Tag Archives: Mental health

Why you Shouldn’t Make Goals (and Why I changed my Blog Title)

The most powerful question you can ever answer in life is WHY?

Not a sentence or a thought-just a soul probing why. Think back to your childhood, every instruction you received was always met with a defiant “why do I have to_____”

As we progress out of childhood we are trained to forget about the why and focus on the what.

  • What type of education you should get?
  • What political platforms you should support?
  • What type of lifestyle is normal?
  • What goals you should have?

Our natural childlike curiosity gets assaulted so often that we find ourselves lost in the zombie matrix of right/wrong, acceptable/unacceptable, do/don’t, sit/stand, and obey without question. 

So many of us make goals for the sake of having goals. It makes us feel safe, comfortable, and responsible. I agree that goals are good-after they’ve been stripped naked and examined. Any good action can be end up with the worst consequences. Dont be fooled, smart people make stupid mistakes all the time!

How do you begin the strip tease of your life? Ask WHY!

Why is beautiful because it addresses your heart and your intentions. It exposes your motives and your mentality. Asking why is certain to uncover things that you don’t want to see about yourself but are guaranteed to help you improve areas of your life. 

Answer these two questions:

  • What are you going to do tomorrow afternoon?
  • Why are you going to do that tomorrow afternoon?

Your answer to the second question is likely to be lengthier and longer to compose.

Your going to work….do you still know why you work there?                                                                                                                                                       You plan on going to hit the gym to burn off that sweet potato cheese pie your having today…but why work it off if you’re just going to have more pie on Wednesday?                                                                                                                                              You’re having dinner with your  boyfriend/girlfriend…do you still want to be with them or are you just wasting time?

We spend our days thinking of the things we want to achieve and some of the goals that will get us there. Often times our goals become a way of life that never brings about an end goal but instead just becomes a new source of frustration and hopelessness.

For a long time I have kept serious and well-thought goals, it’s boring! My outlook on life has changed because instead of making goals for the sake of goals-I want to focus on the me of the future.

Instead of setting a goal for accomplishment why not begin with taking an inventory of who YOU are and who you want to become. A better alternative, and more fun. When I think of my blog I could focus on a niche, or a set schedule of posts, or generate content that is innovative or edgy but the easiest decision is to follow my heart.

Being an epic father is a better vision than being a great blogger. I am starting to see a vision the man I want to be. If I can follow this vision then I will always content to post, stories that inspire, and successful ministry in my home.

 Am I telling you to drop your goals…NO. I’m telling you that you should never start out with a goal until you allow yourself to be a child who asks WHY and develop a vision of the YOU that you were born to be.

Develope a fun and healthy obsession with your potential. Don’t take a single step until your WHY is firmly established. Don’t try to hate sweet potato cheese pie-that’s impossible!!!!!! Instead envision yourself with abs, a firm chest, or a silm waist-work on the vision until you can see it. Get excited over you! Can you see yourself with a college degree yet? Goto a graduation! Do what you have to do to get more excited about your life than anything else in life!

Here’s a great video to help you get started discovering your WHY

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Deadly Techniques from the School of Emotional Kung Fu!

Here I am trying to think of what to write not knowing what to write but insisting that I write……What that means to me is that I have been able to be consistent in what I set out to do. I don’t feel like writing now but I do it because I made the decision to do it in the past. This is one of the secret Shaolin fighting monk techniques of mastering your own life….a.k.a. how I started to take responsibility for my own life!

Three years ago……(really cool scooby doo flashback music playing)

I was fresh into a divorce and enrolled in counseling for the worst depression I have ever experienced. I had taken a leave of absence from ministry (I am a Minister. Don’t get all weird on me!). I was maintaining but not sustaining anything. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning. I would wake up around 6am and just lay there until 8 or 9. No tv or music. Just lying there I’d cry, look up, try to fall back asleep, sometimes smoke a cigarette….anything to escape or deny my reality. My life wasn’t my life, it was an auto-piloted chamber of torment…on two legs!

My Choices: Escape, Evade, or Explode!

One lesson I learned about mental and emotional isolation….it’s lonely. When you’re alone you are always outnumbered (that’s a good quote for a fb status or tweet eh!? -bowing-). My breakthrough started when I realized a profound truth after visiting a very dear friend who was in the hospital on life support. He had battled with alcoholism for most of his adult life and had seen tremendous struggle throughout his life with other issues, but despite all this he was a very good man who I respected. His family was around his bed and I heard his daughter make a remark that I will never forget. She said: “It’s his own fault, he put his self there.” And just like that, they left the room and went on with their day.

