October 31, 2007
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. Hebrews 11
A message on faith is being delivered by the Deacon, Deacon Dan! Come on by the Church and let’s discuss an “INCREASE OUR FAITH”.
The Church is located on “MAIN” Street (see right “The Church”).
See ya there!
October 30, 2007
We all face problems daily. As a matter of fact, I’ve learned as I am sure you have that life is a series of problems with an occasional crisis here and there. One of the most important skills I am trying to develop is the art of systematic problem solving. Systematic problem solving simply means having a methodology for handling lifeâ€™s problems. By solving problems in an orderly way, I am finding that I’m slowly increasing the quality of results in my life and the power of my thinking.
Now, before I go any further, I admit that I am not overly wise or intelligent. I just feel, think and read (deeply). When my research and life experiences turn up what I find to be somewhat good and true I try to share. It is my hope that you will do the same here on the Train..The LiFeTrain.
Here is a methodology for solving problems that I am finding to be of some help. I hope you can gleen something positive:
First, I am trying approach problems with the expectant attitude. An attitude that there is logical and practical solution. My attitude is “ok”…this is a solution just waiting to be found. I mean this, having this attitude enables me to be confident in my approach. As much as possible I try to be relaxed, calm, confident and clear in my mind. I heard a Presidential candidate, Rudi Giuliani say, â€œMy father, when I was very young, used to say to me, â€˜If you are ever in an emergency, if you are ever in a fire and everybody gets very excited, very emotional, then you become the calmest person in the room. Make yourself calmer than you feel, force yourself to pretend youâ€™re calm and youâ€™ll be able to figure out how to get out of there if you remain calmâ€™. So I keep reminding myself of that. I am in charge, I want to be the person folks can look to and if I lost it they all would too (LOL). I would have to say to myself, â€˜Youâ€™ve got to remain calm, youâ€™ve got to stay focused.â€™â€
This is not always easy, just the other day I kinda lost it internally, I felt my self slipping (externally) in a tense situation, …I had to catch myself, breath deeply and refer back to the above. I had to count the cost of not maintaining control of myself both from an internal and external aspect.
I also had to remind myself that I am not Spock …A Vulcan…but I wish I could be…(Laugh with me!).
Second, I’m trying to always change my language from negative to positive. Instead of the word â€œproblem,â€ I use the word â€œsituationâ€ and instead of â€œcrisisâ€ use the word â€opportunityâ€. It has been said that the Chinese word for crisis is the same as the word for opportunity. Problem is a negative word while situation is a neutral word, just as crisis is a negative word while opportunity is a positive word. Saying, â€œWe have an interesting situationâ€, is better than saying â€We have a problem.â€ Choose to say, â€œWhat an opportunity!â€ instead of saying â€œWe have a crisisâ€. Words are powerful. What we focus on, through our words, expands and becomes the story of our lives.
Third, I really and truly am trying to define my life situations clearly. I find that I must have a clear understanding of what my target is for me to be able to hit it. The best way to define your situation (or opportunity) is in writing. I have a very intelligent, no brilliant friend that is about to start a business. I hope she is reading this because, you simply must write the vision. I sit on my stoop, I ask myself…“Chuckie”…, “….Huh”….â€œExactly what is the situation my boy?â€
Being able to clearly define the situation puts you in the best position to be able to chart your direction and approach. After clearly defining the situation, ask, â€œWhat else is the situation?â€ This is because there are many angles to a situation. Sometimes stating the problem in different words makes it much easier to solve. Every crisis has many angles. Define your crisis in many angles.
Fourth is to ask â€œWhat are all the possible causes of this situation?â€ or â€œWhat are all the reasons of this opportunity?â€ Every situation has itâ€™s causes and every opportunity has itâ€™s reasons. Failure to identify the causes or reasons for the situation often causes you to have to solve it again and again. Asking good questions is the key to experiencing all you can be. Identifying causes enables you to understand what not to do next time. Knowing the reasons that brought you to a certain situation positions you with the knowledge to avoid attracting those reasons again. It is much easier to deal with situations and opportunities by discovering the correct causes or reasons for their existence.
Fifth is to ask, â€œWhat are all the possible solutions?â€ Iâ€™ve heard it said that writing out at least twenty solutions to a problem guarantees you that one of them will be the key answer to your problem. Write out as many solutions or answers to the situation as possible before moving on. Allow for possibilities to emerge and shape your thinking. The art of problem solving lies in being creative in the generation of ideas that can solve your problems. The quantity of possible solutions usually determines the quality of the solution chosen.
Sixth is to make a clear decision. Many times people fail to resolve problems quickly because of indecision. Indecision is the root cause of the state of â€˜being stuckâ€™, which is what I oftentimes found myself…STUCK, like a deer caught in the headlghts. An old African proverb says, â€œIndecision is like a stepchild: if he does not wash his hands, he is called dirty, if he does, he is wasting waterâ€. Making clear decisions is a sign of maturity and leadership. Any decision is always better than none.
