10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be


BY: Tim Hoch

Original Post

1.You ascribe intent.

Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.

2. You’re the star of your own movie.

It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.

You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.

Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined.

Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.

3. You fast forward to apocalypse.

I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.

Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.

4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.

Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims.

Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo?

Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.

5. You are waiting for a sign.

I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it.

6. You don’t take risks.

Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.

7. You constantly compare your life to others.

A few years ago I was invited to a nice party at a big warehouse downtown. I was enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and crustless sandwiches. What more could a guy want? Later in the evening I noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. I peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly my gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party I didn’t even know existed until just moments before.

I do this frequently. Those people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Craig gets all the lucky breaks. Ted has more money. John is better looking.

Stop it.

Always remember what Teddy Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

8. You let other people steal from you.

If you had a million dollars in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and take precautions to insure it is safe. The one possession you have that is more important than money is time. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it to thieves. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like Fort Knox. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.

9. You can’t/won’t let go.

These are getting a little harder aren’t they? That’s because sometimes you have to work at happiness. Some hurdles are too difficult to clear by simply adjusting your point of view or adopting a positive mindset.

Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship? Do you need to come to terms with the death of a loved one?

Life is full of loss. But, in a sense, real happiness would not be possible without it.  It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow.

Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered. There’s no such thing. Just try to “manage” your loss. Put it in perspective. You will always have some regret and doubt about your loss. You may always second guess yourself. If only you had said this, or tried that.

You’re not alone. Find someone who understands and talk to that person. Reach out for support. If all else fails, try #10 below.

10. You don’t give back.

One way to deal with loss is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.

It doesn’t even have to be a big, structured thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from your self-absorption.

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you?

It’s your ATTITUDE not your APTITUDE that determines your ALTITUDE


It’s your ATTITUDE not your APTITUDE that determines your ALTITUDE

May 01, 2013

96b16/huch/4038/20

To be successful in any area in life you need to have the right attitude, which means you have to approach any task or job with determination, tenacity and above all plenty of enthusiasm.

In business, when it comes to choosing the right individual for a certain post or promotion, I have always gone for people who have PMA – in other words Positive Mental Attitude.

Leadership and business management comes with its own set of challenges and pressures and it is a common mistake to let these problems and distractions become the major focus – that is why it is so important for senior managers to always look forward rather than backwards.

Of course, it is important for people to have skills, training and experience but I have always been a huge believer in putting attitude above aptitude. You can come fully equipped for a role but without real enthusiasm the best skill-set will count for very little. You can train somebody and give them the tools but you can’t give them the right attitude.

In my view there are two types of people in this world, and those who take the glass half empty approach are simply setting themselves up for failure no matter what targets they set themselves.

In any situation in life, people are looking for leaders to guide and direct them. That is particularly the case when you are going through a difficult or challenging period in the development of a company. Always remember there is only one person watching them and hundreds watching you.

I have always been a believer in leading by example and the nature or character of an organization is more often than not shaped by the person at the top – that is why it is so important for senior executives to set the right tone and atmosphere.

Staff can instinctively grasp when something is not right within a business and it is vital not to panic and send out the wrong message during those difficult times and tough trading conditions – in other words stay positive.

More importantly, having the right attitude can have a real impact on the business in terms of its performance. There are too many organizations which allow a blame culture to flourish without properly understanding the negative effect it can have on the business.

When I have a bad month in my organization, I get the senior management team together to discuss the reasons why performance isn’t the best. About 20 per cent of the meeting is normally taken up with looking at exactly what went wrong and the rest is spent discussing how to put the problem right.

Of course, it is really important to understand why something has not worked but it is even more important not to get caught up with the process of looking backwards. A firm which prefers to look to the past rather than to the future is always going to struggle in the long term.

The key to real success is an ability to adapt to change, and that will never happen if you approach every challenge with a negative attitude. People with the right mental attitude can always take something positive from a difficult situation and most important of all, will be constantly looking at ways of moving a business on to the next stage of its journey or development.

