“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie
All Aboard! Well passengers, enjoy the ride by reading on…KICK IT (The mood, the music…like a glass of wine with your meal)
We often think of quitting as failure. We commend people for carrying on when times get rough. The heroes in our action movies don’t just give up when things get difficult. When was the last time you saw Steven Seagal walk away from a fight?
As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Society expects us to fight back and battle on.
But sometimes, quitting is most definitely the right thing to do.
Sometimes, it’s the best option. A lot of people assume that it’s the easy thing to do—that only defeatists and good-for-nothin’ drop outs would even consider such a “cop-out.” This is not the case.
I learned this myself when I finally make that looming decision to end unhealthy relationships.” Even the words sound negative, as if I’ve fallen away from society, failing to meet my expectations. But I don’t see my decision as a negative thing at all, and oftentimes it wasn’t the easy thing to do.
I remember feeling imprisoned at times. The longer I stayed, the more trapped I felt.
I could have continued going against my instincts; it would have been easier to sail along, ignoring my unhappiness for a few more years instead of stepping out into the world alone. But I knew in my gut that the situation at the time wasn’t right for me, and that I needed something new. So I left, and no matter what friends, family, or acquaintances thought the decision, I know it was the right choice for me.
It doesn’t mean I was weak; it means I was brave enough to change what wasn’t right. Sometimes you feel in your gut that the path you thought you were meant to take is wrong for you. It takes a lot of courage to admit that, even to yourself, let alone to the rest of the world. Sometimes you have to leave that path and find a new one. Or, if there is no new path to be found, create a new one. This can apply to so many aspects of life—home, work, education, family, friends, relationships, and habits.
I’m not saying that if something doesn’t feel right or instantly work out that you should give up on it straight away. Carrying on is also brave and can be the right decision. But if you know that quitting something is the right thing to do, don’t be afraid to do so because of what others might think.
Make a change in your life if you know you need to…
We only have a limited amount of time and yet a limitless number of different paths to go down. Don’t waste your time on one that feels wrong, on something that is compromising your happiness. Find something new. We all quit something at some point, so don’t fear the stigma. Do what brings you happiness. Embrace the change.
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors.” ~Aldous Huxley.
All Aboard! And “MERRY MONDAY” Before we pull out of the station and head on down these tracks called Life, let’s pull the Whistle as a signal to say thanks to all our many veterans who gave service to our country….
As is customery here on the Train, I, your faithful ocndutor hand you a business card . it reads:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22, ESV)
Kick it (The mood, the Music)
Passengers, throughout life, there will always be something that will try to take our joy. If it’s not a grumpy sales person, it’s a family member aggravating you, traffic is backed up, your flight is delayed, or your spouse is taking too long. Don’t go the next 20 years allowing the same people and the same circumstances to frustrate you. Change your approach. What’s upsetting you now doesn’t have to upset you anymore. You can choose to keep your cool and stay calm and steady. Remember, a relaxed attitude is going to lengthen your life. The next time you’re tempted to be upset, ask yourself, “Is this really worth giving up my joy over?”
If you’ll make this decision not to give away your joy and live each day happy, God promises you’ll be strong; you’ll have more peaceful relationships, and you’ll accomplish more. He says a joyful heart is good medicine! Hold on to your joy and let it heal your heart so you can experience the blessings He has in store for you!
Prayer for This week:
Father, this week I will hold on to joy! I choose to live each day with peace and happiness. I choose to rely on Your strength and Your Word which guides my every step. I love You and thank You for directing me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hey LifeTrain passenger! All Aboard! You know how we do on the LifeTrain, we greet each other with “Merry Monday!”. We refuse to acknowledge any form of a manic Monday! So strut your stuff and pass this along:
God determines who walks into your life….it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.
Father, God bless all my friends here on the LifeTrain in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you. In Jesus Name…Amen.
All Aboard! Merry Monday! Welcome back aboard the LifeTrain. This week…let’s live in the present.
Right at this moment is your life. Kick it…
Right at this moment is your life you might wonder ‘when will my life get better’? or ‘when will I get over this’? ‘when will things improve’? If you are wondering those things, you are wasting your life. Because the only time that
you have power over, is right now, right at this second.
Only right now, right at this second, do you have power to change.
