Chasing Rainbows

We have several sayings in English that all mean basically the same thing. “Chasing rainbows”. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” “It’s never enough.” They all have to do with a mentality that happiness and success are just around the corner. “If I could only get to the next big thing!” implies that I don’t have it now, and unless I buy into this one “thing,” I will miss out on finding it. Some people think happiness will come by winning the lottery. It rarely does. In fact, almost 100% of lottery winners end up worse off in the end. They experience divorce and other broken relationships, and have less money than before they bought that magic ticket. I once had a friend who was always chasing the next big thing. He was a magnet for “no-lose” financial opportunities that almost always had a cost. Some were sure-fire business opportunities, some were magic systems to build wealth, and some were connections to really spiritual people who seemed to offer something elusive. But the promised sure-fire success or “pot of gold” only seemed to help the company promoting “the next biggest thing,” and not my friend. In fact, my friend seemed to always end up the loser. He was always chasing the rainbow, never trusting that he really had the knowledge to accomplish his goals already. Instead, he seemed to have a chronic addiction to the thing he didn’t have. There was always one more “no-lose” opportunity, one bit of “special knowledge,” or “deal you can’t pass up!” It truly did seem like an addiction to the elusive. Life is hard. But the solutions are not that mysterious. There is no magic bullet or fix-all pill that will help you...

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Have you considered subscribing to Get Control Of Your Life? Just click on the envelope in the upper right-hand corner of the web site. Fill out your email address, name, and your preferred method for delivery (html shows articles with visuals, text is good for slow Internet connections, and mobile is for your phone or tablet). When you sucribe, you will get new articles delivered straight to your email inbox. You will never miss a resource again! You can also subscribe to the podcast. Download the “Podcasts” app from the iTunes store or the “Stitcher” app for Android phones. Then search for Get Control Of Your Life and click subscribe. You can stream podcasts, but most people like to download them for listening anywhere. (I like to listen to podcasts while cooking, driving and gardening!)...

Money is Spiritual

Have you ever considered that money is a deeply spiritual issue? If you think like most people, you probably haven’t, as spirituality and “the rest of life” have been separated in our collective mind for quite some time. But consider these aspects: Debt: Most of our ancestors considered debt to be sin, and that having loans makes you a slave to the lender. Giving: Generosity is a virtue celebrated in many cultures and religions; there seems to be a deep-down understanding that we need to share. Frugality: This is a spiritual discipline practiced by seekers for centuries. It is abstaining from things that satisfy our desire for status, glamour or luxury. As theologian, Dallas Willard, wrote, “The spiritually wise person has always known that frivolous consumption corrupts the soul away from trust in, worship of, and service to God and injures our neighbors as well.”* Work: The so-called Protestant work ethic has its roots in society and the bible. It comes from a pragmatic understanding that it takes the contributions of all in order for individuals and communities to survive and thrive. There is a saying: work not, eat not. Investing: Jesus told the story of a generous master who gave away money for three people to invest. He got really upset with the one who buried it in the ground and did nothing.** There is a link between poverty (individual and corporate) and spirituality. When principles are violated consequences ensue. You may recall two Get Control Of Your Life podcasts with Carrie Riffee. She and her three kids lived under a bridge for a year. She had just escaped an abusive marriage (he violated principles of properly loving his wife), she succumbed to a co-dependent, unhealthy relationship (violation), and society failed her by imposing...

Attitude of Gratitude...

I grew up in a very privileged family. Our house was the biggest house in town and we were the richest. We had servants that did work both inside and outside, including nannies that cared for us when we were young. I grew up traveling the world and attended a private school. Yes, indeed I lived the life of the rich and famous. That is until…. Our family returned to the U.S. from central Africa where my parents were missionaries. Suddenly, by comparison, we were the po’ folk. My parents went from church to church ‘begging’ for money, we lived in rented homes, we moved often, being the new kids in town, and we received donated used clothing. We never quite fit in. Now, again I live a very privileged life. I have in a beautiful home in a new neighborhood. My husband and I enjoy 24/7 electricity and all the accompanying gadgets, making household servants unnecessary.  I work part-time, and yes, still enjoy traveling the world. With a private vehicle, I can move about the city at my pleasure in air-conditioned comfort. As I reflect on my life, I think I have lived a very privileged life. I’ve never gone hungry, have financial reserves for emergencies and retirement, enjoy a wide network of friends, and still have a loving family who are always there for me. And I have a profession that is meaningful and contributes to God’s purposes, as I understand them. But I don’t feel entitled to any of it. Yes, I’ve worked hard and made some wise choices (and a few foolish ones) over the years that have resulted in my privileged life. But others have also made wise choices but suffered tragedies that wiped out all advantage. I live...

023: Contemplative Doodling Feb13

023: Contemplative Doodling...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/23-Shini_Contemplative_Doodling_-_2_11_15__8.03_PM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:34 — 40.8MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSLectio Divina is the ancient art of scriptural reading and prayer to promote communication with God. Shini Abraham, has developed what she calls, Duco Divina, or contemplative doodling. She has always doodled, but began using it as a meditation tool to work through pain and draw near to God. In this episode, Shini explains the practice, how to do it, and generally about using specific tools and practices to help both clear and focus our minds and hearts. Visit Shini’s website where you can also order her book Visit the Duco Divina Facebook page Read Shini’s Get Control article on doodling Read the Yes and No article we discuss in the podcast...

