Let's summarize for a moment. In my office, I so often hear people say how they need more time in a day. By the time they do their work on their two jobs, do household chores, rush the kids to events and do homework, they have no time for themselves. No time to exercise, no time to enjoy the scent of a rose, no time to appreciate the giggle of a child. It seems, for so many Americans, they are caught on a fast paced treadmill and they don't know how to get off. Life seems to be passing them by and they know it. That intensifies their frustration and anxiety.
Once, while watching my eight year old son playing basketball, another father commented to me: "If only they knew how good they have it at that age." The previous week in my office, a senior citizen commented to me "Oh, these golden years are terrible. Enjoy your youth while you can." When I speak in the schools or answer questions on my radio or television shows, I hear the youth saying how they "can't wait to grow up to be treated like an adult." So, I hear the irony that everyone is thinking that it is better to be young when they are old, or older when they are young, and the beauty of the present slips by them. I am convinced that the happy, peaceful, energetic person has no more time in his/her day than the tired, stressed out, angry person. The difference lies in their individual ability to manage their time and not waste precious minutes each day. We need to simplify our lives.
A current poll found that 50% of children, ages 12 to 21 never exercise at all. So, we are a stressed out nation, exercising less, the heaviest nation per citizen in the world, and we think we are so healthy. As children, we are taught that as soon as we have a fever or a cough or a sniffle, to buy this or that product. Then, as we age, we routinely take aspirin, antibiotics or other pills to help our ailing bodies. We don't see the horror of it all.
We have a cultural attitude in America that permeates our entire society. We tear down seventy year "old" buildings rather than renovate them, while European people treasure their old architecture. We look for a quick fix to our health problems and in the long run we are weakening our bodies and causing greater problems for our body. Let's look at a specific example.
In one person, they have a flu, a virus, a fever and "yucky" symptoms over the course of their childhood. Yet, they get proper rest, exercise, eat good nutritious food and do not take any aspirin, antibiotics, flu shots or medication. With each episode of symptoms, the brain and immune system build up a tolerance to each sickness. Gradually, the host's defensive system strengthens and, in the long run, they become stronger and healthier, relying on their own natural antibiotics from an inner wisdom which can detect every microbiological difference to each variety of any strain of flu or virus.
Another person has been told by countless commercials that the body is weak and needs help and scientific research has proven that product "X" is more effective for the common cold, headaches . . . so they rely on a steady input of external agents to help their body. Again, looking for a quick fix, but not realizing how, in the long run, they are weakening their body, resulting in an external dependence on artificial agents. With each pill we take, it robs the natural immune system from another chance to cope, to adapt, to help the host become more and more resistant to any outside enemy.
It is almost like a parent who loves their child so much that they want to spare the child from suffering any pain, so each time a "dangerous" episode arises, the child is rescued by the parent. If the child's grades are poor, the teacher is to blame, so the child is removed to another school. If the child isn't the star on the team, the coach is to blame, so another team or sport is pursued. If a child cannot share their toys, computer or videos with a sibling or friend, then more toys are given to the child. I think most readers would agree that something is wrong in this scenario. They would argue that if the child is going to grow up and be able to adapt in life as a mature adult, the child must work through some problems and find ways to cope on their own.
Yet, they are blind to see that this same "pampering" of their own bodies is hurting them in the long run. Let your body adapt on it's own to a cold, flu, viruses and you will be stronger in the long run. Let's not become a nation where we just look for relief of pain. Sometimes as we bear through our pains, we grow the most in life.
Oh, I hope the reader understands, I am not saying to ignore a sick body that at times, needs medical attention. We all must make choices when our system needs help. Yet, I challenge the reader to be bolder, to have a greater confidence in the innate intelligence within the body and see just how great your body can work. The magic is within! All you have to do is nurture what you have and a greater wisdom will help you so you cannot be old too soon or smart too late. Then historical events like Mr. John Glenn in space at 72 will occur more often.
. . . . . . Let your body adapt on it's own to a cold, flu, viruses
and you will be stronger in the long run.
