When you feel like doing these, don’t:
- Hold a grudge
- Be lazy
- Be ungrateful
- Be selfish
- Seek revenge
- Be unwilling to love again
- Be cynical
- Be sarcastic
- Be rude
- Be fearful
- Be addicted
- Be racist
- Settle for less than the best
- Be unwilling to listen
- Not accept responsibility
- Not express your love
- Compromise your morals
- Insist you are always right
- Mess with Texas
- Doubt God
I never cease to be amazed at the things that people can do when they are pushed to their limits. Everyone has their breaking point, but it is at that point that we find out who we really are. It is said that who you are when nobody is looking reveals your true character. There is some truth to that, but I think you have to include being stressed to the breaking point as well. That reveals your strengths and weaknesses in ways that are unique.
When you are stressed to the max, what happens? Do you explode on people? Do you withdraw silently and sulk? Do you plot revenge? Do you hold a grudge? There are obviously a thousand responses to stress, but the one that we need to remember is to breath.
The other day I broke up a fight before it could really get started. Two boys were highly charged and ready to unleash on each other. I sent one to the back of the line and pulled the other one aside to talk to him. I just told him this, “Breath! You are worked up over something that does not really matter. Breath, and let it go.” He took a breath and visibly calmed down in front of me. Wow. The power of oxygen to the brain!
When you are stressed to the breaking point, wonderful things can happen if you are full of faith, hope, and love. Tragic things happen when you are filled with hatred, bitterness, and revenge. The difference in how you respond could literally be in breathing! You have to be able to think unemotionally to make a good decision.
As you look at the news on a daily basis it seems to be filled with people with flawed character: looters, murderers, and people who seem to lack a soul. They do what they want, when they want, to whom they want…with no thought of consequences. Here is what I believe: sooner or later everyone will be held accountable for their words and actions. My hope and prayer is that people of character will stand up and do what is right in the face of evil because evil never backs down if unopposed. We each have to do our part when we are stressed by doing the right thing, and that begins with simply taking a breath.
If you are stuck in reverse and continue to live in the past, try changing how you look at things. Be grateful for the good that happens and the blessings you have experienced. Expect good things in the future and give thanks for them now. Your attitude will dictate whether you get yourself in gear, but your faith will give you the gas to move forward and a compass to guide you. A great attitude and faith will take you to a place of peace, prosperity, and purpose. Let the past be in the past and fix your eyes on where you want to be. Appreciate what you have, and stay the course. Great things await you. Enjoy the journey.
Why So Many People Are In Denial
The impact of not admitting your faults is devastating, inhibiting, deceitful, cruel, and complicates your life in ways that you never imagined. Come to terms with who you are. Change those things that are rude, crude, selfish, and mean. You will be a better person and you will be a lot easier to be with. Admitting your faults does not make you weak, it makes you human.
Although robots taking over would be fun to write about, this is about the dilemma of the worldwide education system. I am referring to the artificial intelligence we are holding as the gold standard in education. This is the problem: Everyone seems content to teach to the test.
If you are new to education or perhaps a parent, you may be unaware of this issue, but it is alive and pervasive in education. Standards are set with expectation that certain levels of achievement much be achieved in order to graduate to the next level. The intent is good but the method is flawed. What is lacking is helping kids identify their passion and use that to fulfill their purpose in life. Isn’t that a fundamental desire of everyone on this planet? We all have that burning question: Why am I here?
I do not argue against the 3 r’s. We need to read, write, and be able to do math. What I have issue with is mandating courses regardless of interest or natural talent. We do give latitude when kids get to high school, but that is too late. Think about the millions of dollars that are wasted every year with kids going to college and then deciding after one, two, or three years or more that they took the wrong path and basically need to start over. How many kids finish college every year without a clue about who they are and what they are good at? Too many.
What I am suggesting is that we need to be helping kids identify their natural abilities and then encourage them and their parents to help that seed grow. We are doing a disservice to children to use cookie cutter approaches and neglect to teach them the very basic thing that will help them in life: How to learn. At early ages, much of learning takes place through play. Children learn basic social skills, rules of games, how to be competitive, how to win, and how to lose. Why have adults forgot to have fun in learning? Play is still an incredibly effective way to learn, regardless of age.
Along with reading, writing, and arithmetic, we need to add responsibility, reasoning, and relationships. We need to inject emotional intelligence into our artificial intelligent world. We have to help kids discover very early on who they are and then encourage them to use their God-given talents in whatever they want to do in life. When they learn what their talents are and use them, they will come alive and fulfill their destiny…and that is what we all want, isn’t it?
There is a proverb that says a man built his house on shifting sand. The winds came and the house collapsed. Another man built his house on solid rock. When the winds came, it withstood the storm.
This proverb could apply to building a house, building a business, or building a relationship. If there is not a firm foundation, it is going to collapse when the storms come, and as you know, in life…the storms WILL come.
What can you do to build a firm foundation?
- Don’t take shortcuts. Whether you are building something physically or emotionally, take the time necessary and use quality ingredients. If you are building something physically, the foundation is the most important piece of the structure. Make sure it is properly mixed, properly cured, and adequate in width and depth. If it is a relationship, the foundation of any relationship is made up of trust, respect, and love. If you have that as a foundation, it can stand any storm that life might throw at you. Take one of the elements out, and it is likely to fall.
- Don’t be deceived by the lure of the sand. I recently watched a million dollar house be burned to the ground because it was built on a cliff, and the ground below eventually gave way. The house was going to fall into the lake, so it had to be burned to the ground to protect boaters. What a tragedy that a structural engineer was not brought in to test the land first and see if it would stand the test of time. Insurance did not cover it because proper precautions were not taken. What a lesson to learn. Talk about learning something the HARD way!
- Have you ever seen a business that could not stand because it lacked a firm foundation? There is a reason that most businesses fail in the first five years. Lack of vision, lack of focus, lack of resources all contribute to the demise of thousands of businesses every year. Everyone goes into a business with great expectations of success, yet few are prepared for the storms. No business will make it without clear vision for where they are going. It takes great fortitude to not let the setbacks sink the ship or get you off course. Stay on course, and make sure you have the provisions to see you through the storm. Having a good crew is critical to success. Few people make it solo in this day and age.
- The cornerstone is the most critical piece of a solid foundation. The reason it is so important is that it is the first stone set in the foundation, and all others take their place in accordance with it. If it is not aligned properly, everything else will be askew. Make sure your cornerstone (physical or relational) is properly aligned.
May your foundations be firm, blessed, and secure.