Interdependence

“Interdependence is the relationship between two or more living things where each one benefits from the other.” I love that definition.* Introduction by Dr. Deb: In my interpersonal communication class this week, students and I discussed marriage and family relationships. As in all healthy relationships, interdependence should be present. In relationships, we are connected at many levels, some of which science and psychology are just beginning to understand. We mirror each other, synchronize our movements, and communicate in ways we’re not even aware of. (Watch the film, I Am, There is evidence that even plants and animals are affected by human thought and action. How much more other people? With this in mind, read Jeannette’s article, and consider how much you are connected to and affect others by your choices. At the end of the last century, German biochemist and ecology specialist, Frederic Vester, demonstrated six principles of optimum biological life, or “biotic potential.” He defined “biotic potential” as “the maximum capacity of organisms to grow and reproduce under ideal conditions.” These six growth force principles underlie all of our life-giving actions. These can be applied to individuals, as well as faith communities and other groups. I will discuss these in a series of six articles. The first growth force principle is Interdependence. Imagine a person standing on the edge of a pond. In the middle of the pond is a lily pad. The person takes a rock and throws the rock onto the lily pad. The primary effect is that the lily pad is pushed under the water. However there are additional effects as the waves from the splash ripple out across the pond. As individuals and people of influence, we must be aware that our decisions and actions will have an effect...

025: Identity Apr06

025: Identity

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/25-Identify_with_MJ.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:49 — 23.6MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIn this important episode, Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo uses her own journey to talk about the need to find your own identity. A subject she’s passionate about, MJ says, “Identity is not what people call you; it’s what you answer to.”  During the conversation, MJ shared several quotes and resources: Frederick Douglas: “I prefer to be true to myself even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false and incur my own abhorrence or hatred.” Phillip Zombardo’s prison experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971: http://www.prisonexp.org Documentary about Iowa Teacher Jane Eliott’s “Blue Eyes Brown Eyes” study: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQAmdZvKf6M Max Lucado’s children’s book, You Are Special: A Story for Everyone. Find the paperback on Amazone here.  or the Kindle edition here. Memorable quotes: “Sometimes it’s not a pedicure we need, it’s not a manicure; we just need a cure.” “We are like all others; we’re human beings.” “We’re like some others” (that’s our learned culture). “I’m like none other.” It’s not what people call you. It’s what you choose to answer...

Live Intentionally

Do you struggle with keeping a healthy perspective? I have made multiple changes in my life in the past couple of years. After traveling extensively to teach and produce videos for non-profits all over the world, I am now focusing on teaching in the U.S. (in addition to blogging and podcasting). A challenge is to keep thinking globally while working locally. It is so easy for us to become myopic (narrow-minded) and me-focused. This plays on a theme my community college studied this week: emotions. It’s so easy for our minds and emotions to go places that are small-minded and self-serving. We have to be intentional to maintain the big picture, remember the goals we have set, and be other-focused. I found the following a timely message for you and myself. “It is often tempting to look at the lives of many great Christian figures and assume that the reason they were able to live their impressive lives was because they were simply better people than you are me. However, as we study these figures, we find that more often than not, the only difference between us and them is the future they saw and were fighting for. Whenever we become short-sighted to the point of only focusing on our bank statements, deadlines, and Netflix queue, we are bound to live uninspired lives.”* Take a moment to reassess, re-grab the larger perspective and live intentionally.   * Quote from Rusty Gates, M.Div. The Cycle of Life: A Lenten Devotional (Sunday before Easter) from Bloom Church in Denver. Royalty-free image by Johan Borg of Sweden; retrieved from: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/406855...

