A Guide To Real Change

A sneak look at my book A Guide To Real Change. Check out Chapter 1 of this fantastic book and begin the journey to change your life. We all need help changing aspects of our lives!

Chapter 1

 Together We Begin

Excuse me, hello, excuse me. Yes, you! Can you look this way, please? You’re looking at yesterday; I need you focused forward, thank you!

Are you looking forward to TODAY? When you woke up, did your feet hit the floor, with a smile on your face? Most likely not read on.

“Never let yesterday use up too much of today.”—Will Rogers

Today is all you have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is just that tomorrow. So, what can you do to make today a good day? Plan for it. Have a program that has tasks that need doing today. Prepare the night before at least three things you know for sure you can accomplish in a day.

Have small successes every day. Complete tasks that will help bring about big success in whatever aspect of your life that needs help the most right now. Learn productivity vs. activity, read on you’ll see what I mean.

What happens is we tend to get to scattered out with all the things we need to fix. Like, relationships, jobs, ourselves, bills, and the list gets bigger. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Apply that to your life, and you will achieve much more.

This process of change has eluded me. By appearance, just organizing aspects of our life for success seem simple. The real test is, are you doing it now? Will you stay consistent?

Here are some tasks to help you get started:

  1. Set daily reminders on your phone to alert you to functions for that day.
  2. Use apps like Google Tasks, Google Calendar, they’re free. I use them, and they help me a lot.
  3. Make time in the evening to plan out tasks (minimum 3) for the next day.
  4. DON’T PROCRASTINATE!
  5. Use a calendar to help your track deadlines. Also, a Project Management app is a great way to keep track of your progress.

Five quick things you can do today!

It’s your turn to win! Get started right now. Don’t think, DO!!!

This book is the first step. Keep going.

Where to Begin

You are coming to a point in life where the outcome thus far is a disaster. If this is you, welcome, I welcome you to the beginning of your new life. Just reading this won’t bring change. If you want this, it’s going to take some work.

Before we begin, the importance of this one thing Patience! It cannot be understated.

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”—Joyce Meyer

Without the patience to allow change to occur, you will stifle progress. My mother always told me this “it took you fifty years to break your life; give yourself time to change.” She was right as most moms are.

Where a failure occurs, most is the lack of patience to allow change to occur. We live in the “I want it right now society.” Get that out of your head right now. Where I stumbled hard — not allowing the universe to set a new course for my life. Think of yourself as a large ship that needs turning around. It takes a wide berth to achieve a safe turn.

Beginning the process will have its trials and tribulations. Your mind will fill with self-doubt, where patience becomes a struggle. Misery loves the company, and your noodle will remind you that “we love pain, we’re comfortable here” because you are comfortable in pain. You won’t let go quickly.

We all find ourselves in reflection to have a relationship with our pain. It takes years to develop, and it will take time to employ a paradigm shift.

Here is the skinny because I can sense those saying, “I don’t like pain.” We get so comfortable that our mind and body accept it as usual. Therefore, forbearance will see you through.

Don’t get discouraged when it seems that nothing is changing — allowing change to occur. Imposing your own will over a situation only makes an excellent job harder than it must be. You’ve heard I’m sure on God’s time, not my time.

Change cannot come without discomfort.

Don’t quit because of trouble. Evolution is not occurring as quickly as hoped. The pain of loss or other stressors is not dissipating.  The mind is continually in a barrage of negative thoughts, self-doubt, and feels as though nothing is getting better.

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

Keeping an eye towards a positive outcome. Being grateful in advance of anything manifesting good in life. Meditate on the result.

If you take a trip around the world at some point in time, weather delays, airport delays, canceled flights, lost luggage, lost hotel reservations, something is going to happen. The chances are high that more than once.

Would you stop an ounce in a lifetime around the world trip over a delay? No, you deal with it and keep going!

What could you tell the younger you if you could? When you’ve drifted out into life like a space void only to look back into the abyss. You get a pit in your stomach that gives way to wow this sucks. Not exactly the experience you envisioned as a younger you.

Hitting the last half of life looking in a rear-view mirror that looks like an apocalyptic mess. Challenging our thoughts with “what a waste.” It begins to stifle any outlook because age has overtaken youth. The idea “I’m not the same as I once was.”

If you’re boldly marching into a mid-life crisis, menopause, or qualify for an AARP® membership. This story is for you. More importantly, if life has not turned out as you planned or hoped, does this give you a feeling of doom?

Everything we’ve read self-help wise in our lives has said to look forward never look back. Easier said than done but very accurate.

Over a year ago, I faced the questions I am posing to you now and staring divorce in the face, that at the time I did not want. With that situation at hand, my mind forced me to look back over my life. What I saw was not the beautiful painting I had hoped it would be — instead, everything past has illuminated for me to see very clearly — damned ugly!

The real kicker is a good bit; you don’t want to change, but the ugly is ugly. This also brings up a question that is the nasty uglier because of the situation currently adding to our loss or stress.

Not only is loss bringing pain, but so is life as we’ve lived it to date. As you often see in text messages, WTF!

Where do we go from here? How can you pick yourself up out of hell and gaze into the mirror and say I love you?