Financial Management Skills
If you plan for another lifetime -- you'd better be building a lifetime sized nest egg. I'm living within my means now, so I'm not a dependent later. The only advice I have to offer is: Buy only what you need and don't buy it if you don't have the money.
In preparing the outline for this book, I felt it important to discuss finances as one of our closing chapters. There is so much more we could have written, yet every day I see people whose financial woes consume them. I go to an organization and, at most meetings, we discuss money and fund raisers. So, although a surprising topic, nonetheless , I feel it is one of the most important topics we can discuss if we are truly hoping to improve the lives of our readers.
When I read that personal bankruptcies were up in 1997 by 25% for couples between the ages of 20 to 35, I felt alarmed. When I read that only 3% of Americans at the age of 65 can retire with financial freedom, and that 80% of retired people must still work to get by, I am confused. In the beginning of this book, we stated how, indeed, this is the greatest country for opportunity on earth. We are such a young country that, perhaps, we strive so much to "get ahead" for progress that we ignore, once again, some basic fundamental rules:
Rule #1 would be to spend less than you make. It sounds simple, but nobody would go bankrupt if that rule would be adhered to. I feel we must discuss this because I see, in my office that if we are working three (3) jobs and going deeper in debt that we cannot even think about exercise, diet, and daily prayer. We're going down for the last time. All we can see are our bills, stress and daily headaches. Yet, I gently encourage you, the same small disciplines that we have discussed in other areas of your life, if applied to your finances, can free you up to truly pursue the higher, healthier aspects of life. Let me give you an example.
On a recent "Night-Line" program, I listened to a female author of a book entitled: "Two Incomes and Still Broke." Let's look at one of her examples and see if we could learn from it.
The husband was 29 years old and made $28,000.00 per year and his wife was 26 years old and made 15,000.00 per year. They were over tired, never had any quality time together and with two jobs, they were not reaching their goal to buy a home any quicker. So, the author of this book did some accounting. Here is what she found.
The wife's second income had no deductions since the husband had used them all, so she paid $4,000.00 per year in taxes. She paid her mom $1,000.00 per year to watch the kids and, since they both worked opposite shifts, they ate out all of the time, spending $3,000.00 more than they usually would on normal groceries, gas and car expenses . . . .And the result was they actually were losing money by having a "second" income. The author advised the mother to stay home with the kids. Here's what resulted.
The husband was able to work six hours per week overtime now which translated into $5,800.00 more per year. The wife is always with the kids, which she is happier about, so she doesn't have to pay her mom. In fact, she baby sits two other children who play with her kids all day. She has time to control the household duties now, so they eat as a family and eat out less.
Their net profit is $5,000.00 more without the wife working outside of the home. They have a happier marriage. They are not so stressed out and now they are making headway to save to build their dream home one day.
I know every family has unique finances, so this scenario may not apply to everyone reading this book, but the point I want to make is that we all need to look hard at what we are spending our money on and see if we are on track. We need to have a plan, as Charles, "TREMENDOUS" Jones once told me, "plan your work, then work your plan."
You see, many people exert as much energy as they can into making as much money as they can each year, and that is fine, but that is only half of the equation because most Americans, unfortunately, are spending even more at the other end of the spectrum. Let me get to the point.
If you want to "get ahead" in life so your bills are gone or at least minimized so that you can spend your valuable time to visit Grandmom, laugh with your children and exercise daily where you feel in control of your life, listen carefully. You must work as hard as you can, be our toughest boss, and spend as little as you can. Jim Rohn says success is a numbers game. "Six days of labor, one day of rest per week."
Along this disciplined route, you can make time for fun, yet still not spend large sums of money. You don't need a new car, buy a two year old "new looking" car. You don't need a $10,000.00 vacation in Hawaii, but a series of day trips to local parks, pools and recreational sites gives you joy and rest, yet you still save. And then, the magic begins.
You not only are keeping up with your monthly debts, buy you can put some additional payment towards your car loan or mortgage. My rule is, for every dollar you put towards debt reduction, put one dollar into savings. I started with this idea fifteen years ago when I first heard it from Mr. Greg Stanley. My kids have a blast riding their bikes along a river, taking a dip, seeing a movie and eating ice cream on the way home. I spend $10.00 rather than $1,000.00 if I am in Orlando for a day. Orlando and much more will come, if we are patient.
