Do you really want to change your world?

Do you want better friendships?

A better relationship with the Lord?

A greater heart for service?

A happier home life?



Write it down. “Here’s what I want to change…”

Wanting to change and wishing to change are two different things.

If you want things to change, but you’re not willing to put in the work, then you’re wishing.

If you decide you want change, but you’re not willing to pay the price, then you’re dreaming.

Deciding is not singular. It’s not a one-time event. It’s not a solitary thought.

Deciding includes thinking, planning, plodding and producing.

It’s not linear. There will be distractions, diversions and derailments.

But if you’ve truly made the decision, you keep going. You keep pushing. You keep paying. You keep praying.

Just because you’re making a “good” decision doesn’t mean it will be simple or easy. Just because you want to grow as person and impact your world doesn’t mean you won’t get damaged along the way.

For some reason we tend to think that setting good goals will somehow protect us from the battle. Since we’re doing the “right thing” then everything should just fall into place.

(Here’s some ammonia to sniff. Breathe deep. Wake up!)

In fact, often the opposite is true.

Let’s say you decide to be a better mom. You read books, attend seminars, follow advice and become a living sacrifice… then what happens? Everyone takes you for granted! 🙂

Our decision for change cannot be based on our reception or acceptance. We serve because it’s who we are and what we give not what we get.

We move with precise intention. Focusing on doing the right things at the right times.  But it begins with an intentional decision.

Back to the original question…

Do you REALLY want to change your world?

It may get expensive. It will definitely be challenging, even heartbreaking at times. It will also be filled with laughter, joy and excitement.

It will simply be life.

Success is NOT an Accident,

“I’ll Work on That”

When someone says, “You know, you really need to change…”

Too often we get defensive.

Too often we get hurt.

Too often we point to a flaw in the person telling us what to change.

Too often we justify.

Instead, like my buddy did in the last post, we could just say, “I’ll work on that.”

And then do it.

Work on it.

Example: “I’m SICK of the way our house is a wreck because you will never pick anything up!”

The proper response is NOT…

“Well, you don’t seem to be doing to much with yourself, so I certainly didn’t think the house mattered.”

Repeat. That is NOT that way to respond.

Instead… “I’ll work on that.”

Then do it.

No committee is necessary. You don’t need to read a book on how to pick up after yourself. You don’t need a seminar or course.

Most of the changes we need to make are simple. Just a tiny bit of thought. A little awareness.

“Huh, there’s underwear hanging on that lamp. Seems like something should be done… ahhhhhhh… I could take that to the laundry!”

See. Simple.

And MOST of life is like that. MOST of the changes we need to make are like that. Simple.

If pride doesn’t get us first.

If we can accept that helping others doesn’t make us look weak.

That doing something, even if it’s status quo, doesn’t make us a sellout.

Let’s listen to what those around us say we need to change. Let’s change. At the very, very least let’s say…

“I’ll work on that.”


Initiative is War!

“Have a New Kid By Friday”

“Reach All Your Goals In 30 Days”

“Click 3 Buttons And Get Rich Online.”

Fast. Easy. Impossible results.

That’s all we want. And delivered within the next hour thank you.

Some change actually is easy. But most is war. It’s a battle. And there are injuries.

How often do you hear people say…

“Wow, I never knew raising children was so easy? No conflict or drama. It’s so hard to believe they do every single thing I say without sass.”

“Losing those 33 pounds was a cinch. I love tuna from a can. Donuts and pizza? Don’t make me throw up, just give me a handful of almonds any day.”

“I am so glad I started my own business. It’s so much easier than an 8-5 job. I hate getting a dependable paycheck with little risk on my part. It’s so much better to wonder if I am going to get a check at all each month.”

Regardless of the goal, there will be blood.

It will be harder than fantasied. You will want to give up. Many times you will.

Steven Pressfield calls this Resistance.

“Resistance cannot be seen, heard, touched, or smelled. But it can be felt… Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Our lives want, even demand, comfort and immediate gratification.

The sooner we accept that hard work and war are required for impact and achievement – the sooner we’ll hop out of the hammock and take up our swords.

Better Off

Better Off

OK, so you want to change your world.

You’ve decided.

You’re serious.

You want to be able to lay down at night, review the day and say, “Yep, it was good for me to be alive today.”

I know that sounds a little egocentric.

You can’t really go around saying, “You’re lucky I’m alive,” can you?

Well, I wouldn’t go around saying it out loud, but it’s pretty important that you feel important in order to generate the change you’re wanting to see in your world.

In Philippians 1, Paul wrestled between going to be with the Lord or staying here.

I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Paul says, “You’re better off because of me.” He knew that his life made a difference. (Even though he would have preferred to move on.)

Sit down and think for 15-20 solid minutes.

