Starting something new is the exciting part. Finishing it is perhaps more exciting. But, it's what happens in between the start and the finish that is dreadful!
Think about moving from your old place to your new place. The exciting part is that you are finally moving on. Then you really get excited when you settle down into your new place. The dreaded part is what happens in between: packing up, paying for U-Haul, fixing everything that you broke so you could get back some of your deposit, and the stress of everything done on time. Then you get nervous about the whole move, wondering if you're making the right choice. The entire moving process could be very stressful -- as well as very expensive!
But what finally happens? You settle down in your new place and get to enjoy it.
Life works in the same way. There is a Start and a Finish, but there is always a Between. This "Between" is where you're tested. This is the place where you wonder whether or not to turn back and whether or not you made the right decisions to start in the first place. This is where frustration happens. This is where you're tempted to turn back.
I think about the ancient Israelites who lived in Egypt for about 400-plus years. The last part of those years were spent in slavery as a new Pharoah came to power. After Moses freed the Israelites, one of the very first things they did was have a party, full of singing. But shortly afterwards, the Israelites became discouraged because they didn't have anything to drink for three days! Then they started complaining, wondering if they should go back to Egypt. While they were slaves, at least they had all they could eat and drink.
They were tested for 40 years. That's a long time! A trip that should have taken about 2 weeks lasted for 40 years. The reason is because they just weren't ready to possess their own land yet. They complained too much and they were too immature. There was at least one time when a rebellion arose from the Israelites from some of their leaders. Their main reason for rebellion was to bring everybody back to Egypt. These were some tough 40 years!
But what eventually happened? They arrived at the "promised land" and settled down, no longer slaves to any nation.
In fact, there is a common trend with conquered nations who freed themselves. At first, the conquered nation rejoices that their captors have left them. But then there is a period of transition. This is when the freed nation figures out how to govern themselves. This period is filled with uncertainty and even rebellion, but finally the nation arrives at the finish line and settles down.
In the same way, you will be in a transitional period where you would question whether or not you should have started that project. See, we get excited about new things until we have to start doing those new things. Then the excitement leaves. This is where most people turn back. Only those with endurance will see the finish line and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Whether it's starting a new life, a new job, a new business, a new family, you will be in the Between period where you'd be tested. Always, always, always expect the period of transition. You will NEVER go from Start to Finish without any trials.
Coming to a fitness class is a great example of going from Start to Finish. You come to your first class and you're excited! Then the music starts and you wonder what you've gotten yourself into! I have seen people leave my classes early, perhaps because the work was too intense. I had one girl who left a class after the first two or three songs!
Understand that if you want to accomplish something, you need to be willing to endure the transition. No matter what you want to pursue in life, you WILL go through a period of transition. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you could easily move from one place to another with no oppositions.
Right now, my family and I are finally starting to settle down in North Carolina -- after ten years! We're not fully settled down yet, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. The exciting part was leaving New York City and starting a new life in the south. But then there was the long transitional period full of job loss, poverty, creditor problems, a legal suit, and lots and lots of questions about what it all means. But instead of running back home to New York City, we just endured and the smoke is finally starting to clear.
Sometimes, your transitional period is long -- very, very long. Sometimes, the transitional period is short. But regardless, the transition will happen. Success happens when you could get through that transitional period.
Before you start something new, asks if you could endure the transition. If you can't, look for something else to do. But then again, there will always be transitions in life, and the only way to avoid that is to stay where you are. Do you know where you could go if you stay where you are? No where.
Every choice you make costs something. Doesn't matter if it's a good choice or a bad choice, they both come at a cost. So when you make a decision about something, you need to consider if the cost would make that decision worth it.
I've been making decisions to promote more time for family and service to others. Those decisions have costs. I've been recently feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with all the things I'm doing to have more family time and to be more available for service because of the cost that I'm paying. I'm paying for these things with my sense of security, my peace of mind, and my need to be in control. I don't have a traditional job where I could clock in, clock out, and expect a check every two weeks. I have to go out there and make my own money. This brings uncertainty, fear, frustration, and overall discomfort.