Seven I try assign clear responsibility for carrying out the decision and then set a deadline for completion and review. Procrastination is the one thing I have to guard against, especially if it’s something…well…not fun or takes me out of my comfort zone. Harvey Mackay once said that a dream is a goal given substance, direction and timing. In the same manner, a clear decision is a solution given substance, direction and timing. You have to clearly assign responsibility and delegate to people who will effectively carry out the decision.
Finally, am I long winded today or what? The eighth is to follow-up and monitor the decision. This process includes comparing the actual results with expected results and then generating new solutions and new courses of action. The end-result of this methodology is to reduce the chances of the problem ever cropping up again. As Rene Descartes once said, â€œEach problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problemsâ€.
I wish you great success as you ponder this on the Train today… â€˜Systematic Problem Solvingâ€™. Let’s encourage each other to NOT let lifeâ€™s difficult moments stop us from being all we can be and experiencing all we can have.
Conclusions: I’ll be glad when I find my wife so I can make love to her at 3:AM instead of this blog (LAUGHTER). …Jokes yall…I enjoy the daily ride with all my fellow passengers…thanks for riding!
Peace and love…Shalom…Lil Chuckie
All Aboard…The LiFeTrain!
October 29, 2007
Passenger’s please check the prayer closet.Â My very close (childhood) friend, Ms. Tonya Colvin’s family is in great need of prayer.Â Â The Prayer closet is located on the right under MAIN or CLICK.
Optimism! That’s the word on the card I hand out to each of you has you board the LiFeTrain today to start a new week.
My favorite quote (which I believe to be but one of the greatest statements ever uttered) is from Nelson Mandela. Mandela is an icon – a rare species of a man, who was jailed for more than twenty years yet stayed focused and came out to break apartheidâ€™s back, becoming his countryâ€™s first black president. In his book, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela has a quote that I have shared so many times with different people. He says,
â€œI am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature of nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping oneâ€™s head pointed toward the sun, oneâ€™s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and deathâ€œ. (p. 377)
What it means to me:
Leaders face many unique situations. There are times when their vision is clouded by present circumstances and it is so easy to give up and throw in the towel. There are times when even driving the process of change becomes a weary task and their motives and judgments are brought into question. All leaders experience those times when they are surrounded by situations that donâ€™t seem to align with their purposes and plans. It is in those situations that true leaders thrive. True leadership demands an optimistic attitude. If you are going to achieve that which you set out for, you must stay focused and continue to believe in the vision. That is the key to success as a leader.
It is my prayer that as you leave the Train today you will be pumped up and full of O-P-T-I-M-I-S-M
So, as we say each and every Monday…”MERRY MONDAY”…
All Aboard…The LiFeTrain!
Oops…One Mo Thang…Let’s try to find some beauty this week, some Beauty in everything.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. â€“ Emerson
October 28, 2007
Hey Friends please come to the Church and Help us praise the Lord!Â The Church is located on “MAIN” street (see right under main).
October 26, 2007
In her own words…After being crowned “The LiFeTrain Scoundrel!”
Doggone right Iâ€™m a scoundrel. Not a dirty rotten one, just a recovering one. I am a big old life train scoundrel and on my life train ride youâ€™ll find me with a box of Godivas in one hand and a bottle of red Duplin in the other saying â€œWhoaaaaaâ€¦what a ride this isâ€¦ â€œ. Hair is all over the place from blowing in the wind, some buttons are missing and I could use a pedicure, but nobody can say I didnâ€™t learn anything and didnâ€™t have fun.
Now the life of a scoundrel is not complex. The perfect folks donâ€™t have a good handle on it. I enjoy scoundrel life and see it in two facets: unintentional and intentional scoundrelhood. As an unintentional scoundrel you make some big mistakes in life with good intentions, thinking that youâ€™re doing the right thing. You get a job thinking you were making a good career decision and you bust your butt, only to find that they were working using you for your good efforts. You learn that these people are selfish, greedy, and donâ€™t care whether youâ€™re alive or dead. You learn that life is too short to make your job a major priority, so you do enough to get a good evaluation, pay the bills, and go take a cruise.
Another way to be an unintentional scoundrel is by getting into a hot and heavy romance with the love of your life, only to find out that this is the biggest loser on planet earth. Yeah you had the best of intentions, thought you were doing the right thing, made a commitment, and found a few years of your life were wasted with this person, but itâ€™s all ok in the end because youâ€™re better off without them. Unintentional scoundrels also buy purchase lemons as cars, trust people to pay them money back, and listen to the wrong mortgage lenders from time to time. Scoundrels blow this stuff off and say â€œEhhh.. what the heck. Iâ€™ll do it differently next time..â€
Intentional scoundrels just go out there and do things that they know they shouldnâ€™t be doing. They get funnel cakes at the fair, stay up past their bedtimes, call in sick for work and play hookie, and splurge on a mini-vacation that they know they canâ€™t afford. Are there consequences for being an intentional scoundrel? Of course, but scoundrels learn their lessons and move on. Thereâ€™s no shame, guilt, blame, or regret in being a scoundrel.. only lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained.