Write down how others are better off because of you. This isn’t to make you feel superior. It’s to help you see you’re essential.

Make a list of the people you come in contact with the most. Write out beside each name the positive ways you contribute to their lives.

This isn’t the time for false humility. Even George Bailey found out how important he was when he was at an all time low in It’s a Wonderful Life.

Initiative is Movement


Don’t just sit there… thinking… about how you want your life to be.


Take a step.

Read the book by your bedside that promises to help you through depression.

Take the painting course to unleash the Picasso you’re captivating.

Get a sadist of a personal trainer to get you back in shape.

Turn off the computer and put down the phone. Then get in the yard with that kid who sits on the coach with ball and glove.

Set your alarm, jump up and head to your local soup kitchen to help for the morning.

Make a list of five people and write notes of gratitude.

What is it that you’ve been MEANING to do, but ignoring?

You life won’t change for the better without movement. Meditation is good for clarity. Movement is critical for change.

Make Every Day Count

Today is a NEW day. The good news is that tomorrow will be new too! So our question is how do we get the most from each day?Make Each day Count Done By Zac Young @ Bod.ModX

Personally, I feel it’s important to be able to say, “This was a valuable day” right before closing my eyes. (Note: That’s not the same as a “good” day. Our days can be rough, but still be valuable.)

Value simply means a contribution took place. Someone was helped or served. The contribution can also be to ourselves when we take the time to grow as individuals.

While I don’t believe we can make EVERY moment count, I do think we can make every day count. Here are a few ways…

#1 Serve.

Make a deliberate, conscious, intentional effort to make another’s life better.

Maybe that’s leaving a larger tip at lunch or taking a prayer request from the cashier that looks down and out.

#2 Grow.

Become a better human being.

Where are your gaps as a person? What “issues” do you have that need to change? Work on those.

Of course, one of the greatest ways to do this is by having a daily Bible study time. You’ll be challenged, convicted and changed all at the same time! ☺

#3 Produce.

Don’t drift through the day. Make a list of what you need to do and do it. Even if you’re at the same old boring job each day, make your list. Check things off. Look at it at the end of the day and KNOW you’ve accomplished what you set out to accomplish.

Being productive is within our design. Adam and Eve were placed in the garden to work it, not just to enjoy it.

#4 Reflect.

Review your day. Accept your achievements. Give yourself some credit.

Now review where you blew it. Think about how to improve.

#5 Procrastinate.


There are times when you NEED to procrastinate. When you’re not firing on all cylinders and you know you’ll do a bad job, and you can wait, then wait.

If your children drive you crazy and you’re about to punish out of pure exasperation… procrastinate. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.

How do you make sure every day counts? Leave your comments below.

What Will They Lie About?

What Will They Lie About?

You’ve either heard about or done this exercise…

“Write your eulogy today. Write down everything you want said about you at your funeral. Now go out an live that way!”

Good exercise.

Here’s another.

If you died today what would the preacher lie about at your funeral? How would your imperfections be reframed into strengths?

“Bob wanted everyone to do their best.”

I.E. – He was hard on people and no one liked him.

“You could always count on Sally to know who was hurting and needed extra attention.”

I.E. – She was a gossip and couldn’t wait to light up the phones with the latest tidbit.

Step 1: What lies would be told about you?

What would be massaged, tweaked and repositioned to make you look good?

Write everything down.

Step 2:Change those things right now because who really wants a bunch of liars at the funeral?

Tornado Watch

Our area is under a tornado watch.

Gusting winds. Dark grey sky. Rumbling in the clouds.

Local weathermen and women fill the channels and commentate like Brent Musburger on Monday Night Football. (Lot’s being said, but most of it doesn’t make sense.)


“Please move to an interior room of your house.”

“Take precaution.”


Be ready BEFORE the tornado comes. Prepare yourself and your family and friends for the storm.

You don’t wait for the winds to take the roof and say, “Anybody got a plan?”

Sure, you can ignore the signs (sorta like I am doing by writing this right now.) But it doesn’t change the danger.


You know what your personal tornados. You know what triggers your storm. You know the pattern in your life that causes you to swirl out of control.

Don’t deny it.

Don’t ignore it.

You know ahead of time the damage of your words.

You know ahead of time the destructive force of your actions.

You know ahead of time the devastation left in your path when you really get loose.

Take PREcaution.

PREpare a song or scripture or quote or memory to calm to the storm. To bring you focus. Something simple you can remember and act on immediately. (It’s to late to turn on the weather channel after the house blows away.)

“Well, sometimes I just lose it.”


“If you knew my (friend/wife/child/co-worker), you would see I have a right to (shout/argue/maim).”

That’s stupid.

A good reason to damage does not exist.

Success is NOT an Accident,



Shock and Awe

A friend of mine is changing his world.

