Happy New Year and a Happy New Heart…


happy-new-year-2017-loveFor many, the entrance of a new year is a time for reflection, goal setting and plans for a better life. Those plans appear in the form of resolutions and decisions often aimed at repairing some aspect of one’s existence. Statistically, most aims center around the restoration of physical health including the ever-present irritant called weight loss and of course financial goals targeted at obtaining more money to open more possibilities for living. Both oft-repeated wishes are very necessary and encompass something obviously central to a happy life, otherwise they wouldn’t be part of almost everyone’s plans. And sadly, more often than not, those worthy aims are not actualized. Have you ever asked yourself why life seems to work this way? Why would you have the same goals year after year and never get to scratch them off your list? Indeed why…

Every one of us living today in the deepest center of our being have what is figuratively referred to as our heart. Our heart is made up of beliefs we have about ourselves and about our lives. We formed these beliefs over time by the thoughts we have thought and from our actual experiences in living. No-one is born with certain beliefs, nor is your heart some magical information center that already fully comprehends life’s mysteries. The heart knows what the heart knows because of what the heart has been taught. So, step one in finally getting somewhere is to dispel the utterly false notion that your heart is what it is already and cannot be changed for all those reasons mentioned above. Changing those beliefs in your heart is not only possible, but required to live that life you keep imagining. However, changing your inner heart is not some overnight affair. It requires time and patience and a faithful, very faithful effort to change your thinking from the lies, or if your prefer, the errors you have accepted as true, over to what is actually true. Could there be anything more sad than doggedly clinging to some wrong belief about yourself, leading to wrong results for yourself, because you are so damn determined that you already know for yourself?

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. In other words, who you believe you are and what you believe you can get and where you think your life will go, is exactly who you are, what you get and where you end up. Your inner beliefs, your core beliefs, good or dreadfully bad determine your life; your life, not someone else’s life! You cannot, absolutely cannot, determine someone else’s life, no matter how much you may have loved them! So, with that, if the year 2016 sucked for you, it is no-one else’s fault but your own. Now, don’t get mad at me for saying that, unless getting mad helps you to maybe reconsider things. The system of believing and how your own personal believing from your heart determines your life isn’t something I made up. The designer of the system is God and because it’s from God it is perfect. It is your all-loving Heavenly Father’s solution for your every problem and heartache and your God-given control over your life. Don’t fight the system with your preconceived ideas, but instead learn the system and tap into the awesome power waiting for you to ‘get it!’ Ideas such as “Let’s see what 2017 has in store for me,” falsely assigns control over your life to someone or something else. The new year, God, or the devil himself do not decide what is in store for you, you do! You, my friend have the privilege to decide or to not decide and in not deciding fall prey to whatever comes along, which usually isn’t anything good. Not deciding, not learning how and what to believe, clutching to superstitious myths called luck or good fortune, lead only to writing out those same futile wishes year after year, with no changes, no results, no happiness. I should add that our sweet, benevolent Heavenly Father has many wonderful things in store for you, but cannot give them to you without your cooperation, no matter how many times you pray about it. But, if you can believe, something good will happen for you! But that is a mighty big IF!

The Bible teaches us to “guard our hearts with all diligence, because out of it (our heart) come all the issues of our life (See, I told you I didn’t make this up). The way you guard your heart is by controlling what enters into your heart. What is in your heart? What are you thinking about and saying the most? Look no further than that. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. What has your mouth been speaking? What utterances are you making to the people around you and even more importantly to yourself? Nobody, or maybe almost nobody, knows yourself more than you do. Sure, you can say you’re going to be rich in 2017, but is that what you really think? Really? Not getting what you want isn’t life’s fault. Life may throw you some curves, or more accurately if we are going to speak in figures, death will throw you some curves, lay out some clever obstacles, manipulate your weaknesses, but can only defeat you when you accept and therefore believe something that isn’t true. Now, you may say, I do believe but nothing ever seems to happen. Well the simple answer is, no you didn’t believe or something would have happened! It’s not rocket science! If you “believed” there was $100,000 buried in the backyard, no-one could pry that shovel out of your hand! But, studying treasure maps, surveying the land and spending endless hours in consideration won’t lead to anything until you finally decide to dig! The first shovel motion into the ground is believing with a determination to keep digging until you find “it” with “it” being whatever it is you’re after! When you finally get around to believing from your heart, whatever it is you were after will always already be there. How? Because the System Designer knew beforehand that you would get around to believing and placed it there ahead of time. It’s not a miracle, it’s exquisite timing and extremely, breathtakingly, intelligent planning.

