1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Smooth Out the Wrinkles in Your Life

 

Fix the next thing

Although we may insist that problems come in piles, what they actually do is accumulate because they are avoided or feared. Then we suddenly find ourselves with a heapin’ helpin’ of horror.

Intimidation sets in.

Intimidation brings a friend. That comrade is worry.

Worry takes twice as much brain power as reasoning and planning.

Why?

Worry demands that you remember something from the past that you think is going to happen in the present and makes you wonder if it will play out in the future. It’s exhausting.

Reasoning, on the other hand, suggests that you take what you know and apply it to the ongoing situation.

When you start fixing the next thing, you find that you not only are repairing things, but also eliminating the overwhelming sensation of being drug down by your insistent problems. Rather, you’re enlightened by them and given the opportunity, through them, to prove your prowess.

Fix the next thing.

Keep your other problems waiting.

After all, some of them deserve to be snubbed.


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Catchy (Sitting 13) Can Bad Come Out of Good? … September 3rd, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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In a fit of weary and dreary delusion, Soos stumbled her way through the parking lot en route to her Hertz Rent-a-car, fumbling with her keys. Opening the door, plopping her exhausted backside into the bucket seat and slamming her bag beside her, she gently hammered her head on the steering wheel and unleashed a poetic proclamation of prayer.

“Dammit!”

Having just sat through four-and-a-half hours of meeting–no, not just meeting, mindless meeting. No, more than that–mindless, menacing meeting–with seven or eight folks which could have been nine, her brain had turned inside out, dumping both its knowledge and its will to live, exposing the insanity that had always lurked within.

She ran the words through her mind.

“Soos, I was wondering if you could type up some notes to summarize today’s meeting with the attorney, Marcus Tomlinson.”

She had stared at Matthew, who made the request, as if he had possibly had a stroke. How was anyone supposed to sum up four-and-a-half hours of lethargy in motion? For after all, it was a meeting to prove that a meeting had occurred, to discuss why a meeting was necessary, to conclude that a future meeting would be required. It was like paint drying while staying wet.

It began painfully slow, but Soos knew she was in real trouble when Tomlinson arrived with a guest–a tall, elegant man of color in his late forties, garishly dressed in expensive clothing which shouted its value. His name was Bishop Merrill Handerling. He was the director of the Believers International Fellowship (B.I.F.)

She remembered thinking to herself that Bif was the villain in “Back to the Future.” Quickly regaining her maturity, she attempted to listen as Matthew, Randall, Jo-Jay, Marcus Tomlinson and Bishop Merrill discussed the potential, but mostly the dangers, of the project of making Jesus popular again.

Although Attorney Tomlinson was careful to be respectful of Arthur Harts, who had been dead for less than three months, he also made it completely clear, in his litigious way, that the old fart was crazy.

The Bishop objected to any criticism toward the billionaire–but also wanted to establish that he felt there was a sinister element in commercializing Jesus and turning him into the new “flavor of the day.” (At this point, the dignified black gentleman actually held for laughter. Jo-Jay was generous and giggled a little.)

How was Soos supposed to immortalize the collision of imaginary trains of thought? No one actually knew what they were talking about. To some degree, no one actually cared.

But things really stalled when Prophet Morgan stepped into the room, arriving late, and the Bishop and the Prophet came face-to-face. Soos remembered thinking to herself that it sounded like great stage direction for a Shakespearean play. It became quickly obvious that everything Bishop disliked Prophet approved of, and likewise, everything that profited the Prophet baffled the Bishop.

They just didn’t like each other.

Meanwhile, Matthew sat over in the corner trying to shrink and disappear, looking like he wished he was a cube of ice that could simply melt.

Soos was shocked. After all the discussions and back-and-forth agreements, it seemed that Attorney Tomlinson was trying to find a way to euthanize the whole “popular Jesus” idea, hoping he could use this overstated Bishop to be the hit man.

After hours of exhausting listening, Soos spoke up for herself. She remembered the moment well because it was so contrary to her normal personality that it seemed to be coming from a different person who had temporarily taken occupation of her soul.

“I don’t think anything bad can come of doing something good.”

That’s what she said. It was not terribly intellectual, but in this room full of disconnected thoughts, it sounded almost Biblical.

Matthew sat up in his chair as if suddenly aware that life was still going on. The Bishop accidentally spoke a quick “amen” before realizing that Soos was disagreeing with him. And Prophet? Well, Prophet leaned over and kissed Soos on the mouth.

Immediately after that simple statement, the meeting was adjourned to a future time which would be determined in the future if such a future was necessary.

It was also shortly after that statement that Soos received the instruction to “type up a summary” of the meeting–her punishment for profundity.

She now sat in her car and just tried to decompress. She needed a diversion. If she were a drinker, this would require a martini. If she were an exercise freak, she would need to go run. If she were religious, prayer would be demanded.

But Soos was a carboholic.

On her way back to the Holiday Inn Express, she picked up a dozen doughnuts.

 

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G-Poppers … March 3rd 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants to share a pair of principles with his children. Even though they are very simple, he wants to take a minute to review them, along with some of the attacks that have risen.

1. Do good work.

Seems rather logical, doesn’t it? But we’ve replaced this sentiment with other thoughts we think are the same:

  • “He has talent.”
  • “He’s on a learning curve.”
  • “She had a bad day.”
  • “He was overwhelmed.”
  • “She misunderstood the assignment.”

Do you see? Good work consists of:

A. “This is what needs to be done. ”

B. “This is how I’m going to do it.”

C. “This is the finished product, just as promised.”

America is sacrificing quality in the pursuit of making everybody feel good about themselves. It is important that sometimes we feel bad about ourselves, so some ultimate improvement can come of it.