Now, let me read your mind for a minute. Some of you, who like to spend and have a hard time saving will try to justify your actions by getting defensive at this point. You might be thinking "all work and no play is not good", and I agree with you. Or, "you have to spend it now because who knows how long you will be here." And I partially agree with that also. Work hard, budget your time to still be with family to play and vacation, but use this as your standard.
In the small book "The Richest Man in Babylon", we are told of a man who balances his work and play. He realizes that, at the end of each week, he pays all his bills, and he finds it wise to pay himself so he can plan for the future and not work as hard when he is older. So he gradually saves 10% of his income. For most of us, we don't have enough now, how can we do that? Well, start with 1% at first. Again, it is one of those little disciplines that if you put it aside first, you will learn to get by without it. As you train your savings muscle, you will gradually be able to save 10% each year. By doing this, a humble, normal worker one day becomes the richest man in Babylon. Heed his words, not mine. Stay teachable and just do it and see what happens. You must save 10% of your net income each year. So some of you may have to reduce some more debt first, but I'll repeat it, you must save 10% of your net income each year. So, you work, pay your bills, then save 10% and whatever is left over, then splurge on vacations, trips, cars, or any fun you want. If there is nothing left after 10%, then you wait.
Oh, this delayed gratification is touch, but it is awesome. For years you work hard and it seems like your debts are not getting smaller, but they are. Then you rejoice when you keep current with your credit card payments each month, having no balance. Then you throw a party when your car is paid off, you don't get another one for a few years. Then your office is paid off, then your home is paid off, and now the magic begins.
After working hard for twenty years, you should have your debts paid off, and now the money that went into payments can now be added to your savings. Then the magic of compound interest kicks in, but now you are the bank. Receiving interest instead of paying it out. Now you can take fancier vacations with your family, give more money and energy to the needy or slow down your pace in life. And all the while you are only spending part of the interest of your savings! I know it may seem like this is only for those who have large incomes, but I'll let you in on a little secret.
People who usually make more, spend more. Bigger homes, more expensive cars, and bigger debts. IRS studies have shown that there are as many debt-free people who make $50,000.00 per year as those who make $500,000.00 per year. So stop making excuses, stop justifying your uncontrollable spending habits by thinking one day the only way you will be a millionaire is if you win the lottery. Anybody can be if they work hard, spend little, invest in safe, diversified ways and gradually, they can become financially independent. It is not how much you make, but how you manage it. Don't look at your gross income and don't even be impressed if you keep your expenditures down to have a higher net income. Be excited by your disciplined prudence when each year your amount that goes into savings increases. That is the real bottom line, financially speaking.
Now you may be thinking that all of a sudden this book has gotten very materialistic, so I want to put your mind in the right perspective. It is the prayer of these authors that you are in control of your life. That you are well rested, invest in healthy habits for you and your family, and that you can be free from the stresses in life that usually destroy most marriages and families. It is a statistical fact the 80% of divorced couples cite financial problems as their chief cause of divorce. We want you to be free from the control that drugs or alcohol or smoking will shackle you with. We want you to be free to love deeper, forgive easier, and to see the miracle of every moment in each day. So, doesn't it follow that we should want you to be free financially? Sure it does. It is just that talking about money is tough. Money is important, very important. So much of our life is spent getting it to live and pay our bills. Doesn't it also follow that we should learn from the masters on how to control our money so that we could have a lifestyle which allows us time and energy to pursue our joys in life? I think we should. I started this book with the suggestion that you travel each page with a "teachable spirit". Let's try to be less stubborn and learn how to be better physically, spiritually and emotionally.
I want to make a critical point here about why I keep referring to balance in our every day decisions. Previously, in this book, I spoke about how some people are giving up their dreams for a bigger paycheck. These are the families who are working so hard that they are never together and they keep looking to the future that they forget to treasure the present And alas, so often these stressed out families grow to become "incompatible" with each other and they attain just the opposite that they were striving for. Rather than have less bills and an easier life, they have a divorce, nothing left to show from their marriage, and they are scarred for future relationships, scratching their head wondering what went wrong. They used to be so madly in love at first.
