Are you one of those people who freak out when seeing a spider? If you see one, you'd run away screaming as if you're being chased by a lion.
Now, think about this: does it make any sense to be so scared of a spider? You could easily crush that spider. The spider could do nothing more than run away from you. It's not as if the spider would jump on your neck and suck all the blood out! So, knowing how vulnerable spiders are, why be so scared of them?
Simple: our emotions usually never make sense and we would usually follow our emotions rather than our intelligence. That is, we KNOW one thing, but we FEEL another thing. What you FEEL and what you KNOW don't always match up.
Have you ever said that you had a bad day? Well, what makes you think that you had a bad day? What happened that was so bad that it ruined your whole day? If you would review all the events that happened that day, you'd see that whatever that happened that made you sour didn't last very long. Maybe someone cut you off the road, or maybe your boss yelled at you for two seconds, or maybe your tire blew out. Whatever it was, it was rather short, and it was probably the ONLY thing that went wrong that day. So, how could one brief moment really ruin your day? You didn't have a bad day. You just had a bad MOMENT in that day, and you kept re-living that moment over and over for the entire day.
Have you ever said that nothing is going good in your life? Really, do you believe that? Absolutely nothing is going right in your life? Get a pen and paper and write down all the things that are going wrong and compared them to all the things that are going right -- you'd most likely see more GOOD than BAD.
It's so easy to get caught up in emotions, even to the point where we don't become rational. When we get caught up in emotions, we'd find ourselves doing things that don't make any logical sense.
Have you ever made a purchase based on how you felt at that moment? You probably regretted it later, didn't you? You know, you've spent $500 on weight-loss supplements because you're getting desperate to lose the weight. After taking those supplements, you started feeling sick...or maybe you saw that those supplements didn't help you lose weight. You know that losing weight is about good ol' fashion diet and exercise, but being caught up in the emotions, you made an impulsive purchase that has gotten you nowhere.
When we make decisions based on fear, depression, anger, or being overly excited, we would almost ALWAYS make the wrong decision. Why? Because good decisions are well-thought out. Good decisions aren't made because you've felt a certain way. Good decisions require INTELLIGENCE, not emotions.
Think about a man who wants to divorce his wife simply because he's tired of all the challenges that come with being married to this woman. He thinks he'd do better with another woman. What sense does that make? All he'd be doing is trading one problem for another problem. No person is perfect, and any person you marry will give you challenges. But you see, EMOTIONS aren't reasonable. This is why you have to THINK when you make a decision -- that is, you have to depend on your intelligence, not on your emotions.
Whatever you feel, measure it up to your intellect. Ask yourself, "Is what I'm feeling have any real basis?"
What you KNOW and what you FEEL are usually at odds with each other. Discipline yourself to go with what you KNOW. Don't get carried away with your anger, sadness, or even excitement.
Just imagine how your life would look like if everybody treated you based on how you made them feel. You'd probably be fired on the spot, or beat up, or cursed at, or have something in your life sabotaged. Who knows, maybe a whole lot worst could have been done to you, but because someone decided to put some THOUGHT into his or her actions, you got off easy.
Before you do something that you'd regret, just take some time to be rational with your decision. After spending a few moments in thought, you might find that you'd be better off doing something else.
Is it more important to make a lot of money or to learn a lot of skills? Should you spend your lifetime building wealth or building a library of books?
Recently, I've been studying the whole concept of money. It's interesting to see how currency used to work in ancient times and how they work right now, and the one thing I've realized is that currency of today has absolutely NO value in itself. Yes, the piece of green paper that you get from the ATM is no different from monopoly money: you can't eat it, you can't treat diseases with it, and you can't melt it into something else.
Yet, we slave and slave and slave on our jobs to build up a nest of this currency.
The only reason our green pieces of paper has any meaning at all is because other countries would accept it as a means of payment. We in the United States has what's called "reserve currency status," meaning that we could use it to do business with other countries. But if other countries decide not to accept our currency anymore, then all the goodies we get from these countries would cease. Eventually, our currency would become meaningless. All your retirement savings, pensions, social security, stock investments, and any cash inheritance that you're expecting would be absolutely useless. Some financial experts are calling everybody to transfer their monies into "hard assets" such as gold and silver, two materials that would always be accepted anywhere in the world.