2. Make your work look easy.

We pride ourselves in expressing exasperation, anger and exhaustion over our jobs. Work plus complaining is not only ineffective labor, but it’s unacceptable because it taints the environment.

Just think how productivity in America could jump simply by declaring war on too many opinions and too much bitching.

It all revolves around the fact that we think we’re too important. So when we fail, we want everybody to agree that given the circumstances, they wouldn’t have done any better.

So G-Pop thinks we should return to this pair of principles:

Do your work well

Make it look easy.

If a plumber is charging me $40 an hour, I do not want him to return in three hours with sweat on his brow, explaining what a difficult job it was. I will never hire him again.

He needs to return in forty minutes–with a smile on his face, listening to my gratitude and saying, “No big deal. It’s my job.”

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Dudley … January 12th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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DUDLEYdudley-comic-strip-1

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Published in: on January 12, 2017 at 1:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Good News and Better News… November 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-belmont-sunflowerJesus offered a tender warning to each of us: Mother Nature does not favor us more than a tree branch full of sparrows.

Therefore we will be greatly disappointed if we do not access our willingness to repent and our endearing quality of good cheer. Without repentance and cheer, we become exhausted in our futility.

What is it that exhausts us?

This was fresh on my mind when I drove to the Belmont United Methodist Church in suburban Dayton, and encountered some excellent new friends. Pastor Randy, Mike, Janet, Terry, Larry and a whole bunch of other sparkling souls made us feel at home (once they realized we had arrived with no intention of robbing the joint.)

And as I had the blessing of standing in front of the congregation on Sunday morning to share my vision, it occurred to me that the actions and craziness of our society had worn out the people sitting in front of me.

But there were some surprises. There was one lady who came all the way from Mansfield, Ohio, after seeing us last week, and brought along one of her friends, who lives in Dayton. There was a great sense of anticipation in the air–that the spirit of innovation might just visit us with a baptism of rejuvenation.

Being exhausted is debilitating. It makes us believe we can’t do what we once did, and if we could, we’d rather not. So to get rid of that exhaustion that causes us to falter in the midst of our journey, we need to declare war on two nasty little faith drainers:

The first one is judging.

It will nearly wear you down to a nub of nothing if you think it’s your job to evaluate the lives of other people. It’s hard enough to breathe on your own. It’s even worse when you try to take the breath out of the life of someone else.

We are grouchy when we judge, we are ill-tempered, we are picky, we are fussy and we end up taking our eyes off of our own ability.

The second exhausting activity is complaining.

Every time we convince ourselves that we don’t have enough, we always end up failing to use what we have. Complaining happens when the brain overrides the spirit and creates an unholy alliance with aggravated emotion. We have an exaggerated sense of importance which causes us to think that we’re worthy of more than our daily bread.good-news-belmont-sign

So the first thing we did in Belmont yesterday was judge judging and complain about complaining.

Suddenly energy began to fill the room. We were no longer feeling the need to criticize other people or critique God and Nature because they failed to give us the quality we think we deserve.

The good news is that when you stop judging others and complaining about your life, exhaustion gets tired and leaves.

The better news is that when exhaustion stumbles away, we actually want to do things instead of feeling like we have to.

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Two Busy People… March 5, 2013

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black vanOn Mondays, I stop being Batman.

Well, actually, I’m never Batman, but I do use Monday mornings to leave my cave, buy a box of cereal and wash out my super-underwear. I guess what I become is “Bitman“–a bit of this and a bit of that.

Yesterday was no exception. Well, there was ONE unique aspect to it. We were running just a little bit later than usual and had a deadline of 11:30 A. M. for Janet to do a radio interview. So perhaps there was a bit more “hurry” in our steps.

We had finished all of our activities and were heading back to our lodging, deeply engrossed in conversation, feeling pretty good about our progress and enjoying a sunshine-filled day in Houston, Texas. Cruising through a green light at about forty miles per hour, I suddenly viewed a pickup truck, making a right turn on red, completely and totally oblivious to my presence.

Even though it all happened in a split second, I could see inside his cab and realize that he was turned to his right, involved in an animated conversation with a woman next to him. I had no time to think–no time to slam on the brakes. I had to rely completely on reflexes.

But the problem is, reflexes are often hampered by exhaustion, exasperation or especially, the sense of being busy or in a hurry. I took a quick peek in my left mirror and saw that God had granted me a free lane. I swerved into it, barely missing the truck and scooting by him in a breath of time–on down the road.

I do not know if he ever saw me. He obviously was in a hurry and had forgotten to take note of oncoming traffic.He was seconds from being plowed into by a three-ton black van. The situation was out of his control, and his life and vehicle, for that moment, were placed in my hands.

I didn’t honk at him. I didn’t shake my fist. I didn’t stop and ask him why he was so careless. I rolled on.

I was so grateful that I was not on my way to a hospital and thankful that I did not have to call insurance agent and talk about repairs. Mostly, I was glad that God has granted me the serenity and teeny-weeny bit of wisdom to know three important things:

1. Find out what you can do and relax in it. I don’t know why people worry. You can’t do more than you can do anyway, can you?

2. While you’re doing it, stay focused on what you’re doing. Multi-tasking is a great way to plan your own defeat.

3. If you’ve got an extra moment, watch out for the other guy. Maybe he hasn’t learned the first two points. Maybe he deserves a break. Maybe next time … it’ll be you.

So in this world where we all think we’re so busy, let us temporarily escape the mantra of reciting our crowded schedule and remember these three points. It’s so much more relieving.
Actually, it’s a great way to remain accident-free.

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