However, should I decide to work a regular job where everything is guaranteed, then I'll feel secured and at peace. But what would be the cost? No family time and lack of availability to others, two things that are extremely important to me.
No matter what choice I make, I would have to pay it with something. I would either have to pay with my sense of security or with my family. We all have to pay for our choices. What are you willing to pay for?
Wouldn't it be interesting if any time we needed to make a decision, we would be presented with a "Decision Menu?" On this menu, it would list our options and the cost for each. Spending money isn't something we get excited about, but we know that nothing in life comes free. If we want something, we need to pay something. The questions are: what are we paying for and does the cost seem reasonable? Before you make a decision, you need to see if the cost for that decision is reasonable.
Many times, we make decisions without counting the cost. One time, Jesus made a point to his disciples by saying, "Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace." (Luke 14:31-32) Both decisions had a cost. The decision to make war with little man power may have costed the king a devastating loss, as well as possible enslavement of his people. Even if the king won the war, it would have came at a heavy loss. But seeking terms of peace came with another cost: he may have had to surrender his kingship to another king and caused his people to pay taxes to the new king. But at least his soldiers would still be alive and his people could still live a normal life.
Here's the thing about cost: there is NO cost that is pleasant. When you spend money, you've lost it. You could only hope that what you paid for was worth it. No matter what decision you make, you will have to pay for it, and paying isn't pleasant. However, if you paid for the right decision, you could at least be at peace with your decision. If you paid for the wrong decision, you would have regret for a very, very long time.
Right now as I think about the decisions I make so I could be with my family more often, I get frustrated at what I had to pay with. But then I know that I wouldn't have it any other way. Had I gotten a regular job, I would have had that sense of security, but I wouldn't see my family. By not having a regular job, I have NO sense of security, but then I realize that nothing in life is secured. Chasing after security is like chasing after the wind. So, what should I be willing to pay with: my family time or security? Which one is more valuable? Which is worth dying for?
If you, too, get frustrated because you think you're being punished for making noble decisions, remember that doing the right things is EXPENSIVE. There are some things in life you just need to spend extra money on, even if it hurts to do it. In the same way, there are worthy life decisions that we must pay extra for. Sometimes, it may feel that you're paying too much for these worthy life decisions. But don't see these costs as losses, but as investments. In time, you will reap a bounty for your decisions -- IF you paid for the right decisions. If you paid for bad decisions, don't expect to reap much of anything.
There are no decisions in life that don't come with consequences. I don't care how new your car is, there will be some issues unique to that car that you will sooner or later have to deal with. All decisions come at a cost, I don't care how noble they are. You need to decide whether or not to pay for those decisions, and if you're going to pay, what are you going to pay with? Any decision that requires you to pay with one of your values is never a good decision. It may seem good now, but down the road, you'd regret paying for that decision. On the flip side, the noble decision you make now may seem like a bad decision now, but down the road, you'd be at peace with the price you had to pay for that decision.
Generation X has been called the "video game era" as this was the time when electronic entertainment got its start. While the precise dates that define the Generation X era are debated, the general range is from early 1960s to early 1980s. If you were born during this time, then you've most likely played video games in an arcade or at home with Atari, Nintendo, or Saga Genesis.
With most games, there are different levels to complete, and each level usually has a "boss" that you must defeat in order to reach another level. Each level starts easy and simple, and then becomes harder and more complicated as you near the game's completion. Or in other words, the closer you reach to your goal, the more challenges would be thrown at you.
Hardcore gamers would stick with a video game until they finish it. But for others, they would be stuck on one level for so long that they would eventually quit and play another game. If you think about it, life works the same way. When you first get started on your project, it's fun, easy, and simple. But as you progress further and further, things get more complicated. You would either stick it out and complete your task or give up.
