One of the best lessons I have learned; stay in my lane. Don’t get caught up with the drama, political bullshit, or anything that you personally have no control over.
When you learn to stay in your lane, you take care of what you do have control over. First and foremost is to handle your business. Getting caught up in the news or life events that we simply have no control over is counterproductive.
Taking care of our own life, our family should be our primary focus. If you let outside influences ruin your day. Ask yourself, “Why would I do that to myself.” The answer should be, “I’m not.”
We could get twisted up about Washington’s political hogwash and let that steal our joy. Ask yourself this question: “Do I have the ability to change anything in Washington outside of my vote?” Probably not, so why worry. It does not matter who is there; we can all pick apart the political process.
What should matter is how we process each day. How we interact with our family and relationships. “Am I living a life God would say, Well Done!” That being the case, the rest of life is nothing to stress over.
Staying in your lane means to live the life God has planned for you. Do the work in front of you that is from your heart. Don’t allow outside influences to steal your peace, joy, and happiness.
Prioritize your life so that nothing can interfere with your joy. Organize your life to win!
Have a productive daily routine.
Stay off Social Media during productive times.
Pray and meditate on the life you desire.
Keep God first in all you do.
Focus on body, mind, and soul daily. Healthy habits.
Over our lifetimes, we can accumulate a landfill of garbage in our heads. This is garbage that has taken a lifetime to gather. However, it is now time to empty the trash, let’s go learn how!
Let me share the same advice with you that my mother bestowed upon me. “It took you a lifetime to break your life, have the patience to allow change to occur.”
She is right; it has taken a lifetime to accumulate so much trash, it may take a garbage bag or a hundred to empty out our noodle. The good news is a lot of the garbage can be taken out never to return simply because you are ready for change. You are right?
What exactly are we talking about, garbage?
You get the idea!
Let’s plot out an action plan for change:
Make the decision you want to change your life. Whatever it is you feel you need to change, decide that today forward no more. The new you is at hand.
Organize your life so that you can feel like you are achieving something every day.
Learn how to quiet your mind. This will take some practice but will be the most fantastic thing you can do for yourself. Use headphones, find some relaxing meditation music, sounds, rain, etc. Turn off anything that will disturb you and on get somewhere no interruptions! Cannot stress that enough. Learn to relax and quiet your mind. This will open your mind and allow you to just relax.
Let God know what you desire and ask for the wisdom to find what you seek.
Get healthy. Walk to relieve tension in your body. When you’re healthy, you will be less fatigued. Your body will respond better to change.
Find something that is NOT about you. Volunteer and help others. Doing something that benefits others has an incredible cathartic result.
Learn to be thankful right where you are. Let God know every day you love what you have. When you are okay where you are. God will see that you can have more than you are ready for more in your life. Gratitude is a wonderfully blissful peace in your mind.
Don’t overload yourself. Pick a couple of things and do them consistently. We stop change because we overwhelm our brains. Believing we must do all this stuff to get a replacement now. Slow down, and change will come more quickly.
Someone shared with me, “the state of my house is in direct correlation with the state of my mind.” Look around for clutter. Get the clutter out of your life. No, it’s not organized its confusion. Desk, car, home, or office. Organize!
When deciding what your life should look like take the following OUT of the equation:
Don’t have the money.
Don’t have the time.
Don’t have the resources.
Don’t have enough education.
Too old or too young.
When framing a new life. Do it from the world is your oyster. You have NO obstacles in the way. I can hear some of you, I don’t have money, I don’t have time!
Learn quickly that in life, you can throw up an obstacle to stifle yourself. If you believe in something enough, PUT FORTH THE WORK TO ATTAIN IT. What you need will come to you someway somehow, even when you see NO idea at all.
Give this to God. Let him see you working diligently, stay in faith. You don’t know how, but you know God will make a way.
Hebrews 11:1-6 King James Version (KJV)
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Do everything you can to make your dreams come true. Cannot sit on your duff and expect God to just Miracle a million dollars in your bank. That is called the lottery!