Sounds scary, right? You've put in 30 or more years to build up a savings to live off of, but all those savings could be flushed down the toilet in an instant because the U.S. dollar has no more value. Yes, this means that the billionaires could no longer spend their money, because nobody would accept it. Spending the U.S. dollar would be like using carnival ride tickets to pay bills.
And yes, this means that all the banks would simply be nothing more than museums.
So, should we still spend our lives building up wealth when it could all be devalued at any moment? Or should we spend time learning skills that could take us anywhere in the world?
One time, I bartered my skills with a woman in exchange for her time share! She was looking for a personal trainer, but didn't want to pay the cost for one. Me, I wasn't looking for a time share, but I saw this as an opportunity to give my mother a gift for all the ways she helped me and family. Both my assets and the client's assets were "hard assets" -- that is, they had value in themselves. I could help anybody lose weight, whether or not I get paid for it. The client's time share has given my mother a wonderful experience.
Back in ancient times, there was no "reserve currency." If you wanted something, you needed to trade in something of equal or greater value. What you traded with had to be of value in itself. Gold, silver, copper, precious stones, clothing, spices, salt, etc., were all of value in themselves. A piece of paper being used for currency would have been ridiculous, because you can't wear it, eat it, make a weapon out of it, treat sickness with it, and you can't sacrifice it in any temples. Depending solely on reserve currency in itself would have been seen as risky, if not downright foolish.
Back in ancient times, there was more importance placed on skills, knowledge, on what you had to offer. If you had nothing to offer, then you would just become a beggar on the street. Today, if all you have is money but no skills, then should that money become worthless, you, too, would just be a beggar on the street.
This is why it's important to focus on SKILLS, not MONEY. Focus on building up your LIBRARY, not your IRA. What you could DO would always be more valuable than what you could PAY.
After reading this far, you need to ask yourself, "How valuable am I? Do I have anything to offer than simply money?" Think about it this way: if you were to lose your job, what skills could you offer that the average person would most likely pay for? Whatever that skill is, then that skill would most likely be valuable in other places in the world.
Back in ancient times, learning two, three, or more languages was incredibly valuable because it allowed you to do business with people of other countries. Also, should you need to flee from your country because of famine, persecution, or political turmoil, then you could easily do so and start making a living right away.
Money is only valuable until it loses value. But skills would always be valuable anywhere you go. Somewhere in the world is a person who needs what you have to offer -- if you have anything to offer. You could live in a house for free and eat all the food that you want if you have skills.
Some of us may look down on them, but maids are highly valuable people. They know how to clean and cook, and some of them may know how to be nannies. Some maids live in places for FREE in exchange for their skills. Just think: they could watch cable, take hot showers, sleep in comfortable beds, and have access to food all in exchange for their housekeeping skills.
What do you have to offer and where could it take you? Money could only take you so far, but when money isn't enough, what would you have left to offer the world?
Don't become so dependent on money that you neglect to learn something useful. It may never happen, but it's always possible for our currency to become "null and void" so that all the numbers in our bank accounts would just be that: numbers. There's even a verse in the Bible that says, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain" (1st Timothy 6:17). Money is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. Everything around us becomes more and more expensive, and it could keep getting this way until money "out-prices" itself. But the skills that you learn would always have meaning, and they would always improve your life. Focus on your hands, not on your debit card.
One thing I've learned from my kids is that I cannot tell them anything exciting before bed time. If they would be doing an exciting activity on the next day, I cannot tell them the night before, otherwise they would either have trouble sleeping or would get up really early. All that excitement pumps them up with too much adrenaline, and the more adrenaline you have, the less you could rest.
When you look forward to something, your moods and your energy would heighten! Have you ever worked on a project deep into the middle of the night and you have to force yourself to stop? That's because you were looking forward to completing your project. The anticipation gave you so much energy that sleeping and eating didn't even appeal to you.
Whenever I start writing on something, I won't eat or sleep. One time back in high school, I went to the library to research something for history class. I had to write a history paper, and when it comes to writing...man...somebody needs to hold me back! I will write, and write, and write, and write for hours. I won't care to eat or drink anything, or take any pee breaks. Once I get going, it would be hard for me to stop. I didn't eat anything for that whole day while I was at the library. I think I ate ONE meal that entire day.
