Loving Our Kids

Disciplining our children is what we do for them through love, not to them as punishment. Children may fuss and complain now about not being able to stay out late, while other kids are doing it. American author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, and other successful parents advocate to be enthusiastic and have an exciting home so other children desire to play there. Zig did this so he could see who his children were hanging out with and know what they were up to. Zig’s positive role modeling toward authentically being morally upright and doing good deeds, more so than just talking, allowed others to imitate that goodness observed.⁷ Walking the walk is much more influential and inspiring than only talking the talk. When our children become older, while not acquiring poor habits or succumbing to bad influences or harmful temptations, they will be grateful indeed. Don’t act or talk like someone you admire—be that person.

Moreover, teach kids they can accomplish incredible feats by removing the ‘t’ in can’t. Show them how to live by living and being the example. Teaching good money, moral, spiritual, relational, principal, health, and character habits will vastly improve long-term quality of life. No better instruction exists than children observing your consistent healthy, positive habits and lifestyle. Your kids will thank you for it, even if they don’t appreciate or know it yet.

Peace, Forgiveness, and Hard Work

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV). Embrace the tranquility of divine grace and forgiveness, sprinkled with relentless faith and self-belief. Persistently working hard, coupled with self-efficacy and gratitude manifest wondrous achievements. Be grateful often and in much to counter fear and anger, which can bolster optimism, peace, and positive mental attitudes (PMAs).

Believe In Your Dreams

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Maintaining a PMA and proper perspective toward our targets makes achieving dreams fully attainable. Decide what you want to do, why, and do it. No excuses, blaming, criticizing, regret, self-pity, gossiping, or procrastination allowed. Excuses only hinder, null and void the pursuit of goals and dreams, therefore stop making them. If something doesn’t serve you and others, don’t do it. Stop digging and start building.

Dopamine

Major neurotransmitters and hormones that create positive or negative effects on us include dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, cortisol, and epinephrine. Dopamine aids in concentration, motivation, and is responsible for our reward feedback loop. Dopamine is released in response to eating, consuming caffeine and sugar, gambling, pornography, sex, alcohol, shopping, smoking cigarettes and consuming other nicotine releasing substances, illicit stimulants, and various things that feel good to us. Dopamine releasing behaviors done carelessly or irresponsibly can give us a temporary state of feeling good, thus the rewarding response facilitates cyclical repetitive behavioral patterns. In the long run, poor behaviors have the potential to wreak havoc on ourselves and everyone around us. Alternatively, healthy ways to elevate the neurotransmitter dopamine include physical activity, meditation, sunlight, hobbies, music, love-making, massage, and other enjoyable and beneficial activities. What beneficial modalities are you incorporating each day to increase dopamine in your life? What nonproductive activities and habits can be eradicated and replaced with productive responsible routines?

Do Your Best

“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.

You’re Not Alone

You are not alone in your suffering. No matter what you are going through or have gone through there is someone both better and worse off. People have overcome exactly whatever difficulties, tragedies, terrors, and challenges you’ve experienced or are experiencing. Always try doing your best, while letting go of the past. Live in the present, hoping for and cultivating your future. Plans backed by action pave uncharted roads toward discovering newfound joy and peace, hence success.   

Do What You Love

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death” (James F. Byrnes). Actor and comedian, Jim Carrey, said, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.” Jim Carrey learned that valuable lesson from his father who was fired from his allegedly safe and secure accounting job.¹ Freedom lives on the other side of fear and doubt.

Mentorship

“Ask the experienced rather than the learned” (Arabic proverb). Doing and experiencing something is much more effective than theory alone. Both successes and failures allow authentic compassion and understanding to stem from knowing pain and pleasure first hand. We can seek out mentors that have five to ten or more years’ experience than ourselves to facilitate beneficial guidance, advice, suggestions, and help toward acquiring our aims and overcoming life’s obstacles. Keep in mind that while seeking mentors, by rushing too quickly to the top, our questions might have been answered by people with less experience and wisdom.

Nevertheless, follow class acts and quality people only. Rid prejudices, looking for the good in others. Remember that we can learn from everyone, even if it’s what not to do. Books, podcasts, mastermind groups, and individual one-on-one in-person, telephone, e-mail, or internet platform mentorships can be very effective toward helping reach personal, emotional, health, fitness, social, relational, professional, financial, and spiritual goals. We can all teach each other valuable insights, promoting useful attitudes, behaviors, and leveraged environments (ABLE), in turn, furthering humanity for the better—one person at a time. Don’t worry about who gets credit, just give generously with heartfelt intentions.

