You Can Do More Than You Think

There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do Henry Ford

“If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your own limits.” -Don Ward

There’s a Saturday Night Live sketch that features Kenan Thompson as a middle school student with a broken knee. Scarlett Johansson and his other classmates repeatedly convince him to attempt walking, quoting a teacher who frequently lectures on the power of positive thinking. Despite their promises that anything is possible, he repeatedly falls flat on his face.

I loved this sketch, not because of some schadenfreude-induced need to see children crying. I love it because it reminds me of the many times I’ve seen comments on blog posts about possibilities, where people cite things that are obviously not possible.

While we can do a lot in life, running on a leg that you just broke is not (currently) medically possible. Flapping your arms and flying like a bird is just not possible. Turning your horse into a unicorn is just not possible. And switching bodies with your best friend, though commonly seen in movies, is just not possible.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus on the many difficult things that are, in fact, possible, despite what people once thought.

It is possible to run a 4-minute mile. It is possible to fly a heavier-than-air plane. It is possible for a person to walk on the moon. It is possible to perform a full-face transplant. It is possible for an African American man to become the President of the United States.

People do “impossible” things every day. If we believe in ourselves and take smart risks, we can, too.

You might not be able to leave your job tomorrow, but you can discover your passion and start a business. You may not be able to win a Webby Award tomorrow, but you can create a site that makes a difference in the world. You might not be able to change that you have a physical limitation, but you can find a way to empower yourself because of it, not in spite of it.

Today if you find yourself dwelling on what’s possible, remind yourself: You can do more than you think if you’re willing to stop making excuses and start testing your limits.

Today’s article was written by Lori Deschene. Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Today’s article was shared from the following website: https://tinybuddha.com/quotes/tiny-wisdom-you-can-do-more-than-you-think/

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4 Things That Truly Matter

What matters most are those things which, in the presence of God, still matters most JoAnna Oblander“It is not living that matters, but living rightly.” ~ Socrates

When we live lives disconnected from those things that truly matter, sidetracked by the unimportant, lost in the frivolous, distracted by the superficial, our lives start to ring hollow, empty and vacant.

When, on the other hand, we live our lives dedicated to those things that matter most, a greater sense of happiness rubs up against us, walks beside us, calls on us, and even moves in and redecorates our bathrooms.

The choice is obvious. But deciding what matters and what doesn’t is sometimes, and for some people, less obvious.

This is especially true in a Hollywood-centric, pop-culture saturated media-driven ethic.

In such a culture, the substanceless can appear heavy with content, the silly can look profound and the meaningless can seem pregnant with meaning.

So what then truly matters? Here’s a few items on my list. See if they match up with yours.

4 Things that Matter

1. Values Matter

Our values identify what’s important to us and how we prioritize our time, energy and attention. They reflect what we stand for. They define the outer limit of what we’re willing to tolerate and what we’re not. They determine the context of what we’re willing to pursue and what we won’t.

We’re set adrift to flounder in the uncertain moral muck of life when we lack a well-defined set of moral values on which to stand.

Values matter because a life without them is ultimately utilitarian, self-absorbed and unhappy. Our values act as anchors in storms and strings on kites, adding the tension that creates lift but also keeps us from nose-diving into trees or flapping aimlessly in the wind to nowhere.

In the absence of values, we’re rudderless in the pull of moral riptides and trapped in the quicksand of “anything goes.” And when anything goes, everything tends to, including things like self-discipline, self-confidence and self-respect.

2. Relationships Matter

How we treat those closest to us is more significant as a measure of our character than how we treat the stranger or the person we want something from.

I’ve seen families where parents treat their children worse than their friends and their spouses worse than strangers. This is sad to me.

The quality of our relationships is a predictor of the quality of our lives because most of life’s meaning lies within the context of other people. We’re mothers and fathers and spouses, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, employers and employees and teachers and students. So it’s in those relationships that we can do the most good and experience the most meaning.

We are at our most noble and decent when we are in the service of others. When we lift people, we are likewise lifted.

Besides, an isolated life is a self-absorbed one. But the irony is that a life exclusively or even mostly focused on the self is a life missing a fundamental ingredient to purpose and happiness.

So love those who are open to being loved and figure out a way to love those who aren’t. In the process of doing both, the rising sense of meaning and purpose and happiness in your life will be a much more constant companion.

3. Faith Matters

We live in an age of growing faithlessness. People have lost faith in tradition and God, in organized religion, in the institution of marriage and in others. There is less faith in governments and programs and ideologies, in political parties and even in humanity.

The problem is that faith is a principle of action. It inspires and leads and directs and moves us to do, to overcome, to believe and accomplish.

