Asking “What if…” Can Change Your Life

January 14th, 2014

When is the last time you stopped to write out radically brainstormed possible endings to “What if I did this..”

I’ve recently come across another blog author whose posts I thoroughly enjoy, Jeff McClung.  He is a quality writer.  Jeff wrote a challenging post about hearing the “What if…” challenge at a conference session and how it changed the life of his family.  I wanted to share with you some excerpts from Jeff’s post as well as a youtube clip of the conference session by Donald Miller which inspired him. (See footnotes at end of post for links.)

Inspiration for the “What if” Challenge

Jeff was inspired by a conference session with Donald Miller in which he said that screen writers or novelists use this method when they get stuck in their writing.  They begin asking random questions of “What if…” this happened to this or that character. Miller says the same process works to make progress in life and asks people to take the following “What if…” challenge. 

Have the family brainstorm about 25 “What if” questions and write them on a whiteboard or notebook.  There are no right or wrong answers, but some of the questions will still be in the forefront of your mind days later.  These “What if…” questions are the life changers.

Miller did this challenge with the readers on his blog and people began dreaming, began expressing new goals, their desires to overcome hurts or destructive habits.  Miller says,

Some of the questions you will realize you have to live Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Healing as Near as Your Pillow

November 29th, 2013

A good beginning to resolve many physical health issues is an near as your pillow.

“An estimated 50 to 70 million [people in the US] live on the brink of mental and physical collapse because of a lack of sleep,” as stated in Dr. Don Colbert’s book, “The Seven Pillars of Health (1).” A lack of sleep affects one’s job performance, driving ability, family/friend relationships, creativeness, decision-making as well as contributes to a host of chronic diseases.

Let’s look at a great illustration from nature related to our need for rest.

Dr. Colbert relates the following illustration in his book.  The soil in which our food is grown needs to have regular periods of rest. If crops are not rotated and the soil given a year of rest every so many years, the food grown there, even if organically grown, is devoid of many of the nutrients necessary for life. According to the 1992 Earth Summit, North America has the worst soil in the world-85 percent of the vital minerals depleted from it (2). Data from a USDA handbook from 1972 was compared to USDA food tables in 2001 and found that many vegetables had almost a 50 percent loss in nutrient content during that period of time (3). In scripture, God told people to give the soil a year’s rest every seventh year so that the nutrients could be naturally restored to the soil, and hence, to our food (Lev. 25:1-7). We came from the earth. The earth or soil needs regular rest or it will become devoid of everything of value. The parallel is obvious: if we do not take time to rest, our lives will become devoid of everything of value.

If you are sleep deprived, take a quick inventory of the things of value in your life.

If you have been sleep deprived, you can now quickly see that everything of value in your life-your career, your relationships, your creativity, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

October 29th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success to focus more on your goal than the obstacles that come against you, or even the steps to achieve it. 

(This is Part 2 of a two part post in which we’ll share quotes from historical figures on goal focus, as well as how  focus affects your spiritual goals.  Part 1 of this post covered reasons, results, and benefits of focusing on your goal. If you missed Part 1 of this post, please click here to read Part 1 now.)

For generations, famous literary authors have encouraged people to “focus on the goal.”

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson is well-known for his quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” encouraging people to enjoy each day of life as opposed to only allowing oneself to enjoy achievements, he also promoted keeping one’s destination in view.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orison Swett Marden, known for his philosophies on one’s thoughts influencing  life and circumstances, pointed out the determining factor in the success of focusing on the goal:

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1

October 25th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success is to stay more focused on the goal than your present obstacles, or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy that would take place in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the end result, or enjoying the present pleasures in my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; my garden will become a healthy, lush one that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process:

1. You will maintain more steady levels of joy and fulfillment, knowing the end of the process will come; you will live the joy of the goal’s future fulfillment.

2. By having a clearer focus of your future goals/objectives, you will be more effective in Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Improving the Quality of Your Decisions

October 18th, 2013

Think of your future…What emotions are you experiencing at the thought of your future?

Take a look at this self-evaluation quote:

Picture your life twenty years from now. Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is and what your future holds?… Does your current lifestyle predict that you will be happy and fulfilled, or disappointed and frustrated? Think about it. What does your bank account look like? How much retirement money have you set aside? How much debt do you owe? What are you doing to improve your health and well-being? How is your family really doing? The answers to these questions may be an indication that a few changes need to be made.(1- see below “8 Steps to Create the Life You Want”)

Were the emotions you experienced from reading these questions positive or negative? Emotions result from the thoughts you’ve been thinking. As a result, those emotions dramatically impact your decisions.

To improve the quality of your decisions, you must first improve the quality of the words you speak and think about your life.

