Are You Getting Fat?


5094d6cced1e1fc4a99337a616fcbff0Remember when you were 18 and ate everything that passed your way and never gained an ounce? Yeah, me too, but those days are long gone. Like you maybe, I recognize that the struggle is real. So I started thinking, besides the cruelty of a snail’s pace metabolism, what else is different? In complete honesty I have to admit, I’m doing some things that contribute to the problem. I sit at a desk all day long (almost). I have the resources to eat whatever I choose to eat and it’s been said that I occasionally overindulge in the wine (smile). When it comes to eating and drinking and other enjoyable activities, my natural tendency is to let loose as I suspect many of you do as well. It’s so easy to just let go and seems so hard to control yourself. But control is where the good stuff lives and this blog has nothing to do with your physical body!

Your mind is equally capable of getting fat. And much like your body, the fat doesn’t show up from too many nutrients, but rather from too much junk. It comes from complacency and inactivity. It shows up in the form of uncontrolled thoughts and unchallenged ideas. It comes from letting go and just accepting whatever comes along. This may surprise you but your mind can get lazy. It was never designed to be that way. It was intended to be alive and vital, dynamic and energetic. It was pre-loaded to have a sincere love of learning; learning that never stops throughout a lifetime.

The popular notion of living an intentional life is the antidote to a chubby mind. Intentional means on purpose. An on purpose life is a life lived by decision rather than reaction. The world is entirely circumstance controlled. People decide they’re having a good day by a few positive events and a bad day is born from a couple of negative ones. A problem at work morphs into a potential lost job and a snow prediction for the morning commute spells disaster. Sunny days equal happiness and gloomy Mondays are the worst thing ever. A pain in your side signals cancer even though you forgot you moved furniture yesterday. This is no great surprise because we have been trained to think that way. Negativity is all around us. The news is negative. Facebook is negative. The people you interact with are negative. And sadly, negativity is considered the norm. If you are positive you are called naive. You just don’t get it. But, I submit that no matter how much negativity you experience, it’s not the way of truth. It’s a grand deception on a monumental scale. It gets to you when you give in to it, like a bacon double cheeseburger at midnight. Intentional living chooses to “just say no” to negativity.

How many people do you know who have lost that spark in their eye? How long has it been since you felt alive and that life was worth living? I’m not talking about choosing life over death, I’m talking about overflowing and abundant life. Yet, we acquiesce and think that’s just how life is… We traded in our value for something cheap. We’ve been riding the bike with the crooked handle bars for so long that we think they’re straight. We fail to see that we adjusted to the wrong instead of fighting for the right. Even more spurious is the lack of thought employed in our choices, most evident during an election season. The media propaganda makes our choices and social media directs our minds. We believe the last thing we read and accept as true whatever someone shouts the loudest. You know why? Because our minds have fallen into decay from fast food logic and pre-processed understanding. We don’t think anymore because we got fat!

So, how can you shed the pounds from your organ of mental perception? The simple answer is to learn again to think. The more arduous answer is to practice living in the moment and controlling yourself. Recognize what is going on in your head. What emotions are you experiencing? Which emotions do you no longer acknowledge? Have you worked around that broken door handle for so long that you fail to see it is broken? What aint right? Where have you settled for less than you deserve? Which illness or sickness are you living with because a doctor said you have to when God has no limitation on what He can heal? What words have you stopped voicing in your relationship that you used to speak without hesitation? What? This is your one life, my friends, and you owe yourself the custom package!

Sometimes you fail to see what you need to see because you are living in the darkness. Turn on the light. Find out what God (who actually invented life) says. Unearth that dust-covered Bible and discover something you can depend on. If you don’t know what to read, ask God for some help. That person will show up faster than a Jimmy John’s sandwich! Get your mind back. Get your vitality back. Get your life back!

Being fat only lasts as long as you let it last. And again, I aint talking about your body. Embrace your chubbiness and love yourself, but most of all take care of your heart, for from it proceeds all the issues of your life! (hcG for the soul!)

