Analysis Paralysis Dialysis For Your Brain…


rubiks_cube_by_alexandrelandry-d4p8s17Adults are fantastic problem solvers. In fact, if you want to appeal to adult learners (ala Dale Carnegie training) you have to give them a problem and allow them to solve it themselves. In short, we are ‘problem solving’ machines. But, with our keen ability to analyze comes our problematic ability to over-analyze, solve problems that aren’t problems yet or simply drive ourselves completely batty along the way. It’s like that damn Rubik’s cube!  The best I could ever do was maybe get one row all the same color. Not that I didn’t invest enough time, but rather the time I invested wasn’t productive because there was a pattern or a logic to the solution that I wasn’t aware of, yet… Often in life, the questions that paralyze us are the ones we attribute either to the wrong “cause,” or represent the wrong “time” to deal with it. So today I’m offering you some dialysis for your brain. Yes, you need this!

If you looked inside your brain during extended periods of churning over some event or situation, you would find a skinny hamster running fast on his wheel; working hard, getting nowhere. It’s not his lack of effort that is defeating him. It’s the reality that his chosen method of problem solving cannot possibly end with a good result because his starting premise is faulty. The wheel he is on doesn’t lead anywhere; never did; never will. But, he doesn’t know that it leads to nowhere so he persists hoping to breakthrough to a new area based on past analysis. If he knew in advance that the wheel led to nowhere he wouldn’t bother traveling on it, but doggone it, it sure seems to be leading somewhere! And oh my Lord, he can’t just let it go, he has to solve the problem so he can relax. You do realize that the hamster is you, right?

Enter scenario number two:  Usually triggered by something, you start to imagine some dreadful possibility in the future. Maybe you read something on WebMD. The more you think about it (hamster wheel, hamster wheel) the more real it becomes. “Oh my gosh! I have been feeling warm and my leg has been aching — I’m dyingggggggggg!” Now you hop back on to your hamster wheel and start cranking out a solution. Faster, faster; more analysis, more analysis – whatever will I do now that I know I’m dying? In effect, you’re not only spinning on a hamster wheel, you are spinning on a hamster wheel of the future; a future you haven’t arrived at yet.

Before we get to the dialysis for your brain, I’d like to clue you in on something you may not ever have imagined. All of that churning and spinning and exhaustion (yes, it is exhausting) is nothing more than a grand distraction from the life you are living now. How many days, weeks, months or years have you spent on that topic, always with the same futile lack of result? The problem isn’t solved or else you wouldn’t keep working your exercise wheel! The only real result is your life being wasted away on something. Enter misery, frustration and depression! If you could remove all of the shrouds you would see it for what it is; a grand illusion designed to steal your precious life away from you. The source of it has just three motives; to steal, to kill and to destroy! Numbers two and three haven’t happened yet, but number one is in full operation.

So how can we introduce some new blood into your system? By offering new problem solving techniques or better research tools? Nope! By suggesting that you work harder (run faster) get more sleep, take medications or drink wine? Again nope! Instead I’m offering Plan C… let it go! (Disney movie soundtrack playing in the background…) Let go and let God! Stop being so smart; so logical; so intellectual. Humbly admit to God that you do not know the answer; that you are sorry for being such a wise guy and that you need for Him to get you to the real cause and show you the real solution. This option presupposes that you are now done with your wearisome trek and ready for an influx of new life. Then, once you have done this from your heart, do not allow yourself to take it back again. Oh you are going to feel heavily tempted to get back on the hamster wheel because if you could just_____, or maybe find _____, surely you would see the solution! But do yourself a favor and remember that this issue you have been struggling with for the past ten years hasn’t gone away despite your incredible analytical mind. Remember the old adage, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein.  Thus, it’s clearly time to get on dialysis!

Once you finally let that “thing” go you are going to feel something wonderful. It’s called peace. Peace of mind is God’s way of showing you that you are on the right track. Formula: Agitated = off track, peace = on track. Get on track. And, in that peaceful state you are going to start seeing things you haven’t seen before. You will begin to recognize destructive thinking and its effect on you. Often you will find that your solution wasn’t even remotely connected to all of your analysis. Isn’t God grand?

Hamster wheels are for hamsters, not humans. Analysis is good to a certain point, but perplexity indicates something else may be involved which is a cue for you to get “Something Else” involved. Your life, my life is very short by comparison. Live out your days with alacrity of mind; in the present; in peace. Live your life in peace!