Being and Doing

Are you chronically busy? Or are you sometimes content to just sit, enjoy the moment, and be? The Western world has pretty much made an idol of busyness. Work is good; it makes the world go round, allows us to eat, and helps us implement new ideas. The Protestant work ethnic is a valuable asset. Indeed, it allows a society to prosper economically and materially. Once there were monastics who hid away from society and were content to live a contemplative life. There aren’t many of them left. But there are many cultures that still value being. They have less need to perform, impress, or even extend themselves. As I’ve lived, worked and traveled in more than 60 countries on six continents, I’ve seen the advantages and disadvantages of both systems: being and doing. Doing cultures get things done. They have relative prosperity, enjoy reliable services, and lead the world in solving problems like disease. People live in various degrees of ease, but often work too hard, sacrificing relationships to climb the corporate ladders; sometimes they don’t stop to smell the roses. They feel the constant need to go, go go and do, do, do. It seems never to be enough. Many being cultures exist in societies where few things work. Electricity is on sometimes; food is seasonable, and resources are tight. But being-oriented folks enjoy a freedom to enjoy family and friends, knowing how to nurture the most valuable asset in life—relationships. Being cultures are not driven to perform. They don’t see the need to work 60 or 70 hours a week. In fact, they don’t understand why people would ever be so darn task oriented. Oh how I wish we could learn from each other. Balance seems to elude many humans. Westerners,...

Not my Monkey

All of us have them…friends and acquaintances that seem to thrive on drama and poor choices. It seems like every time you talk with them, something crazy is happening in their life. I (Jeannette) had a friend whose’ doctor actually told him he was addicted to adrenalin! It’s easy to get sucked into the drama. One of my normally levelheaded friends called to tell me a recent acquaintance-romance had taken a business trip to Europe. While gone, he had apparently been robbed, needed her to send money to get home. She had already sent him quite a bit of money, but still asked how she could help. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this guy was a fake and ripping her off; but her heart was too involved and she could not see the (obvious) red flags. It was gut wrenching for me to see her being strung along I even lost sleep over it. What do you do in a situation like that? If you have an ounce of compassion you want to intervene. If the person is a good friend or a relative, I want to help them; I want to rescue them and get them out of their latest quandary. I tend to think that if I can just talk reasonably with them, they will be able to see their way out of their predicament. I want to make it right! Or maybe it’s not high drama; maybe it’s just a difficult decision that needs to be made, or a sticky situation that needs to be resolved. Part of getting control of your own life is recognizing what you CAN control and what you CAN’T! The reality is that everyone has their life to live; most of the time people...

Time = $ Mar04

Time = $

How much is your time worth? There is a popular saying based on a faith principle: “You have not because you ask not.” This week I spent almost an hour on the phone with my Internet provider. I saw my bill was going up, so I called the company to get it lowered. All the subscription services (Internet, TV, cell phone, etc.) have customer loyalty departments whose sole purpose is to maintain your business. It’s cheaper for them to keep you rather than recruit a customer to take your place. So I was on the phone for almost an hour, but most of the time I was on hold, so had my phone on speaker while I did other stuff. But an hour? Was it worth it? Well you tell me. I found out my bill was going up from $35/month to $75/month. By the time I got off the phone, the customer service representative got my bill down to $20/month! That’s almost half of what I was paying! By agreeing to auto-pay (on a credit card which I prefer to my bank account), I have a new promotion for 6 months, when it will then go up $10. So in six months, I’ll call back and get another promotion. That’s the game these companies play, but if you’re willing to pay, you can save significantly! So how much did that phone call save me? $55/month X 6 months = $330! That’s not too shabby for less than an hour of my time! That’s $330 I can do something else with! You wouldn’t believe the discounts you can get just by asking. (This applies in the U.S.; I am unfamiliar with how things work in other countries; but I think it’s worth finding out!)...

024: Timeless Wisdom Mar03

024: Timeless Wisdom

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/24-Sally.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 37:18 — 34.2MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis episode features 83-year-old Sally Woloshun, one of the most loving people I’ve ever met. She is my friend and the mother of Jack Woloshun, whom you’ve heard in previous episodes. Slow down and listen to this lovely grandmother describe what true love is about, how to get through hard times, and her prescription for what we need today. Since this recording was made, mama Sally has been diagnosed with lung cancer. So if you are one likely to talk to the man upstairs, send up some love and prayers for...

