3 Things … February 14th, 2019

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Doing your thing

To Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

 

1.  Isolate your real abilities and be totally honest about your limitations

 

2.  Quickly find an environment that is free of intimidation

 

3.  Never leave happiness out of your decision-making

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Ask Jonathots … January 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Does wisdom come with age? Even today, kids are taught to “respect their elders,” but sometimes I’m not sure why. What are your thoughts on the notion that years add value?

I suppose the reason that “wisdom comes with age” has been promoted and generally believed by the populace is that the passage of years does grant more opportunity to screw up and survive.

But the truth of the matter is that wisdom is an understanding of the limitations of knowledge. Plainly, merely accumulating information which is deemed “correct” does not mean that the discovery of additional data in the future will not contradict or even eliminate your former comprehension.

People who become stubborn about their present knowledge will not only fail to become wise, but eventually will be considered ignorant.

So at any age you can learn the key to wisdom.

Wisdom has three basic parts that never change, and if you learn them, you can transfer your present ideas into a workable format for real life. The three parts are:

  1. Nothing is ever exactly what you think.

Aren’t you glad? It means you don’t have to be arrogant, therefore you don’t have to come across so foolish when you’re proven to be incorrect.

  1. Nothing will remain the same.

Even our faith evolves as we comprehend more about the true nature of life and God.

  1. Nothing is exclusive.

More simply phrased, anything you hear that leaves out one group of people in favor of another will eventually be exposed as errant.

So if you approach the knowledge that comes your way by filtering it through these three classic principles, you can become wise at any age.

If you don’t, you can end up looking like an 80-year-old dim-wit. 

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Five Signs You Are Doing Fine… November 13, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I'm okWe do not need discouragement to be discouraged.

We are human, capable of getting depressed on our birthday because of the possibility of our imminent death.

Once you realize that we, as a species, are tuned to the negative–and you also come to the realization that merely “acting positive” does not stimulate extra energy or true emotion, you can realistically look at the barometers which allow sunshine to enter our lives instead of dark clouds.

I can think of five of them–a quintet of good signs for “people mental health.”

1. “I don’t complain.”

That doesn’t mean I like everything that happens–but complaining is a mask we wear for arrogance, which stifles our possibilities and eliminates grace from working in our spirits.

2. “I am learning.”

I can always pick out folks who are in trouble because they are resistant to the notion of change and won’t admit that they require refreshing.

3. “I know my gifts.”

Let me give you a definition of gift: a gift is a talent or ability which when applied, normally allows me the opportunity to overcome my difficulty.

4. “I am aware of my limitations.”

There is a power in knowing when to say, “I can’t do that.” It opens the door to collaboration and provides the opportunity for someone more suited to the position to provide excellence.

5. “I am looking for reasons to join in fellowship instead of alienating myself from others.”

If you believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” you will constantly be looking out for fellow travelers to chat with and to energize you as you exhort them.

Church attendance is dropping in this country because it’s no longer popular to believe. But it is also drooping because we don’t like each other anymore.

Take a look at that list and realize that a complaining know-it-all who has an over-assessment of his or her ability, and thinks they don’t have weaknesses and avoids interaction with other humans which might create change is probably the most dangerous bomb in the world. They are flesh, stuffed with the explosive of discontentment.

There are your five signs that you are doing fine. Think about them. Better yet, keep a good sense of humor as you change the ones that are undercutting your joy and success.

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What’s the Problem? … May 9, 2012

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 It never works. It just doesn’t. 

I know I’m not supposed to say “never” but sometimes, if you don’t use the word “never,” you will foolishly continue to pursue avenues that cause you to slide off the road and fall into the ditch of dopiness. 

What never works? You come upon a person, or even a group of people, who are disgruntled, and ask them the question, “What’s the problem?” 

No problem in life is ever solved from a position of superiority, fear or dissatisfaction. Somewhere along the line, we have to relent to the notion that our dreams are not fast-food from McDonald’s, where we roll up, place an order and pick it up in less than a hundred and twenty seconds. 

Life is not difficult—it’s just life. It contains rules and regulations, which are frequently changed—refreshed, if you will—just to make sure that the participants are paying attention. But people become disgruntled because they feel that somehow they’ve been “dissed” and they’d like to grunt at you about it. 