If you met him, he appears calm. Easygoing. But he actually has some anger issues.

It doesn’t take too much to set him off.

He never loses it physically. He more or less hits the button of “What’s wrong with you? That’s just stupid!”

(Granted, who doesn’t have a low tolerance level for stupid on the loose?)

At a recent family gather he lost it a bit with his wife. His father saw him and pulled him to the side. “You know you really shouldn’t treat her that way.”

My friend didn’t blow up. He agreed. So he decided to change… or at least make an effort until he changed for good.

The other day he went ballistic while watching TV. It was just a game. No big deal. He felt it was a great outlet for his compressed rage. 🙂


His girl thought the outburst would teach their child to erupt.

“I don’t think you should do that,” she said.


She continued, “Get all crazy. It’s a bad example.”

He swallowed.

The emotion he built through the game was right on the surface again.

He stared. He fought back his emotions.

Then he said…

“I’ll work on that.”

She yelled, “I’m serious! Quit joking around!”

Shock and awe, baby. Shock and awe!



I Cheated and I Regret It!


It began six months ago. New. Brand-new to running. Every step a pain. Every breath burned. The first mile felt like the green mile.

A buddy thought a half-marathon would be a good motivation. So we trained for eight weeks. We entered. We raced – sorta. But we did finish!!!

And the running continued.



I figured it would be a nice time to take a break. It was cold outside. Family and friends were warm inside. And then there was… the food.

Like with most holidays, there were cakes, cookies and pies (and that’s just the healthy stuff!).

So I cheated.

I tossed my eating lean plan and my running plan for two days of excess simply because… I deserved it.

That’s right. I deserved it. I had been “doing good.” Running regularly. Not eating burgers every day like I did in the past. What could two days hurt?


I didn’t realize just how much I deserved. Two days stretched to three, then five, then… oh, well, by then it was a new year. And by then I had gained weight.

But with a new year comes resolutions. So I strapped on those running shoes and took off. And it hurt! It wasn’t like it had been, just two precious weeks before!

The heavier body and zero exercise for two weeks actually made a negative difference. Who would have thought?

A half-mile out and my legs felt like the jelly donuts I had been shoveling.

I stopped.

I walked (hobbled) back home.


Angry at myself for cheating. I regretted it.

Thankfully I am back on track now having vowed to stay disciplined “this time.”

You’re going to be tempted to cheat, too.

In the process of moving from worse to better you will make great strides. Your world will begin to change. You’ll make a real impact.

Then one day you’ll get the feeling that you’ve been trying so hard that you deserve to let go a bit.

So you share a little gossip.

“Ah… felt good.” And you can always refocus tomorrow.

You lose it with one of your children. Instead of apologizing, you rationalize. “Well, I’ve been sweet for three weeks now. Don’t want him thinking he can run over me.”

You don’t keep your weekly commitment to the soup kitchen where you signed on to serve for the year. “They don’t really need me. There are plenty of helpers.”

And if you’re not careful – very careful – a day turns into two and then into a week and pretty soon you’ve reverted to a little better version of the worse you.

And you’ll regret it. And those around you will regret it as well. And instead of the world being a little better because of you, it will be a little worse because of you.

That’s no fun for anyone.

So let’s keep running.

No more cheating.





Worse to Better

Moving from Worse to Better

Think about anything that you used to stink at and how you got better.

#1 You learned.

#2 You practiced.

#3 You improved.

And possibly…

#4 You mastered.

OK… Take out the list you made in “Worse Off.”

What needs to change immediately? What’s your first order of business?

Here’s what you do…

*Put a star by it.

*List everyone it affects.

*Call them individually.

*Tell them you realize you’ve been a jerk.

*Tell them you’re changing.

*Ask for forgiveness.

*Prove your words by changing your actions.


Go back to the top of the section…

#1 Learn

What resources will you need to make it possible? Maybe a book on positive attitude. Perhaps a weekend of sensitivity training. You might need some anger management session. (Perhaps medication, but that’s a different book altogether.)

Seek the solution. Don’t just “think” about becoming better. Study how to become better in the specific area you need the most help in.

#2 Practice.

Put it into action. Take what you’re learning and DO IT!

Yes, it will feel awkward at first. Even fake. Right, the people you’ve damaged will look at you like you’re crazy. They will think it’s a trick.

Time… and practice… will suspend the disbelief.

Because you will improve. You WILL improve. You will change. You will become different. You will make their lives better off.

Worse Off




Overbearing negativism.


Know-it- all-ism

Emotional abuse.

Physical abuse.

All of those and more, make your world worse off. They’re not constructive. No one becomes better off because of them.

The “better off” list you made in the last chapter is hard because we don’t naturally think about the good inside of us. However, making a “worse off” list can be tough too.

