Your Life

WILL YOU REMEMBER YOUR LIFE WITH SORROW AND REGRET OR WITH JOY AND FONDNESS?

This week I had a wonderful and meaningful conversation with a client working in palliative care focused on improving the quality of life of patients with serious or life ending illnesses by providing emotional support and treating the symptoms.

I learned people develop and grow enormously when faced with their own mortality.  Changes are made overnight. Many emotions are expressed at different times.  There is anger, denial, bitterness, fear, and remorse.  Finally, they reach acceptance of their final days. Common threads run through with many regrets.  Here are the comments from some patients.

1).  I wish I had lived a life true to myself. 

2).  I wish I had not worked so hard and so long.

3).  I wish I had expressed my real and true feelings.

4).  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5).  I wish I had chosen to be happier.

Sometime soon, take a moment to reflect and think about these comments. Make a decision to design your Legacy.

Attitude is a Choice

Attitude is a Choice

The primary force determining if you succeed or fail in life and especially as an effective communicator is your attitude.  You have complete control over your attitude.  Your response to what happens to you is more important than the event.

W. Clement Stone wrote, “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.  The little difference is attitude.  The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” A positive mental attitude is a most outstanding asset. I believe your time is your most valuable asset. For this discussion, let’s define attitude as “a habit of an individual act of thinking”.  Thinking is considered “self-talk” and may be spoken words or unspoken thoughts. Thinking is asking and answering questions in your head. The way you talk to your self creates your attitudes and your attitudes affect all the things you want to be, to do or have in life. You can change your attitude by changing your thinking. There is an ancient truth which tells us “what we think is what we become”.  Change your mental input, change your attitude; change your behaviors and actions.  change your results. All your circumstances improve when you improve your attitude.

People are creatures of habit and tend to act in the same manner in similar situations. People resist making changes and creating good habits. Forming a good habit takes approximately sixty days according to an article in Psychology Today. Tom Ziglar says, “the quickest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits”. It has been said, “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” Zig Ziglar said,

“if you want to do something you have never done, you are going to have to make changes and do something you have never done”

Are you awake at 3 am?

It does not happen to be often, but it does happen.

Here is what I do and it works in wonderful marvelous ways.

1.  Get up from bed and find a distraction free location. Now is not the time to glance at your phone. 

2.  Obtain a note pad or a journal.  Write your list of gratitude.  Make the list long and include the big and the small things.  Invest five or six minutes preparing the list.  If you write a person’s name, think about why you are grateful for them and recall specific memory items about them. Gratitude and fear cannot live in the same space at the same time.

3.  Have a conversation with God.  Ask God three questions.  God, do you know the circumstances of my life? YES.  God, are you BIG enough to handle my situation?  YES.  God, what is the plan?  Then, listen to what God has to say – five minutes; sit peacefully and wait on God to answer.  He will answer.  One morning last week before the sun came up, I was speaking with God about my students in Kibogora, Rwanda.  I was planning a presentation on the journey of life beginning with Survival and ending with creating a Legacy. I was overcome with emotion when I thought about the meaning of Survival to a young adult in Rwanda.  What is God’s Plan for them?  I was preparing to be still and wait but He shared with me the answer.  I can not help them all but because I can not help them all does not stop me from helping some of them.  I must keep doing what I am doing for the people of Kibogora. 

4.  Write a VICTORY list.  Things you have accomplished in the past with pride.

School graduation; helping someone in need, overcoming a big challenge.  This is to remind yourself you have done it before and you can do it again.

5.  Identify the problem giving you the most concern.  Write it in your journal or pad of paper. Write all the things you can do to solve the situation.  Take action and create a written plan.  Identifying a problem is a positive step in the correct path.  It is only negative if you stay focused on the problem.  Focus on the solution.

6.  There are things in our lives we have no control over.  These items should be given to God in prayer. God is in control; He knows exactly WHAT IS GOING ON AND He is big enough to handle it.  His plan is in Romans 8:28 all things work together for good and continue to be encouraged by James 1:2-3 you will become stronger in the situation and God will perfectly position you to fulfill your purpose in life.

