What are You Looking for in Life?


Have you ever asked yourself exactly what it is you are looking for in life? What are you after? What do you want? Where are you going? Deep questions indeed, but are they? Some people, it seems, aren’t looking for anything at all. Others are looking for something, but in all the wrong places. And some blessed individuals are looking for and seeing clearly what they want and how to go about getting it. Which one are you?

Life in its basic essence is all about movement. Nothing that God has made stays the same. It is always in a state of flux, always growing or dying, always thriving or decaying. Nothing remains the same and it is impossible to stand still physically or mentally unless of course, you are dead. And sadly, some people die long before they are dead. Oh I get it! I know what happens to you, if you’ve lived long enough. The system of things sort of gets to you. You can get terribly disillusioned and disheartened by how things have turned out. Lost hopes, dissolved dreams, little or nothing to look forward to, mar the portals of your mind. Pretty soon and unbeknownst to you, all the doors and windows have been shut, leaving you alone in some empty, dark place with seemingly little opportunity for change. So there you sit, exasperated and done with it all. You’ve checked out. You’ve cashed in your chips. You’ve played your hand and lost. But, have you really lost? Has life really stopped for you or have you stopped doing life? Are the doors and windows of your soul been barricaded shut forever or is it just an illusion? Has your fire been snubbed out or is there still a flicker waiting for you to fan it? The system, the wheel of things may be iron clad, but there is still, and always will be a greater force, waiting for you to ask the right question, make the sincere request, and seek solemn help outside of yourself to recover your missing life. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It matters what you believe and do…

Many people, busied, harried and distracted by things in life, are looking for their precious life in all the wrong places. They haven’t stopped moving, but instead are moving in the wrong direction. They are seeking things that aren’t true, were never true and will never be true. They have believed the Hollywood version of life; a life where you can have your cake and eat it too; a life where your personal decisions and actions carry no weight; a life where you can do what you want, when you want, however you want without any regard for anyone else involved. They have foolishly put themselves first, second, third and every place thereafter. They think the “good life” is found in money and fame and fortune, which they pursue to their own demise. Oh, I understand them as well. The deception they follow has been artfully crafted. It is paraded on the television, promoted in social media, wished for and worshipped. It is a life of ease and good times. It’s a life where you no longer have to work and produce, but instead can tell your soul to take its ease and simply enjoy. But, can you really enjoy it? Like the poor folks that have stopped moving forward, seduced and deceived, you too will stop moving forward. Once you stop producing, however small, you will find yourself miserable and unhappy. The joy of life is found in the pursuit. You do not ever arrive to remain forever. You get to your destination to discover your next destination. There is nothing wrong with the money or the fame or the fortune, unless they become your end point, unless they become about you and about you alone. All of us know how easy it is to get pushed or pulled off course and all of us have done it. The measure of your life is not found in how many mistakes you made or didn’t make, but rather in your willingness to get back on track; your willingness to find the right path; your willingness to admit you have gone astray. You too can find it if you really want to find it…

Finally, we have all encountered that one guy or that one girl. They know exactly what they want and are busy about making it happen. We admire them, we feel jealousy towards them, we laud them and we revere them. We think they must have something special or enjoy favor we don’t enjoy. We don’t see that they are people just like we are people. We don’t see their doubts and fears, we just see their results. We don’t see their dogged persistence, but instead call them lucky. We don’t regard their efforts, but instead conclude they must have had advantages we didn’t receive. Their success comes because they move forward. They have setbacks, they have disappointments, they fail, but they keep moving forward. They have learned by trial and error, by steadfast endeavor, by strong beliefs, that the way to achieve; the way to acquire your dreams; the way to reach every goal is simply to never allow yourself to stop moving towards it. Oh they might pause, may be pushed off track, may feel disheartened, but they get back up and get themselves moving again! They don’t have access to the secret or to some inside track, it is more simple than that. Any worthwhile thing in your life will require effort and sacrifice on your part to bring it to pass. Life requires effort, not thought alone, effort! You make no moves, you get no results. How many people are waiting for something to happen without doing anything to make things happen? How many people wish and dream and fantasize, but never get around to any concrete action? Life is about movement and effort, however small. Believing without any action is dead. If you want anything, anything at all, you have to act on it. You supply the effort. You don’t get to see the second step until you take the first step. You don’t start at the top, you start at the bottom. But, you have to start! God is so good that even if you make all the wrong moves trying to reach a goal, your movement will be rewarded with learning, leading to the right moves. But, make no mistake, you have got to move! It’s there for you, it’s there for me, but we have to make the moves.