I think about people who lose weight during their first week. For some people, they just dropped the weight like it was nothing. They barely did anything. Maybe they just cut out soda or alcohol and dropped 10 pounds their first week. Now, they are excited and living on Cloud 9. But then, the next week doesn't show dramatic weight-loss. Then life becomes busier, more and more things get in the way, and they finally get so discouraged that they just give up and pursue something else.
There is one popular 80s video game called Mega Man. Unlike other video games that automatically start you out on one level, Mega Man allows you to choose which level you want to start with. The problem, however, is that each "boss" of that level is very vulnerable to a particular weapon. You get this weapon when you defeat a boss. So in other words, if you start with a level where the boss isn't vulnerable to the weapon that you have, then it would be difficult to defeat that boss.
In Mega Man, you start off with your own natural weapon. You need to start with the level where the boss is vulnerable to your natural weapon. After you defeat that boss, you will acquire that boss' weapon. Now, you need to find a level where the boss would be vulnerable to your new weapon, and so on and so on. It's easy to defeat a boss if you have the right weapon.
Sometimes when we pursue a goal, we start off wrong. Somebody is 50 lbs overweight and wants to get a six-pack, so he starts doing sit-ups. He's starting off at the wrong level. He first needs to lose the weight, THEN he could hit those sit-ups. Or think about somebody who wants to start a business. She advertises her product, but doesn't have a product available! She needs to have an actual product FIRST, then she could advertise what she has to offer.
But like most video games, sometimes you don't have a choice of which level to choose from. You start out wherever you're forced to start. Your challenge would be to simply endure whatever obstacles are thrown at you with whatever you have available. Each level you've completed will come with experience that you could use to complete the next level. After completing Level 1, you now know what you could expect in Level 2. More experience makes you a better game player, and with endurance, you could finally complete the entire game.
Another popular game was Tetris. This game allowed you to choose how difficult or easy you want the game to be. If you're a beginner, the blocks come down slowly, giving you time to familiarize yourself with this game. Then there's the expert level where the blocks come down super fast. Sometimes, we try to go hard at first and wind up failing. We need to start at the easy level so we could get experience. Then when the expert level comes, we could complete it like a boss!
Whatever goals you have in life, you need to start off at the right level before moving up. Sometimes, you have to work your way up. Sometimes, you think you're so good that you don't need to start slowly, but then you wind up burning yourself out. Sometimes, we want to go faster than we should. But one thing that video games have taught me is that you are never too good to start out slow.
If you want to know what it's like to have your butt kicked, then try playing on a level that you're not ready for. But in real life, try doing something new that you haven't prepared for. Try managing a bunch of employees when you barely have any work experience. Try working on a car engine when you don't even know how to change a tire. Try cooking a full meal when you don't even know how to operate a stove. Try driving a car when you don't even know how to control the steering wheel.
When you pursue something in life, start out on the RIGHT level. Always put the first things first. Start off right, and you could finish. Start off wrong, and you'll give up. Get the basics down first and you'll have what you need to complete your video game. And when you have finished the game, you could move on to the next game.
Before you say, "I just don't feel like it," I want you to ask, "What would happen to me if I don't do it?"
"I just don't feel like it" always comes with consequences. But here's the thing about consequences: they almost never happen right away. Think about the person who has been driving for years with a suspended license. That person has gotten away with this action for so long that he had forgotten that he didn't have a valid license anymore.
Then one day, he finally gets pulled over and remembers that he doesn't have a license! The cop discovers that his license was suspended. Now, the man can't drive back home as the cop has to have his car tolled. In addition, this man can't get to work or do other things that he had planned out. His life pretty much changed overnight.
In the same way, consequences would be slow to catch up with you. Today, you've gotten away with it. Tomorrow, you've gotten away with it. Six months from now, you've gotten away with it. Six years from now, you've gotten away with it. But then on the seventh year when you've least expected it, the consequences showed up and dramatically changed your life.
