Sunday, July 27, 2014

Where Opportunity Lurks

There it is.  I see it.  It's on the other side of the boundary line marked "comfort zone."  The first time I jumped the fence it was scary.  My heart raced.  I stumbled.  My knees bruised.  I retreated.  Funny thing about opportunity.  It's knocking on our doors every morning at sunrise.  It keeps inviting.  One morning, my wife grabbed my hand and asked, "are you ready?"  She pointed to a place beyond the horizon and smiled.  I asked her, "how far away is it?"  She answered, "I don't know but I'm ready for a new opportunity."  The rest of the story is a fairy tale, unfolding before my eyes one page at at time.

Go ahead.  Give yourself permission to explore the unknown.  You're the only person who can determine what you're capable of, as long as you are willing to risk going too far.  Safe journey.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prayer, the Game Changer

I'm thankful for all the positive influences in my life.  I believe I'm still standing today because of the many prayer warriors amongst my friends and family members.  There's no other way to explain the blanket of protection I feel.  Prayer makes a difference.  It's a game changer.

Here's my prayer for you today...

Gracious and loving Father, I come to you today to offer thanks for the opportunity to share your presence in my life with others.  You gave us your only Son, Jesus, so we can be made new again.  Please help the person reading this prayer become alive again.  Make your presence known.  Wash away all sin.  I ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Peace be with you, my friend.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you ~ Matthew 7:7

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Tips for Solving a Major Challenge

The pyramid builders got the job done.  They found a way to win.  No computers.  No electricity.  Just a bunch of limestone and a large labor force.  I read an article the other day about how they poured water in front of the blocks of limestone in order to lower the resistance and allow the stone to glide across the wet sand.  The story inspired me to take a look at my life and find better ways to solve the current challenges I face.  Try these ideas and see if they make a difference in your life...
  1. Every problem needs a deadline.  Without a deadline, you can't calculate how much time you have to solve the problem and it drags on forever.  Give yourself a deadline to solve your problem and stick to it.
  2. Break the problem down into smaller parts.  The Egyptians built the great pyramids one stone at a time.  Focus your energy on one component at a time and don't move on until the first stone is in its proper place.
  3. Find the best way to move the stone.  Can you ask others to help you?  Is there a more efficient method?  Experiment.
  4. Rest before you get tired.  Your project will fail if you burn out.  It's like driving a car and running out of gas before you reach your destination.  Refuel while there's still gas in your tank so you can go the distance.
  5. Avoid distractions.  This was easy for ancient civilizations.  They weren't tempted by television or video games.  Stay focused until your problem is solved.
Don't forget to thank others for helping you solve your problems.  Acknowledge them and give them credit whenever someone compliments you on your success.  And remember to share your tips with others so they don't have to re-invent the wheel.  If you have any ideas to add to the conversation, please share in the comments section below.  Good luck with your pyramid building.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life is a Test, Are You Passing?

I'm glad I woke up this morning.  There are some things in my personal life I'm working on that need some adjusting.  I believe my test scores need some improvement.  The words of my Kindergarten teacher written on my first report card are as true today as they were almost fifty years ago... I think he can do better.

Today is a new day.  I'm going to put my heart into this day and raise my scores.  It's all about continuous improvement.  How about you?  Are you satisfied with your grade or do you think you can raise the bar?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All Life is an Experiment

"What's for dinner?"  I asked when I greeted my wife last night.  "It's a surprise," she answered.  I grabbed a bottle of beer and hustled down to the basement where our youngest son was waiting to watch a prerecorded match-up between the Padres and Cubs.  I took my first bite of my heavily seasoned surprise, served on a hot dog bun.  My wife peeked out from behind her book to get some feedback.  I tried a bite of the side dish.  "The Zucchini is amazing," I responded, withholding comment on the main course.  I searched for the proper words but I couldn't find them.

"This is the best Zucchini I ever tasted," I said.  "Thanks for being so positive," she said.  I congratulated her for making our food dollars stretch.  Rather than throw out something none of us liked, she took a mulligan and tried enhancing it.  That's why I love her.  She's full of surprises.  Most of them put a smile on my face.  All life is an experiment.  Go for it.  The more experiments you make, the better.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Change Your Appetite, Change Your Life

"This candy is evil," declared one of my co-workers.  "I'm done eating it."  She did something few of us do, she found a way to change her desire for something most of us can't resist.  It's not easy to change your appetite for something so tempting, like sweets or excessive spending.  I'm working on both and I'm on target.  It's life-changing.  Here's my secret:

In order to change your appetite, you need to give your brain something more desirable.  Your brain controls your taste buds.  If you can paint a better picture of what your life will become, then your brain will be willing to avoid short-term temptations.  There are two ways to win...
  1. Hope for gain.  Imagine what your body will look like when you reach your goals.  See yourself wearing slim jeans or wearing a swim suit at the beach.  Visualize how fun it will be to go on nicer vacations that you pay cash for.
  2. Fear of loss.  This is a powerful appetite changer.  Show your brain what your life will be like if you don't change your appetite.  This is like to TV shows where troubled kids visit prison for a day and get a chance to meet their future room-mates.  The scarier the picture, the better your chances are that you will change your appetite.
What's on your menu today?  Are you willing to make permanent changes that will enhance the quality of your life?  I'm rooting for you.  Today is a great day to change your appetite and change your life.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is it time to let go of your grudges?

I know a few people close to me who choose not to forgive.  They may never know the peace you find when you let go of past grudges and forgive.  It's impossible to hold on and let go at the same time.  Everything changes when you choose to let go.

Imagine you're holding a bunch of grudges in your hand.  They're like balloons.  Maybe you're afraid of what will happen if you let go of all of them at once.  Let go of one.  That grudge is now gone forever.  Do you feel better?  If the answer is yes, let go of another balloon.  Keep repeating.  Watch all the balloons floating away.  Today is a new day.  Your grudges are gone forever.  Have a great day.