Even the strong flower of love will wilt if not nurtured. Yet, if you use every weekend spending the money that you worked hard for, you will be living for the present with no vision of the future. So, see how crucial it is to have balance. Listen to your heart. There are times to push harder to save for a brighter tomorrow and there are times to take a break and lighten up to renew your family to enjoy journey.
A patient came into the office the other day and cried as she told me how her brother just died of a stroke. She exclaimed, "I'm gonna smoke, drink, party and forget about watching my diet and exercise. It doesn't matter when your number is up, it's up." I don't believe that at all! It makes a huge difference. True, we are not totally in control of our destiny. Each can go at any moment. Yet, if we reduce the risk factors, then our quality of life will be enhanced and our chances of living longer are enhanced also.
. . . . . . So, see how crucial it is to have balance.
Listen to your heart. There are times to push harder to
save for a brighter tomorrow and there are times to take a break
and lighten up to renew your family to enjoy the journey.
Some of you may think that only a workaholic can keep to such a regime. Ah, "there is the rub." If you will change, everything around you will change. To motivate yourself, motivate others. Tell others they can do more, and you will do more. Inspire others, and you will be inspired. And then your work will not longer seem like "work." My attitude is that I am an ambassador for God, disguised as a chiropractor. It's life-changing to give people healthier lives, but to share God's love on a daily basis is a legacy that I want to leave. Pretend you sat at your own funeral. What would your eulogy be like? I pray it is a speech that would make you proud of your life. If not, start the change now.
James Mitchner says it better than I can:
"The masters in the art of living make little distinction between
their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds
and their bodies, their information and their recreation, and their
love and their religion. They simply pursue their vision of
excellence at whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether
they are working or playing.
To them, they are always doing both."
Isn't that beautiful? Go back and read it again.
I am fortunate, I truly do love seeing people become healthier. It, my "work", is why we decided to share ideas in this book. If you work hard at your job, but harder on yourself to develop your talents, you will attract success. Yes, you do not pursue success. Success is something you attract by the person you become. To attract attractive people or ideas, you must be attractive. I don't mean physically handsome or beautiful, I mean mentally sharp, physically sound, emotionally tuned-in.
You know what is really attractive to me? Someone who is totally alive. Their eyes are aglow, their posture is erect, their 'aura' is positive and strong. We spend too much time on trying to alter the outside of our bodies with make-up, liposuction, and plastic surgery. We should invest more in our "inner selves" and we will attract people, success, wealth, and happiness to us. I cry when I see people who have no money, but live as if they have a lot. It is better to have a lot and live as if you have a little.
Then, when you really are in alignment with God, you will share your money with those in need. The bible says "tithe 10%" or give one tenth of what you make to those in need. Then you can enjoy the beauty of this world with a sense of balance. Personally, I feel at peace knowing that I have shared my abundance with others not as fortunate as me. I must make this point now.
. . . . . . We should invest more in our "inner selves" and we
will attract people, success, wealth, and happiness to us.
I always try to get into the mind of the opposing team. So some of you may be thinking, "this all sounds good, but I'm a person who lacks discipline, and I just don't think I can change." Here's the secret to discipline. I know what it is to be so exhausted that I can't keep my eyes open after work. I don't want to play with the kids, much less go and exercise, but I've learned that if you start at the most basic needs of the body, then you can gradually get into the higher disciplines.
So you must first get control of your life where you are getting proper sleep, this will give you better self-control. When you're tired it's easy to overeat and have an "I don't care attitude." Then once well rested, you will find it easier not to overeat. As you have more energy, you will have even greater will power to budget time to exercise. This results in even greater resolve, where then you want to visit your grandmother, who you haven't seen in months. This desire to think about other people's needs is the same person who was so frustrated a few weeks before because they had no time and their own needs were unsatisfied.
As you continue with this process, you will not look at it as a long list of "disciplines." Rather, one single act which began with a domino effect, where eventually, it becomes easy, and you look at ease with your new disciplined lifestyle.
So again, no excuses, unless you believe there are. Start this journey one step at a time. Start with the smallest most basic needs and work your way to higher levels.