Don’t get swept away by the work harder, attempt more, discipline yourself more crowd. You’ve been there before haven’t you? Yet here you are writing the same stuff down year after year. Your real hard work; your very persistent effort; your true discipline is in controlling that unruly beast called your mind by thinking and eventually believing for the things you want to happen rather than fearfully believing for bad things not to happen. You ever played a sport and tried not to lose? Once you start taming that thinking machine which includes refusing to entertain those loony tunes, catastrophic, fear based potential outcomes, you can begin controlling the things that come out of your mouth. Say what you want and for the love of God, stop saying everything you don’t want! Stop complaining, whining and playing the victim. You are not a victim though you may have been victimized by your ignorance concerning the system. Say things with conviction, with passion, with balls out brazen belief! When they tell you to accept reality or to be realistic, sneak a peek at their New year’s resolutions and see if they also aren’t writing the same tired crap year after year.

My heart for you in 2017 is that you learn how to believe. You won’t be perfect at it, unless your name is Jesus, but you will prove to yourself the simple maxim, that your life always was and always will be a composite sketch of your ever evolving thoughts and beliefs. Don’t wait to see what life has in store for you. Walk into the damn storehouse and get all the stuff God already gave you! It doesn’t take brilliance to do so, it just takes a little bold believing from your heart.

Happy New Year and a Happy New Heart!

Just some good thoughts (beliefs)…

 

 

The Impossibility of the Cumulative Life…


cumulative-poisson-distribution-formulaI think if you are honest with yourself, and honesty is important in learning how to successfully navigate life, most of your difficulties come from your thoughts. You drag around this massive corpse of a memory of things long past. Since the past no longer exists in anything but your mind, it shouldn’t have such an impact on the person you are today. Now, I’m not referring to pleasant memories or past learning. I’m talking about the bad things or the weaknesses or issues you doggedly assign to yourself in the present. Maybe you did have trouble standing up for yourself when you were 12, but to stubbornly cling to that worn out notion at age 40 makes no sense. The reason this mountainous weight of a stone clings to your psyche is because you keep it alive in your mind by trying to live a cumulative life.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or exercise more and then failed miserably shortly thereafter? Say what you want about discipline, losing weight and exercising more, though producing a cumulative effect, cannot be successfully undertaken with a cumulative mindset. In other words, you have to decide to eat less or healthier or exercise right now, today. The fact that you did what you said for the past three days guarantees nothing. The fact that you didn’t do what you said you were going to do for the past three days means nothing either. What matters is right now. What can you do right now? If you can get real good at doing “right now,” soon you will experience a cumulative effect!

For some reason, people have the hardest time living in the present. Assuming we all have weaknesses and areas we don’t do so well in, how could we ever possibly expect to change anything living entangled in a spaghetti bowl of multiplied yesterdays? Add to that trying to live in some future day and now you are just a sloppy Joe (poured over spaghetti)!

God, if I may speak for Him, designed life to be lived right now in succinct 24 hour periods (The evening and the morning were the first day). Imagine the idea of having a bad day if the day lasted forever. But, that’s exactly how people live; one perpetually long day. Instead each day is cleverly separated by night (sleep) and in the morning a new day begins. “Well, tomorrow is new day!” Every new day is an opportunity for you to begin anew, fresh. What you did wrong yesterday generally has little bearing on your life, that is of course unless you allow it to. You allow it to by granting it “airplay.” Yes, sure you need to learn from whatever, but you aren’t playing that track for any learning. You are re-playing it because you feel bad and are punishing yourself. But now listen closely for a moment here. Does any amount of self-flagellation make you a better person? Does your incessant focus on yesterday or a year ago or ten years ago or your childhood or “that one thing” do anything to change it? It only exists in your mind. Your cumulative negative past doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with your life right now! So, my friend, just let it go. Stop persisting in your perpetual bad day and start fresh.

When you decide to live right now, in the new day, you give yourself permission to begin again. Remember the first time you played a certain sport? You probably sucked right? If you held the thought of how bad you sucked and never tried again, you’d still suck, I’m guessing. But, if you had the courage to start again and again and again, at some point you got pretty good. Your life is like that. Those negative images; those frightful memories do not serve the person you are today. They do just the opposite. They hold you back. God does not want you to be held back! Every day; every single day, He is giving you another fresh start. Shoot, He even sent His son to pay the price for everything you could ever do wrong! Everything! You aren’t doing God any favors by living in your past. Instead you are stubbornly refusing His gift to you; a new beginning!