But, if I had nothing to look forward to, well, I'd just be sluggish, tired, and cranky. The only thing I'd be looking forward to is sleep!
When we were kids, there was always something we looked forward to. Whether a school field trip, or visiting a relative, or getting a new toy (or video game), or playing with friends, or going to someone's birthday party, we were always looking forward to something. Maybe that is why we had so much energy as children!
But as we get older, we don't look forward to many things. Work, bills, car issues, house issues, kids driving you crazy, spouse getting on your nerves, etc. These things don't excite us. Yes, we love our family and appreciate life, but man, it's like after you've become an adult, all you do is work, pay bills, take care of the kids, sleep, wake up, and repeat. After awhile, life gets mundane. If you have kids, you watch them being excited for everything while you're slumped over on the couch watching television, because it's one of the few things you look forward to.
Well, it's time to make some changes. It's time to start new projects, to have new pursuits, to finally look forward to something. When there is something that excites you, your energy will just go through the roof! No more being a slave to coffee. You just might rush out the house forgetting to eat breakfast and to drink your coffee.
And you know what? When you're excited about something, your family could actually be excited for you and encourage you to pursue whatever it is that has gotten you pumped up. One time, my wife and I had a goal for me to write a book and sell 80,000 copies of it in hopes that it would help us get a house. My daughter learned of our goals and got excited about it, too. She even wanted to write a book herself.
But I had periods where I got excited about nothing! Life was just the same ol' same ol'. I found myself always tired, lacking appetite, and loving sleep. I loved my God, my wife, my kids, my church, so it's not as if my lack of excitement had anything to do with these things. It's just that I had no personal pursuits. All I could think of was how to survive, how to make a business, how to get a job, how to keep myself from asking my mother for money, etc., etc. When those thoughts weigh down on you, well, you just don't get excited about things anymore.
And guess what happens to those around you? When you lack passion in your life, you don't act very lovingly to those you live with -- and you'd be teaching your kids to not get excited for anything. Why should they look forward to anything when they see you looking forward to nothing else but work and bills?
Let's go back to my example of wanting to write a book and selling 80,000 copies. My excitement spelled over to my daughter, who wanted to also write a book. My son, well, he's not too big on writing. However, he can easily get excited about anything, so if somebody in the family is excited about something, he would be excited for it, too. Your excitement could be so contagious that it would inspire those around you to pursue something exciting of their own.
As tempting as it may be, don't live life passively. While the responsibility of being an adult could weigh heavily on you, don't let it crush you. Don't just look forward to Fridays, or going to the club, or racking up paid vacation days. Look forward to something deeper, something that just hypes you up so much that sleeping would seem undesirable.
The day you started asking for coffee was the day you've stopped being excited. Your energy comes from two glands that sit on top of your kidneys, called your adrenal glands. They produce epinephrine (adrenaline), and this chemical jacks you up and makes you do things that you've never done before. If that epinephrine is not flowing through your veins, then you've lost passion. You'd always be fatigue. You would never get a good night's rest, you will always be trying different energy drinks, coffee would be your friend, and you just might eventually go to the doctor for what you think is clinical depression.
Find something that excites you and pursue it. Get that energy back up again. The more times you get excited, the less times you'd be complaining about not having enough energy.
Theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a prayer called the "Serenity Prayer" back in the 1930s. The prayer was popular during the 1930s and 1940s, and was even adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous. The common form of the prayer goes like this: God, grant me the serenity (or peace) to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. That is, the wisdom to know what I can change and what I cannot change.
Notice that the first part of that prayer talks about acceptance of the things that you cannot change. There are plenty of things in life that you cannot change. No matter how hard you try, many things will be out of your control...at least for the time being. So accept WHAT IS (that is, your situation) and continue to accept it WHILE IT IS (that is, for the duration of your situation).
It gets frustrating when you think about a very non-ideal situation and how it's hard (or even impossible) to change it. You're tired of going through it. You're tired of having to deal with it day in and day out. When you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night (or vice versa if you work third shift!), you're still in the same situation with no signs of improvement. Well, what are you going to do? Probably nothing...because there is nothing you could do to change it. So, accept what is while it is.
