Tag Archives: confidence

Decide to Decide

There’s a lot of commentary going on about President Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement.  I’m not a big fan of this decision, but you know what?  This may be an opportunity for us as citizens.  As Bill Nye used to say, please consider the following.

Over the past two or three decades, the folks we send to Washington, D.C. have had a really poor performance record.  Each administration and concurrent Congress in that period have had their failures, many of which were spectacular.  In fact, the last recession can be laid on their collective doorstep for accommodating mortgages that never should have been written.  The current administration and Congress are not shaping up any better.  Why in the world would we trust them with our daily lives?

Here’s the thing: we don’t need anyone in Washington, D.C. to tell us how to live our lives on a day to day basis.  We do not need politicians to limit our choices or tell us how and what to think.  We Americans are by and large intelligent people who are fully capable of making decisions for our own actions, all kidding aside.  The big factor here, in my view, is that we need to collectively decide to do so.  We need to stop letting the government take over our daily lives, in this case, with respect to climate change.  It is all about personal responsibility, as are so many things in life.

We can decide to drive fuel efficient (or electric) vehicles.  We can decide to ride bikes or walk instead of driving short distances.  We can decide to insulate our homes.  We can choose to go meatless one day per week (meat production being a big methane producer and water user).  And so on.  My point is, we don’t need Washington, D.C. or the Paris climate agreement in order to make our own decisions and control our own actions.

In fact, we never did.  #MakeAmericaOursAgain

The Truth-Just Ahead!

Truth is truth even if one does not believe the truth.

Five Things I Learned This Week

In no particular order of importance here are some things that I learned this past week.

  • If you have it, you hardly notice it. If you don’t have it, it’s sorely missed.  What is it?  Good health!  Issues lately with my knees and my eye- all mostly resolved-have made that clear to me.
  • I can only do so much, which has become clear to me at work and in my private life. I’ve recently been maxed out at my job and my off-work “free” time has been appropriated.  I need to learn to say “no”.  Or perhaps, “NO!”.
  • The downside to cooking a lot of something to eat all week is culinary boredom. A better choice may be to cook smaller batches of several things.  And hot sauce-hot sauce is good!
  • Worry is a total bummer. Worry about things you can’t control or even influence, more so.
  • A simple “thank you” and card can really make someone’s day, which makes both parties happy.

    Learn to say no…it’s OK to say!

Change Ain’t Easy

We’ve all heard it: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always gotten.” Deciding to change your habits in favor of something that is beneficial-or at least less damaging-is about as easy as it gets.  It’s actually changing that is tough.

You can read all the self-help books and magazines you want, but if you don’t act then all that reading didn’t matter.

You can make all the New Year’s resolutions and other self-promises you want, but if you don’t act then they were in vain.

You can set as many goals and targets as you can imagine, but if you don’t act then the thought was wasted.

The only way to change is to actually get out there, wherever your “there” is, and do it.  Nike’s well known ad campaign from years ago was simple but on point: “Just Do It.”  That’s a bit blunt.  I prefer what Yoda told Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back:  Do or do not.  There is no try.”  And if you need help to “do”, by all means ask for it.  We are all in this together.

Worry is a Waste of Energy

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Matthew 6:25-27

I had a conversation a couple days ago with a good friend.  The topic was worry.  My friend was anxious about all the bad things happening in the world, all the way down to the neighborhood level.  My response was to ask “What can you, personally, do about these things which worry you?”  For the vast majority of them, the answer was “nothing”.

Based upon that, my advice was-and is-act upon those things for which you are able.  Be concerned and act upon your concerns.  Give where and what you are able, be it money, time, or a sympathetic ear.  Let your elected officials know about issues which you feel need to be addressed.  Take good care of yourself so that you can take care of the people you love if needed.  Find a quite place and pray or meditate as you are inclined.  And so forth.  But whatever you do, don’t worry.  Rather, channel that energy in a positive direction because worry will not add a single day to your life!

Don’t worry!

Ditch The New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of the year when we feel inspired for a new start with the new year.  Did you make any resolutions?  Not me.  Why not?  Well, resolutions have within them an implied “if”.  “I’ll do this new thing this year, IF my will power holds out.”  Inevitably, without help, the New Year’s Eve inspiration fades and then you’re back at square one.

I understand it’s a great and uplifting feeling, to get resolved. Resolutions also imply insight and desire, not finality or results, but the whole reason you make resolutions is to get results. Here’s the thing: to be successful, you have to promise yourself to do something and then actually do it.  This seems simple, but promises are a whole different game.  Promises are different from resolutions because:

1) They are a clear commitment.

2) They are very specific, exactly what you will do or not do. (“I’ll go to the gym more” becomes “I’ll jog three times a week for 30 minutes.”)

3) They are often public, especially if you post them on social media or with accountability partners.

4) There are consequences if you don’t keep them.

So, I encourage you to ditch the resolutions and instead make promises to yourself, and keep them.  It’s better in the long run to do than to resolve to do.