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Seeing, Not Seeing is Believing…


quote-Denis-Waitley-you-must-understand-that-seeing-is-believing-167789I’m often amused when I hear fellows say that they don’t believe in anything they can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell. Imagine all of the undiscovered stuff that makes up our world and confining yourself to your own finite, limited understanding. Imagine… Your human logic with all of its breathtaking accuracy and precision is at best severely hampered by one key factor; it’s yours. You can only possibly know what you know and your entire system of logic must be based entirely on what you know or worse, what you think you know! We all make logical assumptions and seek a logical result. Yet, we often find ourselves perplexed when we applied our best logic and we still didn’t end up where we wanted or get what we needed. We worked really hard; much harder than the other guy, yet still didn’t get the promotion. I kept the most vigilant eye I could fathom on my child and he still got hurt, while the other seemingly careless parent’s kid never got touched. You did your best to live a healthy lifestyle, yet still got deathly ill while the other lady maximized her vices and lived to be a hundred. Why? Why, because when it comes to learning how to believe to get your needs met, seeing, not seeing is believing.

In order to believe to get the things you need in life, you have to be able to “see” them happening. If you can’t see something happening, it is never going to happen! Read that sentence again. If you cannot even picture yourself having abundance and instead see lack, clip some coupons or something because you are going to suffer lack. If you cannot imagine yourself happy and contented, discontent and restlessness will dominate your future. If something always goes wrong to thwart you from getting what you want, something will always go wrong to thwart you from getting what you want! Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing. Enter your human logic… and you only know what you know! You think by your best analysis that you understand how things happen. You have been around a few years and sort of learned how stuff works. But, and ‘oh my lanta’ this is a large but, what if you got it wrong? What if the entire realm of the senses had been carefully manipulated to make it seem like things work a certain way when they don’t work that way at all? What if there was something you could with your mind that would totally revolutionize how your life turned out? What if? Well, there is of course, but in order to make it work for you, you have to defy your human logic! Egads!

When Jesus turned water into wine it defied human logic. When he fed the 5,000 with a couple of guy’s sack lunches, it defied human logic. Healing blind people defied human logic; not God’s logic, human logic. With believing you can cast mountains into lakes, so surely you can “believe” to get your personal needs met. Can you see it? (pun intended) Believing means completely removing those self-imposed limits you have placed on your thinking. I mean, come on, let’s be honest, that “one-day” thing you have been working aint working, is it? I know, I know, if you just stay at it, right? Hmmm… Give yourself a much-needed break from all that toil and learn to believe. That professional athlete you admire so much, who is living the life, believed to do so and made his work match what he already saw. That mega-star young singer with seemingly everything he ever wanted, got there first by believing and then followed it up with work. Believing is never about not working, it’s about working based on believing and not the other way around.

In order to make this believing thing work for you, you have to let go of all of your preconceived notions about life and become like a child again. You have to be open to the possibility of what might be rather than closed off with “your” ideas about what is… Remember, you only know what you know and you just might be wrong! The doctor isn’t the only one that can heal you and even the doctor simply endeavors to remove causes so your body can do what it was supposed to do. Plus believing is a lot cheaper! LOL And, when you embark on this wondrous journey with real believing in your eyes, be prepared for the onslaught of contrary information to thoroughly talk you out of your decision. If you are looking for healing, your hurt areas will appear to get worse. If you are believing to prosper, something will come along to convince you that you better let this fantasy stuff go. If you are planning to get promoted at work, don’t be surprised if you get chastised for doing something wrong. Point is, the adversary, ever working to manipulate the senses realm, is going to work tirelessly to talk you out of your new ideas! He has to because when you tap into believing you will eventually be able to believe to remove every strangle-hold he ever had on your life. Again, egads…

Don’t allow yourself to be reduced to the level of the beasts by only accepting what appears to be true. Be a successful, godly human and know better. Your life has always been within the realm of your control and just because you didn’t know that before never made it untrue. What is true is what God says is true. Wine from water anyone?

Learning to see and believe what can be rather than believing what appears to be is the crucible of human experience. Your heart already knows this is true and is still waiting for your mind to catch up! Don’t just see, really see!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

This Marvelous Life… A Birthday Blog!


