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?

Front Page of New York Post Gives These Tragedy Tourists a Name They’ve Definitely Earned

The New York Post said it best, nothing I can add….


The Post details reaction from outraged online observers, as well as neighborhood residents who are apparently dealing with many tourists using the disaster as an “Instagram Moment”:

“‘Disgusting beyond words,’ wrote a commenter on the local-news blog EV Grieve, which reposted the snap.’Take a look at these people. Remember their faces,’ wrote Diane DiDonato, of Brooklyn, on Facebook.

‘They don’t deserve those smiles. People are dying behind them.’ Others called it ‘disaster porn.’ ‘It’s heartless,’ said Maurice Herz, 83, of the East Village.

‘THIS IS A TRAGEDY NOT A TOURIST ATTRACTION,’ one frustrated neighbor wrote in a sign taped to a front door on nearby 7th Street. ‘SHOW SOME RESPECT,’ the sign demanded.”

via Front Page of New York Post Gives These Tragedy Tourists a Name They’ve Definitely Earned.

Too Much Praise Can Turn Kids Into Narcissists, Study Suggests

I have been stating this for years….


“Research shows that narcissism is higher in Western than non-Western countries, and suggests that narcissism levels have been steadily increasing among Western youth over the past few decades,” the authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

via Too Much Praise Can Turn Kids Into Narcissists, Study Suggests.

The Obama EGO

The EGO, or as I like to say, Edging God Out, is a constant them for me. I have posted many articles about the EGO, be it here on this blog or on my other, now defunct blog (www.youcanbenew.wordpress.com). It is a concept I like coming back too, because the problem of the EGO never goes away.

If we look around us, if we look at the current state of affairs in America and the world we can see the EGO hard at work. The current political climate is full of EGO’s. The world politicians are EGO personified, our sport and rock stars live a life of EGO. And we, the everyday person, try to emulate our leaders and stars.

What a sad state of affairs, if I ever saw one.

The EGO is, as I have stated over and over again, evil. It is the devil in us, it is the original sin of Adam and Eve and it will be our down fall.

Currently in American politics it is the EGO that drives the vote. No sound issues, but the praise and worship of whom we vote for. Just look back two years the last election. We was self promotion and praise that we have never seen before. We elected a president who, with his great EGO declared himself “The One” and created his own presidential seal. We now have a president who does not like to be criticized and does not like to be contradicted. We elected an EGO not a president.

We have a government that passes laws and bills that the American people do not want, Health Care is a perfect example. Yet we are told, in a round-about-way, that we, the American people, are too stupid to understand what we want and need. The EGO knew better than us, and the EGO will take care of us.

Obama is the product of our past. A past that believed and tought that he was and is something special, all to him self. Let me explain…

I remember when I was a child watching a cartoon on Saturday mornings, part of the School House Rocks series. The cartoon was about a little girl who thought she was special, because her mom told her she was. And no one liked her, because she was, well simple put, a brat. The lesson in the cartoon, we all are special, in our own way. On the surface, a good message. The problem, we, the American public dropped the ball on that, we failed to remind everyone that they are no more special that anyone else. The result, Obama as president.

Think about this for a second or two. We have a President who get visibly upset when things do not go his way, he lectures us, as if we are school children when we do not agree with him and he, like a little boy playing ball, threatens to take his ball and bat and go home if we do not play the way he wants to play. An EGO is currently sitting in the oval office. An EGO like we have never seen before.

Sure, all politicians and stars have an EGO, some will say that an EGO is a necessary tool, that without an EGO they never would have had the desire to be a star or politician. But I am not too sure…

The EGO, Edging God Out, can not be a good thing, in the long run. An unchecked EGO can murder millions, think Hitler. An unchecked EGO can force their views upon others, think ObamaCare. An unchecked EGO can take down humanity, think Adam and Eve.

An EGO is never a good think, it is always something that should be kept in check. EGO’s never serve anyone but themselves, they don’t even serve the person to whom they are attached to. Once again think Hitler, Obama, Adam & Eve. None of them were or are being served by their EGO. The EGO, by definition, is a selfish entity.

I harp on the EGO, not because I don’t have one, but precisely because I do have one, as we all do. No one is without an EGO, but the difference between an EGOtistic person and the rest of us, we learn to keep ours in check, most of the time.

Jesus, who was without sin, learned to keep His EGO in check, in fact Jesus perfected the ability to keep His EGO out of things. Just think what a different world it would be if Jesus was an EGOtistic savior.

Obama could learn a few things from Jesus, such as how to keep his own EGO in check. But I am sure his EGO will not allow that to happen. With an EGO as large as his, I am confident that the EGO controls him and not Him who controls the EGO.

God Bless


Sin is…

 st-augustine St. Augustine said sin was “Love of oneself, even to contempt of God.” Basically St. Augustine said sin is EGO. To love oneself above all else even God. We can trace this back to our first parents, Adam and Eve. They loved themselves above God when they ate from the tree of knowledge. They discovered their nakedness and became ashamed. The emotion of feeling of shame would not exist if we did not take so much pride in ourselves, if we did not love ourselves above all else, even God.

The sin of loving self over others is ramped in today’s world. We see it in our movie stars and pro athletes and in everyday people. Look around you and you will see it, people who feel they are entitled to this or that, be it a job or love. We see it in all aspects of life and all age groups.

The world has embraced this and even encourages it. The more we love ourselves the less we can love other and the less we can love God. Why would the world encourage this? Because if we are unhappy and lonely we become better consumers and more dependent on society to feed us, yet we will never be satisfied.

We can not satisfy a hunger with earthly foods, not a hunger that is for our Heavenly Father, not a hunger for eternity. We may try, and we may feel satisfied for a few days, but the hunger persistent and the longing for satisfaction grows. We look for earthly solutions yet none will suffice, we seek the gods from our humanity when it is the God of our  humanity that we truly want and need. Yet sin prevent us from finding that which we seek.