You must condition yourself to release negative thoughts as they enter your mind. This is a pass you need to fumble. Drop the ball, let it go, don’t even try to catch the negative thoughts. Easier said than done, I get it. However, you can acknowledge the idea with a resounding “Delete.”
Meditation helps with this. See yourself happy, loved, and doing the life you want. The big difference in having the experience you wish to versus having a life you are stuck with. None of us are stuck, oh, you might think you are, but you are not! That much I am 100% on.
This is a quick look at the first chapter of my book, Plan B Hell NO. Of all my books I love this one for many reasons.
Shatter your Plan B and give way to success!
Learning the Difference
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”—Nelson Mandela
We are going to cover some perspectives that if you lean the difference between these ideologies, you will learn the first steps in unwavering faith.
You must change your mindset of lack in this first set of ideas that cause doubt. We don’t have the right resources. Learn when thinking of what you can do, say to yourself, “we just burned the boats now what?”
What to learn before you throw plan-b out:
Activity vs. Productivity acquire the difference!
Resources vs. Resourcefulness.
Failure, delays, obstacles, on the other side, is your success.
Visualize, see yourself already having achieved your goal.
Gratitude is grateful where you are now and thankful for what is coming.
Learn to master these few things, and you will rocket ship your success.
First set: Resources vs. Resourcefulness
Where most folks fail in endeavors is their belief of a lack of resources. “I don’t have this; I don’t have that.” Ultimately, nothing begins, or they don’t finish what they started because they sold themselves on the fact “I don’t have.”
Here is what is lacking. Resourcefulness! It’s not a lack of resources; it’s a lack of ingenuity that causes you to fail. Some of the most beautiful photography does not get shot from a $10,000 camera but a $100 point-and-shoot or a smartphone. It’s not the gear; it’s the eye of the photographer. Take a look at what some of the top YouTube channels shoot with; most will tell you they started with a phone or a point-and-shoot.
We are learning to plan and execute with precision. Meaning, we learn to organize yourself for production. Days are about the output from hour-to-hour. We’re going to get into this later in the book.
So how do we learn to be resourceful?
The most obvious is research. Learn everything there is to know about what you want to begin. Your knowledge needs to be you are the news organization’s first call when they need a professional opinion. The what you do does not matter, the knowledge base you have is unmatched.
Learn to make do with what you have temporarily. If you need a tool to perform your job but do not own one, can you rent, borrow, a joint venture with someone who does. For example, I am a photographer, when I need a camera Lens, I rent it. If offered a job that requires a lens that might cost me tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, I rent it!
I currently have a full-time job. I don’t have time. Can you get up an hour early? Give one hour a day every day, and at the end of the year, you’ve invested 365 hours to your new endeavor. If you’re more inclined to succeed get up at 4:00 AM. You would be in good company, Bill Gates is up, Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson is up, and so is Warren Buffet.
Can you swap for things? If someone has something, you need to see if they’re willing to accept another form of payment from you. It’s a long shot, but long shots win at the track every day! You dare to ask for what you need.
Bend the rules of any situation. BEND NOT BREAK. Bend rules to accomplish. We never bend the rules to destruct or harm. Ever! Think outside the normal.
Learn to play several hands. Double down when you can. Never rely on one solution when others may work as well.
Communicate with potential clients, vendors, or angel help. Learn to voice yourself to get what you need. You will be amazed at how many good-hearted people are out there if you present yourself well.
When you think about resourcefulness, think about people who have defied all odds to achieve. We’ve all heard of or seen Escape from Alcatraz. Arguably a prison that should be escape-proof but turned out not to be.
We’ve all heard stories of cancer recovery; you’ll never walk again, obstacles placed before folks that didn’t listen. They defied the odds and overcame incredible adversity. Where there is a will, there is a way. Pardon the cliché, but it’s true.
Resourceful people also have patience. Where many fail is, they get frustrated because change is not immediate. Resources may be moving around with the help of the Universe to align themselves with you.