If you feel sad, try to distract your mind. Do something small right now, to make you feel better. Try to focus on right now. By staying with the present, you become in full control of your life. And therefore in better control, of making better life plans for the future.
There is no magical place, in the future when things will get better, it is now. As this is all that you have power over.
One of the biggest reasons for stress, anxiety, is being in a situation that you feel is out of your control. It can feel overwhelming. But the truth is, in most every day circumstances, you have the power right now, to be how you want to be, to feel how you want to.
Live in your moment…now.
It is up to you whether you choose to be happy or sad. You can change your mind in an instant. The power and the choice is yours.
If you are feeling low. Do something NOW which YOU enjoy. Don’t worry about the future. Or sit in reflection on the past. You cannot change the past. You can shape the future, but it has not happened yet. Why waste today? And the joy that you could experience today, by focusing on joy that might, or might not happen tomorrow?
Have something nice to eat, go for a walk, see something beautiful, be that, architecture, art, wildlife, see the beauty that is all around you. Have a candle lit bath, indulge yourself. If you are feeling low, now is the time, to put extra effort into recharging your energy.
By focusing on what might happen in the future, or sitting in reflection of the past, you are wasting your life. Because life, your life, is simply now. Right now, right as you are reading this, at this very second. This is you.
So passengers, the point for this week is, be with the present, take control of your life, focus on now, and you will learn that the secret of true happiness really does come from within.
Merry Monday Passengers…Time to “FILL UP!!!” so we can make it through the week. But first…the Mood Music:
This is a wonderful collection of thoughts that I would like to share. Join me as I fill up the train…and myself.!
Ever wake up and don’t want to get out of bed? Ever wonder lord why me? Ever fall asleep wondering how you made it through another day? Ever spend an evening alone thinking how you can be where you are today? Ever wonder why the chic down the street acts like trash but is married and you’re not? Ever think about how someone else’s child seems to be on the right path and yours acts like they have lost their mind?
Ever wonder why your finances are always messed up and you can never see light at the end of the tunnel? Ever wonder why Ms. Thang next door is so cute and fine and you have a hard time staying away from the table and keeping ten pounds off?
Ever think about why your husband seems to be the only one in your circle of friends that still hasn’t gotten himself together?
Ever wonder why the person you love doesn’t love you back?
The answer all of these questions could have me writing for days.
But, if any of these are you, the Holy Spirit sent me by today to give you some extra fuel. You wake up and keep going because God has a plan for you (Jer 29:11). You make it day by day because God ain’t through with you yet. You’re alone or single because God is doing some things in you. Don’t get it twisted!
It’s not that he “just hasn’t found you;” it’s also because if he did find you, you wouldn’t be ready! God is perfecting some things within you. Stop looking around thinking it’s the other person. Nope! It’s you! There may be something wrong with them, but before you hook up, God wants to get some things right with you!
So, stop looking around wondering why God seems to be passing out blessings, but for some reason He passed your door! God passed your door on purpose. Don’t talk about other people’s glory, because you don’t know their story!
Lord Help Me Somebody! You don’t know why the no good girl down the street is married. You don’t know how she got her man, and you don’t know what she’s going through to keep him! Remember, the bible says, the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous! My brother, my sister, that’s YOU!
We are so quick to look at what God is doing in others. We have to learn to pay more attention to what God is doing in self. I know it’s hard…because the truth is; you think you have it all together. You think you’re ok! With a few adjustments, and you’ll be ahead of your game! Think again…those few adjustments are just the areas that God needs to fix before He moves you forward. Do the Godly things “in spite of” that disobedient child, and/or dishonorable husband, and watch them watch you as God fixes the situation. You are the change agent! As they see the change in you, they’ll be inspired to move! Fuel is what you need. Yes, you need fuel to be what God has you to be. Well, did you stop by the fuel station? The church? That’s where your main source of fuel comes from. If not, be not dismayed, God is so awesome, that He sent fuel right to your front door in the form of an email. He’s awesome like that! He knew just what you’d need, when you need it! Now that you have it, what are you going to do with it?
Don’t be stingy; God is getting ready to work. Give this fuel in the form of action to yourself, then your children, husband, coworkers, whoever may need it! Pass it on! God gave it to you, so that you might give it to others. Go ahead, don’t be afraid…remember, if He did it for you, He’ll do it for us ALL!
