Stop Chasing Them Rabbits!

rabbit holesI believe a critical key to becoming successful at anything is singleness of focus. Now, I realize that singleness of focus, like anything else, can be taken to an extreme; like when you refuse to acknowledge anything in life other than what you’re dealing with.

What I’m talking about here is not letting yourself become easily distracted or let yourself go chasing after rabbits in every direction.

What do I mean by chasing rabbits? I’m glad you asked. Anyone who has ever clicked on a link in a newsletter, and found themselves on a webpage where a couple dozen other articles, links and offers are presented, knows exactly what I’m talking about.

From that point you find yourself following one link after another. Reading this ad or that article up until the next link and then you chase another rabbit. After a while you forget what you set out to do, and end up somewhere totally different.

Now, there is nothing wrong with noticing other things while studying or researching a topic. What you need to do is keep a pen and paper handy, and when you see something that interests you write down the link or URL, and leave that rabbit alone until later.

Now this doesn’t just happen in the cyber world, it happens in the non-digital world as well. I’ll give you a perfect example and see how many of you don’t experience this at home.

Have you ever started cleaning your kitchen, and a short time later found yourself cleaning the bedroom? Of course the kitchen is still a mess, but for some reason you ended up somewhere else.

What happened was you chased a rabbit out of the kitchen into the bedroom. How you ask? Let me tell you. You picked up a finger nail clipper or some other object off the kitchen counter or table that you or someone else set there earlier. Now, since you’re cleaning the kitchen, and you know this item doesn’t belong there, you bring it to its proper home.

Of course while you bring that item home, you notice the dirty laundry draped over the chair or at the end of the bed. So, you pick up those items and deal with them.

Now if you don’t see an item that belongs in the kitchen, there is a chance that you will continue cleaning the bedroom unless you chase a rabbit back into the kitchen or another room.

So it goes on and on. And if you think about it, you can see how this can be applied to any area of your life. The main problem is a lack of focus, and a lack of commitment to accomplish what we set out to do.

Now, I don’t care what it is you want to accomplish in life, what goals you’re shooting for or what level of success you desire to reach; without focus and commitment you will be hard pressed to accomplish much of anything.

So what can I do about it, you ask? You probably already know the answer, but I’m going to say it anyway; make lists, set goals, follow through.

As far as setting goals, there is not near enough space to totally deal with that issue here and now. If you are uncertain about how to set goals, there are many books and audio programs on the internet that can help; some are even free.

As far as making lists and following through, that is a bit simpler. What I do is take a white board, and section it into days of the week. Then I write down the items I wish to accomplish on my white board for each day of the week.

Sometimes I will prioritize them if I’m worried I won’t be able to accomplish them all, other times I just make bullet points and just go down the list.

Now, as will always happen, something will come up. A rabbit might jump up and beg you to chase it; DON’T DO IT!!! Keep a notebook handy, and when that rabbit jumps up, write down which direction it went in, what was so interesting about it, etc. and leave that rabbit alone until you have accomplished those things that have been prioritized on your list.

You might even add, chasing rabbits to the bottom of your list, or the number one priority for the next day.

If you’re cleaning the kitchen, stay in the kitchen until you’re done. If you must bring something into another room tell yourself, I will not look for the rabbits in here, and get back to the kitchen.

If you’re studying something or reading an article on a website and a rabbit jumps up, just write it down and keep going with what you’re doing.

If you really desire to become successful in life, you must learn to prioritize, follow through and focus, focus, focus.

Do you have problems with chasing rabbits?

“If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share it with a friend; and recommend to them”.


What Will Become of Your Tree?

treeI wanted to share The Tale of Three Trees with you today. It’s a parable that speaks volumes to how many of us just don’t realize our worth. We often look at ourselves as unworthy of great achievement or works. Instead of seeing ourselves like God sees us, we focus on all our short comings.

Where we view ourselves according to our past mistakes and failures, God sees our potential and the great things we’re capable of.

Enjoy the parable!

‘The Tale of Three Trees’

Three little trees stood high upon a mountain discussing their dreams for the future. The first little tree looked up at the dazzling night sky and said, “I want to carry the treasure of kings and queens. I want to be beautiful. I want to be filled with all the riches in the world.”

The nearby stream caught the second little tree’s eye. “I want to be a mighty sailing vessel,” he said. “I want to sail in the roaring oceans, roam the high seas, and deliver kings and queens safely to their destinations.”

The third little tree loved the mountaintop. “I want to stay right here and grow and grow and grow,” she said. “I want the people that pass by to look at me touching heaven and think of God.”

One day, many years later, three lumberjacks came to help the three trees with the next season of their lives.

