People Go, Their Impact Stays

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov from Pexels

I remember that South Florida, Sunday afternoon as if it were yesterday. 

I met a husband-and-wife volunteer leader team at my church’s youth group. I was a junior in high school at the time. Jose, the husband, was from Portugal and spoke with a delightful accent. The kind that makes you pay close attention. His smile was contagious. He invited me and a friend to have lunch with him and his wife at the beachside home they were housesitting. 

After lunch, as we walked on the sand, Jose pulled me aside and handed me a cassette tape. On it was a motivational talk that would help establish my mindset and attitude for the rest of my life. Jose said, “You listen to this guy talk and take in what he says. His name is Zig Ziglar.” 

I had never heard of him, but when I put that cassette into my portable player, I was drawn in by Zig’s drawl and humor. He talked about having a positive attitude and goals that matter. After listening to him speak, I just wanted to BE better. I listened to that speech over and over and over. Positivity became ingrained in my mind.

Through the years, I’ve heard Zig speak via audio and video recordings and in his books. He became a “mentor from afar.” Several years ago, not far from the spot where I got that tape, I saw him speak in person. It was a thrill. 

After that day on the beach, Jose moved on and disappeared from my life as quickly as he came. His impact stayed. 

Zig Ziglar passed away in 2012. His impact remains.  

I believe people come into our lives for reasons and seasons. Like the popular song, “For Good,” from the musical, Wicked, says, “we are changed for good.” 

I thank God that Jose cared enough to give me a tape. A simple thing that continues to serve me well 40 years later. It was what I needed at that time in my journey. 

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” ~ Mabel Collins in Light on the Path

Our lives have impact. You don’t have to be a Zig Ziglar. You can be you. 

We’re all on this journey to help each other get further down the road. 

When Others Throw Dirt

I have something in common with Taylor Swift. 

Yes, we were both born in Pennsylvania, but that’s not it. We both got a lot of mileage out of “shaking it off.” Long before her catchy tune rose to the top of the charts, I used the phrase to encourage others to keep moving forward.

I recently got word of a former church attendee’s death. His widow texted that he came back to church and heard me tell a story that changed how he lived his daily life. 

Here is the story.

Farmer Joe has an old dog. One day the old dog falls into farmer Joe’s well. After assessing the situation, Joe sympathizes with the dog but decides that neither the dog nor the well is worth the trouble of saving. A better idea hits him like a flash of lightning. He’s going to fill the well with dirt and bury the dog. Problem solved. Life will be easier without them around. He orders truckload of dirt to be dumped into the hole.

The dump truck backs up to the well. It lifts its back and dirt starts slowly pouring out, the old dog is hysterical. As the dirt is hitting his back, he does what comes naturally. Every time dirt lands on his back, he shakes it off and steps up. Blow after blow of dirt on his back. Shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up! 

The blows get less painful the higher up he goes. It is not long before the dog, battered and dust covered, steps triumphantly over the wall of the well.  He is out of well staring at Farmer Joe. 

The simple yet powerful lesson: When others throw dirt on us, we shake it off and step up. 

We use the junk they throw our way to our advantage. 

We don’t play the victim card, even if we have every reason to play it. 

We don’t ask why they are throwing dirt on us.

Instead, we choose to use it for our growth and self-improvement.

When life doesn’t go our way, we have a choice to let it bury us or let it bless us.

Shake it off, and step up.

5 Positive Practices to Keep Hope Alive

How is your hope these days?

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. Our capacity to cope is being stretched to the limit. Some days are better than others. I try not to allow myself to get blasted by the news channels that spew bad news like an open hydrant. Our hearts break when we see people hurting and suffering. Our sadness motivates us to do something which begins by building a positive outlook.

Here are 5 specific practices that are helping me stay hopeful during this trying time:

  • Write it out

Some people use Julia Cameron’s morning pages tool, others use The Five Minute Journal, while others take a freestyle approach. Still others find value in writing out their prayers longhand. I have found that just a few lines a day helps me focus my runaway thoughts on gratitude and wins throughout the day.