Now mind you.. I am not condoning being a scoundrel or advocating scoundrelhood. There are laws and rules that we have to follow and the word to obey. The reality though that not ONE of us can realistically do everything perfectly, be perfect in every situation, and live a perfect life. The scoundrel life is one that makes it ok to laugh at imperfection, dance around the house in your draws, learn a lesson, grow, improve, live better, love better, and last but not least, do the chuckie.
â€¦off to find some late night intentional scoundrel activities.. 😉
October 25, 2007
Hey passengers, have you ever asked yourself…Who am I? When I received a severance notice a few years back I had the weirdest revelation. I did not know who I was. I believed what the bible says, and the two shall become one; so I immersed myself in that effort thinking that nothing would bring asunder…
After the typical pity party, I decided to set a course to find out who I really am. The man I was had been lost for years trying to make something work that just was not meant to be I guess. Anyway, I found out a few things in my quest to find Little Chuckie again…First, it’s not easy to be yourself. Suddenly thrust into a world all alone I thought, how could I be myself if I didn’t even know myself? Can anyone relate? I suddenly realized that I was not truly connected to who I was. Well, if this has struck a nerve with you as well, read on as I hope I came into some knowledge that may help you or at least spark a few comments on the Train today.
First, I had to forget about what everyone else thought I should do with my new found freedom. I found that the biggest obstacle to finding myself was feeling like I had to mold myself to other people’s expectations. I knew that I didn’t want to further disappoint the people closest to me having failed at one of life’s most trying thing, I remembered that if they really cared about me, they’d want me to be happy–and who finds happiness as a puppet? I knew that as long as I continued to exist to fulfill other people’s ideas of who I should be, I’d never know who I wanted to be. I think Raymond Hull put it very well “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”
I found “Solitude!”. I realized that loneliness and solitude are two unrelated things. As I came into the awareness of myself again, I found that I was/am totally cool with me, being me, and understanding that the two aforementioned things are in-fact different. The more I understood solitude, in-part by an AWESOME sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley on solitude, I started to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. I learned to take some time each day to go for a long walk and think….and LOL lose weight, now how cool is THAT!…a double positive! As corney as this may sound I learned to plant myself on a park bench and look. Dang, am I getting old? Am I now one of those old guys with the newspaper, an old sweater and hat, a tuna fish sammich, smelling like Ben Gay sitting in the park? Well, anyway as I said earlier in the week, “WHO CARES!”. Most importantly, I learned that it is NOT un-manly to put my thoughts on paper..I mean screen…and share “Lil Chuckie” with the world! Boy, am I glad I did, what a wonderful group of friends have resulted from this effort; You, my fellow passengers here on the LiFeTrain!
I realized that whatever I was going to do, I needed to move away from anything that distracted me from contemplating my life and where it was now required to go, all alone in a world so cold… Thank God for Jesus and comforter…The Holy Spirit…I now know that even though it was hard…I was never, nor am I ever….alone. I now have to laugh, Because reflecting back…I had to buy some sun glasses and lie about allergies and red eyes for awhile.
Afterwards, I had to act upon my new-found self-knowledge. I picked up those watercolors. Wrote some short stories (as heard and seen on this blog). And…I FOUND MY SMILE AGAIN! I even started cracking jokes again. I learned to open up. I started to tell the truth. “Dear world” I am NOT perfect”. Simply put, I decided what I wanted to be, a writer…And I started doing it! I am so excited because my book project (“The Profile”) is coming together with the help of my manager, Ms. Michelle, an angel on earth and the proud owner of Life Radio Network (CLICK), we are doing the dang thang!
Oh… and why find Little Chuckie. Well this cat had a good and soft heart. He was fun loving, innocent, a bit of a jokester. This dude had no shame; no problems running down the street with a towel tied around his neck, “S” on his chest and saving damsels in distress. Suddenly though, he looked up, he was old, fat, broke and all alone. Suddenly he had a hard heart; and worst of all…lost his smile.
Finally, I have concluded that I had to be ready for dead ends. Finding Little Chuckie is now my journey, not my destination. A lot has been, and will be trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, I’ve learned that you WILL hit a bump in the road, and sometimes fall flat on your face. The key for me (hopefully us) is to be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It’s not easy–it never has been for anybody – but I’m learning to see that as a chance to prove how much I want to find myself, I’ll find fulfillment and security in my pursuit.
I hope you understood all this and will join me in finding the little you that “is” you…
As they say “With a child’s heart”.
October 24, 2007
Hey passenger’s what do we do when we fail? Come on by the Church to learn together. The Church is located on the right, under “MAIN”.
At Noon. Even if it is just a = / < 30 seconds. Check out the Prayer Closet, send me emails for needs and to be added:
Chuckie [AT] ChuckieDaniel dot com. (If you ever post your email on a website, do it like this so that spybots won’t pick it up for unwanted spam).
Does Prayer Change Things?
The answer to this question is yes. Please see the expanded answer in “The Prayer Closet” located to your right under MAIN. …
Check out the article of the day in the LiFeTrain Daily News…Pick up one for me please!