James Caan

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130501104129-32175171-it-s-your-attitude-not-your-aptitude-that-determines-your-altitude

I hope you enjoyed…

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Spring Cleaning: A Leadership skill


Spring is a time for cleaning, you know, Spring Cleaning…

– Yard work

– All the closets in the house

– The Garage

– The Windows

– The Walls

Every surface and every corner gets a good deep cleaning, places you haven’t looked at all winter and now you are obligated to, for Spring Cleaning is a passage, a passage from the bleak dark days of winter in to the glory of spring and all she offers. The new growth, the smells and the sun. Yep, spring cleaning is as much apart of spring as Halloween is of autumn. And for the most part, we look forward to spring cleaning because we understand the importance of it. Not just the simple fact that we are clearing out the dust of the past 8 months, but there is more to it, it goes deeper than just that. There is something about it, something that seems to touch our deepest being.

How do I know this, just look at that facts, a quick search on Amazon for books on spring cleaning and I get 2201 hits, and a Google search returns about 112,000,000 hits…. Now tell me that people don’t feel a deep need to clear out the dust and cobwebs once per year, starting off fresh and new.

Now, I offer you Spring Cleaning: A Leadership Skill, a skill that every leader or want-to-be leader needs in their tool box. So what is it, what exactly is Spring Cleaning for Leaders? Well it’s not cleaning out the old corner office nor is it having all the workers clean up the work place. It’s not a fresh paint job, although all those things should be done from time to time. But that’s not leadership, that’s cleanliness.

Spring Cleaning Leadership has more to do with the person than the possessions. It’s a time for a leader to stop and look deep into the corners of their minds, to scrub every surface of their hearts and to open up the windows of their souls and let the fresh air in, once again.

Cleaning the deep corners of the mind

This is a perfect time to look at your deeply held thoughts and beliefs, a time to reevaluate your long-standing positions and to seek out new ways to approach issues, people and life. Lets say that you have always held the position that your job, as a leader, has always been one of dictatorship, that you give orders and they follow. And lets say that it has worked for you, that over the years people have always said that you’re a dictator, but you always get the job done right and on time. Over all, not a bad record. The job is done and on time and as a bonus, it was done right the first times.

So your thinking, great, this leader can skip the first step, they have no room for change or improvement. Why mess with what works… As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

But lets look at it anyway, lets pretend…

So what would the leader have to look at, what corner of the heart needs fixin’? Well, a lot of the depends on what the leader considers important in their life. Is the only goal to complete the task or do they see more? Do they see personal development of their people as important? Or is it just get the job done, do what you have always done, the same way you always have, we have a proven method that has worked for years and years and will continue to work for years to come. We are like a well oiled machine, no monkey wrenches needed.

Sure, the job will get done, and sure it will be right the first time, but are we missing something that may have improved it, something that may have saves time, effort or money? Maybe that person you hired to do job “X” had a new idea that would have save time and effort for the person doing job “Z”… Or maybe the person doing job “X” would be better at job “Z”… the possibilities are endless, yet we will never know them if we hold true to our deepest convictions that this is the way its done, always has been and always will be…

 

Even the best leaders can get caught in the trap of familiarity. So spring is a perfect time to re-examine your methods.. Are they really the best way or just the known way?

 

Scrubbing every surface of the heart

Leaders, true leaders are servants, and must have a servant’s heart. This is a fact, not just a nice saying. Someone can be the boss and call themselves a leader, but if they do not have a servant’s heart they are nothing more than a boss. And truth be told, anyone can be a boss, its really not to hard to “boss” people around. But a leader, a true leader, they are few and far between, leaders grow into true leadership, it is rare to find a natural servant leader, it is more often than not that the person worked long and hard scrubbing the surfaces of their heart before anyone would truly call them a servant leader. So what exactly is scrubbing of the heart, and how does one do so?

We all have dark places with in our heart, places where we hold deep grudges or prejudices. Places within our hearts where the light of servanthood cannot and does not shine. Places that even we fear to go. It is exactly those places that we must scrub. But how? How does one scrub the deep dark places of the heart…

Work, lots and lots of work… Prayer and humility are the best places to begin.

