March 26, 2013
Good day passengers, welcome aboard! As you board I remind you that today is The LifeTrain’s “Tuesday Tips” day. Our mission on this day is—to make life better, smarter, faster and wiser…one tip at a time.
Tip #1: Technology is simply…AWESOME.
I don’t want the Geek in me to come out too much on the train but, I do suggest you check with me about anything tech related or B4 you buy anything. As passengers on the train you have a free pass to ask me about “most” things tech related. I have some out of this world’s most learned and knowledgeable professionals in my network that save me hundreds of dollars. Anyway, if I don’t have the answer I may know someone who does. DISCLAIMER: Will always try to get to you as soon as I can but, LOL, not my day job. AND, don’t have all the answers but, I know folks that know most of them (I’m talking BIG dAwGS). My aim is more to keep you from getting scammed.
Tip #2: More on this one later but, If praising God is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Tip is, PRAISE HIM!!! Dance like David danced.
Tip #3 Each day, devote some time to reading a few pages of an inspiring book or article…or this blog (LOL- thanks for riding).
Tip #4: From Pastor Rick Warren – “Don’t Give Up: Refuse to Be Bitter”
“Job said, ‘I came naked from my mother’s womb and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!’ In all of this Job did not sin by blaming God.” (Job 1:21-22 LB) Grief is a part of life, but you can’t let a season of grief turn into a lifestyle of grief.
At some point you have to let it go!There is a difference between mourning and moaning, weeping and wallowing. A loss can deepen me, but that doesn’t mean it can define me. A loss is a part of my maturity but not my identity.
God gives you grace to get through what you’re going through. Others don’t get that grace, so they may give you bad advice!
“Job’s wife said to him, ‘Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But Job replied, ‘You talk like a godless woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?’ So in all this, Job said nothing wrong” (Job 2:9-10 NLT).
Job refused to become bitter and resentful. Bitterness prolongs pain. It doesn’t relieve it; it only reinforces it. “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you … it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives” (Hebrews 12:15 LB).
Job gives three steps in refocusing:
1. Put your heart right. That means you forgive. “But I can’t forgive!” you say. That’s why you need Christ in your life; he’ll give you the power to forgive.
2. Reach out to God. Ask him to come into your heart and heal those wounds and help you and give you strength and power for tomorrow, next week, next month.
3. Face the world again, firm and courageous. Many people, when they’re hurt, withdraw into a shell. They say, “I’ll never let anybody hurt me again!” They retire from life. Job says to do the exact opposite: Resume your life; don’t retire from it. Get back out there in the world.
There’s a happy ending to Job’s life. “The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than he had blessed the first” (Job 42:12a GNT). Job went through all this hurt, but, in spite of that, God blessed the last part of his life even more than he had the first.
Wouldn’t you like the same in your life? Say, “God, I don’t care whether I have five years or 50 years left. Would you bless the last part of my life more than the first part?”
The lesson of Job’s life is this: It doesn’t matter who’s hurt you or how long you’ve been hurt or how deeply you’ve been hurt. God can make the rest of your life the best of your life if you’re willing to forgive and let go of resentment and release the offender.
Tuesday’s Tip #4: Test this in the Scriptures…Lemme no if you “A”gree
In the Bible we saw how Mary and Martha watched Lazarus become increasingly sick. They knew the healing power of Jesus and had sent for His help, but by the time Jesus arrived Lazarus had died. The sisters were filled with sorrow and cried out; “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21,32). At this, Jesus was troubled and compassionately wept with those who had gathered (John 11:35).
Side note/Rabbit Trail. This is why I can now cry without shame. If Jesus, who is perfect could weep then we as men, as some of us were taught in our earlier lives “Real Men Don’t Cry” can now be made whole. The ULTIMATE man wept…Anyway…back on point.
