3 Things … June 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Line Up to Form a Well-Balanced Life

Before I share this triplet with you, let me tell you that the order is important. Although I do not want to come across as picky, and certainly never self-righteous, the priorities of our pursuits either feed off one another or starve us of the attention and peace of mind we desire.

The elements are humility, intelligence and passion.

These are the three things. But if they’re not pursued in a correct format, you will get erratic results.

For instance, if you begin with humility, moving to intelligence and ending in passion, you normally will be too timid to seek the intelligence and the passion to a full conclusion.

If you begin with passion and move to intelligence and end in humility, your eagerness may cause you to ignore some intelligence and leave you humiliated instead of in humility.

Yet to begin with intelligence and go to humility may cause a lack of passion to execute your desires.

The order is very pragmatic:

1. Intelligence

2. Passion

3. Humility

For if you don’t have the truth—which is intelligence—you will not have the energy to want to make something, which is passion, while still celebrating your weakness, which causes you to appear free of entanglements.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Increase Your Power and Influence

 

Don’t Be the First to Speak

I am fully aware of the attitude of our times and the pressure placed upon each and every one of us to dominate and establish our individuality and value as quickly as we possibly can. To do this, we’ve created a generation of gabbers and grabbers, wanting to grab the attention of the world around them by gabbing their way into positions of authority.

We have begun to believe that the person who can chat with the most efficiency is going to be the best candidate for leadership. Yet I tell you:

There is something greater than domination

Because the weakness of domination is that it limits the success of any project to the scope and talent of the dominator.

May I suggest this? Instead of dominating, we should allow ourselves the true purity of participating. In order to participate:

You can not enter a room talking 

There are three reasons for this:

1. You do not know what’s going on in that room before you arrive.

2. The room may already have established a spirit which you might “unspirit.”

3. Guess what? This was your day to learn, and you talked right through it.

There is a spiritual intelligence to entering a room and remaining silent until you hear someone else speak.

It doesn’t make you a mouse, unprepared with anything to say. It makes you a saint—one who has arrived to contribute and assist instead of control.

Walk in a room, take a deep breath, listen to what’s being said, respond to questions that come your way, and then ease your way in with whatever gift you can offer to the mix.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Be a Better Person

PROMISES ARE NOT PROMISING

Though for a brief moment, our pride swells, our hopefulness inflates and our prowess among our fellow-humans may appear to soar, promises leave us with a single difficulty:

WE MUST DELIVER OR WE WILL START LYING

Once we start lying we can’t be trusted. When we are not trusted, we are eventually relegated to a position where people are willing to dine with us but not work with us.

The difficulty with promises is that they become two desolate deserts if we fail to deliver the goods: arrogance and foolishness.

Arrogance because we said we would be able to accomplish something and not only shared our intent but sealed it with the covenant of a promise.

Foolish because everyone wonders why we didn’t account for the thing that brought our plans down.

Yet we continue to promise that we’re going to give the money, win the game, be there on time and even be faithful until death do us part.

There’s nothing that makes us look more ridiculous than an unfulfilled promise, but people continue to feel the need to look powerful while ending up with a powerless claim. Society promotes arrogance–but we are all drawn to humility.

We expect people to overlook our foolishness although wisdom is regarded as a higher virtue.

If you want to do better, stop saying “I promise.” Instead, reply, “I think I understand what needs to be done. Here’s where my ability lies, and it’s available if you’d like me to take a shot at it.”

Nobody ever won a game, won a love, won the lottery or won salvation by making a promise.

So if you want to gain strength or be perceived as intelligent, offer what you have with humility, and apply it with wisdom.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Be Smart)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

To Be Smart

The vocal chords and the tongue have very little to do with intelligence. Surprisingly, the brain is also often a deterrent to being aware of the truth.

The best way to be smart is to be honest.

And the preferred path to honesty is to get rid of the fear of being considered out of step or not in the know.

So this week, try one thing to open the door to becoming smarter: That which you’ve seen and that which you’ve heard is the only thing you will declare.

In other words, if you read it on the Internet or catch wind of a rumor, restrain yourself. If you haven’t seen it and you haven’t heard it, don’t confirm it.

The most powerful part of your life is your personal testimony and journal about your own discoveries.

When something comes up that you have not seen or heard, simply reply, “I’m sorry, I don’t have much personal experience in that matter.”

It does not make you look stupid. For after all, the only way to look ridiculous is to pass along ideas which end up being false. The better way to come across intelligent is to let people know that you will only offer insight if you have personally seen and heard.

Other than that, you simply listen and see if you can garner some data which might be tested and proven to be true.

A great man once said, “Be careful how you hear.”

He also said, “The light of the body is the eye.”

True.

