Fear Or Faith?

Fear and Faith.fear or faith

Do you know what fear and faith both have in common?

A future that hasn’t happened yet.

Fear believes in a negative future. Faith believes in a positive future. Both believe in something that has not yet happened.

We don’t know what this year  will hold. Or this month. Or this week. Its unknown. It hasn’t happened yet. And the choice every single one of us is facing, right this exact moment, is what we are going to choose to believe about the future. Is it going to be a bad year, or a great year? Fear, or faith?

No matter what our current situation – whether right now we are doing pretty well or doing pretty lousy – we all have a choice between two roads – the positive road or the negative road. We can’t ride on both at the same time.

And so one of the most helpful questions you can ask yourself is: why not believe in a positive future? Read more »

The Four Stages Of Escapism

Healthy EscapismAfter a long harsh day of facing reality, what do you deserve? What do you do to escape, to get away from it all for a few hours?

There was a book that I read to my kids when they were younger called Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

It’s a book about a boy named Alexander whose day goes from bad to worse. He wakes up with gum in his hair, he gets his sleeve wet in the sink, he trips over a skateboard, and there’s no prize in his cereal box. And that’s just in the morning. It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Then he goes to school and the teacher won’t acknowledge the picture that he drew of an invisible castle, there’s no dessert in his lunch. After school his Mom won’t buy him the kind of sneakers that he really wants. He gets drilled on by the dentist for a cavity, and later that night he gets soap in his eye when he’s taking a bath. And finally poor Alexander says “I’m going to move to Australia.” And the book wraps up with his mother brazenly telling him “Some days are just like that. Even in Australia.”

When my kids were little, I would finish that story, pull the covers up to their chins, turn out the light, and leave them alone in their existential despair to figure that one out.

After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, what do you do to escape?

Where is the Australia that you long to run away to? Read more »

How To Deal With Feelings Of Confusion

How To Deal With Feelings Of ConfusionOne of my favorite books is “Deep Survival” by National Geographic writer Laurence Gonzales. He is the first researcher to try to pull together a comprehensive explanation for why some people survive horrible circumstances even though all odds are against them, while other people succumb and perish in relatively small accidents.

One of the most memorable conclusions he reveals in his book is that everyone who dies in a survival situation that they could have made it through, dies of confusion.

I’d never heard of someone dying of confusion, but when you think about it, it makes sense.

There is always a destructive energy at work when we are going through the tough challenges of life.

Exhaustion, anxiety and fear all come together to create a general state of confusion that leads us to make poor decisions which incapacitate us even further in a tightening spiral until our minds and our emotions become like two drowning swimmers dragging each other down.

We become so confused that we either make destructive decisions or no decisions at all, and the circumstances that result destroy our spirits and in some cases can destroy our lives.

Death by confusion. Can easily happen whether a person finds themselves lost in the woods or lost in life.

But it doesn’t have to happen. Lots of people are survivors. How do you ensure you’re one of them? Read more »

How To Get Rid Of Anger

how-to-get-rid-of-anger1One of the ways that has really helped me to understand anger is to see it in the context of a debt to debtor relationship.

That framework of ‘debt to debtor’ can help us understand a lot of different emotional issues that we struggle with.

Like, for example, guilt says “I owe you” because I hurt you or offended you. Greed says “I owe me.”

Anger says “You owe me.”

The angry person lives in a place where their dominant filter on the world is “YOU OWE ME.” And the reason this is true – and this is so important – is that whenever you are hurt, whenever you are offended or mistreated, there is a sense in which the person who hurt you or mistreated you took something from you.

At work, if a colleague takes credit for your project or stole your idea, they owe you the recognition that comes from your idea. If you grew up in a home where Mom or Dad took off or left, they took a part of your childhood from you. They robbed you of the opportunity to be tucked into bed at night by your Mom and Dad. If your husband or wife left you and you went through a terrible divorce, there is a sense in which they owe you your first marriage, because you stood at that altar and you made a promise, and they robbed you of the opportunity to finish a life that you started with them. They took something from you.

This is real important.

Every time you are hurt in life, there is a sense in which you perceive something was taken from you. And anger says “You Owe Me.”

You owe me my business reputation.
You owe me my childhood.
You owe it to me to have been at my graduation.
You owe it to me to have stayed with my Dad.
You owe it to me to have given me a better mark.
You owe me respect.
You owe it to me to have raised our children with me… you owe me you owe me you owe me.

Anger is like an open account, where I am a bookkeeper. I am the judge and I am the jury and I rule that you owe me, and I am not going to close this account until you repay me. And as long as that account is open, I am carrying that anger. Read more »

The Art of Complaining: How to Complain Effectively

Business PeopleStop complaining.  Stop whining.  Get over it already.

Ever hear this good advice?  I know have.  And this is what I think of it: $%^&*!!!!!!!!  And so forth.

Because I don’t think it’s good advice at all.  In fact, I think it‘s terrible advice, even though I’ve said it, even though I’ve been one to give it.  Still, it’s bad advice.

Here’s some good advice for you: do complain.

I think we should all complain a little more.  And I don’t think we should feel badly about it either.

Some people like to quote biblical scriptures in their self-righteous (annoying) reasons to not complain.  And it is true.  There is some verse in there, somewhere (toward the back I think) about not complaining.  But then again, have you ever read the Psalms?  If you haven’t, I recommend you do.  There’s a lot of complaining in the Psalms.

What about Job?  Man, all that man ever does is complain.  And what about Lamentations?  That’s an actual book in the bible.  I recommend you look the definition of lament up.   And that’s all I’m going to say on the bible and it’s so called ban on complaining.  I rest my case.  God wants obviously wants us to complain.

But you still feel bad complaining.  Don’t you?  Well, if you do it’s probably because you’re not doing it right.

That’s right.  There’s an art to complaining.  And until you know a few tricks of the trade your complaining is apt to make you feel worse, not better.  So read on and I will tell you how you can complain and feel better about your life, yourself, your kids, your car.  Whatever.  Because complaining, like Zen meditation, is an art that once mastered, leads to fulfillment and serenity.  Read more »