This is your fuel for the week. Don’t keep it to yourself, send someone to the the LifeTrain!
Welcome back to another week on the Train, the LifeTrain. This week may I suggest the following for us…this week and beyond, “CARPE DIEM!”
As you board the train this week I hand you a white business card with simple blak lettering. It reads:
Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great!~Orison Swett Marden
One of the reasons I started to blog eight years ago was to hold myself accountable. As the days go by, I want to spread the word to continue to
raise my personal accountability level.
This concept has enabled me to take chances that I never could have imagined. This experience has benefited me greatly. I initiated contact with strangers who are now my closest friends.
I have done things that brought smiles to people having a boring, routine day. I have been able to introduce myself to others in a more confident way. I even got the opportunity to start a ministry: www.PRAYING4YOU.org.
If you need a little help putting yourself out there and becoming more assertive, you may find these reminders helpful:
1. Not trying guarantees you won’t get what you want.
Part of the reason why people hesitate to make an initial move in any situation is their fear of rejection.
If you’re in a big group of people and want to share your idea, you face the fear of rejection. If you want to share your feelings with someone you care about, you face the fear of rejection. If you want to ask for a promotion in a job, you face the fear of rejection.
MERRY MONDAY! Don’t forget this, this week….
However, if you do not act, you’ll never know if they would’ve accepted your offer. Not being assertive and letting the moment slip away gives you a 100% chance of not getting what you want.
2. People aren’t looking to hurt you.
Many of the negative outcomes we imagine are, in fact, imaginary. The majority of people are going to be polite once you say hi to them or initiate conversation. Many times people will do what they can to fulfill your request.
From what I’ve experienced, people feel terrible if they have to reject you—but sometimes it is a good thing when they do. You wouldn’t want a potential date to accept your invitation unless the person was interested, right?
3. We don’t need other people’s approval.
The girl you tried to talk to tells you to get lost. The group laughs at your idea. These are risks worth taking to seize possibilities.
4. Strangers around the situation aren’t paying attention.
Sometimes when we hold back, it’s because we feel self conscious with people watching. But think about it—do strangers really care about what you’re doing? Most of the time, they’re not even paying attention. If they are, so what? Does it really matter?
I started conversing with someone on the bus today and so many people turned their heads towards me that I thought I woke everyone up. I decided to tune them out because their thoughts didn’t affect the outcome of my conversation.
Even if they had some sort of judgment, they were entitled to that. It didn’t affect me.
5. The three-second rule can work wonders.
Ideally, it is good to talk to someone within three seconds of seeing them so that anxiety can’t form in your mind. Once more time elapses, it becomes more difficult. Save yourself the trouble and act as soon as the instinct arises.
6. Accept mistakes and don’t be too hard on yourself.
All Aboard! This week….The LifeTrain!
I’m pretty sure I have said things that were a bit awkward or with the wrong tone of voice. Making mistakes is a part of learning how to become assertive.
At some point, everyone has said something that felt like the wrong thing. No matter how badly you messed up, feel positive about yourself because you took a chance.
7. Realize your negative thoughts aren’t facts.
Nothing holds us back like negative self talk. Find your own personal way to overcome the negative idea.
It may help to mentally isolate the negative emotion and realize it’s separate from you. What works for me is to imagine a metaphorical mirror that reflects everything I suspect people are thinking about me. I then put a cover over the mirror to avoid that trap. Our actions and words stem from our mindset.
When I have a hard time being assertive, I remember that moment when I didn’t share my feelings and a girl I loved slipped away. Now I ask myself: Would I would rather risk rejection, or have to wonder, “What if?”
ALL ABOARD!!! Kick it (Your musical accompaniment)
Fellow passengers, as I said in part I (scroll down the train, the West Wing Part I), whether you are interested in politics or not, is one of the best shows of all time in my opinion. You may not care which party wins the election, but The West Wing is about more than that. It’s about how you navigate through the world, where there is politics involved in nearly everything. The writing is exceptional, and the cast is perfect. It appeals to both the mind and the heart.
I learned so much from the West Wing series…it fed my mind…and my heart.