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

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What Do You Do With Your Mind When No-One is Watching?


self-confidenceI’m sure you’ve heard older people say, “I may be older, but inside my mind is still the same!” Well, I can attest to this in terms of feeling young inside, but I can assure you, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Your current mind is a beautiful, jumbled composite of a million thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas. Your mind, in all of its magnificent glory, is just that…your mind. And from your private, mental sanctuary proceeds your life, happy or sad; vital or depressed; inspired or glum; blessed or cursed. So, the million dollar question is, what do you do with your mind when no-one is watching?

If you think about it, when it comes to your mind, no-one is ever watching, well, except you that is… You are watching, listening, initiating, processing, discussing and even arguing. The experience of your life, the manifestation of it is in direct proportion to your thoughts. If your thoughts suck, you suck. If your thoughts thrive, you thrive. Your life isn’t a mess and then you have to think about it. Your life is a mess because of what you think about. The converse is just as true.

You do realize that the starting point for change is always an acknowledgment of the part you play in your life drama. As long as the responsibility for change rests with something (anything) else, your life will never change. As long as you allow your thoughts to stink is as long as your life will stink. It’s that big. It’s that important. If you are willing to at least consider that, then please keep reading.

Hmmm… Okay, here’s a thought. What kind of things do you say to yourself? What do you tell yourself about yourself? What do you say? Are you critical? Do you spend your days pining away condemning yourself, immersed in self-evaluation? Really? Does anyone who engages in that type of self-evaluation ever come up with a favorable outcome? When you look in the mirror, do you like the image that you see? Or, are you ugly? My brief experience on earth has taught me that pretty really is an inside job and when the inside is sweet, the exterior finds a way to follow suit. Do you doubt yourself? Do you entertain thoughts of inferiority? Are you not smart, sexy, funny? Are you boring, lackluster or lacking energy? You pick the negative, the oddity, the flaw. The point is, you chose the thought or at least to entertain it. You allowed it to live. You did. It is no more true than any other thought is true. But, for you it is true.

You may have never seen it before, but those thoughts you allow; that you live your life by are all the difference between heaven and hell. The world and all of its wonderful inhabitants are all living or not living in accordance with the same rule. No-one is exempt. School didn’t teach you this. Your parents probably didn’t know it. It’s a jewel of inestimable value. Within it lives the life you have always imagined, but not yet realized. Knowing it and thus cooperating with it will give you all you ever need; to be everything you ever wanted to be. It’s not fate or a decision God made without your consent. It isn’t your upbringing or environment or socioeconomic status. It’s not your college degree or lack thereof. It’s you and what you choose to think about. Oh you can hide it from the world. You can buck up and put on a smile. You can hide it, mask it and cover it, but you can never escape it, for it is you and what you’ve chosen to believe about yourself.

You talk about riddles… You determine how your life turns out by what you think about and your life turns out without you even thinking about it. Well, you do think, but what you think isn’t what you want.

I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to figure this out. Life isn’t happening to you, you are happening to life. You’re choosing the result! Stop waiting and watching and hoping and wishing. The life you want so bad will not show up without your consent. Your consent follows your thoughts and beliefs, not your wishes. You are not going to win the lottery. No ship is coming in. The opportunity, the life changing event, happens not by chance but in accordance with your expectations rehearsed in your mind, faithfully over time.

Nothing about your life (and mine) is unchangeable, unless you think otherwise. No obstacle cannot be overcome, unless you already made up your mind. No goal is unattainable, unless of course, you know better.

The thoughts you have grown so accustomed to and accept as your reality may just be the fly in your ointment. What you worked so hard to convince yourself of as true, may not be true after all. Your estimation of who you are and where you fit, may be woefully misguided. If it’s true that your life follows your thoughts, then the least you could do is think thoughts that actually help you rather than hinder you. How sad that you could go through life and not even be on your own side, when you only have your own one life. How very sad…

Stop berating yourself and condemning yourself and devaluing yourself. Stop lowering yourself to second and third class citizen status. In God’s sight, your life matters just as much as every other person’s life matters. And, if you want to make Him smile, start seeing yourself as He does. There’s a whole world waiting for you on the other side of the self-doubt and when you find it, you’ll be thankful for a lifetime…

Just some good thoughts…

The Madness of the Mediocre Life…


mediocremajorityLet me start by acknowledging that every person is completely unique in their personal desires and aspirations. What success is for me isn’t success for you. That being said, there’s a huge difference between success in life and the madness of mediocrity.