The strength needed to face you is perhaps the solidity you’ve searched for all your life. The power that comes from faith the best is yet to come and believe it. Facing you in the mirror. What do you see?

The choices of what you see can be boundless when in the depths of pain. The pain can become so unbearable that terrible darkness can overtake your thoughts. Damn, what a dark place. Are you sufficiently depressed?

Here is where we learn what advice we would have given our younger self. From this fountain of youth comes wisdom to carry us into our Senior years with a new brighter outlook. The struggle to realize life was not over. It merely takes recalibration of our thoughts.

This book is available on Amazon. Click the cover to check out this amazing book.

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Letting God Drive

Are you a backseat driver? Can you sit back and enjoy the ride, or do you have to continue to “turn here” “watch for that car” “it’s faster turn here?”

The hardest Christian decision I have had to make is “Let Go & Let God!” Faith in something that you cannot see.

You must learn to let God drive. Sit back in the car, shut up, do the work, stay in the word, pray,, and God will do his thing!

The Bible says:

Hebrews 11.1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  

Faith is hard when you cannot see God cheering you forward. It’s particularly tricky when results are not appearing. During these times, most will simply give up. Only to say all the God mumbo-jumbo does not work.

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Faith will be tested by the enemy with a relentless barrage of self-doubt, negative thoughts, and anything else that can be thrown at you. Important to note! This will pass. Your faith will be tested, and it will give if you stay in faith.

Can’t see the end, stay in faith. Can’t see hope, remain in worship. Can’t take another moment of pain, stay in faith. All of this will pass. Yes, it hurts at the time horribly. This is when you simply fall to your knees and let God know you don’t have anything left, it’s all up to him.

Do that with a sincere heart. Your life will change! 

For those of you that read me, you know one of my favorite examples of faith. You quit that which you desire just moments before God had planned change. Example: You asked God for a dream job. The job God has in mind to give you is currently occupied by a beautiful person getting ready to enjoy a well-earned retirement. This person is a short six months away from a beautiful life.

You’ve been busting your fanny trying to find a dream job for some four months. No responses, nothing coming at all. God has moved your destiny into play for the job that will be vacant in just thirty more days. Your head is telling you that what’s the point five months of searching and nothing. A flat zero!

What you don’t know is that in just thirty days more. God is moving people, places, and things so that you get this dream job. The enemy is in your head, telling you it’s hopeless. You give in, and life passes you by again.

Staying in faith is damned hard. You have to believe as though there is NO other outcome other than you will have your dream job. Whether it takes one day or six months. It does not matter to you, it’s yours. No plan, B! Laser focused.

How do you stay this way, you may be asking. 

  • Prayer that includes gratitude that you already have the job! 
  • Meditate, see yourself doing the job. See yourself already working in the position you desire. 
  • Stay in faith, even when you see NO way! 
  • Throw any Plan B out the window! Plan B suggests your faith has a limit; ask yourself, does it? 
  • Resources vs. Resourcefulness (Learn the difference, your life with rocketship to the moon. 

Do the work; don’t sit on your ass and expect things to just come running to you. We all must do the job. Nothing comes for free.

Train yourself to see the outcome. Look towards that which you desire with affection, love, and the unrelenting knowledge it’s yours. Do it, and your life will unfold in ways you never dreamt!

Sit back and enjoy the ride, let God drive!

 

 

Fighting Old Habits

“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.

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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:

  1. Learn to quiet your mind. Declutter all the garbage that goes through our minds. Meditation can be life-changing if you practice daily.
  2. 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.
  3. Do something physical every day. Walk, gym, run, get off your butt, and do something to relieve stress in your body.
  4. 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.

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Life Detox

This is the first chapter of Life Detox. How we can cleanse, mind, body, and soul. Sometimes it’s just time to rip off the bandaid and be done with it! Choose to begin anew!

Chapter 1 

Why 

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan

Perfection is not the goal; persistence is our focus. 

You’ve all heard you need to find your way. True but, in this scenario, the why needs to be you’re sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired! Enough is enough. Well, I can tell you that over a year ago, that is where I found myself. 

(Get a pad of paper to do some writing) To make any lasting change, grab the paper! 

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

 

  • Is your life where you hoped it would be right now?

 

  • Are you depressed most of the time?
  • Are you merely going through the paces of daily life with no real direction, work, go home, that’s about all?
  • Are you unhappy? Why?
  • If money, time, education, depression were not the problem. What would fulfill your life?

 

 

Please take the time to put some real thought into the questions. If you follow along this way, we can save you a great deal of time. 

You must get very clear on what you would like to see your life become. One of the biggest epiphanies I’ve experienced don’t worry about the HOW, set your sail to the horizon of where you want your life. 

Imagine getting on a boat for a long journey. You set sail, and off you go. Along the way, you most assuredly will face rough seas. When you begin the rough journey seas, severe weather is not part of the equation when you decided to set sail. 

The end destination is more important than how we get there! If you had a chance to visit some beautiful faraway island, once in a lifetime opportunity. Would you not go because you MIGHT run into bad weather? Did you not go because you thought the how was more difficult — focusing on the “what if’s” instead of the outcome? 

