June, 2012


29
Jun 12

Time to Weed!

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Howdy… I’m back.

Toward the end of the last blog I started talking about lies that we tell ourselves and how destructive they are to us.

I am not talking about lies in general.  I am talking about the lies we believe… the ones that strangle the life out of the good we want to do and keeps us incarcerated in the invisible prison of perception.

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We cripple ourselves with lies.
-  Jim Morrison
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I feel the need to do a little more digging about this topic.  Digging around the topic of lies is not an easy task.  Lies are like an insidious weed.

One would think that you can simply pluck it up and rid yourself of the unsightly pest.  But the removal of the stem is only the portion that shows on the surface.

In actuality you have not removed the weed (the lie) because over time it has developed a vast network of roots that have wormed their way deep into the soil.

So the question is, how do we rid ourselves of lies?

First we must have the “want to”.

Let’s be real for a moment… lies have successfully rooted because for some people they serve a purpose.

Yep, served a purpose.  They can be very convenient excuses not to change.

To add to the complexity, the lies that are the most vile are the ones that have a kernel of truth.  The trap becomes when we focus on the speck of truth and cannot (or will not) see the massive lie that surrounds.

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A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson
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As I said in the last blog, you cannot free yourself from a lie until you believe that you have lies.  And the reality is… we all have lies that we believe to some degree.

I ran across a quote that talks about believing lies.  I am not totally sure I buy in to it completely but it makes me think and examine the truth in the quote.

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People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.
-  Malcolm Muggeridge
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Like I said, I don’t know for sure if I totally believe it but it makes me think.

OK… back to the lies we know.

The best way you kill the weed lies is not by an exhaustive digging into the dirty soil.  This approach can easily become a morbid introspection that is both discouraging and tedious.

I believe the best way to rid yourself of most lies is two ways.  You either destroy by neglect or you displace it with truth.

To destroy by neglect means that you don’t nurture them.  Believe it or not you can feed and nurture weeds.  But Why?

This is rather faulty rationale but from a distance weeds look green like grass.  By keeping people at a distance they can’t tell what’s healthy grass or rampant weeds.

So the first step… don’t feed them… neglect them.  Identify them for what they are and let them go.

It does help smother the weeds if you have truth but at the very least we need not feed them.

I do believe (and I have been there) that we may not know what the truth is in our lives.  But the power of putting the lie in its place frees us to embrace truth.

Go ahead… destroy by neglect.

See you Monday.


26
Jun 12

Down the drain!

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Hi… me again.

Yes, I am a day late.  I promised the blog on Monday and now it’s Tuesday.  This has been happening a lot lately, but at least I’m getting it done.

Writing this blog has been really weird the past few weeks.  I mentioned about eight blog entries back that I grabbed hold of a full speed freight train (new career) and my life has been a whirlwind ever since.

Everything is moving around so quickly that it’s a challenge to keep my nose above water.

Humm… let’s hope the swirling water isn’t the pull of the drain.  I don’t think so.

The sensation is more like that of a rushing stream than the flush of the toilet.  Thank goodness!

But I am barely keeping my nose above water none-the-less.

Now in the old days I would have been beating myself up pretty hard because I would have been feeling that I let people down by not living up to my commitment.

Or… this is the biggie… I would worry that I disappointed that person.  They were expecting something from me and I didn’t measure up.  I would get all frazzled wondering what they were thinking of me.

Yes, I know, I messed with my head regularly.  But I don’t think I am the only one who has ever done that.

But all of this brings up a point for you to ponder.

What goes on in your head that you know hinders the quality of your life?

Weird huh?  The fact that we all (this means everyone, including you) invest energy thinking about that we know hinders our quality of life.  I mean… how dumb is that?!

But sadly, it’s true.

I don’t know what your mental poison is but I spent my time (and still do to some degree) getting down on myself because I thought I might have disappointed someone – let them down.

Disappointing people may not be your poison pill but you have your own.

I could try to be an armchair psychiatrist by trying to figure out why disappointing people is an issue but that too is a rabbit hole with its own traps.

Holes like this can easily become a complex self-defeating maze that sucks the energy that could be channeled in a more productive direction.

The scary reality is this; there are a lot of things in our head that we believe to be true that are actually lies.

We act out our lives based on these lies.  And don’t even know it.

The first big step is to really believe that we may have lies in our heads.  We may not know which are lies but at least we are on the right path.

Some lies may be very subtle and take time to discover.  My recommendation is not to worry about those too much.