What you believe in — what you trust as right and wrong, true and false, good and bad — plays a significant role in how happy you are able to become. Whether we are talking about faith in God or humanity or Truth or yourself, that faith is critical to living life anywhere near its potential.

Faith is the expectant exercise of hope. It is the root to the tree of action. It is the seed of planning and goals and steps taken toward dreams and through challenges and into happiness.

Faithlessness is life at the edge of hopelessness. It is a life untethered from an assurance beyond the obvious, seen and tangible.

Faith propels us into the dark through to the other side of night. It takes us by the hand across the bridge or along the ledge when the next step is obscured and uncertain. It’s what takes us to the heights of possibility because we believe that wherever we rest now, there’s something more, something higher, something greater down the road. That too is the offspring of faith.

For many of us, faith in God is an added bedrock of assurance upon which we can build. That faith becomes a lighthouse in the darkest moments in our lives and a more accurate mirror of who we are and what we can accomplish when we’re thinking very little of ourselves.

4. Self-Respect Matters

Self-disclosure is not the same as self-exposure. This is a strange age we live in when individuals and families go on national TV to display their family’s dirty laundry. Others clamor for their 15 minutes of fame as reality show contestants who reveal all their darkest secrets and character flaws in shameless overkill. Sports stars and others write tell-all autobiographies that open bedroom doors far too wide for propriety or dignity to have place.

As a matter of fact, that’s just the thing that seems to have been lost by a growing number of people – a sense of dignity that knows when self-disclosure has crept into the exhibitionism of self-exposure.

But the ability to like yourself, born of a deep respect for who you are and are becoming and the potential that is also part of your identity can radically revolutionize your life.

Self-respecting people therefore simply live differently than those who aren’t. They don’t do the same things. They don’t think the same things. They don’t believe the same things. And they don’t allow the same things from others. They simply live different lives in some fundamental ways.

Don’t get me wrong. They both eat and sleep and love their kids. But what they think about themselves and how they treat themselves and talk to themselves and what they believe about themselves are profoundly different. And that’s a dividing point between those who are happy and those who struggle much more than they need to.

Afterthoughts

When I was young, I had an aunt who liked to wrap empty boxes to make Christmas appear even bigger and grander and more exciting than it already was. Sometimes we would forget which presents under the tree were the extra boxes she had wrapped. Someone would inevitably tear into the wrapping, excited about the prospects waiting inside. But all that would be had was an empty shell of a gift. All ribbon and wrapping; no substance.

That’s what life is like when we spend it in the pursuit of things that don’t matter. The packaging may glitter and sparkle, but there’s nothing inside but emptiness.

Here’s the thing. We can eat the food we buy or we can eat the receipt that shows how much we spent on the food we buy. We can have a meal of the substance or of the packaging the meal comes in.

One satisfies. The other leaves us hungry for something more. One nourishes. The other fails to provide us with the life-sustaining nutrients of meaning and purpose and joy our lives crave to have.

Roller coasters are fun. But at the end of the ride, you’re at the end of the ride. The deeper things of life like service and decency, on the other hand, are not always fun. But at the end of that ride, there is a glow in the heart that keeps on giving long after the event is over.

There’s nothing wrong with roller coasters, of course. But in the end, a roller coaster doesn’t take you anywhere.

So look closely. What have you filled the empty slots of your life with? Take stock. Evaluate. Then go to work focusing more on those things that matter most, pushing the time-wasters further into that background, opening yourself for greater and deeper levels of meaning and opportunity, love, joy and success in those things that truly matter.

You, after all, have inherent value. You’re worth the effort at learning to love the weightier things of life. Find them. Recognize them. Embrace them. And let them take you to a life that is deeply and richly rewarding, meaningful and happy.

Today’s post is shared from the following website: http://meanttobehappy.com/4-things-that-truly-matter/

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Ronald Reagan and Personal Responsibility

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. Ronald Reagan

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

– Ronald Reagan

Personal responsibility is what created the United States. Literally.

When our forefathers’ declared independence from England, they sent a signal to the world that freedom and liberty are only possible when each person is allowed to determine how to live their life.

They called these God-given rights. And with these rights come responsibilities.

We teach our children they will be held accountable for their actions. We tell them they will reap what they sow. Yet they often see lawbreakers set free, or never arrested in the first place. Many who are sent to prison commit more crimes upon their release.

This cycle repeats itself time and time again until the laws cease to be a deterrent. They become a mere nuisance to the criminals.

As President Reagan stated, it’s time to put a stop to this. Laws are laws for a reason. We need them in order to have a functioning society.