To look at it from a higher level, it’s about how to have ideals, how to dream big, and then how work to make them happen in the real world which is inevitably full of constraints.
There were numerous lessons to be learned, but here I want to share with you the five main lessons that jumped out at me:
There is always enough time to live your purpose.
Bartlett and his staff manage to make decisions about a nation, attend parties, play chess, do press briefings, write speeches, read memos and God knows what. That’s fictional. But the same thing applies to Presidents and Prime Ministers all around the world. Leaders like Gandhi and Mandela who made a difference. CEOs of ground-breaking companies who get stuff done. Yes, they all have staff, but any manager with half-decent skills will tell you that motivating and managing people is a job in itself.
All of these people have the same time as you do. So how is that some of these guys manage to run a country in 24 hours, but some people don’t have time for that book they always wanted to write?
Everyone needs a support system
No one has all the skills. Your weakness is someone else’s specialty. Get the right people in the right roles, and let them get on with it. Don’t just create a team of people who agree with you. Create a team of people who believe in your purpose. Those are the guys you want on your side. They will challenge you, they will disagree with you, they might even yell at you….but the results will be better because of it.
Be Authentically Passionate
Authenticity gives credibility to passionate expression. When you speak about something that you wholeheartedly believe in, it shows up through fire in your eyes and enthusiasm in your voice.
Everyone has to compromise
Know when to accept defeat gracefully. The price of authenticity is that everyone has the same right, and as people are not the same, opinions differ. Your opinion will not always win. Your cause is not the only just cause.
Don’t be with people who block you
They don’t have to help you, but they shouldn’t hinder you. If you are driven to do something, then you shouldn’t have to give that up because someone wants you home at 5 pm. If that fire within you isn’t used towards your purpose, it will consume you.
Before I give the parting call of ALL ABOARD! Let me leave you with a clip that almost made me…you’d have to know the full story…
Hey Passengers I typically give you a business card as you board but, today I am giving you a Post card that reads:
This guy’s walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can ya help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are ya stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.
Taken from the West Wing, the topic of this week’s series on life and leadership. Kick it! (Today’s song for the post)
I didn’t intend to get sucked into West Wing but, I did. In fact, I was always one of those people who said, “how do these people have time to watch a TV series?” Then it happened…
The Bible, The West Wing and “Who Moved My Cheese”…must sees!
I was visiting close friends in Atlanta and they shared with me that they had started watching the award-winning West Wing TV drama that ran from 1999 – 2006. I came home and decided to watch ONE episode. Well, I ended up paying for and downloading all the series, yes, all the years, And I’ve binged watched them several times gleaning new information from them each and every time, each and every episode. You might say I’m hooked, actually … addicted.
But do you know what caught me totally by surprise? It turns out there are really powerful Biblical as well as leadership lessons in each episode. They are not just leadership lessons, but life and biblical as well. The way President Bartlett leads, the staff interactions, the battles they fight with their constituents, the way they treat each other and other people. Now maybe, this is a gross rationalization for continuing to watch the show. But, at least I am now investing this leisure time with a different eye.
Like all of us here riding the LifeTrain, I encounter many challenges. I have been exposed to the greatest of military and civilian leadership…and unfortunately the worst. But, in each case I have been able to either deal with or appreciate this leadership more having studied the lessons in this series. As a matter of fact if I were to own my own company again (and I ‘m serious) you would not manage in my organization without viewing this series and reading the book “Who Moved My cheese”.
So, I hope you will profit from just a few simple lessons I have been reminded of on leading well.
Leadership Lessons from the West Wing
Be decisive. Seek the facts, (pray), make decisions.
Move quicker. There is much to do.
Build your team with people you know and believe in.
Truly care about each individual on your team.
Have high expectations.
Treat your “enemies” with respect and dignity.
I have a ton of West Wing stuff to share…Hope you’ll come back for more…Till then
Well passengers today, as promised we are stopping the train at the Lawoffice station. Today we continue with our recurring offer of Legal tips (Legally Speaking with Attorney Ewing Carter III). I am going to spare you our on-going debate as to who is the superior athlete at the beginning of each of these interviews and get right to it. But first…
Here we are at the legal station, let’s pick EC III’s brain. And remember feel free to comment and or send in some questions. Hey, free is free! But, on the real, if you have friends and relatives in the North Carolina, Piedmont Triad, tell them the LifeTrain conductor HIGHLY recommends this guy! Like he says…”He takes it personal!” (www.ecarterlaw.com ). He’s not much of an athlete but, in a court of Law, you definitely want this guy between you and the Judge.