President Reagan was ridiculed by his comments on the poor. He said something like why help them, they will always be poor. And some multi-millionaires in their books have you believe that "anyone can be a millionaire by the age of 40", as Jim Rohn states. I don't believe that. That is where this book is unique.
Although I want you to strive to be and do your best in all that you do, not everyone can climb to the top of the ladder. We are not all born equally. We each have different opportunities. My heart is heavy if a "successful" person pats himself on the shoulder and believes they arrived there all from their own hard work and persistence. They even get so self-centered to believe that others are inferior to them for not having "arrived" as they have. Woe to them! Vipers. That is why many people without money deplore people who have money. Yet, not everyone who is "rich" need to be so "stuck-up."
Being materialistic is not measured by what you have, but by what has you. You can be surrounded by many material things, yet still keep focused on helping your neighbor in need and spreading the Kingdom of God. Or you can own only one material thing and that object consumes your thoughts and passions. Think about it.
. . . . . . Being materialistic is not measured by what you have,
but by what has you.
Please do not assume that I am alluding to the fact that money will solve all of your problems. One would think that financial stress would cause extra tensions in a family, but studies show that there are equal divorce rates in all financial classes in life. Even more perplexing to me is that there are equal divorce rates in people who state they are Christians and attend church regularly than those who have a hard heart to the word of God. But there are no studies to measure the overall family harmony that exists if a family works together, gets enough rest, exercises, stays healthy, prays and budgets prudently. That is one of the objectives of the book, to remind people that in the recipe for a long and prosperous life, all of the ingredients are important. A gentle blend of all aspects of our lives must be constantly monitored by each individual. The task is not easy. It is the belief of the authors that if such delicate attention is given to the holistic topics that this book addresses, that family and personal harmony would soar. In the successful lives that we have studied, such attributes are indeed present.
. . . . . . to remind people that in the recipe for a long and
prosperous life, all of the ingredients are important.
Again, one of the themes of this book is balance. If we work hard and love what we do, and get on our knees to thank God for our rich harvest; that will result in a humble spirit. A spirit that does not raise itself above others, but strives to help others along the same path. I believe that spirit is a Godly one. Even in many churches and sermons, "success" is little spoken of and "money" or wealth is frowned upon. That is because many people don't share. For many people, it becomes their God, where they are blind to the needs of their families in their pursuit of financial freedom. In reality, they are not free, they have allowed money to shackle them and they are angry and unhappy.
What a deplorable sight to see someone who has so much, yet is never happy. That is because money brings with it more choices, more decisions, and more temptations. You must be able to say "I have enough, it is time to share with others."
Let's look at the master. How important was power, money, and prestige to God? His only son was born in a manger and studied under a carpenter. So let me give the proper attitude of this topic of money as I go on to finalize this chapter and, alas, finish this book. Proverbs tell us that our wealth can flee us quickly, so your security should never be in money, but in God's eternal promise to you. God sent His son to pay the price for your sins. Eternal salvation is the only, truly secure thing in this world. Then you are free.
I want you to be your best, yet feel God's love even if you can't seem to reach your high goals or low ones. If you follow God's laws and try to live without sin and respect others, you should prosper. If you then leave the path of wisdom and have no light to guide you, you will squander your talents and your money will burn a hole in your stomach. But, if you let God's words be a light to your feet, your journey through life will be a successful one and you will help others all along the way. What a beautiful way to live. What if we all did this?
Improve Your Ability to Cope with Stress
!STRESSED OUT!. . . . I'm having too many sleepless nights. My guts are turning -- thinking, thinking, (it won't leave my mind), thinking about the vindictive contempt and non-love or non-support some parents have for their children. If you are personally involved in such a travesty, such an incomprehensible act of evil and sin, I sympathize with you.
Parents on this order are not fit to raise their young; how even can I call them parents? Almost non-human are these wrong doers.
Some of these children survive despite all the hate and odds against them. Some break the chain of this gut wrenching criminal act that plagues our society. It is a vicious, ugly circle of endless parent/child abuse that is a generational hand me down. My heart bleeds for these children who fight for a life, their life, day after day -- year after year till, if, and when they can escape the grasp of such damnation; abuse on the highest order.
