Posted in Change, Health, Life, Parenthood, Relationships, Sharing, The Family, Time, Willpower

Make a habit of it!

You know, I was recently thinking about the habits I have. Like everyone I have some good habits and bad habits and it made me wonder why we never think to capitalize on this concept?

Habits are behaviors that are regularly repeated and can even occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when doing a routine task. Habituation is one of the simplest forms of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners – technically speaking.

Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviors become automatic is habit formation. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioral patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways, but it can be done.

The general population only seems to be interested in the bad habits. If someone had a habit of helping seniors with their groceries or helping them with chores, no one would care. If a guy had a habit of womanizing, we could draw a crowd pretty quick.

What if we were able to effectively trick our bodies into forming habits that were good for us? I mean instead of just falling into a bad habit, what if we were calculated with forming a good habit? Our bodies seem to respond well to repetition and at least in theory it would work. What if we formed a habit of eating five servings of vegetables and fruits per day? What if we made it a habit of giving our kids a daily dose of encouragement? What if we made it a point to make someone’s life a little easier every day? Whether it’s at home or at work, there are people in our lives who would be affected in a positive way if we thought to give them some unsolicited help.

It is the little things in life that make it worth living. It’s the things that money can’t buy. I need to make a habit of exercising daily. I need to make a habit of building the reputation of a helper. I need to make a habit of visiting my parents weekly. I need to make a habit of eating more salad.

What about you?

Posted in Children, Giving, God, Love, Parenthood, Relationships, society, Sports, The Family

The family constellation

The family is the most important institution in the world. It is the cornerstone of our society and an incubator for the future generations.

It is important to take care of this institution. Our future depends on it.

I believe that we need to apply some basic bible principles of love, collective work and responsibility and faith.

I compare this to a well-oiled basketball team. All the great teams have the same thing in common. Each player cares about the other. The work is shared and everyone wants to do their part. The group also believes in each other and the cause that they are going for — whether it be the championship or striving for the good life.

Each member of the team or family plays an important part. The guards are the first line of defense on one side and the initiators of the offense on the other side. The forwards attack and defend the baseline of the goal and the center brings balance.

In a family of five, one scenario could be a strong wife (point guard); oldest child (shooting guard); the other two kids playing the forward positions and the dad is the center.

Problems occur when some members don’t feel like they are a part of the team or choose not to hold up their end of the bargain. Family commitment is important and this is a good time to recommit to the health and welfare of the family.

Parents need to believe it! Children need to see it! And the world needs to follow the example!

Long live the family!

Posted in Accountability, Change, God, Justice, Life, Marriage, Parenthood, Patriotism, Penalties, Politics, Relationships, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth, Uncategorized

Truth or consequences?

Jesus, on one occasion, said to let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.

He wanted us to honor our words. If you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it. Keep your promises. Don’t say things that you do not mean. All of these things speak to the character of the one saying them.

Our society has a hard time keeping its word. From government and politicians to the pulpits and preachers and everyone in between, we struggle to keep our word.

It has been so bad that once we are found not keeping our word, the response is so callous and matter-of-factly stated, “oh well.” ” It happens.” “Get over it!”

Wives are not keeping promises to manage the home; husbands and fathers are not taking care of their families; whole school systems have failed to keep their promises to educate; and the governments deceive.

What judgment are we to face because of this? One of the seven things God hates is a lying tongue. We need not to make this too complicated. Imagine a world where everyone kept their word? Imagine a world where honesty is the most important thing and not profit?

Don’t get caught living in lies! For we must realize that we are not merely lying to men, but to God and his judgment is coming.

Let’s make 2012 a better year by presenting ourselves open and honest before God and mankind.

Posted in Accountability, Happiness, Health, Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships, Sharing, Sports, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Uncategorized

Your love of tennis means nothing

It seems in these trying times we live in that it is getting more difficult to navigate our relationships. One would think that we all needed therapy as sometimes it seems that we can’t do anything right.

Either we are not working together or we’re going in two different directions. Or we are being to critical or not critical enough. We are too self-fish, too demanding, too righteous, too lazy … well you get the picture. I want to share a concept with you that may shine some light on how we are supposed to get along and how we can gravitate toward the positive and benefit both parties — and we do this with tennis.

Now I’m not asking you to go play or watch tennis. What I want to do is borrow a few concepts to make a point.Imagine your troubled relationship as a doubles team in tennis. To play doubles in tennis you have to know a little bit about the strengths and weaknesses of your partner. Not only do you have to know them, but you have to use their strengths and protect their weakness. Did you catch that? I said you must use their strengths and protect their weaknesses.

Some tennis players are slow moving to their weak side. Others might have a strong right hand, but a horrible back hand. When you learn these weaknesses and strengths you are able to set up your partner in a way that they are going to look like a pro. So if my partner is not as strong going to her left, guess who will play on her left side? You got it. Now, if I don’t play on her left side once I figure out that this is a weakness for her, shame on me!

If my partner has a strong right hand, then my job when I serve is to place the ball so that when it returns, it comes to her right side. Of course, it’s impossible to make this happen every single time, but you can manipulate that serve enough that it happens more than enough to win.

