Make Your Own Luck

Faith 10/25/2019

Monday night my wife was shopping for rain boots. She said she has always wanted a good pair but never remembers to buy them. It was supposed to rain all day on Tuesday, and she was dreading the idea of being out all day without a good pair of boots.

Her story reminded me of a similar ordeal I went through. Where we live, we usually get a good snow once or twice a year. For several years, I would remember that I need to get a snow shovel after it had already snowed. I would brood over this as I shoveled snow with my little transfer shovel. And then last year, I said enough is enough and ordered a new shovel. Sadly, it hasn’t snowed since. But that’s okay, I am now prepared for when it does.

Sometimes we see people as being lucky. They were in the right place at the right time or just prepared when the time was right. What we usually don’t see is what came before the luck. We fail to see the planning and the work involved to make things happen. We fail to see the lack of procrastination to get things done when they were supposed to get done. When it comes to our success in our personal and business lives, it is not luck that moves us forward. It is our preparation.

I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. –Oprah Winfrey

Getting Results

Faith 10/11/2019

How many times have you gone into a project half-hearted? Maybe it was one that you took over and didn’t totally own it, or it was one put onto your plate but didn’t really want. It was those types of projects I have always had trouble staying motivated on. Often, they were not completed as well as they could have been.

But what happens when you find a project that you are really passionate about? Notice how it gets the A-1 treatment it deserves?

Are there areas in our life where we can generate more care for something? Maybe we can learn to really care about getting better at listening, learning, or being present in the moment? Maybe it is our health, our families, and our friends. Maybe, just maybe, it is something that is sitting on the back-burner of your mind, and you have yet to make it a priority.

Think about the end-results you want in life. Which ones are the ones that will haunt you if you never get around to completing it? Don’t make them a “one day in the future,” but rather make them something you work on today! Make them your priorities. Raise the level of passion you have toward that goal, and then, go get it.

If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it. –William James

Choose to Overcome

Faith 10/4/2019

Here is a message for everybody. Everybody. We all have the ability to improve. All we have to do is make the choice. We get to choose to become better.

It is because of this reason that I have come to love listening to podcasts. Last week I listened to Ed Mylett interview Terrell Owens. I remember watching the Hall of Fame receiver, but I never heard of the struggles he had growing up. He didn’t grow up in the best of situation, yet he made the choice to not let it hold him back from realizing his potential. He chose to improve himself and that choice combined with a top-notch work ethic resulted in him being one of the greatest receivers of all time.

Earlier this week I attended a dinner party and had the opportunity to speak with a celebrity chef. Much like Terrell Owens, he too discussed his tragic childhood. I listened in awe as he described the environment in which he grew up. Yet despite the cards being stacked against him, he became a well-respected chef. And then, at the age of 30, he had a stroke. A stroke at 30. When I heard that, I asked him a simple question, “Did it give you a greater appreciation for life?” His answer was a resounding yes. Now at the age of 32, he has lost about forty pounds. He manages his stress. Instead of becoming a victim, he chose to be victorious.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. –Aldous Huxley

The pessimists out there will not like your odds. They will say your chances of success are slim if not non-existent. Don’t let them be right. Defy the odds and realize that you have the ability within yourself to become better. It won’t be easy, and that is fine. Don’t let your environment define who you are. Don’t let your past get in the way of your future. Start with making the choice, and then work your tail off to make it happen.

Trust Yourself To the Water

Faith 8/3/2019

My life is starting to get chaotic.

  • Selling/buying a house. We close on the one we are selling in five weeks. We close on the one we are buying in five weeks and a day. The inspections are coming back from both houses, and it seems we are the losers on both of them. I keep telling myself to see the big picture, that this is the right decision for the long run, yet doubt still fills my mind.
  • New job description. I don’t think I have been in the same position with my employer for more than a year in the last four or five years. I am still pretty clueless about my responsibilities in this new role. Even more clueless about how long it will last.
  • I am still struggling to find make the time. Every day, I tell myself this should be a non-negotiable habit, but for some reason it hasn’t been the priority. And that which is not a priority, finds a way to get pushed to the back burner.
  • This has been one of the solid habits that has not wavered. I usually only take one day off a week if any. This week, I noticed a hitch in my giddy-up. I think I may have strained a glute. I thought I was doing the right things to prevent injury, but this one is forcing me to run less, row less, and be careful with strength training in my legs. That’s a bummer as I primarily run and row.

