Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Are you having trouble finding your Holiday cheer today? This is a good day to take a look at what's stopping you. There's still plenty of time to get in the mood. I know first-hand how challenging it can be to erase a painful memory or to deal with personal situations. Remember who you are – a reflection of the Creator of the universe. He sent his only Son into the world to turn things around for all of us. Reflect on that for a moment. It makes everything else seem trivial. The Holiday cheer is all about getting in the mood to celebrate the biggest birthday of all times. You are invited to share in the celebration. My prayer for you today is that you bury your past, stop worrying about your future and have some Holiday cheer today and all the days of your life. Today is your day. Savor it. Cheers!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Remain calm and breathe. Your calendar is full and you're wondering how you're going to survive this hectic time of year. I have a thought for you today. Consider it your solution for dealing with all the stress that comes with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the other man-made marketing ploys designed to cause hyper activity in the malls. Just close your eyes and dwell on what this time of year is really all about – the Spirit of Christmas. That's right. It's the Holiday Spirit. It's about giving. Spend some time with a friend who needs comforting. Stay away from the malls. Slow down. May the Holiday Spirit be with you today and remain with you throughout the New Year ahead. Have a great day.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Take a look around you. Soak it all in. This is the season of joyful expectation. I can't think of anything more joyful than celebrating the birth of our Savior. Forget about the traffic. Don't fret about the long lines. Remember the reason for the season. Have a great day.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
I live in a mental state I call the blue zone of happiness. It's some sort of invisible bubble no one else can see. There's a thermostat to control my overall mood. Although occasional hackers attempt to override the climate control buttons, I've been able to remain happy in all circumstances.
One of my high school classmates posted a FB message yesterday thanking friends and family for caring about him during his time in the hospital while he was undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery. I had no clue he was ill. I also had no clue my blue zone of happiness was on the same collision course as my buddy from Snora's Spanish class at SHS. Happiness cannot exist when you're six feet under.
I'm happy to share my life here on this blog. I promise not to intrude on others who may choose to live in the red zone. For those seeking alternatives, you're welcome to connect with me. Like many others from the high school class of '78, my hope is that our loved ones can plug into something potentially helpful to themselves. It's personal. Have a great day.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Every 42 seconds someone in America is having a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Are you at risk? Someone I know barely made it out of the hospital alive. His wife told me two arteries in his heart were 100% blocked and a third artery was 75% blocked. He was totally unaware he was sick. Young people are not exempt from heart disease. I read a story about how 75% of heart attacks in young people could be prevented by lifestyle choices.
Ask yourself what lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your risk for heart disease. Be proactive. I'll be sharing more about my personal story on May 1 when I release my next book. Have a great day.
Friday, November 25, 2016
It's a simple request but it's also complicated. The complicated part has to do with the dark side within us. How can there be peace on earth if we can't even have peace inside our own heads? My hope is in the one who will come. For many it will be a first appearance. For others it will be an encore much greater than the one shepherds witnessed 2,000 years ago in an unexpected place.
Black Friday is nothing more than a feeble attempt to fill a void only Jesus can satisfy. Yesterday we were thankful. Today we're elbowing strangers to be the first one in line to get more stuff we really don't need. What happened to the peace? Thirty days. That's all we have to get ready. It's not about more stuff. It's about peace. This is my wish. Are you with me? Have a great day.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Today is a great day to count your blessings. Savor it. See the good in all the people seated around you today at the table. Remember those far off serving our country. Keep the lost and the fallen in your prayers. Let go of all your grudges. May this be your best Thanksgiving ever. Happy Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I'm a big fan of the serenity prayer. On the surface it seems really simple. It goes like this...
- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
- Courage to change the things I can,
- And wisdom to know the difference.
Simple, right? There's a catch. You're giving a shout out to the Creator of the universe with a request and you're tapping into God's divine nature every time you pray this prayer. The potential here is unlimited. The layers of serenity are infinite. The deeper you go, the more peace you will have in your life.
The biggest lesson I discovered is that with God, the things that can be changed increase exponentially. Courage flows through your veins and gives you the surge of energy you need to make changes. Your wisdom will confuse the Enemy attempting to disrupt God's plans for your life. This is what happens when you make the serenity prayer a part of your daily life. Have a great day.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Remember that mess you were in on New Year's Day when you looked back at all those Holiday parties and regretted all the food mistakes you made? Maybe you held everything together really well until the calendar flipped to the last month of the year and then you did it again – you regained all the weight to you fought so hard to release during the year. Don't panic. It's not too late to set up preventative measures and close out the year strong. I call it the 90/10 Holiday Food Survival Guide. All you need to do is get it right 90% of the time. Here you go...
