This is not an original thought of mine. I have decided that, really, I have few original thoughts. However, hearing this a couple of times lately, I thought I’d better perk up. And I won’t say it here exactly how I heard it, but it carries the same idea.
If I set out to change the world, I’ll probably fail. The task is so enormous. Who can do that?
If I set out to change my nation, I’ll probably fail. Though considerably smaller, it is still too big.
If I set out to change my locality, I’m still probably not going to achieve that either.
I may even fail if I try to change my family, or even one other person.
Where does that leave me?
The only person I can truly change is myself. In fact, I’ve done that before. I have changed a thought and changed an attitude.
By changing myself, I may be able to influence someone else or my family to change.
Someone else or my family may influence others to change.
These others changing may change our locality.
Our locality changing my change our nation.
Our nation may change the world.
Too often we spend too much time concerned over what in the world needs to change, overlooking what needs to change in ourselves.
Let’s focus on what we can truly change and let that affect the world for good.
Want to change the world? Change yourself.
If you haven’t noticed this is the first post I’ve written in a week. There is really just one reason this happened and it can be summed up in one word.
I have simply gotten to the point where there is little margin in my life. Let’s look at the important things in life that I spend time on.
I try to spend time with God daily.
I spend time with my family who are important to me.
I spend time working on my fitness trying to make sure that I am healthy for the rest of my life.
I spend time working at my job which provides for me and my family.
I have been spending time working on my finances making sure that we are using God’s blessing for God’s glory.
I spend time with friends when I have time.
I spend time reading working to expand my mind.
That doesn’t count the other things in life that you have to do like mow the yard, other chores and other things that creep into life.
I simply didn’t have enough margin built into life last week to take care of something else very important to me, namely writing this blog.
I think we spend too much time filling our lives with various things when we should learn the power of saying “No” and building needed margin into our lives. Just like we need margin in our finances, we need it in our broader life as well.
I want to encourage you to do what I need to do as well. Increase our margin so that we have extra to give when we need to give it. Guard our time and lives from the creep that tends to sneak into our lives while we aren’t looking.
Do you ever find yourself without enough margin in your life?
When it was first announced that Marvel was going to make an Ant-Man movie, I think most people thought they had lost their minds. Sure, Ant-Man had been a founding member of the Avengers back in the early 60’s, but most people had no idea who he was.
Then Guardians of the Galaxy happened, plus Edgar Wright was going to direct. Many were willing to give Marvel a chance. At least they were until Wright and Marvel parted ways. Most were back to square one wondering how in the world Marvel was going to make a good movie out of an obscure hero who shrinks and is called Ant-Man.
Well, wonder no more.
Andrew and I went to see this marvel of a movie (pun intended) Friday night. We had looked forward to it since seeing all of the previews and trailers. The question was, could it live up to our expectations?
Ant-Man is the story of the relationships between two fathers and two daughters. Both relationships have their obstacles to overcome. One is trying to reconcile with his after spending some time in prison. The other keeps pushing his away while being overprotective.
It is also a heist movie, a buddy movie, a comedy and a drama. In other words, it combines several different sources as Marvel continues to expand its comic book movie universe.
If you don’t know by now, we loved it. We recommend it and are glad that it was the latest number one movie for Marvel.
This past Sunday I set a record. I set my PR for daily steps with just over 37,000. My goal as I began the day was 35,000, so I overachieved. Interestingly enough, I learned a few lessons chasing my goal and, of course, thought I would share.
First, let me tell you why I sought this goal. As some of you know, I wear a Fitbit that tracks my steps. I have numerous friends and coworkers who are my friends through the Fitbit app. For the past year I have been number one both on my list and almost everyone else’s list as well.
Someone at work told me that I ought to friend another coworker last Friday, so I did. Since then my world has been turned upside down. I have slipped to number two on my own list as well as several of those coworkers that I have led for the past year.
I didn’t really find out that I was trailing this stepping machine until Sunday morning. I woke up to find myself 15,000 steps behind. I went for my normal Sunday morning walk and was still 3,000 steps behind when I went to church.
Following church and lunch, I got a few steps walking to my in-laws. After taking a short nap and visiting for a bit, I set off to catch my opponent. I walked another 15,000 steps and hit 30,000 for the day. At 4:30 in the afternoon.
I had never hit 35,000 steps, so I rested and then set out to finish out my steps. Not to be satisfied with my goal, I exceeded it and then wound up with the 37,000.
And somehow I was still 2,000 behind when I went to bed.
As I thought through my achievement and my failure, I wondered what I had learned. Here is what I came up with.
First, you can’t stay on top forever. Someone, some business, some team is going to take you down eventually. I had a good run at being number one in my circle for about a year. Now, I’m having my hat handed to me.
Second, you can’t be satisfied with staying where you are. For so long, what I was doing kept me on top. Now, I can’t do the same thing everyday. I have to make adjustments to try to overtake my competition.
Third, competition is good. Without competition, you tend to stay stagnant. This is closely tied to the previous point, but maybe just the other side of the coin. Competition pushes you. It stretches you. Competition takes you where you couldn’t go on your own.