I told this story in a Podcast. Think about patience this way. Say you want a job, not just any job but your dream job. You pray about it, visualize it and know you can do it. You start losing faith, so much so eventually you give up. What you did not see was that your dream job that could have been yours currently occupied by someone that had you waited just a bit longer would have been available because that person retired. God was going to steer you to this job after a deserving person was able to retire with a bang. They earned that for years of service.
God was letting someone retire with the fanfare they richly earned, and he was going to put you in it because you stayed in faith, you made it. You got frustrated and moved on. How stupid do you think you would feel if you had this knowledge after you lost the opportunity?
Opportunity can come quickly, or slowly. If your faith stays true to the course, you’re on, when the knock-on opportunities door comes it will be more than we ever imagined. Imagine the wisdom you might have received from the person exiting your dream job. What did you miss because you could not be patient?
At this point, some of you may be saying, “but I’m not that clever.” Everyone can be clever. Here are some ways you can learn to quiet your mind. When you do this, it’s incredible how much your thoughts will begin to serve you instead of stress you.
Meditation is fantastic, and anyone can do it. What this practice allows you to do is to slow your mind down. Declutters your head so you can organize your thoughts and be receptive to receive new ideas.
If you want to learn to be more resourceful, learn to meditate so your mind can clear a pathway to new thoughts.
If life is not set too well right now, meditation can help you find peace. Living in your mind will cause us to live in fear, pain, and anxiety. Our thoughts wander off into the abyss of negativity.
Meditate to get in touch with your soul. When we live from the soul, all things are possible. During meditation practice aligning with God, the divine source will release your energy. Bring into our lives joy, happiness, and oneness with the universe where real peace can live.
Connecting with Devine Energy:
As part of healthy meditation practice, we can cleanse our bodies of toxic, life-draining anxiety. We can see what our deepest desires for health, family, relationships, all in our minds. When you believe in your soul, that’s when things begin to materialize.
It’s a simple process. Find some meditative music. Use headphones if possible. You can find lots of meditation music on YouTube®. Find a relaxing position; I like to lay down on my bed flat. Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Deep cleansing breaths relax!
As you begin your meditation, don’t worry if your mind moves in thought. It will take some time for you to get to a point in your meditation practice that you can control your thoughts. It’s ok.
Begin to connect with God, ask him to come into your life, and only pray to him. Release your cares to him. Then show him through your mind, see yourself receiving blessings, see yourself in the state that you want to be. Visualize in your mind, your deepest desires and then tell God how grateful you are.
There is a reason it is called a meditation practice. It will take a bit of time for the mind to clear trash thoughts. It’s ok. Continue this practice daily. Several times a day if you have the time. For sure, before bedtime.
Connecting to Devine source will open your life to wonderous new blessings and peace.
If you want to be resourceful, learn to open your mind, declutter your head so you can find new ways to achieve your goals.
Second set: Activity vs. Productivity
Massive in changing anything about your life. So many people tell me they don’t have time. They can’t fit another thing in their day. My short answer, “you don’t know how to manage your time.” I usually get a lot of expletives shouted at me. Hear me out before you hit the refund button.
You will need to indulge me in an activity. First, get two pages of a daily calendar that starts and ends with your work times. You need a daily view that breaks up the day hour-by-hour. Then what I want you to do is HONESTLY write down what you do for two days literally by the hour.
Yes, you can do it, and yes, it’s a pain in the ass. How bad do you want to change?
Chronicle your day, I mean from bathroom breaks to screwing around on social media. Chin-wagging with friends, talking on the phone, you get the idea. Be honest; this is not a test but will be an ah-ha moment. “Holy crap, I waste a lot of time.”
We can find you somewhere close to 20 hours per week. I promise you will be amazed.
So, this is what activity will look like now let’s talk about what productivity looks like — time-sensitive projects, client fires, things that are typically out of your control but do take time. Of course, we must adjust for issues as they arise. The point to all this is once we get distracted, we immediately get back on task.
What a day looks like filled with production:
Set times that you can do routine daily tasks. For example, email. Can you make two times a day for email? Morning and afternoon. Daily try and identify how much time you spend on email. Most emails can wait for a time.