7.  Go back to sleep or go to work.

Kenneth R. O’Neal

Blog 10 August 30 to September 6, 2020

Integrity is Virtue Number One

Planning, preparing and expecting to win in life is based upon a clear vision of what you want to BE, what you want to DO, what you want to HAVE, and what you want to GIVE. Your vision creates your desire, your purpose, and your WHY.

An old Chinese proverb states: 

“Vision for one year:  cultivate flowers;

Vision for ten years:  cultivate trees;

Vision for eternity: cultivate people”.

With your vision, you will be able to set your goals for what you want to achieve in your life.  With goals set, you will have targets with which to track and measure so you will know how you are doing. Your desire is important but your vision is critical. 

There are six qualities you must have or acquire to get the best results:     honesty, character, faith, integrity, love, loyalty.

These are the foundation stones in the stairway to the success. Time and space do not allow discussing all these qualities.  Let’s take a look at the quality I believe is number one.  Integrity is doing the right thing when we know it is the right thing to do. Integrity is who we are.  Integrity is being true to the life we have been called to live. Integrity is who we are when someone is watching.  It is who we are when no one is watching.  Integrity is vital throughout life.  There are two types of integrity. Personal integrity is when we are authentic and genuine; the person we were created to be. A life of wholeness and congruence. Moral integrity is doing the right thing when we know it is right.  It is a life of character and virtue.  It takes both.  Be defined by your integrity. Let integrity make the choices that become your life.

Several years ago, wild fires were raging across the dry forest of north west United States, where a firefighter from Colorado, named David was vacationing in Washington state.  Driving along he noticed a hillside burning with winds blowing down toward the valley.  David turned and made his way toward the fires.  As he approached, he saw a woman trying to dig a firebreak to protect her home from the coming fire.  He later learned she was a widow.  At that time, he knew he had to help. David said to the lady, “you have about thirty minutes. Get your things and leave now”.  David then saw an elderly man struggling to save his house.  David ran to him and said, “I will not let your house burn.  Please leave now”.  For 25 hours, David worked and saved both homes.  Later on, David was interviewed on television in the area.  Everyone was awed at what David had done by saving the houses working so many hours to save homes of two total strangers.  David was very humble with the kudos and accolades. His reply was “ma’am I am a fireman, that is what I do”.  It takes bravery, courage and integrity to BE the right person by taking responsibility and DOING the right action.

Time is our most important asset

Time is your most important asset. Time Management is a misnomer.  We can not manage time; We can not store time. Time Management is Life Management.  Self-discipline is required to become skilled in managing life.

The learned skill of managing your time will determine your success or failure as an officer in the armed services.  Time is required in everything you have to do. Time cannot be saved and cannot be recovered once it is lost. The better you use your time the more you will achieve in all you do.  Your rewards will be great.

The management of your time is essential for professional and personal effectiveness. Your level of peace, harmony and mental well being will be greater when you are in control of your time.  An” out of control” feeling is the major source of stress, anxiety and depression in our daily lives. The better you are at controlling the day to day events of life the better you will feel, the more energy you will have, the better you will sleep, and more projects will be completed.

The skills of time management are learned; the ideas and methods we teach, if used properly, will help you gain many productive hours and double your output and your productivity.  Your work is important; it is imperative you establish significant blocks of time for major projects.  Here are several suggestions to improve your effectiveness and efficiency by creating blocks of time.

 First, work in the morning when you are fresh and alert.

Second, allow no interruptions.  DO NOT DISTURB signs work well.

Third, gain an extra hour in the morning by starting work early and an extra hour in the afternoon by staying up one hour later when there are major projects with short deadlines.  

Effective discipline is the willingness to force yourself to pay the price, to do what you know you should do, when you do it whether you feel like it or not.  This willingness is critical for success to become the best you.

Learning Time Management skills and becoming an excellent time manager is huge.  Winners in life use time well.