  • Read positive books

Reading shapes our actions. Books by Jon Gordon, Shawn Achor, and Ryan Holiday help me see things from a realistic yet positive perspective. You probably have your favorite authors that are helping you keep the faith during this unique time.

  • Post positive verses and quotes

One side benefit of reading positive books is that you can take quotes that inspire you from your reading and display them on Post-it notes, where you see them regularly. Positive Bible verses that remind us of God’s presence and care remind us that we are not alone and serve as good reminders to stay positive in the moment.

  • Listen to uplifting music

The options are endless here with styles that run the gamut from classical to instrumental jazz, to ambient to piano to praise and worship. I have a few favorites in each category and I lean into them daily to hear the beauty in the world.

  • Watch

Our minds are fed through our eyes. Seeing positive things lifts our spirits. Encouraging stories can be found at SomeGoodNews and Inspire More. In addition, there are favorite old television comedies that can be streamed from the major providers that help lighten our mood and put us in touch with joy again.

The wonderful thing about being human is that we get to choose what we focus on. Hope is not a strategy, but it sure helps make our days more enjoyable.

I’d love to hear what you are doing to stay positive during these trying times. What are some of your favorite practices?

Failure IS an Option!

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you want to teach a kid a life skill, teach him reality. Give him a picture of what the world will throw his way. Even the rich and famous have their share of heartache and loss. People go broke. People get sick. Loved ones die. There are setbacks, cutbacks, rollbacks, buyouts, layoffs, bankruptcies. Is it fair to reward a kid for everything he does until he’s eighteen, filling his room with trophies regardless of how he performs, and then find him shocked the first time he fails a course or loses a girlfriend or gets fired from a job? – Mike Matheny, Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, in The Matheny Manifesto

The scene from the movie Apollo 13 drips with drama as leaders at NASA try to figure out how to get the ill-fated crew safely back to earth. One of the team leaders says emphatically, “Failure is not an option!” That is very true when it comes to dealing with human lives and their safety. I’m not sure that it is a good motto for life though.

Why do we want to raise our kids as if they are cocooned in a giant layer of bubble wrap?

Why do we employers want to protect our employees from their inexperience?

Why do we attempt to skirt reality?

We NEED struggles

We learn things in the down times that we could not learn any other way. Whether it is darkness or drought there comes a point when life is no longer easy. Every person struggles with problems. It is in those times our character is revealed.

Someone asked President John F. Kennedy how he became a war hero.  His response: “It was quite easy. Somebody sunk my boat!”

As much as we’d like to avoid them and wish them away, we need the struggles and problems in our lives. We need times of wrestling in the darkness.

We have all kinds of struggles that we wrestle with:

  • Financial struggles, when we wonder how we are going to make ends meet.
  • Emotional struggles with anger, depression, discouragement or self-doubt.
  • Relational struggles where we just can’t get the important people in our life to see things our way and we realize that we cannot control them and their behavior.
  • Job struggles where we wrestle with whether we should stay or go.

The times of struggle and failure can develop a quality that is as rare as an 80-degree winter day in South Dakota. It is the character trait of TENACITY.

Tenacity is built through failure. Tenacity says, “I won’t let go until I grow.”

Failure? Bring it on.

Failure IS an option.

Lean into it.

Grow from it.

And you’ll be a better person because of it.

Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Why Settle for Walking?

Image courtesy of Tanatat/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I’ve been listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter songs.  She has a remarkable gift for crafting lyrics that paint a vivid picture and the haunting melodies to go with them. Her songs never grow old.  A song celebrating 20 years since its release is “Why Walk When You Can Fly.” The last verse says:

In this world there’s a whole lot of cold
In this world there’s a whole lot of blame
In this world you’ve a soul for a compass
And a heart for a pair of wings
There’s a star on the far horizon, rising bright in an azure sky
For the rest of the time that you’re given, why walk when you can fly

As I listened again, I was reminded of the importance of a hopeful, positive attitude that helps us get off the ground in our daily life.  There are many things that tempt us to stay on the ground and live mediocre lives.

But there is another way of living.  Each day is a new opportunity to rise up to pursue excellence.

