Liking It Is Not Living It

We all do it. Most of us multiple times a day. Some say we’re addicted. We probably are. I’m talking about Face Book. Look around the mall, coffee shop, heck even the side walks are jammed with people face planted into their smart phones, engaged in social media. Okay, so I’m not even going to delve into the statistical data and multifaceted arguments about all the physiological erosion taking place. I have a more specific concern.

It’s that Face Book like button I’m worried about. I know, we all wish we had an unlike button many times too, but we don’t. That’s beside the point. Here’s the thing – we troll through our news feeds liking and sharing these cute pictures with these fancy quotes and sayings embedded in them all day long. But are we really paying attention to the words. Many of the ones I post and re-post garner that ever popular comment; Amen, frequently. I know what it means. You really liked it. It struck a nerve with you. It stirred your heart a little. Good. But here’s the thing; Liking it does not mean you’re living it. See, information is not transformation. When you like something someone else posted or quoted, do you ever stop and consider why you liked it? Did it really stir you? What is it that made you say “amen”?

While I often try to offer original thoughts and ideas, I mostly consider myself a curator. I am a collector of thoughts, and ideas, and quotes – verses, proverbs, saying, and such. And I love sifting through them and sharing the ones that mean something to me – or, ones I think will mean something to the followers on my page. But here’s the key; If it moves you, move into it. Inspired action is the only path to authentic, productive change. Otherwise we’re just members of the Amen choir. If something moves you enough to hit the like button and/or re-post it, then also consider why it was so significant.

As an example, I recently posted a photo with this quote by Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” I liked it because I believe it’s true. And because I believe it’s true, I’ve spent a lot of quiet time seeking to understand my purpose. I’ve allowed the idea to transform my life.

If you like that quote, consider why? If it stirs you, don’t ignore it.
Does that make sense?

Unless we are actively pursuing the substance of those thoughts, and verses, and saying, and quotes, and ideas, then all we are really doing is collecting information. If these pieces of revelation don’t inspire us to alter our life in some fashion, we are just wasting our time and our Amens. If you like it, live it. Find a way to incorporate those notions into your journey. Consider rethinking the like it button as your live it button. When you click it, believe you are saying, “I am going to take this idea in to consideration and find a way to incorporate action into my life.” How would your life be different if you lived the likes?

Advertisements

Real Problems

We seem to enjoy having things to complain about. Yet, for most of us, there is far more good in our lives than bad. So why the draw to the negative side? It seems our propensity to complain harkens back thousands and thousands of years to when our ancestors had yet to develop the power of speech. According to writer/minister Will Bowen, “they would cry out or whine (complain) when they perceived a threat. Their expression of alarm rallied the tribe to provide support and protection.” He continues, “complaining is a throwback to an unsafe world. But our chronic complaining perpetuates the lack of safety many people feel now … the average person complains 15 to 30 times per day and yet few lives warrant this much negative commentary.”

Author Gary Fenchuk writes, “The human mind often seems addicted to awfulizing and having troubles, and as soon as any particular problem does get resolved we become obsessed with replacing it with another problem – real or imaginary … there are problems, and there are real problems. The vast majority of us don’t have real problems. Our failure to distinguish between these two and appreciate the difference constitutes a colossal distortion of thinking – which has served effectively to destroy more lives than all the wars and diseases combined.”

To offer some perspective, consider what Eddie Rickenbacker wrote after being adrift on the Pacific ocean for 21 days. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned … was that if you have all the fresh water you want to drink and all the food you want to eat, you ought never complain about anything.”

To counter this nature to complain, best selling author Jon Gordon suggests five things to do instead:
1. Practice Gratitude. Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us.
2. Praise Others. Instead of complaining about what others are doing wrong, start focusing on what they are doing right.
3. Focus on Success. Start a success journal. Each night before you go to bed, write down the one great thing about your day.
4. Let Go. Focus on the things that you have the power to change, and let go of the things that are beyond your control.
5. Pray. Scientific research shows that daily prayer reduces stress; boosts positive energy; and promotes health, vitality, and longevity.