Trapped

The question has been rolling around in my spirit since I read it two weeks ago. It is a question haunting me: “God, where am I trapped and unable to see it?” This most simple questioning prayer seems beyond profound. Is trapped the same as being stuck? If you’ve been around Get Control Of Your Life very long, you know we are all about getting unstuck. We all get stuck in various aspects of our lives: dead-end jobs, life-sucking relationships, routine, habits, and thinking patterns that keep us from moving forward. I’ve worked very hard to get unstuck in the past couple of years. I have a sense that it’s quite possible to get unstuck. If you get your foot “stuck in the mud,” You just get it out. But if you get your car stuck in the mud, it may take considerable effort to get it out. Point is: it seems doable, even if you have to get help. But being trapped. What is that? It reminds me of situations in which I felt stressed with no obvious way out, like not having money to pay a bill, feeling the panic of a dark and tiny enclosed space, or what it must be like to have an elephant on your chest. You know flies get trapped in spider webs; then they become lunch. Maybe you feel trapped because of too much rain or snow, and are “dying” to get out! Or perhaps you have memories of an animal that has somehow become stuck, like a whale on a beach or a dog that has fallen in an icy pond. What about you? Where are you trapped and unable to see it? We’ve talked about the Johari Window before. We must come to terms with...

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...

Subscribe

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...

Kindness

When I was a little girl, my family used to visit my grandparents in Iowa. Grandma was always so kind and generous; it was like she couldn’t give me enough. I must have been about 8 or 9 when, on one particular visit, she presented me with some gift. I remember being so moved that I went to my room and cried like a baby. I was so touched by her love. Something like that happened to me recently. I didn’t run to my room crying, but I was profoundly affected, and I think I’ll always remember it. I had screwed up. I got confused with times, and missed a very important appointment. In a panic, I made a phone call and someone covered for me. I deserved a tongue-lashing. I deserved to have my butt chewed out for being so irresponsible. Instead I experienced deep and genuine kindness that still has me thinking about it a week later. The person who covered for me jumped in and did it with an amazing attitude, one that I’m sure was better than anything I would have mustered in the same situation. I saw the Divine. And it changed me. I realized something profound: True character is revealed when it is inconvenienced. The next day I stopped by a department store to pick up something. Seeing the various checkout line options, I headed for the “10 items or less” line only to realize that the folks in front of me had two entire baskets full of purchases. (That’s WAY more than 10 items!) However, I was somehow filled with much grace for these dear people and all their stuff. I didn’t get upset. I didn’t give them dirty looks. I didn’t even think to myself how...

Start

It’s the new year, so you have likely been thinking about (and hearing about) resetting aspects of your life. There is a sense in January that one can start over. Newsflash: It’s still January! But starting can be the hardest part. Starting is step 1. But often we get bogged down by steps 4 and 5 and so on. What if I don’t follow through? How much will it cost? What will happen if…? Change is intimidating for many of us because it involves uncertainty. But it’s a vicious cycle; and sometimes our deepest desires get bogged down. We experience paralysis by analysis! What is the one thing that is really on your mind these days? Spending more time with people you love? Stopping something? Getting a new job? Enjoying every moment a little more? Cleaning out that closet? Starting that retirement fund? Being present wherever you are? Just being content? Today you can do step 1. Just start. You’ve done it many times. You learned to walk by taking that first step! You learned to count by starting with 1. You learned the alphabet by starting with the 1st letter. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Be courageous. Be curious. Be confident. Go ahead; take the first bite. Just start. As Rob Bell said in an interview for oprah.com, “When you say yes to step 1, you cross over from one realm to another.”*   *http://www.oprah.com/connectembraceown/Life-Stories-That-Inspire-with-Rob-Bell Royalty-free image by Colin Brough in the United Kingdom. Retrieved from...

