The Alphabet of Us: E Is for Eliminate… January 5, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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 Building block E bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Overestimation of ability is the sure-fire way of draining energy. Human beings have very little will-power. Nothing will be achieved without understanding it.

For every magical story you can relate about someone who overcame difficulties through resolve, I can provide a million testimonials of wishy-washy results.

It is in the exaggeration of our goals that we cripple ourselves with the burden of too much anticipation, which is often followed by too much disappointment.

I can not eliminate anything. The minute I believe I can, I will make bold statements which I will be unable to achieve, causing me to want to lie. And I will tell you right now–even though we seem to be a society that condones lying, there isn’t a human being who will actually put up with anyone telling them one.

So what are we looking for? If I smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, can I really throw them away, go cold turkey and survive? Am I a hero, or am I setting myself up for an incredible fall which will make me fearful of reaching the heights of such conviction again?

Here’s the axiom:

Work on working on the work of simple progress.

If I could put that into the hearts of every brother and sister I encounter, I could lift the burden of expectation and replace it with practical approaches to making things a little bit better.

For instance, when I rounded the corner this year and wanted to lose weight, I realized that I needed to adopt an improved philosophy. Here it is:

1. Less of what I am doing.

Yes, if I can just do less of over-eating, I will be much acclaimed, even in my own mind. If every fat person would simply eat a hundred fewer calories a day, they would lose a pound a month. Remarkable.

2. More of what I want to do.

Once I stop chasing the rabbit of promises, which is wearing me out because of the futility of my efforts, I can settle down and just begin to do more of what I want to do. If every person in America smoked one less cigarette, ate one more vegetable a day and walked up that one flight of stairs, our health care costs would drop drastically.

3. And finally, just learn to tell the truth about both.

In other words, “This is what I’m doing that’s making me miserable, and this is what I need to do to make me happier.”

As people, we have a childish inclination to justify all of our actions, as if they’re really our aspirations.

Learn how to be pissed off at what’s hurting you, and delighted with what helps.

The word “eliminate” is impossible for human beings.

  • It is not our function to eliminate poverty. Keep in mind, the impoverished person must be willing to cease his or her condition.
  • We do not have the gumption to eliminate our bad habits. We can lessen them–and ultimately might convince ourselves that we don’t need them.

Arrogance is anyone who believes they have the capacity for scaring away all their demons. It’s just not possible.

The demons know us well, and have found clever hiding places.

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Mountain to Mahomet … June 19, 2013

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A B C

I am the mountain.

I am the obstacle in my own way.

I am the big, fat pile of dirt, poking up, protruding on my own path, forbidding passage.

I am the mole-hill which has become so overblown that my tiny mustard seed of faith needs to move it every single day.

We do a disservice to everything true and holy when we believe that our problems lie outside ourselves. Government is not my problem. Religion is not my dilemma. Family is not my stumbling block. My problem is me and I am my own mountain.

So as I head off to Mahomet, Illinois, tonight,  bringing my mountain, I am going to take three things into consideration. I refer to them as the basic ABC’s of human decency:

1. Act right. In other words, DON’T “be yourself.” When we bring our moods, we muddy the situation instead of finding a mode to mold our possibilities toward success. We all know how to act right–we just get bratty and refuse to participate. If you’ve forgotten how to act right, let me give you some quick suggestions:
A. Be nice. It won’t kill you.
B. Listen more than you talk.
C. Be prepared to be wrong
D. Go slow–speed kills.
There you go. And if you don’t feel it–then pretend you do. No one cares if you’re faking it, as long as you’re making it easier. Believe me–everyone prefers your better nature.

2. Be honest. Honesty is not only the best policy, but really, the only “insurance” of being taken seriously. Once you’re caught in a lie, people assume you’re a liar. It could take years to change that perception. I will be in Mahomet, Illinois, for about four hours. As you can see, I don’t have years. Tell the truth and then you don’t have to struggle to remember your fabrication. It is not a gift to the human race, it is a demand.

3. Caresome. It should be a word–caresome. Since we have “careful,” which is annoying, and “careless,” which is lazy, there SHOULD be a term to represent the value of human interaction. Caresome. You don’t have to be phony, pretending that everything is special, but you don’t want to doze through people’s conversations, waiting for the opportunity to share YOUR story. Care some. Stay involved. Listen for a question before you give an answer–and when you have finally exhausted your interest level, do people a favor. Excuse yourself and walk away.

I guarantee you fine pilgrims that if you pursue this A, B, C philosophy you will find yourself more relaxed, more valuable and more productive than if you try to “be yourself,” ultimately finding out that “yourself” does not apply.
     Act right.
     Be honest.
     Caresome.

It is the mustard seed of faith which moves the massive mountain of our huge ego.

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Holes … February 18, 2013

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GE DIGITAL CAMERAComplicating life doesn’t make you smarter.

Coming up with intricate ways of conducting your business certainly does not make you more efficient. And merely saying you live a “simple life” doesn’t work either, if you end up ignoring what needs to be done.

What works is making a plan, fully aware that life, circumstances, people and even God will reveal holes in your goals. What you do with the holes determines whether you will be considered a problem-solver, clever and on-point, or an avoider, a liar and a cheat.

That’s really how easy it is. If this were taught in our schools and churches, within one generation we would solve at least half of our problems–because we would be able to identify them as bobbles before they became disasters.

Allow yourself one fear–a fear of a lack of repentance.

Failure is inevitable because we are all learning. Set-backs are necessary because they instruct us in better ways to accomplish our goals. And without inadequacy, none of us would ever desire to learn more precise procedures to improve our lives.

While the church is concerned about sin, politics about flip-flopping, corporations frightened of whistle-blowers and the average Joe and Jane on the street terrified of embarrassment, we have developed a society which spends most of its time “spinning” our flops into accidents–or even worse, consequences beyond our control.

Here’s the system: I make a plan. In the process of doing that, I study what is set before me, evaluate what I have, and set in motion ideas which appear to be my best selections and which also don’t seem to harm anyone else. As soon as I rev that engine on my new invention, I will discover there are holes.

If I am the first one to notice them,  am prepared to repair them and I am willing to make the adjustments to them I will always appear to be a forward-thinking genius. If I insist that my original prototype is perfect and just misunderstood, or hasn’t had a chance to work out its bugs, or should be accepted despite its lack of quality, I will end up looking like a first-class jerk.

That’s it. Life is about making plans, knowing there will be holes, but that if we’re willing to patch them without bad attitudes or denial, we will make progress.

Do you want to grow up a little today? Make a plan, look for the holes, repair them–and laugh because you didn’t have to humiliate yourself by being exposed as a fool.

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