Life was not designed to be lived cumulatively. You are not the sum of everything you have ever done and not done. Instead, you are who you are right now, in this moment. Right now you can be a tremendous source of love, compassion and kindness. Oh, you weren’t that yesterday? So what! Be it today. Well, up to now you haven’t had much success? So what! Decide to be a success right now! What if I forget tomorrow? You never have to deal with tomorrow, only right now! If you live to be 80 years old, that means you have 29,219.4 days to live. How many days have you already wasted, caught up thinking about something that happened on day 10,957.3?

If you believe what I’m telling you and I sure hope you do, you will begin to understand that life is to be lived one day at a time. Imagine how much weight will be lifted off your shoulders when you agree with God and focus your energy on today. Imagine how sweet your life can become by making this day the best ever and refusing to let yesterday creep in. Imagine…huh?

The cumulative life is an impossible life!

You are who you are today. Don’t let anyone (even yourself) tell you otherwise…

Just some good thoughts…

Living Your Reflection…


reflection_28Here’s some food for thought… The life you are presently living is a direct reflection of your most dominant and habitual thinking. Read that again! Up to this point you may not have made this connection. Most folks don’t. Instead people think that life is happening to them and they are simply reacting to whatever life does next. People that live in a perpetual struggle falsely conclude that circumstances are working against them and probably even long for the time when the struggle will end. But, they remain unaware that their habitual thought forms the basis of their expectations and as such they are living in a world of their own making.

Habits are, in themselves, useful. On the positive side they free your mind of the unnecessary thought required to complete mundane tasks. However, habits also have a dark side. Negative patterns of thought, rehearsed over and over again lead to negative expectations, which manifest themselves in negative circumstances. And, to make matters worse, the habits become invisible to you because of their habituation. And, once darkness has become invisible to you, it is allowed to perpetuate within you to bring about those struggles you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.

I’m sure you’ve heard people complain to God about why life is so hard and why there is so much struggling going on. And, let’s be honest, there is some heavy-duty struggling happening. But, what you may not know is that God has given you control over those struggles once you know how to go about turning things around. God hasn’t left us without a remedy and surely doesn’t condone pain and hardship. But, until you finally learn that your life is “your” life and that you can exercise control, things will go on as they’ve always gone on since the beginning of time.

Just so you don’t think this is “crazy” talk, let me ask you some questions. At this very moment in time, what do think about life? Do think it is a struggle? Do you think it is hard and random and filled with the unexpected? Do you think that is always hard for you to get money and that it always will be? Do you think that disease just happens and that you are powerless against it? Your honest answer to those questions is the life you are presently living. Your expectation; your belief is precisely what you are experiencing and will continue to experience as long as you keep thinking the way you are thinking. Life won’t turn around for you and your ship won’t come in. It cannot because it is a direct reflection of your inmost thoughts. Change your thoughts; change your expectations; change your beliefs and your life will change.

In order to right the ship, you have to become keenly aware of what was formerly invisible; namely your thoughts. You have to start recognizing your negative thought habit patterns. You have to see where you have become your own worst enemy. You must clearly discern that negative chatter, ever providing reasons why you cannot succeed; why you cannot get ahead; why you cannot win. And once you finally hear it, you have to start forcefully challenging those false assumptions. Those assumptions are not “just life” but instead are lies you have been worn down into accepting. There’s no shame in being led astray because the whole world has been led astray, on purpose, by the evil that lies deep behind it, hidden. The real shame comes when you see a glimpse of the light and refuse to heed the lesson.

Have you ever noticed how people set goals for themselves? They set goals with tiny incremental increases as if one can only progress with baby steps. They don’t realize that the larger the goal; the larger the expectations, the larger the result. It is like that with your thoughts. Once you have begun to see and challenge a series of thoughts, your responsibility is to change your thoughts and expectations to something you actually want. It takes the exact same amount of effort to think something good as it takes to think something bad. But make no mistake, you are choosing by what you “choose” to think and hold onto.

I should add, because I know what you’re thinking, that sometimes you “find” yourselves in a challenging situation that you didn’t necessarily bring upon yourself. Sometimes people are under attack; in bad environments and feel that they are being tested. Well, they are being tested but never by God. The test is in how you respond to the challenge. Will you accept what it “seems” like or will you remain stedfast in your beliefs and overcome? You would be surprised how quickly things turn around when you make your mind up! But, if you succumb to what “appears” to be real, you end up down the same blind alleys you traveled before.