021: Innovation Institute Jan24

021: Innovation Institute...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/21-_Innovation_Institute_with_Harold_Andresen.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:55 — 42.0MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSCar mechanics and engineers are some of the most creative people I know. Harold Andresen is one of those. After owning his own car repair shop for years, he followed his heart for the physically challenged and started The Innovation Institute. It might as well be called, “Machines That Matter,” because it gives disabled craftsmen the chance to fix and improve their own medical devices, but also to create and modify machines to help others—like modifying golf carts that support wheel chairs so disabled kids can go on joy rides to laugh and feel the wind in their faces. For a few brief moments, they forget their disability. But the story is more than using engineering and problem solving to better the lives of wheelchair friends. It’s a story of forgiveness, dealing with disabilities, giving to others, having fun and feeling useful. Harold’s message to you: “I have the one-liners all over my life, my desk and my phone, my shop, the garage. I think finding what works for you is really important. So if you’re favorite song really keeps you motivated to press in to something significant, then you should spend a lot of time letting that favorite song go through your head. But if it’s just your self talk and words, that’s fine too. And if it’s actually doing, you’ve just got to get out in the garage and make stuff, that’s great. And if it’s go to the park and meet people, that’s just great. We have so few molds in our culture of how to do it right; I think that’s the thing I try to avoid. I would say you’ve got to figure out where you’re niche...

Yes and No

This time of year, everyone is saying what you need to do more of. The message is that you need to say YES to vegetables. YES to going to the gym. YES to saving more money. YES to buying whatever they’re offering. Right. And you’re thinking how can I possibly do any more? How can I possibly spend anymore? Everybody seems to want a piece of you; it’s like squeezing blood out of a turnip! Yoy many be thinking, “I’m completely maxed out. If only there was more money and more hours in a day!” The challenge with saying YES to more stuff, is we have to said NO to other stuff. Last year’s priorities may not be this year’s priorities. But if you keep saying YES without saying NO, you will just keep piling on, adding to your stress instead of reducing it. I recently shared a quote by theist thinker, Rob Bell, that you have to say YES before you can say NO.* It means that when you know what to say YES (to something you’re passionate about), you then have permission to say NO to what you’re not! I agree. I also agree that you have to say NO before you can say YES. Check out what another thinker/author, Seth Godin, says on the subject (with CAPS added for emphasis. He brings out what many of us struggle with—RESPONSIBILITIES and EXPECTATIONS by others and ourselves. “If you believe that you must keep your promises, overdeliver and treat every commitment as though it’s an opportunity for a transformation, the only way you can do this is to turn down most opportunities. “NO I can’t meet with you, NO I can’t sell it to you at this price, NO I can’t do this job justice,...

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead...

Joe Cross found himself overweight, feeling terrible and on multiple medications for an auto-immune disease. He was fat, sick and nearly dead! He decided he didn’t want to live that way, so he left his native Australia to come to American to begin a life-change, travel across the country, and document the process in a film. The film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead was the result. Discovered on Netflix, I found it to be an inspiring documentary that shows the incredible difference diet can make. Joe did what he calls a health “reboot.” He decided to only drink vegetable and fruit juice for 60 days. What he discovered was that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself when it is given the proper fuel. Joe lost a ton of weight and was able to get off his prescriptions. As he traveled across the U.S., Joe talked to hundreds of people about food, health and longevity. What emerged was nothing short of amazing. Joe rubbed shoulders with people who suffered like he did, and who were ready for change—big change. Take Phil for example. He was a 429-pound truck driver who was also sick—one cheeseburger away from a heart attack. Like Joe, Phil also did a reboot with juicing and exercise; and he got his life back. Now Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 is out. See the trailer here: In the 2nd film, Joe revisited Phil, helped him back on track while he continued to spread his message. He also discovered a little boy who was almost paralyzed with arthritis. After juicing for several months, the kid had a complete health turnaround, is off medications, and is now able to run around and play like other kids. There seems to be a...

Where’s Your Treasure?...