1. We tend to mask our issue.

We frame like this…

“I’m not a very good husband” instead of “I’m emotionally brutal.”

“I could be a better employee” instead of  “I constantly complaining and rarely work after I’m clocked in. I’m actually stealing from the company.”

“I’m not very encouraging” instead of “I’m a raging gossip that’s out of control.”

2. We tend to justify the issue.

“I wouldn’t be this way if ________”

“I’m just trying to be firm so they understand ______.”

“If I made more money I would ________.”

Living in worse off ways drains the life from others.

I bet you have a list of people you avoid because they are so draining.

Here’s a question…

Are people avoiding you?

Make your list of ways that you make your world worse off and then we’ll talk about the initiative it takes to turn that around.



Make the best decision you can and move on.

Stop analyzing.

Stop wondering if this decision is the BEST decision.

You can’t know. You can guess at the outcome, but you can’t know the outcome until you decide and do.

Fear and doubt combine their forces to prevent personal growth. They’re like evil “Wonder Twins.” They’re the villains to the hero inside you. The hero who has hopes and dreams. The hero that wants to do something great – or at least wants to do something.

Fear shouts…

“Who are you to _____?”

“Wow, are you ever going to embarrass yourself.”

Doubt whispers…

“You remember how things turned out last time?”

“Are you sure you’ve got it in you?”

Henry David Thoreau framed many of us long ago…

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

Fear and doubt love that.

Decision prevents that.

Decide right now what you will do TODAY to make your world better.

What will you do today to make yourself better?

Success is NOT an Accident!




Dreamers draw detractors.

Detractors distract.

Detractors disillusion.

Detractors divert.

Maybe it’s jealousy. The inability to dream on their own.

Maybe it’s revenge. They let the crowd get to them long ago and pressure them to compromise their plans.

Maybe it’s simple pride. When you feel like you’ve let life pass you by it’s hard to watch another passionately pursue what you should have chased long ago.

Regardless… don’t get…


Detractors show up from far and near. It may be a harsh letter from an anonymous client, or a judgmental look from a friend.

Assuming that you can set out to make a difference without critics is a bit demented.

It might sound crazy, but welcome them, “Ah, I knew you were coming. Ive been looking for you.”


There’s no reason to internalized words or actions from a rival. What good can come from it? Do you honestly believe anyone actually cares that you’ve withdrawn into a mental prison reliving hurtful events in frame by frame slo-mo? Do you think that stewing, and scheming, and sitting out of life bothers your skeptics in the least?

Allowing detractors to derail you only let’s them win. You lose. People you help lose. Those who believe in you lose. If you’re going to sit out because someone questions your dreams then go get a big t-shirt. Get LOSER printed on it. Wear it boldly.

You think that’s strange?

Why not wear on the outside, what you feel on the inside… unless… you’re willing to…

Suck It Up

I’m not going to baby you and tell you that your good enough and you’re smart enough. I’m not going to hold your hand and coddle you. (You can go pick up about 143,634 soft psychology mumbo jumbo books to help you with that.)

This is YOUR life. You’ve got ONE. Don’t give detractors permission to control it.

It’s doesn’t matter if your 22 or 92. Life is tough. It’s rough. It swings hard and fast. To expect less is to be naive.

So suck it up. No whining. No complaining. No excuses. No compromise!




Stop calculating. Stop planning.




You’ve heard the famous quote… “We become what we think about.”

Aristotle got closer, “We become what we repeated do.”

Thinking is good for initial engagment.

Doing is essential for results.

Our mind plays tricks. It wants us to get consumed with thoughts and equate thinking with action. Good luck with that.

Instead, try this little test…

Get a partner.

Ask him or her to think about losing weight all the time.

Meanwhile, you exercise and eat healthy.

In 6 weeks compare the results.


The Scourge of Perfection

I hate perfectionism.

It crushes dreams. It restrains the spirit.

I’ve met thousands of people who never released the book or product or new idea because, “It’s not good enough yet.”

And so fear creeps in. Doubt. Insecurity. Judgement.

  • “What will people think?”
  • “What will people say?”
  • “Who am I to ______?”

Did you know that 99.9% of critics have never written a book like the one they are spouting off about? Never produced a movie like the one they just gave 2 out of 5 stars to? Never raised a good child, but they are willing to let you know what you’re doing wrong?

The world is filled with “authorities” who have an amazing lack of evidence that they should be in that position.

Meanwhile, folks like you pull back the reigns.

It’s your obligation to let go.

Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. Because whatever you’re doing cannot be perfect for EVERYONE. There’s always someONE who will be sour or dissatisfied. However, the vast, vast, vast majority will be thankful for your imperfect work because it changed their lives.

You can make an impact with your imperfection, or you can drift into obscurity waiting for the perfect to arrive.