EC III: HELLO!!! I can hear you! I can whip you in anything from jacks to hop scotch to the hoop! Chuckie: Whatever dude! Listen, with all the hype about football injuries, concussions and such, before we get started today I have a question. If my godson, EC IV was back in high school or even at Hampton Univ., where he’s a student
now, and he told you that he wanted to play football, would you allow him to play? I asked this question here on the “Train,” and you know how crazy I was when we played in high school……yep!……. and how much you admired me…. (grinning)….oops, I’m getting off track…What are your thoughts on this issue before we begin this week’s topic on “Legally Speaking.”
EC III: I would let him play in high school, if that’s what he wanted. I began playing when I was nine (9) years old. Football helped finance my undergraduate degree and I was able to meet some very good friends, so the experience was good for me. But I think that starting to play tackle football in college for the first time, is ill-advised, and I would be against it.
Chuckie: Ok, cool. I was pondering over if there was a CPD III would I let him play. More on that in another day’s post. Now, here’s the deal for today. I pumped you in terms of your one ability that I can vouch for, the law and being a Lawyer. And I was thinking how I prepare to speak with my Doctor, accountant and even my minister. I prepare with notes and even images showing my doctor “where it hurts”. Now there is a question in here somewhere. How important is it for the passengers to understand the importance of coming totally clean to one’s attorney? EC III: Well Mr. Conductor, a good conversation piece. As an attorney I’m actually glad you brought this up; in a way I get to purge.
EC III: We have all heard a portion of this phrase recited by a Clerk of Court to a testifying witness about to take the stand: “Please place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand — Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? And this is your solemn promise or affirmation? Answer: “I do.” Chuckie: Right, ok…
EC III: Well for the sake of understanding let’s create a scenario: You have a looming legal problem that you’ve procrastinated about for some time. You’ve finally called a lawyer and scheduled and office consultation to discuss the matter and you’re feeling apprehensive, distrustful, and somewhat embarrassed by the problem. You were hoping that the problem would just go away or resolve itself over time — but it hasn’t. Now, you’re about to meet this lawyer who you’ve heard about, but don’t know. Your thoughts are — how much is this going to cost? Do I have to appear in court and testify? How long does this entire process take? What is the likely outcome? Do I have the right lawyer?
EC III: These are all normal thoughts and concerns, now let’s use them to your advantage during your first meeting with your prospective attorney.
Rule #1: Begin by telling your lawyer everything about your case from the beginning to the end. Well, you may wonder: Why do I have to tell this person everything? Some of this stuff is personal and none of his business, and should not have anything to do with my case. ….If those are your thoughts, you may be mistaken.
While you’re sitting across from the lawyer evaluating whether you want to hire them, they are deciding whether they want you as a client. I can say from my own personal experience, that an important element in
determining whether I choose to represent someone or not is: that person’s ability to be forthcoming and honest about their problem. As human beings, none of us are mind readers. If you don’t tell your lawyer, doctor, accountant, or any professional, everything about your case, regardless of how bad you think it is…. you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I’ve heard a lot of “stuff” in legal cases over the years. However, It’s somewhat amazing how a good legal remedy can be fashioned around a bad set of facts. For this to happen, the lawyer must be made aware of everything that has happened and should not have to guess what happened, or waste time persuading the client “to tell it all.” It is frustrating and embarrassing to be working with someone and to get “blind-sided” by a crucial fact that now hurts your case, because your legal counsel wasn’t put on notice and had time to prepare for it. So remember, your answer to the question: Do you solemnly swear to tell your lawyer the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, concerning the facts of your case? “I do.”
Tell Your Lawyer the truth! The whole truth! Nothing but the truth!
Chuckie: Well, once again, good stuff Mr. Law guy! The whistle is blowing so…All Aboard! EC III: Must you be so loud?
Oh passengers before we pull out, in case you were wondering, I am to this day the superior athlete! And since I control the content of the LifeTrain, there will be no rebuttal!!! LOL!
And that’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!