The sin of self-love is  the sin of EGO. When we allow ourselves to enter into a egorelationship with ourselves that takes priority over others and God we have entered into sin. Self love can be looked at as a forms of gluten, adultery and even killing.


We seek to feed ourselves with love of self, we horde the lime light, look for or create opportunities to pile praise upon ourselves and steel the moments fourm other and the worst of them all is we fail to give God the credit for our successes.


When you are in a deep relationship with yourself, any other relationship would be adulterous in nature. You can not have more than one spouse, and your main spouse is yourself. You can not love self above all others and truly love anyone else.


When you are so deeply involved in yourself, yet try to retain outside contacts you will be in contradiction of your nature. This contradiction of your nature will fight for survive, and in doing so will kill any relationship that threatens to destroy your own self loving relationship. 

EGO is sin, self-love is EGO therefore self-love is sin.

We could add other sins to the list, such as idolatry or false gods and I am sure if I thought about it long enough I could fit all ten commandments in to this article, but I wont, you can do that as a Lenten activity. For now I will allow you time to digest this morsel of information and see where it takes you.

God Bless


What happened to Sin?
Galatians 5:22-23“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.


Pride is a very strong emotion, one that has driven people to extremes. We have witnessed the pride of a man (or a woman) bring them down in a blaze of fire, and we have seen pride rebuild a man (or a woman) from the deepest despair life can offer.

Why is this, what makes one emotions so powerful and at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

This I can not answer, but I can offer my own insights on the topic. Anyone who reads my blogs an a regular basis will know that I often times return to the subject of EGO (Edging God Out), well I think Pride has a small place in EGO.

The pride that causes harm, pride that drives a man to extremes is a pride that is unhealthy.

To have pride in your work, in your life and in yourself and family is a very healthy, and necessary thing. It is when that pride overrides all, when that pride becomes the end all to all that is when it enters the EGO, that is when it becomes a destructive force, not only in your life but all around you.

When we feel that what we do is more important that others, or when we think that our actions are defining moments, when we place ourselves at the very center of life, the EGO has began its destruction.

How do we know when pride becomes EGO, were is that line? I think we all have a different thresh hold, but I also think we all know, internally, were it is.

For me, EGO is the evil part of my being, it is the original sin of Adam and Eve, it was there EGO’s that told them to eat of the fruit, to want to become god’s themselves. Pride, the feeling of being more than they were.

We need to be proud, we need that feeling and that emotion, but we need to control it, and not allow it to take over, when it takes over, that is when pride becomes EGO, a destructive force.

I am very proud of a the volume of work I have created, the programs I have developed but I am also very aware that there is always something more, something better out there, that what I have created is good, maybe even great, and I take great pride in the work, but I know I am only one of many. I will not allow my EGO to take hold of it, I do not, for one minute, think that what I have created is anything more than what it is.

Pride and EGO often times share the same fine line. It is easy to step on way or the other, Pride becoming EGO and EGO becoming pride. Careful where you step, look and see were you are headed and say on the side of pride.


Funny thing forgiveness…

Jesus has spoken many words that we all would love to hear from him, but I would venture to guess that the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” would have to be on top of our list. In that one simple statement Jesus summed up humanity and His relationship with it.

Jesus forgave them of their sins even though they did not yet understand. WOW, that is powerful, and might I say, very beautiful. Jesus, in his own time of need was concerned about the salvation of people who have not even excepted Him, how many of us could say the same thing?

How many of us could look out for, care for and love people who do not look out, care for or love us? We often times find it hard to love, care for and look out for the ones we do love. The human condition takes over and we end up looking out for ourselves. The selfish side of humanity has a strong pull on us, and most of us give in to that pull. Jesus, being fully human would have struggled with that same pull, he too would have to find the inner strength, look to God His Father for the inner peace needed to forgive His persecutors. Not something we do everyday, but something we want everyday.

Funny thing forgiveness, we are always willing to accept it, but we hoard it like a treasure, giving it out sparingly and often times attaching strings to it. If we look at the life of Jesus, we will learn that Jesus offered his forgiveness with out strings attached, he gave it freely. Yes we have to be open to it, and yes we must continue to strive to be perfect as Jesus is perfect, but His forgiveness of us was not conditional, our accepting His forgiveness, well that’s up to us.

Jesus, being God and all, said and did many wonderful things, from healing the sick to forgiving the unforgivable, His life was one filled with abundant Graces from God. His life was a blessed life, one that we too are called to share in, if we are open to God’s graces.

Jesus is our living example of how we are to live our lives, we are to follow in His footsteps, and to emulate His compassion and love for our fellow human beings. The power of forgiveness has shaped our world, as has the power of un-forgiveness, the centuries past and yet to come will be marked with the wounds of Christ, the everlasting reminder of God’s tremendous ability to love and forgive.

Easter is a time to remember the power of forgiveness, even under persecution, Easter is a time to open our own tomb’s our hearts, to let the light of Christ shine in and to take off our death wrappings, lay them to the side and to once again walk among the living, the ones who live in Christ Jesus.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” each word of that simple phrase drips with love and compassion, each utterance is a statement of understanding and commitment to the human race.

Forgiveness holds the power for authentic freedom, for yourself and others. Nations and individuals alike, Christians and pagans, the free and the  enslaved, forgiveness knows no boundaries holds no prejudice and sees no limits. We, the fallen race, keep forgiveness harness to the ground with pride and ego, we keep forgiveness captive in our hearts and our souls suffer for our ignorance.

Easter a time of great rejoicing, a time of unparalleled forgiveness. Easter a time to remember our past as we live it in our now.