April 23, 2015

Private Thoughts

READY…  Don't let people's compliments go to your head and don't let their criticisms go to your heart.  To the depth we do either of these things, is to the depth we'll be ruled by what other people think of us. And boy, is it dangerous to build the stability of our identity on the fickle opinions of others.”  ~ Lysa TerKeurst

AIM… Admit it.  You have private thoughts about people, their lives, what they do or don’t do.  As you encounter people in the midst of their circumstances, do you offer suggestions and actually share your private thoughts about what they are going through?  Maybe you share your private thoughts on social media, since you don’t have to see those people face to face.  I’m sure you know exactly what private thoughts I’m talking about; your judgments, comments and criticisms about someone’s personal choices, actions, conversations and the like.  Let’s face it, whether solicited or not, we all have private thoughts about other people. 

More often than not, however, there are moments when people’s private thoughts spill out of their mouths and sting our hearts, leaving us feeling inferior.  There are also moments when those private thoughts can actually give our egos a huge boost, but then we end up walking around with big heads.  Lysa TerKeurst’s advice in the “READY” quote above is great wisdom for us to tuck away in that safe place of our brains as an invaluable life lesson.  It is so easy to get caught up in seeking the approval of others that we can lose sight of our own motivation, drive and intentions.  One well-intentioned but negative comment is all it takes to derail us from our goals; and getting back on track is often a painful journey.  My friends, don’t let other people’s private thoughts about you determine your destiny.  Choose your direction.  Stay the course.  If opinions and comments pass through your ears, use a sensible filter as to how you choose to weigh those words.  Keep your eyes on the prize and move those mountains knowing YOU value the private thoughts in your own head and heart.    

FIRE!  Choose to filter what you hear today.  Be careful not to internalize those negative comments and gently balance those positive atta-boys and atta-girls.  Speak life into the lives of those around you so your private thoughts don’t become public thoughts toward those you love.

Be Excellent!

April 2, 2015

Turn Down For What

READY…  “Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.”  ~ Peter Minard

AIM… Turn Down For What is the title of a popular song by Lil Jon and DJ Snake that ended up being the 7th best selling track of 2014.  With its catchy dance beat and synthesized groove, you can’t help but turn UP the song in your car when it’s on the radio.  However, this song title also makes me think about all the “noise” we allow in our lives that inevitably drowns out the things that matter most.  All that extra noise causes stress, discontent and anxiety. 

So, why should we turn down the outside influences and eliminate all the distractions that capture our attention?  Let’s face it, we can all admit there are things in our world that cause us to focus less on our priorities and more on nonsense.  Agreed?  Need a few examples?  100 extra unsolicited email advertisements, vacation promotions and coupon offers in your inbox; every day.  Video games and gaming apps.  200+ cable or satellite TV stations (and still nothing worthwhile to watch.)  Facebook.  Instagram.  Twitter.  Google +.  Tumblr.  Snapchat.  Get the idea? 

When was the last time you left your phone at home (without feeling naked) and stepped outside to listen to the wind whisper through the leaves in the trees or the birds welcoming spring with their sweet songs?  Just that thought, brings a sense of serenity and peace to my soul.  So why in the world can’t we turn down the noise?  It’s a choice.  It’s the new phenomenon called FOMO - fear of missing out. What in the world are we afraid we are going to miss; Sweet Susie’s meatloaf dinner picture or an episode of Modern Family?  We must choose to disconnect and turn down or turn off the things that cause us stress and strife, and choose to plug into the means that enable us to feel joy and peace. 

Shhhh, listen!  It’s the sound of silence.  Ahhh…..

FIRE!  This week, choose one area where you can turn down the noise in your life.  Make a commitment to delete something unnecessary.  You will feel relieved and free, guaranteed! 

Be Excellent!