Jelly Beans pt 2

Only read this if you’ve already read Jelly Beans pt 1.  The is pt 2 of an article by guest writer, Karissa Wenner. According to research done by Bonnie Ware, the most common regrets of dying people are: 5. I wish I had let myself be happier. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends 3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. 2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Wow: I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Let’s break this down. The first part is much easier said than done: “I wish I had the courage…” Courage is something that can’t be taught, but is found within. It’s scary to break your comfort zone, but if you find a big enough reason to do so, you will also find the courage to overcome your fears. The next part is also tricky: “…to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” In order to accomplish this, you must truly know yourself and know the life you want for yourself. Too often I see students studying something they don’t care about and people working jobs they hate simply because they are following the norm and doing what society deems ‘acceptable’. I challenge you to think for yourself and figure out what truly makes you happy. It’s that warm fuzzy feeling that you should be chasing no matter how unrealistic it may seem or how your peers might react. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions! Everybody is guilty of it whether...

Jelly Beans Pt.1

The following is an article written by Karissa Wenner. As a student of mine, she presented the following in a speech. I encouraged her to turn it into an post to share with you. The idea that ‘life is short’ has become somewhat of a cliché in today’s society; however, it is an important concept to internalize. Here’s a quick 3-minute video that uses jelly beans to show how you’re spenging your life.* I’m sure I’m not alone in re-evaluating my life after seeing this video! It’s amazing to see how much time we spend on simple daily activities and how little spare time we have left to do the things we actually enjoy. It’s impossible to know how many jelly beans we have left, and like he said in the video, “What if you just had one more day? What are you going to do today?” If you’re like me, you wouldn’t spend your last day sleeping or at work, you would spend it living your dreams! Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to know what to do with your time when you don’t know how much of it you have left. We’re all scrambling to try to find the balance between enjoying the present and building for the future, so that when all is said and done, we don’t regret the way we spent our jelly beans. I’m not afraid of many things, but I am afraid of regret. My biggest fear is to be laying on my deathbed regretting the things I did, and didn’t do, with my time. A woman named Bronnie Ware did a study of Hospice patients where she asked them what their top regrets in life were.** These were the results: 5. I wish I had let myself be happier....

022: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Feb07

022: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/22-Kristy_Self-fulfilling_prophecy_.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:41 — 23.5MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSAssistant Communication Professor, Kristy Callihan, talks about the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy and how it affects our success in life. The process of envisioning success or failure determines what we will do—what steps we put or don’t put in place in order to do well. This isn’t some new-age notion or hocus pocus/touchy-feeling expectation, but rather a reality in what we set ourselves up for. In the episode we made reference to these articles on GetControlOfYourLife.org: Rezlootions Know Thyself Watch Kristy’s YouTube video on Self-Fulfilling Prophecy...

What Does Rich Mean To You? Feb05

What Does Rich Mean To You?...

I Will Teach You To Be Rich is an awesome book by Indian-American Ramit Sethi that I found to be a MUST READ for anyone with questions about personal finance. “No guilt. No excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-week program that works.” That subtitle says it all! I admit I am turned off by any book or program that promises to make anyone rich. They are usually crap, with the author the only one getting rich. However, I managed to get past the title and order the audio version of this book from Audible, and listened to all at once on a road trip. Written for people in their 20s, the book obviously has a much wider audience, having became a New York Times bestseller and creating lots of buzz. Ramit asks a fundamental question at the beginning that makes his financial philosophy unique. “I will teach you to be rich isn’t just about money: What does it mean to you?” Likewise, he proposes a spending plan that seems more palatable for those who don’t like to budget. He talks about conscious spending; deciding what’s important to you, then adjusting your spending patterns to include that. For example, if spending $3 for coffee everyday is important to you, then do it, but think about eliminating other areas that you care less about, like cable TV if you really don’t use it much. He also offers some good rule-of-thumb principles about allocating various percentages of your income, like saving 10% of your income from an early age. Ramit describes how to optimize your credit cards, negotiate with banks and avoid their outrageous fees, automate your bills, save for things like weddings and retirement, and a lot of basic but really important information on investing. While...

Where is God?

Where do you find The Divine? This is an age-old question, yet one that has to be answered by every person in every generation. And nobody can answer it for you. Where do YOU find God? It may not be the answer you think you’re supposed to have, or where other people do. God is everywhere and in all. That means the Divine is in you, in your house, in beautiful sunsets and in the trees. (God is in the trees; that doesn’t mean the trees are God.) If the Divine is everywhere, then God is closer than your breath. Think about that; closer than your breath. I love the traditional greeting of the Maori natives of New Zealand. Two people touch foreheads and noses; they literally take a moment to share breath. This may seem intimidating or gross to you, but I promise, it is an amazing experience. Now translate that to the Divine. Imagine sharing breath with the Divine…anyplace, any situation, all the time. Do you think God is far away, either because you feel guilty, you’re depressed or you don’t go to church? Theologian Rob Bell has points out that the very name of God is related to our breath. When we inhale, it’s like where’s saying, “Yah.” Likewise, when we exhale, we make the sound of, “Weh.” “Yaweh, yaweh.” The average adult breathes 12 to 20 times a minute. That means you are saying the name of God 12 to 20 times a minute. Yet how oblivious we are. Where do you find the Divine? Where is God to you? Have you limited God to the confines of the church building? Is the Divine only real to you when you’re praying or reading the Bible, while listening to some music...