No-one ever grew up dreaming of being mediocre. Nobody foresaw a life of quiet desperation, feeling stunted, stymied and held back? You sure didn’t start out that way, did you? You began, as we all began, with stars in your eyes and grand thoughts of who you could be.  Then you grew up. The world didn’t change, you did.  You settled. You negotiated for average. You exchanged your A level life for a C level existence. You did it because it was safe. It wasn’t everything you ever wanted but it was some of the things you wanted. When it comes to your one and only run through, and because you have the exact same right to pursue your happiness as every other person, you can still choose the best! You can go for the Olympic gold instead of rejoicing in that you made the team!

Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not claiming some type of superiority over you. I’ve spent my fair share of time in the misty flats… (Well, it’s not really fair, but that’s how clichés work.) Yet, I have a great advantage that I’m ever privileged to enjoy. Someone lovingly taught me about God a long time ago and I’ve never stopped learning about Him to this day. You see, this whole notion of living an abundant life came from Him. This aint self-help rama-lama, this is real life. God’s plan for you isn’t a litany of rules or pervasive condemnation from failure to follow them. The master plan goes back to the original plan – which is you (men) and some cute gal or you (women) and some hot guy living in paradise. You ever been to Hawaii? Well, that aint Eden! People started out in Paradise, spent many years in the misty flats (see I’m not alone) and then God made available the paradise experience anew. The paradise experience is life in all of its varied and splendid manifestations. It’s life without fear. It’s life with answered prayers. It’s life where Someone a lot smarter than you knows how to get you to live out your full potential. Nothing about God is ever mediocre. Religion is damn mediocre because it’s focused on not doing (living) more than doing!

Lest you conclude that life’s not fair, think about how people typically function. I’ve managed people for many years and am always amazed by an interesting phenomenon. It’s only a matter of time before the workers reduce their job down to the most minimal level possible to still get paid and not get fired. Except of course that one guy. This blog isn’t to him because his life isn’t going to be mediocre. But for the majority, that’s how it seems to go. Now you know, if you are honest, that you have a little something inside of you that says there is so much more. It whispers in your relationships. It beckons you at work. Its inspiration flashes across your mind oh so briefly with glimpses of how your life could be. It’s not only possible, it’s what your life is supposed to be.

How you get there is a whole different story. You don’t get there until you get there. You won’t arrive until you arrive. It’s not a ship coming in, it’s the ship you’re already steering. The cause must precede the effect. You have to first recognize that it is even possible, then (the hardest part), you have to convince your old obstinate; C grade getting; settling for less mind that you both can and will have it. It’s God will already, so you’d be sorta crazy not to make it your will!

Now here is the greatest irony of all ironies. It takes the exact same amount of believing to achieve greatly as it takes to achieve the mediocre. Not the same amount of work, but the same amount of believing expectation. If you expect more, you will do more. You’re not so much lazy as you are misguided. How many people do you know slaving away for some company accepting whatever they get and convincing themselves they’re still blessed? Abundance means abundance and mediocre means mediocre. I remember someone once telling me that I didn’t need a fancy car, just something that ran and got me to work. Now you can sell yourself that story for a while, but in the end you know you want more for yourself. And don’t you go telling me I’m greedy. Greedy people never consider that notion. The ones that think it are usually the ones not getting their needs met; the ones settling for the mediocre life.

There’s no need for me to tell you that life isn’t all about money and possessions. Life is about fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Are you fulfilled, satisfied and joyful? Then you do the math and figure that one out. The abundant life God promises is available to you if you really want it. But, make no mistake, you’re going to need God’s help to find it. Oh it’s right in front of you, but you won’t see it without some help from the (good) spiritual side. Trust me on that one.

Look brothers!  Listen sisters! This thing is damn short, this run through on earth. Your time, my time is finite (for now). You already know what you want; what you dream of; what turns you on. So learn about our God and get it; do it; experience it. Your only limitation is what you can persuade your mind to believe.

Your success is not my success and my success is not your success. But, success is success and surely that beats the hell out of the madness of the mediocre life!