We don’t have a choice about facing hurts and hard times. They are going to come to all of us in one way or another.  We do have a choice of how we deal with them.  We can nurse and rehearse our hurts until we become bitter, cynical people.  We can surrender the control of our life over to our pain.  We can choose to become discouraged and disillusioned, filling our mind with self-pity.

Some of us have tremendous hurts.  We have had family members, loved ones or we ourselves have faced:

  • Ÿ  Accidents
  • Ÿ  Arrests
  • Ÿ  Abuse
  • Ÿ  Bankruptcy
  • Ÿ  Career disasters
  • Ÿ  Death of a loved one
  • Ÿ  Divorce
  • Ÿ  Financial collapse
  • Ÿ  Injustice
  • Ÿ  Insults
  • Ÿ  Loss of our business
  • Ÿ  Loss of our reputation
  • Ÿ  Rejection
  • Ÿ  Sickness
  • Ÿ  Suicide of a loved one

Some of these horrendous experiences were not of our own choosing.  Some of our hurts are not fair and are beyond our control.  What is not out of our control is our response.  For some of us life will never be “normal” again. 

But hope remains.

Our attitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Every difficulty has an opportunity.

We don’t grow when everything is going great and there are no problems. Instead, we grow and learn by making mistakes and dealing with problems.

Today we look up to the star on the far horizon and we rise to meet it.

You can listen to the song in its entirety here:

What Do You Want on Your Tombstone?

Have you ever walked through a cemetery and noticed what people have on their tombstones?  As a pastor in Key West, I spent a lot of time in the Key West cemetery.  I found several odd tombstone inscriptions there.  One says, “Devoted fan of Julio Iglesias.”  Two of the most popular inscriptions are on the front of the same mausoleum.  They are, “I’m just resting my eyes!” and “I told you I was sick!”

This time of year we include a few classic holiday movies as part of our preparations.  One that has been re-told many times is “A Christmas Carol.”  The main character, Scrooge, is taken by the Ghost of Christmas Future to the cemetery where he sees his own grave.  Scrooge realizes that he has changed into a mean, selfish man.  He doesn’t want to be greedy anymore.  He cries out to the ghost, “I am not the man I was.  I will not be the man I must have been but for this visitation.  Why show me this if I am past hope?”  He continues, “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which if persevered in, they must lead.  But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.”

Scrooge is an extreme.  We’re not as selfish and greedy as he was but there are probably some areas in our life we wish would be different.  The lesson for us is that there is still time to change.

If we change our lives now, the future will change.  We have the chance to write how our life will end.  We can make course corrections before it is too late.

Play Out Our Movie

Psychologist and author Henry Cloud calls this “playing out the movie.”  (See: 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Life.)   Each of us is living out the  movie of our lives.  We get to determine each scene.  We get to shape to a large degree how it will end.  Wise people think about their ending all the time.  We’re  moving toward the final climactic scene.

When we play out the movie, we see that every scene is a link in the context of the entire story.  Every scene is a step in a direction that has a destination.  We can’t stop the movie, but we can determine what our life looks like at the end.

Playing the movie enables us to see the good things that can happen.

We have a choice in the direction of our lives and our beliefs and actions determine the outcomes.

The late actor, John Wayne’s grave marker inscription reads, “Tomorrow is the most  important thing in life.  Comes into us at midnight very clean.  It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.  It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

May it be so for us too!

How to Live Thanks Giving Every Day

Ian Britton/www.freefoto.com

Emotionally healthy people are thanks givers. Thanks living is a way of life for them.  They focus on gratitude and the positive things in life.  Study after study has shown the benefits of blessing seeing.

As with much of life, it comes down to our choices.  We have a choice of what we want to focus on.

Here are a couple choices we can make to live thanks giving daily:

Choose to live rejoicing.

When the proverbial rug is pulled out from under us or we suffer unimaginable horrific pain, we still have a choice of how to attack the situation to get the most benefit from it.

A positive focus puts us in the frame of mind to see the opportunities that exist in the midst of the pain.

Critics will say that this exercise is just a mental trick.  Yes!  It is a mental habit that prevents us from going down a dark mental staircase that leads us to despair.  When we are in that dark place, clear thinking goes out the window.  Positive solutions are nowhere to be found.