“The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” This is an awesome principle from a little verse in the book of Matthew in the Bible.* And how true it is. We can talk all day about resolutions and goals. But in the end, we put our time and resources into the things we care most about. And in some sort of cyclical pattern those investments of time and resources set our priorities, define who we are, and reveal our desired destination. Which comes first? Yes. Time, resources, priorities, identity, destination; each affects the other. What you invest in reveals much about what is really important to you. And that is key—knowing what is important to you—because you can’t do everything! As Rob Bell said in his first Robcast,** “You have to say yes before you can say no.” It means you know what to say yes to. Then that gives you permission not only to say YES to what you’re passionate about, but NO to what you’re not! How cool is that? But oh how we struggle to say no! The priorities you set are both reflective of and determining of who you are. And who you are decides what you give yourself to (and not to). And your destination is both a reflection of your desires and a result of who you are and what you give yourself to. It may sound complex, but it’s actualy quite simple (and freeing)! Consider this circle as you contemplate how you will live your life this year.   * Matthew 6:21 The Message translation ** The Robcast (Rob Bell podcast), Episode 1, January 11, 2015. Check out here:...

020: Growing A Successful Life Jan13

020: Growing A Successful Life...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/20-Regina_-_Growing_A_Successful_Life.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 53:00 — 48.5MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis is a great podcast to kick off the new year. Dr. Regina Lewis & Dr. Deb discuss strategies for growing a successful life. What is the difference between motivation and inspiration? How do you make big goals achievable? How do you push through the dips? We discuss developing a lifestyle of success, not one-hit wonders. “Whenever you make it to the top of the mountain, it just makes it easier to see the next summit.” – La Vonne Neal, Northern Illinois University Check out Dr. Lewis’s website here. Read about Dr. Lewis’s body building competitions. We mentioned, The Dip, by Seth Godin. It’s a great little book about handling walls you encounter in life. The key is knowing when to surrender and when to push...

Spending Energy

Where Will Your Energy Go in 2015? As I get older, I am more aware of the limits of my energy. So when I think about having another year to, “laugh and love and live,” as my dad used to say, I’m starting to consider the coming months differently. The first difference is that I am looking at the “channels” where my energy can flow, rather than specific goals I want to accomplish. Hmmm. Energy vs. goals. Both are important. But it seems I first need to identify what is important in my life, and where of the many potential directions, I want to go this year. Where will I put my energy? As a coach, I usually ask my coachees (clients) to identify the ‘big rocks’ (priorities) in their lives. These are the major responsibilities that you need to balance in your life; they don’t change much from year to year unless you have a significant shift like a job change. Channels are a different. I see them as more specific aspects of those big rocks that you really want to see grow and expand in the next year. For example, one of my big rocks is the vacation rental business I want to grow this year. My major channels are pursuing new clients and creating sustainable and reproducible systems for each aspect of the business. There will be many other responsibilities that will take my time and energy as well, but these are the ones I would like to really give my energy to this year. And that brings me to another realization. I find I have different kinds of energy, and when one is exhausted, another may still have some fuel in the tank. When it comes to channeling my energy,...

Gym Memberships

We’re a whole week into the new year. How are you doing with those resolutions and goals? If you’re like me (and a lot of other people), you decided you want to be healthier. And that likely includes eating better and getting more exercise. How are you going to do those things? Could joining a gym be a potential solution? Like investing, I started seriously exercising way too late in life. But it’s never too late. I figure today is better than never, and there is no time like the present to make a change. I always thought gym memberships were too expensive, until I started researching them. Years ago I had tried jogging; I hate jogging. I tried an exercise ball and elastic bands, DVDs and TV exercise routines and an in-home bike and treadmill. I even tried a circuit-training program for women, I found little motivation to go. None of these worked for me. Now that I’ve found something that works, I’ve stuck with it. That is a key! What’s the best exercise for you? The one you’ll actually do. If you live in a place with a lot of nice weather, daily walks, hiking or swimming may be great for you. Or maybe you’re self-disciplined enough to follow an online program or use your own equipment. I found that actually GOING to a gym helped me. There is nothing like seeing other people workout to convince you to do the same. Somehow being with others who care about their bodies enough to workout motivates me. Here are some options you may not have considered: FREE – Is there a gym you may have free access to, like at school, work or where you live? BARE BONES – I found there are...

