Improving the New Year You

I am taking a different slant on my New Years resolutions this year. After all these years, I finally realize I am who I am. All the resolutions and changes over the years have not changed Me. I have my faults, many of them. I also have my talents, many of them.

It has become obvious over the time, no matter what I do, my faults are still here. So are my many talents. If you take a good look at yourself, you will find the same thing. You can change your looks to some extent. You can pretend to be someone different, and try to act like them.

In the end you are who you are. The real you comes through each and every day. Instead of trying to be something we are not, the time has come to be more of who we are. Instead of working on some boring changes which never last, it is time to work on improvements of things about us we can do even better.

Take a few moments and write down what you perceive are some of your obvious faults. This list is pretty easy. Now, on a separate piece of paper, or open a new document. Take a longer time and write down those things you do better than anyone else you know. Stop when you have identified three to five items. Your list may take seconds or it may take longer. Time is not important, this is not a timed event.

Throw away or delete the list of your faults. Your list of perceived faults is going to be with you the rest of your life. That is the way life is. A leopard can not change its spots, and we can not permanently change who we are. Nor should we want to.

Now you should only be looking at your list of items you are good at. These are what you and I will be working on over the next year. Decide which of the items on this list you enjoy the most. This is our first priority of the New Year.

Do some creative thinking about how you can do this one thing better. How can you change or modify what you do well and do it even better? It should be fairly easy to come up with a short list of ways to improve what you do well.

Once you have a list of how to do your number one choice even better, do the same with your remaining items. Draw up a short list of how you can do these things even better.

Make what you do well better instead of trying to change into someone else.

Do what you do well better instead of failing to change yourself into someone else.

This idea make me excited! I hope it makes you excited too? Instead of trying to fix something that I think is wrong with me, or wrong in my life, I am going to work on making what I enjoy about me even better!

Is it making sense? I have found, every New Years, I have made some resolutions. Maybe go to the gym more. Do a better job at my work. Clean out my closet, and keep it clean. We both know these resolutions turn out to be boring and they do not work. I quit trying to do boring things! I am going to work on doing things I enjoy, learning how to do them better!

Now, for your part. Work on your list of things you do well, and your ideas on how to do them better. Doing this is a lot more fun than starting another year with another list of resolutions you give up on in a month or so, because they are boring. You will not spend the rest of the year thinking about how you failed at something you really did not want to do to start with.

You did not fail to complete last years resolutions. You did what is natural. They were boring and they were not about you. They were about someone you thought you should change yourself into. You are not that person. You are you! Stop now and reread this post. Start making your list of things you do well. Write down your thoughts on how to do those things better.

Without even trying, you will find yourself getting excited about your list. You will find you are excited about the changes you want to make. This is about you and who you are. Not some silly idea of changing into who you think you should be. That person will never exist, no matter how hard you try.

Keep notes on your progress, and let me know how you are doing. I want to hear about you becoming better at being you! Happy New Year! Happy You!

On Earth, as it is in Heaven

If you have watched the movie, “Heaven is for real”, you can relate to this post. Or maybe if you have watched this movie recently. Myself, I think I have watched it four or so times this month. The movie may have really reached out and grabbed me. Or maybe there was nothing else I wanted to watch in the moment. Maybe it was planned that way just for me.

Not so much the little boy and his visit to heaven, but some of the ideas in the movie reached out and caught my attention. One of these ideas I find fascinating. The part where the Dad comes back to the church to preach again.

He has a few words written on a sheet of paper. He doesn’t seem to have any real idea what he is going to say to fill in the rest of his talk. I won’t do any quoting as I probably have it out of context, but two ideas from this scene really made an impression on me.

The first thought is, if we were all in heaven, would we be doing anything differently than we are right now? This is something many people (I think) have not given any serious thought to, other than perhaps when we say our prayers, if that is something we do, or we go to church services.

What would we be doing different if we were in heaven? I really do not see many of us competing with the angels in the singing department. Nor do I see many of us in a church setting for most of our waking day, every day.

SwingingSomething that really stuck out for me was the phrase, ‘On earth as it is in heaven’. This, I thought, is something I never really gave any thought to. If we are average people trying to do the right thing, is what we do and how we manage our day akin to what we would be doing in heaven?