Give each function of your day a set time to start and complete. Never leave a task incomplete for the day if you can finish.
Learn to keep distractions to a minimum. Let friends and family know that if possible, call you at designated times.
Social media is a killer of time. It boils down to is looking at what your sister-in-law cooked for dinner or is a success your passion? Also, keeping up with friends during the day, why waste productive time? Social media eats time with NO benefit to your success.
You have 24 hours in a day, you need 6 hours of sleep, leaving you 18 hours! Now tell me you don’t have time! Get organized with time. Time is a friend or foe.
Invest time for yourself. Imagine after a year of one hour a day; now, you have 365 hours invested in your freedom. Knowledge is freedom.
Change your perspective about sacrifice. If you feel you must sacrifice anything, you’re in the wrong mode. If you think you must surrender to realize a dream you have. Ask yourself why?
What you put into a thing, for example; getting up earlier to begin your day. Some would say this is a sacrifice. NO!
Anything you do to further your life is an investment, not a sacrifice. Learn to invest in your success. Everything you do that facilitates your life experience is an investment that yields a net result.
It’s not a bloody sacrifice to have a happy life. You don’t have to give up anything to have a happy life. You gave up an hour of sleep to further your life and that somehow realistically is a sacrifice?
Look at actions you’re engaged in that you feel is a sacrifice. Then HONESTLY ask yourself why you feel that way. My guess is you’re not adequately managing your time. Don’t get pissed. We all suck at managing time. Activity vs. Productivity!
Visualize what you want. Not just about material things.
See where we’re galloping off to here? It’s an all-encompassing visualization of our life. See the life you want to have. We do this in our mind’s eye.
The best time I have found to do this is during my meditation practice. Follow these simple steps:
Have a place where you can quiet your mind without interruption.
I find it easier to de-clutter my mind with soft meditation music or outdoor sounds like crickets, ocean, rain, this type of sounds are soothing.
Begin to see with eyes closed focus your mind on what you desire to see change. See yourself happy, in a happy relationship, new job, new body, focus until you smile. Stay in that state-of-mind for as long as you’re comfortable.
Do this practice at least once per day.
When you begin to believe it, the Universe will start to manifest your dreams.
Have patience and gratitude. Lock in your faith!
Gratitude for where you are, what you have today lets the Universe know you’re available to receive blessings. Demonstrate your true faithfulness in this life. Then learn to be grateful for what is coming, what you can’t see but desire to be a part of your life.
Be happy where you are and for what is coming, and miracles will abound.
Focus on Gratitude every day. Take moments out of your day to thank God for what you have and what you cannot see. Give praise for the life you have.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”–Mother Thresa
For the longest time at the beginning of my faith. The silence was not comfortable to achieve. What we mean by silence is the wheels that are spinning in our heads. Relaxing on any level is a challenge.
Finding silence will have peaceful results in your life. Learning to not freak out over daily challenges, not letting the traffic jam ruin your day. What is your joy worth?
Think about that question for a moment. What is your joy worth?
Is losing your joy worth:
A line at the Grocery?
Someone else having a bad day, spills over on you?
Financial Issues? (always remember temporary)
You see the point here. We all become susceptible to losing our joy for reasons that are either out of our control, brief, or only not worth the aggravation we bring upon ourselves.
It’s too easy getting caught up in silliness that steals our joy. Seriously, getting pissed because someone cuts us off at the exit. It could be that God moved you from harm’s way. Life happens for a reason. Instead of flipping the poor soul off that cut you off, maybe the purpose was to save you. Unbeknownst to any of the folks involved!
You never know what turn life throws at you that is actually saving your fanny. It may not look like it at the time.
How does standing in line at the grocery because they’re short-staffed. How about listening to an uplifting Podcast while waiting? Or you can be grumpy and ruin your day. What you choose is a choice.
Make the most out of time. Caught in traffic, let us say. Crank up some music that gets your heart pumping. Again listen to a good podcast. Choose to do something fun instead of being grumpy. Life is a choice of happy or sad.