DSC_0425When I think about my soon to be 53 years on Earth I wax philosophic. What a ride it has been so far! When I was a youngster I envisioned myself being in Elvis Presley movies or moving to California and becoming rich and famous. None of those things have happened so far, but something infinitely better happened instead. We all seem to have this vague notion of the future and it usually includes a lot of money; a beach home in Malibu and maybe an exotic mansion or something. But let me ask you this, are those the things you really want? Nothing wrong with them, of course, but what do you really want in this short go round? I think if you are honest, it probably aint that. Oh sure, you wouldn’t turn them down! Neither would I! But this marvelous life is about much more than a lot of money and the things that accompany money. And, in your heart, you know that…

I’ve been blessed with many wonderful experiences, the greatest of which was learning the truth about God and His love for me. Personally, I would have never gone for that religious life because as my kids say, “I aint about that life!” Instead God saw fit to teach me who He really is and the exquisite freedom that accompanies that relationship. No single event changed my life more than that simple little class I took in 1982 called, “Power For Abundant Living.” I went from being a young college student; afraid of my own shadow, to a guy privileged to finally live life without fear for the very first time! Wow man…really! And though many things entered in to challenge that relationship and talk me into that life “I wasn’t about,” here I still am and here He still is. Sublime… Then, through an unusual turn of events I met my wife Connie. We never really experienced “love at first sight” but instead experienced “You are the one” at first sight (or closely there after). We couldn’t explain it, but we just knew and at the tender age of “way too young” we got married. We had our share of dramas but I wouldn’t trade those days of struggling for anything in the world. We grew up together, ya know? We fought; we disagreed passionately; we had it with each other (but never at the same time) and we grew up. We wouldn’t have made it without my first Love. We started our married life with twins; Tony and Joshua; two companions in crime. As I now look at my grandsons I remember, God I loved those days. I couldn’t wait to get home from work to see those two smiling faces. We didn’t have tons of money, but enough money from my Army officer pay to make it all work. Connie was home with the kids…I know, crazy huh? Then my little lovely Kelli came along, smiling at me from her first entry into the world…seriously! Don’t even tell me girls are harder (LOL) it just aint true! Now semi-exhausted from the companions in crime minus no drama, always choosing properly Kelli, yikes, another baby came along. Young Christopher or Bonks-Dee-Wewis, my youngest. The icing on the cake. Chris got all of the athlete genes x 3, so that made for a lot of Saturday fun watching him play. When he rejoiced, we all rejoiced! Man, what a marvelous life.

Fast forward many years and here I am poised to celebrate number 53. Life has changed. The kids all moved out (and back as kids do). Connie and I had to figure out how these empty nesters are supposed to function. We have more money but still no mansion, no fame and no auditions for Elvis Presley movies. Yet this marvelous life is still so, so marvelous! God continues to teach me things in His perfect, inexplicable way and I remain thankful for the ride. We work hard; we play hard (yes, we go hard in the paint) and sometimes too hard, but still I would not trade this life; my life for anything in the world.

You see, what makes this life so marvelous isn’t fame or fortune or unlimited money, though I still would not refuse them…Haha! What makes this life so grand is love, my friends. Love between me and my Heavenly Father and more importantly His love for me. Love shared with my wife; not a flaming bonfire, but a perpetual steady flame that never goes out! Love with my family; my incredible, awesome, thoughtful, enlightened, well-adjusted family. Love with my extended family shared in meals and gatherings and events. Love with my friends, yes even my Facebook friends. It’s love that makes it all worthwhile. We endeavor to teach people about God, because we love Him. We invite family and friends to our house for any event we can think of, because we love them. We tailgate with the Ute fan faithful, because we love them.

So before you start hanging your head, cataloging what you haven’t done yet or the money you haven’t earned or the house you don’t own, remember what makes this life so marvelous is the love you share with the people you are so blessed to rub shoulders with. Really… What’s the first thing you imagine when you see yourself winning the lottery or finally making it big? You see yourself enjoying it with the people you love. I know I do…

53 years on Earth sure goes by fast. So why not spend your remaining years finally getting it. It’s not the fame or the fortune or the big house that makes life marvelous. It’s the people you are privileged to share it with! Am I done now? Haha of course not, I’m still going to be a famous author! And when you are reading my best seller remember, I’m enjoying that success with the people that I love!

