Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Positive Year!!!

Don't think you can't start TODAY or February 1st!!!

I saw these and I had to share.  If I had created a top 20 list of ways to keep yourself with an uplifting and positive JOY to be SUCCESSFUL throughout the year of 2013, I feel like my list would look very similar to what Jon Gordon has written.  If the below looks like a lot of reading to you and you are not a reader, then I have highlighted my favorite ones to keep in mind this year.  I plan on taking my favorites and then adding my own to complete my list for the year.  It is not too late (ever) to start a list, so do it!!!
(Keep in mind the list below was written by Jon Gordon, not myself.  So in no way am I trying to take credit for anything written below.  But with that said, if you have not read a Jon Gordon book I suggest picking up The Energy Bus!!!)

1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a “Thank You Walk.” It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
5. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, think optimistically about where you are going.
6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome.
7. Don’t chase success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you.
8. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.
11. Live with the 3 E’s. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
12. Remember there’s no substitute for hard work.
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. Remember that complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.
15. Read more books than you did in 2012.
16. Don’t seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.
17. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.
-Jon Gordon

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jerry Rice: Go Long!

So, second book of the year complete.  My first autobiography of the year (I love autobiographies if you didn't know)  This will not be the last one of the year!

One of the main things I want to read this year are books of people that have been successful.  I want to find out what truly inspired them to reach the goals they had set and what set them apart from others in their field.

I chose this book for several reasons; I wanted to know the heart, experiences, and drive that lead Jerry Rice's life, since I didn't know much detail about what made Jerry Rice, Jerry Rice, in my opinion, one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game of football.  I also saw the book at the library and knew I wouldn't have to pay for it.  (frugal man)

So all in all, I did learn most of the above.  Jerry was pushed by himself (drive from the inside), grew up in a large family, married early, and really just worked his tail off. One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

"Taking a risk means you are putting something on the line-your security or comfort zone, your reputation, your life-but it also means you have something wonderful to gain."

Would I suggest this book to others?  Umm... only if you want to learn a little more depth of the number one receiver to ever play the game.  But from a motivational standpoint, it didn't really stand out too much of a must have.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have you ever added the milk before pouring the cereal?

When making a bowl of cereal have you ever poured the milk into your bowl before you poured the cereal? 

This is something that hit me one morning last week.  I realized that more often than not I always end up with the perfect amount of milk left over when eating my bowl of cereal each morning.  But I started to wonder, if I started pouring my milk first would I get the same result?  The answer is definitely no,  I tried it,  turns out to be not enough milk, and the biggest part of all, the cereal on top is so dry that you have to come back and pour milk again.  That is a huge advantage to pouring the milk second when it comes to making my perfect bowl of cereal.  Not having to repeat a step.

But my point is not to talk about the directions of pouring cereal.  My point is to show that if the bowl represents our life, and if we are the milk, if we keep trying to put ourself first, before we try to put in the necessary pieces of life (the cereal) then we will always have to back track and repeat a step.

My wife (Morgann) and I have a tradition/ritual/habit, that before work every day we pray together.  This is something we have been doing for around two years now.  It is something that we added to our life and I don't believe we will ever stop.  We love it, it connects us to God, and helps to remind us that we are not first, that God is first in our lives and throughout the day we need to put Him there, letting Him guide us.  There has been about three days in the last two years that we haven't prayed in the morning together, for one reason or the other.  But on those days I can really tell that I started my day by pouring my milk first.  I now know, and have learned through doing this, that the prayer with Morgann before heading to work is a cereal piece that I can't put into my bowl if the milk is already their. 

Most of us will, excuse me, let me rephrase that, all of us will put ourselves first majority of every day.  But keep in mind when we do, when we start putting that milk in first, don't ever forget to add the cereal.  Don't forget to add to your bowl the pieces that are most important to you!

What are your cereal pieces?  Do you have pieces of your life that need to start being first? Is it time to start putting yourself second in the bowl of life?

In the writing of this blog I actually found a Facebook fanpage titled -
"I hate when people poor milk before cereal"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Paul: His Story

Last night I finished my first book of the year 2013.
Paul: His Story
By Jerome Murphy-O'Connor

Being the first book of the year, half way through I asked myself why in the world did I start my year with such serious theology from a professor at Oxford. But the more and more I read I am glad I did.  I learned more by reading this than I definitely ever knew about Paul.

I learned more about the life of Timothy, and what effect he had on Paul.  And the lives of Priscilla and Aquila.  I can honestly admit I did not know the effect that these three people had on the life of Paul.  I also didn't realize the background that 2nd Corinthians truly holds, and learning that was very intriguing.

After spending my entire 2012 in the books of the New Testament, I can say overall, I enjoyed and am glad I started the year 2013 with this book.  I will admit after ending my year by reading the autobiography of Michael Vick and then picking up this book to begin my year, I had to get use to a different style of writing of a scholar from Oxford.

One of the best quotes/takeaways I have from this book is:
"What Paul appreciated above responsibility of internalizing Christianity, of working out how to give the following of Christ practical expression in their daily lives.  NO FEAR OF MAKING A MISTAKE DAMPENED THIER ENTHUSIASM.  IN FACT THIER SELF-CONFIDENCE RULLED OUT ERROR AS IMPOSSIBLE."

So the real question is would I recommend this book to anyone.  Honestly, probably not, unless you are really wanting to dive into the journey of Paul.  I found it interesting but I assume their may be better text about the life of Paul that could be a little more manageable to understand.