Your Dream Life…


dream-life-text-Favim.com-354813As I sat on my porch this morning, sipping my coffee and reveling in the beautiful sunlit morning, I thought how incredibly privileged and blessed we are to be able to live any life we desire by first envisioning it, then deeply considering it in our minds and hearts. God has given us the complete and absolute freedom to dream and then bring those dreams into reality. Every person living their dream life lived it first in their own mind. The question isn’t whether or not you can still live your dream life. The question is have you taken the time and effort to even know what your dream life is and can you see it in your own mind.

One of the hardest things for people to understand is how intimately connected their present situation is to the thoughts they think most habitually. Your struggles, your pain, your difficulties are not found in unfair circumstances, poor upbringing, other people’s influence or unexpected events, but rather found primarily in your own thinking patterns and then brought into your reality by your unknowing persistence with those thoughts. In the precise same manner, your dreams, your visions of how you want to live, your ideal life, all await your thoughts to come in line with your expectations. The things that mean the most to you, you likely have already obtained in some capacity. Yet however good your life may appear, the “natural” tendency is to limit and compromise, as if God had a limited supply of good and there was the possibility of having more than your fair share. Goodness, blessings, success are not meted out and divided between people, but instead follow with perfect accuracy the believing and expectation of your heart. Those who enjoy more, positively believe more. Those who enjoy less, negatively believe (fear) more.

Many times people compromise their dream life by the limited value they place upon themselves. They treat others with respect, but don’t respect themselves. They admire the work of others, but see no value in their own work. They understand how others can live such a fantastic life, but cannot see themselves living a fantastic life because of “_______________” ~ you fill in the blank! I can assure you, your dream life isn’t based upon how good or bad you are, it is based upon your expectations for yourself. And you control your expectations! Hiding behind the fear of people finding out who you really are is nothing more than evidence that you have been talked out of your own self-worth. Anyone living a mediocre existence does so because that is their expectation, despite their heartfelt cries to the contrary.

The dream life isn’t found by treating it like a giant wheel of fortune, whereby if you can get lucky enough to have a few spins, you can win the life you want. Nor is it a lottery ticket producing an unexpected, life changing windfall. It sounds silly, but many folks approach their life this way. Ignorant of their responsibility to choose and shape their lives, they sort of float around in neutral hoping not to hit anything along the way. They drift into destinations they “didn’t” choose and complain like hell about being there. If you’ve never had a goal or an aspiration for something better than you have, how could you reasonably expect something better? Or, if your targets are so low they take no effort on your part to achieve, then don’t wonder why there are a million others living just like you are, unfulfilled. Everyone knows there are no fish left in the local fishing hole, but if you commit to a longer drive, they are there in abundance. Your dream life won’t just happen to you or show up one day. Instead it will arrive in smaller pieces, evolving as you evolve your thinking and act upon your most important visions for yourself. Your arrival at your dream life won’t come as surprise to you, but instead will be in full alignment with your expectations and the most natural thing in the world!

When you take away all of the facades and apparent complications of life; when you remove all of the distractions and time stealers; when you get back to approaching this life in its purest essence, you will begin to discover that you had access to the remedy within your heart all along. God didn’t give you life with the intention that you would hobble and struggle and limp along the way, hoping to accidentally stumble upon something good. Instead He gave you a mind and a heart from where your believing emanates with the real intention that you would learn who He is and what He has already provided for you. His desire is that you would learn how to control your thinking and guard your heart from where your entire life flows forth. He wants you to know the score!

You have been given the greatest possible privilege to ensure your life is filled with blessings. You can learn how to believe rightly and get to that dream life you have been dreaming about. It’s right here waiting for you. Make time to vividly picture the life you want, not the life you don’t want, and see how amazing and life altering is this glorious, true way to live!  I would expect nothing less from God who is only good, always! Would you?

Just some good thoughts…

 

Flashes of Light…


unnamedThere is no such thing as an ordinary life. Each one of us, uniquely made and different, have something to contribute to the world. We have the opportunity to offer what we alone do best and from whence we have no rival. In order to escape the mundane, the mediocrity, the humdrum that plagues the world, we have to find those flashes of light that lead us to our true purpose. And, while our purpose is inside of us, we need the light from the outside to guide our paths.

