Two Moves to Include in Your Game Plan

There are a lot of writings about the best method for living your life. To that I say, never stop reading and never stop learning.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were going to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Here are two of the best moves in my playbook:

1)  There will be trolls in your life. Trolls are the people that criticize everything you do or say. They inflate all that goes wrong in your life, laying the blame squarely on you. They deflate every positive thing in your life as if it is no big deal. You can’t avoid trolls in your life, so here is what you do … ignore them. Not an easy task when they are striking at your nerve center.

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, ’cause hate in your heart will consume you, too.” — Will Smith

By the way, if you happen to be a troll, you might want to consider being kinder, more patient, or just keeping your mouth shut.

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” –Wayne Dyer

I am really speaking to the wind here because trolls don’t know they are trolls, and we are all trolls once in a while.

2)  Learn how to fish. Most people have a mission in this life. Hopefully, it includes your career and your family, but it may also include volunteer activities, board positions, etc. There are not a lot of things you can do that don’t require other people. So you need to figure out how to surround yourself with the best people you know. If you are in a position to hire, know that there are a lot of really good fish in the pool and you don’t have to pull in the first one that bites on your hook. Be selective. Make sure that you and the fish are made for each other. Maybe I took the fish analogy a little too far. Anyway, if you are hungry for salmon, don’t settle on catfish.

There are a lot of things to think about in that analogy … having the right bait, the right hook, fishing in the right spot.  I expect you to think about those things and make them work in your life.

Convinced Against Your Will

“Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still.”
  — Dave Ramsey’s grandmother

American society has become polarized to the point of being dysfunctional. Abraham Lincoln lived in such a time, and quoted the Bible in saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” 

Our social medias have provided space for us to each express our opinion, and many do with little forethought.  I am always amazed to find conservatives on liberal sites or liberals on conservative sites screaming down the posts on those sites as if their comments are going to change the thought  and opinions on that site. “Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still.”

“This is America,” people claim.  “We have freedom of expression.”  I don’t disagree, because what would be the point of disagreeing with an opinion to the person who just said it.  I am of the opinion, that everyone’s opinion is to be respected, even if you disagree with it.  But that is just my opinion. 

That does not mean that I never get heated when an opinion is expressed that is totally contrary to my own way of thinking. However, the older I get, the more I try to keep my mouth shut in those situations. You may disagree. You may think it is important to speak up in those situations. “Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still.” 

And the older I get, the more I try to understand the basis of the other person’s opinion, because I have found that every coin has two sides. My wife is a champion of that. Working with preschoolers, she rarely acts on the complaint of one child without getting the other child’s story.  The same holds true with what a teacher or parent may tell her. Some think she is too slow to decide, when in fact, she is holding judgement until she has all of the information.

Using this principle in family situations can prevent a lot of isolation. When it comes down to it, regardless of what our opinions are, we are still family, and that should override most any issue that comes up. Keep love in your heart, and a civil tongue in your head. It’s old school, but it works.

Compelled into a better life.

My choice of chemicals, if I take any at all, is Moltrin, but I also enjoy a frequent alcoholic beverage in the evening as well as coffee to stimulate my brain and body into motion in the morning. So the reality is that like most Americans, and dare I say, probably like the majority of the world, I do ingest a moderate amount of chemicals.

My coming-of-age story took place in the 1960s, a tumultuous time in the U.S.  As I was turning14, I was barely aware that we lost two incredible talents in Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. My connection to the counter-culture of the time was on the fringe. I lived a protected and disciplined life. Consequently, I had no experience with the mind-altering drugs that sent these two and too many others to their graves, other than to study their effects as I majored in psychology in college.

I have since come to appreciate the creativity and contributions that these artists made in the short spans of time they were on this earth. When you consider their influence, you have to wonder how much more we missed by their departure too soon.

I am aware now of peers who were battling addiction before my eyes and I either did not know it or denied that they had any problem dealing with it.  They must be able to handle the pills they are popping, because they seem ok.  I have friends, clients and colleagues who have seen their children through rehab, through arrests, and occasionally through funerals as a result of drug abuse. I know there are people in my life now who are struggling with addictions, either their own or with loved one’s, I just don’t know who they are.  They hide it so well.

We’ve taken steps to liberalize the use of marijuana. It will bring many more dollars to tax treasuries for politicians to spend.

In case you did not know it, we are celebrating (I use the term loosely) the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax, a tax that was initiated at the start of prohibition. At that time, the federal government obtained nearly 70% of its revenue from tax on liquor. If prohibition was coming, something would have to replace the income. Prohibition has long since been repealed, but the income tax is still with us stronger than ever. 

We and those we love make choices everyday to do things that help us or hurt us. We can only work to set the values, and pray that the choices made are based on values that keep us physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.