyss, which may be consuming your heavenly soul. No profit or earthly treasure is worth exchanging your own soul to acquire. Now is the time to get up out of that dastardly hole of despair and courageously crush through walls of darkness so you, too, can live in light of newly found truths!
“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.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 19:11 NIV). Education cannot be taken away or taxed upon. Never stop acquiring, developing, and strengthening the intangibles in your life. Persistently being truthful, kind, caring, loving, humble, accepting, and authentic, among many other intangible character traits are worthy of our time and deliberate efforts. Becoming the best version of ourselves opens gateways to greatness that no man, woman or child, or even heaven or hell can shut.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope” (Martin Luther King Jr.). While I breathe, I hope” (South Carolina license plate). Doing more for others gives hope, possibly changing an eternal trajectory of the heart toward greatness.
“What we do in life echoes for eternity” (Gladiator movie). Do the things that need to be done, courageously and humbly. Be so full of good that anything taken from you will not deplete your overflowing cup of goodness. Dare to be different, which is beautiful. You owe yourself and the world the best of you. Don’t strive to be ordinary, but extraordinary, reaching for your full potential.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” (Mike Tyson). Troubles and set-backs can and do happen, but without a plan in place, failing is the plan. Knowing God’s plan trumps mine grants me peace to keep on keeping on.
“It’s better to have a bruised ego, than a lifetime of regret” (Author unknown). Going against the grain, breaking the mold, creating a path when none exists, offering possible life-giving services, is courage at its best. Go for it—help others. Live out your dreams!
Sharing messages of hope only takes willingness. Being bold and brave entails showing up and doing something to help others, despite possible criticism or embarrassment. Why not share a story of direct or indirect triumph to encourage and inspire others through challenging times? Lighten the burden of others via your personal story of victory. Transformation occurs from the inside out, which can be activated by an inspiring true experience and a spark of encouragement. Stay humble, letting go of an over-sized ego. Don’t waste hurt, trials, and burdens overcome. Share them with the world so others can benefit, knowing they are not alone in their pain and heartache. Strive to be a better person.
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” (Patrick Henry). Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, was inhumanly tortured in a Nazi prison camp, nevertheless, found meaning and purpose that helped him endure and truly live despite the horrors of death, tragedy, suffering, terror, and indescribable evil and injustice surrounding him. In spite of the chains and physical imprisonment physically seen and felt, Viktor saw and felt freedom with his mind. Through visualizing mental images and thoughts of his wife, while creating other positive anchors to hold near, he aspired to survive so he could tell his story to inspire and impact multitudes of people by giving them hope and purpose.⁵
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise” (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Hope sees what is not yet actualized, and makes it so. Be the captain of your own ship and manage yourself well. Decide the attitudes, values, principles, and life philosophies you will abide by prior to venturing into any endeavor, starting the day, emailing a person or calling someone on the telephone. Decipher end results for calling someone before making the call. Do you desire to acquire knowledge, give a boost of encouragement, or cause trouble? Knowing our outcome can help us focus on staying the course and not wasting our time or anyone else’s invaluable time.
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.