As living, breathing, thinking human beings, we always have a say in how things are going to turn out. Always! The key lies in refusing to accept the information that comes to your mind via your five senses, and trusting instead what God says is true! Obviously you can ridicule this notion and demand that what it seems like, is true, but with that you can resign yourself to your usual, perpetual struggle.

Your life, my life is a reflection of those things we think about the most. Change your thoughts and your life will change. It isn’t about being naively positive, it’s about choosing what you will and will not accept in your life. You have more control than you ever thought. God would have it no other way! Really!

Just some good reflections…

 

…Yeah, but why?


NewYearsResolutionsIt’s almost that time of the year when you are going to make your New Year’s resolutions. But, before you write that fanciful wish list, give this a little thought… Notice how many “goals” on your list are the exact same things you had on there last year and the year before and the year before. So logically, if you are writing the same things over and over again, something must be wrong!

When it comes to getting your needs met, and I’m assuming your dream-sheet is about getting your needs met, the first thing you have to ask yourself is, “What do I really need?” I’m not talking that minimalist logic that claims all you really need is food and water. If all you needed was food and water you would be a dog, not a human! Instead you, like the rest of us, have many needs; some simple and some complex. And in order to get those needs met, you must discover exactly what they are. It’s so easy to write, “lose weight.” But, before you are going to really lose that weight, something has to happen. No, no, no I don’t mean make up your mind to eat healthy, or to exercise more or to get more disciplined! You think that’s what it is and that’s why you write that fantasy memo every year. If that’s all there was to it, we would have all become slim and sexy by now. But that’s not all there is to it. In order to finally start delving deeper, you have to ask yourself, “Yeah, but why?”

Why do you want to lose weight (make more money, get healthier, exercise more, quit smoking/liquor/wild women and drugs)? Is that even what you really want? Really… Do you really want more money? How much? Is it the money you want or some specific items? Are there hundreds of things or maybe just two things. Right? Yeah, but why? Maybe you have become very clear on what you want and why. Very, very clear. So “why” don’t you manage to achieve it? As my good friend Mark recently taught, often there is something deeper going on that is shaping your behavior. There may be deep-seated habits and unmet needs that are sabotaging your efforts. Maybe you aint eating so much because you’re hungry, ya know? Substitute drinking, spending, etc.

Recently I did a little experiment. For about the past 15 or so years I have been trying to lose about 10-15 pounds. Not 30, 40 or 50 pounds mind you; 15 pounds. And, as you might expect, I was on a diet for about that same time period. Imagine a diet lasting 15 years with 10 or 15 pounds at stake. Imagine… I did Weight Watchers (paid the money), Fit for Life (bought the book), Low Carb, No Carb, and HCG (more money). And, I lost weight. On HCG I got down to 199 once. Yay, but about two days later I was back up 2 pounds. I weighed myself almost every day, for years! I starved, then binged. Saved points for wine (WW). Criticized myself every time I ate something fattening or sweet or a cookie or fast food or for even having breakfast. Again, imagine… After admitting to myself that I was living the definition of insanity, I decided enough was enough. Enter the experiment! I simply stopped. Stopped weighing, stopped obsessing, stopped denying myself anything potentially fattening. Stopped it! Did I lose a bunch of weight? No! But I learned that basically no matter what I ate, (eating normally, not going ham) my weight stayed at exactly 209-210 pounds. And even better, it finally dawned on me, “why” do I need to drop that 10 pounds? Do I really care that much? Or am I trying to fit into a cultural mindset that associates slim with disciplined/sexy/good/youth…ahhh youth-now we are getting somewhere! Would it be better for me if I weighed 10-15 pounds less? Of course. But the “why” of losing the weight, showed me “why” I haven’t been successful so far (unsuccessful in losing the weight, not in being happier!).

In order to really reach your goals, or even get your needs met, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Maybe you don’t even want those things you write every year. Maybe. Maybe you have some deeper needs you have been pushing to the side. Maybe it’s time to look yourself in the eye and figure out what you really want as opposed to what you are “supposed” to want. Maybe all you need is an uncommitted $10,000 in the bank as opposed to becoming rich! Again, maybe…

The things in life we are serious about getting, we get! The things we aren’t serious about, we don’t get. Instead of just writing that crazy list, swearing off everything you enjoy in life, take yourself a step deeper and ask yourself, why? It is your one life, right? What is very important to you? Get those things and not to sound cheesy, but those things aren’t always money!

The New Year is a great time to reset your course in life. But don’t reset things that are already working well. Strive for more; do more; be more; love more! Just be sure your more is “your” more!

Your life is what you make it. Why? Because it is your life!

Just some good thoughts…