You decide what kind of day to have…

October 25, 2017

From a list of quotes that I keep on hand came a really meaningful one from Stephen Covey – “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

I’m sure that we all know someone, (perhaps it’s you) who is always lamenting their bad luck and complaining how life seems out to get them. They blame their state in life on the circumstances that have befallen them. Perhaps you also know someone who is athis-is-me Pollyanna-type who always finds a way to make lemonade out of the lemons that come their way. Which are you? Which would you rather be?  The one has decided to be unhappy with life and the other will not let life ruin their happiness. You decide what kind of day you will have.

Let’s face it; stuff happens. Life does not always go as we had planned or hoped. failuresSometimes we just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and something bad happens. Sometimes we actually make the bad decision to be at that place. Whichever it is, you are then faced with more decisions about how to react to things that are happening or that just happened. Perhaps another quote sums up your situation best: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” —Charles Swindoll. Since your day is made up of events that you will react to; you decide what kind of day you will have.

I’ve posted her before about reacting to things and problem solving, so I won’t rehash those bits of advice. I think the main thing to focus upon is recognizing that you are reacting to things that are happening around you or to you and that you’re making decisionsdecisions about what to do next, instead of letting some knee-jerk reaction control your future. By being conscious of your situation, you can choose to react in a positive way, rather than a negative way. You can choose to move forward with your life in a positive way, rather than shrinking back or retreating into depression. You can be in control; not of the situation, but of your reaction to it. You decide what kind of day you will have.

In my post – Life is lived somewhere in between – I mentioned a little prayer that I use almost daily to put myself in the right frame of mind for the day – “God help me make good decisions today.” Keeping that little prayer in mind forces me to acknowledge that, right-and-wrongwhile I may not be in control of the things that are happening, I am in control of the decisions that I make in reaction to what is happening. Realizing that causes me to take a little pause and ask myself, “What is the right thing to do?” Just that little pause and that thought will allow you to see what God is telling you to do and you will make better decisions. You decide what kind of day you will have.

Maybe you forgot to say that little prayer this morning and life has already thrown you a curve ball. Maybe your initial reaction to that situation was a knee-jerk response thatwoman-praying took you off in a bad direction. It’s never too late to turn back to God and say “A little help here”. Maybe you need to ask for God to help you recover from a bad decision. God will always be there for you and it’s never too late to ask Him for help. It’s as simple as this little prayer – “Not my will but thy will be done.” You decide what kind of day you will have.

Have a great day! It’s your call.

Advertisements

Speed when needed: but, think when required….

November 9, 2015

“NOW is the time.  The universe likes SPEED.  Don’t delay, second-guess or doubt.  When the opportunity is there…ACT!”  (Joe Vitale) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I remember that there was a “Speed Kills” ad campaign some time back that had to do with behavior on the highways and speeding drivers. I also recall the advice that manufacturing Quality Control people give about speed exposing waste in manufacturing processes. As I get older time seems to pass more quickly and we certainly live in a time and a world where everything is expected “right now.”

man rushingWe are all faced with split-second decisions from time to time, sometimes in some form of an emergency. We read or hear all the time about “heroes” who didn’t stop to think about the situation that they found themselves in; but, rather, rushed in to help in an emergency – maybe rushing into save someone from a burning building or pulling them from a burning car.

For most of us life does not present those types of heroic quick decisions; however, we are faced all day long with split-second decisions about how to act or react to things going on around us. Do we join in the bullying that others are engaged in against a classmate or do we jump in to stop it? Do we react in kind to a harsh or hurtful remark or stop to consider a more measured and positive response? Do we turn towards someone who needs help and ask how we can do somethingthinking woman
or do we turn away and hope that they just go away? Those are all quick decisions that we make every day.

Taking the advice in Vitale’s quote doesn’t mean that we act instantaneously, without thought; but rather that we not
dither and end up in “coulda.woulda, shoulda” mode later. A guilty conscious is, as often as not, one that is lamenting something left undone; some decision not made; some opportunity that has passed us by. So, in that context, Vitale’s advice is sound – ACT NOW! Make a decision.

I think that a good part of being decisive in life is having a good moral basis for your life to begin with. A strong and ever-present sense of right and wrong gives you the ability to make quicker decisions. Certainly the quick “right or wrong” test of any decision is one that should be made, along with the “dangerous or safe” analysis of the situation. Just right wrong scaleusing those four criteria gives you a head start on a quick decision. If it’s right and safe that’s pretty much a no-brainer – go for it. Things that might be right but dangerous might require a bit more thought and things that are
wrong and dangerous should just be avoided. Things that are wrong but safe can sometimes be confusing; but one should always ask why I would do something that I know is wrong just because I don’t think it’s dangerous – it’s still wrong.