Does this mean you sit back and do nothing? Of course not. While you may not be able to change your situation (or at least not be able to change it right away), you could simply find out how to work with your situation. For instance, I've told overweight individuals that the main advantage of having so much fat is that they could use it as resistance for weight training. If you're 100 lbs over weight, you don't need extra weight to do squats. Your body weight alone provides enough resistance to get a good leg work out. So, I'd say to use this fat while you have the fat, because you could use it for good.
So, how could you work in your situation? You're going to be in it for a while, so start making plans to work with it. Always remember this: if you can't change it, work with it to your advantage.
Believe it or not, the reason I made our ZUMBA class donation-based is because I was going through financial trouble at the time. I knew what it was like to struggle with finances. We're going on four years of having this class twice a week for donations only with no signs of slowing down! Had I been financially well off, I most likely wouldn't be teaching this class for just donations. I'd be charging at least $5 per class and search for people who could pay it, PLUS I'd be using this class to help sell products. Instead of this class being an outreach effort, it would have simply been another business to make money -- to no advantage for those who cannot afford to pay for each class.
However, while the class isn't a big money-maker as I initially hoped for when I started it back in 2012, the donations our generous participants have given us has helped us provide for some of our needs. Plus, we get the satisfaction of helping those in need. Also, I get a great work out for myself. This class is one of the main ways I keep in shape. Financially, we're still not where we want to be (or anywhere near it), but we just learn to work with what we got while we got it.
If you exercised today for the first time and looked yourself in the mirror the next day, would you see any difference? No. Would you see any significant differences on the scale the next day after exercising? No.
If you take a nutritional supplemental today, would you notice any difference the next day? Again, you won't -- unless it has caffeine, in which case you'd notice a difference shortly after consuming that product.
If you eliminated a certain food from your diet hoping that it would cure a problem, would you notice a difference the next day? Most likely not.
Measuring success in anything cannot be done on a day to day basis. Accomplishing something good is like building up your retirement: you won't really see any big changes until after you've dedicated a significant amount of time saving up money. You can't save up $10,000 in a year if you're only putting $5 into your retirement each week. In the same way, you won't see any big changes unless you've devoted enough time to your activity.
My son is starting to read better and better, even to the point where he looks forward to reading (while I'm writing this, he just asked when we're going to do our reading activity). The process of getting him to this point was GRUELING! I was tough on him, made him cry, got frustrated with him, and listening to him read was just painful! Imagine being in stop and go traffic for 60 miles. You move a little, and stop. Move a little, and stop. Move a little, and stop -- for 60 miles.
Today, he's in first grade, but is starting to read more on a second-grade level. I've spent a lot of time working with him, and then almost out of nowhere, he just started reading more fluently. It makes me proud to see him look at random words and know exactly what they are, whereas before he would look at a very, VERY simple word and just not know what it is.
You see, if you want to see a change, then you need to be willing to devote a significant amount of time to it.
Success must be measured on a periodic basis, not on a day-to-day basis. Even if you get quick results, those results cannot be trusted.
For instance, I know of a couple in my church who made over $100,000 in less than two years with their online marketing. I thought these people were on their way to becoming millionaires. Then shortly after their big success, they weren't doing as well -- and sales of their product has gone down to the point where the husband was looking for a job! This married couple went from being successful entrepreneurs to job-seekers in less than, say, three years.
Their quick success with their online business was deceitful. Their success was quick and life was good -- but their demise was just as quick. This is why you don't want to get too excited when you see quick success. True success takes time to build. Quick success is simply...well...luck. You don't want to live your life on luck -- that is, by chance. You want your success to be purposeful. Luck has no purpose. It comes and goes and happens to random people. Living your life based on luck is like trusting the casino is going to pay you a regular salary.
By the way, this married couple is doing well again, thankfully.
If you start something today, check your progress next week, not tomorrow, and certainly not within a few hours. Admittedly, one of my weaknesses is starting something and not giving it enough time to flourish. I would get excited about quick results and get discouraged when those quick results stop. Then later on in life, I'd look back at my quick successes and wonder, "Why did I stop doing that?" Obviously, there was potential in whatever I did, but I never devoted enough time to get REAL success. My successes were hit-or-miss, which is good as it shows there is potential. But hit-or-miss success is bad if you depend on it.