What are you looking for in your life? What are you after? What do you want? Where are you going? The answers to these questions may not always be clear, but one thing is clear! If you want anything in your life, you have to supply the effort to get it. You have to move. You have to act. You…you…you! If you have been broken down and defeated, God can heal you, but you have to move. If you find yourself woefully off-track, God can get you on track if you are willing to move. Keep moving, keep acting, keep taking steps, even baby steps because life, your life, will always be found in movement. If you are still alive, you always have a chance to win. Just move forward…

Just some good thoughts…

New Year Wishes…


Welcome to that time of the year when all around you are making New Year’s resolutions, presumably designed to improve or fix the things that are wrong with themselves. Maybe you are doing the same. But, as you already know, change is difficult and most heartfelt resolutions have already broken down within 30 days of making the solemn vow and of the remaining 25% still holding fast to their promises, only 8% actually succeed. Pretty pitiful, wouldn’t you agree? How can you succeed with such poor odds? Are you really broken and in need of repair? Are the plans you’ve made really resolutions or are they just wishes; New Year’s wishes?

Most of us, because of the world we live in, are beseiged with thoughts concerning what is wrong with us. We’re consumed with images of tremendously fit, sexy human beings and the thousandfold ways they got there, all available to us for just $19.99. We are all abundantly clear regarding our excesses and observe with painful recognition things we need to better control. We watch reality shows of people who are very wealthy, working very little yet enjoying lavish vacations and spur of the moment trips across the globe. And all of these things, multiplied out indefinitely, serve to sort of beat us into submission concerning our own lives, leaving us frustrated and anxious to secure all of the things we lack, whether it be a flat belly and skinny jeans or disciplined control of ourselves and our decisions or untold financial resources promising us freedom from all that ails us. In short, somebody has gotten our number and discovered a method to keep us forever bound.

The first part of actually making a change is to determine your true starting point or maybe better, to be honest about the things you truly want in your life as opposed to the things you don’t want. Do you really want to look like that sultry, slim celebrity or do you just want to stop wearing jeans that cut off your circulation? Are you swearing off wine forever or do you just need to find a way to consume less than a bottle a night or three a night every Friday and Saturday? Do you truly need millions of dollars and yachts and cars and houses or do you just need enough to be able to say yes much more often than you say no? (I have often thought if most people had $50,000 in their checking account for discretionary purposes, they would actually feel rich). I digress… The most important benefit of being honest is to determine what is driving your decisions. What is it that you are really after? You think that millions of dollars will totally fix your life, but it wouldn’t. Instead it would fix the things that involve money, but do nothing for your poor health, your crappy relationships, your lack of purpose and fulfillment. Being super slim and fit would greatly help your health and longevity, but would not guarantee your happiness. Even controlling yourself, one of the greatest things you could learn to master, would not last long without a compelling “why…” Begin your plans with what is most important to you personally for all of your own reasons, not those forced upon you by the world!

In order to change something you have to do something. Quitting smoking is easy as long as it’s not today. Writing a book maybe exciting and rewarding, but you have to take the time to actually write it. Losing weight has tremendous benefits both in terms of your health and how you feel about yourself, but you have to be prepared to do the actual work for a considerable amount of time until you reach your goal. The reason most people’s New Year’s resolutions don’t work is because they are really wishes. Wishes, like daydreaming, are pleasant and make us feel good. They offer us a promise of a better tomorrow, but they are always tomorrow. They are thoughts without actions. They are plans without effort. They are guaranteed to result in failure because they are not accompanied by any work. Anything worth having has some element of work involved with it. However, we defeat ourselves by envisioning all of the work on the front end and get discouraged before we even begin. We want a quick fix; a winning lottery ticket, a medication that makes us control ourselves and our minds, a dieting technique that if followed guarantees our success with very little determination of our own. We just do not want to do the work! We fail to consider that the only time we must supply the necessary effort towards our goals is today! Gather and focus all of your energy upon today. There is sufficient time to do all that you “need” to do today.

One of the most common tripping points for human beings is to think anything can move without action. You pray and pray and pray for more money, but do nothing to find out how to get it, then get it. You wish and wish and wish to be slim and healthy, but cave-in every time someone brings in something that tastes good, promising to start again tomorrow. You hope and hope and hope for a better future; a better year, yet fail to do something about it today to change something that made this year suck! You see, your life is under your control, even amidst many twists and turns. You can get anywhere you want to get if you are willing to put forth some effort. Wishing for a better life; a better experience, while being unwilling to do anything or change anything is the definition of futility. Change is not found in grand life-changing experiences, new calendar years, in sudden stunning moments of clarity and inspiration. Change is not secured by sticking to your plans perfectly with tremendous, newfound energy and discipline. Change is at last discovered in daily faithfulness; by you sticking to whatever you have determined for yourself day in and day out. Sure you are going to eat a whole pizza, polish off an entire box of wine, go down the exact same stupid paths you swore you would never tread down again! Absolutely you are going to trip and stumble and sometimes fall. But, you get your ass back up and get back after your plan! Anything you do faithfully, though you screw it up a hundred times, is going to result in change for you. It has to because you have supplied the effort and continue to supply it.

