Faith gets me more questions than any other word, phrase, the subject you can name. Everyone struggles with faith, and I am certainly no exception.
Just coming in from outdoors, it’s scorching here. I grabbed a bottle of water, and sure enough, the good lord put in my head an article to write. When you open your mind up to possibility, an opportunity opens up from just about anywhere. It was a bottle of water today!
So what came to me as I drank the water. I opened the water and simply started drinking. Not giving a thought to if the water was pure, diseased, tampered with, old, disgusting, I simply opened it and swallowed.
What if the water was tainted in some way? Do you ever think about that? No, we don’t we assume with blind faith the water is Spring Water, refreshing and crisp. Keep in mind there is a lot of nasty diseases carried in water. You can get sick or die from bad water.
Every day, you open the water and drink with no thought of the consequences if it’s terrible. Why because in your heart you know that it’s an unlikely event that you will get sick.
Ask yourself I can open a bottle of water that you have no clue where it came from if the plant is clean if someone peed in the water at the factory pissed because they got fired. You’re willing to risk your life at the potentially contaminated water every day, but you can’t have faith that God has you?
You’re willing to get on the Elevator at work knowing full well it could drop twenty stories if all systems fail, blindly walk on with no thought of danger. Yet you can’t believe that everything will be okay!
We do things daily with blind faith. Put our lives in harm’s way “potentially” every day, but you can’t show trust in God.
What does Water have to do With Faith? Your faith needs to be as pure as the water. Trusting that when you drink from God’s water bottle its as pure as the water you safely drink all the time. You just drink because you don’t give a thought to anything else but how refreshing it will be once you drink. That’s faith!
What happens when you stay in faith even amid ruin? I can actually answer that!
Last month was shaping up to be brutal income wise. Negativity, in my own mind, was snowballing to the point I was in a very dark place. My day job is sales, and we no longer get commission vouchers to know where we are during the month with no real way to track. Not the fairest method to manage sales people “not my monkey not my circus.”
Handed deal after deal saying credit was not sufficient to purchase. Yet no notes that the company even tried beyond sending it in. Finance you have to walk on more difficult credit customers. Since this was my job for the last 25 plus years of my career. Particularly hard for me when I know some could be deals.
Letting all this get to me it clouded my brain. Frustration took over.
Somehow through all of this, I mustered up the courage to continue to let God know that I was still here. Over-and-over I would say, “God has me.” Staring a mountain of debt in the face each month is tedious.
During the month, I would take time to just let God know I don’t see a way, so please make a way. I freely admit most of the time, I was really stressing out. Somehow though I was able to show God that it might only be a mustard seed of faith, I have hope.
Finally arrived pay-day. Contemplated how I would survive the month, what was I going to lose, on-and-on. Had asked God many times to please show me he is with me, that I don’t want to be in this dark hole.
My friend, who works in accounting stopped in my office to hand me my paycheck. As I sat in my chair, bracing myself for the worst. Opening the envelope to immediately look at the dollar amount. I had to stare at it for a moment to realize it was so much more than I imagined it would be. “Oh, my” and I began to cry.
Not only could I meet the obligations, but I also have enough left to pay extra. Not any other time in my life did I feel so humbled.
Keep in mind we are not privy to our income. Sales commissions can range from $100 to thousands, but we have no real way to know. So opening your paycheck is literally like seeing a lottery ticket. It may win big or may not win at all.
The point to all of this is, stay in faith. Even when you cannot see a way, a way is being made if you let God know, do the work you need to every day. I admit honestly if giving myself a grade, it would be a D-, yet as the bible says:
Matthew 17:20King James Version (KJV)
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; it shall remove; nothing shall be impossible unto you.
We all struggle through tough moments, and it is very hard not to lose faith and hope. For many years in my life, something like this last month, I would have thrown in the towel long before God could provide a miracle.
The buzzwords “what sacrifice are you willing to pay?” Is your life of happiness, joy, abundance really a sacrifice?
Throw the word sacrifice out the window and replace it with; Investment in my own success!