This is exactly where drug abuse starts along with all the other behavioral problems that our children have to shoulder.
Maybe you're an estranged or divorced parent who knows your child is suffering. You, too, are suffering right along, but the feeling is magnified ten times and the stress just about gets you hyperventilating. How can you possibly deal with that?
Normally, if you could not change a situation, you would get away from the action (not so in this case). Accept the situation, never! You cannot just do nothing. You have to do something . . . . But what?. . . . Time is ticking away and your stress is reaching stroke level! How is anyone to deal with this horrendous matter? . . . . I'm not sure . . . Maybe the doctor has some insight or ideas on how to diffuse this stress bomb . . . . .
. . . . . . Time is ticking away and your stress is reaching stroke level!
Sometimes, to overcome stress, I have had to wear many hats. To succeed in public speaking, I had to appear confident even when, at first, I was scared to death. To succeed in school, I had to push myself harder than I ever thought I could. During a triathlon, I had a "whatever it takes" attitude to finish the race even after I got a flat tire with eighteen miles to go.
Yet, I bear my soul to you now. Down deep, I have made this observation and this truth can change your life. I want you to be smart before it's too late and not get old too soon by applying all the little suggestions this book offers. There are times you must bring certain qualities out of your character to allow the stress to motivate you into positive action. So, here is my observation -- that one of the most single, important things you can do to live a longer life, and to have peace daily, is to have a personality that is quiet and easy-going. A gentle spirit, where very little bothers you.
Isn't this hypocritical, you may be wondering? To clarify, strive to possess a spirit of tranquility and peace, which at times may need to be confrontational or bolder. Yet, overall, if someone were to explain your overall personality, if they would say you have "a gentle, easy-going spirit;" I tell you, that single trait will help you the most to live a long life.
"Ok, so how do I get that", you're wondering? That could be another book. For me, following Jesus' example is my guide. He was a healer, a lover, a forgiver, a gentle Man who loved the children. Yet He spoke boldly to thousands in the fields, His anger grew when men sinned in the temple, and He was bold enough to challenge the smartest, most "spiritual" men of His day. Listen to those words of II Chronicles 7:14 -- Let God speak to your heart:
"If my people, will call by my name,
and humble themselves and pray;
If they seek my face and turn from their sins,
I will hear, I will forgive, and I will heal their land.
My eyes shall be opened, and my ears will attend
To the prayers that are spoken
From the hearts of humble men.
I have chosen and bless you
That my name will be yours
I have set my heart upon you
And my love will always endure."
You see, in brokeness and humble confession we need to allow God's healing peace diffuse the stresses that society bombards us with.
What wonderful words, what powerful words. Every person on this planet needs to heed those words. Then our land, our Mother Earth, will be healed. It's the best chance we have of survival. Let's not look and condemn the terrible deeds President Clinton did, may it cause us to look at our own hearts to repent.
So, that's my best suggestion on how to improve your ability to cope with stress. To put it all together for you, my "recipe" goes like this. Start on the physical level. Simplify your life, so with more free time you can get proper rest, exercise to reduce stress, eat right to help your body and mind to regenerate. Then on an emotional level as you humble yourself and strive to meet the needs of others, you will feel love and strength will fill your veins. but, then the higher level must be achieved to fully cope with stress, and that is the spiritual level.
Here is where a paradox lies. For the first two levels are achieved by you applying many, small disciplines to physically and emotionally transform your life. Now you must "let go" and realize that God is in control. To truly have a deep faith that says:
"God, give me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference."
This will diffuse your "stress bomb." If you seek God's council by reading His Word and talking to the right people, and you do all you can to right a wrong in your life, then you must have that "gentle spirit" to have confidence that all has been done. Now time and God's will, not yours, will unfold. That is as good as it gets in life. No sure guarantees, but a way for you to change your stress levels and find joy in the midst of pain in your life.
. . . . . . Now you must "let go" and realize that God is in control.