The first tree, now beautiful, was cut down. “I will become the most beautiful treasure chest,” he thought. “I will get to hold all of the world’s riches.”

The mighty second tree was cut down. “I will now sail the roaring oceans,” thought the second tree. “I will be the mightiest of all sailing vessels.”

The third tree, with her branches stretched toward heaven, was also cut down. Together with the other two trees, she was taken down the lovely hillside.

The first tree arrived at a carpenter’s shop. The beautiful tree was aglow with excitement. But he wasn’t made into a treasure chest. The skillful carpenter made the beautiful tree into an ordinary feeding trough.

The second tree was brought to a shipyard. The mighty second tree thought, “Now I will be the most vigorous of vessels.” But the strong second tree was made into a simple little fishing boat.

The third tree was brought to a lumberyard. There she was made into beams and put aside. “Why did this happen?” thought the third tree. “All I ever wanted was to touch heaven.”

As the weeks passed, their dreams began to fade from memory. However, one magical night brought the first tree’s dream to life. A young mother put her newborn into the trough. “This manger is perfect,” said the mother to her husband. And the first tree knew he was cradling the most important treasure ever.

One night the fishing boat was used by a tired traveler and his friends. They quickly fell asleep, and the small boat floated out to sea. The sea became rough, and a thunderstorm was brewing. This frightened the second tree. If only he were a mighty vessel and could withstand the force of the storm! The traveler was awakened by the storm, and he stretched out his arms and said, “Peace.” The sea became calm and the thunderstorm vanished. It was then that the second tree realized he was carrying the Almighty King.

Then one morning, the third tree was taken by soldiers and carried through a hostile mob. She trembled with fear and distaste as a man’s hands were nailed to her. But three days later the sun rose. The earth was full of joy. She realized that everything had changed because of God’s love.

The first tree was made beautiful, the second tree was made mighty and the third tree made people think of God.

How does this parable make you view yourself? What will become of your tree

Pearls of Wisdom

city sign name defines wisdom as, “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.”

Or simply put, wisdom is the proper application or use of knowledge in any given situation.

Let me share some pearls of wisdom with you today that are taken from scripture, some great thinkers, with a few of my own thoughts thrown in.

Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Speak in a friendly, courteous and encouraging manner to others. Be nice, and be a good example.

When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred. ~~ Thomas Jefferson

When you confront someone in your anger you cause them to become defensive and ruin any chance of resolving the conflict. Give it a little time, and you’ll have a much better chance of working things out.

Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given counsel to himself. ~~ Seneca

Unless you’re walking the walk, don’t go talking the talk.

Let everyone ascertain his special business and calling, and then stick with it if he wants to be successful. ~~ Benjamin Franklin

Find your passion and go for it. Don’t let anyone or anything discourage you or knock you off tract.

You should not live one way in private, another in public. ~~ Publius Syrus

You are who you really are when you’re alone.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company. ~~ George Washington

If you want to soar with the eagles, you’ve got to quit hanging out with turkeys. Choose your friends wisely. Make friends who lift you up and encourage you, and stay away from those that would drag you down to bad or base behaviors.

The scriptures say that the fear “or deep respect and awe” of God is the beginning of all wisdom. I would then suggest that the greatest source of wisdom would be found in the scriptures.

I know I always feel much wiser when I read through Proverbs.

How do you look at wisdom?

“If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share it with a friend; and recommend to them”.

What Are You Feeding Yourself?

fruits and veggiesAs I write this I am sitting in a hospital room with my son who has Crohns disease. Unfortunately my daughter and he both have it, and it has caused no shortage of pain and complications in their lives.

With Crohns you have ups and downs, periods of relative calm and periods where you have flair ups and lot’s of infections due to a compromised immune system.

A bit earlier a hospital dietitian came into his room to ask some questions about any possible food allergies, and if there was any particular foods that caused his flair ups. During our conversation, she said something that surprised me. It is something I have believed for quite a while, but many people in the medical profession seem to ignore or deny.

She said she has been a dietitian for 18 years and that she is seeing more and more young people coming down with Crohns. Can you guess what she believes is causing it? She believes it’s the foods we eat.

Now I’m not just talking about the junk food we consume from the fast food industry. I’m talking about all the packaged, processed and chemical laden foods that we ingest.

She also said that more and more people are becoming sensitive to wheat, or more specifically to the gluten in the wheat. Wheat has been a staple in people’s diets since man was created. Why the sudden change in tolerance to it?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that most all wheat, like the soy beans and other crops are genetically modified? Once again, man trying to improve upon what God has created. Or maybe it’s more about the profits that the big Agra corporations are making.

We are being fed a constant stream of genetically altered foods, laced with pesticides, herbicides, chemical dies, chemical flavorings and enhancers.