My father had bladder cancer a few years ago. He was about 70 when he had gotten it. Now, I can't pinpoint the cause, but he was a long-time smoker, even though he worked out, ate healthy, and took his vitamins. He tried quitting his habit, but he always found himself smoking again. Well, he has gotten away with smoking for so long that he probably didn't think much of it anymore.
Then he starts peeing out blood. He gets checked and discovered that he had cancer. The disease spread so much that it took over his entire bladder. Unfortunately, he had his bladder removed. That in itself would change your life. Now, you're thinking, "How could smoking cause bladder cancer??" Well, when toxins go into your lungs, they would go directly to your blood stream, and your blood goes everywhere in your body. Plus, all those toxins would find themselves in your urine. All that toxic exposure could definitely cause cancer.
The consequences were definitely slow in showing up in my father, but when they showed up, they were quick in changing his life forever.
If you are doing something (or neglecting something) right now, then consider the future. You may get off free for now, but one day in the future when you least expect it, the consequences would come at you in full force.
Results and consequences are the same: they are both slow in showing up. Few times, both are quick. For most of the time, they are slow. This is why you can't get discouraged when you don't see results right away, and you can't get complacent if you don't get consequences right away.
Living in the south has taught me to never be fooled by nice weather. One time, I was over at the church doing a project when my wife called asking me to come home. It was a nice day outside, but she said there was an unusual storm coming in. I was angry that she interrupted me, thinking that she was over-reacting. I came home just to make her feel better. But then later, that storm did come in and it produced several tornadoes, one of which had hit our neighborhood!
That was back in April of 2011. Many of you remember that year being the year of tornadoes in our country. The year 2011 has made history as being the year that produced many tornadoes in such a short period. North Carolina, Alabama, and Missouri were hit the hardest.
While everything is going good, don't think you could just slack and be neglectful. This should be the time to start those projects or to make corrections in your life. The time of peace is the time of preparation, not the time of relaxation.
When you say, "I don't feel like it," you would eventually pay for those words. You don't want to be caught in the storm unprepared. You don't want to hear any dreaded words coming from a doctor, or from your boss, or from your spouse, or from your kids. You don't want to live your life with the I-don't-feel-like-it attitude, because when consequences hit, they hit hard. But what's perhaps worse than the consequences is the feeling you get afterwards: the feeling that you could have prevented it.
You don't usually take anything seriously unless you consider other people. You won't do much for your health, attitude, and finances unless you're doing it for somebody else.
Last week, we started the Body Sculpt Challenge. This is an accountability program that forces you to do more than you're used to doing. Everybody who is participating is exercising nearly everyday now and they're making uncomfortable changes to their diet. They probably wouldn't have done much of this had they tried to do it alone.
I even decided to participate in this Challenge, even though I'm the coach. I didn't believe it was right to ask people to reduce or eliminate certain items from their diet while I get to enjoy life's delicacies. I always wanted to bulk up more, and for YEARS I've tried to bulk up with little results. The only reason I have the few muscles that I do now is because I teach a barbel-based class at the gym. Had it not been for that, I wouldn't have had any muscles to show.
Doing things on my own is a HUGE challenge. I have to ease my way into a new routine, and I mean by taking baby steps. Doing home exercises on my own never worked for me -- that is, until I decided to participate in this Challenge with the other 14 folks. Now, I feel forced to do these exercises AND to follow the diet recommendations that I've given to the participants.
Now, I'm not just doing this for myself. I'm doing it for others. My main purpose is to lead by example, not by words only.
Why is it that we tend to do something when somebody else is watching us? Well, we're just not naturally motivated to walk the extra mile for ourselves. But when someone else is in the picture, we're more motivated to live up to higher standards.
The reason group fitness classes are so popular is because people won't exercise on their own. Few do, and for those few, they only do what they're used to. People who attend my ZUMBA classes could come from a fitness background and still struggle in my classes. Why? Because they're being pushed outside their comfort zone. They're pushed to do things that they aren't used to doing. Yes, they're already fit, but now they're forced to test how fit they really are.