Lets look at the example from above, the same leader who got the job done on time and right every time. Once again, not a bad thing, and lets say that over all they are open-minded to new and different approaches… So, so far a good leader, they allow people of offer new ways of doing things, and allow people to try new and different jobs, if time allows for it and the circumstances are appropriate.

That’s a good over all rule, one would not want to risk messing up on a major project, sometimes the old ways are the best ways. But if the job is less risky and time permits, it makes sense to allow a little experimentation to take place.

But now lets say that such a job was taking place, a job that allows for this. Perfect… So worker “A” wants to try their hand at something new, they ask for the opportunity and its granted… Perfect… so far… worker “B” also asks to try their hand at something new, but this time is denied. Now lets say that both workers have the same level of experience and time on the job, that both workers are qualified to do the tasks at hand, but for some unknown reason, worker “B” is denied.

The leader gave a reason, something along the line of, we just can’t afford to put you on that job, you are needed here. Sounds good, in fact it sounds like a complement. Sounds like you are so valuable to the task at hand tat we can not afford to risk losing you to the other job.

Here is where the leader must stop and look deep within… Is that the real reason or is there a deeper darker reason. Is it because the person is no the same-sex, age, race or religion as they are? Is it because once, many moons ago they did or said something that you found hurtful or offensive, or maybe once, in the distance past, they messed up a job, and you had to take the blame for it… There can be millions of reasons why… But none are valid.

It is time to scrub the heart, to remove the old hurts and hate and to replace it with understanding and forgiveness. You may not like that person very much, on a personal basis, but that should have no bearing on the job at hand. If they can do the work and do it to the standards that everyone else on the team must meet, than they should be given the opportunity, to succeed or fail, the same as anyone else.

But change does  not happen over night, it is a long and hard process, one that needs to be worked on little by little… The first step is for the leader to recognize that there heart needs a good spring cleaning, the second step, list the dirty spots down, know what needs to be scrubbed away. And the lest step, start cleaning, pick one dirty spot, clean it and then move on to the next. Just like cleaning the walls of your house, you don’t move around randomly from wall to wall, spot to spot… You pick one wall to start on and clean it before moving on to the next.

Open up the windows of the soul to let the fresh air in

Leadership, authentic leadership, is a relationship with yourself and others, the group and individual. Leadership is never in a void or vacuüm, it is always in the eye of the storm, and this is where we will discover the soul of any great leader.

The image  of the eye of the storm is a strong image, one that invokes many other images, such as power and calmness, force and anti-force. Any great leader will tell you that is with in the storm that leaders are often times born. The forces that play upon the soul of such a person do not destroy them, but rather they ignites within them the sleeping giant that waits to be awaken.

We have all witnessed such leadership, think of times in your life when just the right person steps forward to take control, think of times of tragedy or strife, times of chaos and confusion.

Leaders seem to always emerge from such things. It is the soul that moves them into action. It was the winds of change and chaos that propelled them into the eye of the storm. They opened up the windows within their souls and allowed the wind to blow thru and into their soul. Leaders not by choice but by baptism, baptism of fire.

I could go back to the example I used above, but to  me, it seems it would cheapen the soul to do so. This spring cleaning project stands on its own…

Not every great leader was born of the eye of the storm, but every great leader must walk into that very same eye, and the only way to do so is to open your windows…

So what are the windows of the soul? and how does one open them…?

The eyes are said to be the windows of our souls, and I, for one believe this to be. How often have I heard the phrase, look me in the eyes when you are talking to me… and how often I have said the same… But why… Why is it so important to look into the eyes…

Because we all seem to see something more than just the eyes, we all seem to see deeper…

Leaders need to work with open eyes, nit just eyes that see the task at hand, but eyes the seem to see the underlying current of their team, eyes that can see the slight difference in a persons face or eyes that notice the off color of a persons personality. Eyes that are open to see the colors of the world, even in the darkness of it.

