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In all things, be filled with gratitude

In all things, be filled with gratitude

There’s something I always seem to forget, especially in moments I need it most. Being grateful. We all know we should be grateful for what we have, no matter what may be going wrong at the time. But it’s not always the easiest attitude to maintain. I am going to show you how to truly remain grateful throughout life and it starts with a little change in your perspective.   Lack of gratitude is not a head problem, it’s a heart problem. Literally. It’s not just an idea, it’s a physical phenomenon. Simple excerises of gratitude prescribed by doctors to their patients with heart problems reavealed astounding results. Stress decreased, ulcers healed, blood pressure dropped, hearts increased in health. Gratitude is something our mama’s, our daddy’s, our teacher’s, or our preacher’s, have taught us since we rocked our blinking sneakers in the first grade. But we’ve forgotten all about the magic of it. It’s been thrown around as a well-wishing reminder for so long that it has almost lost it’s meaning, and now our physicians have to remind us of it’s healing power. To be truly grateful for a thing, I usually have to experience life without it, or at least be aware enough to understand how life would be without it. Otherwise, this thing in question holds very little value to me. How can I be grateful for a thing I’ve never lived without? Think about a bratty teen, who has everything, complaining about life. It’s hard to convince them to be grateful for what they DO have, when they’ve never felt what it was like WITHOUT it. And unfortunately, I...
Live with the end in mind

Live with the end in mind

There is one thing that will surely give you enough motivation to finally do the things in life you’ve been wanting to do: And that is your death. Or… the “end.” Death inspires us like a cat inspires a mouse. It’s only when we remember that the end is coming, that we suddenly act like we actually want to live. We avoid the subject at all costs but the fact that you and I will die someday, cannot be denied. It’s probably the only thing in this world that we can actually be certain about. Yes, it’s a crappy subject to discuss. Who wants to talk about dying!? But, the truth is, when we think about dying, it helps us also to remember to live. There is something different about a person when he or she truly lives with the end in mind. They behave differently. They begin to love, appreciate, and risk more. They submit to their fears less and they worry less. They try, they fail, yet they try again. They understand that in order to live an extraordinary life, they must always be aware that they don’t have forever. And tomorrow may not be there so they must act today. There is an urgency to their step. When they set out to achieve great things, they look ahead at the final destination, and they work backwards in order to understand what they must do each day to get there. You can bet people like this will have very little to regret when their time is up. This declaration from my book, “The Mount Of Olives,” will...
Words spoken, set life in motion

Words spoken, set life in motion

If you have ever paid close attention to the conversations you have with yourself, you will be astonished. Most conversations we entertain within, are pure garbage. I start with the principle, Words spoken, set life in motion, because this is where life begins. In my book, “The Mount of Olives,” this is declaration #1 for a very good reason. If you want to know who you truly are, take some time and take inventory of your internal dialogue. You will notice that on an hourly basis, you will justify, argue, assume, develop a fear, force a weak attempt at encouraging yourself, and then, create “what if” conversations which you then turn into actual arguments and anger towards someone. The battle is real but the time for victory is now.   Our biggest roadblock in life is ourselves. And holy smokes we are stubborn! Years of conditioning will do that. Just like water flowing down a mountain, it soon finds the path of least resistance and a new creek is eventually born. From then on, the water will follow the same path every time the rain comes. This is what we do with our internal conversations. Whether it’s an insecurity, a fear, a previous statement from someone, or an out-right lie, somewhere along the way we’ve adopted a language that does us more harm than good. We’ve developed a playlist of things we say to ourselves the minute an idea or any form of inspiration comes in and our mind triggers the response that will take us down that path of least resistance. What you say, what you think, how you think...
Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

I will be honest. I did not enjoy writing this article. It makes me sick to my stomach to truly imagine myself in the place of some of the witnesses to the London bridge attack as I recount the stories in my own words. Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Imagine it’s Saturday night. You are out for a couple of beers with some friends. Someone suggests you all go to another bar just across the London bridge. “It’s a better vibe over there,” they say. You all step out into the warm spring night and start making your way over to the next establishment. There are people everywhere in the streets, its the weekend. The group walking ahead of you is a little drunk, singing and laughing, as they stumble along the sidewalk. There is a couple walking behind you, holding hands. Others are following them. You hear the squeal of tires and immediately guess it’s another young kid showing off, spinning the wheels on his dad’s sports car. You laugh. You were his age once and know what it’s like to crave attention from the ladies. You hear the roar of an engine as the pedal hits the floor and look ahead to see a pair of headlights swerve towards the sidewalk. It’s not a sports car, it’s a van. “Drunk idiot!” you say, “He’s going to hit somebody clowning around like that.” The tires hit the curb and the van bounces onto the sidewalk. The folks ahead of...
Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Why you can’t move away from the negativity that plagues your life. When Scott Summers, a member of the X-Men, first discovers his superpower, it comes in the form of an uncontrolled blast of energy from his eyes that destroys everything in it’s path when his emotions surge. Until the young man learns to control these beams of energy, he causes a lot of damage to himself and his surroundings. It is only his visor that finally gives him relief of the sporadic head pains and control of his vicious power. But unlike Scott’s eyes, our glare does not destroy the things we look at, but instead destroys our lives as we focus on them.   Don’t we all have this power?   Our brains have worked very hard over many years of our human existence to protect us from predators. Whether it was the saber-toothed tiger, an attack from the next village over, or losing our mate to a stronger man, our brain has evolved to spot danger and send us warning signals. It is like that beam of burning energy from our eyes, drawing us in, wherever we may look, always analyzing and sending stress chemicals through our body. The problem is, we no longer have saber-toothed tigers to watch out for yet the brain continues to spend massive amounts of energy on searching for anything that is a potential threat. We took things that hurt our ego, self-esteem, or social status and conditioned the brain to identify them as threats. This is why it is so much easier for us to zero in on the negativity and...
How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

A “Nazi” and a “Communist” take an Uber together. A few days ago I was in Seattle for work. We finished up our project early and decided to catch the Mariners baseball game being played in town that evening. We ordered an Uber and hopped in, heading for the stadium. On the ride over, we learned our driver was born in Germany. His grandpa fought for the German’s in WWII, and ended up in a Russian prisoners camp for 13 years. I thought this was neat because I was born in Soviet Russia, and my grandpa fought against the Germans in WWII. He ended up in a German death camp for prisoners of war. Here we were, nearly 65 years later. We rode in the same car and we shared stories of a disturbing time in human history, a “Nazi” and a “Communist,” as we would have been called not too long ago. There was no hate. Why would there be? The war was fought by young boys, convinced they were fighting evil, justified in their actions. But it was started by manipulative, power hungry, ******* (Insert expletive here. I personally like the word “bastards.”) So how do you divide and create a hate between people, to the point of them murdering each other? Easy. 1. You make them believe they belong to a great cause, even greater than human life.  We humans have an amusing characteristic. We NEED to believe in something and be a part of something. It’s what gives us meaning, a sense of belonging, a sense of community. Sharing a common belief with others gives us comfort...

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