I see people jogging all the time. I've jogged many times before, and it's an exercise that gets easy really quick. It's one of those "meditative exercises" that could be relaxing even while your heart rate is up. It's easy to do it because all you do is go in one direction and you could go at your own pace.
But now, put you in a marathon with hundreds of other people, then the game changes. Now you're up against people who are much fitter than you are. Now you feel the need to "prove yourself." It's not about you anymore. It's about showing off your skills to other people. Drivers aren't the ones looking at you anymore. Now other runners are looking at you.
I rarely ever see people do intense work-outs on their own, not even in the gym with all the gym rats. They do what they know. They do what's comfortable. However, put them in a group of other people with a coach barking at them, then they start to feel like they're really working out.
This is why it's so important to do things for other people, not just for yourself. If it's just you, you'll go easy on yourself. We don't raise our standards too high. We need other people to raise them for us.
My big sister recently went back to school to be a registered nurse. She already had training as a medical assistant, but had trouble finding a job. She found herself stuck doing a job that barely required any of her skills. But she had no other plans on furthering her training. So, being the little nagging brother that I was, I kept pushing her to go for her RN training. Not trying to blow my whistle, but she probably wouldn't have gone back to school had I not pushed her. I tried to increase her standards. She saw the vision and decided to go back to school. Her decision will pay off big time!
If you're struggling to reach a goal in life, then stop doing it for yourself. You know that your standards aren't high enough. Doing things for yourself don't result in much gain. When someone else is involved, all of the sudden you could do things that you never thought you could do. This is why our houses are dirty until we discover we're going to have visitors. All of the sudden, we become super custodians!
I know that my standards aren't high enough. There are things I wouldn't do unless other people are watching. Had it not been for group fitness classes, I would barely be working out. The main reason I got into fitness was because I went to group fitness classes. My first group fitness experience was a step aerobics class. I got hooked after that first experience and I went to the gym almost everyday taking classes. But working out by myself? Sometimes I was successful, but most of the time, I just got slack.
Whether you want to lose weight, build muscles, learn a skill, or build a business, your success would be significantly higher if you're doing it for someone else. Maybe you want to be an example. Maybe you want to be a teacher. Maybe you just don't want to hear someone fussing at you. However way you pursue something with someone else being involved, do it. And when you've finally reached your goal, thank the other person for being there. If that person wonders how he or she was involved, just tell that person, "You were just simply on my mind when I decided to change my life."
When people think about you, would they have good thoughts or bad thoughts? Would the very mention of your name bring hope or stress? Would your very presence make people happy or frightened? When they think about you, do they feel that you're a person of honor or a person who belongs in jail?
One thing I stress to my children is to not lie. For one, if I catch them lying, there will be SERIOUS consequences. But two, lying breaks trust. Lying ruins your good name. When you say something, people wouldn't know whether or not to believe you. Lying could also get you in serious trouble that includes everything from going to jail to being killed.
You NEVER want to have that reputation of being a liar. ALL children lie, of course, but not all children understand the seriousness of lying. Not all children are concerned about having a good name. With children, lying is simply a way of getting out of trouble.
One time while attending church in New York, one guy whose kids were homeschooled indirectly taught me this one valuable parenting advice: "All I ask is that you don't lie." If you do something that is wrong, just tell me and we could work out something. But NEVER lie about it. Little did he know that he encouraged me to pass on those same values to my children. If you did something wrong, just admit it. There will be consequences, of course, but lying about it is absolutely unacceptable.
If you admit your faults, you WILL build a powerful reputation. People would feel that you are a man or woman of your word. People would trust you. People would be more than willing to help you in your needs. But if you get a bad reputation, it could cost you your very job.
There's a biblical proverb that said, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." (Proverbs 22:1) No amount of money or prestige in the world could make up for a bad name. But if you have a good name, people will take care of you.