Reframing to see the positives helps us get on the solution side of the tragic event.

Secretariat, the now famous race horse, was featured in an inspirational movie a few years ago.  It told the story of the Tweedy family who owned the horse.  Mr. Tweedy, the patriarch of the family passes away, so his daughter, Penny Chenery, (played by Diane Lane) takes on the oversight of the farm and horse.  Her husband and close family members urge her to sell it and move on.  She decides against that option and instead trains the horse to run.  But finding funding is difficult. She tries to sell breeding shares to the horse.  No one wants to take the risk.

In one scene, after many rejections, Penny is alone in the barn reflecting on what is going to happen next.  She is joined by a couple employees and she says to them, “I don’t care how many times they say it can’t be done.  I will not live the rest of my life in regret and no matter what happens we are going to live rejoicing every day!”

I admire her grit and determination to live rejoicing.

Focus on the positive because it opens the flow of joy in our life.

Don’t let anxiety pull you apart

This is easy to say but not easy to do.  We have legitimate worries.  We want to protect ourselves, our family, our cars and our homes.  That’s a good thing.  But it can be carried to an extreme.

You have probably heard the well-traveled story about the wife who always thought burglars were prowling around their home.  At least once a week, she’d wake up her husband in the middle of the night to investigate a noise in the house.  One night she heard it again.  She woke him up. “Get up! Get up! Someone is downstairs.”

He is overly familiar with the routine. This time when he got to the bottom of the steps he comes face to face with a real life burglar.  The burglar had a sack of valuables in his hand and was heading toward the door.  “Wait,” the husband said.  “Before you leave, I’d love for you to come upstairs and meet my wife.  She’s been waiting for you for 20 years!”

Anxiety can easily get out of hand and quickly turn into extreme worry.

Worry gets in the way of thanks giving because it causes us to focus on the things we lack.  We feel pulled apart internally.  Our emotions become like the salt water taffy machines we’ve seen on vacation.  Whatever is worrying us is turned over and over in our mind.

Focusing on what we have to help us deal with what is troubling us gives us the courage to face what life throws at us.

What are some tips that help you reduce the pull of worry? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What Siri Teaches Us About Listening

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple is once again in the news with its release of a brand new iPhone.  I remember when the last “new” one was launched.  One of the touted features was Siri, the computer voice built in to the phone that answered your questions and was a techno equivalent of the imaginary friend.

Much of the time, Siri is fun to play with but not all that useful.  She’s like the younger sister that you mercilessly tease just for kicks.

Siri gets revenge

Alas, like the now grown sister or the jilted lover, Siri exacted revenge.

On a recent trip to the unfamiliar city of Minneapolis, we were using the built-in GPS feature with Siri providing the voice direction.  We used one map to get us to our destination.  When we left that destination, we plugged in a new address for the next destination.  This sent Siri into a tizzy.  Two map apps open means two voices talking over each other at the same time.

“In 200 feet take a right.”

“In 300 feet take a left.”

Which is it: 200 feet or 300 feet?

A right or a left?

Make up your mind, Siri!  (Oh wait, Siri doesn’t have a mind.)

Do you know how hard it is to listen to two voices telling you to go in two different directions at the same time?  It’s just downright annoying and confusing.

We finally figured out what was going on and closed the first map application.  Siri was happy again and we were too.  One voice to follow is much easier.

We have voice choice.

Every day we get to choose which voice we listen to and when.  Our choice is between the voice of negativity or the voice of hope.  Friends and family can be either of those voices in our life.  The voice of experience can too.

Our outlook on life helps decide which voice we follow.

The voice of negativity will try to convince us of how bad things are and how much worse they are going to get.  We all need a reality check from time to time to help us see things as they really are.

But, if we follow the negative voice we can find ourselves in a downward spiral, making it even harder to get on the right path to happiness.

Instead, we can choose to listen to the voice of hope.

It’s the voice that keeps us on the forward moving path.

It’s the voice that calls out the best in us.

It’s the voice that challenges us to take action.

Take a lesson from Siri.  When the voice of negativity tries to talk over hope, choose the voice of hope.

You will be glad you did.