Leaders do not need to be told what is going on, they should be able to perceive it from not what there eyes see but rather from what there eyes tell them. Leaders learn to listen to there eyes (souls) rather then to see with them. The windows of the soul are the eyes that are open, that see the path that leads in the storm, if that is necessary, and out of the storm, if that is required. Leaders think not of the safe exit of themselves, but of the team whom they lead. And the soul, if allowed to do so, will lead them into the storm or around the storm, but it will never avoid the storm.

So how do we open our windows, and allow the fresh air in? We allow the eyes to do the souls bidding, we allow the winds to guide us. But to do this we need to first learn how to open the windows… How to feel the wind upon our soul and how to freely go wear the wind directs.

We have to practice observation, we need to learn to see the tree with in the forest and the breeze upon the leaf. In the office this means seeing everyone as a person, not just a worker, at home this means seeing family members as individuals and not a collective and in the community at large it means seeing each member of the community as a individual being.

For example, how many times have you ever been compared to others, such as, When so-and-so did this job, they did it this way… In the eyes of that person, you are not an individual, but rather part of the collective, many of the one, rather than one of the many. In larger companies this seems to be, more often than not, the case. How often people say, I feel just like a number to them, not a person”. The eyes of the corporation are closed and has no soul. But leaders to, if there eyes are open.

Experiment, learn to see things differently, try to notice one new thing in your office/home/school/community each day, teach your eyes to see deeper and allow your soul to take you… Pray and be still, be open to hear the soul and allow the moment to take you… Like any other skill, this takes practice…

And in the End…

Like anything in life, hard work and dedication to the task at hand is paramount in completing the task, the same can be said for leadership and change. The opportunity to do a little “Spring Cleaning” is an opportunity to start fresh… no examine your life, your leadership and to make changes for the better,

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Mother, Daughter and John 15:13


A friend of mine was texting me the other night with issues she was having with her daughter, Mothers Day had come and passed and all she received from her daughter was a text stating Happy Mothers Day. Shallow and cold, I will admit, but not unexpected. The relationship between them has always been a bit strained. Even as a young child, the daughter is now in her 20’s, she was a self-centered child. Looking to always serve her own interest. The blame, as always, lies between the parents and the personality of the child.

Her parents are divorced, I do not know the father, but know the mother well. She holds on to the divorce live a badge, she will not let it go, never have and most likely never will. She is bitter and hurt. For what I do not know, for I only know one side of the story. And as we all know, one side of a two-sided story is never enough. What I do know is the deep roots this divorce has caused. I have known the mother for over 15 years, at one time we dated, and we have remained friends after the break-up. Her lack of ability to let it go causes much pain in her and those around her, this, of course, cause issues with-in the family unit. From what I can tell, based on what I have been told by the mother and the kids, she has two, a boy and girl, the father is not very concerned with rules. He is laid back and not very concerned with structure. Is that the case, I do not know, like I said I have never had the change to meet him. But it is the narrative played out in the kids and mother.

The mother, she is controlling and likes structure, she is deeply emotional and likes lots of affirmations, one could say she is needy.  Is she a bad person, no, I think she has a big heart and means well, but I do think she has a difficult time defining love, to me it seems she places a tangible value on love and fails to see love as intangible. She needs to “see” love, the feeling is not enough.

Sure, I will be the first to admit Love is many things, tangible and intangible, but I will also be the first to admit that Love is not one thing, it’s not seeing over feeling, and Love does not always show it self in the ways we would expect. Sometimes the smallest of acts, a smile at just the right moment, says Love more than the words could ever do, Sometimes, but not Always…

Sometimes that same smile can be spiteful and hurtful… Love is…. What is it?

The bible offers us many passages about love, but the one that came to mind when I was talking to my friend, trying to help her through the latest issue with her daughter was this…

John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 

Why this passage of all passages… The Holy Spirit works in odd ways, let me tell you….

Some back ground of the conversations:

As I said, the daughter text her “Happy Mothers Day” her son, who is in Mexico as part of his seminarian training, called her and talked for 2 hours. A drastic difference, but the two kids are as different as night and day, so not unexpected. But back to the issue at hand.