Previously, I wrote an article about having your work speak for you. If you do good work, then you don't need to say anything about yourself. It's when you have bad work that you would need to spend a long time trying to convince people of how good your work is. In the same way, a good name requires very little talk from you. Simply who you are is more than enough to persuade people to take action. If you have a bad name, then you'd spend hours trying to convince people to take action.
Think about working for a boss who has a good name with the company. Does that boss have to go around fussing to his or her employees about working? No. His or her very presence would encourage employees to do good work. But a boss who has a poor reputation would have lost all credibility with his or her employees. Nobody would come to work on time or complete their tasks. Nobody would really want to work for that employer and would look for any reason to leave work early.
Think about a teacher who has a good name. Students would behave in class and complete their assignments. A teacher with a poor name would have students who come late to class, never complete assignments, and who would always be disrespectful to the teacher.
Think about a child who has a good name. Whatever that child says you would see as truth. You would give that child liberty to do certain things. You would give that child certain responsibilities. A child who has a bad name won't be trusted. You would restrict his or her freedom and won't entrust that child with certain responsibilities.
A good name takes you places. A good name grants opportunities to you. This is why you need to take extra care of polishing your name. This is why you need to take all the actions you can NOW to have a good reputation with those around you.
Remember that when people can't trust you, people won't do much for you. People won't help you get a job or give you help when needed. When you have a great reputation, people would almost do anything for you.
Look at your name and write it down. Now, what would other people think when they see this name? Would it make them smile or would it make them cringe? Heck, what do you think about when you see MY NAME? If my name gives pleasant thoughts to you, then ask yourself if your name would invoke those same thoughts to somebody else. If you're doubtful, then you know that you need to work on your name.
If you're going to work hard on anything, work hard on YOUR NAME. Not your job, not your business, and not even on your physical appearance. Work harder on your name than you would on anything else.
Many of you are old enough to remember when cell phones became available to the public. These phones were simply phones: you did nothing else with them but make phone calls. They were great as they were. If you needed to make an emergency phone call, you didn't have to search for a pay phone anymore!
Cell phones were expensive, of course. You really had to use them for emergencies, because you only had so many free minutes, and once those minutes were gone, you'd be paying nearly a dollar per minute! So, while cell phones were available, you still had to rely on the ol' fashion landlines.
But slowly, small upgrades happened to these cell phones. One of the earliest upgrades that I could remember was adding text, which was such a pain that you didn't want to text! Plus, texting was an added cost. Among other early upgrades were: colored screens, flip phones, and free nights and weekends.
Eventually, the upgrades became more frequent. Cell phones started to have keyboards to make texting easier, internet access, cameras, and videos. Then GPS came! Whereas before you needed a separate GPS system (or just use a good ol' map), you could simply use your cell phone to get you around.
And of course, touch screen and voice command. No more key buttons.
Today, cell phones have so many upgrades that many people (including me) have ditched the landlines and use their cell phones exclusively. You could use your cell phone as a mini laptop: you could make calls, text, access your internet, get to where you're going, make fax, pay bills, and even make money! Companies such as Uber and Postmates exclusively use cell phone apps so that drivers could make a full-time living. No reporting to bosses. Just turn on the app if you want to work and turn it off if you're done working.
Cell phones have come a mighty long way. Today, it's almost a matter of survival just to have a cell phone on you at all times.
Now, let's think about your life. Have you made as many upgrades to your life as cell phones have made in the past 20 years?
Just imagine if cell phones today were just like cell phones back in the early 90s: big, bulky, expensive, and only being useful for making calls. Eventually, people would have lost interest in cell phones. But because of all the upgrades, people can't live without one!
We need to "evolve" like cell phones. We can't keep living the same ol' life, thinking the same ol' way, and doing things the same ol' way. One of the main reasons that we get old and broken down is because we refuse to make changes.