As I feel I am drifting with the currents of life, getting pulled in multiple directions, there is one thought that keeps rising above the chaos: trust my training. What is this training? It is all the things I have been doing over the last couple of years. All the reading, studying, exercising, meditating, and growing. What I am going through is a trial of sorts. One that has the possibility of derailing me from the path I want to be on. It is during this time that I cannot become frantic and start making irrational decisions, nor can I become complacent. I have to continue walking in faith knowing that the works I do will bear fruit in the end.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim, you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. -Alan Watts

A few times at the pool this summer, I have seen Alec panic in the deep end. He loses his confidence and starts flailing. He starts going under. I have to remind him to relax. To go under is fine, but swim up to catch your breath. Regain control and swim to safety.

It is a good reminder for me as well. When I get in the chaotic waters of life, to panic is fruitless. I need to relax, breathe, and then swim in the direction I need to go.

Believe in Yourself

Faith 5/3/2019

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. -Norman Vincent Peale

The cheerleader can say, “Rah, rah, rah, you can do it,” all day long. But if the team doesn’t believe they can win, they are more than likely not going to. The same goes for you. If you don’t have faith in your abilities, no amount of encouragement can help. Without faith, how can you succeed?

It begins with a belief in yourself. It begins with the right attitude. One that says, “I want it. I’m going to go get it.  I am going to do what it takes, learn the skills necessary, and persist.” If this is not you. If you can’t believe in yourself to accomplish what you set out to do, then why bother?

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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.

Trust the Process

The seed goes into the ground. It is nourished and watered every day for five years. After the fifth year, the seed breaks through the ground. In a matter of weeks, it is an eighty foot tree. This is the Chinese Bamboo tree.

I have never heard about this tree until I listened to this short clip by Les Brown.

Imagine being charged with the task of caring for this seed. Miss one day in the five years, and you could jeopardize the seed breaking through the earth. Fully aware of the consequences, you do your task. You trust the process, knowing that if you are faithful until the end, you will reap the rewards. You know what it reminds me of?

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” –Matthew 17:20

There is a seed within me. For decades, it was dormant. It wasn’t getting the nutrients and the water it needed to break through. A little over a year ago, I started to cultivate it. It was time to do the work of a gardener and get busy with life’s purposes. I am on year two and part of me is frustrated. I see seeds sprouting in those around me. When will my seed break through? I have to remind myself I am still in the early stages. I don’t know how long it will take, but I do know that I must continue to water and fertilize.

I tell myself, “I’m gonna move that mountain.” This seems like an impossible task, until I am reminded of the words of Confucius. He said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away a small stone.” A small stone at a time means the mountain won’t be moved in a day. This is faith in action. I believe the mountain can be moved, and so I chip away a bit at a time. Faith and persistence. Water and fertilizer.

pablo-azurduy-69535-unsplash
Photo by Pablo Azurduy on Unsplash

What does the gardener gain from the five years of nurturing the seed? Is it the tree? It may be the only thing the world sees or even judges, but there is more than just the tree. There is the gardener. Not the same person who started the journey five years ago, but a new person. A different person.

Trust the process. Have Faith. Persist. Water and fertilize.

To be successful, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have. -Les Brown

Faith 2/22/2019

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Trust your heart. Have faith in the things you cannot see.

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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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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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Faith 2/8/2019

There must be a beginning to any great matter – But the continuing unto to the end, until it be thoroughly finished, yields the true glory. -Sir Francis Drake

Start it, finish it, and along the way believe in it. What you are aiming for is great, and the only way to get it is to keep going.

____________________

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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Faith 2/1/2019

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius

It takes faith, but there is no half-way here. Go my friend, go.

____________________

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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