Jesus genuinely cared about the sorrow and pain of those who knew and loved Lazarus. But remember, Jesus had intentionally allowed Lazarus to die; “when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days” (John 11:6). And if Jesus really wanted to heal Lazarus, He would not have even needed to be near. When He had healed the royal official’s son (who was in a bed twenty miles away), He did so by simply speaking a word: “You may go. Your son will live” (John 4:50).
Yes, Jesus allowed Lazarus to die. For in God’s all-knowing plan, the need to strengthen the faith of those around Lazarus was more important than healing his illness.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'”
God had prepared a miracle which would cause many others to believe and bring glory and honor to His name: “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me…I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me” (John 11:41,42). Jesus then proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead! “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43).
We’ve all been in bad situations which have caused us to cry out and wonder why God didn’t just make things “right.” Why didn’t He remove the enemy, restore our finances, or take away the hurt? And how many times have we become burdened by the apparent injustice in the world; “I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…surely in vain have I kept my heart pure” (Psalm 73:3,13).
God has the ability to “fix” every situation, but His plan is so much more; though I confess I do not always understand the process. His plan is for us to know Him and His glory; to trust Him and grow while being strengthened through every trial; to continue to be “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). His plan is to prepare us for an eternity in His presence.
We must trust God to refine and strengthen our faith – even if by fire! No matter what trials we face, we must trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). Our job is to love Him! And, as we do, we must continue to believe that He is at work in our lives (even right now) accomplishing a true and eternal healing.
ALL ABOARD!!! The LifeTrain!
March 22, 2013
All Aboard! Welcome passengers!
Do you ever wake up feeling like you’re battling yourself? What’s worse is waking up in that battle and feeling like you’ve already lost before you’ve even started the day. But think about that for a second: isn’t living this way crazy? We think it’s normal to be fighting ourselves. We’re taught we need to grind it out and make something of ourselves to be successful. We’re taught we need to become something. And the underlying message is this: who we are right now isn’t good enough. We’re starving for acceptance, but see ourselves as flawed, and we end up spending our lives in a quest to prove ourselves to the world and to ourselves.
THE FALLACY OF NEEDING TO EARN YOUR FREEDOM
When I was a kid I felt radically wild and free. And I bet you did too. But I also would bet that something changed and you don’t feel as free as you once did. As a curious, adventurous lad, I felt like I could do anything, be anything, and create whatever I wanted. My imagination was my only limit. But then somewhere along the way I started to hear the voices of my parents, teachers, and adults around me send contrary messages.
I needed to…
Get good grades to prove my intelligence (and my worth). Do what’s right (follow the pages of an old book) and not misbehave to prove my goodness. Conform to socially-approved behavior to show that I was a valuable member of society. Basically, I began to transform from a wild, starry-eyed child into a fully domesticated, trained human.
And that is where my battle started. Don Miguel Ruiz calls this inner battle The Voice of Knowledge.
One voice is telling you to be wild, free, liberated—Do what you want! Follow your desires!—while the other voice chides and judges: That’s not practical. You must follow the template! Don’t venture off the path! But is it possible that these competing voices could be harmonized?
Here’s some thoughts from your humble conductor to
“START BETTING ON YOURSELF”
I knew I had to reconcile these disparate voices if I wanted to regain my freedom. I couldn’t stand to live in a warzone—especially if I’m carrying that battle with me everywhere I go. If I want to live a happy, prosperous, and awesome life, I can’t do that while being my own greatest enemy. I need to be 100% on my own side and bet on myself.
Here are a few things I’ve found are necessary to start betting on yourself and reclaim your personal freedom:
1. Start the day on your side.
This is critical. The first thing in the day, do something to start on your side. Say, “I love you” while looking in the mirror. Write a page in your journal about all the awesome qualities you love about yourself. Do something to show yourself your loyalty to… yourself.
2. Make time for what brings you bliss.
The judging voice in our mind loves to see us do only what’s practical. You must win, and you win by being better and doing more, the judge loves to say. But getting things done isn’t what life is all about. Make time first for what brings you bliss, then start making love to your to-do list.
