761 – Just Be Real

Today was all about learning for myself the importance of just being real.

So much of my life, I tried to put up a protective wall or put on a protective mask…keep others out or keep myself in…make sure others can’t know the real me – they probably wouldn’t like me anyway.

It’s been almost 48 years I’ve lived those lies.

But today, for whatever reason (not even consciously known to me) I decided to just be real today.

And it was spectacularly successful. Even when it was ugly for a moment or two. When it was all said and done, the real-ness brought me much closer to the people I needed to support.

760 – Sanity Day

I’m writing this one the morning after…just needed to get to bed last night and for once, I listened to my body when it gently tapped me on the head and said it was time for sleep.

Similarly, yesterday I took a sick day from work…the first one in 2016…we can take up to 10 sick days off in a calendar year and I have taken one day off. I’m not saying all that to brag. If anything, I’m saying all that because it is sometimes difficult to face the fact I am not caring for myself correctly. With everything that’s going on right now, I had literally made myself sick with anxiety and stress.

I realized school would put me out of balance for a couple of years until I graduate, but in that same time I have also piled on all kinds of other responsibilities and activities. And somewhere along the way, sleep just kept taking a lower and lower priority. Unfortunately for me, I am not the young 10-foot tall and bulletproof guy I once was.

So yesterday, it all came to a head and I got sick enough to finally take a day off…a sanity day, if you will.

And it helped me to realize that God put the Sabbath in the commandments for a couple different reasons. One, so we could have a specific day dedicated to periodically reconnecting with Him on a deeper basis, giving time and attention to our relationship with Him. And secondly, as a day/time to recharge our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical batteries.

I think I will be taking a few more of these sanity days and will probably be much better off for having done so.

759 – Marching Along

Today was another day of marching along a little closer to things I want to be, do and have.

Sometimes big giant steps are cool. And sometimes little medium steps are cool.

And sometimes, very tiny little steps, just marching along, is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Yep…that was today, so to speak.

758 – Easing Into Massive Action

One of my favorite ways to approach goals is to ease into it. By this, I mean the exact opposite of what Tony Robbins teaches. Tony teaches that you must take massive action toward your goals and desires if you want to achieve more than you imagine is even possible.

On the other hand, I have always preferred to choose my goals and then ease into them.

I have already chosen some goals I will be working to accomplish beginning on my 48th birthday and going until my 49th birthday. So now the choice that stands before me is which approach I should use to accomplish those goals.

My normal approach, which has not proven as successful as I had hoped in numerous past attempts.

OR Tony Robbins’ approach, which has proven successful for Tony as well as hundreds of his students.

The choice is pretty clear.

757 – Even an Inch

This post is a day late, but that’s ok. I’m not writing to meet deadlines or increase subscriber count or anything like that. In fact, posting here is more of an exercise in making myself look back and see if I could learn a lesson from what happened during the day.

So…what happened yesterday that I can learn from?

Even an inch of progress is progress. Since I am not competing with anyone, even an inch of progress is progress.

With everything that happened…relationships took the focus of practically everything and all other areas – even an inch forward is still forward.

756 – Confirmation

I am doing this post in the early morning (about 4:30 am) of the day after. Was just too wiped out last night to make the post on schedule. And for some reason or other, just snapped awake just a few minutes ago. Soon as I make this post, I’ll be doing some heavy duty praying…I have a feeling my Abba Father has something important to tell me.

And that will be just like yesterday, when He told me something loud and clear, in the tiniest of whispers.

I have been filling in at my church, handling a certain job on  temporary basis, and part of the job includes an element of being a pastor. I have sensed God calling to the pastorate for  long, long time. But part of the process includes seeking confirmation of the call through everyday life experiences. Or, being put in a position to actually do it and doing it relatively well.

So that happened last night. I am both shy and introverted (yes, a potent combination) and tend to stay to myself a little more than most people. I will usually wait to engage until you engage me first. Otherwise, I don’t really want to impose myself on you.

But last night before worship practice started, without even realizing what I had done, I sat down next to someone on our worship team and engaged her in conversation. That turned out to be exactly what she needed in the moment and we had a very deep conversation in only a few minutes. Then we were able to pray together and later, make music together.

When it was all said and done, it was just another in a long string of confirming incidents that are all telling me I am doing the right thing to pursue a position as a pastor.