I guarantee you there are some big lies right in front of us like a big fat zit that we have been calling a beauty mark.

Some of these big honker zit lies are things like…

-        You’ve made too many mistakes

-        You’ve waited too long

-        You’re not good enough

-        What does this guy know… he doesn’t know my situation

-        I’ve failed before

You name it… it’s a ZIT… Pop it now.

Yes, I know it’s kind of a gross analogy.  But maybe it will drive home a point.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully you will visit again on Thursday.

See you then.


22
Jun 12

Get off your ASS!

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The title is more for me probably than it is for you.

Those of you who follow the blog regularly know that I typically post on Monday and Thursday.  It’s Friday afternoon and I am just now getting to the blog.

I haven’t been a slug it’s just that I have been busy.  But like most people I need someone to stick their finger in my face and tell me to get off my ass.

In the previous blog entry I talked about being productive.  I believe more and more that a happy and fulfilled life is tied to productivity.

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Side Note: Yes, I realize that being happy and fulfilled is more than being productive.  Over the past six blog entries I have been writing about what it takes to have a happy and fulfilled life.  First was Purpose, second was People and now Productive.

Obviously the opposite of being productive is being lazy.

Now before I get too far down the road of laziness….  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

As I was saying, before I get too far down the road of laziness it’s important to note that there is nothing wrong with having times where you just take it easy, veg out, or couch potato.

There are some days where you just want to get away.  This is a very cute video of two toddlers singing the “Lazy Song”.

YouTube Preview Image

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These times of R & R are designed to rejuvenate us for more productive things.

But we all know that at some point we cross a mysterious yet powerful line where our time of rest begins to suck the life out of us.

Our ambition is being syphoned off and we end up a black hole of emptiness.

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An industrious sinner I much prefer to a lazy saint.
-  Sophie Kerr
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The really sad (and scary) thing about laziness is that after a while we begin to support our habit of laziness.

We have excuses for why we are not engaged or we place blame on someone or something.

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Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.
-  Doug Coupland
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All I know is that regardless of how much you think you like doing nothing… you will like the reward of feeling productive more.

But as I said in the last blog entry – The less you do, the less you do.

Pretty soon we become trapped.  The only way out is action.

So in other words – Get off your ASS!

Whew… I need a rest.

See you on Monday.


19
Jun 12

Slow Start – Good Ending

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Hi there.  As some of you know I have been gone… I think I am back.

I don’t know about you but it’s tough getting your head back into the game after sitting out for a while.

My body is here but my head… that’s a different story.

I was on vacation last week and my head is mush this week.  I always thought that I was to return from a break refreshed, but no.

But even though I am only working on two cylinders I will attempt to piece together some coherent thoughts to make the reading of the blog worthwhile.

OK… here we go.

Over the past few blogs I have attempted to tackle a pretty complex question, what makes a person happy and fulfilled.

First I talked about purpose – the need to have meaning beyond ourselves.  Secondly I attempted (not well I might add) to build a case that people are necessary to be happy and fulfilled.

The third component for being happy and fulfilled is critical – Productivity.

PRODUCTIVITY

There is nothing builds to one’s confidence and worth more than being productive.  You notice that I didn’t say make lots of money or accomplishing great things.

I am talking about living a life where you are doing something that’s productive.

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The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.
– Thomas Sowell

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You may also notice that I didn’t say busy.  There are lots of people who do busy stuff but are not productive.

In fact, busyness is probably the greatest culprit of productivity.

I heard an old phrase that I found to be very true – simple but true.

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The less you do, the less you do.

The more you do, the more you do.

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We tend to fall in one of the two categories.

Few things are more rewarding than to lie down at night and feel like you have accomplished a lot during the day.

There are multitudes of people who do not hold lofty positions but are proud of who they are.

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Always work hard, be honest, and be proud of who you are.
– Patricia Velasquez

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Meaningless activity may fill your day but it does not fill the heart.  The busyness one engages in may salve the conscious but it does not make you proud.

There is something divine about productivity.

When one is productive there is a fulfillment that cannot be matched.

Conversely, when one is not productive a hallow place remains.

This may not be one of my best blogs… but it was a productive use of my time and I feel good about it.

Ciao… see you Thursday.


15
Jun 12

No Name Post

Hi… no time for being nice.

I only have forty minutes to type my blog.  I am still on vacation and the computer I am on only has so much time on it and I can’t download any pictures to make it all pretty.

So I am left to my own devices to come up with something quickly and clever to make this blog semi-meaningful.