She asked me what I thought of it all, my response, What did you expect from her. Her response, Love. This conversation went on for about 45 minutes (by the way, I hate texting).

She asked for my advice on what she should do, my advice, same as it has been for a few years now, Stop expecting what she will not provide you. Her response, What, I should not expect my daughters love.

Not exactly what I was talking about, I explained that she loves you, but you will never get the response you want, and if you keep setting yourself up for disappointment, that’s what you will always get.

Still no go, her questions, Is it so wrong for a mother to want her child’s love. My response, No, it’s not wrong, but you cannot force anyone to love you in the way you want or need. Love does not force, it does not control and it is not needy. She did not really like that response from me. Sometimes the truth hurts.

But she knows me well, and she knows I always speak my mind and tell it as I see it. No harm was intended and I am sure no harm was done. So she asked for clarification.

My clarifications, We have to learn to accept the love that is offered, not try to change the love to be what we want. This did not help. She still felt that love was a tangible thing.

Her plan of action

The daughter’s birthday is next month, so her plan is to give her daughter a photo of the three of them, the mother and the two kids. Sounds nice, unless you know the daughter, and I do… She will reject this, not because she hates her brother and not because she hates her mother, but she will reject it out of spite. Just to retain the control over her mother. The more she rejects her mom, the more control she has over her. Her mothers need for tangible love is strong, and her mothers need to control is strong (she is a passive aggressive controller).So the rejection of the photo would only lead to the mother feeling hurt and trying to figure out what she can do to earn her daughters love. This, of course, gives the daughter all the power, and the mother none.

My response to the planed gift, Not a good idea. Do not play into her hands. So what than should I do, was her next question.. Text her, Happy Birthday, and offer her a dinner. Leave it at that… She was not happy with that recommendation. Her concern, if the daughter rejects the dinner invite, that would hurt more, and she really wants to give the photo and birthday card.

The real concern, she wants to gain the upper hand, to have control, to tug at her daughter’s heart-strings, and she thinks the family photo will do the trick.

But she is missing the point, the text and dinner offer gives her the control, the daughter would not expect the same treatment she gives her mother. Now some would say I was being childish, but I beg to differ. The response is not meant to hurt, but to level the playing field, to stop setting oneself up for one disappointment after another, to start to accept the kind of love the daughter was offering and to learn that sometimes we must let go.

So this is the point where I offered my bible verse:

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

The point of the passage was missed on her. But it was too late at night for me to get in to is, so I told her to think on it. She asked me to send her an email explaining it to her, so this post is my response (I will only send her the part concerning the passage, all the above back ground information is for us only…Unless she reads this blog…)

Why did that passage pop into me head as a good passage to use? What was the Holy Spirit leading me to? And how do I explain it? Well here I will try:

When most people read that passage, the first think that comes to mind is Jesus upon the cross, offering up His life for our sins. Offering it up freely… WOW, that is true love and friendship. So most of us think of it as the ultimate act of sacrifice for love and friendship, to offer ones life, and it is, if it is not takes to lightly. We read stories and see it on the news, people placing themselves in danger for a child or a loved one, we even see it being done for total strangers (think Boston Marathon bombing).

The gift of life should never be taken lightly and should never be given lightly. But is that the only way one can lay down ones life for a friend? I think not!

*Parents lay down their life for their children on a daily basis. Not always by risking death, sometimes it is by stand by their child through a sickness or by supporting a child through hard times. The love of a parent knows no bounds. The parent knows that rejection of the love is always a possibility, but it is offered anyway, parents know a child my do something that may go beyond anything they may have ever dreamed their child was capable of (think school shootings), but even than a parent will stand by their child. They may not approve of the child’s actions, they may even be the ones to turn them in to the authorities, but there love for that child does not falter. They are willing to take the mean words offered to them by others who do not understand, that will defend their child even if it means they to are persecuted. This is a death they are willing to undertake for their child. Not a physical death, but yet, it is still a death.