Do you know why you aren't acting the same way as you did as a child? Because you made upgrades. You became more mature, more learned, and started pursuing more adult things. But once you hit adulthood, then you stop making the upgrades. We start "degrading" because we are no longer interested in making changes.
Imagine your old relatives who still call the operator or check the white pages to find a phone number? Think about your relatives who still thinks that one race is more superior than another. Think about your relatives who have never traveled outside their own city! These folks have refused to make any upgrades to their lives, and as a result, their opportunities in life are limited.
Or think about a company that refuses to take credit cards, or refuses to have a website (which have been around since the early 90s!), or refuse to have an e-mail (which has also been around since the early 90s). Or imagine a company that still relies only for telephone calls as a main way of contact. Or imagine a company that still charges the same high prices for their products while other companies are giving those same products away for free!
There is one country gas station near my grandmother's house in Wendell, North Carolina that has been there since who knows when. I'm guessing that store had to be there at least since the 1950s. Today in 2017, that store is raggedy! Almost zero upgrades. I'm amazed that store is still in business! The gas pumps are probably the same ones that were used in the 1950s. For the longest time, this gas station was charging high gas prices, until a new gas station opened up not too far from them. Then the gas prices started to drop.
Are you like that country store? Are you still living life the same ol' way, doing things the same ol' way, and refusing to make any upgrades?
The older you get, the better you should become. It shouldn't be that your best days were when you were younger. As you get older, you need to constantly make upgrades as there are more opportunities today than there ever have been before.
You wouldn't want to go to a doctor who still practices things as they were done back in the 1940s, would you? You would hope that your doctor is open to learning new things, and reading all the latest research. In the same way, you don't want to be that person who still acts and thinks the same way as you did when you were in high school.
Remember when the internet first became available to the public? We had to use the phone lines (or dial-up) to get a connection...and the connection was SLOW. Then what happened? An upgrade! DSL came out to give internet connection more speed. But it didn't stop there. Cable lines offered faster internet connection. Did it stop there? Nope, because there are newer ways of getting better and faster internet speed. If you are still using dial-up, then you need to seriously upgrade!
The world changes everyday. New discoveries are made. New opportunities happen. Today, it's easier to get information, go to college, get a job, and make your own business. In the same way, you need to be willing to make the necessary upgrades in your life so that you won't be that person calling the operator to find a number or using dial-up internet.
Few things in life need to stay the same. Those are the time-tested values that stood strong in past generations. Those things don't need any upgrades. But the other things in life such as your body, your way of making money, and how to get tasks done need upgrades. Refusing to make upgrades is just making your life unnecessarily difficult.
So, be like a phone and upgrade yourself!
You probably had at least one broken bone in your lifetime, but you never knew it. You probably had cancer at one time in your life, but you never knew it. You probably had blockage in one of your arteries, but you never knew it and would probably never know it in your lifetime. And yes, you probably had HIV at one time in your life, but again, you never knew it and probably won't ever know it.
And guess what? You went on living a regular life as if nothing was wrong. You would probably go to your grave in peace, and you would have never known that you had any health problems.
Problems aren't really problems unless someone makes them problems. Or in other words, it ain't a big deal unless you make it a big deal.
One of the scariest things about modern medicine is that we could detect any problems you have before they have any time to correct themselves. When my daughter was still in my wife's tummy, we had a routine sonogram done. The doctor detected an abnormality. One of my daughter's kidneys was underdeveloped. So, we had to go to "genetic counseling" where we were told that my child may have mental disabilities. And yes, this bothered me -- even to the point of tears.
But guess what happened during our final sonogram screening? Everything turned out normal. Both of her kidneys looked good.
So, there was really no problems. It's just that the doctor made it a problem. Instead of giving things a chance to "autocorrect," the docs just make you scared that something horrible could happen. I guess they're afraid of being sued should a real problem actually happen.
See, my perspective in life is that if you don't make it a problem, it probably won't become a problem. Most of our problems happen when we keep pushing for a problem to BECOME a problem.