Just some good thoughts…

Winning in the Great Competition of Life!


victoryIf you have ever seriously competed in a sport, you know what it feels like to expend a lot of effort and take the victory. I don’t mean something like playing checkers, I mean a tough competition with a worthy opponent that challenges you to exert the extra mental energy required to come out on top. I say mental energy because at the end of the day it’s your thoughts that propel you to victory. You can have the strongest, most athletic body on Earth, but if you don’t win in your mind, you won’t win on the field!

Your life, my life is lived amidst a great competition. And whether we choose to compete or not, we are in it! The way that we compete is by the thoughts we think. That’s right folks! Your thoughts lead to your beliefs and your beliefs determine how your life turns out. As I’ve said many times before, don’t get it twisted…life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. If you can grasp this one idea, you can revolutionize your life.

Most people pay very little attention to the thoughts they are thinking. It’s like automatic pilot. You are thinking things, evaluating things, feeling things and blowing right by them as if it’s just a part of life. Oh I get why it happens. It happens because your belief system has informed you that thoughts are just thoughts and have no impact on this thing called, “your life.” But that, my friends, couldn’t be further from the truth. And like choosing not to compete in the competition of life, it really doesn’t matter because you are competing and your thoughts are how you are competing – like it or not!

When things are going badly for you; when circumstances seemed stacked up against you; when nothing seems to be going right, the first place to check is your thoughts. What are you thinking about? What are you focusing on? Where are you expending your mental energy? What have you accepted as true that might not be true? What time period are you in? The future; the past or right now? To think that you can maintain a sour, negative outlook and still get a good result may be the height of insanity. If you were in a physical race and all you thought about was not losing the race, chances are you lost that race! Run your own race! If you were playing basketball and all you could focus on was not missing the last shot, I guarantee you missed that shot. Take the shot!

In life, I imagine all of us have hopes and dreams about how this thing is supposed to turn out. We’re happy. We have enough money. We have a great job that allows us to use our talents to the fullest. We have great relationships with people that we love. We’re peaceful and content. But, how often do we entertain those thoughts? Not much! Instead we want to focus on everything that isn’t right and worse, bitch and moan in detail about it. Crazy…

In the great competition, we have an opponent. That opponent is always up for the challenge. He works in the systems of the world to make sure you don’t get to live out your dreams by influencing your thoughts. He counts on the fact that you don’t realize the importance of what you are thinking. In fact, he is the mastermind of distraction and lies and wields them both with breathtaking accuracy. The moment you make up your mind to change something or get something better, you are deluged with other ideas about why you can’t; don’t deserve it; aren’t be realistic; fooling yourself…on into infinity (almost). But instead of sticking to your guns and strengthening your resolve, you get fainthearted, lose energy and get back in line with the other billion people.

So what can you do about it? How can you finally win? Well, first of all you have to learn to start paying attention to what you are thinking about. Then, and here is where it can get pretty gnarly, you have to fight back. That’s right! Instead of recognizing that you feel bored or depressed or sad or weak and just living with it, you have to fight back! You have to make up your mind to take that thought on. Just because you thought something does not make it true. Again, JUST BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE! (YELLING) That has to be one of the biggest con jobs that ever happened to mankind. It’s a thought and it just invited you to compete. Okay, so you are tired today and don’t feel like fighting. But, if a scary, masked man just strolled into your living room and threatened your child, you’d feel like fighting, right? It wouldn’t matter if you were up all night, you would fight. Well, it’s the same with your thoughts. You may not want to fight, but if your peace of mind is at stake, you have to take it on. In fact, if that thought threatens anything you hold dear, you have to take it on.

Intentional living is really about intentional thinking. Decide what you want for your life and rigorously exclude any thoughts that aren’t in agreement with what you want. Hey man, they’re your thoughts… If you find yourself feeling negative or grouchy or upset, decide to stop it. Oh you can stop it alright. Change your thoughts. Think about the good things; your blessings; what you are grateful for; who you love, something. But for Lord’s sake don’t stay in the misery pit. No one gets out of the misery pit by choosing not to compete. They get out when and only when they decide to!

Some folks sadly never learn this lesson. Don’t let that be you! Take charge of your life by taking charge of your mind. It really is the only thing you are ever in complete control of…Hmmm, that alone should make you think (haha).

3…2…1, he shoots and it’s goooooooooooood!  The Blazers win, the Blazers win! (Go Damian Lillard)

Winning feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…