Three Ways to Get Yourself Going… July 17, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2294)

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When procrastination and fear get together, they certainly do resemble laziness.

Matter of fact, millions of people castigate themselves for being lazy, practicing deep breathing exercises and trying to walk on the treadmill, only to end up, when the day is finished, with the task incomplete.

I really don’t think most people are lazy. They are victims of a common human emotional disorder:

“I’m putting this off because I’m afraid I’m going to fail.”

Now, I suppose you can try to kill your fear or fake enthusiasm, but I think that’s just placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.

Here are three suggestions on how to get yourself going when procrastination and fear have done their best to make you look lazy:

1. Begin your day with a good conversation.

Honestly, the worst place to live is in your own head. It may be where you store wisdom, but it shares the room with your doubt and fear. It’s just good to hear another voice say something different from what you’re thinking. It’s the purpose of fellowship. If you live by yourself, pick up the phone and make human contact. It isn’t good for us to be alone and when we are, we fall victim to our own insecurities.

2. Start out doing something else.

Don’t begin by working on your main project. Life is a lot like waffles–the first thing you do is never going to be as smooth as the second through the last. So do something else. Practice efficiency. Ease your way into excellence.

If you have to go to the dentist at ten o’clock and you’re not looking forward to it, then do something else at nine o’clock to give yourself a sense of well-being and accomplishment before you get drilled.

3. And finally, get away from the common.

Repetition is really noisy. It’s also where we make the most mistakes. When we believe we know something really well, we remove the valuable tension that creates the kind of focus that generates success.

  • Drive to work a different way.
  • Have a unique breakfast.
  • Do something uncommon in pursuit of your everyday activities.

It places a little jeopardy into the situation, which makes for a very good mind exercise.

You’re never going to get rid of your procrastination. Likewise, chasing your fears is similar to trying to hold jello in your hands.

But what you can do is hear fresh voices from other folk, pursue an alternative idea to get you warmed up, and choose a unique path to travel to where you’re going.

Because the secret to life is not overcoming our foibles.

The secret to life is learning how to avoid them and not put them in the controlling position.

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Poor Coverage … August 9, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1970)

For two-and-a-half years I shared and ministered with the poor, disenfranchised and homeless folks in Shreveport, Louisiana.

I would not trade that experience for any amount of gold or prestige. Yet I have to tell you that even though it was peppered with great blessing, it was also salted with revelation and discovery.

I learned first-hand what Jesus meant when he said that “the poor you have with you always.”

It never stops. A bag of groceries does not alleviate aching hunger. Paying an electric bill fattens the purse of the local utility, but frustrates the recipients, who realize that next month they will find themselves in the same predicament.

There is a misrepresentation about spirituality–that those who pursue deeper understanding of the heart of God are meant to be propagators of generosity to the destitute. Why the misconception? Because it sounds good.

I observed it last night during my visit to a church in Michigan. These wonderful congregants had put together a system of providing paper goods and needful supplies to members of their community suffering under the rigors of financial depression. I watched as the people came in to receive their bag of goodies and observed as they departed. There was no joy, no sense of appreciation, no discovery of a deep truth etching its way across their features. They were resigned. Or maybe they HAD resigned. I don’t know which one.

But even though they possessed goods which they did not previously count in their storehouses, the realization that it was a “temporary fix” burdened their souls.

Discussing poverty is probably one of the most difficult subjects to broach. You will find yourself becoming either encompassed with the festering futility of the ongoing epidemic, or trying to distance yourself–coming across as a calloused, uncaring goofball.

What SHOULD be our position?

Jesus said they’re not going to go away, so you should “do what you can.”

I think that’s what the generous folks WERE accomplishing at last night’s church. But simultaneously, I must alert them that Jesus fed the five thousand … until he discovered they were following him JUST for the food.

  • Jesus healed the lepers but never visited a leper colony. He instead required that these diseased souls track him down and bring their faith.
  • And Jesus, when confronted by Judas about being uncaring toward the poor by wasting ointment on his head and feet, replied that Judas was out of the flow and didn’t realize that there are more important things than a temporary band-aid on a gaping wound.

What DID Jesus do?

1.  He energized the working class and the rich to appreciate what they had and realize that more of them was required.

2.  He kept his ears open to those who broke out of the pack of self-pity and made their way to his side for transformation.

3. He taught people how to be industrious instead of dependent on luck or divine intervention for their provision, telling them that they were “the salt of the earth” and that  “the Kingdom of God was within them.”

4. And in more than one parable, he told them that seed needed to be sown even when it seemed like there was no possibility for it to take root.

I learned during my two-and-a-half years that caring for the poor is something that has to be done in stride rather than being an actual walk in and of itself. And ultimately, the best way to solve poverty is to take the ten per cent who are ready to pursue personal and financial excellence and ask them to look out for the needs … of nine of their neighbors.

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