After thinking about this a lot. What I have come to learn is I am not making any sacrifice in my life. To some degree in my life, I have since you hear over-and-over again. Sacrifice, what you are prepared to do? What I am sure of is I am ready to make an investment in my own success.
Some of you will be saying the sacrifice I have to make is time. I am going to have to work night & day to complete my dreams. Work weekends, never having a life. Horse Manure!
Making an investment in your own success also includes time. For those of you that say I don’t have time, I suppose you don’t understand how to manage time properly. Don’t scream! Here me out.
Activity vs. Productivity You can be busy as hell all day long. What did you accomplish? Learn to fill your day with productivity. Organize is the key!
When you can learn the difference between these to words, time will begin to heal itself. Here are some examples that will help you get started:
Plan your day down to the hour. Have set activities from hour-to-hour that net a result. Tasks.
Learn to limit social media to downtimes NOT during activity hours. Seeing what your sister is making her kids for dinner can wait. Social media is the biggest killer of productive time.
During productive hours shut off the world for a bit to focus. Setting boundaries for idle chitchat is okay. Let friends and family know you will be off the air from this time to that. Emergencies are obviously the exception to the rule. “Mom, can I have $20 to go to the mall can wait for an hour.”
Fill your day with productive time, not wasted time. The three items above give you the idea.
If you feel like you have to give up something to be successful, you need to rethink your plan. For many, it’s time with family. Dedicate times for date nights, time with children, school functions, and kids firsts. Organize your time. Calendar in your day!
Typically, when you organize your day. Take out distractions best you can. Finding twenty hours a week in wasted time is an average.
When you work this out, you can have time for family, social, and activities outside your career. Making an investment in your life includes family. Make times to be present for spouse and children.
You will be more productive when you organize your life out to include growth. Which leads me to something many are doing, and I just began.
Begin your day at 4:00 A.M.
Before you scream, hear me out!
Most folks get up between 6 am, and 7 am to get ready for work. So let’s assume for a minute you get up and six. You have the same 24 hours that we all get. Break this down:
24 hrs. – 8 hr work day = 16 hr left – 2 hr commute = 14 hr left – 6 hr to sleep = 8 hr.
You have Eight odd hours to fit in time for family, and investments in your own success. This can fluctuate a bit from day-to-day, but overall, this is how hours in a day can break down.
You cannot become successful without organizing each day. Activity is just that activity which produces nothing typically. Productivity produces purpose and results.
When faced with the dilemma that you’re sacrificing things in life, that’s really no life at all. I am not suggesting that sometime you may have to make a tough choice. What I am saying for sure that that will always be the exception NOT the rule.
Organize down so the contingency has a contingency. Have the discipline to follow your daily tasks to the letter. Try to never leave a task for tomorrow. If you have to make sure to knock it out first thing, before starting your routine when possible.
Change does take time and you will have setbacks. Just keep grinding forward. Even when you see NO way, believe me, a way will be made if you stay in faith.
What investment in your own success will you make today?
Landlocked in West Texas putting our expedition together. We have some good news that our friends in Honduras have agreed to host us for a short time. We’re going to trek into the jungle and see if we can’t capture some film of Panthers.
Exciting news. This part of our journey will be a massive leap out of my comfort zone. I have to overcome fears, like, bugs, snakes, and other creepy crawlies. Yes, I scream like a girl when confronted with creepy crawlies.
Today is also the first day of my diet. Need to trim off a few pounds and get into real shape. I would not be able to trek through a jungle this out of the way. So it’s time! Being here in the desert will allow me to train in pretty hot conditions. Also going to make some time to trek through the desert to confront some of my fears.
We’re working on what we could study here in the desert before we head out to the mountains in Colorado. Thinking we may do a little work with Roadrunners. The other morning I opened my door in my RV and right there next to my truck was a Roadrunner. That has to be a sign, right?
Currently, I’m talking with a sailing instructor in Seatle that seems very good. He has circumnavigated the world several times. Part of what I need to learn is open water sailing. So I have been searching for the right teacher for a couple of months. I love Seatle to it will be fun if this works out.
