Ummm, How’s Your Energy Lately?

When you boil it all down (pun intended), life is all about energy. Life functions or does not function based on energy. Everything gives off something. Some things in life serve to increase your energy, while other things tend to deplete that energy. You can feel energized and excited about life or you can feel tired, bored and distinctly lacking in energy! So the question is, how’s your energy lately?

It is often said that children have endless energy. They flick about from place to place, happy as a lark, purely in the moment. They don’t waste their energy in pointless worry, but rather focus their energy on the things that give them joy. They seldom feel badly about themselves and if they do, they seek to resolve it immediately. They don’t give a second thought to whether or not their needs will be met as they wholeheartedly trust their parents. And if they do find themselves with unmet needs, they continue to expect those needs to be met regardless. In short, they are wonderful, little positivity machines spreading good feelings to weary adults. Many a tired parent has been uplifted by their children.

By the time we get a little older we forget the lessons of our childhood. Instead of focusing on the good in life, we get all caught up in everything that isn’t right. We churn and burn in our thoughts, painfully considering all that could go wrong. We dismiss childrens’ delightful attitudes as naivety and assume instead ‘grown-folks’ thinking. We worry our needs won’t be met and we worry when things are going well. We cleave to all perceived wrongs done to us and remain vigilant for any new ones. We live in the past and in the future, rarely stopping in the present to have a look around. We not only feel bad about ourselves for wrongs done, we refuse to give those things a time limit. Some people are giving all their energy away to some relatively brief, bad event that happened over thirty years ago. And we wonder why we feel so tired. We wonder why we drag about like corpses with barely enough energy to fight for our own existence.

People aren’t worn out today because of how much they have to do. They’re worn out because of what they have been doing with their minds. They are giving away their finite energy to things they cannot affect. They are focused on the wrong stuff. They are distracted, confused and bewildered. People are so accustomed to worrying that they think not worrying is irresponsible. They distress over possible, though not likely, unreasonable, terrible outcomes. And they do it habitually, perpetually, day after day and night after night. And in so doing, they squander away their precious energy. All they have to show for it is a life not truly lived. Instead of courageously reaching forward, trying new things, endeavoring and taking risks, they settle into a worn-out mediocrity, full of fear and uneasiness.

Since all people have an energy they produce, you can be greatly affected by the people you are around. Some people add life to your soul and although you cannot put it into words, you know you are the better because of them. Others serve simply to drain away your life force. They bring distress and unrest and aren’t fulfilled until you are brought down to their level. Add to that an environment steeped in negatives, fears and predictions of doom, you are left defeated and without hope for the future. You become a victim trapped in a world that offers you nothing good, lasting or worthy of your pursuit. In that mental turmoil you find yourself unhappy and depressed, your depression being a lowering of your vitality and energy. Again it is no wonder the whole place lives on antidepressants or wine or anything that promises an escape, if only temporary.

God is the source of all energy. He is the force behind all life. His love, His goodness, His light is the energy you need to live a life that is abundant, yes more than abundant! It is always there available for you if you want it. It has no downside, no bad exchange, no cause for distress. He offers you life and energy and enthusiasm, not in exchange for something but in spite of everything. In order to access His life, you have to do something different. You have to take charge of that mind of yours and bring it under control. He will never overstep your freedom of will, no matter what the preacher may have told you! You have to do it yourself (with His help of course). You have to stop giving your energy to negatives. You have to put an end to the futile worrying. You must learn to stop considering and discussing and reasoning with your fears. Fear brings life to a standstill. You already know that no-one gets out of fear by continuing to embrace the fear. Instead fear is resolved by depriving it of your precious energy! It fades away only when you deny it your power, your energy, your life. In order for fear, which is always a lie, to live it needs life from someone as it has no life in itself. All it has is illusion, tempting away unknowing humans into its lair.

Once you learn to obey God in your thinking, or at least start trying to do it, you will find new energy to pursue your endeavors. You will find enthusiasm (en-theos) and energy and love. You will find that life takes on meaning again. The blurry will become clear and you will have the clarity you need to make moves successfully. Oh you may get sucked in again from time to time, but know this – deciding what you will and will not think about and refusing the darkness will lead ever to the life you really want! Is your energy at an all time low, my friends? Start controlling your thoughts and see if God will not energize you afresh!