So take this week, and instead of going to the trough of the Internet or the news services to discover erroneous stories which you pander off to your friends, speak only what you have seen and heard.

It is a powerful way to look smart.

 

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G-Poppers … August 24th, 2018

“People are stupid.”

This is a statement that seems to be flying through the air twenty-four hours a day, as our society becomes convinced that gaining supremacy over other people is best achieved by insulting them and striking out at their character and intelligence.

Unfortunately, there is way to stop this onslaught without getting ground up in the gears of the mechanism.

So today I offer my last G-Popper.

It has been a great run.

Sharing the wisdom of cordiality and gentleness through the eyes of a grandfather was something I felt, many months ago when I began this column, to be a kind way of expressing the change that needs to be set forth among us all.

But it is important for all organisms on Earth to evolve with the times.

So starting next week I will have a new column on Friday entitled “Sit Down Comedy.” It will be a combination of observations mingled with a humorous peek into how we turn our everyday journey into a sixteen-lane freeway instead of just honoring a path.

And of course, in the process we will determine the difference between a stupid idea and trying to tie that misstep with the people who often accidentally stumble into believing it.

We will use video. We will use audio. We may use music. And just a little bit of writing to express the ways to escape stupidity without declaring people stupid.

It will be simpler than G-Poppers but no less sincere.

So I look forward to seeing each and every one of you next week for “Sit Down Comedy,” when we can sit down and reason together… and use the comedy to ease some of the pain.

 

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Good News and Better News… January 2nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-jon-hat

Every January 1st, a preacher friend sends me an email with his prophecies for the new year.

His predictions are always pretty general–and also grim. I guess he thinks it’s a safe bet in a world of tribulation, to foretell disaster.

  • Yet there is no love without giving.
  • Faith dies without passion.
  • And hope disappears without dreams.

It’s just too easy to be upset.

It’s way too predictable to continue to complain about the circumstances.

Yesterday morning when I arrived at Carteret United Methodist Church, I was looking for people who were fed up with being depressed.

I think Pastor Frank was pretty surprised at the turnout. After all, it was New Year’s Day and a tremendous opportunity for folks to use it as an excuse not to come to church.

But they didn’t.

We gathered, we sang, we mused, we laughed, we cried, we fellowshipped and we left–believing that certain things must be honored, or honor will leave our world.

1. Love your neighbor is not optional.

Although we spend much time in diplomacy and negotiations with countries which are determined to hurt one another, the truth of the matter is, our greatest possibility lies in the souls who still insist on loving and believing in each other.

2. Be of good cheer.

Nothing is ever accomplished from a defeated position of gloom. If knowing the facts upset you, then choose the bliss of ignorance–because in the long run, it is not intelligence or education that saves us, but rather, the wisdom we garner from the data that gives us the power to believe.

I so enjoyed the congregation in Beaufort, South Carolina–and may I tell them:

The good news is that there’s a song of praise that needs to be written every day.

And the better news is that I, for one, want to meet my Creator with that song in my heart.

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G-Poppers … June 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

“It is the mingle that produces the mangle.”

G-Pop will freely admit that the phrase may sound a little too cute, but nevertheless, bears repeating.

How we mingle our thinking determines whether virtue, progress and intelligence will become mangled.

It all revolves around two insidious but often blended ideas:

  1. It’s not my fault
  2. God will take care of it

Yes, in an attempt to free ourselves of any responsibility for failure, we seek villains to blame for the destruction in our society.

Or we stand back, feigning helplessness, reciting our prayers, waiting for a divine being to intervene and make the world a better place.

And then, there is the ridiculous mingling of the two:

“Since God will take care of everything, why should I force myself to do things that are unnatural to my present thinking?”

It is the mingle that invites the mangle.

Because once you convince a generation of human beings that they are without fault and that God has a plan for everything, you scrawl a permission slip for people to continue their ignorance and prejudice.

Even though we contend “the truth makes us free,” we fail to realize that this freedom is only achieved if we’re willing to know the truth.

And here’s the truth:

G-Pop tells all of his children that if any one of us is within three feet of a problem, we probably have some responsibility for the situation.

And if we’re not within three feet, we still have the potential–within that yard of our jurisdiction–to improve the world.

  • There is no progress without repentance.
  • But there is no repentance minus confession.

“If we confess our faults, we will be healed.” If we don’t, we remain sick.

The more we insist that we are guiltless, the more intensely others look for our guilt.

And the idea that a God who created the universe and made human beings with a brain attached to their hands and feet without expecting them to use the connection, is just pure farce.

If you want to stop the mangling of truth, justice and mercy, you will have to attack the credibility of “it’s not my fault” and “God will take care of it.”

Unless we repent, we will perish.

And not even a God of mercy will stand in the way of our disappearance.

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