Controlling the words that you speak and think about your life is a foundational Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Seeing is Believing, Or Is It?

September 13th, 2013

How firmly do you hold to the vision of your destiny when circumstances appear to be working against you?

We each want a clear path to our destinies; do you succumb to discouragement and doubt when you are unable to see the full path, or when people and situations keep saying, “It won’t happen!”?

First, it is necessary to be clear about your destiny.

Know your life’s purpose. Along life’s journey to fulfill that destiny, you have a wide variety of needs or goals you desire to reach, such as better health, more successful relationships or communication, freedom from debt, or career changes. These goals are important steps in fulfilling your destiny and the person you are meant to be. To avoid being swayed by doubts or opposition, you must first “know that you know” in your heart what your purpose for being is.

Second, you must determine to believe in your destiny.

No one else can believe it for you – a spouse or a parent – if you are going to withstand disappointments or setbacks. If you believe that this certain path or accomplishment truly is your destiny, then keep in mind Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Envisioning Your Own Well-Being

May 24th, 2013

Reading Level: Leisurely

Are you your own worst enemy? Check what you believe  your life is destined for!

When you envision your present situation and then the rest of your life, what do you see? Do you see a life of continual lack, illness, struggle, and disappointments? Or instead, do you envision that you are destined for a good life, an effective, satisfying life? There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” Why do people say that? Because there is great power to your thoughts just as there is in your words. People who believe that they are destined for a satisfying, effective life are more aware of the right opportunities when they present themselves. Such people Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Loving Your Life

May 17th, 2013

In each of us is the innate desire to live a life that we truly love.

I read a valuable article which covers many essential aspects of rebuilding your life to be the healthy, effective life that you desire to live. Kim Child’s article featured quotes from 3 life coach experts, footnoted below, to explain how to make lasting changes for a life that you will love. She discovered most effective life makeovers involve starting with (a) small steps, (b) setting boundaries, and (c) reaching out for support. Here are excerpts from the main points in Ms. Child’s article:

First, look at what is already working well in your life.

Even when a person feels like everything in his life must be changed, usually there are some things that are working well which should be noted and appreciated. Life coach Victoria Moran suggests to list 10 things for which you are grateful about in your life each morning before getting out of bed.(1)

Second, take time for prayer, meditation, and/or journaling before the day’s agenda begins.

This is essential to craft a health lifestyle and stay centered [on what is healthful, best, and important] in the midst of change Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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The Power of Change

May 14th, 2013

Most people fear change; it is wiser to fear the lack of it.

Each of us have areas of our lives in which we need desperately change as well as those in which we greatly desire to see change. It may be in our personal relationships, career, health, spiritual life, or even projected retirement investments. Too often our frustration goes on for years due to one of the main points in the post on Reaching Success, “You have to follow through with a plan.”

Wishful thinking, as opposed to vision casting, will only lead to continued disappointment.

To put an end to the disappointment of a lack of change, one must first vision cast (Create a mental image of the changes you want as well as put them in print.) and then act. Wishful thinking will not accomplish anything. Be aware of how dangerous to your fulfilled life are thoughts such as:

I’ll work in this goal when I have more money. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Increased Character – Key to Success in Life

February 26th, 2013

Have you considered that the key to your success in life could be a matter of re-constructing your personality or character to reflect the nature of the Creator?

How are all great works of art recognized? They bear the distinct, unique characteristics of the artist, of the creator. It is also these characteristics of the artist that give the work of art its value. Similarly, we were created to live bearing the unique characteristics of our Creator, of His divine nature. It is these same characteristics that increase the value of our person and enhance our ability to succeed in life.

Consider this daily life example. It is a common principle that the more admirable qualities which exist in a person, the more they are esteemed by society. For example, people desire to enter into business contracts with someone they know is trustworthy. People want to shop at stores with efficient and helpful customer service. We were created to live embodying the very Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Manifestation: Achieving Your Restoration

February 1st, 2013

Whenever you set goals, the manifestation of the best goals-your goals for the ultimate restoration of your life-are achieved through a very common process: writing it out!

I recently mentioned to a friend about a common denominator that I came across while studying the success stories of people whose lives had endured complete collapse financially, physically, and career-wise. The recovery or life restoration of every person I have studied, both in the secular and religious worlds, resulted from a commitment to writing out a clear list of life goals. It sounds so simple. In many ways, it is. Yet it is absolutely vital to seeing the manifestation of your restoration. Whether the purpose of your goal setting is the complete restoration of a collapsed life, the reaching of some childhood dreams, or accomplishing your destiny, a clearly written list is still an absolute necessity.

This practical illustration reveals why the manifestation of your goals must go beyond just visualization.