Why would I want to do that you ask? Well if I view my partner as truly being my partner, I have her best interest in mind. If you are not sure of this, you need to have a heart-to-heart with your partner and see if she or he feels that you hold their best interest. What a wonderful opportunity life provides if the significant other feels that you don’t have their best interest. Take this challenge and honor your mate by letting him or her know that you admire their strengths and you promise to protect their weaknesses. Humility will make them say it back to you. Where as love means absolutely nothing in tennis, it means everything in true relationships.

Tennis anyone?

Posted in Divorce, Happiness, Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships, Sharing, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family

The whole equals the sum of it’s parts?

In some instances the whole does equal the sum of it’s parts. But there are other instances when the whole is either greater or less than the sum of it’s parts. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, to fully understand the scope of any relationship it’s important to know what each participant in the relationship believes about the whole.

Aristotle is first credited with saying the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. In theories of proximity the whole is equal to the sum. In relativity, Einstein is credited for saying the whole is less than the sum of it’s parts. His logic was that the sums are greater by themselves than they are with a whole. Think for instance about the Miami Heat. LeBron James makes less money being one of the stars as opposed to being “the” star. As an individual he is worth more than he is playing with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

So when it comes to relationships, there are some people who believe that the whole is greater than the sum. There are others who believe that the whole and the parts are equal. And still others who think that the whole is far less than the sum of the parts. If you are in a fulfilling relationship then it makes sense for you to believe that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts because you and your mate both contribute to the relationship and sacrifice to make it work — for the greater good (the whole).

Someone in a not so good relationship may feel that the whole is not worth the parts. Many who have gotten divorced have already arrived at this conclusion. If you have a lazy partner, or one who does not handle his or her business affairs properly, it makes it difficult to keep focused on the big picture (the whole). If you are the one that handles everything, makes all the money, takes responsibility, manages all the problems and you view your partner as simply another mouth to feed, then your whole is definitely less than.

If you have recovered from a bad relationship and are on the rebound, you are now looking for balance in your life and relationships. You now begin to search for a relationship that will be equal to the sum of it’s parts. This new relationship is where the parts are “equally yolked” and you see your partner as an equal partner working in concert with you. You two are like-minded in thought and action and you share the same values.

We find ourselves in various types of relationships. Right or wrong should be determined by the views of both parties in the relationship. If you are struggling in a relationship, I encourage you to seek counseling. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED CAN BE FIXED, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO FIX IT. All fixes take time. And if you both have a desire to allow the whole to be greater than the sum of it’s parts, then commit to making it work and seek professional help now.

Posted in Change, Giving, Life, Love, Relationships, Sharing, The Family

Count it all JOY

I work in a place that surrounds me with death. Not in the morgue or the ER and I’m not a grave-digger or a funeral director; I work in hospice.

These groups have a lot in common, but I want to talk about one fundamental difference. In hospice we meet families on the brink of a major tragedy: Someone close to them is dying.

How is it possible to “count it all joy” when someone signs on to Hospice?

To count it all joy is to understand what God intended for us to bring to each calamity. As the flesh brings destruction, the spirit is supposed to bring joy.  That joy is not limited to the expectation of eternity, which is awesome in and of itself!  Those who are left after the trial have been placed in a unique position: They can either sit and have a pity party or they can share their story with someone who’s going through a similar trial.

You see, we are allowed the experiences we have for the purpose of growth. Not just growth for us, but for everyone in our scope of influence. We need growth. We need both good and bad experiences. We need to share our stories.

I remember last Mother’s Day, talking to a friend of mine who buried her mother the previous year. I asked how she was doing and she said, “not good.” I asked what she was experiencing and she just looked at me with tears in her eyes and gave me a big, long hug. Afterwards she asked me a favor.

She said, “will you go and give that hug to your mom and tell her you love her and thank her for being your mom?” She said that she only wished that she could do that for her mom one more time.

Boy, I saw motherhood in a different light that day. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate my mom, in fact we are a very loving family. However, sometimes even though we assume a person knows how we feel, it’s always a good practice to let them know … and let them know often.

I did exactly what my friend asked me and I don’t want to spoil the results for you. Please go to whoever is special in your life and hug them as if it will be the last time. And then let them know how special they are to you.

It will change the way you see the world.

Posted in Change, Determination, Health, Life, Perseverance, Progress, Relationships, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth, Willpower, Work

Resolutions should be a way of life

Of the 50 percent of Americans who make resolutions, 90 percent of them break their resolution by the middle of January.

It seems that the end of a year gives us a temporary conscience. It bothers us enough to acknowledge that there are things in our lives that need fixing, but nothing about the New Year makes us want to do anything more than admit it and move on.

We know that there are people who don’t need to be in our lives and there are things we need to just flat out stop doing. Whether that is ending a destructive relationship or maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, we need to be far more serious about this.

Here is a practical way to keep your resolutions. Don’t do a resolution for a year; do them by the day, hour or even minute.

A resolution is a way of admitting we’re wrong and need to be better regarding something in our life. Why not make the idea of resolving ourselves a way of life? What would be wrong with keeping the imperfection ever before us – even to the point of letting others know that you recognize the need to change in this area. Then legitimately work on it. Really commit to the change and raising the bar of expectation in your life.

By doing this daily, I think you will find that those around you will begin to acknowledge a different you. After all, that’s what we all want anyway, right?