You see why I say it never works? Because life doesn’t “diss” anyone, and there is no one willing to listen to perpetual complaining from another human being. What we all admire are humans who suffer quietly while they actively plan their next adventure. Now, we don’t admire it enough to actually imitate it, but we do understand the power of such a profile. 

This is why politics doesn’t work. By the time politicians and law-makers get together to try to resolve a conflict, the public is so frustrated by the situation that every overture towards solution is dashed on the rocks of cynicism. And then it becomes more entertaining to complain than it does to refrain from the insane. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that much of the humor in our country is merely disgruntled grumbling, which the audience nervously laughs at because there seems to be no reprieve. 

What is the answer to the economy? I hear people in a disgruntled way articulating on the elements of the situation, but no one really takes a great stab in the dark at a possible plan of action.

We have the same problem in religion. I’ve listened to countless ministers lament that numbers are dwindling—but I hear no ideas. The original purveyor of our message, Jesus, didn’t seem to have much problem drawing people to himself. No one knew he was divine—they just liked him. Does the world like the church? Does the world like politicians? 

The problem is not that we have a problem, but instead, that we are beginning to address the problem after we’re already disgruntled about it. It stymies us. And, returning to my original theme—it never works.

So I’ve decided to contribute my little portion towards the formulation of a new attitude in our world. Here’s my contribution:  I’m going to keep from being disgruntled so that I can articulate my feelings more clearly about what I desire, pray my prayers with more intelligence, and be available to enact the next good idea without negativity. To do that, I have to realize four principles about this thing called life:

1. It’s not limited. Most of the time we feel like we’re in a box that’s closing in around us. The box is our finance, which we believe is continually dwindling. The box is our talent, which we contend was too small to begin with. The box is the amount of love we receive, which we fear is uncertain. Once you believe life is limited, you start rationing, withholding, cheating and even lying. It may be difficult to allow yourself to expand your thinking to the notion that there are resources yet uncovered which can benefit your soul, yet without that boost of energy you will become exhausted every time a problem dares to lift its ugly face to stare at you.

2. Life is not for us or against us. The best way to describe life is that it shows up in the morning at work, punches the clock, does its job and then goes home at the end of the day. It has one purpose—to keep things as even and level as possible, so that every human being has the potential for success and the opportunity for failure. Trouble ensued when you believe that God is for you and the devil is against you, or the Republicans or Democrats are for you and that other group over there is against you. There is no bogey man, just creaky floorboards and dark closets.

3. Life is not sympathetic. I have stood by the side of the road staring at a flat tire for at least five minutes, wondering why the depleted rubber circle that is now completely “smushed down” will not rise up and improve its situation and bless me. I could have checked my tires. That would have helped. I could have noticed that my tires were going bald. Ingenious. So my flat tire feels no sympathy towards me whatsoever, no matter how many times I kick it, curse it or glare at it. Mercy is given to the merciful. What does that mean? To be merciful to someone else means that you are aware that life is not sympathetic—and therefore, it is your job to be so. That sensibility invigorates your entire being. It helps you in your own life—to be aware of upcoming problems. Life is not sympathetic.

4. But finally, life is not impossible. Oh, we get grumpy and fussy and insist that no one has ever suffered such slings and arrows. Job just had bad acne; we’ve got real problems. We’re just a bunch of babies who can’t find our pacifiers. I learned a long time ago—nobody I owe money to wants to put me in jail. They just want payments. The thunderstorm is not out to destroy my plans—just water the earth. And evil is not meeting in a board room somewhere, plotting the demise of all that’s good. Rather, evil occasionally books a room for the night in my heart and tries to trash the location like some traveling rock band. Yes, I am my own worst enemy, because I always give up one idea short of God’s plan to save me.

Nothing is impossible. It just takes time—and a belief that we are not limited, nothing is for us or against us, but sympathy is not available—only opportunity.

So the next time you are tempted to ask, “What’s the problem?” understand that if someone is not asking you for assistance, they are probably not ready to receive it. Instead, they are in that no man’s land, where complaining sounds like righteous rhetoric.

We can do this. We can solve all the problems in this country as soon as some brave leadership steps forward and soothes the common mania that has transformed us into disgruntled gripers. Once we do that, we will gain the faith that we are not limited, life is not for us or against us, nor is it sympathetic, but always prepared to respond to those who believe that nothing is impossible. 

  

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