What lesson did I learn? In the face of your own personal devastation and trials people either don’t care or don’t have enough capacity to carry you along with their own problems. The majority of people are too preoccupied with their own issues to weigh in on yours.

It’s a waste of time to look for people to feel sorry for you! And guess what else? It’s a waste of time to feel sorry for yourself.

I began to take responsibility for my recovery and get awesome! It’s been a road of making decisions and managing those decisions. In time I have learned that the battle with depression, much like most inner battles, never ceases but attacks in waves. It’s like those good ol kung fu movies where waves of assassins would come and attack a master. The greater the master the more the attacks! Well I must be a Grand Master because the attacks are many and…yet…I am still standing strong! I have continually kicked the crap out of my struggles with esteem, depression, anger, and impatience by secret techniques acquired by years of awesome life design techniques I’ve picked up and committed myself to.

#1 Soul Care “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body”- C.S. Lewis

My first step in training to become a Master began with seeing how weak and powerless I was. If your drowning in the middle of the ocean then you need to be ready to receive help…if you don’t want to die. I got counseling from Todd, a great counselor at CCEF. Life deals some devastating hits to us and the place of impact is your soul. It must be cared for and protected as you do your own eyes.  If I pluck at your eyes you instinctively guard your face, well Daniel-son you must instinctively care for your own soul!!

Make a declaration of absolute war against every impulse of the soul to be violent towards other people! That means selfishness, pride, dishonestly, falsehood, deception, manipulation, etc.

#2 Embrace Change, expect failure, calm the heck down!

Change has always been hardest for me to handle. Positive change or negative change, I’ve never liked either. I like to remain in my comfort zone. That’s not safe. Change is always going to come and life has lots of turns and bends. Guess what? Change can be very good!!   Not always, but most times breakdowns are optional! Your reaction to life events is a result of preparation and perspective.

Paralyzed by failure, or the fear thereof?

Those circumstances that paralyze you can lead to breakthroughs! John Maxwell wrote a book called Failing Forward. It’s a totally great read to change your perspective on failure! I highly recommend it.

make change a part of your regular routine.

You will fail and make mistakes, pressure will be a regular occurrence. The payout: a vaccination against future uncontrollable circumstances that would otherwise shock and intimidate you.

#3 Vision

Honestly speaking, I have days where I am too excited to stay in bed. I have plans and goals that are so big, so overwhelmingly lofty, so full of potential to break people out of their own monotonous existence that I get poised in my purpose and get moving.

You need a vision plan! (I’ll be writing more in this soon in my post on world domination n 2011. Don’t forget to subscribe)

For instance, today I am doing my annual review from Chris Guilebeau and adding some notes for 2011 Vision plan. also check out the Creating a Legacy Project

#4 Dethrone Every Freakin Person you meet

One of my biggest struggles was with making idols out of people. I picked up a copy of Ed Welch‘s book When People are Big and God is Small and I have never been the same. When we learn to see people as fallible, fallen, and fractured just like us we get empowered to love and not be leveled by our relationships. Here‘s a synopsis of the book by Justin Taylor.

#5 Theme Music

Yep! I said theme music. I have seen and experienced first hand the effect music can have on you. Music can lift your spirit, calm your soul, or heat up a steamy moment (you know what I’m talking about!). You need the right playlist to get you amped, focused, and motivated.  Check out this article on music’s effects on the brain

My motivational music is a mixture of drama, bass (Hans Zimmer rocks!), and worship

Of course this is not the exhaustive guide to conquering depression. Not even close. This is my story of a battle, a struggle, a besieging of my soul that I have fought against (was that not the best Shakespearean comment you ever heard!?). My hope is that as you read and think about what’s been said here you will get girded up with your own techniques to be a conqueror in fighting for your life…and win!

For exciting dynamite kick-butt advice read 10 Resolutions for Mental Heath here

Note/Disclaimer: If you feel depressed or think you have a mental/emotional condition I encourage you to seek counsel immediately.  Go to a doctor or find a counselor here if you are in or near Philadelphia. If you want to hurt yourself or someone else PLEASE stop and get emergency help. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!