Just some good thoughts…

Keeping Your Head in the Right Place…


road-sign-words-welcome-you-right-place-blue-sky-background-36449742You ever have one of those weeks? You know the kind where you’re having some kind of mental turmoil going on but you can’t put your finger on the ‘why.’ Well, I had that very week. There were no disasters or dramas at work. The economy didn’t collapse and no crazy people were elected President. It wasn’t trouble at home or in the neighborhood or abroad. It was nothing you could readily define at all. Just a week of scattered thinking, agitation and distress. So, something was up; something worth understanding…

A long time ago, in similar fashion, I was going through some serious stuff. I had grown so accustomed to my happy life with God where things always worked out for me. But, something had gone astray. Something had changed and I hadn’t gotten the memo. I spent lengthy prayer sessions begging God to turn things around. I just couldn’t figure out why He had changed towards me; why He didn’t seem to be there for me like He was before. And I can tell you, I spent way too damn long in that space. That was until one fateful day when I finally figured it out. My problem was never with God, my problem was with me. God never changed. I did. What I once enjoyed because I believed, I stopped enjoying because I stopped believing. I foolishly allowed well meaning people to talk me out of the simplicity of what I had, in favor of something impossibly complicated. In short, I failed to keep MY head in the right place!

One thing you should always know and never forget is that God does not change. His love for you is constant. He’s seen all of your dirty bits and loves you regardless. His favor towards you isn’t and never was based on what you do, but instead based on who He is. When things have gone south on you, God didn’t move, you did. And to get back to the life that’s worth living can only happen when you come back to the right place.

The right place is all about what God says is true. Sure there will be people who speak otherwise. There will be circumstances that appear and threaten. You’ll see news reports and pending world disasters. And worst of all, there will be subtle thoughts, almost imperceptible that chip away at you; gently nudging you to a different place; a place where heaven’s brass. And, once you get there it’s damn hard to know what happened. So, I’ll save you some time and drudgery. When things are going bad for you, you are in the wrong place.

The wrong place has many beguiling disguises; one of which is yourself. When your life becomes all about you, you are being deceived. When the number one priority is your happiness; your satisfaction; your stuff, the game is on and you are losing. As ironic as it sounds, life was never meant to be lived that way. Just as giving away somehow makes you richer, choosing the happiness of others first, leads to your own. So, how do you know if you are in the wrong place? When life is all about you…

Another counterfeit mental space comes in the form of doubts, worries and fears. How could you ever be afraid of anything if Almighty God is around? Spending your days worrying and dreading some potential future outcome is a waste of your life. Usually the thing you fear so ardently is out of your control anyway, right? Or else you could solve it. But, you can’t because it’s beyond your ability and so you worry and wither away. Getting back to the right place means giving something to God for Him to handle and by God, letting Him handle it! So, how do you know if your head is in the wrong place? When your fear has become bigger than your God…

The third and arguably most common fake, mental vacation rental shows up in a profound lack of gratitude. Everyone wants more, more, more. You want a bigger house, a better job, a new spouse, never considering just how outrageously grateful you should be for what you already have. Like my wife said today, there’s people that would think they went to heaven by living in our house and here we are complaining that the living room isn’t big enough to entertain more guests. What you have may not be your ultimate, but I’m guessing it might be someone else’s! You’ve watched so many political ads promising to make America great again that you’ve forgotten just how great it is already. You live a comfortable life in a free, safe country where your major concerns center around what to have for dinner; that you take from your freezer; that you purchased at a store; that you drove to in your car, that just left your 3 car garage, attached to your big house. And you’re not grateful for all of that? You’re not just breathtakingly thankful to live how you get to live? Boy oh boy… So, how do you know that your head’s on vacation? When you’re not sublimely grateful for the life you already have, pregnant with unlimited possibilities…

Although the examples could be endless, suffice it to say that the only one responsible to keep your head in the right place is you! Don’t get mad or frustrated with God; He’s never the source of your difficulties. There is another source, but you can easily thwart him as you make it your number one priority to stay in the right place; that place where God says what’s true.

My confusing week from hell is over now and you know why? Because I remembered that it is MY job to put my head in the right place and that no-one could do it for me, but me. Man, how grateful I am to be God’s son! I’m not sure how I could ever navigate this life without Him. Do the right thing by getting to the right place in your mind; the place where God is. That’s where all the blessings are! The more than abundant life is real and waiting for you.

I love you Papa…

Just some good thoughts.