3. Honor the things you can’t measure.
We tend to not give ourselves credit for the stuff we do that isn’t measurable or trackable. That’s absurd. Is there no value in hugging a child, marveling at leaves in the wind, or lying in bed with your lover? Remember, just because it doesn’t fit on a spreadsheet or calendar doesn’t make it obsolete.
4. Be mindful.
Without mindfulness, you won’t even notice when you’re being your own enemy. Practicing awareness of your thoughts, beliefs, and patterns is the only path to change.
5. Be kind.
Seriously, you must be kind to yourself. If someone was insulting you or abusing you, you’d probably walk away, right? But how often do we take this abuse from ourselves? Since you can’t walk away from yourself (not that I know of, anyway), you must learn to be kind to yourself and give up trying to live up to your image of perfection.
6. Give your gift to yourself.
Whatever your gift is, you need to give it to yourself. Whether your gift is being a great champion for others, identifying the genius in people, or getting to the root of disharmony, make sure you give this blessing to yourself as well. You’ll also be able to give more deeply when you’re fully supported and energized. …I’d like to think i share my gift with you “almost” daily as your LifeTrain Conductor
7. Be diligent.
The voice of judgment is a tireless beast. It will stick around, lurking in the shadows and sneakily emerging when you least expect it. However, the better you get at ignoring this voice, the more it’ll start to get the point. Just remember, no one’s ever raised a statue of a critic. What this voice has to say can’t matter very much.
THE TRUE DEFINITION OF MADNESS (THAT WE’RE NOT TOLD)
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. I disagree.
I believe the definition of insanity is battling against yourself every day. Why not try being your own supporter and champion, and bet on yourself for a change?
I believe you, my fellow passengers; have greatness within you. And I believe the key to unlocking that greatness is by becoming your own greatest ally.
Over to you: Have you ever felt like you wake up battling yourself? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Passengers, Have a “GREAT” weekend…All Aboard, The LifeTrain!
March 21, 2013
We have to learn to move beyond the mind-set of powerlessness. —Audrey Edwards
Have you ever stopped to wonder why children do not concern themselves with all the problems in the world? They seem totally willing to believe that somehow, someway, everything will be fine, and somehow for them it is.
Children do not have philosophical ideals, political positions or principles to uphold. They know what they know; they accept it and they never try to convince you that what they know is real. Children ask for what they want;
they refuse to take no for an answer; and they know that if you say no, Grandma usually says yes. Children will try anything once. They will go anywhere that looks safe. They are not hung up on styles or profiles, positions and postures, power or powerlessness. Yet we believe children don’t know, can’t do, shouldn’t have, can’t be, won’t make it without us. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t remember as adults that we are always children of God.
Today I Am a child again.
Not a sermon, Just a thought…
All Aboard, The LifeTrain
March 19, 2013
All Aboard! Welcome to Tuesday’s tips. Today we continue looking at the word of the week, PATIENCE!
As you veteran passengers know on Tuesday we offer an entree’ of tips to carry off the train at your statioj stop. Adn since we are looking at patience today’s tips will center aroud that theme. First up, let’s look at a mindset that causes us to be impatient.
The Impatient Mindset
The impatient mindset has a tendency to question our efforts. No matter how hard we may be trying, the impatient mindset has the ability to set us up for doubt and discouragement.
When we are impatient the following are highly possible:
- Self-Doubt– We may get upset and frustrated with ourselves when things don’t go according to our plan and put yourself down in the process. No matter how much you may have already accomplished can appear minimal. And youcan feel as if you’re just not good enough or you can’t measure up. Impatience reinforces doubt and false self-perception.
NOW! I WANT IT NOW!
- Increased Stress – Stress and impatience work in unison. If you get rid of the impatience, the stress is reduced. If you get rid of stress, impatience is less visible. A stressful lifestyle can keep you locked into a tense, on edge pattern where thinking can become unclear and your health can become compromised. This mindset does not enable a patient, rational, calm temperament. Stress must be controlled in order to reflect a more patient conduct of behavior.