If you start something and see immediate success, take heed! You may not get that kind of success again. So, seek the success that is measured on a periodic basis. Seek success that takes time to build. Focus on BUILDING UP something that will last for a long time.
Back in EMS, my partner and I had a big, intimidating patient who appeared unconscious when we've arrived on scene. Once we got him in the ambulance, the patient started getting wild! He was shouting as loudly as he can, and even though he wasn't getting physical with us, his large size and the volume of his voice were enough to make me want to run for my life!
I was about to leave the ambulance until I saw my partner standing over the patient demanding that he calm down. How foolish could he be??? Didn't he know that this patient could probably whip him???
While I could have left for my life, I disciplined myself to stay because I can't abandon my partner, even if what I thought my partner was doing was foolish. Besides, I stood near a portable, metal oxygen tank that I could use to knock the patient out.
Surprisingly, the patient was all bark and no bite -- and, man, was he barking loud! I calmly radioed 911 dispatch asking for police assistance, and about a minute later the fire fighters who were with us at first quickly returned to the scene with their flashing lights on. Then shortly afterwards, the cops came and everybody except me jumped in the back of the ambulance trying to restrain the patient.
Now question: what would have happened had I left my partner on the ambulance by himself? Well, let me ask this instead: what has happened since I didn't let fear control my actions? We had lots of help from both the fire department and the police department, a restrained patient, and nobody got hurt. Plus, I didn't get labeled a coward by my coworkers!
You will always experience fear, whether or not the fear is legitimate. However, you need to discipline yourself to make decisions based on logic, not based on fear. Making decisions because you were afraid may not bring you a good outcome. A decision that is actually thoughtful and unaffected by fear would produce good results.
Just imagine if the S.W.A.T. team didn't want to go into a hostage situation because everybody was afraid of getting killed? The criminals would win every time if the cops were afraid of doing their jobs! The reason we have so many criminals in jail is because we have brave men and women who didn't let fear drive their decisions.
There is something you are afraid of right now, and you're making decisions to support that fear. Let me ask you:
Just think, what if we made all of our decisions based on logic? What if emotions didn't influence the choices we made? What if I ignored how I felt and focused more on what I wanted? Where would you be right now if fear didn't stand in your way?
One of my biggest fears deals with finances. Between me and my wife, I would be the one to hesitate making a costly decision. I'd be the one to say, "We don't have the money right now." Where my wife sees investment, I see dollar signs. It's easy to make a money decision when you actually have money. But when money is short, fear could get in the way of making a potentially life-changing decision.
When my wife quit her job on such a short notice, it didn't feel good for me! She did it because she wanted to invest in her health. The job she had affected her health, and since leaving it, her health has changed for the better. Again, she saw investment. Me? I saw dollar signs...dollar signs that I won't be seeing since she left the job!
But now, I'm in the same boat. The job I have is affecting my health. I've lost over 10 lbs and I had no fat to lose! My strength has decreased, I'm getting more aches and pains, and I'm starting to get scared of lifting anything heavy. Plus, my sleep cycle is screwed up and my dandruff has been coming back due to a lack of antioxidants in my body. So, I have to make a decision: stay on the job and watch my body dwindle away, or leave it and trust that something better will come up. If I make a decision based on money, I might end up in the hospital. That is, if I make a decision based on FEAR, bad things are going to happen to me.
Keep in mind that there are always different roads to take to get what you want in life. Living on fear is a sure way of keeping you on a rough road that may or may not get you to where you want to be. Even if that road does get you what you ultimately want, your condition might be so bad that you'd wished you had chosen another path.
Fear is good when it keeps you safe. But when fear gets out of control, not only would it keep you safe, it would keep you VERY safe...so safe that you would eventually die (figuratively and literally speaking). Just imagine if I kept a plant locked in a closet where it won't have any pests or damage from the wind. The plant would die from lack of sunlight. In the same way, your fear could keep you in a closet where you would eventually die from the lack of LIFE.
Feel your fear...but don't act according to your fears. Whenever you feel fear, make yourself do the opposite.
Fear is not a good indicator that you shouldn't do something. Fear is based on the unknown. Fear is there to play it safe. Look past all that and focus on what you WANT, and the more you focus on your WANTS, the less power the fear would have over you.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.