Many people have probably seen the photos of the beach communities in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. The devastation looked must like that of an earthquake. Nothing could be seen for miles except complete rubble. Among those people who lost their homes, there was bound to be at least one architect or contractor.

An expert home builder may know all that there is to build himself a new home, but he will never begin the rebuilding without “writing it out,” without a blueprint. An expert builder who lost his home in that disaster may be able to see the image in his mind of the new home for the rebuilding, but he will not rebuild without that blueprint, without putting it in writing. And, to further the analogy, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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“Success is Not in the Winning”

January 25th, 2013

We’ve all seen the people whose lives are driven by a distorted desire to “win” in everything; you see them exerting far too much effort to always be first in the check-out lane at the grocery store, first to the exit on the interstate, first to the empty parking space, first to greet the boss when he passes through the office, etc.  A distorted view of winning can cause a person to harm the otherwise potentially good relationships in his or her life, as well skip over quality decisions and necessary paths in life to get ‘what they want’ or ‘where they want to be’ too quickly. 

Wisdom and a Winning Attitude

I truly enjoy coming across someone who approaches life with more wisdom than is usually seen among his peers or in the general population. That is part of the reason I appreciate so much following the career of pro tennis player, Rafael Nadal. Not typically a sports fan, I began following his career after a friend wanted to watch Wimbledon at our home the first year that Rafa and Roger Federer played in the finals. I was extremely impressed with the respect they demonstrated toward each other and the dignity they brought to the sport.   

I happened upon some quotes regarding a video presented at a gala for Rafa’s charity foundation; they explain a little more clearly the source of Rafa’s winning attitude Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Simplifying the New Year

January 22nd, 2013

As you solidify your vision for the New Year, improve life by including the concept of simplicity!

With the New Year comes new hopes, new visions for reaching goals and dreams with regard to health, family, career, finances, spiritual life, and self-improvement.  As mentioned a few weeks ago, even vacation can be a goal in the New Year for the self-employed business person.  As I have begun pondering my own goals for the New Year, a recurring theme has surfaced from a variety of sources, that of greater joy through simplicity.

Here are 7 ways to improve your life and joy in the New Year by implementing simplicity:

1.  When considering goals, purchases, acquisition, consider the level of ongoing maintenance.

Before you set your sights on any additions to your life in the New Year, consider the level of responsibility involved.  Pretty much everything in life takes maintenance and maintenance takes both money and time.  If you desire to add any possession to your household, do you actually want to deduct from other areas of your life the additional finances and time it will take to maintain it?  For example, if you wanted a swimming pool for the family or a boat for recreation, it takes both time and funds to maintain it.  Consider, would you actually be happier putting the maintenance time into family time or personal time?  Would you be happier having the money used to maintain the item to be available for smaller joys all year through?  The example is of a larger acquisition, but the same principle applies to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Visualizing Your Dreams

January 8th, 2013

Visualization or creating a mental image of your dreams is an effective technique for reaching your goals.

The terms may vary at different points in history, but visualization is a healthy, effective concept that has been used for achieving one’s personal destiny for 1000’s of years. Whether you call it dreaming, vision casting, or the current term of visualization, creating mental images of your dreams and goals is a technique emphasized now by scores of life coaches and other career experts.

I came across a quote this week by Pablo Picasso, “Everything you can imagine is real.”

I thought it was very fitting to this concept. What you imagine, dream, or visualize may not be tangible (where you can touch it or see it) at the present moment, but imagining or visualizing can make that dream tangible. Jesus spoke a similar concept in Mk. 11:23,

I most certainly tell you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he will have whatever he says. (WEB)

Notice two things: Jesus said this is “absolutely” a true concept Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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The Essential Vacation

October 23rd, 2012

Though those of us who run our own businesses often feel it is impossible to get away for a vacation, it is this seemingly impossible idea that is essential for the prosperity of your business.

In times of stress, and more so when the weather turns wintery, most of us begin to dream of a relaxing getaway in a warm, responsibility-free environment.  The thought is wonderful, motivational, yet for the small business owner, it often seems only a dream.  Rod Kurtz, Small Business author for AOL, recently wrote a post reminding small business owners of the essential nature of vacation.  Especially since small business owners usually work 24-7, he says a relaxing getaway is crucial for

-renewed motivation
-increased productivity

As getting ready for such a vacation usually brings even more stress, business owners are more likely to cancel vacation plans than follow through.  According to Mr. Kurtz, while most Europeans take a month long vacation, almost 2/3’s of American business people have canceled vacations due to the recession.

Different vacations for different purposes!

I love this quote by Clint Greenleaf, Greenleaf Book Group, as to the different types of vacations necessary for the business owner Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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