- Compromised Relationships – Impatient people can hardly wait for things to happen. They have the tendency to fly off the handle or act mean spirited when things don’t go their way. They can cut you off in the middle of a sentence because they can’t wait for you to say what you have to say or because they feel what they have to say is more important. This can compromise relationships, both professionally and personally.
- Poor leader/manager – Whether you manage your home, children, personal life, or a business, lack of patience can cause you to seem unapproachable. The impatient manager has little time for listening to what others have to say or to even make eye contact. They may have the tendency to overact when impatience leads to frustration, which can cause others to be fearful.
- Over-anxious. The impatient person lives sitting on the edge of the seat with trembling feet as the nervousness builds. As the anxiety builds, life can grow uncomfortable. It can become difficult to enjoy family or social time. Your sleep can become disturbed. Your appetite can diminish.
- Lost sense of balance. The impatient mindset feels they have to work harder. They stop enjoying life and put all their efforts into their projects. The time to unwind with friends or family is traded in for more work.
- Egocentric & Arrogant – Even though the impatient person may not be egotistical by nature, it can be interpreted as just that. Impatience can be seen as arrogant, insensitive and overly demanding.
True, this fast pace world we live requires quick turnaround times with deadlines buzzing all around. Time is always of the essence. However, impatience can become counterproductive if it gets out of control. Trust your efforts and hard work by planning effectively and allowing the time for things to fall into place. Reward your efforts by taking a step back to focus on your hard work and feel the pride within. Remember success is a marathon not a sprint. Give thanks for your efforts.
Patience & Thankfulness
When we are composed we have the ability for more understanding throughout life. We are clear about our progress and are in a better position to recognize the blessings that come our way each step of the way. In doing so, we can find contentment at each rung of the ladder and be thankful for the blessings in our lives.
When we are calm and not flustered we are not sitting around thinking:
- Why are things not moving faster for me? Is there something wrong with me?
- I have so many projects to finish – I have so many things to complete, at this rate nothing is ever going to get done.
- Because I still have so much to do, when am I ever going to be able to enjoy my life?
Patience allows us the opportunity to appreciate our efforts. It allows us more personal growth and a chance to savor it. It builds a stronger character. Take a moment to reflect on your efforts. Put away that feeling of urgency and desperation and truly identify the milestones you have accomplished, no matter how small. Then pat yourself on the back for your efforts.
How to Be More Patient
In order to develop a system of patient living there are a several things we must contemplate.
- Can you see how being more patient can promote more success?
- Realize that living in the future and spending all your efforts planning for the future can deny you the opportunity to enjoy life in the “now.”
- Each person’s definition of patience is different. Establish what being patient means to you. Write it down.
- Redefine your expectations. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic. The time factor needs to be extended.
- Reexamine your goals. Are they properly broken up into doable components? Are your short-term goals appropriately defined according to the complexity of the goal, the time needed to realize the goal, or is it within your capability?
- Know your strengths as well as your limitations. Spend more time capitalizing on your strength so your limitations are compensated and your time is used more efficiently.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask for the advice of experts. Learn to delegate more.
- Have faith. Through faith you can believe that while waiting for things to fall into place that they will. Of course you have to do your part and work to get deadline met or projects completed. But it can all be done with patience and less stress. Faith gives you the hope to expect a positive outcome.It’s all about balance. Learn to sit back and enjoy life in between the big projects or the big deals. What’s all the running around for? What’s the bottom line? What’s important to you? Use this information to bring make a decision to increase your level of patience. Watch your personality come alive when you can be tenacious yet poised. It can help to build a stronger character, which can translate into more success for you.