I don’t know about you but when I get rushed my fingers get all clumsy and clunky.  They refuse to cooperate with my head.

In all honesty this is nothing new but usually I have time for one or the other to win out and at least create a blog with some level of insight.  But today there are absolutely no guarantees.

I have been talking about the things that makes life happy and fulfilled.  I have talked about purpose and started on people.  I feel there is more to talk more about in regards to people.

I love watching people… they facinate me.  The variety is astonishing.

What a boring world if we were all the same or even similar.  I get bored with myself.

I can’t imagine what it would be like putting up with me all the time… you ought to live with me… boring.

At least my wife thinks I’m funny.

Just as a side note to all of you women out there… if you don’t want repeat behavior from your adolecent husband, don’t laugh at anything he does.

If I do something and my wife laughs, guess what?

Yep… I do it again.  It’s her fault for laughing.

But it does begin to wear on her after the third or forth time.  But I do tuck it away in my memory bank to resurface at another opportune time.

But back to people.  Every person has a story and most people are pretty interesting.

The problem is  that most have not been given a chance to tell their story or have never felt they have lived a life that would interest another person.

It’s pretty cool when I meet someone who is fairly insecure about telling their story and they open up.  I learn a lot.

There is great wisdom in the lives of others.

The problem is most people don’t take the time to show interest in the lives of others.  Our society just becomes more isolated and protective.

The sad thing is… we all lose.

Well, I have no idea how my time is because this computer doesn’t have a timer to let me know how close I am to me timing out.

Just so you know I will be back at my own computer on Monday so I will have pictures and quotes.

Ciao… see you Monday


11
Jun 12

Polished Rocks… rocks

IMOPORTANT NOTE:  I’m bummed.  I am on vacation and I’m at a computer that won’t let me download pictures. 

The computer Nazi won’t let me download… so… NO PICTURES FOR YOU!

Yep… back again.

I am continuing the topic of what makes our lives happy and fulfilled.  The last couple of blog entries have been on the topic of “purpose”.

I personally believe that one cannot have a happy and fulfilled life without purpose – it’s an absolute from my standpoint.

The other things I will be talking about in regards to what makes a person happy and fulfilled are very important but somehow in my mind do not meet the threshold of absoluteness as does purpose.

The second thing that popped into my head after purpose was people.

PEOPLE

Whether we admit it or not we were not made to be alone.  We are made for community – to be around people to share our life. 

I know that everyone of you have been somewhere doing something fun or had a special experience and thought that it would be great to have someone to share it with.

Life experiences are fuller when shared.

Now let’s be real… people can be a pain in the ass.  People make life more complicated at times. 

But what you experience in frustration is multiplied in joy because friends and people make us fuller and better.

If it weren’t for people we would see no need to change.  The different needs, wants, desires, and goals of the friends we are around and ourselves rub against each other. 

It does cause friction.  But the friction polishes us and makes our life much more amazing.

If you didn’t know it that is the way they polish rocks.  Rocks are thrown in a rolling tub and the rocks grinding against one another rubs off the residue that keeps them from shining.

I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.
- Robert Brault

I know that there are people who prided themselves on being a recluse.  I am not saying that people can’t survive without someone else in their life. 

I am not saying that you have to have a whole tub full of friends.  But you need someone to rub against you to get the most out of life.

Most people are familiar with John Donne’s famous poetic verse.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
- John Donne

The longer I live the more I believe this to be true.  When you are younger the world is yours for the taking.  You want life and people to revolve around you.

If you remain the center of your world you will have a very very small life.   Seriously. 

I don’t know about you but I want to experience life to the fullest that God intended. 

Wow… how small a world my life would be if were just me.

See you on Thursday.

NOTE:  The blog looks bland without the pictures huh?  Oh well, the pressure is on to say something that makes us think.

Bye.


7
Jun 12

Where angels fear to trod!

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Howdy… good to have you visit.

Well, as you know I have been have stepped into the middle of a topic where “angels fear to trod”.

I have been talking about the purpose for and in our lives.  This whole series of blogs was launched when I posed the question, what makes a person fulfilled and happy?

In the last blog I talked about the importance of purpose and promised that I would talk about gives my life purpose.

To talk about purpose in my life requires that I talk a little about my Faith.

Don’t worry… I’m not going to get all preachy or write with churchy God talk.

Side Note: Those of you who have hung out with me for a while knows that I talk very little about God.  That is not the purpose of this blog.

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But my faith is the essence of who I am so if I am talking about purpose in my life then it must be part of the discussion.