Some may disagree with a law. Fine. Seek to change it. Until then, live within the law.

When laws are not enforced, lawbreakers are in essence being told that their actions are permitted.

Laws are not the problem. Lawbreakers are the problem.

Personal responsibility is not a burden. It is a requirement for a country that was founded on the God-given rights of freedom and liberty.

To be truly free, one must be personally responsible.

Today’s post is shared from the following website: https://www.reagan.com/blog/24/in-his-own-words-ronald-reagan-and-personal-responsibility

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Be Faithful in Small Things – Wednesday

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies Mother Teresa

If there’s one piece of advice that I could offer any aspiring creative, it’s this. Develop a habit of consistently doing something. It doesn’t matter what it is, how small or how big it is.

  • It can be as simple as going for a walk or meditating for 2 minutes.
  • It can be as hardcore as writing 1000 words a day or going for a 5-mile run.

The power of consistency is profound and underrated. It can help you overcome a lack of natural talent, and allow you to focus on the process instead of the prize.

If you can learn to do something consistently, you’ll tap into a much greater superpower than the habit itself: the belief that you’re completely capable of changing your behavior.

Once you’re capable of changing your behavior, you’ll be capable of making massive changes because little things done repeatedly lead to big changes in our lives.

1. Inconsistency Squanders Your Creative Potential

There are few things that will kill your confidence and your ability to succeed in a creative career or any creative endeavor for that matter, like inconsistency. I’ve seen incredibly talented people amount to a fraction of what they’re capable of solely because they are so inconsistent with what they do. They start something new frequently, but never actually finish anything.

A few years ago a friend of mine who is a highly paid corporate employee told me about his plans to start a business. He already had clients lined up waiting to actually pay him. In the years since, he mentioned this business to me. He’s spent a year attempting to design a website, setup an email address and design a business card. Given his salary, he could have easily hired someone to do this. The only thing he hasn’t done is start the business.

On the flip side, I have a friend who was in high school band with me. His first two entrepreneurial ventures failed miserably. So he got a job at a startup. The startup hired a full-time life coach to motivate and inspire employees. He told the coach that he wanted to help small businesses with data and analytics. He had no clients waiting to pay him. He contacted me and asked if he could show us what he had in mind using our podcast download data. 24 hours after we gave him access, he delivered an in-depth detailed dashboard. I was blown away by it. When I called him, he simply said: “I don’t fool around.”

So what’s the difference between these two friends of mine? The second one is in the habit of consistently trying even if it means failing a few times. It’s almost impossible for people to take you seriously if you’re inconsistent.

On the flip side, the pattern I’ve noticed over and over in people who have successful creative careers is consistency.

If you create media, the sustained attention of an audience requires consistency. Think about your favorite TV shows. If they aired on different times and days every month, you’d never form the habit of watching the show. If you want to benefit from exercise or learn a new skill it requires consistency.

  • By the time Ryan Holiday submits a manuscript for one book, he’s usually submitted a proposal and sold the next one. Consistency has enabled him to write 3 books in 3 years.
  • Seth Godin has published a blog post every day for more than 10 years. The results of his consistency speak for themselves.
  • We release new episodes of the Unmistakable Creative every Monday and Wednesday and we have for more than 5 years. Barring a natural disaster, World War 3, or my death, there’s always an episode.

Doing a little consistently is always going to be more effective than doing a lot inconsistently. And this holds true across any positive behavior or goal we’re attempting to achieve.

Now let’s talk about why consistency is so powerful.

1. Consistency Creates Momentum

If you ask me how to write a book, it’s simple but not easy. Write a little bit every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood, feeling inspired or having a bad day. What matters ultimately is that you’re in the habit of showing up and trying.

Momentum is based on the idea that an object in motion stays in motion.

  • This is why it’s more effective to write 200 words every day than it is to write 1000 words once a week
  • This is why we’re better off practicing an instrument for 15 minutes every day than we are an hour once a week.

When we’re consistent with anything that we do, we stay in motion. When we stay in motion we gather momentum, which is the lifeblood of any startup or creative endeavor.

2. Consistency Increases Your Willpower

I eat the same breakfast every single day: bulletproof coffee, eggs, and bacon. I do this because the first three hours of my day are the most valuable to me. I don’t want to waste my willpower figuring out what I want to eat for breakfast. Whether it’s eating the same breakfast, a daily ritual or keystone habit, having something that you do every single day actually reduces decision fatigue and increases your willpower.

3. Consistency Helps Turn Habits into a Part of Your Identity

I never have to put “write 1000 words” down on my to-do list or calendar, even though I do make it a point to block out writing time each morning. Because I’ve done it so much, it’s a part of my identity. This is what James Clear refers to as identity-based habit formation. Whatever you’re doing goes from being an item on your to-do list to a part of who you are.