We all know that the sunshine does something positive to us. How many difficulties are immediately resolved in our minds just because the sun is shining? Gloomy days, also a part of life, remind us to seek the sunlight. Similarly, gloomy thoughts remind us to look for the light that warms and comforts us. Days, weeks and years spent in gloomy thoughts lead us unwillingly to the pain that is a life with no purpose, no point. Yet behind each dark cloud is the light that is always present, waiting for us to recognize it and embrace it. Our job is not to produce the light, but rather to seek it until we find it. The light that guides us is found in flashes of insight and understanding.

Those insights; the subtle beckoning of a change in direction or a suggested change in our thinking are all around us if we start paying attention. They show up in those moments of repose or when we admire the lifestyle of another person. It’s found in the gentle appeals to something better inside of us; some more sublime, sweet way to exist. The reason men and women fail to see the light is because they get trapped in some mindset, some hard, fast , habitual way of thinking that falsely presumes what life is and all that can be accomplished or enjoyed. The problem is that we but half live our days functioning by rote instead of seeking the new and profound in each day. Each day offers us the opportunity to live anew with fresh experiences and learning, but we’ve become so accustomed to our routines that we cannot discern it. And while the routines are necessary, they also serve to cut us off from a full life.

It seems many people as they age settle into certain patterns of existence. The days blur together because they are lived without inquisitive thought, without new learning, but instead with mindless repetition. Young people, still consumed with the idea of life, actively seek new experiences with a mind still bent on gaining a better view. Aging is not the issue, but rather the amount of time that has transpired to inculcate certain habits of thought. The light has not become less available, it’s just harder to see with a fixed mindset. The light becomes diminished with our insistence on thinking we already know, thus closing us off from all that we do not know. It’s not easy to break certain habits of thought, but break them we must if we wish to fulfill our experience of life.

The true joy of living is not often found in hallmark events, but in the mechanics of every day life. The proposed destination is not the only part of the process. Learning to enjoy the journey is the paramount experience. The life that God has given us is infused with rich variety and opportunities for discovery and each day is pregnant with the possibility of new learning. For this reason, we have to unchain ourselves from our habitual behaviors. Get up at a different time. Choose a different route to work. Instead of arriving home from work to occupy the couch and the television for the evening, go for a walk in the park or meet friends on a weeknight instead.

One great hold back to a fulfilled life, offering your best “you” to the world is that tyrannical insistence on being whom everyone already thinks you are. People, in their attempts to classify and categorize us, assign us to some place in life usually described by a word or two. Instead of becoming more and more a rich cumulation of experiences, we allow ourselves to be assigned as, “the comedian” or the “drinker” or the “hard worker” when those aspects simply point to one portion of our existence. My wife exhorted me to stop posting pictures on Facebook of me drinking wine as over time I became defined as, “the wine guy” falsely assuming wine to be the point of my existence. And while I definitely have an affinity for fine wine, my greater affinity is for a passionate, experienced filled life.

At the end of the day, each of us have the privilege to be exactly whom we choose to be, not held in by the group’s assessment. The magnificent uniqueness of who you are is encouraged and fanned by your experiences of life. Be the person you desire to be spurred on by those flashes of insight and refuse to be locked into to some minimalist viewpoint of who you are. Choose to walk a path designed for you and for you alone. Break free from the stumbling herd and live the days of your existence exactly as you desire to live them. Listen to music that inspires you though no-one you know enjoys it. Make plans and goals too lofty for your present mindset and enjoy your incredible journey of becoming.

Your life is way too short to be anything less than exactly what you want. It is your one shot my friends, and the determining factor always was and always will be you.

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

 

When Your Problem Becomes Your Problem…


ProblemAlerts.jpgBy nature, in order to have a “problem,” means there is some aspect of your life that you find yourself incapable of solving. You’ve done your best thinking. You’ve looked at it from every angle. In short, you’ve devoted yourself 100% to it and yet your problem remains. You may have even resigned yourself to a life with the “problem.” However, there eventually reaches a point where your problem becomes your problem!