When we allow our worries to consume us, the fire will rage out of control. We will not sleep, we will tremble in fear that the worst is about to occur. We must stop this process from gaining momentum, and the sooner the better. As soon as you get a spark of doubt and fear in your mind, quench it with a dose of faith. A belief that God loves you, if you have done the best you could, He will honor your efforts and things will work out.
Some of us with more complicated problems, you will have to be extra patient and have more faith, but ultimately this same "recipe" will help you not to be consumed by anger, doubt, fear or worry. That anxiety can kill you, literally.
My heart saddens when I hear someone say "if they don't like it, that's just too bad. This is the way I am, and they will just have to accept me the way I am." This is usually said by someone who has just been rude to another person. But down deep, ponder this.
Don't we all have a "good side" and a "bad side" to our nature? A bold, selfish side and a gentle, loving side? I think we all do. I coach my children to change their mental "channel" and control the bad side and bring out the good side of our personality.
We all have good traits and bad traits. The goal is for each of us to say "Dear Lord, help me to be like clay, mold me so that I only radiate your Light." At times we are nasty, selfish, and want to control everything to get our own way. Yet, if we choose, we could be more understanding, more forgiving, more loving. If we think about it, we have the power to choose to be how we are. Choose to change, choose to bring out your best self.
Do you see what this book is proposing? That if you don't take a pill every time you are achy, your immune system will get stronger. That if you exercise more routinely, your body will be stronger physically. By getting rest and proper nutrition, your body will be stronger emotionally. Then as you overcome the stresses in life, your "spiritual muscle" will also get stronger. With God's help, as the years go by, you will be healthy and sound, and then nothing in this world will break you. You can then be a strength for others. What a wonderful position to be in. What a wonderful goal to aim your sights on: overcoming one day at a time, one stress at a time. Dissect your problems, don't let the big picture overwhelm you. Skyscrapers are built one brick at a time, books are written one word at a time.
For some of you, the stresses in life seem insurmountable. You are at the end of your rope and you just want to give up. I have seen such utter despair and pain in my office, and if I could reach my arms through these pages I would come out and give you a hug to encourage you. When life seems that bad, you have to just take one day at a time, and eventually have the faith that things will work out; and they usually do. At those moments, I have seen people battling cancer, death or other serious stresses and as they submit their life to God, a peace overcomes them. If God takes care of the sparrows, they believe He will take care of their problems, for they have done all they could, and they are at peace. It is beautiful to see such a transformation in a person's life.
Do you know what I think it really takes, the bottom line for you reading this book, if you believe you can really change your life? Listen closely. The day that turns your life around is the day you are so disgusted with your present state that you say, "that's it. I've had it!" Then we all have the seeds of motivation within us, once we have a Godly self-esteem to literally start the gradual process of changing our thoughts, actions, behavior, attitude; our lives.
. . . . . . The day that turns your life around is the day you are so
disgusted with your present state that you say "that's it. I've had it!"
It usually takes a single stimulus to get the reaction rolling. Maybe the catalyst is when your neighbor dies of lung cancer, then after you have tried everything else, you stop smoking "cold-turkey" the next day. Maybe you walk into the closet and see several wardrobes that you're not wearing anymore because you can't fit into them. Maybe this book will help to put the package together to encourage you to look for beauty in each day. Yes, the day that turns your life around is when you get disgusted with your bad habits, make a decision to change, build a desire to be better and finally you will have resolve which says; "I will" and you will never give up!
If a fraction of this book is applied, you will have much less stress in your life and more joy. You can improve your ability to cope with stress by first realizing that "if you are responsible in small matters, you will be responsible in big matters." In fact, if you are not responsible with the little daily disciplines, you will never have the greater joys of life that I believe God wants us to achieve.
Our goal is not to give you a guilt complex where you give all you have to the poor. Yet, our hope is first of all that you will conserve on food, water and the other wastes of our progressive society. Then you will have a spirit of thankfulness, rather than one where you are never satisfied. What a difference in attitude that self-discovery alone could be!
Joan Biaz said it well, "you don't get to choose how or when you will die. You only can decide how you can live." This book has shared our life's philosophies in many areas. We want you to decide to live a Godly life, which will result in an inner harmony for you. That peace and strength will then be generated into your family, your job, and your community. Such health, such vibrance, will be contagious and all that you are associated with will succeed. You will share that success and give God honor and as the sun sets on your life, you will not "retire" and be forgotten.
