Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Syndrome of All

Do It Now Syndrome

I caught something overnight! Woke up this morning with a case of "Do It Now Syndrome". Not sure where I caught it - or how - but it's truly amazing! Didn't realise just how many things I put off because they can wait - or how often I did that: until this morning that is! I'm loving this feeling - hope it lasts!

I can phrase what I'm talking about as any of these:

Procrastination Vs Do It Now!
Laziness Vs Do It Now!
I'll get round to it Vs Do It Now!
I've got to write a plan first Vs Do It Now!

Planning for anything might be necessary as part of an everyday process; but the joy is in the actual doing; in taking the action and doing whatever it is that needs to be done!

It is just so darned easy to put things off!

And every time we do put something off we feel disappointed in ourselves; just a little bit each time;and those little bits add up over time. They add up quite rapidly actually; without us noticing it at a conscious level. But that adding up of lots of little incidences leads to massive guilt; even depression if allowed to linger longer.

It doesn't matter if we've got what seems like the right intention to do something later that day; later that week; or later that month! They're usually poor excuses for finding distractions to what we really should be doing; and from doing it now! Distractions are usually self sabotage; or the fear of doing something; so we have to learn to challenge ourselves and Just Do It! and Do It Now!

I've still got this Do It Now Syndrome! ... and hoping that it's incurable.

I am truly getting a buzz from doing things that I could normally have put off until a 'better time'; and doing them as I see them; or as I walk past them. I am not kidding - within just 24 hours I have embraced this new behaviour - and am loving it! Yes - the joy is in the doing!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To all Father's on this Special Day

Since I became a Dad almost 10 years ago, I was scared to death not being able to be a good father for my newborn daughter. I was afraid not to know what to do and to screw up. By the time my second baby was born, 2 years and 2 months later, I still didn't know if I would be the good father I hoped to become. One thing I had learned though. No matter how much I cared, how many precautions I took, I never would be able to prevent my babies from getting hurt, feel pain, get sick, get disappointed, etc. 

The only thing I could do was and is, loving them unconditionally, being there whenever they need me, comfort whenever it was necessary and guide whenever asked for directions. It is absolutely necessary for my kids to make their own experiences so that they can grow knowing what life is like and all about. Sometimes experiences are good, other times they hurt but all are equally important - and I - I will always be there praying for more good than bad experiences, for the strength to be able to comfort and for enough time with them, until they are ready to go without me.

I found this little story and wanted to share it. I believe it is exactly about what I feel;

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Happy Father's Day to all of us

Friday, August 5, 2011

Good Decision Starts with a Stop

More often than we like, most of us face choices that can have serious and lasting impact on our lives. Do we go along with the crowd? Do we tell someone off, quit a job, or end a relationship? Unfortunately, these decisions are not preceded by a drum roll warning us that the stakes are high. Even worse, we often don't have a lot of time to figure out what to do.

It's no surprise that most bad decisions - the ones that mess up our lives - are made impulsively or without sufficient reflection.

Ancient proverbs tell us to "count to ten when you're angry" or "think ahead." But anger and lack of preplanning are only two factors that can impede excellent decision making. Fatigue, fear, frustration, stress, impatience, and emotions also create obstacles to wise choices.

Just as we learned to look both ways before we cross the street, we can learn to analyze every important decision-making situation to allow us to arrive at conclusions that are both effective and ethical.

Each decision, therefore, should start with a stop - a forced moment of reflection to help us clarify our goal, evaluate the completeness and credibility of our information, and devise an alternate strategy, if necessary, to achieve the best possible result. Stopping also allows us to muster our moral willpower to overcome temptations and emotions that could lead to a rash, foolish, or ill-considered decision.

While it's great to have a day or two to sleep on a problem, or even a few hours, many situations don't afford us that luxury. But a pause of even a few seconds can often be enough.

Have a great weekend and stop a little, next time you need to make a decision! Won't hurt ...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do You Know You Are Loved?

A recent conversation with some friends made me think a little about values, love, friendship and things like that. I can't stop wondering why it is so difficult to live among friends and loved ones and why so many people believe that they are not loved enough. Maybe because we don't say it enough?

Anyway, this all made me want to share this little story with you. Who knows, it motivates you not to hide your feelings, what in exchange will make others not hide their feelings to and you might be surpriced how much you are really loved.

It has been my good fortune to know Dr. Everett Blanton and to be counted among his friends. Come to think of it, that doesn't make me all that special. His circle of friends is pretty large. And I don't know anyone in his still-larger circle of acquaintances that didn't like him and respect him.

This is how his booming voice greeted those of us fortunate enough to be his friends: "Has anyone told you today that he loves you?"

The first time he posed the question to you, you may have tried to answer it. You would try to remember if your wife or children said "I love you" before they left for school or when you left for work. Or perhaps you would simply be stunned by such a question - and stand a bit wide-eyed and not know how to respond.

His face would break into a broad grin, and he would say something on this order: "Well, I do! And I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you. You are special to me, and I am grateful to have you in my life."

Now that might sound mushy - if not downright suspicious - if Everett's hair had not been completely white and his face marked with the signs of age. Coming from him, both males and females heard the genuine affirmation of a godly man who wanted to tell the people in his life how he valued them.

Everett Blanton passed away december 2010. Loved and supported by children and grandchildren, he had battled cancer courageously - and tried to keep his family from worrying too much about it. The battle had become hard.

His closest ally, best friend, and devoted wife through all his life adventures, Peggy, mourns his loss - but smiles at the treasure trove of sweet memories they made together. She tells me how fortunate she was to have had all those years with him. He would tell you he was the lucky one.

You don't have to know Everett to learn from him. Learn to affirm the people who are important in your life. Tell them you love them. Then tell them again and once more for good measure. Be remembered for it when it comes your time to go home. As Joe Bain said, Everett was "a man with the kindest heart I've ever known." Wouldn't that be a wonderful way for people to remember you?