755 – Raising the Average

In the past, I held the belief that my personal success depended on constantly excelling, constantly raising my level of performance, and most importantly never having a step backward.

But that is simply not life. In real life, I have learned the hard way, I will make mistakes. I will not always excel. Sometimes my performance will simply not measure up. Sometimes I will have not just one, but two or ever three steps backward. If not more.

However, I have also learned the hard way the most reliable way to make progress and achieve my own vision of success is to raise the average. For example, if I average 5 miles in a 20-minute exercise bike ride, then my goal for next week is to average 5.5 miles.

Some people teach the idea of quantum leaps in performance and I say “Awesome for you!” If that approach works for you, then by all means continue to make the most of it.

In my current life situation, however, I am finding it more reliable and consistent to simply raise the average. This way, in the course of a year, I will have made those same quantum leaps – doubling my exercise output or doubling my savings account balance or something similar.

As I approach my next birthday in just over two weeks, I am setting a number of goals in which this approach will be invaluable. If you are interested in following that journey, go to My 49th Orbit beginning on September 5th.

Thanks for raising my average.

754 – Another Day, Another Dollar

Today was just one of those days in which I managed to drag out of bed, get going for the day and then…

…And then, it’s just one of those days where you do what you’re supposed to do, handle what you’re supposed to handle, deal with a little challenge here and there. Nothing spectacular but also nothing too bad. If I were to try and describe it, I would say “average”.

Fact is, there is nothing at all wrong with having one of those “just another day, another dollar” kind of days. Even when you’re engaged in world-changing activities or doing everything you can to chase your dreams. Even when you’re working on making a name for yourself.

We all tend to think that crossing the finish line is the most important thing. But it’s not.

And if we think about it a little, the starting line is pretty important. Without starting, there is no finishing.

But if we think about it a lot, we start to realize that the most important steps are the many between starting and finishing. Those are absolutely critical to your success in whatever you are trying to accomplish.

So, join me in celebrating the awesome fact that it was just another day, another dollar!

753 – Will and Way

It is just a few minutes past midnight as I start to write this. I have just finished homework for the day, investing my energy and time in preparation to be a pastor of some sort. I would love to say it was easy-breezy to stay up this late in order to do my assignments and do them in a high-quality way. But it was not, by any means, easy. In fact, it is the 17th consecutive night of doing this since my current class started.

Why? Because I have the will to finish this class and to do so with excellence. And I have the will to do so while living my life…busy though it is.

It’s just the latest example of this same idea. While I agree that the old saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” might be pretty trite and overused by now, it still holds a mighty truth: If you refuse to give up on your goal, you SHALL find a way to accomplish it.

Did not want to get out of bed this morning…but have the will to improve my health. So I found a way to get it done. The list of how this played out today is much longer, but that is not the important part. The main idea is the main idea for this one.

752 – Small Steps, Giant Leaps

One of my favorite video clips is from the moment when Neil Armstrong climbed down out of the Apollo XI lunar module and put the first human footprints into the lunar surface. As Neil said, it was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

And whether we realize it or not, very often our personal growth happens in much the same way. In the moment, something might appear to be a very small step. But a year from now, we look back and realize just how giant that leap really was. In fact, that one small step might be the true turning point – the first in a series of choices that leads you to the end result you wanted. To paraphrase Confucius, without that small step, your 1000-mile journey won’t happen. Ever.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, it doesn’t really matter if that small step is the first or the last. Without it, the journey is not complete, the goal is not achieved.

Today, I took another couple of small steps that will likely turn out to be giant leaps in the grand scheme of my life. I got out of bed…more like dragged myself out of bed…and did a short high-intensity interval bike ride. Then I signed up for a daily email that will help me read the Bible in chronological order over the course of a year. And later in the day I invested in the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan (find this at SuccessAcademy.com). This will give me a structured program in which I will be able to drip Jim Rohn’s incredibly effective life philosophy into my brain over the course of the next 12 months. Those will be small steps. And they’ll be giant leaps.

I also invested time in homework reading, reaching out to people to let them know I am grateful for them, making contact with someone who really needed to know someone cared, and handled a few things at work that will make a substantial difference in how we are perceived by our customer.

Small steps in the moment. Giant leaps in the big picture.

Be blessed.