Finally, it is good to be humbled. Pride has a tendency to creep in, especially when you don’t realize it. I had become known as the Fitbit steps guy. I had some folks poke some good-natured fun at me today when they saw that I was not on top any longer. It was good for me to hear and feel that.
So what’s next? Well, let’s see where I am at the end of the week. I’m going to chase my friend and see if I can catch him over the next few days.
It was just a few years ago that I first heard the term FOMO. I remember scratching my head, trying to figure out what it meant. Someone finally explained it to me, telling me that FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out.
Once I realized what it meant, I realized that I suffered from it. I would scan Twitter relentlessly in my attempt to stay on top of everything. I would take every chance to peruse Facebook in my attempt to know what was happening. FOMO dominated my life.
Lately I have eased off of that. I rarely really scroll through my Facebook timeline to see what is happening. I spend less and less time really checking out all of the tweets of those I follow. I simply don’t have the time to devote to it like I used to.
Lately, though, I’ve heard of another term with which to replace FOMO. It’s called JOMO.
JOMO stands for Joy Of Missing Out. Here is how I interpret what that means.
With JOMO, one intentionally limits what they allow to enter their minds. Instead of flooding our minds with information, we would purposely avoid the cascade of posts and tweets that can potentially enter our lives on a daily basis.
I’ll be honest, here, that I haven’t quite gotten there yet. However, it is intriguing. Can I really do it consistently? I’m sure I could. Do I want to? That is the question to answer. Another is what difference would it make in my life? What could I focus on that might benefit me or my family more? Or my career? Or anything else that I am interested in?
FOMO vs. JOMO. That is the question. Which will it be?
Have you ever suffered from FOMO? Would you embrace JOMO?
We probably all like receiving gifts. Me? I love receiving gifts. In fact, gifts is my love language. It doesn’t take much. If my wife buys me a Reese’s Cup, I’m in hog heaven.
In today’s scripture, Paul tells us about God giving us gifts through Christ. He tells us from a broad view about the gift of God. He gives us a view of how Christ went about it. He describes some of those who receives gifts and why they were given their gifts.
In Ephesians 4:7, Paul writes that each of us is given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Paul had just written that about the unity of the Spirit, where there is one body and one Spirit. That does not mean that each gift is the same or that they are even dispersed evenly. Each of us are given grace, but Christ’s gift may be measured out differently for each of us.
Paul continues that Christ descended from His home to rescue us. Not only did He descend for us, but He ascended with us when He returned.
Next, Paul writes that He gave some as prophets, apostles, evangelists and pastors and teachers. For what purpose? For their work of service to the building up of the body of Christ until we attain the unity of the faith. Not only that, but also the knowledge of the Son of God to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. In other words, their purpose is to build us into who Christ intends us to be.]
Why does this happen? Because we are no longer to be children. Children are tossed here and there by waves and carried down by every wind of doctrine, or the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. Instead, through the speaking of truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects in Him who is the head, Christ. From Him the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. In other words, Christ gives His gifts to the individual pieces of the body so that the body will grow and build itself up in love.
On Saturday I watched the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joey Chestnut was going for his ninth straight victory in this event. He had dominated for years, but this year brought a new champion, Matt Stonie. Stonie managed to eat 62 hot dogs in ten minutes.
As impressive as this feat was, it hasn’t been many years that these competitive eaters have reached these numbers. It began with the pioneer of the sport, Kobayashi.
Before Kobayashi came on the scene, the record for hot dog eating was 25 1/8 hot dogs. Kobayashi studied ways to improve his performance. He experimented with new ways to eat competitively. When he took on the other eaters, he destroyed the record by eating 50 hot dogs. He dominated for some time, before finally being beaten by Chestnut.
The thing is that everyone thought that 25 hot dogs was incredible until Kobayashi came along. He stretched the competition to new limits that others have been able to follow.
This is not totally different from what Roger Bannister did with the mile run. No one had been able to crack the 4:00 barrier. Once Bannister did so, others were able to do it as well. The barrier was broken.
What can we learn from Kobayashi and Bannister? It’s that most limits are artificial. We determine what our limits and barriers are and find it difficult to overcome them. Once they are broken, we suddenly see that what we are trying to achieve is possible.
We might see this in our career. We might not think it possible to take it to another level, but we see someone who has pioneered the path before us and then we are able.
Maybe it’s in relationships. Perhaps all you have ever seen are broken relationships and divorce. You don’t think it is possible to have a sustained marriage until you meet a couple that has successfully managed to be happily married.
Maybe you don’t think it’s possible to run a marathon until you realize that Dean Karnazes ran 50 of them in 50 days in 50 states. Running one suddenly doesn’t seem impossible.
It doesn’t matter what it is. You have placed barriers and limits on something in your life. Something that is possible to overcome, but you simply don’t believe it for yourself. Someone has paved the way before you. If you can just get a picture of it in your mind, you can do it as well.
Fight to overcome those limitations that you have placed on yourself. Find ways to overcome your barriers. Set a big, hairy audacious goal and proceed with blasting through your obstacles. You will be amazed at what you can do.
Have you ever faced limitations or barriers that you found a way to overcome in your life?