Logic would suggest you have a plan that includes how. So how do you plot this course change in life without knowing how you’re going to traverse the course to a destination. When you set out on any journey let’s say a storm comes up, do you sail directly through it? No, you may have to recalibrate a new route. 

My point is you don’t know all the “how’s” that will change your course unexpectedly. However, if you worry yourself before you set sail, you’ll stifle any chance of real change! 

I can hear you! “How do you not worry about how?” These are bullet points that will explain: 

 

  • Have a clear definition of the result. Know what you want clearly! 

 

  • Learn to meditate on the result you desire, see it in your mind’s eye. Feel in every part of your being what it would feel like to have achieved that which you want most. 
  • Have unwavering faith it will happen. A prayer might sound like “God you know what I desire in my heart, I have faith you will provide everything I need for that, what you put in my heart to achieve. I don’t know how we will do this; I trust you have the way.
  • Pray for wisdom and guidance.
  • Set realistic expectations. Reach to be sure.

 

 

How to turn from wishful thinking to ACTION:

 

  • What is one step you can take right now to begin your journey? Forget the words significant steps, little steps. Every step forward creates forward momentum. 

 

  • Learn the difference between activity vs. productivity. 
  • Learn to plan your day for production — set reminders for tasks that produce results. Stay on task!
  • Take time to research and put into action what you learn to achieve your desire. Fill yourself as though you’re filling a pitcher with knowledge.
  • When self-doubt and the like hit your noodle, remember this, whatever negative thoughts you’re having it’s temporary. Work through it even when you think you cannot.

 

 

The how will come to you. Take steps every day, and you will begin to gain momentum. 

“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 useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.”–Joyce Meyer

A struggle for everyone.  When everything in your life is overwhelmingly worrisome. 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.

Life is changing for me. I don’t look at difficulties as a problem, but a learning experience is 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 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: Crank up some music that gets you dancing. Music can immediately improve your state and put a smile on your face. 

 

  • Breathe. Take 60 seconds or so and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, beautiful and relaxing. 

 

  • 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. 
  • Meditate. Find the right place to meditate and relax your mind and body.

 

 

Take a walk. Get outdoors and walk to help relieve muscle stress. Throw on some headphones and good music. Change your state-of-mind, and you will change your life. 

Time outdoors can be incredibly cathartic to the soul. Taking in nature, walking by a river, standing on the beach, anywhere that God has touched the landscape. You can look up and happily say to God, “show off.” Smiling in awe of the world around you. 

When you can take these moments to find clarity in your head, good thoughts, new ideas, and fresh perspectives will become the norm. 

One thing that I did put up a bird-feeder. Birds are incredibly funny and beautiful to watch. I have found myself sitting for long periods just enjoying my birds and clearing my head when I’m not trying — just enjoying the moment.

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Be Happy Where You Are

If you’re going to be great, you must be great where you currently are! Make what you have work. When God sees you can handle any situation the flood gates will open. You can’t use doom & gloom about your current situation. Make your ongoing situation work with an eye towards a new future.

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”–Tecumseh
Let’s break this down a bit, so it makes sense if you hate your current job for example. As hard as this may be, you need to make it work. Why you do how you can expect God to bless you with more if you’re not grateful for what you have? Keep in mind you can let God know what your heart is with him and ask for a change. Pray for a new beginning but show him that you will stay in faith where you are.

I agree it is difficult. However, it makes total sense that before you can get more, you need to be okay where you are. Entrepreneurs can be handed a bag of dog poop and told that is the main ingredient for the Ice Cream they must make. Learn to make Ice Cream out of dog poop.

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My point is no matter what life looks like making the best of what you have. Do this and on the other side is the life you truly desire.

So, let’s assume for the sake of conversation that you detest where you are in your life. Your job stinks, you’re doing what you have to do not what you want to do. Right there with you! Apart from writing this blog post for me is a want-to-do not a have-to-do.

Here are some ideas I would like to share with you to accept where you are as temporary:

  • Make the best of each day. Don’t use negative narratives to describe where you are. You may very well think that life sucks where you are. Change that conversation to “thank you God for the new life that you are blessing me with.” Be grateful for where you are and what is coming.
  • Think about this. You have not because you ask not. Are you praying for a new life? Not, “oh please God get me out of here.” In prayer let God know as a friend your desires, then let him do his job.
  • Visualize and meditate on the life you want. See yourself in that place you desire. Do this daily. Let the Universe begin to move obstacles away and have patience and faith!
  • Keep this in mind. When doing something you may not like to do, work with jerks you don’t want to be with, stay in a relationship you have no hope of happiness. It’s all temporary. Focus on the solution NOT the problem. Learn to quiet your mind in meditation and believe with everything that is you, life can and will change!

Nothing negative we go through is a life sentence. It’s a season of life where the enemy will do everything necessary to bring you down. Change the narrative of your life. Focus on the outcome, be grateful for that outcome even if you see absolutely no way of getting there.

The life you want is on the other side of pain, frustration, hopelessness, if you stay in faith even when you see no way, I promise you will find a new season opening up for you. Never give up!

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