Would we have a family we love to be with, work of some type we want to do. Places to go and people to see? What would we be doing if we were in heaven right now? Would we be friendlier, more caring, more responsible? Better yet, what are people we think are in heaven doing right now if that is where they are?

Does technology exist in heaven? Computers, telephones, Internet, cars, television, radio? Are the musicians out of work in heaven? What about those of us who may barely squeezed past the gates? Are we better people in heaven, having insight not available to us on earth? Would we have sex, love, and rock and roll, an expensive car to drive, gourmet meals every day if we choose them?

Is it our responsibility to bring heaven down to earth? If it is, we could do better. We have our moments, some of us have our days, months, years, and decades, but they are isolated pockets in our day to day world.

Maybe that is why the idea is brought up in the movie about there being no time in heaven. Maybe we are bringing heaven to earth, but it is a very, very slow process?

Our lives and health are better than they have ever been. Maybe as we live longer, we grow wiser, make better decisions, and do better at making our life here as it is in heaven. I would like to think so. If we are living healthier, longer lives, and all we are doing is existing, living day to day, focused on ourselves, is that enough?

What do you think about us here on earth, and heaven being some place else? What is the earth, heaven relationship?

Except Your Life Can Be Better

When I was a small child I thought I would do something big. I would change the world all by myself. Give the world a gift that would make the world a better place. I was going to do big things.

I decided instead, actually it was decided for me, the world was not ready for what I was going to do. I decided that I would not do that thing I was going to do to improve the world.

That decision left me with nothing to do. I had no real goals. I had no urge to accomplish a certain thing. I had no interest in making world size changes. This was confirmed by my two doctors, speaking to my parents while I was in the room with them. ‘He will be OK at many things, but he will not be really good at any one thing.’ It was decreed in that moment, or so I believed, that I should be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I went through some years trying to do just OK at everything. Never trying to excel at any of them. What was the point. I already turned my back on what I could have done. Those mighty men in their white coats decreed my future. My parents believed it, so who was I to think differently.

As a child, I noticed some people lived their lives emotionally stunted. They matured to a certain point and then stopped growing. People were very good at this, but not that. Some people knew how to manipulate others, but did not have it in them to use that manipulation to help others.

Other people were strong spiritually. They could have moved mountains if they weren’t scared to try. I think they never had the thought to try. They could move mountains if they wanted to, but something was in the way.

That something is the word ‘except’. I would be a rocket scientist, except I’m not smart enough. I would play in the NBA, except I joined a gang instead. I would go to college,  except I am thinking about dropping out of high school.

Except is a powerful word. We all could create the life we want, and surpass all our dreams, except. Except something got in the way. Except, we went this way, instead of sticking it out. Except, the other was was easier.

When I thought I was old enough to make a difference, I had forgotten what I was capable of. I forgot that I had the ability to change the world. I might have remembered, except for whatever reason I chose not to listen to myself tell me I could have a different life. Except for those rare moments when I remembered what I thought I would do, and think, “Yeh, I could do that, but this is easier. Everyone expects this of me.”

We have the power in us to change our world. Except we keep forgetting we can change the world. Except it is easier to treat every day as the day before. Except we now accept that ho hum and boredom is good enough, except when we remember we do not have to live this way.

We have something in common with cats. You can not make a cat go anywhere when standing behind it. At least not without the cat wanting move. The old saying is, “Like herding cats.” Neither can you push a limp spaghetti noodle.

It’s sort of funny on some level. I have known this all my life, but I thought if I said the right thing, wrote the write words, I could, through sheer willpower change the world into a better place. Except, like a stubborn two year old, I refused to see that there were few exceptions to how the world worked, and herding cats or pushing limp noodles takes a lot of energy.

Except for when I forget, I am giving up on changing the world by pushing. I am one person, and I can not by my words or sentences change you or anything. Except I am sure I will forget this thought, and say more, and write more.

Instead, I will continue to grow myself. I am as long as I am alive, I am a work in progress. I try this, and I do that. As I fail often, success seems to be more frequent. I like to think I am figuring it all out, except I spend time trying the same things over and expect different results.

It is okay to be different. Except when I forget. Except when I forget I am not here to change the world by myself.

