Sunday, January 2, 2011

Entertaining Angels

When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.

David Weatherford
There are 365 days in a year for making resolutions and at least 365 chances to carry them out. Why do we settle for so much less? Why do we forget, make a list and lose it, ignore, delay, justify and finally give up until next year?

The answer is very dimple. We are not entertaining angels.

Angel #1. Stairway to Self Esteem
The reason you made the resolution in the first place was to make an improvement in your life. You want to weigh less because it will make you look better and feel better about yourself. You want to save money and not spend it on foolish things. You want to eliminate wasteful, negative habits and replace them with positive, healthy ones. All of those things and others are very good and will no doubt improve you life. But don't forget that remark about good intentions paving the road to hell. So hold on to them.

Angel #2 Gentlemen Start Your Engines
Whatever it is that will make you a better, happier person is not going to be accomplished overnight. So take your list of resolutions, pick one and start making plans, set small practical goals and think about them. Look for simple ways to cut down on fattening food, and make a practical decision about how much money you can put aside for savings. Hold those thoughts as concrete visions in you head as you go about living. The more firmly they live in your thoughts the more often your mind will give you ways and means for carrying them out.

Angel #3 Bearding the Lion In Its Den
The Bible talks about there being lions in the street. I have come to understand that metaphor as meaning discouragement. Nothing can dump cold molasses on your plans better than momentary failure, set backs and feelings of hopelessness. The trick is to not believe in those claims. They can be removed: a speck in your eye, a pebble in your shoe, seaweed on your beach.

Angel #4 The Sun Dial
What difference does it make if you take two steps backward, as long as you make three steps forward. Some people like to keep a journal of their progress toward their goals. That's not a bad idea if you're one of those record keeping types, or even if you're not. Rose Kennedy once wrote "Life isn't a matter of milestones, but moments." We don't have much control over milestones but we do over the moments. Remember the sun dial, it records only the sunny hours.

Angel #5 Cutting The Cake
It's okay to step on the scale or look at your bank account. But do it with a positive point of view. If you wanted to lose 10 pounds but you only lost 8, so what. That's 8 pounds of baggage you no longer have to carry around on you. Keep at it. If it's another 8 pounds next time, or even 6 pounds, you're winning. If the deposit in you savings account is too much to handle make it less, it's still earning interest. I knew of a woman who worked all her life and retired at 70 with $150,000. When someone asked her how she did it she said two words: "compound interest." Every moment of life when we don't do the destructive thing we have habitually done, it's a deposit in the account of the happier person, the better life.

Angel #6 When the Swallows Return to Capistrano
Built solidly into anyone's list of resolutions should be the system which enables one to cavort, brag, twirl and collapse. In other words, it's reward time. But the danger there is taking the reward before you earn it, or making the reward illfit the triumph. Just because you've reached your temporary goal of getting thinner don't fall for the gimmick of rewarding yourself by gorging on a big chunk of cherry cheesecake. And if you've saved enough money to reach a desired temporary level it's not the time to splurge on am expensive vacation to the Caribbean, but maybe you can have the cheesecake. In other words plan to do something nice for yourself that doesn't turn you around and send you back into the vortex of shame and regret you struggled valiantly, with strength and courage, to get out of.

Angel #7 Warning: Slippery Road Ahead
There is a danger to beware of and that is that once you have achieved a simple goal you have proved to yourself that you can do it so maybe it's time to relax and not try so hard. Oooooo! Nasty, nasty. That's a trick which can even fool the angels. Then is the time to knuckle down, look yourself squarely in the eye and say "No Sir (or Miss, or Madam, or Ms., whichever you like) I am not going to fall for that scam. I am not giving up. I'll take a nap. And when I wake up I'll start right in on the next step of my progress. So there!"

Angel #8 Your Favorite Charity
Small, simple goals intending toward larger goals carried out with discipline and satisfaction, moments of triumph leading to milestones of success, resolutions met and mastered, now put you in position to be an authority on doing good things, and right things. Now comes the time to hang out your shingle and be ready to help the next person who wants to know how you did it. Now is the chance to introduce them to compound interest in their lives. And doing that has another benefit to you. If you can advertise yourself to yourself and the world at large as a successful master of your own resolutions it will keep you on the right highway with no detours into the jungle you got out of. Now you feel good about yourself. And that's the best way to live.

DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?

I await your answer.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sage advice for making progress and focusing on the positives.

pacifica62 said...

Lots of wisdom in this entry db. You should set yourself up to be a life coach cause most people need to hear what you have just said.

Donna said...

Having just started my diet yesterday, I needed this pep talk.

Valerie said...

This is excellent. I am working on a resolution (have been for years) that I am having a rough time with. This post gave me ideas for my arsenal. Thanks =)!!

krissy knox said...

excellent, excellent post! as pacifica62 states -- you should be a life coach. or teach "self growth" or "empowerment" or "wellness" or something! for some reason i am getting to hate the word "self improvement. the whole concept comes from a different paradigm, than the other concepts / words i think. those who began to use the term "self improvement" probably didn't mean for it to come from a place sounding like victomhood or loss of empowerment, but for me it does.

for example, "self improvement" implies that there is something wrong with someone, and that one is extremely impaired. then this person must struggle to improve himself, and is often not shown in an adequate way how.

Self growth and empowerment are different, however. Both concepts tell you that you have within yourself the creativity, strengths and tools you'll need, you'll just need to ask the Lord for his grace to help you daily. And He will help you with what you need and to be creative with the creativity He has already given you. After all, who is more creative than Him? He is the Creator of the Universe! I am sure He has give each one of us enough creativity to make our way through life, and to grow in any way we need to grow!

How does one actually use self growth and empowerment to grow? This is simplifying it, but first one must make a plan, then act on that plan, continue to work on that plan, be diligent, and complete the plan.

One must also try try again if he fails. Never give up if something is important. You can revise your plan, change it when it is no longer an important goal; but if it is an important goal, never give up -- just find a difft way to do it until you accomplish it! :)

anyway, this is a great, great post, db. please do more like this. loved it. absolutely loved it!

krissy knox :)
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