Just some good thoughts…

Complacency is Not Your Friend…

ComplacentMy wife and I were privileged to spend the weekend with our good friends Bob and La Detra White at their beautiful home in North Decatur, Georgia. We were there to celebrate Bob’s 50th birthday milestone and what a celebration it was! We socialized at the hotel; enjoyed a catered Georgia brunch; were entertained by a fantastic singer with accompaniment in their home; traveled in the deluxe party coach to do some wine tasting and enjoyed a delicious dinner gathering in a private room. And that doesn’t even include the special times we enjoyed with their family and friends who were successful in their own rights.  I remember walking around their incredible home with Bob as he explained the various wood choices they made and the details they chose for the ceilings and walls. Then there was time we spent with La Detra as she explained her consulting business and how she learned to compete and demand the best for herself and her family. And in the midst of all this, I couldn’t help but think to myself, wow – these folks got it going on!

Successful people seem to have one common trait amidst a hundred competing ideals. They refuse to settle for what life begrudgingly offers and choose rather to seek out the best. It’s as if they have learned to discern the dividing lines and limitations people put upon themselves and consciously seek after things beyond those illusionary boundaries. They told La Detra she could never go Harvard and now that same Harvard grad is living the life; a life she chose and not one that was chosen for her! Did it take hard work? Absolutely! Were there hard times? Of course, as anything worth having has a payment required to achieve it. But one thing her success didn’t include was complacency…

You might not have seen it clearly enough yet, but complacency is not your friend. Complacency is marked by words like, “good enough” which in themselves aren’t bad but will never get you to your full potential. I mean have you ever wondered what you might accomplish if you pushed past those imaginary lines and went beyond those self-defined limitations you have put on yourself? What could you really do in this life? Curtis Bunn, published author, and my riding buddy on the party bus told me that it took him seven years to write his first book. Yet he rose above whatever held him back and wrote that first book! Now with a number of books on the market and a publishing contract for more books in hand, he enjoys his own success by refusing complacency and pressing toward things that matter; for his own life that he has chosen for himself.

We all start out in life with a hidden treasure of skills, aptitudes and abilities in our hearts; waiting, asking, begging for expression. And when we were young we heard those urgings distinctly and sought to pursue them. Then, something got in the way of those ideals and we started to hear those promptings less and less. We found out that we could get to “pretty good” quite easily and settled… I mean, after all, we are doing pretty well compared to some people, right? We have our basic needs met, don’t we? Why should we supply more effort if 60-70% got us this far? Why??? Because if 70% got you this far, imagine where you could go if you bumped that effort up to 90%. Imagine what you might bring to the world if you decided to go all in instead of saving something for later? Imagine what you might be able to do if you stopped being afraid to try?

Complacency is, therefore, the great killer of hopes, dreams, ideals. It moves in with stealth like a burglar and takes away your confidence; your passion; your enthusiasm, and does so without you even being aware of it. It convinces you day by day that how you are living is okay. It gets you to rationalize away your God-given talents. I mean who are you to seek so much? What have you done to deserve that life you’ve always imagined? And what does “little-ol” you have to offer? I’m guessing far more than you have even contemplated to this point!

Most folks are waiting for some inspiration. But here’s the funny thing about inspiration; inspiration is waiting on you! Inspiration isn’t something that comes to you by fate when the stars align or when good luck finally turns in your direction. Inspiration arrives when you are ready to receive it; when you have finally decided to do what you know you are capable of doing. And in that moment; that blessed moment, it floods in like a torrent and suddenly the day has no end.

This life is far too short to waste away your days on the couch wondering what you could have been. Why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and see what you can do? Your age isn’t a factor, nor can it be when you have unrealized dreams in your heart. Instead you owe it to yourself and our Great God that gave you those talents to reach beyond yourself and accomplish. Go all in, heart, soul, mind and strength! You can do it; you must do it!

Complacency is not your friend, but success is and she is waiting for you on the other side…

Go get it my friends, it’s waiting for you!