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us…” (Romans 5:5, New Living Translation)

Don’t Leave Home Without This

Image courtesy of photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lighten up! Our friends or co-workers say that to us when we are taking life or work too seriously. People who take life too seriously sets themselves up for some negative consequences. We can’t be serious all the time. A celebrated Greek Proverb says, “You will break the bow if you keep it always bent.” Most of us don’t use bows and arrows in our daily life, but we get the point. We can’t sustain joy in life if we are constantly high strung. We need the relief that a sense of humor adds to our life.

Our emotions affect our body

An ever increasing amount of medical research is being done that examines the connection between our emotions and our body.  Negative emotions can have negative effects on our body.

Laughter boosts the immune system and reduces dangerous stress hormones in our body.  Laughter can lower blood pressure.  People with a good sense of humor experience less overall stress and better health.

Humor is healthy for our body.  It is healthy for our mind.  Learning to laugh eases the stress of situations.  Learning to laugh at ourselves is a key part of our emotional health.

See the humor in daily life

I’m learning to see the humor all around me in my daily life.  When my kids were growing up, one of my weekly tasks was to do the family grocery shopping.  One day I went on my grocery store run.  I get what we need at the store then back the car into the driveway to unload the grub.  I start carrying the flimsy plastic bags inside.  One bag contains a gallon of milk causing the outside of the bag to become wet.  I step through our front door onto the tile floor.  As I do, the bag with the milk slips out of my hand and crashes onto the hard floor.  Milk gushes from the bag.  Quickly, I grab the plastic jug out of the bag, leaving the plastic bag and a puddle of milk on the floor in front of the door.  I see the plastic jug is creased on the bottom corner where milk is leaking out.  I put my finger over the hole and spring to the kitchen.  The remaining milk can still be saved! I have an idea!  I yell for my daughter, “Come quick!  Help me.”

She comes into the kitchen.  My hands are full with the leaking container so I ask her to open the refrigerator because in there is an almost empty container of milk.  I’ll just pour the new milk into the old container.  She takes out the old milk container. I tell her, “Get out the funnel.”  She does.  She empties the old milk from the bottle and sets it on the counter.  I tell her to put the funnel on top.  I say, “Okay, you hold the funnel still, while I pour.”

As I’m getting ready to pour a fleeting thought flits through my mind.  “I should probably put the old container in the sink.”  I ignore the thought.  (You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

I say, “Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Here goes!”

I open the new bottle of milk.  What happens next is best described by the word “volcanic.”  I pour the milk, but it comes out so fast it fills the funnel in a matter of seconds.  When it does, the funnel slips out of my daughter’s hand, spilling milk all over the both of us and onto the floor.  Milk is everywhere.  It’s all over us, dripping off the countertop and covers the floor, running between cabinets and under the dishwasher.  I tell her, “Stay right there.”  I dash to the laundry room to get towels to clean up the spill.

As this point, one of our two fluffy cats hears the commotion in the kitchen and wanders over to see what all the noise is about.  In her cat brain, she sees spilled milk all over the floor and thinks, “I have just found the land flowing with milk and honey.”  She starts walking through the spilled milk until she gets to the biggest milk puddle.  She starts licking it up.

Meanwhile back at the front door first puddle, the other cat has found her Nirvana.  She has her head inside the plastic bag so that only her body is showing and is gorging herself on milk.

I grab the towels and spend the next hour getting two spills cleaned up and removing the rest of the groceries from the car.  When cleanup was all over,  a little piece of conventional wisdom comes back to me, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”  In that situation, all I can do is laugh. What else can you do?

Life goes better when we learn to laugh at spilled milk.

Learning to laugh at life is healthy.  Finding the humor in every nook and cranny in life will pay off for us. Humor is good for us!

Healthy humor doesn’t cut another person down and is not at another person’s expense.  True humor doesn’t put other people down or belittle them.  Nor is it deflating or cutting.

How long has it been since you had a real belly laugh?  When was your last moment of sidesplitting, eye watering laughter?

We can begin today.  We can start small.  Laughter begins with a smile.

A sense of humor will get us out of a lot of jams.  Don’t leave home without it!