As you get off at your respective stops today I give you each a framed picture. Take a peek at what’s inscribed:
Quotes on Patience
“All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for.” – Woodrow T. Wilson
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Saint Augustine
“He that can have Patience, can have what he will”- Benjamin Franklin Our patience will achieve more than our force.” – Edmund Burke
“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasgow
“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.” – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
“Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.” – Ovid
“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Genius is eternal patience.” – Michelangelo
All Aboard…The LifeTrain!
March 18, 2013
All Aboard! Merry Monday! Welcome passengers to the beginning of another week to succeed. And to succeed I suspect we will need a great measure of patience.
What Does it Mean?
Well kick the mood, the music and let’s take a look:
To be patient means having the ability and the composure to hold back and wait for something to happen without feeling anxious, becoming irritated or panicked. In reality this is a difficult characteristic for us to adopt especially when stress has a hold. It requires enormous self-control. Although we are aware of how virtuous it is, it takes a certain level of maturity, personal growth and a well-balanced lifestyle to be able to truly achieve this. True, there are those who are genetically calmer with a more restrained personality but when life takes over even those folks can become impatient.
When one is impatient they have a strong compulsion for immediate results for whatever it is they are pursuing. When you take a child to the store, they seek instant gratification almost every step of the way. How many times have you heard “I want” this or that and if they don’t get it at that moment the entire store hears about it. As adults, the drive for pursuing anything worthwhile means letting go of the “gotta have it now” mentality like we were when we were children. Success is a marathon not a sprint, it means diligently doing your part, pacing yourself, and allowing the puzzle to fall into place.
To be patient means learning how to cope with your anger and hostility. If you have a short fuse, it will blow up in your face very often. Getting to know yourself and what lights your fuse easily and having a plan for diffusing the situation when they arise helps to keep you unruffled. By diffusing your anger you can learn to be more understanding of the rhythm of the world around you and tune in to it. When you are tuned in you can better play the Game of Life with a temperament of calm and peace. This state of mind enables more clarity of thought and the ability to make more rational decisions.
To be patient doesn’t mean you have to take a step back and slack off on your efforts. It means doing the tough work but understanding that you are not alone in your pursuit of your goals. There is a world out there that consists of people who we depend on and who depend on us for progress. That means things will not always go at the pace we envision this week (or beyond). Even though we may become irritated or angry and our blood pressure is through the roof, things are not going to suddenly change for us most times. Therefore, we must be willing to accept setbacks, human error, and disappointments along the way.
Having said that, hop back aboard tomorrow for Tuesday tips as I share a few secrets I employ to help me maintain a proper level of Wait for it…Wait for it….
March 14, 2013
Passengers! Oops wait…I’m so excited I forgot…
I am both upset and joyous all in one today! First I’m mad as [censored] because I’ve been laboring like an Army mule all my life! “WHY!!?? WHY!!?? WHY!!??”
Somebody get one of those church fans, surround me, take my blood pressure! Gimmie a:
Ok, Ok… [choking on water] I’m ok now.
Did you know that the key to my life of no stress, and the ability to be attractive to a woman has been collecting dust in my storage room all these years! Why have I been so blind!!?? All I had to do was take a cue from the BIG TIGGER!!! From now on your faithful conductor will be known as…wait for it…wait for it…
Money studies Money (the only problem is….I AIN’T NOT GOT NONE). Anyway, I checked up on a few big ballas, some real shot callas, including the number one Richard Parker. Those who have seen the Life of Pi will get this! Anyway, I checked out a typical Tiger day in my quest to become a GA-ZILLION-NAIRE. Here’s what I came up with:
Tiger Woods wakes up in the morning, eats breakfast, brushes his teeth, and takes a shower. After that he goes out and plays nine holes. Then he comes back and eats lunch before he plays another nine holes. Then he comes home, takes another shower, and eats dinner. Then he goes and plays golf.
And here’s what you end up with following this strategy!
That’s it for today passengers, gotta go sharpen my irons, wait for my foot to heal and then practice my putting (short game).
P.s. I never got to have any babies. Once I hit pay dirt I plan to work on re-populating the earth…or at least work on my twins, Charla Princess Daniel and Charles Prince Daniel III. Please submit your applications if you are not married and fertile!