Is it any wonder that so many of our children have Crohns, or the high rates of cancer and other disease that is rampant in our society?

So, what can we do about it? Well, it would be next to impossible to totally escape it all, but there are things we can do to lessen its effect.

First, we can either completely stop, or cut way back on junk food from fast food restaurants. We can stop with all the highly processed boxed and packaged foods at the store. We can start eating more fresh vegetables and fruits and quit drinking soda.

If you live anywhere near a farmer’s market, take advantage of that while the season is going on. I know it’s more expensive, but get and eat organic as often as possible. Also, if you buy the fruits and vegetables at the supermarket be sure to wash them thoroughly to remove as much of the pesticides as possible. Be sure to read labels and check to see if they’re genetically modified or natural. Avoid GMO’s whenever possible.

Of course drinking lots of water instead of sweetened drinks, and regular exercise will take you a long way toward better health.

When you eat better foods and take care of yourself, you can’t help but feel better spiritually, mentally and physically.

Have you got any suggestions that you’d like to add?

Dealing with Disappointment

woman with a sad faceWhen my children were younger they used to always say, “That’s not fair”, whenever I had to make a decision they didn’t like. My retort was always, “Life’s not fair”. Although I was being a bit glib, it is the truth. Sometimes life just isn’t fair!

People get sick, people’s hearts get broken, and people make mistakes.

Is it fair that someone is born with a deformity? Is it fair that some people are born blind or deaf? Is it fair that some people are born into money and others into poverty? Only God can truly answer those questions, we can only give our opinions.

I do know one thing for sure though, if you’ve been in this world for any length of time, you’re sure to have experienced some trials, tribulations and disappointments. Some of them we can help and others we cannot. When things don’t go according to our plans, it’s natural that we’re going to be disappointed. What we must guard against though, is not letting disappointment beat us down, and steal our joy.

I had a disappointment recently that caused me to do some soul searching. At one time I would have let it get the best of me. I would have beat myself up because things didn’t go according to plan, and my pride was wounded.

This thing is something I really wanted to do, but could not make the cut. After a lot of prayer and meditation, I chose to adjust my thinking a bit, and follow that same path, but in a slightly different direction. So, I took something that was a disappointment and turned it into something good.

I’ve learned that not everybody can be a brain surgeon, artist or astronaut, even if they wanted to be. Now I know a lot of people are fond of saying you can do or achieve anything you want in life. Although I understand the intent, I don’t believe it to be true.

I believe anyone can be successful in life. I believe anyone can find love. I believe anyone can do a lot of things, but I don’t believe anybody can do anything.

For instance, I could not be a brain surgeon no matter how much I wanted to. My hands are not that steady, my mind is not very scientific, and I could never imagine myself using a scalpel on someone. So, I must accept that God did not give me a talent for that calling.

Does that mean I can’t contribute in some meaningful way? Does that mean that I am any less important in God’s eyes? Absolutely not!

We are not all the same, but we’re all we’re all equal in God’s eyes.

If you read 1 Corinthians 12, you’ll see how God has given each of us different talents and abilities. He says they are all equally important, and all of them are needed to make the body complete. God is not a respecter of persons, so He does not look any more favorably on a brain surgeon than He does a day care worker.

So if you’re feeling unfulfilled and disappointed in life, maybe your gifts and talents are not being utilized where you’re at. If you’re disappointment is dealing with some trial, maybe you need to try and find another way of looking at it. Maybe that trial is going to cause you to be a great blessing to someone down the road. Maybe that trial is preparing you for a calling you’ll receive one day.

Instead of letting disappointment beat you down and weary you, let it wake you up to a new direction, and a new beginning in your life.

William Throsby Bridges said, “Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock, is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives”.

Maybe it’s time to transition your life into a new direction.

God has given each of us gifts and talents according to His purpose, which we need to recognize water, grow and use. If we’re not using those God given gifts and talents we can easily become dissatisfied and disappointed in our lives.

Plus, Jesus teaches us a very important lesson in the parable of the talents. Although the talents in the parable were money, we all know the message was about our gifts and what we do with them. If God gives us something, He expects us to use it.

I know it can be hard when disappointments and trials come, but it is those trials that sharpen and refine us. It is the challenges and trials that knock the rough edges off, and makes us more pliable in God’s hands.

We’re told in James chapter one that trials, although painful for a while, produce patience and character.

There is no end to the stories in the bible where God took peoples trials, fears, disappointments and discouragements and turned them into victories and blessing for them and His people.

When something in life disappoints you, scares you, hurts you and or discourages you, try and change the way you look at it. Who knows, it could be preparation for a great blessing in the future.

I’d love to hear why think.
“If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share it with a friend; and recommend to them”.