I do wonder how many unnecessary medical treatments happened simply because we "created" a problem? We detected something in a MRI scan and thought it was cancer. Maybe it was, but maybe that cancer would have been taken care of by the body's immune system. But when you treat cancer, the first thing you destroy is the body's immune system, which is your natural weapon against cancer.
Recently, one of our friends was diagnosed with leukemia. So, the docs are blasting her with radiation and pumping her full of chemo. She was put into a terrible shape because of all the treatments. Now, they discovered that the treatments had weakened her heart, so she can't get a bone marrow transplant. I just want to tell her to just leave the doctors and see how her body would correct itself! But at this stage in her life, it would be a Catch-22 situation for her: she'd be doomed either way she goes.
The former school teacher in me aches whenever I hear of another kid diagnosed with ADHD, which means they'd need medication for, well, pretty much their entire life. All I'm wondering is, "What if your kid just has a naturally active personality?" or "What if your kid would eventually change if you let him grow?"
At church, one of our friends had their son diagnosed with ADHD. The father is against giving him medication, but the mother is all for it. Apparently, this kid acts up too much in school. Both the father and I agreed that this boy doesn't act up around us. I had taught this kid myself, and he behaves, and if he gives me an attitude, I'd set him straight immediately and he straightens up. Why is he now diagnosed with ADHD?
Another one of our friends had her son kind of diagnosed with delayed speech. So, he is "required" under Federal law to attend speech therapy sessions right away (it's an health insurance issue). Both she and the doctor disagreed with requiring speech therapy right away. I definitely disagreed with it, because, well, the kid was two years old! Give the boy some time to grow! He might be a little slow in developing certain aspects, but typically, kids develop at different paces.
See, when we get scared, we would make anything into a problem. It's like baking a cake: if you take the cake out of the oven too soon, it would be a problem, but if you leave it alone, it would actually become a cake!
When my daughter was born, she was having sucking issues -- or so that was what we were told. So, we just tried to bottle-feed her. One of the nurses was actually successful in bottle-feeding her. Heck, I was successful in bottle-feeding her. My wife, on the other hand, wasn't successful and she told the medical staff that her daughter wasn't feeding well. Now, everybody is freaking out about my daughter while I'm left wondering, "Huh? But...but...but my baby did fine with me!" The nurse who was successful in bottle-feeding her was also confused. Eventually, my daughter started feeding. What I think happened was that she wasn't hungry, so she didn't want to eat anything! All we were doing was forcing her to eat! Even to this day she eats like a bird...just like her grandmother (my mother).
My son, on the other hand, had ZERO issues with feeding. And to this day, he has NO issues with food. While my daughter nibbles like a rabbit, my boy chomps like an alligator! He'd be happy with a diet of steak, hamburgers, ribs, hot dogs, and sausage. My daughter would be happy with a diet of broccoli, blueberries, and noodles.
In my CPR classes, I teach people to make an emergency into a "non-emergency." When something looks strange, we think it's something big! So, we freak out and call the national guard. We do this because we get scared too easily and we're not willing to educate ourselves on what should be normal and what shouldn't be normal. Most of the problems that we experience in our lives are just NORMAL instances that look funny. These normal things become problems when we make them problems.
And for those problems that are actually problems, we end up turning them into bigger problems. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a few real problems than a ton of self-made problems. Or in other words, if it doesn't need to be a problem, then please don't make it a problem!
Think about the child who fell down after running around. The first thing that kid is going to do is look at your expression. If you appeared distressed, the kid will get distressed. Even if the kid broke an arm, that kid would still react according to how YOU react.
Instead of making a "problem" into a problem, find reasons why it shouldn't be a problem. Most likely, what you're faced with isn't a problem, or at least not yet. If it's not a problem now, could it eventually correct itself or would you just turn it into a problem? Think about all problems being in your control: you would determine their intensity level.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.