Wait…on second thought maybe I’ll just get some cats:
March 12, 2013
Hey passengers, let’s take a stroll back to the diner car. Let me pour you a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer). Let’s chat about…
HUMILITY & PRIDE…
Let’s set the mood with a little Chris Botti, kick it…
Being a computer guy I study up on guys like Steven Jobs, Bill Gates and Robert Noyce. Most of you are familiar with Jobs and Gates but, let me fill you in a bit on Noyce, my personal favorite, here’s why.
When Robert Noyce, the founder of Intel, was asked how he felt about being known as the “Father of Silicon Valley” he responded, “You know it makes me a little bit proud, and a little bit humble.” There is a sweet spot between hubris and humility that is the key to greatness.
I read that Bob Noyce was like a rare alloy that blended ambition and confidence with conscientiousness and compassion. He was a humanitarian who rallied against corporate autocrats while building one of the most powerful companies in the world. Noyce created an egalitarian culture at Intel with as little hierarchy as possible. I also read that he was a very tough and demanding boss, but ultimately a real softie who was very empathetic, hated confrontation or having to say no. When you look closer you realize that these character traits are textbook for many people who achieve greatness. I say this laughing but, He and I are alot alike with the exception that he is great…I am not….LOL!
Noyce refused to play dirty or fall into the ‘win-at-all-costs’ mentality that is so prevalent in corporate America, and every walk of life. It is such a shame that he died of a heart attack in 1990 at the age of 62. Noyce had the chutzpah to believe that he could change the world (and he did) but also seemed to realize he was a flea in the bigger cogs of the universe and was very humble about his contributions.
Pride comes before the fall.
How many hubris-filled heroes have we seen fall from their pedestals in mythic proportions recently? Lance Armstrong embodies how astray someone can go when his or her balance between hubris and humility is out of whack. Armstrong optimizes how the quest for fame and glory and to win-at-all-costs will destroy you. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt after his Oprah Winfrey interview but feel let down by him (yet again) since he refused to testify before USADA. Being a former rider with Lance…yes we rode together Well we rode to a Lance video in spin class several times, does that count? Anyway, I’m finished trying to defend Lance. It also, scared me in no small way that he says he doesn’t believe in God, he said his will cured him of cancer….can we say….pride?
Believing that you possess both the power of Atlas and are as insignificance as an Ant is a difficult paradox for the human ego to navigate, but it is the key to being extraordinary. A lot of athletes are incapable of doing this. I’ve struggled with it myself over the years before injury caused me to hang up my sneaks and turn to this keyboard.
I recently read a blog post that included a quote from Armstrong where he said: “Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that’s not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing. Athletes…they’re too busy cultivating the aura of invincibility to admit to being fearful, weak, defenseless, vulnerable, or fallible, and for that reason neither are they especially kind, considerate, merciful, or benign, lenient, or forgiving. To themselves or anyone around them.” I couldn’t disagree with Armstrong more. The priority of sports and being an athlete in our society should be about fostering character,resilience, empathy, and camaraderie—with a healthy dose of humility. Good sportsmanship is not about hubris and winning at all costs.
The core philosophy of anAthlete’s Way is to: aim high, work hard, have fun, play fair, and to trust yourself. A quote from Abraham Lincoln on the eve of his “Declaration of Emancipation” which I think captures the delicate balance of strong self-belief against a backdrop of humility. Lincoln said in 1863,
I know very well that many others might, in this matter, as in others, do better than I can; and though I believe that I have not so much of the confidence of the people as I had some times since, I do not know that, all things considered, any other person has more; and, however this may be, there is no way in which I can have any other man put where I am. I am here. I must do the best I can and bear the responsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take.