We all have bad things happen to us. Some things that happen to people are so indescribably evil, there are no words to explain it. Other people just sort of get stuck with some dilemma they find themselves living a lifetime trying to escape. Catastrophes, extreme losses, losing it all, all have the potential to take away your lifeblood and reduce life to mere existence. Lower down the scale many find themselves a victim, not to something that happened to them directly, but to the repercussions of some grand mistake; some error in judgment; some momentary lapse that became the defining factor in their lives! Again, the apparently inescapable problem became their life problem.

No matter what may have happened to you or what insurmountable problem you may face, there is always a solution. The trouble permeates when it becomes your sole focus in life. You can spot someone suffering in this way immediately because it is the only subject on which they speak authoritatively. They unknowingly dwell in it; they breathe it with every exhale; they consume it and drown themselves in it. Instead of being a problem from which they can still escape, it becomes their reason for living, their red badge of courage.

Ironically, the way to escape it, is the exact opposite of what appears. In the words of a wise man, “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light.” Dwelling on what went wrong, what you did wrong, why something went wrong, all serve not to remedy the situation, but rather to affix you, the sufferer, deeper and deeper into the problem. And sadly, if you remain fixated on the darkness long enough, your chances of escape become slimmer and slimmer. You are never, ever going to out-think the darkness by remaining in the darkness. Instead, like all people in the dark, your task will become more and more insurmountable. The reason people are locked into some tragedy or failing that happened twenty-five years ago is because they never let it go. You cannot overcome unless you eventually let it go. In fact, you aren’t going to begin to solve your problems now until you finally learn to let them go.

Life was never intended for you to be the party of the first part, the second part and every other part. You are a human being for God’s sake and much of life escapes your control. When the doctor says you have an incurable disease there’s not a damn thing you, the human being, can do about it. You are fighting against spiritual powers of which you may know or understand very little. Instead you, the finite human being, are supposed to eventually admit you do not know what to do and beseech the help of the One that knows exactly what to do. Absent God and left to your own limited devices, you are simply going to lose. But, if you can get to the place where you wake up, you hand those life-long issues over to God and let Him do what He promised He would do all along!

Goodness knows that some of the things that may have happened to you are awful and painful and arduous at best. That’s not to minimize their grave impact on you at all. You’re stuck because your problem is beyond your human capability to deal with it. Your solution is to let it go. Give it to God every time it lands itself back in your lap. Stop thinking it, fearing it, rehearsing it, addressing it and embracing it. The inescapable problem is bad enough without giving over your entire life and mind in defense and admiration of it. Your problem is not the supreme thing in life. It is not to be your primary thought in every situation. It may have become that but it doesn’t have to remain that. God is supposed to be your supreme thing and your primary thought in life. Dwelling on God and what He says is dwelling in the light. In the light, the solutions become clear and obvious. Maybe your solution is healing. Maybe your solution is to finally get past a terrible event. Maybe your solution is a radical change in your thinking and manner of living. Whatever your solution may be, it can only be found in one place and one place only – the light!

Darkness is a slippery character and is well schooled in how to defeat a human being. Evil and wrong don’t just hit you with a sucker punch you never saw coming, but instead seeks to take away all that is important to you. It’s goal, like trapping a bird in a cage, is  to snare you into some mode of thinking that guarantees more and more trouble will replicate itself in your life. For this reason, you need something bigger than yourself to set you free.

All of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves trapped in some grand dilemma. Everyone of us has had a problem whose solution escaped us. We’ve all been stuck, distracted and caught up into some thing that has been gaining more and more power over us. And like a rodent we seek to remove from our situation, in order to rid ourselves of it, we have to remove its food source. Literally, you have to stop feeding it! You have to steadfastly resist your human tendency and ego that is striving to figure it out and choose rather not to give it any space in your thinking. It’s not easy to do, but is required if you want to win. You have to seek God’s help and continue seeking God’s solution until you realize it in your life. God is faithful and will provide what you need, but you have to do it His way. Every time your problem presents itself to you by knocking on the doors of your mind, you have to give it back to God where it belongs. God will deliver you my friend, with the duration dependent entirely upon your faithfulness to keep your mind fixed on the light! It can be done. It will be done!

How do you prevent your problem from being your life’s problem? Make your problem God’s problem and let Him figure it out. There is no other way…

Just some good thoughts.