Be Your Best

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 KJB). Recognize that what we complain about in others may very well be how we act or the way we think about and view ourselves. Acknowledging our faults, while being brutally truthful takes guts and an open mind. Instead of continually saying, “I am an alcoholic” or “I’m an addict,” just recognize the problem and work at fixing it. Don’t perpetually ponder, meditate, and affiliate your beautiful identity and self-image with something unwanted. Say, “I am a miraculously blessed child forged by our omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God, sculpted and crafted majestically with His meticulously flawless one-of-a-kind mold. My redeeming God shows me unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness that forgets, bestows grace, and abundantly supplies me with all my noble desires and needs.” Just tell yourself something juicy, with absolute faith and conviction, which bolsters your truly wonderful identity.

Why claim a disease by name, bringing it to fruition, or establish a deadly condition in the concrete of your subconscious mind? It’s an idea worth considering. No doubt, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), amongst other support groups can profoundly help maintain higher standards of living and freedom from alcohol, drugs, and other malproductive customs and lifestyles entailing continued deliberate harmful choices. Create good habits by raising your standards, therefore abstaining from poor conducts of living because of newly adopted and acquired productive growth-filled daily life-long rituals. Seriously, form and perpetually perform habits that work best for your triumphant freedom. Always being aware of how important positively baked-in rituals are toward maintaining growth mindsets will lead to wonderful success by staying dignified, honest, loyal, and true to your forever actions.

Find a coach, teacher, mentor, or individual that believes in you. In sports, business, or learning a new skill, how can you believe in yourself if your “trainer” does not believe in you? Genuinely supportive people are tremendous assets toward helping achieve any endeavor, coupled with facilitating long-term progress and massively efficient and effective growth. These leaders will typically see extraordinary greatness, talent, and ability in you that you may not even know exists. You have limitless potential. Develop the skills to be your best. You can and will do it, just believe you can. Success is about desire, clarity, time-driven goals, relentless effort or hard work, determination, and perseverance; much more than IQ or formal schooling.

In time we develop grit and fortitude to believe in ourselves, regardless of naysayers. Self-belief and self-confidence are skills we develop, emerging stronger through proper training and repetitive consistent doing. Life journeys are much more fruitful with positive cheerleaders encouraging our expedition. Let’s surround ourselves with people that are wiser and smarter than we are. Only then can we begin exponentially growing at rapid velocities. Live a legacy and lifestyle exemplifying constant and never ending improvement, embodying moral excellence with each minor and major move.

Immature Love

“Immature love says, I love you because I need you. Mature love says, I need you because I love you” (Erich Fromm). Strong emotional bonds or bondage form, in part, because of an oxytocin release, among other physiological chemical reactions, which creates a powerful mental fog or misguiding judgement leading to blind love; not true sustaining secure love. Before making a potentially life altering decision remember to intelligently and maturely ask yourself based upon your upright principles and moral codes, “Does the potential upside far outweigh the potential downside? Is the risk worth it?” Don’t sacrifice short-term gain or pleasure for possible lifelong pain, misery, turmoil or death. Build fortifying lifestyles by wisely choosing incredibly good daily habits, consequently generating impenetrable resilience to otherwise insatiable temptation. Meat Loaf sang a song, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which partly goes:

“I gotta know right now

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

I gotta know right now!

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

And will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

Let me sleep on it

Will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it.

Will you love me forever!

I couldn’t take it any longer

Lord I was crazed

And when the feeling came upon me

Like a tidal wave

I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave

That I would love you to the end of time

That I would love you to the end of time

I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now I’m praying for the end of time

To hurry up and arrive

‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you

I don’t think that I can really survive

I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time

It’s all that I can do

Praying for the end of time, so I can end my life with you!”

“Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions” (Isaiah 3:10 NASB). Please don’t succumb to lustful instant gratification or yield to temptation without fully understanding yourself, lest you end up like the pour soul described in that song. Don’t become blindsided or shocked by something that could have been made known through wise questions and answers prior to making the most impactful leap of your life. Obtain premarital counseling and know each other’s current health status and values (especially physical and emotional), financial situation and standards of excellence, definition of love and commitment, all children involved, amount of children desired, religious or spiritual beliefs, desirable locations to live, and one another’s dreams, among other important factors to consider. Stand alone for as long as it takes. Choosing to remain single by choice or patiently waiting for the right person is more admirable than making haste, for haste makes waste. Be intentionally patient in order to live a good life filled with an abundance of health, wealth, love, and joyfulness.