Barack Obama reflected on the importance of humility in February of 2013 when he said, “let me suggest that those of us with the most power and influence need to be the most humble.” Earlier last month when reflecting on his second term in the White House President Obama said “The fascinating thing about this job is the longer you’re in it, the more humble you get and the more you recognize your own imperfections.” Adding, “The one thing about being president is after four years, you get pretty humble,” Obama said. “You think maybe you wouldn’t but you become more humble.”
I’m not special. But I try here on the train to make sure my efforts are. …C. Prince Daniel (The Conductor)
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.
I did most of my training for football as a young man at our city stadium and local YMCA during summers. One of my favorite things to do on my way back home after late night-runs was to stop for a few seconds at the top of the stadium steps and pause all alone. There is something very powerful about all the juxtapositing forces and systems of belief that collided for me at that particular spot.
Anyone who has stood high above the field, in this spot knows what I’m talking about. It’s like the scene from Rocky on the court house steps. Just go stand there. I think you’ll understand the feeling of finding the sweet spot between hubris and humility if you don’t already.
You can’t stand high at the top of the stadium, looking out at the field and city without feeling very small and insignificant but empowered at the same time. Standing in this spot late at night when no fans or joggers were around after long sweaty runs was a ritual for me. I carried the feeling of being there and simultaneously feeling…both large and small. It became part of a winning mindset for me and it has taken me far in life.
Well, I guess I’m starting to sound a little flippant and crazy…so let me stop here for now by leaving you with some final tips on Humility.
Meekness is power that knows its strength.
Forgiveness is love that embraces the truth.
Patience is acceptance of divine timing.
Giving is investing in your own prosperity.
Light is darkness that has surrendered.
Passion is joy running ahead of itself.
Understanding is a dissolution of barriers.
Prayer is a belief that there is one who hears and has the power to act.
Peace is an unwillingness to be baited into conflict.
Happiness is a decision made moment to moment.
Life is having fun and growing.
All Aboard! The Life Train…
March 11, 2013
Hey LifeTrain passengers! All Aboard, another “Merry Monday!”. You know the rule on this train, we look at the glass half full, NOT half empty, so spread that peanut butter, finish packing that lunch and hop aboard! If you are struggling to make this a not another “MANIC MONDAY!”.
Too often we expect happiness to come as a result of our relationships rather than as a premise upon which to build one. If we truly wanted to be happy, we would not be so eager to sacrifice happiness for nonsense jealousy, possessiveness, anger, fear or any other function of the ego. Nonsense renders us downright miserable. Happiness requires that we be honest, trusting, trustworthy, respectful and mutually considerate. We cannot realize true happiness when we entertain nonsense in our hearts and minds. Individually and collectively, we must work to clear ourselves before entering a relationship. If we wait until we are in the process and wading through the nonsense, the ego will be well on the way to eroding the happiness we seek.
Today, I say ….Let’s exercise our duty to be happy this week! This week when someone says…Hey U, How ya doin? Look them in the eye, produce that great smile and say: “SUPER FANTASTIC!”
March 8, 2013
Confession…I was talking to a friend today who just lost her Mother. Ended up sniffing and snotting thinking of her pain and mine (Lost my Mom recently) so I do what I do…write to expunge the pain. I apologize for breaking my rule of minimizing personal posts. However, if you ever lost your main woman…Mommy…you’d understand. So today I write of the woman. The amazing Woman…
Thank God for the Woman…Some things don’t need a bunch of introduction. God saw Adam’s state and said it is not good for man to be alone. So he did something amazing, he made, “The Woman…”
It’s amazing how God made man, and so beautiful how he made woman!
Why did God create Woman from Man’s rib, when He could have simply created her from dust, as He did Man? This is a story that puts a beautiful touch on the reasoning:
“When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him from the dust of the Earth and breathed life into his nostrils. But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you. Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man’s life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do.”
“Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully. Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support man as the rib cage supports the body.” “You were not taken from his feet, to be under him,
nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side. You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtue in your heart. Your eyes: don’t change them. Your lips: how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose so perfect in form, your hands so gentle to touch. I’ve caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I’ve held your heart close to mine. Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me.”
“Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my holiness,
my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support. You are special because you are the extension of me.”
“Man represents my image, woman – my emotions.
Together, you represent the totality of God. So man:
treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is
fragile. In hurting her, you hurt me. What you do to
her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage
your own heart, the heart of your Father and the heart
of her Father. Woman, support man. In humility, show
him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle
quietness show your strength. In love, show him that
you are the rib that protects his inner self.”
I thank God for “The Woman”. My Mother, My Grandmothers, sisters, aunts and those that have shown me the love of the aforementioned. Thank God for “The Woman”…
March 7, 2013
All Aboard, welcome aboard… the LifeTrain…
Passengers oftentimes letting go has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength.
We let go and walk away not because we want the universe to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.
And that’s what today’s life tip is all about – realizing your worth, and harnessing this realization to identify the negative ideas, habits, and people in your life that you need to let go of. Here are some points to consider:
- The past can steal your present if you let it. – You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve or should’ve happened. Or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and walk out the front door into the sunlight to get some fresh air.
- Not everyone, and not everything, is meant to stay. – There are things you don’t want to happen, but have to accept, things you don’t want to know, but have to learn, and people you can’t live without but have to let go. Some circumstances and people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them. Read The Language of Letting Go.
- Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. – Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.
- Sometimes you just need to do your best and surrender the rest. – Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you. Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. And that is all I can expect of anyone, including me.” Love yourself and be proud of everything that you do, even your mistakes. Because even mistakes mean you’re trying.
- You are in control of one person, and one person only: yourself. – There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of your control. Letting go in your relationships doesn’t always mean that you don’t care about people anymore; it’s simply realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.
- What’s right for you may be wrong for others, and vice versa.– Think for yourself, and allow others the privilege of doing so too. We all dance to the beat of a different drum. There are few absolute ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ in the world. You need to live your life your way – the way that’s right for you. Read The Road Less Traveled.
- Some people will refuse to accept you for who you are. – Always choose to be true to yourself, even at the risk of incurring ridicule from others, rather than being fake and incurring the pain and confusion of trying to be someone you’re not. When you are comfortable in your skin, not everyone in this world will like you, and that’s okay. You could be the ripest, juiciest apple in the world, and there’s going to be someone out there who hates apples.
- Relationships can only exist on a steady foundation of truth. – When there is breakdown in a relationship, you must have the hard conversation. It may not be pretty and it may not feel good. But if you are willing to listen and tell the truth, it will open up. When you build relationships based on truth and authenticity, rather than masks, false perfection, and being phony, your relationships will heal, connect, and thrive.
- The world changes when you change. – Practice really seeing whatever it is you’re looking at. You are today where your thoughts and perceptions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and perceptions take you. If you truly want to change your life, you must first change your mind. The world around you changes when you change.
- You can make decisions, or you can make excuses. – Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem-solving. A mistake doesn’t become a failure until you refuse to correct it. Thus, most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- It usually takes just a few negative remarks to kill a person’s dream. – Don’t kill people’s dreams with negative words, and don’t put up with those who do. Don’t let people interrupt you and tell you that you can’t do something. If you have a dream that you’re passionate about, you must protect it. When others can’t do something themselves, they’re going to tell you that you can’t do it either; and that’s a lie. These people are simply speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.
- Sometimes walking away is the only way to win. – Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who have proven that they are committed to misunderstanding you. In other words, don’t define your intelligence by the number of arguments you have won, but by the number of times you have said, “This needless nonsense is not worth my time.”
Listen, I really try to avoid giving advice. I opt to simply share my thoughts. However, time and time again I come across friends, family and my fellow passengers who simply do need this one piece of advice, “Let’em go”. The folks who want to be in your life will prove themselves. One of the biggest time wasters I know is to try to convince someone to stay in your life. …Let’em go.
Not a sermon…Just my thoughts for Tip Tuesday…
All Aboard, The LifeTrain…