- Divide everything you eat or drink into two categories – healthy and pleasure-seeking.
- Every time you go for pleasure-seeking, add nine healthy choices to your plate.
- Repeat at every party you attend.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Fred Flintstone kept things simple. Like me, he enjoyed the primitive versions of our modern conveniences without the excessive price tags. I'm typing today's blog story while sitting in a used recliner I found in the attic of a furniture store when I moved to Iowa. Mrs. Caveman and I picked up a pair for $75 each. The couch was barely out of the plastic when someone decided to return it because the color wasn't right. I about fell over when the salesperson told us he could let it go for $150. When he saw our teeny tiny Flintstone car he offered to deliver the furniture for free in the company truck. Four-and-a-half years later we're still enjoying our vintage vehicles and our used furniture. There's a reason we live this way – financial independence.
Mrs. Caveman is narrowing her choices for a replacement automobile. The only thing she's firm on is the method of payment. Her next automobile will be at least 50% depreciated and there won't be any monthly car payments attached to the price tag. I know one thing for sure – when she's reclining in her car seat she will have a big smile on her face. Have a great day.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Sorry for the late post today. It was the final review of the day that saved me. My day started with an early morning three hour appointment to get my satellite TV service restored and I got out of my routine. The rest of the day was family time. My 2,645 consecutive days of blogging nearly ended. That's why the final review of the day is important. It's your last chance to correct anything missing from your day. My checklist is complete now. I'll be back tomorrow at 8:08 AM. Have a great day.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
It's easy to be thankful for all the good things in your life. What about the challenges? I'm currently reviewing the tough situations I faced during this last year in order to set up an improved game plan for 2017 and something odd strikes me – those times when I found myself losing traction are actually the times when I learned an important lesson in order to power forward. I believe getting stuck in the mud can be helpful. That's why I give thanks in all circumstances. I'm especially thankful for all the lessons I learned this year.
Take a moment today and review the last eleven months of your life. Are you thankful for each day? What lessons did you learn? What will you do differently in the coming year? Have a great day.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Why is it that you're turning over part of your hard-earned paycheck to your bank every month? I'm talking about that extra fee the banks charge on their money. They use a clever word that sounds sexy but it's really anything but sexy. I despise the use of the word interest. Why not call it "puke"? That's right – puke. That's how you should feel every time you imagine what these bank fees are doing to disrupt your debt free life. Perhaps if you get a sick feeling in your stomach every time you look at the puke, maybe you will take charge of your interest. You have the power to become your own bank.
It's no fun being sick. If you want to get financially healthy, minimize the puke. Stop reading all those marketing invitations to add more puke. It may look like zero puke in the initial offer but it multiplies like deadly bacteria as soon as you get sucked in. Attack the puke now. Immunize yourself against future puke. You can do this. Have a great day.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
You have three choices every time you face a tough situation – give up, give in, or give it your all. I find giving it your all works best, although it requires nonstop intensity. Surround yourself with people who support your efforts. Give it your all in all you do. Make it your lifestyle. Have a great day.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
What comes to you mind when you think about areas of your life where the finish line seems elusive? I think the quote above sums up what the real challenge is. There are times when I doubt I'm on the best course. I wonder if I should have done things differently. What helps me keep going is knowing I'm making the best decisions with the information available at the time. Are there mistakes? Yes. Can they be corrected? Yes. Can I go the distance? Absolutely. Am I committed? 100%. Let's promise one another we will not lose sight of the finish line and let's stay loyal to what we said we were going to do long after the mood we said it in has left us. Deal? Have a great day.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I returned from the outer limits of my comfort zone last night. It felt like being on top of a high mountain where the oxygen is low and the altitude makes you dizzy, even a bit queasy. I admit it was a scary place. The truth is I would go there again in a heartbeat if that's what it takes to stand up to the dark forces in our world.
All I can say today is thank you, friends and family, for all your prayers. Today I will concentrate on regaining my footing. You mean the world to me. I am blessed. Have a great day.
Monday, November 14, 2016
How far have you ventured outside your comfort zone? How did it feel? Would you go there again? What lessons did you learn? I can't share the details of my own adventures because of confidentiality promises, but I can offer my general opinion. It's scary. It requires boldness. I'm in new territory today. The only way I can handle this is knowing I'm not alone. Jesus is my friend and my companion. I need Jesus today more than ever. My prayer for you is that you don't turn around when you reach the end of your comfort zone. Your destiny is near. Have a great day.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
My surgeon thought I was joking when I asked him if the mesh he was using to repair my groin hernia would last another 40 years so I could compete in the Men's 90 doubles national championships with my cousin, the one who eliminated my chronic health issues. "I'm serious," I told him. He smiled and nodded affirmatively.