This amazing photo below was taken by Oliver Sjöström
That’s the update for our expedition documentary. The title of our documentary is still up in the air. We have a ways to go and may go through several working titles. We started the Life Research Project, so that is a possibility.
Everyone who reads me listens to my podcast or watches me on YouTube knows that my dog Glitzy is a considerable part of my life. So let me share with you a funny story how Glitzy got her start in documentary filmmaking.
A few years ago, and I remember this like it were yesterday. It was enjoying a rare day off. Working retail never allows days off very often. So I took Glitzy with me she loves to ride in the car.
One of Glitzy’s greatest thrills in her life was going to the beach and chasing sea birds. Keep in mind Glitzy is half Chijuajua and half Pomeranian. So we’re in no danger of her ever catching a bird. When you ask Glitzy, “do you want to go chase your birds?” –oh my she goes nuts.
We left the house a little early to pick up my wife at the time. As we drove, I decided to stop at the bird sanctuary; it was early, and I am just enjoying my day. So we find a place to park, my mind is relaxed and enjoying the day.
As Glitzy and I were making our way down the boardwalk enjoying the stroll I was carrying her. She wiggled signaling for me to let her down. We were alone on the sidewalk, so I put her down.
Letting Glitzy down I continued down the boardwalk. In moments after putting her down, I remember hearing her nails on her feet making a clacking noise on the boards and then it stopped. As I looked back, Glitzy was running then jumps off the boardwalk.
Looking in all directions, I finally see her racing off like a bullet. Mind you Glitzy stays with Daddy very well except for one thing sea birds. Keep in mind we’re at a bird sanctuary.
So just about the time I’m getting ready to call out to her, the whole place was empty. Glitzy looked like Carl Lewis running the 100 meters. I see this massive flock of sea birds on the beach.
Then you hear it. “What the Fu*&, cut, cut, damn-it, cut!” Dozens of people appear out from bird blinds. Some with cameras and one overly excited director. Two very forboding Texas Game Wardens. It gets worse. That day they’re shooting a documentary film about the birds Glitzy just scattered.
So I’m getting ready to jump off the boardwalk to get Glitzy and the Game Warden screams at me to stop, they will get the dog. So now you have these two Game Wardens chasing Glitzy while a cameraman who is laughing his ass off filming these officers chase this little bitty dog.
Oh and by the way Glitzy scattered the sea birds and is now barking at the Game Wardens. This too also gets worse, they’re a rare bird that had not come there for years. Hence the film crew.
Our story continues the game warden finally catches Glitzy and brings her to me. With a very stern, “You are aware of leash laws?” Can I see your identification have a seat on the bench with your dog! Oh shit!
As the film crew comes over and begins to play and hold Glitzy and laughing at the irony of the whole ordeal. The camera guy starts to playback the Game Wardens chasing Glitzy and everyone is laughing so hard, even the two officers were very cool about everyone joking with them.
The main camera guy begins to playback his film calls everyone over he too is laughing his ass off. Imagine the movie rolling these majestic sea birds chilling on the beach, nature at its finest. To all of a sudden see this little bitty bullet of a dog enter the screen and begin to chase these bird’s tail wagging and barking away.
The gasps of people the more than one saying “what the fu&* is that” and well you heard the rest earlier in the story. Back to a Game Warden who tells me not sure what to do with us right now.
I did explain that Glitzy enjoyed running on the beach chasing birds. That honestly I was daydreaming and never gave a second thought to letting her down to walk with me. Forgetting that I was at the bird sanctuary, hello.
So the main science folks came over and told the game warden they were not too worried about the birds coming back. That in nature, it could have just as quickly been a Coyote running after them as it was Glitzy.
Glitzy and I narrowly escaped incarceration. We did get a pretty stern warning about the dog being on a leash, however. Lesson learned no doubt.
If everyone could just get back to there positions per the director, once the birds saw it was safe to come back to the beach, they would naturally return. That was just what happened an hour or so later.
Sadly Glitzy’s film debut was short lived and found herself on the cutting room floor. C’est la vie!