Each time you feel like complaining about something in your life, look around. Chances are you can always find someone who has it worse than you. Instead of complaining, run through the list above. There’s a good chance by the end, you’ll forget what it was that you were going to complain about anyway. And as Gary Fencheck concludes, “the mere absence of any major problems at present, should be a cause, in and of itself, for euphoria.”

Greg Tutwiler,  www.FreedomLiving.org

Morning Mojo

There’s an old Carpenter’s song that goes, “… Monday morning’s always get me down.” Ever feel that way?

How did you get your Monday morning MoJo?

According to research it is estimated that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day, with nearly 80% (45,000) of them being negative. Wow! So if you wake up with the Monday morning blues (or any morning for that matter), here are a couple things you can do to shift the mood.

1) Realize you’re not alone. (Remember that 80% theory.) It’s not personal. So give up the why me dance.

2) Reach for something positive. You’ve got to squelch those negative vibes. Have some positive quotes, a few Scripture verses, or some upbeat affirmations by your bedside or on your kitchen table. When you build a campfire you don’t throw a match to a hunk of wood. You’ve got to gather the kindling and coax the fire into a blaze. Same with you mental outlook. You need a little kindling to get your daily fire going.

3) Feed that fire. As your day comes at you, so will the negativity. So feed your mind with constant positive input. Set aside a few minutes throughout the day for quiet time, prayer, and a good quote or affirmation or three.

4) And before you go to bed, spend a few minutes counting your blessings for the day. Stay focused on the positive. When you go to bed with a mind full of good, there’s a greater chance you’ll wake up focused in a happier direction.

Want to break this down even further?
Sign-up for a complimentary 20 minute Life Strategy Session at http://www.FreedomLiving.org.

Undoing Unhappy

One of my favorite sales writers is Jeffrey Gitomer. Taped to the edge of my computer screen is this quote from his book Little Platinum Book Of Cha-Ching; “If you want to learn something new, all you have to do is study something that was written 100 years ago.” I’ve taken that theory to heart over the past few years as I journey further into the archeology my soul. Digging into old books has uncovered some golden nuggets to chew on.

Tucked in my library is a photo copy of a thin little gem by Ralph Waldo Emerson called Success. The original notes on the back cover say “five hundred and forty copies … printed in 1912.” Almost exactly 100 years ago, Emerson put this ink to paper. “Don’t be a cynic and a disconsolate preacher,” he said. “Don’t bewail and bemoan. Omit the negative propositions. Nerve us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of good. When that is spoken which has a right to be spoken, the chatter and the criticism will stop. Set down nothing that will not help somebody.”

Oh how much better we would fair in life if we would heed his words today. Seems the whole world is steeped in cynicism. The dictionary has the word disconsolate as being unhappy or cheerless. I know a lot of unhappy and cheerless people. Sad. Seems we are encouraged to chase happy – only to find emptiness is really all we’ve achieved.

“Set down nothing that will not help somebody,” he wrote. I wonder; how much better would our world be if that was our mantra? Don’t you think success would come more easily if that was our attitude every morning? (I’m talking to myself here too by the way.) Emerson later writes; “The affirmative of affirmatives is love.” Seems to me then that loving others will just about undo unhappiness. I like that.

Keep On The Sunny Side

Optimism … without it, all the other stuff doesn’t do a whole lot of good. Oscar Wilde wrote, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Where’s your focus? Glass half empty, or glass half full? Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Journalist Larry Miller wrote recently, “A study in the Netherlands that covered a nine year period and included nine hundred men and women, found that pessimists not only died sooner of all types of diseases, they also suffered higher rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
He goes on to write; “When we’re so preoccupied and ruminating on the things we perceive as bad in our lives and not feeling good, we don’t have time to see the good side of things and how they can help us feel better. Like Eeyore, in Winnie The Pooh, everything can look bleak if we focus on the downside.”
Life is going to deal you a bad hand from time to time – it’s just a fact. But how you choose to react; how you choose to hold those events is crucial. The old song “Keep On The Sunny Side,” makes a lot of sense. It takes practice to stay positive – but it takes practice to stay negative too. And that just might kill you.