Doing Our Best

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8: 36 NLT). Moreover, harmful effects can ensue due to excessive gambling, extreme shopping, gluttonous eating, pornography, smoking, mind-numbing alcohol intoxication, and illicit drug use. Several poor behaviors mentioned above have ruined countless marriages, relationships, and even ended in fatality. Do you frivolously love and yield to bad habits more than you enjoy living in victorious freedom by loving and caring for your own mind, body, spirit, and soul? Let’s not stoop down to a level below our absolute best.

Practice Living the Good Life

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler” (Henry David Thoreau). People discover their potential from knowledge acquisition combined with practical application. We become forward growing the moment we develop the courage to acknowledge and admit our faults, while seeking solutions to our problems and taking massive immediate action toward solving the underlying harmful culprits. The more competent, confident, and autonomous we become at life equates to a good life at whatever we choose to do.

Perception

“Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle” (James Russell Lowell). Applying temporary Band-Aids to cover our past wounds, mistakes, or feelings of self-inadequacy is futile and may even be deadly. Choose to allow mistakes to be advantageous, while seeking out good in them by becoming a good-finder.

Changing our perceptions and attitudes can be very helpful. If we become disillusioned by the shoes that we have on, just think about the person with no feet. A little different perspective can change our own personal world. Life is too short and precious to be stuck in the past or future. Focus on fully living today and each day.

Produce More

“Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them” (Napoleon Bonaparte). It is important to understand and accept that buying material items won’t create lasting happiness. It’s wonderful possessing nice things, although replaceable items will never bring long-term peace, fulfillment, and joy. Creating wonderful experiences and memories with people we love and admire, while sharing ourselves through giving our time, gifts, talents, skills, and abilities can bring lasting fulfillment and enduring joy. Use everything to create more abundance in your life. Being a producer leads to more of what really matters. Only consuming takes away without the wondrous gifts of return on time to do more of what you truly love.

Exercise, Energy, Feeling Amazing

We must give to get and receive to give. Energy expended during exercise can give back and generate more energy in return. The goal is to be consistent, persistent, determined, dedicated, and self-disciplined. Consuming healthy fuel and eliminating negative zapping energy are critical steps toward enhancing this give to get strategy.

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” (Philip Dormer Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield). Procrastination and slothfulness contribute to our own expedited accountable demise. Hasten each moment toward growing healthier, wiser, smarter, wealthier, kinder, and better in all goodness that life has to offer. Let’s take care of ourselves being health gives meaning and purpose to everything else in life.

Whether we exercise to feel amazing, look incredible, lose weight, tone muscles, bulk up, build strength, generate a peak mental state, enhance endurance or agility, getting started is key. Focusing on the defined objective with a crystal clear vision is crucial toward success. Create the end result in your mind as a precursor to planning and doing. Contradictory to that aforementioned statement, just starting is crucial as well. Begin executing and let your mind catch up later.

As Tony Robbins advocates, “Turn your shoulds into musts and stop shoulding all over yourself.”⁸ Write down specific plans encompassing nutritional and caloric demands, aerobic initiation and culmination periods relative to anaerobic exercise sessions, durations, intensity; anaerobic exercises, strategies, sets, repetitions (reps), rest intervals between sets, and exercise groups worked during each session. Daily, doing calisthenics (using our own body weight), performing a few abdominal crunches, push-ups, walking briskly or jogging a block is all it takes to turn something we should do into action, which, in time, can produce a subconscious or automatic ritual.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times” (Bruce Lee). Purposeful activity and performing a minimum of five or ten reps each day is pivotal toward successful habit formation. That daily consistency and self-discipline truly will deliver amazing results forming the life most people only dream about.

Initially, more or less repetitions, heavier or lighter weights, varying sets and rest intervals, longer walks, jogs or bicycle rides may ensue depending upon where you are starting from. Building on and growing from your first action can help motivate you to achieve the fitness goals you desire because progress generates additional momentum that helps cultivate our lives. That first step forward is often the most challenging, therefore think less and do more.

Once a training regimen is underway, concentrate on positive thoughts backed with action, while striving to obtain more beneficial outcomes. Truly, practice writing aerobic activity durations and intensity, along with specific exercises, amounts of sets, reps, rest intervals, and weight lifted during every work out down on paper or using an app to observe and track progress. Being aware of improvement delivers additional motivation. Forward impetus produces growth that creates more self-confidence and inspiration, which cyclically repeats itself.

Living Well Spent

“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us” (Charles Bukowski). Continual growth and progress are pivotal keys toward living fully, therefore dying full, yet spent. You can’t spend your way to monetary wealth, only long-term joy fulfilling wealth. Remember to start where you are with what you have. No excuses, blaming, complaining, self-pity, regret, shame, or procrastination allowed. Get intentionally busy filling yourself up with greatness so you can spend yourself in an extravagant, yet selfless manner.

Hopeful Action

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.

Plan, Share, Create, Grow

“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.

Purpose is Fulfillment

“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.

Memories

“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December” (Sir James Matthew Barrie). Think of a time when you went someplace, such as a carnival or ball game. Remember the scents, sights, sounds or shouts of excitement, tastes of delectable food, and feel of the seats or warm gripping hands that were held. We can consciously think of positive things and program our subconscious to accept them automatically, thus creating peak mental states to operate and live in. Smells are especially persuasive and easy to recall in our memory banks. These mental pictures or movies we create can act as an anchor to ground us back to a calm, cool, and collected state of mind when uncomfortable feelings or frustration arise.