Consider a parent of an addict, they offer help and forgiveness to their child, they take them in and support them, only to have the addiction take over their child, yet again. But they continue to support and make excuse for the child, to shelter them from the crudeness of the world. Thinking that they are helping the child, suffering with the child, only to see the child falter again. This is not laying down ones life, it is protection of ones own life. The child needs to learn how to fail, so they can learn how not to fail. For the parent this means to let the child fail, and in doing so, they to will feel the failures the disappointments and resentment of and from the child. This is a death, but like the death of Jesus, there is a resurrection, a new life.

The new life comes from the child’s understanding that actions have consequences, that the addiction causes pain. But if the parent kept sheltering the child, the pain is always shifted to the parent, the child takes no responsibility for their actions. But by the parent allowing the child to feel the failure the parent is also allowing the child to grow to learn and to experience a new life. And the parent is also allowed to grow, to learn and to experience a new life. This most likely will not happen in tandem with each other, the parent may experience the new life before the child even realizes what has just happened, or the parent may take years to come to terms with the fact that they allowed their child to fail. But in the end, Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends… And a life can be laid down in many ways.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

* The examples are given to illustrate a point, I am not implying that this is always the case. And before anyone starts yelling at me about the addiction example, yes I do understand additions, yes, I know what I am talking about… But remember, it was an example, not a real life situation, so deal with it…

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Suffer the Children


adamcohn

But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.

Mathew 19:14 (Douay-Rheims Bible)

Yesterday was a sad day in Detroit, Michigan and Chardon, Ohio. (Select the city to read the stories) Our youth, our children have become murderers. Nothing new you may be saying to yourself, and right you are, Children have been killing each other over silly things since Cain and Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.

Genesis 4:2-12 (NIV)

Youth, from the start, have been envious of others; it seems to be a part of them. So no, murder is nothing new within society, but something has changed. I am not sure what, but something has.

Yesterday I was thinking about the senseless acts of both the Detroit youths and the Chardon, and I knew I needed to write about it today, to offer something, but what that something is I do not know. My mind goes from one thought to the next, one direction to the other, and it is hard for me to focus on one train of thought. I know this, I know that this has to stop, that we have to find a way to make the madness stop!

The responsibility falls on all of us, the Family, the Community, the Church, State and Nation. The violence is an epidemic a cancer eating away at our cities, our youth. Killing off the next generation of Doctors and scientist, politicians and fathers and mothers. We are aborting our responsibilities, all too often in the name of, of what?

We no longer “discipline” our youth, for fear of social services coming in and taking them. We are more concerned about their self-esteem them about their lives. Me, I say low self-esteem for a few hours is well worth the price of a lifetime. We no longer “force” youth to follow basic rules, in order to allow them to express themselves. I am sorry, they will have a lifetime to do that, in school rules are to be followed, and at home, rules are to be followed. This idea that the child and the parents are “best friends” is silly at best and destructive at worst. We are not “friends” to our children, we are parents, and we are caretakers and guardians of their little lives. We are to nurture and love them, but we are also to teach them and sometimes “punishment” is part of teaching.

In the real world, if I break a law, I must pay the fine, be it cash, time or whatever the price is, I am expected to pay it. Yet all too often, we teach our children that there is no punishment, there is no fine for the crime they commit.

I remember, years ago, when my boy came home from playing soccer at the local soccer club. This club charges $5 per person to play. He did not have the $5 to play, because I was at work and unable to give it to him. Nevertheless, when he returned home that day, he told me he played. I asked him how he paid, he said he didn’t, I assumed one of his friends paid, so I asked, who paid for you? No one he said… Therefore, me being the ever-smart one, asked, so how did you get in, and he being the ever not so bright at times said, we waited until the girl left the counter and walked in.

Yep, he walked in, without paying. Sure, it was only $5, at least that is what he said to me, no big deal, its only $5. Now I could have said, your right, they make enough money, and they should not charge you anyway. But what I said was, I don’t care if it was only one penny, what you did was wrong, it was stealing and you will pay it back, you will go and apologize and you will never, ever do it again. Because if you do, you will be one sorry young man. So we got in the car, drove back to the soccer place, I made him look the person in the eyes, tell them what he did, say he was sorry and offer his services to pay back the $5. He washed windows for about 45 minutes. Than we drove home. On the way home, I told him I was disappointed in him and that I loved him, we stopped for dinner and enjoyed our night. Now, he still did not think he did anything wrong, but a few days later he came back to me and said he understood and that he was truly sorry.