I now accept new ideas as possible and correct, except when I forget. Once I remember, I give a new idea a try, except it doesn’t always work for me the way it did for another. Stuff happens, or not.

Everything we know about the world we live in is probably only partially true. Maybe we get two thoughts right, and one thought wrong. Maybe we play games with ourselves so we can pretend this is how is is, except when we choose not to pretend.

From here on out, except when I forget, I will lead by example. I will no longer try to herd cats, and push limp spaghetti noodles. I will continue to make my life what is best for me.

Except I hope you to come to feel this way too, and join me. Except I hope you decide to add excitement into your life. Except I hope you fail once or twice before making your life the best life possible.
When I was a small child I thought I would do something big. I would change the world all by myself. Give the world a gift that would make the world a better place. I was going to do big things.

I decided instead, actually it was decided for me, the world was not ready for what I was going to do. I decided that I would not do that thing I was going to do to improve the world.

That decision left me with nothing to do. I had no real goals. I had no urge to accomplish a certain thing. I had no interest in making world size changes. This was confirmed by my two doctors, speaking to my parents while I was in the room with them. ‘He will be OK at many things, but he will not be really good at any one thing.’ It was decreed in that moment, or so I believed, that I should be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I went through some years trying to do just OK at everything. Never trying to excel at any of them. What was the point. I already turned my back on what I could have done. Those mighty men in their white coats decreed my future. My parents believed it, so who was I to think differently.

As a child, I noticed some people lived their lives emotionally stunted. They matured to a certain point and then stopped growing. People were very good at this, but not that. Some people knew how to manipulate others, but did not have it in them to use that manipulation to help others.

Other people were strong spiritually. They could have moved mountains if they weren’t scared to try. I think they never had the thought to try. They could move mountains if they wanted to, but something was in the way.

That something is the word ‘except’. I would be a rocket scientist, except I’m not smart enough. I would play in the NBA, except I joined a gang instead. I would go to college,  except I am thinking about dropping out of high school.

Except is a powerful word. We all could create the life we want, and surpass all our dreams, except. Except something got in the way. Except, we went this way, instead of sticking it out. Except, the other was was easier.

When I thought I was old enough to make a difference, I had forgotten what I was capable of. I forgot that I had the ability to change the world. I might have remembered, except for whatever reason I chose not to listen to myself tell me I could have a different life. Except for those rare moments when I remembered what I thought I would do, and think, “Yeh, I could do that, but this is easier. Everyone expects this of me.”

We have the power in us to change our world. Except we keep forgetting we can change the world. Except it is easier to treat every day as the day before. Except we now accept that ho hum and boredom is good enough, except when we remember we do not have to live this way.

We have something in common with cats. You can not make a cat go anywhere when standing behind it. At least not without the cat wanting move. The old saying is, “Like herding cats.” Neither can you push a limp spaghetti noodle.

It’s sort of funny on some level. I have known this all my life, but I thought if I said the right thing, wrote the write words, I could, through sheer willpower change the world into a better place. Except, like a stubborn two year old, I refused to see that there were few exceptions to how the world worked, and herding cats or pushing limp noodles takes a lot of energy.

Except for when I forget, I am giving up on changing the world by pushing. I am one person, and I can not by my words or sentences change you or anything. Except I am sure I will forget this thought, and say more, and write more.

Instead, I will continue to grow myself. I am as long as I am alive, I am a work in progress. I try this, and I do that. As I fail often, success seems to be more frequent. I like to think I am figuring it all out, except I spend time trying the same things over and expect different results.

It is okay to be different. Except when I forget. Except when I forget I am not here to change the world by myself.

I now accept new ideas as possible and correct, except when I forget. Once I remember, I give a new idea a try, except it doesn’t always work for me the way it did for another. Stuff happens, or not.

Everything we know about the world we live in is probably only partially true. Maybe we get two thoughts right, and one thought wrong. Maybe we play games with ourselves so we can pretend this is how is is, except when we choose not to pretend.

From here on out, except when I forget, I will lead by example. I will no longer try to herd cats, and push limp spaghetti noodles. I will continue to make my life what is best for me.

Except I hope you to come to feel this way too, and join me. Except I hope you decide to add excitement into your life. Except I hope you fail once or twice before making your life the best life possible.