How to Carry the Load

In almost every onboarding presentation I have watched when starting a new job, I have seen the same message. This message is so important that most employers make a quarterly or at least an annual reminder. The message is about ergonomics, specifically how we should pick up a heavy item. Here are the general rules:

  • Plan your path.
  • Lift with your legs and not your back.
  • When transporting the item, keep the load close to your body and do not overextend yourself.
  • If the item is too heavy, have someone assist you.

With the high price that comes with from a work-related injury, this makes sense for both the employer and the employee.

As a weightlifter and personal trainer, I cringe whenever I see bad lifting mechanics. Bad mechanics have put me on the sidelines too often in my younger years. The continual pain in my back, though not initially caused from poor lifting techniques, is reminder enough to practice good form whenever I pick up a heavy object. Good technique practiced consistently will allow me to pick up heavier loads and continue picking them up in my senior years.

It’s not the load that breaks us down, it’s the way you carry it. -C.S. Lewis

These words from C.S. Lewis hit the mark when it comes to physically carrying a load. If we carry it poorly, we will eventually break down. However, physical loads are not the only things we carry. Our hearts and minds also bear a load that breaks us down if not properly carried. Excess baggage not properly dealt with can weigh us down. If we do not learn to handle this weight, we will stumble and falter.

It takes courage to shoulder a burden and carry it to our destination. If we want to make it to the end, we must practice good technique. This will allow us to handle greater weight and carry it longer. This is of course for the weight we must carry. If it is not necessary to carry it, it would be in our best interest to simply let it go.

Dream Time

Begin with the end in mind.

I have heard the above quote before, but I was reminded of it this week while listening to The Art of Manliness Podcast #607  with Stephen M.R. Covey covering his father’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

What is the ultimate end? Death. For a moment, consider what might be said at your funeral. How will you be remembered by your spouse, children, co-workers, and community? What would you like them to say about you? That is your end. And if your goal is to get them to say what you would like them to say, then it would be best if you begin planning and working on it now.

In the same fashion, you could imagine where you want to be in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Once the seed is planted in the imagination, we must begin the cultivation process and allow that seed to grow into reality. Start at the end, draw out the blueprints, lay the foundation, and then complete the project.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. -T.E. Lawrence

As long as we have breath in our bodies, we can set a new goal. We can have the waking dreams that make us dangerous in the good way. In the book Super Brain by Rudolph E. Tanzi and Deepak Chopra, we learn that cells are dynamic. As long as they keep moving, they live. But once they stop, they die. Even into our later years, we can continue moving. It is only when we become stagnant that we lose the dynamic ability to achieve new growth. The key is to keep growing, to keep improving.

For some of us, we suddenly have more time on our hands than ever before. What will you do with this time? If you have nothing to keep you occupied, it might be a good time to start dreaming. Set a new goal. Dream a new dream. Become the person you want to be known as when you come to your journey’s end.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. –C.S. Lewis

Are You Really Too Old?

Hope 9/23/2019

Have you ever heard someone say they are too old to do something? After hearing it, you look at the person and try to qualify the statement. If he is older, you would think his statement makes sense. It he is not very old, then you wonder if age is really the issue. 

Why would someone make such a statement regardless of age? Is it a mental or physical limitation, or is it a lack of confidence? And if you are the one making the statement, is this the end of road for you? Are your dreams to be left in the pipe, only fleeting with no substance?

Saying you are too old to do something may have started in the physical realm. That feat you could perform twenty years ago is no longer possible. It is understandable. Age creeps up on all of us. The motivation to stay in shape has fallen off, your flexibility has diminished, and that beautiful silence you enjoyed while moving has been replaced with a bunch of clicks and pops. In today’s world anyone over thirty seems to get a pass. You have moved into over-the-hill status and are preparing for the empty nest.

Once you start believing you are too old physically, how long before you start to think you are too old mentally? When will you start thinking you can’t learn new things? When will the click and pops of your body makes it way to your brain, causing you to be mentally fatigued, sluggish, and unable to grasp new concepts? Is it only a matter of time before you are a mindless zombie perched in front of the television or hunkered down before your phone endlessly scrolling for the next high found in a cute or heart-warming picture?

Such a scenario might seem a little too extreme, but it is happening more often. If you don’t want this to be you, what can you do?

-Stay fit. You don’t have to do a lot, but you should at least do a little something. If it means going out for a walk or taking the stairs, do it. Build yourself up so that down the road your friends won’t leave you behind on the next adventure.

-Get curious. Continue to learn new things and keep that mind of yours active. Technology is only going to continue accelerating into the next phase. If you don’t keep up, you will be the one that the younger generation is staring at in amazement because you still take three minutes to send a quick text on your flip phone.

You can shoot for the sky, develop a plan to get there, and take the next actionable step needed. The possibilities are endless as long as you don’t set limitations on your goals and dreams, and you don’t handicap yourself along the way by being physically or mentally sedentary.

Get after it friends!

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. –C.S. Lewis

Faith 2/15/2019

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. -C.S. Lewis

Faith to let go and to move on. It isn’t always easy, but we have to do it to advance.


The Virtue of Faith

There are things out there that we cannot see, but we know it is there. Not only do we accept these truths, but we rely upon them with confidence. Our faith goes beyond our belief in God. It extends to our country, our families, and our friends.


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