Life is simply making daily corrections and necessary adjustments to reach long term goals. Longevity is important. Take care of the impediments. They come in many flavors – poor nutrition, excessive debt, lack of exercise, unhealthy relationships and a sense of helplessness. May you live long and prosper. Have a great day.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Her high school jeans she's wearing in the picture above no longer fit. That's what happens when you lose 18.8 pounds. I would like to thank Paige for giving the Caveman Food Experiment a try and for sharing her story with so many others who are inspired by results. Paige told me her boss approached her wanting to know why see seemed to be so happy and bubbly. "He noticed," she said with a tooth paste commercial smile. I couldn't be happier for her. Her 45 day experiment may be over but this is just the beginning of a whole new life for Paige and for the people around her willing to follow her amazing example. Stay tuned for more details. I'll share more on May 1, 2017. Have a great day.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Today is a new day. I like the idea of having a clean slate. How about you? Are you feeling like some boldness in your life? Give it a try. You might stumble. You might fall. That's okay. Boldness will get you places you could never find with complacency. I feel like climbing a mountain today. Care to join me? Let's go. Have a great day.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The election is over. Some are crying. Others are in disbelief. The silent ones walked softly into their voting booths and chose a new leader who never held political office. Most believed his odds of winning were slim to none. It's an amazing process to observe. I admit I got sucked in and remained glued to my TV until a winner was declared.
What's next? I'm hoping for some good old fashioned healing. We are all in this together. We face some serious challenges ahead. I believe the most powerful check and balance we have in this great country we live in is the power to vote. The entire House is up for re-election every two years. 1/3 of the Senate can be voted out every two years. And the President gets an up or down vote every four years. What appeared to be on the ballot yesterday was a vote for change. This is a great opportunity to stop the mudslinging and try some olive branches. Have a great day.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Imagine you're in a place where there are no cell phones, computers or electronic devices to communicate with others. You are all alone. For me, this is the best way to connect with God. In Psalm 46:10, He says, "Be still and know that I am God." The Greek translation of Be Still is Hush. We can't hear God if we're too busy talking. I'm guilty of this. Just for today I'm going to concentrate on being still. Today is a good day to calm down and know who is really in charge. Electronic devices are not needed. Prayers are the most powerful communication tools known to man. Perhaps the ratio of two ears to one mouth reminds us to rely more on listening rather than speaking. Have a great day.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Happiness is a state of mind. If you're feeling out of shape, perhaps your happiness muscle needs attention. It's possible this area of your life needs greater focus because something beyond your control changed. Look around. Are there more negative people in your life than usual? Are the negative political ads getting on your nerves? Maybe there's a threat of job losses at your work or someone close to you is struggling. When these situations get you down, it's time to increase your happiness workout. Your personal well being depends on this. Here are some fitness suggestions to tone your happiness muscle:
- Do happy things. I like to play tennis and swim. Both activities calm me down. Make sure happy activities are on your daily to do list.
- Help others. There's nothing more gratifying than helping someone who could benefit from your generosity. Make this a daily habit.
- Smile. This requires less effort than frowning and it helps others cheer up.
- Practice gratitude in all circumstances. The good things in your life you're naturally thankful for are light workouts. The heavy lifting comes from the tough situations you're dealing with. Be especially thankful for these because these are the times you can achieve amazing results. You need these heavy workouts for a well-toned happiness muscle.
- Fly with happy birds. They soar above the crowd because they are constantly flapping their happy wings, even when the weather outside may not be optimal.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Talk is cheap. I like to focus on what someone is saying by observing their actions. You may not like it but the truth is impossible to cover up – you are a walking billboard. What does your walking billboard say about you? No, the billboard in the picture isn't necessary. You already have everything you need to broadcast your message. Remember the location is as important. Where do you travel? Are you ever MIA? Sometimes no message is a message others can see loud and clear.
If your message has been tarnished over time or you feel you lost your connection to others because they decided to tune you out for past mistakes, it's not too late to clean things up. I'm on my way to a place I visit once a week. My prayer today will be to work on my walking billboard. It's the only billboard I can control and I want the message to be a reflection of my billboard creator. This is not a popularity contest. Sometimes I feel invisible. That's okay. If one person can see my billboard today and feel a little better because of the message, I will a sense of accomplishment. How about you? Are you ready to convey your message today? Have a great day.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
A willy-nilly approach to your morning routines may lead to extra stress in the workplace and more pounds around your waistline. You can cut down on clutter and chaos by robotizing your mornings. What you do in the morning sets the tone for your entire day. I like to decide what time I'm going to wake up and then add eight hours of sleep to that target so I have maximum alertness when the alarm goes off. The next step is to think of the three most important priorities of the day during the first fifteen minutes of your morning. For me, writing this blog is my first priority. I don't do anything else until the story is complete. The next step is to weigh myself. This helps me to know how what I've eaten in the last 24 hours affects my body. Then, I load up on a big breakfast to help me get through the first part of the day. Everything else feels like cruise control when I focus on steady morning routines. Give it a try and discover why your morning matters. Have a great day.
