Faith or Give Up

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.

hope, prayer, freedom

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 17:20 King 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.

You just have to talk to God.

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Investment in Your Own Success vs. Sacrifice

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.

joy, happiness, 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:

  1. Plan your day down to the hour. Have set activities from hour-to-hour that net a result. Tasks.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

calendar, organize, details

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?

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Glitzy a Film Star well for a Minute

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.

She even has her own page on my website: My Dog Glitzy

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!

Glitzy, pet, Dog
Glitzy Obeying the Leash Law

 

What Happens if I Get Up at 4AM?

Now we must retrain ourselves. Mind, Body & Soul.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion,”—Muhammed Ali

Years and years of garbage, we’ve fed our brains, and for many of us our bodies. Let’s clean up both. We can all do better in mind, body, and spirit.

Schedule time for mind, body, and soul. Let’s learn how:

  1. Let’s start with our body. Without stamina, you will peter out before you finish a full day. 4:00 AM lets begin with cardio. Give yourself one hour to take care of your body. Walk, ride a bike, treadmill, jumping jacks, just do it.
  2. 5:00 AM lets feed our body. Nourish the body temple with foods that truly feed your body. While we’re eating, listen to motivation, listen to something that fills your mind with knowledge. Find a Podcast, listen to a video, read while in the kitchen. Fill the mind and body with energy food.
  3. 6:00 AM, it’s time to feed the soul. Meditate, visualize, get on your knees and find God. Find your spiritual self. You have not because you ask not. Up your ask and God will up his give.

Now imagine where you will be Mind, Body, and soul after one year 365 hours focused on each of the three purposes to create the world-class you.

prayer, hope, love

You can lay in bed, believing the bullshit story you’ve sold yourself most of your life. This is too hard; I can’t do it. Keep that opinion and your right. This is your wake-up call. Set the damn clock and take your life back, the enemy will convince you that you’re nothing, I’ve tried everything, If you bloody tried everything you would be living the life you want, not the bullshit life you accept.

Learn with me to manage your mind. Getting up at 4:00 AM, really you can’t get up that early, who the hell put that in your head, YOU. Get up.

The rest of the day focus your time with actionable tasks that produce a result. If working on anything that does not create a measurable outcome is a waste of time. Social media being your number one waste of time. Unless engagement with customers, fans, are the subject of your social media time. You’re wasting valuable time.

Let’s take a social media look. If your accounts are ways you engage customers or fans, then set daily times for this activity.

When you get to work, have a day filled with times that you perform set tasks. Doing the best, you can to stay on task during the day. If you get distracted, come back to where you left off.

What I use to track my day (this is no endorsement, it’s just what I choose to use). Two apps I have on my phone is Google® Tasks and Google® Calendar. The reason I use them is they’re free, and they work in unison. They also alert me when it’s time to change and move on. It also allows me to set up recurring activities to plan. Saves time.

Whatever calendar and task manager you choose to use. Use it. Even schedule downtime, take breaks to recharge.

If you track your day, focus time for activities and you don’t allow distractions for that time. If you don’t find twenty hours in your week that you gain. Something is wrong. When we honestly track our time, hold ourselves strictly accountable for time. You will find you have time in your day to do more!

Get your ass up or stay where you are. It’s your choice. Only you can begin this.

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Change your State of Mind

“When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.”–Joyce Meyer

This is a struggle for everyone.  When everything in your life is something to worry about. So how do we get through that?

When you begin to realize that no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s temporary. If you get flustered stifling any sort of progress the situation stalls or gets worse.

Begin to look at trials and tribulations as a coaching exercise. Learn to realize God is coaching you to become a world-class you! What do coaches do? They train you to go beyond what you believe you can do. Stretch yourself beyond your limiting beliefs.

self improvement, self help, happy

This was life changing for me. I don’t look at difficulties as a problem, but a learning experience preparing me to handle anything life can throw at me. Yes, at times, you can feel alone, lost, and defeated. At this moment I think of myself as running dead last in a race. I can choose to fail, or I can run my heart out and win.

God is merely working all of us out. He is training us to handle anything the enemy can throw to disrupt our life. Why can’t God just fix my life? He is trying by letting you work through the pain to strengthen your resolve.

It hurts I can’t do it! God never puts more on our plate than we can handle. Hard to understand, but here is the skinny. Get through this because on the other side of pain is your destiny. Bigger and brighter than you can imagine.

Change the way you look at problems. They’re not happening at you they’re happing for you!

Here are some exercises you can do to change your state-of-mind:

  1. Crank up some music that gets you dancing. Music can immediately improve your state and put a smile on your face. 
  2. Breathe. Take 60 seconds or so and just breathe. In through the nose and out through the mouth, beautiful and relaxing. 
  3. Pray. Nothing like a good prayer. You can hand God the garbage he is ready to be a blessing to you and carry it out. 
  4. Meditate. Find the right place to meditate and relax your mind and body.
  5. Take a walk. Get outdoors and walk to help relieve muscle stress. Throw on some headphones and good music. 

Okay, five things to help you change your state-of-mind. The rest is up to you. Don’t wait, don’t procrastinate, GO, DO, START, BEGIN, NOW!!! 🙂

God is Your Coach available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HM5ZXv

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Beginners Guide to Yoga & Meditation

Many different places offer yoga classes– gyms, wellness centers, even the local YMCA. But you don’t have to join a class to practice yoga. It is just as easily done in your home or even at your desk while at work. Yoga can help bring you inner peace when you are stressed out. It can also help relieve the pain of headaches, backaches, and menstrual cramps.

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