I, like you, have some definite plans for this New Year, not so artfully disguised in some earlier paragraphs. But, this year, by God, I’m going to supply some effort and stop kidding myself with empty wishes. Whether I do it perfectly or not; whether I have some low energy days or not; whether I lose track for a few days or not; whether I completely fall off the wagon or not, I plan to get there and I plan to do it by being faithful. The beautiful in life, the accomplishment, the fulfillment comes not from having it all figured out, but by staying faithful to the One that does. Day by day, do what you need to do! Discover for yourself the joy that follows control; control of your own life and actions and results.

So, my dear friends, whether you be fluffy or thin, prosperous or struggling, bored or enthusiastic, make a plan you can take action on every day. If you blow it start again. If you did nothing yesterday, do something today. If the journey feels too long or impossible, move ahead knowing this, God will reward your efforts with results as you remain faithful to what you know is His best for your life! Where do you think those good ideas come from anyway? You got this!

Just some good thoughts for 2020…

You Already Know…


YAKWTD-lead-portraitlookingtooceanWe are all living our lives here on this planet sharing a similar quest for happiness and fulfillment. As a first world nation, we have both the resources and time to carefully consider our plight in an attempt to craft our existence into something we want. We can study books, watch specials, listen to podcasts, you name it. The information is literally all around us. But, what if we already know what to do?

I believe in many cases, if you’re honest with yourself, you already know what to do about the problems that are plaguing you. You know why things are the way they are and you know the actions you need to take to resolve them. Yet, you don’t take the action! It’s like there is this sacred lynchpin sitting between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Human beings with all of their capacity for thinking are loathe to move those thoughts into heartfelt action. The question then becomes, “why?”

Have you noticed how good you feel when you finally take some required action that you knew you should have taken long ago? Or, when you finally decide to take back control some aspect of your life that you weren’t controlling? How fantastic it was when you cleaned out that back room, or put mulch in those flowerbeds, or finally got yourself extricated from that one-sided relationship! It’s as if our feelings are looking to reward us for not only making the right move, but to encourage us to keep making right moves.

Inaction, like inactivity is unnatural for us. Letting things go or pile up and multiply serves only to weigh us down, like the pounds we’ve allowed to load up on our bodies when we saw them coming on long ago. Each day carries with it an expectation. The expectation is that your requirements for the day be completed. Honestly living each day handling your own responsibilities will produce happiness for you. You already know what you need to do in the day, so just do those things.

Often we have developed a good grip on our lives in most areas except for that one area or those few annoying aspects. You may not realize it, but those seemingly insignificant parts of your life may be sucking away or leaking out your precious life force. More and more, happiness seems to follow control; knowing what you can control and controlling those things. Freely experiencing and enjoying life is necessary, but equally required is the need to reign in and limit on occasion. In the converse, sometimes people need to let the reigns out or break a rule or two. In the end, life is about balance. What part of your life may be out of balance? Or said another way, what aspect of your existence seems most connected to the difficulties and hardships you experience? Where there is smoke, there is fire. If every time you partake of A, you have to suffer with B, maybe it’s time to get rid of A. Maybe you’ve known for a long time that you need to stop fooling with A! Remove the lynch pin and say goodbye to A! Or just decide to control A better. You already know! Do what you already know to do!

Distraction is the opposite of focus. When you are distracted, you know what to do, but you never quite make the move you know you need to make. Distraction comes from being lured out of the present moment into other inviting moments. Maybe you’re living for the weekend, but it’s shame to waste those other four and a half days leading up to it. Imagine what great moves you could have made towards your goals while still ending up with ample time to pursue your Sunday Fun Day! Focus does its best to remain in the moment called ‘now.’ Focus knows exactly what needs to be done next. Focus brings your feelings up and asks you why you are feeling the way you are feeling with suggestions on something you could do next. Why trouble yourself with the expectations of yesterday and tomorrow, when the day at hand has enough to be done, today?

Don’t confuse handling the expectations of a day with the incessant nagging of anxiety or whatever else it is that drives us around against our will. There are many things that don’t need to be done today. The same applies to work expectations. Everything isn’t an emergency and everything isn’t right now! What we’re after are the good feelings that accompany handling our stuff. In contrast, some folks find themselves driven from thing to thing. Some cannot sit down without some sound, some activity, some requirement to do and do and do. Actually refusing to do in the midst of some boredom feeling or otherwise unpleasant mood, leads us to the real driver; generally fear acting upon us in non-specific or vague ways. Maybe all of the added attractions to our environments are really an attempt at not dealing with certain thoughts or unreasonable feelings.

It seems we have the capacity to untangle our lives immeasurably by making the simple decision to accomplish what the day demands! Don’t spend too much time in endless analysis and introspection. When you take action on the things that need to be done, including your mental state, the things you need to do next seem to come right into focus. When it comes to knowing what to do, it isn’t about finding new solutions as it is about acting on what you already know! Take the action you’ve been putting off for the past five years and just see how you feel. It works because you already know what to do!

Just some good thoughts…