4. Consistency Amplifies Skill Level

When I surf or snowboard for multiple days in a row, my skill level appears to increase almost exponentially. By the last day I’m taking risks that I wouldn’t have taken before, making waves I would have missed, and flying down parts of the mountain that I would have hesitated on just a few days prior. When we do something consistently, the process of myelination occurs.

“When we go through some struggle to learn a new instrument, learn a new language, learn a new behavior, we then forge a new neural pathway. The more we work on that new behavior and move through discomfort, the myelination process occurs. Think about an electrical wire that has a coating on it. Myelin takes that new behavior and neural pathway and takes it from dial-up to broadband”- Christine Comaford

The result is a significant increase in your skill level. With consistency, we move from a place of conscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

5. The Myth of Superhuman Discipline

One of the misperceptions we have about people who write about productivity and habits is that they have super human discipline. But this is far from true. As my friend Ben Austin says, we tend to write about these things precisely because we struggle with them. The truth is that almost nobody has superhuman discipline. Despite how much I value deep work and getting work done, there are days when I screw up and waste my day checking email, facebook, and twitter. The discipline to do something on a consistent basis is a learned skill. It’s a lifelong work in progress that that requires constant iteration and experimentation.

Many of the bloggers that started their blogs when I did are no longer around. Some of them had a great deal of natural writing talent. The reason they’re not around or relevant anymore is simple: They were inconsistent with their efforts and never finished what they started. If there’s anything I attribute to my most significant creative accomplishments, it’s a pattern of consistency.

Look back on hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted, and countless conversations, if there’s one thing that sets apart peak performers from everyone else, it’s consistency.

If you want to change your life, start by changing your behavior, and make the new behavior something you follow through on consistently.

Today’s article is shared from the following website: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-profound-power-of-consistency-3f1a361bb8fd

 

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Marriage… Forgiving When It’s Not Easy

When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be right? Linda K. Burton

One Bible story that stuck with me ever since I was a kid is the story about Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who has sinned against him. Jesus first replies with what would seem to be an absurd number of times – “seventy times seven” – and then He follows with a parable about forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35).

Hearing this story as a child, I thought, “Man, 490 times? That’s a lot of forgiving!” But, that’s the point, isn’t it? We are to never stop forgiving. And Jesus makes the point very clear that unless we forgive others, our Father in heaven will not forgive us. (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:25)

Forgiving the Unforgiveable

But, you may be thinking, “What if my spouse does something unforgiveable?” Jesus never said forgiving would be easy. But, He did say that we need to forgive, over and over again. There was no caveat that said to forgive only when the other person deserves it or to forgive if they ask for forgiveness. Matthew 6:15 says, “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This is serious business.

Unfortunately, I can speak from experience in this area. I was on the receiving end of forgiveness. For many years, I struggled with pornography. This was something that began as a teenager and had progressed into a full-fledged addiction that was present even before Anne and I were married. Yet, it was something I kept hidden from my wife and everyone else. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I shared my sin and addiction with Anne, after much personal pain and confession to God. It also meant I needed to come to terms with some issues of my past.

But, as that heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders, it became a tremendous burden for Anne. For so long, I had lied to her. I had hidden something from her. I had pretended to be something I wasn’t. I was hypocritical. With every right, Anne felt betrayed. How could she trust me? How sad did this make her feel? She was disappointed. She was angry. She was hurt.

Forgiveness vs. Forget-ness

Now, that doesn’t mean she just swept it under the rug and said, “Thanks for letting me know. Just don’t let it happen again.” Forgiveness does not mean “forget-ness.” Being forgiven does not mean that your spouse will just forget about whatever it was that required the act of forgiving. Depending on the situation, it may require a time of healing, a time of rebuilding that trust you once had.

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says:

Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.

Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.1

This doesn’t mean that you can hold on to this like a trump card and play it every chance you get. “Remember that time when … ?” That goes totally against Jesus’ point of “seventy times seven.” Just remember, God has forgiven you more times than you will ever have the opportunity to forgive someone else.

In my case, I understand that even today I am still rebuilding the trust that was lost due to my lack of honesty. But, I also know that Anne has truly forgiven me. It wasn’t easy for her, but I am thankful that she has taken God’s Word to heart by forgiving me in this … and all the other stupid things I do every day that require forgiveness.

Today’s article was written by Matthew J. White and is shared from the following website: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods-design-for-marriage/does-your-spouse-see-jesus-in-you/forgiving-when-its-not-easy


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