Hope for 2015!

Hope. There is something hopeful about new things. New babies seem to represent the promise of a bright future. Springtime brings new life from the death and dormancy of autumn and winter. And a new year brings a fresh reminder that we can always escape the trappings, failures and disappointments of the past and get a lease on life. Just like forgiveness releases us from the past, so does a new year. Hope can be defined as a feeling of desire of excitement about a thing about to happen. It’s also an expectation for great things to happen! What are your hopes for 2015? What are the desires of your heart? Do you have a renewed sense of excitement, expectation and desire for the new year? I figure there are two main ways to view the world. One is to feel hopeless and a victim of things that are outside your control. I sometimes refer to it as the Doris Day philosophy. Que sera sera; whatever will be will be. The other is to view yourself as an architect of your destiny, a deep belief in your ability to alter the world and cause things to be. I sometimes refer to this as the Sly Stone philosophy, based on the song, You can make it if you try, made popular by the funk musician in the late 1960s. While some things are out of our control, it’s good to be reminded there is a great deal we can control! Our destiny is to a large extent in our hands. Consider the Sly Stone philosophy as you think about the new year. You can make it if you try! You can accomplish things you never knew possible. And you can be the bright light shining in your...

Countdown to 2015…2...

What is your relationship plan for 2015? Do you long to spend more time with family or friends? Are there some relationships that need mending? How would you score this aspect of your life (from 1 to 10; see the Get Control “Rate Your Life” self-assessment tool to rate yourself on your career, health and fitness, money, personal development, relationships and spirituality. I’ve come to realize that relationships need care and feeding; you have to be intentional about them. It’s easy to become withdrawn and just stay home. But is this healthy all the time? Two years ago I became intentional about nurturing relationships with a handful of friends. I formed a group that continues to meet twice a month. We drink wine and eat snacks; but mostly we share life together. It has become very precious for all involved. Think about who you would like to spend time with this year and form a plan for doing so. Make a list of folks you might want to meet for coffee or a meal. Then schedule it! You need people in your life. You need their influence, input and energy. They have much to invest in you, but you must avail yourself. You also have much to give! There is no one like you and no one who brings that you bring. Your unique personality, experiences and giftings can make a huge difference to those around you. Consider these words as you begin the new year: “If you’re not happy in life then you need to change, calibrate, readjust…flush your negative energy and fill it with positive energy; How do we do that you might ask? Well I would start by making others happy; diseases are not the only things that spread easy. We...

Countdown to 2015…3 Dec30

Countdown to 2015…3...

What are your financial goals for the new year? Get out of debt? Save more for retirement? Be more generous? SET SMART GOALS – Whatever your financial desires, make sure you turn them into SMART goals that are: Specific: Exactly what do you want your money to do for you (and others)? Measurable: Break down your financial goals into practical solutions. How much extra would you have to earn per month to pay off debt or more easily pay your bills? How much do you need to save in order to attain your spending or saving goals? Experts recommend you put real numbers on paper so you can measure your success. Attainable: You likely won’t become a millionaire in the next six months unless you’re well on your way already! Set goals that are actually attainable or doable. And don’t bother buying lottery tickets or hoping for other financial windfalls; you have a much greater chance of being hit by lightning. Financial success usually comes the old fashioned way, by work and praying for it! Realistic: Set goals that you actually have a chance of accomplishing. You can’t work 200 hours a week, but you can likely do more than you’re currently doing. How would giving away 10% instead of 5% affect your bottom line? How would working more affect your family? How long would you have to save to get that thing you want to buy? Try to differentiate between your desires and realistic goals you can actually meet. Timely: Set a realistic timeframe for accomplishing your financial goals? At X$ per month, how long would it take to________________? USE A BUDGET AND TRACK YOUR SPENDING – In addition, it’s vital to have the right systems in place for budgeting and tracking your...