Here are seven questions I consider when facing difficult choices concerning the future.
1. What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?
2. Will my legacy be centered around personal accomplishments or relationships?
3. Do I want to be remembered more for what I did, or for how I did it?
4. What kind of people do I want to remember me?
5. Will I use my influence to make a difference in someone else’s life or will I focus on my own development?
6. Will my legacy be intentional or a byproduct of happenstance?
7. Will I make the sacrifices necessary to leave behind something that will last?
The answers to these questions should influence my actions, decisions and behaviors.
What do you do to relax?
My wife will lose herself in a adult coloring book.
My daughter will immerse herself in a dystopian young adult novel.
My son will create a beautiful structure using legos.
My father used to build model cars.
My mother has a green thumb with house plants that thrive under her care.
I have a nephew that creates small complex origami figures.
I have friends whose lives are built around the game of golf, trips to the beach, or fishing at the break of day.
I have friends who are energized by constantly interacting with others.
I have friends who recharge their batteries in solitude and introspection.
I have friends who love to travel and are renewed by the joy of discovering new places.
I love a good book or movie.
We live in a stressful world. Don’t forget to plan time to refresh, relax, and recharge.
Do it now.
I bought my first piece of artwork for myself today. It’s a beautiful abstract piece put together by a wonderful artist who lives in our area.
After I agreed to purchase the piece I asked him to tell me the story behind the painting. He told me it all started with a prayer and a blank canvas.
He began to write his prayer requests, his sins, and his concerns onto the canvas. Then he would read his Bible and pray.
Over time he began to paint over what he had written. Covering these prayer requests with paint seemed to be a way of releasing them to God, placing them in the hands of the one who could resolve them.
He said that the paint covering his requests reminded him that Jesus Christ’s blood covers our sins also.
Now this beautiful piece is going in my study at home. It is a daily reminder how God can answer my requests and concerns and bring beauty out of sadness and pain.
Here is the painting.
We are uncomfortable with silence. But sometimes silence is a good thing.
Silence can allow us to sleep and prepare for a new day.
Silence can give us time to ponder our options when making a difficult decision.
Silence can help us mentally recharge after an emotionally trying day at work.
Silence can allow others time to make a decision without feeling pressured.
Silence can give us the time to appreciate the many blessings we have.
Silence can be golden.
1. We live in a society where humility is in short supply. But it is powerful when used correctly.
2. A hug is transformative and often more memorable than a word of encouragement.
3. The best listener usually gets the best results.
4. Every interaction with another person is an opportunity to validate and celebrate their worth and our role in their development.
5. Procrastination is a failure to act in a timely manner. Today, this moment, this opportunity, may never come again.
6. Doing the right thing, for the right reason, will never go out of style.
There are some things I will not do on Facebook. I will not:
1. Try to change someone’s political views. We need to remember that there are well meaning and intelligent people on either side of the political spectrum.
2. Try to sell a product. Promoting your product is okay. Most of my friends and family have learned to use it correctly. But sending me a friend request just so you can try to sell me something makes me uncomfortable.
3. Correct someone else’s grammar. Facebook is supposed to be fun and autocorrect can make anyone look stupid.
4. Shame someone for their behavior or beliefs. God did not appoint me to be the morality police or the judge of absolute truth. He does call me to extend grace.
5. Express or encourage overt or subtle racism. Stereotypes and labels are often wrong. Every person is unique and complex and worth getting to know.
6. Tolerate or express hate speech. I will not correct you in a public forum, but I will not engage you either.
7. Routinely use coarse humor or explexitives for a cheap laugh or pitch a fit when someone else does.
8. Make fun of a class of people just because they do not look or talk like me. I have been to a foreign country and know what it feels like to not fit in.
9. Post breaking news without checking to make sure it is accurate. Just because its on Facebook doesn’t make it true.
10. Condemn someone who disagrees with my list of ten things that I will not do on Facebook.
I have a simple test that I have used for years to discover who I can trust.
I tell an embarrassing story about myself in a one on one conversation.
I make sure that the other person knows that what I am telling them is confidential and not to be repeated.
Of course, I am telling them something that will harm no one if repeated.
Then I wait about a week or two and see if any of our common acquaintances mention the story to me.
It’s amazing how well this has worked for me through the years.
If they pass this simple test I begin to invest more in the relationship and share things that are more important.
If they fail in keeping what I said in confidence then I am more guarded in the relationship.
Trust is not given. Trust must be earned.
By the way, the story I tell them is a doozy. Someday, maybe I’ll share it with you.