Remember the words of tennis legend John McEnroe (said in a slightly different context), “You cannot be serious!”

Opportunities Come in Threes

There is a longstanding superstition that bad luck comes in threes. When awful things come our way, immediately after bad event number two, we are on the lookout for bad event number three. I found myself falling into this mindset recently.

On a Monday I was let go from my job. I can’t say I was surprised. Four days later, on Friday, my car suffered thousands of dollars in damage when a hailstorm came through the area. I found myself waiting for Number Three. The following Wednesday, my daughter’s beloved dog died unexpectedly. I experienced three difficult events in less than 10 days. I took comfort in thinking, “it could have been worse” and “other people have it much worse.” As I’ve had a chance to reflect on these events, I’ve come to see that opportunities come in threes.

Recently, author Jon Acuff, shared a quote from the Roman poet Horace who said, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.”  No doubt about it, adversity is an unwelcomed and uninvited guest for most of us. But when it comes, we can see the opportunities hidden in the hardships.

Because of my recent adversity:

I have the opportunity to explore and pursue other career options that more closely fit my values, skills and passions.

I have the opportunity to see if Flo, the woman on the TV commercial, will live up to what she says. In addition, I have a reminder that cars are just material things and there are non-material things that are more important, such as people.

I have the opportunity to celebrate the years we had with the family dog and remember the joy she brought us. I celebrate my daughter’s love for animals that increased as she learned to take care of one of God’s creatures.

Misfortunes are coming our way again. Life will throw a punch at us and we will be knocked down again. In these times, we land on the words of the ancient text that has stood the test of time,

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  James 1:2-4 (The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)

Opportunity comes in threes. Embrace them because we never know what great things are coming right around the corner.

Everybody Needs a Little Discouragement

A recently retired man is sitting on the front porch of his Kentucky home when his first Social Security check for $105 arrives. The very same day, he sold a service station that he’s owned for years. After paying off his debts, he is broke. A discouraging thought crosses his mind, “Is this all my life is going to be from now on? Just sitting on the porch waiting for my next Social Security check to arrive?”

He’s not going to settle for this. He gets a pad of paper to make a list of all the gifts, all the blessings, all the talents and everything he has going for him. He lists them all, even the small things. One of the items on the list is his mother’s secret recipe for fried chicken in which she uses eleven different herbs and spices. He is the only person on earth who knows the secret recipe.

He decides to get off the porch and on the road to sell the secret recipe to restaurant owners. He pleads with any owner of any dive or diner that will listen. He gets a nickel commission on each chicken sold. Within five years, there are 190 franchisees selling his chicken. Soon he can no longer keep up with the demand. You probably have guessed the hero of the story is Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC.

There is a character quality in his life that serves him better than the 11 herbs and spices. It is his ability to deal with his discouragement. He does not allow himself to be defeated by discouragement. He sees it is there but then looks at the good things he has going for him and uses those things to defeat discouragement.

We’ve had our own front porch experiences with discouragement.

  • A friendship that was once close is now distant.  Is this how it will be?
  • A job that used to be interesting is now boring and full of hassles. Is there more to life than a paycheck?
  • A loved one, once full of vim and vigor is slowed by cancer.  What does the future hold?
  • A stack of bills that gets larger while our financial resource pool gets smaller.  When will the drain stop?

When we go through times of discouragement, we find ourselves at an emotional crossroads.  We can nurture that discouragement, focusing only on the negative aspects of our situation.  If we do we’ll find ourselves becoming increasingly disillusioned and eventually depressed. Discouragement can be a very draining emotion that saps our strength. If we allow it to overwhelm us, soon there is no energy to deal with the circumstance we are facing.

The other option is to do what Harland Sanders did and focus on how we are going to deal with our discouragement.  It is no surprise that circumstances ripe with potential discouragement are coming our way. How are we going to deal with it when it comes? What is our plan for dealing with discouragement? What resources do we have going for us?

We need discouragement because it can be the fuel that motivates us to get off the porch. If we have a plan to deal with the inevitable times of discouragement, we are equipped with the energy required to find a solution. What do we have going for us? That’s our secret recipe that gets us off the porch and on the road to success.