Learning to allow life to just roll of our shoulders. Don’t hold on to the lousy luggage. Let that luggage get lost at the airport. Hanging onto negativity begets negativity. Letting someone steal your joy over something stupid, well, you do the math.
My joy is no longer for sale to jerks, grumpy bosses, lousy service, or the like. Don’t let someone else miserable day ruin yours!
So how do we find silence?
Meditation, learn to sit in quiet reflection. I use rain and ocean sounds using headphones. Close your eyes and breathe through your nose, out of the mouth. Silence phone!!!
Prayer. Find times to pray. Let God know what you need. Just have a good conversation.
These two simple acts can change your life. We find answers in the silence. Allow God to flow through you when you’re quiet. This is where you hear God speak to you!
“The key to forming good habits is to make them part of your ‘rituals.’ I have a morning ritual, afternoon ritual, and Sunday ritual. It’s one way to bundle good habits into regular times that you set aside to prepare yourself for the life you want. Rituals help you form habits.”—Lewis Howes
With no real easy way to tell you this. Your head is going to be at times, your most formidable adversary. Wanting to stay status quo. Comfortable in misery. So much so you don’t feel the pain at a level like the beginning.
Changes in our lives, new paradigms to replace old thought processes is what is needed now. The past will not give up easily. Prepare yourself for a title fight.
If you’re a Christian, the enemy is preparing an attack like you’ve never fought. Why? He wants you to continue miserable. He hopes that you will implode. As we move further in this chapter, I will share with you how I made it through the toughest times.
The enemy will attack you to keep you down. He is afraid of losing you to an excellent team. So he will fight you in the form of:
Depression (not diagnosed or medicated) Just feeling depressed.
Keep your mind on past mistakes.
I am feeling hopeless.
I am reliving the past over-and-over in your head.
Dark thoughts of self-harm.(NEVER AN OPTION)
Working through this will be difficult, and you will be tested. You can and will get through this time.
We are making it easier to understand. We all buck change at work. If a policy changes everyone in the office complains. “Why are they changing, the old way worked.”
Let’s say, for example, you’ve done the same thing, the same way for years-and-years. Change won’t come easy. Excuses like:
I’m too set in my ways.
I’m too old to change now.
Too hard f*&^ it.
Don’t fool yourself into these false statements. You can change, you’re not too old, stop limiting yourself!
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”—Nelson Mandela
Allow yourself to change. It won’t happen overnight; I can tell you I still fall into traps; however, I can happily report that the bear traps are further apart.
So how do we bring about real change, especially when confronted with real pain? Here is how I brought myself out of the dark:
Learn to quiet your mind. Declutter all the garbage that goes through our minds. Meditation can be life-changing if you practice daily.
Something that seems innocuous has tremendous value — taking times daily to slow your breathing for sixty seconds only. Slows your pulse, helps relax your body, relieve tension. Tension causes aggravation. Breathing several times per day for a minute or so will slow you down.
Do something physical every day. Walk, gym, run, get off your butt, and do something to relieve stress in your body.
Helping others will get you outside yourself. Reminding you that life is not all about you. Be a blessing to someone!
Changing our lives takes time and work. You can’t all a sudden tell God you want to make a million dollars this year, order a Pizza and wait. Sorry life takes real work.
The most important of this is discipline and organization. Set reminders daily to do the tasks laid out in this book. Otherwise, you wake up a week later and go, “crap, I was supposed to meditate every day.”
If you want lasting and real change, fill your calendar with an activity that fosters change.
You are fighting with yourself. I call it kicking your own ass. Your noodle will run from the pain of change. Your mind is falsely convincing you that you cannot change. It’s too hard. Don’t listen to these false prophecies of your life. Years of conditioning will take time to shake off old paradigms.
At times this will seem relentless the attack on you to stay status quo. The enemy will come at you in ways that look as though you cannot win. You will feel alone, like nothing you can do will ever help. Surrender to God. Let him know that you can’t see a way, but you know he will take away.
