Over the past year I’ve had several people I know, including me, experience an unexpected medical event. I also work at a hospital, so I’m constantly reminded of the infections, injuries, and illnesses that can plague our health. While this may all sound gloomy, I think there’s’ a bright point to keep in mind:
While there are enough bad things that can happen to us that are beyond our control, there are significant actions we can take to increase the likelihood of a healthy life.
It’s amazing how so much of what we do, over a long period of time, has an impact on our health. Consider the following healthy habits:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking lots of water
- Enjoying food in moderation
- Visiting the doctor for any health abnormalities
- Getting preventative checkups
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, these healthy habits, when done together, over years and decades lead to good health. And here’s the cool part… we get to choose whether or not we do them! No one gets to decide whether or not we live a healthy life. That decision is totally up to us!
We also get to decide, consciously or not, if we want to observe unhealthy lifestyle choices. By not deciding to take care of our health, we are essentially deciding to neglect it and choose poor health as an alternative.
Why would we voluntarily choose to surrender our good health to sloppy decision making. There are enough outside forces at work against our health. Let’s not allow our own apathy toward our good health to become one of them.
“The older I get, the younger my teachers become.” ~Unknown
As a life-long learner, I’m grateful for the people who have been (and currently are) willing to teach me. Whether they’ve written a book I’ve read, created a podcast, or sat down next to me to explain something, their willingness to teach me has enriched my live. I’m especially grateful that these teachers are often younger than I am.
As someone who’s been around for over half a century, I couldn’t imagine how adversely impacted my learning would be if I only listened to people who were older than me. If I carried the belief that there’s nothing I can learn from anyone who’s younger than me, I’d be willingly disconnecting myself from the wisdom and knowledge of a significant portion of the world population. What an awful way to move through life!
If sense a negative attitude bubbling up when you have the opportunity to learn from someone younger, check yourself. You may be on the cusp of throwing away a perfectly good learning experience.
How foolish it would be to miss an opportunity to learn something valuable, simply because pride and ego deafen your ears to voices younger than your own.
I’ve been playing the electric bass for almost 3 years now, and one thing I really enjoy is getting the sheet music for a song I like and learning how to play it. While it’s fun, as well as rewarding, to learn to play a favorite song, what’s especially cool is to take what I’ve learned about one song and apply it to another.
I’m blessed to be able to play electric bass for our worship team at church. The song charts we use at church show us the basic chords (notes) we should play, but otherwise there’s a lot of room to be creative. As I was discussing a section of a favorite song I was learning (Limelight by Rush) with my bass instructor, he showed me how I could apply the same concepts that were being used in this section of Limelight to a song I’ll be playing in church this week. I was totally blown away, as well as excited about the possibilities this opened up for me.
I think most skills we learn have application beyond the context we learn them in. Concepts learned to master one skill are often transferable across other disciplines and scenarios. Being aware of this allows us to multiply the impact of what we learn by applying it broadly beyond the context it was learned in.
The next time you learn something new, think about how you can apply the concepts beyond the context in which it was learned. You’ll start to see possibilities and solutions where they didn’t exist before.
On New Year’s Day, my wife and I spent some time discussing the events and activities we’d like to do in 2020. At one point as we were listing off places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do, my wife said, “We need to get these on the calendar.” She was exactly right! So that’s what we did.
It’s amazing to me how much we can miss out on (exciting things that we actually want to do) simply because we are not intentional about getting them scheduled and making them happen. Something changed when we wrote these things on the calendar. This simple act affirmed our commitment to them. By putting the event/activity on the calendar, we’ve said, “Yes, this is something we will do!”
So often our failure to commit the time to something is the major obstacle that keeps it from being realized. What is it that you’d like to do in 2020? Is there somewhere you’d like to go or something you’d like to accomplish? If so, I’d encourage you to get it scheduled before your calendar fills up.
Commit time to those things that are important for you to achieve in 2020. Otherwise you’ll get to December 31, 2020 and realize that your lack of being intentional has caused you to miss out on what otherwise might have been an spectacular year.
“The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice you give others.” ~ Unknown
Have you ever observed a behavior in another person and found yourself either thinking, or actually telling them, how you feel they could have better-handled the situation? If so, here’s a news flash for you (and for me as well!): Unless someone asks you for your opinion, they aren’t interested in hearing your advice.
I don’t normally appreciate unsolicited advice from others, so why would I think someone else would be receptive to unsolicited advice from me?
My best option is to take my own advice and work on myself versus trying to fix others. Because ultimately, the only person I have control over… is me.
It’s so easy to see or hear something about another person and quickly come the conclusion that “they’re a jerk!” or “inconsiderate”, or any number of unflattering things, when we really don’t know what they might be carrying in their own life.
Maybe they’re dealing with:
- An illness
- An ill loved one
- A terminal diagnosis
- Lack of affection or kind words from others
The point is, since we don’t really know what’s going on in the lives of those around us, the kind thing would be to extend grace to others instead of ill-informed snap judgments. Because wouldn’t we all appreciate that from others?
I like working to improve different areas of my life. Whether it’s learning a skill, interacting with others, maintaining healthy habits, or following the teachings of Jesus, there are so many opportunities to get better every day. I find that encouraging!
However, occasionally (actually, more often than I’d like to admit) I find myself acting in a way that is contrary to the improvements I’m trying to make. To keep from feeling frustrated and defeated when this happens, I remind myself that although I missed the mark this time, I will do better next time.
I’m so grateful that missing the mark doesn’t condemn us to forever-failure status. We have so many opportunities to do better, because there is always a “next time” right around the corner.
If you’re working to make improvements in your life, but find you’ve been missing the mark, that’s OK! Simply think about what hitting the mark would look like, and commit to doing that the next time.