Friday, November 4, 2016
I'm sharing my progress report today from the Caveman Food Experiment I entered fourteen months ago. What's missing in the the weight chart above is the first week of data. My initial weight at the beginning of September, 2015 was 185. I weighed in this morning at 151.6. In fact, my weight has been holding steady in the 150 to 155 pound range for the last twelve months. In my opinion, these numbers won't change for the rest of my life as long I stick to the foods recommended at the beginning of the experiment by my cousin, Dr. John Mulligan, while avoiding certain foods I believe to be trouble makers.
People ask me how I get the discipline to maintain my weight. Other than the first 45 days of adjusting to my new food program, it's not really discipline. I believe it's simply choosing to eat the foods my body likes while skipping the foods my body dislikes. I love my morning smoothies with a fried egg covered in mushrooms, onion, tomato and nuts. My daily spinach salad, also topped with nuts, raisins and tomato tastes delicious without any need for dressing. And my dinner is my opportunity to experiment with new ideas based on fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds. I'm planning on including some of these recipes when I publish more details about my adventures in food, scheduled for release on 5/1/17. That's it from the lab rat. Have a great day.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
You are your greatest opponent of all times. Every game you play is won or lost in your head. Once you understand the rules of head games your odds of success increase dramatically. Think about a time in your life when you blew it. If you dig deep, you will probably see how your own mind played a role in the defeat. Head games are a part of life.
If negative self talk is hindering you, I have bad news – it never really goes away. The good news is you can overcome those pesky voices in your head by filling your head with positive affirmations. You need ten positive thoughts for every negative one. When you blitz your brain with strong messages you can distract it from the thoughts that drag you down and cause you to freeze under pressure. This is how you become a winner at head games. Give this a try. Have a great day.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
If every taxpayer in America were asked to write a check for his or her share of the nearly 19 trillion dollars of debt we owe, nearly 100% of those checks would bounce. Can you write a check for over $150,000 today? How about just covering the interest on your portion? These numbers are worse than what our grandparents faced in the Great Depression. I believe taking personal responsibility for our own house is the first step. After all, the leaders we vote for are a reflection of ourselves. If we want real change, we need to work on how we manage our finances before we can point fingers.
I'm in the third quarter of my life and that half time locker room talk wasn't pretty. I reviewed all the fumbles, interceptions, missed opportunities and failed game plans and decided what I needed was a new game plan. I needed to declare war on credit card spending. Other than my mortgage, I'm finally avoiding getting sacked with interest. When the defense is on the field, it's all about getting the football back. Debt is bad. Very bad. We are living in a war zone and don't even realize it.
How can you win your war on debt? Your first step is to declare war. Stop charging. Just stop. Forget about the game clock. If it's ticking, you still have time. Take it one day at a time and learn to live on a cash basis. If every family in America will do this, we can show our leaders a better example of what is needed to tackle our 19 trillion dollar problem. We can win this war, one household at a time. Are you in? Have a great day.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
I'm inviting you into my kitchen today for a recipe I've been working on for a long time. You can file it under "Recipe for a great life." Here goes:
1 cup of patience
1 pint of forgiveness
1/2 gallon of humor
3 pounds of perseverance
1 grain of faith (about the size of a mustard seed)
1 sprinkle of purpose
5 pounds of gratitude
How to Prepare
I like to start with the grain of faith and the sprinkle of purpose because I believe they are the two most important ingredients in the recipe for a great life. As for gratitude, five pounds is the minimum amount I recommend. The more of this ingredient you add, the better your life gets. Humor can be adjusted down for those who may not like the flavor. This ingredient has been in my family for countless generations. Patience and forgiveness are best blended together. There are certain seasons when more of these two ingredients are called for so make sure to stock them heavily. If you are a parent or if you are from a large family, you know what I mean.
Please share this recipe with friends and family. If you're having trouble locating any of these ingredients, please subscribe to this blog and I'll do my best to help you. Keep in mind, I'm still working on this recipe and it will never be perfect. I wanted to share it with you because I believe this recipe is making a difference in my life. Have a great day. Thanks for sharing.