I have found that people who are intellectually honest want to hear people’s story.

If you were sharing the purpose of your life I would be interested in your story regardless if our beliefs matched or not.

I would want to hear your story but I don’t want or need you jamming what you believe down my throat.  You can be assured I will never do that to you.

You may find this interesting but I get my example of not forcing you to believe the way I do from Jesus… yep Jesus.

He never ever forced anyone to believe him.  He spoke clearly and directly about who He was but never forced people to believe or accept.

That’s why free will is so incredibly important as it relates to the Christian faith.

If there were no free will then God would not be who he said he is.  If God is love then he must love us enough to give us the choice to love him back.

God does pursue us… because he loves us.  But He never forces us.

Unfortunately many Christians (albeit genuine) have tried to force their beliefs on the nearest breathing target.  How sad and unfortunate.

God gets the black eye for the stupidity of people who do things in the name of Jesus.

I ran across this picture that unfortunately makes my point.

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My purpose isn’t to make atheists wrong.  Wow, what a pitiful life if that’s your purpose.

My purpose is simply living a life for Christ.  Why?

Because He is real; because He is who he said he was; because He’s relevant to every aspect of my life; and because He is worthy of my love and life.

I mentioned in the last blog that purpose was important because we needed something bigger than ourselves.

Living a life of faith based on a relationship with Christ is wonderful in that it makes my life bigger, more meaningful, and utterly amazing.

He gives my life purpose.

Once again, I am not trying to make you believe the way I believe.  But my story of purpose is that of knowing and following Christ.

You may be reading this blog for the same reason I read blogs or books… I want to learn, stretch my thinking and explore the world of thought and ideas.

If there is a God (which I personally have no question there is), and if a person is genuinely seeking and pursuing truth, then naturally they will open hearts and minds to things they don’t understand.

For whatever reason our paths have crossed via this blog.  I do not believe it to be an accident.

Hopefully I have stirred your thinking.  If so… terrific.

On Monday I am going to talk about the second thing that makes our lives fulfilled and happy.

See you then.


4
Jun 12

Easier Question Please!

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Yep… me again.

I am kind of hesitant to jump into the topic of today’s blog.  I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew.

Believe it or not I am going poke around at a topic that person, in every country, in every culture have wrestled with at some point in time in their life.

PURPOSE

This word conjures up all types of questions.  What is the purpose of my life?  What is our purpose?  Why are we here?  Is there a purpose I build my life around?

This may sound very simplistic (because it is) but having purpose is important.

Everyone longs for a “Why”.

I am not even addressing yet what your or my purpose is.  I just recognize that there is something that pierces the soul in regards to purpose.

Even in the simplest of things purpose is demanded.  How many times have you, or heard your children, ask why to something.  We naturally have a “why”  to most things in life.

So I did what everyone does when they have a looming question in life… I Googled it.

There was a web page I ended up on where a person was struggling to find their purpose in life.  In this public forum they innocently and genuinely wrote the following:

“i feel like i don’t have a purpose here on this earth, i know i do i can feel it, i couldn’t have just been put here for no reason…. i need something to believe in something to make my life worth living, because that feeling you have when you are passionate about something is so great i need it i crave it… what should i do?”

As you can imagine there were some interesting responses regarding the purpose of life.

  • Beer
  • Fun
  • Join our club, we have jackets

Then there was the person that said we don’t need a purpose.

You don’t need one. This is because there is no purpose for humans on this world. My personal belief is, though, that although there is no purpose for humankind in general, the main goal of humans as individuals is to obtain happiness.

Humm… they must have read the quote from the Dalai Lama.  (If you have no idea what my last sentence meant I encourage you to scroll down the page to my last blog entry.)

There were lots of comments of a spiritual nature.  Lots of Christians and Muslims responded talking about their Faith.

Most were very nice and inviting but some were pretty forceful.  My guess is some were not too helpful.

So, let me go back to a statement I made earlier… purpose is important.

But why?

Here’s why… I believe that in our basic emotional DNA there is this God given sense that there is something or someone bigger than us.

Think about it.  It’s kind of scary to think that we as human beings are the pinnacle of life as we know it.

If life or this world is no larger than we are… how sad.

Purpose is only meaningful because it takes us beyond our selves to something bigger.

On Thursday I will talk about what gives my life purpose and contributes to the question that started this flurry of blogs – How does one have a happy and fulfilled life?

Yes, Purpose is definitely a major piece of that question.

Ciao.