Yep, sometimes punishments have to be part of love and understanding. Yesterday my reaction to the Detroit mess was to bring the death penalty into Detroit, it was a knee jerk reaction, but I feel it may still have some merit. The problem, most of the violence is from youth, under 18. However, we need to do something, we need to fix this, and we need to fix it soon.

I do not have the answers, no one person does, God does, so I know we need to pray for the youth and pray for the cordage to do what is needed to be done. I also know that it is going to take all of us to fix this mess, all of us working together, putting aside our egos and city verse suburbs mentality. I know that I love the city of Detroit, but I also know that I am, for the first time in my life, getting a little scared to go to the city. The youths are running wild and they have no respect, none for themselves and even less for others. Life to them is expendable. Sad… However, expected…

We, as a nation, began to teach our youth that life is expendable. It started in 1979, and has grown. The land mark case of Roe v Wade, making abortion the law of the land, murder on demand. What do we expect, when Planned Parenthood goes into our schools and tells the youth, you do not want the “problem” you created, get rid of it, kill it, toss it out on to the streets, murder it. So life becomes worth nothing. Oh, and by the way, you want to do, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot, you just do it. We have allowed our youth to be taught that parents, the caretakers, guardians and we have no right to tell them, the youth, how to live, what to do, what is morally right and wrong. We have created a generation of individual morals, a generation that thinks they personally are more important that the person standing next to them. This flies in the face of what we know to be true.

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mathew 20: 28 (NIV)

We know, as Christians, that we are to serve others, yet we have created a generation that sees it as, others are to serve them. The question is how do we get back to that, Jesus calls us to?

This Lent, use the time to pray for our youth, to ask God for guidance and grace and to protect our youth from the evil one.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach (website is being updated, current web is just a template)

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Declutter for the New You


Paper Toss

Image via Wikipedia

Here is a challenge, declutter your life starting now… Where ever you are reading this, stop reading and look around, find 5 things you can toss out or donate… And do it, toss it or donate it… Only 5 things…

The act of cleansing or decluttering is a hard thing for us to do, we seem to collect things in our lives. If I look around my office I can see 5 things I need to toss, but can I do it? will I do it? That is the real question. I know I should, I know that I have way to much “stuff” but can I part with any of it? Does it have any value or meaning to me?

Decluttering our office,home,cars our lives is a positive thing to do, but all to often we don’t. We may organize it, put it away, because maybe, just maybe we will need it again, sometime in the future… But we never do and it just sits there taking up space.

This is true with our desks as much as with our souls and minds. How much “stuff” do we have in our souls that we just don’t need?

All of that takes up valuable space in our souls, the more we hold on to it, the more dust covers it, the harder it is to part with it. We begin to feel that it is a part of us, bad as it maybe, but still apart of us. The envy turns into a constant coveting of others, we began to expect things to be given to us, in the name of fairness. No longer thinking that we must work for what we want, just expecting what others have. The resentment turns into a feeling of disdain towards all, not just who hurt us, but all. The dust keeps us from seeing the hatred that is filling our hearts, replacing the kindness and love we once had for mankind. Turning our lives into death.

The act of decluttering will make room for:

  • Forgiveness
  • Love
  • Charity
  • Trust

Growth cannot happen if there is no room to grow, if we keep all that is old and harmful, we allow no room for what is new and beneficial. So look around you, did you find 5 things to toss? Now look inside you, did you find 5 things to toss? Keep looking, I know you will find something… We all have our things to toss, I know I do, and I know how are it can be. But I will keep looking, and I will keep trying… That is the only way I will ever succeed at change and growth.

God Bless

Paul

Guided Insight Life Coach

Enhanced by Zemanta