We seem to be attracted to things we cannot have. So many people dream of winning the loot so they can retire and never work again. Be not fooled. I have met people whom either, through hard work or an inheritance, retired when they were young, say forty years old, and it was no fun; they became lonely. All their friends are still busy working! Ah, here is the real quest: To work for the sheer pleasure of keeping productive with your life and helping others where you financially do not have to work, but you actually just enjoy doing that activity. I suggest you can do this twenty-five hours per week, so you have the time, energy, and will power to read, exercise, and help others. That is what I've seen is the true beauty of "retirement."
You may leave your job, but you will find ways to still be productive and feel worthwhile. Oh, how many grandparents feel lonely and forgotten, while their grandchildren are bored because their parents are so busy to make a better future for them? You will share your wisdom with the next generation; be it fishing, shooting a basketball or teaching children that the beginning of wisdom is to honor and respect the Lord. You will have lived every moment fully, and will have left a legacy behind you in which your name will be honored and future generations will strive to fulfill the dreams that you planted in them.
Then, when the day comes that your breath will not add to the breezes of life; you will have days of joy. A contentment knowing that you ran the race of life as best you could. You saw so many people who were full of fear, anger, depression, and loneliness. You did not understand everyone's problems, nobody will, but you know the Lord does. In fact, you gave strength to others in helping them to understand that God knows our needs and pains better than we do. You were a source of strength that whispered to people's hearts "don't be afraid, don't be afraid." You realized that you must have a source of peace inside of you before you can be a source of peace for others and the world about you. You never tired in giving to others because you realized you can only stop, when God stops giving to you.
You rose above a lot of the unhealthy habits of those around you. You nurtured your body and mind by paying attention to the small daily disciplines of life in abiding by the basic rules of nature. You gained control of time and exercised to keep your body and mind fit. You understood the chiropractic story and had your entire family checked to ensure they all had the best nerve supply they could possibly have. You were patient, made gradual changes, and with God's guidance, your daily routines resulted in a life of health and vibrance. You overcame the obstacle of money which plagues many people, and by coping with stress better, your life turned out better than you could have dreamed of.
Before you read this book, you might have been half way into a grave. Now, someone pulled you out and, with proper knowledge put into practice, you did not get old too soon, and smart too late. You lived each moment wisely and had a long, productive life. You see love all around you as you take your final breath. No regrets, with peace and joy in your heart. That is our prayer . . . . Make it your reality!
Some After Thoughts
You were fixed up one time too many and now you most desperately want to hang on to experience another lifetime and not leave your loved ones. How can you accept your early demise just a few months away? Lying on your death bed, you have nothing, and I mean nothing, to trade, offer or deal with -- for another twenty to sixty years of life. Which is, for the most part, another lifetime. You meant to start life changes, good habits, diet, exercise and such, many times over the years, and now you wish you did.
You waited too long!
So, how much control do we, as humans, have to determine the length of our life? . . . . More than you think! But -- if you go with the mainstream flow, modern life will surely shorten our already short precious time we have on earth.
A few tips and some retrospect:
1. Do no evil -- why be a tormented soul with a conscience that haunts you.
2. Stay natural -- all aspects of life need attention here.
3. Exercise -- get into the habit and get educated to the facts.
4. Fresh air -- ventilate your house, especially at night.
5. Diet -- get back to Eden (most meals should be prepared by you).
6. Stay active -- pursue goals.
7. Enjoy each moment -- at work, play and rest.
8. Never give up -- life is not always fair: adapt, improvise, and overcome.
9. Be nice and stay calm -- it's nice to be nice; cross worry off your emotional make-up list.
10. Stay young -- stay young in your mind and try to remember the feeling of well being you had as a kid and look for it again.
Every day is a stepping stone, it's up to you to make it a step up and not down. Don't look for support in your endeavors; the general public still does not understand, does not want to understand and is jealous. Be humble in your quest and support will come.
A Labor of Love by. . .