When I first moved from my home in South Texas to live in West Texas. My ex-wife wanted a divorce that I honestly at the time did not want a divorce. Financially in dire straits, the woman I believed to be my soulmate now gone.
Could not at the time be in more of a dark place. I had so many times thought I had no reason to live. Scary how close that came to pass. For whatever reason, I never acted on dark thoughts. Thank God I did not.
With some lucid moments of I need to start over. I began to think about life without my wife. I decided I would get into Church and try to understand the spiritual side of my life. I was drawn to this need to find a Church home.
After finding a Church that was recommended to me by someone that I trust, I became a regular attendee, most times staying for two of the three Sunday services. Because my head would clutter with such garbage; I was fighting so hard to hear what the Pastor said; it was exhausting.
Most Church services end with a call to give your life to Jesus Christ. To confess, you’re a sinner and that you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. For a few weeks, I had faithfully attended sitting mostly in the back of the sanctuary.
One Sunday during this altar call; I raised my hand. The Usher came and gave me a CD, and I confessed and prayed the short prayer to accept Jesus Christ. At the end of this part of the service, the Pastor headed across the stage stopped and turned.
He began to say “sir, sir,” not realizing he was trying to get my attention for a moment. As I realized he was trying to get my attention. Pastor Don said to me God had put in his heart for whatever I was doing artistically to keep going, don’t stop.
Here is the real kicker to the story. I had been blogging, take pictures with my camera and stating to myself that for the last half of my life I was going to do what I wanted to do not what I have to do. I wanted to be a freelance writer and photographer.
Not one person in this Church, including the Pastor, knew me from Adam. I stayed to myself and never said as much as a good morning unless first approached.
No way could the Pastor know that I was doing or working on anything artistically. This Pastor stopped in the middle of the ending of this service to tell me that God told him to say to me, keep doing what I love to do.
To say the very least, I was utterly in shock. It took a bit for this to sink in. Nothing in my life to this point was so profound.
This event helped me to go further and keep trying. Freely I admit stumbling and falling post this event. However, remembering that God has come into my life then and several times since then.
When I thought a couple of times all is lost something would happen to show me that even with a Mustard seed of faith left, God would bless me so that I knew he was still protecting me.
My point of this is even in your darkest moment when you see nothing, but my life is worthless not also worth being here. God if you try, if you fight through when you cannot see anything but dark, let God know you are trying to hold on, God will answer.
Today after many events from small to abundant miracles. God has convinced me that if I focus my faith, he will lead me through anything. Now I run after God.
The old me would not have hung in the darkness to realize the blessing. I would have long before quit and moved on. That is the old paradigms I must break. When enough-is-enough, you will change. My time was when I moved to West Texas, once you make that decision, you will be amazed at how life opens for you!
No matter what happens, you cannot quit. Take one more step, always.
Let me share with you why having patience will serve you well.
The dream job of a lifetime is something that you now focus your attention too — searching far and wide for this wonderful job. Some time goes by with nothing happening, and you cannot see any hope.
What you don’t know is that a beautiful person occupies the job you seek; someone that has had a fantastic career, beloved by all at the job. This person is getting ready to retire; the job will come available for you to apply for and get!
This person is another thirty days from retirement, and well-deserved retirement. God has you in mind so that this job will cross your path. Your search has gone on for five months with no results, so you quit thirty days before the position of a lifetime comes available.
Your focus moves on to something else, and the Universe moves on because you did.
Stay in faith even when you don’t see a way God is making a way. You won’t know what is having to take place in front of you before God can move this part of your destiny to unfold for you. The Universe won’t cut you in line. So have patience!
Here is the real kicker that will blow your mind. You can’t move yet because God is blessing someone you don’t know with something you currently have. He is driving your life around to be a blessing for someone you don’t even know.
Point is none of us know. So why stress over a fair outcome that may take a little more time. How many times have you quit than if you had not your life might be completely different? Think about that. Patience can make all the difference in your life. Faith, Hope, resolve, need to be your mantra!
A chapter from my book Tying It All Together. Click the book cover to see all my works on Amazon.