So go ahead and speed through life making decisions quickly as you go; however, before you go out each day check your moral compass to make sure that it is pointing you in the right direction. Keep your personal “right/wrong scale” in the forefront of your decision- making and you’ll be able to speed through the day. That will allow you to ACT Now; without acting up.

Have a great and speedy week ahead!


Taking back my Soul…

May 29, 2015

I picked up my Soul today from the collision shop where it has been for the last two weeks – see my posts on that saga at https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/05/27/dont-crash-your-kia/ and https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/05/04/repairing-a-ding-to-the-soul/ .

As I was driving back with it the little phrases, “getting my soul back” and “taking my soul back” kept playing out in my head; and, sort of like the post about a ding to my Soul, I started thinking more about how some things in life can hold your soul hostage or steal your soul, and a how you might get it back. Many of us (and I was certainly in this group a few years back) “sell our souls” to the jobs that we are in at the time. We do it because we think it is the right thing to do at the time; either for our families (or so we tell ourselves) or just for reasons of ego (the most honest answer to why).

There have been all sorts of stories and movies about people selling their souls to the Devil for some sort of power devilor reward here on earth. Although cute and great script fodder for movies, it is not so much the Devil that we deal with when we sell out our souls; it is ourselves. We make conscience decisions on our priorities at any point in our lives; sometimes for all of the wrong reasons. That took me back to the dictionary definition of the soul – “a person’s deeply felt moral and emotional nature.” There are other definitions, some to do with religious beliefs and others much more prosaic; but, I think the deeply held moral nature part of the definition above is what I think of when I think of the word soul. What comes to your mind when you think about your own soul?

man rushingAs I contemplated my own thoughts on that topic I realized how much of my own soul I have been able to recapture control of just by getting out of the corporate rat race and into a business that is more my own. Of course one is not totally free of potential compromises of the soul as long as he works for someone else. Even those who are totally self-employed may compromise their soul in pursuit of some big sale or “win” in whatever they are pursuing. Later, with time and calm to reflect on their actions, they may regret their decisions and the sell-put of their souls.

Many professional athletes now regret how they sold put their souls and their bodies to the sports that they so loved at the time. Many are now dealing with the long-term effects of the injuries and concussions that they were told to ‘shake it off” at the time. It is sad to see so many crippled athletes or those with the effects of dementia from multiple concussions. It’s good that the various levels of sport are starting to deal with those issues.

Some very successful businessmen come to regret the things that they didn’t do with their families and others while they were pursuing success in business – they sold their souls to the offer from the Devil for the next promotion.  This is perhaps the most common type of compromise to peoples souls.

Politicians often sell their souls (and many would say their votes) to the highest bidders, but it is their addiction to thepoliticiaN SPEAKING power that comes with their offices that is the real corrupter.  Success in business or politics can be a powerful intoxicant. The old saying goes that “money corrupts, but power corrupts completely.”

Sometimes the allure that causes us to compromise out souls is found in pleasure – the pleasure brought by alcohol or drugs. Once either of those two gets a grip on our souls it is a real tough battle to get your soul back; just ask any recovering alcoholic or drug addict. Sex is sometimes the addictive agent in people’s lives and not always sex that is appropriate in our society.

The common thread in all of these examples is someone who temporarily loses site of what is really important in life because they are bedazzled by something temporary that looks too good to be denied – success in business or sports or life in general. The success itself in not bad, it’s the compromise that one may be tempted, or forced, to make with one’s moral character to achieve that success  that is the issue. The real “Devil” is in those details. It could be as simple as “just look the other way”, or as involved as complicity in something that you know is wrong.  Recently we’ve seen stories of many doctors who have been indicted for various fraud schemes, some involving actually performing test s or procedures on patients that weren’t needed, so that they could bill for more.  Does anyone really believe that they unwittingly did that? They sold their souls to the Devil of big money.

It’s probably a good exercise every now and then to sit back and think about the decision that you’ve been making inthinking woman your own life. How many of them caused you to compromise your soul? How can you make that right? What do you need to do to take back your soul? Sometimes what you did make have wronged others, but many times it may just involve things that only you will ever know was wrong – usually those or things that you didn’t do when you know that you should have. For any and all cases you need to get right in two places – with God and with yourself. Sometimes if you take care of the first the second will become OK, too. Getting right with God is always a humbling experience, consisting of admitting that you were (did) wrong and asking for forgiveness. After you’ve done that part the rest should be easy. You’ll be how much easier it is to ask someone here in earth for forgiveness, once you are at peace with God.

So, take your soul back, too. Get your head and your priorities right. Get right with God and get on with life. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much better life is if you are back in control of your soul. In the meantime, have a great weekend. Rather than contemplating your belly button, take a long look at your soul. Does it have some dings on it that you need to fix?