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7 Words that Losers use Everyday

My soul is a furnace of rage when I listen to you. While you’re talking I’m zoning out, looking at the floor,  texting,  and nodding my head while spitting out “that’s crazy!” I respect you, that’s why I listen, but i hate everything you are saying, that’s why I can’t pay attention. It’s a hard thing to do. Your lips are moving but what you don’t see is how deceived you are. Somewhere along the line you feel like you got dealt a bad hand and now you have an arsenal of worthless projectiles that you fill the air with to vent. Vent away, but understand that 20 minutes from now NOTHING will have changed. Just so you understand for next time, here are 7 words that immediately flip my “off” switch.

Losers? Isn’t that mean? Call it what you will but at the end of the day when you look back over things that you have said, those 7 words turn out to be little containers of negative energy that bounced around inside of you and are just buried waiting to return tomorrow.

1. Owe

Number one buzzword for losers! They OWE me. You OWE me. He OWE’s me. She OWE’s me.  Here’s a synonym for it: Entitlement. Or another way of saying it, I did something for you that I want a return on.

Here’s the breakdown of your ‘owe me’ mentality:

  • half the time: you don’t really deserve the handout your raving over. You have overestimated yourself and your performance.
  • Some of the time: you have been screwed over…..(crickets chirping). It sucks…alot! You can chose to pursue some type of real resolution, get some counseling (I’m serious, some things are that bad), or move on. Life is too precious. The people that you are mad at DO NOT CARE! Pursue forgiveness for your own good and mental health and progress in life. I say again, learn what forgiveness looks like!!!
  • All of the time:  You gained a good lesson, lost a bad friend (be happy), and are beginning to waste alot of time over something that other people don’t care about.

Reality Check: You most likely owe yourself more than anybody on this earth ever will! Take inventory

2. Fair

“Life isn’t fair!” Agreed. Most of the times the circumstances we experience are not fair to us. We get cheated, taken advantage of,  and downright abused. I hate that. Injustice, inequality, and indifference make me sick to my freakin stomach. That being said, circumstances are typically more in your favor than you think. You just have to start empowering yourself to take control.  If your a history buff you may know the story of Napoleon and the battle of Jena. in short, when he was given the news of some very grim circumstances that he would face if he decided to fight this battle Napoleon firmly replied: “circumstances, what are circumstances? i make my own circumstances.” That statement is not totally true. Circumstances and opportunities are made by God. He has the plan and the resources. What belongs to you is the God-given sense to recognize opportunities to better yourself and work on a better future.

3. Tired

“I’m too tired” is a bad excuse. You must check your motivation. Most things we avoid doing because of something mental. If someone offered you more money or an extended vacation to do just a few of the things you have been putting off you would jump at it. It’s all attitude. Don’t try to figure out where to start fixing this issue, just start doing something today. as you do more you will get more inspired and fired up to obtain more progress. Maybe even do dishes, vacuum, clean the car (now I’m convicted).  Learn to be an early riser.

4. Can’t

“I can’t”

I read Rich Dad Poor Dad. One thing that will stick with my forever is the lesson Robert Kiyosaki gave on “I can’t”. instead of using “I can’t” try replacing it with the question: ‘How can I…’

This is a very good technique because it trains you, and your kids (if you’re a parent), to think more creatively and to stop giving up all the time. It’ll also get the kiddies to quiet down before they keep whining over that new toy or video game they have been, or are about to be, begging you for.

5. Feel

“I just feel like….”

UGH! Hate this one probably the most. Steven Aitchison has a post called8 Destructive thinking patterns and how to change them where he lists at #6 the ’emotion-based’ thinking pattern. Please understand that your feelings can be quit dangerous and destructive to your life. Know your principles and live and die by them. You never heard anybody giving an interview about becoming a success say “well you know, I just started feeling like I would be productive and persevere through life”.

6. Busy

Stop. De-clutter.  Don’t confuse busyness with Productivity!

7. Tomorrow

“Just give me until tomorrow…”

I can’t stand you. By now just remembering how many times you use this word kills me. Please understand that today is a blessed gift. See it like that. Learn to number your days and get wisdom.

This is not an exhaustive list on the loser vocab. There are some others, like ‘shoulda,coulda,woulda’, that I have not mentioned. I think you are on the way to being a more productive person and a better conversationalist. There are tons of people that we all will encounter today that use this sad list of words all too often but the great thing about it is that as you start to apply the necessary principles (and vocabulary) of a winner you will begin to think differently and act differently. There is a huge harvest of loser-types out there just waiting for you to do for them what I have done for you. Let’s get free and make some ripples!

 

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