1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Communicate Yourself More Clearly to Others


Pick Your Eye Placement

The human eyes, being the windows to our soul, are perhaps our most powerful way of passing along our inner thoughts and unfortunately, our internal prejudices.

Bluntly, eye contact is powerfully overwhelming. Sometimes it’s just not needed. Often it can be intrusive. Matter of fact, animals in the jungle do not make eye contact with each other unless they’re ready to square off and fight.

Therefore, deciding what to do with your eyes in any particular  situation grants you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not passing along false information to other people because they misinterpret your gaze.

This is the power of the cell phone. When you’re going into an environment where you do not know anyone, you’re not aware of how things will turn out, or striking up conversations with the people next to you may be perceived as wacky, look down at your phone. Pen a note. Peruse a book.

If you want to convey that you’re deep in thought, stare straight ahead.

If your selection is to scan the room as if you’re keeping yourself open to possible introduction, then turn your head from right to left and go back and forth like you’re slowly mowing a lawn.

Yet, when you’re in a new situation, avoid eye contact. Since nobody knows you, it will generally be considered to be criticism.

As De Niro once said, “Are you lookin’ at me? Are you lookin’ at me?”

Save your eyeballs for better use—intimacy.

Where you place your eyes determines what you are communicating to the surrounding atmosphere.

Just keep in mind—until your presence is welcome, your eyes can be viewed as being too aggressive.


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3 Things… March 29th, 2018

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That Make You Attractive and Valuable to Others

1. Humble

Humility is doing what you do instead of talking about it

2. Merciful

Mercy is knowing you can’t change people so you finally stop trying

3. Humor

The warmth of your peace of mind should arrive three seconds before you start speaking or doing your thing

 

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Good News and Better News… October 23rd, 2017

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Yesterday we celebrated with the folks at the Belleview United Methodist Church. Well, at least with those who were willing to celebrate.

Of course, that’s always the case.

Jan and I are just “two drifters, out to see the world.” And of course, there’s an awful lot of world to see. But there are some common themes.

The religious system that has taken hostage the church of Jesus Christ somehow or another has convinced itself that it can build a congregation by using prayer, Bible study and worship. Even though diminishing numbers in the pews contradict this fact, those who have spent more time in seminary than in the mainstream of America continue to blindly lead the blind right into the ditch of oblivion.

Fortunately, we have the example of Jesus, who offered people abundant life, full joy and peace of mind. You remember his words, right?

“I have come to give you life and it more abundantly.”

“I have come that your joy might be full.”

“I bring you peace–a peace the world cannot give.”

What would happen if we actually started focusing our message, our ministry, our efforts and even our artistry toward abundant life, full joy and peace of mind?

Aren’t these rather desirable offerings for those who find themselves clad in human skin?

But there are still those who feel that if they whisper the name of God, bow their heads repeatedly and tiptoe through the sanctuary, the heavens will flash a big smile of approval.

Not for me.

I will continue to promote the idea that the Gospel was meant to be shared by humans, for humans. Therefore, any idea that angelic or pious approaches will reach the human family is ludicrous.

The good news is that abundant life, joyousness and peace of mind are still appealing to people.

The better news is, it just happens to be what Jesus wants us to share.

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G-Poppers … October 7th, 2016

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Jon close up

Futility is the soul-gobbling bacteria that carves out the insides of human hope, leaving emptiness.

Yesterday, G-Pop took a little trip over to Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Such a festive time.

Still, it was fraught with inconvenience. Checking out at Customer Service ended up being a rather arduous task, as some mistakes were made by staff. Yet it is difficult to be fussy when Nat King Cole is singing about roasted chestnuts.

Leaving the fantasy world, lunch was procured at a Chinese restaurant. Upon departure, G-Pop discovered that the old black van refused to start. Either the battery was dead or the starter was gone. G-Pop found this distressing because the previous day he’d had repair done on some belts.

He began to feel that odd tingle of futility. Even though he knew that things always work out eventually, being left in the lurch certainly appeared to be unrighteous.

G-Pop forgot the cardinal lesson of Earth journey: No matter what I do, I will do more, so I better enjoy doing it.

Forgetting this abiding notion led to two dastardly conclusions:

1. It’s not fair

2. It’s not possible

So what was G-Pop supposed to do?

Fortunately, there are dual ways of escape from the fracture of futility:

A. If you’re being slowed down, then stop.

In other words, if for some reason you find yourself on the bad end of a deal, it does not help to double down. Go ahead and stop.

G-Pop just sat in his van for about two minutes, considering options. Fortunately for him, he was in the middle of a commercial region, and there was a car dealership across the street. So on to Step 2.

B. While you are stopped, take inventory.

What did G-Pop have?

He had two friends with him–one who was more than willing to go across the street and procure help. Apparently it was a very slow day in Frankenmuth car land, because in no time at all, there were four agents from the dealership gathered around the van, trying to figure out how to fix it.

It was determined that a starter was needed, so one was procured, and fortunately, was so easy to put on that the vehicle didn’t even need to leave the parking lot.

In less than an hour, G-Pop and friends were on their way.

Now granted–it was too expensive, and the dealership people were grinning the whole time because they were making a killing. Sometimes that’s just the price for peace of mind.

For after all, futility is the little piece of arrogance we save back for those occasions when we believe that God is not doing His job.

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

Ask Jonathots … April 28th, 2016

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I am a “young married,” age 25 and my husband is 26. We both work, have student loans and other debt we’re trying to pay off. We’re working really hard to become financially solvent. It seems like all my friends are in this same boat. So I found myself wondering–what is the connection between money and happiness?

Let me start off by saying that money is a commodity and happiness is a state of contentment.

So it is difficult for me to answer this question unless I know how the commodity of money affects your state of contentment.

For some people it does and for others it does not. So I will answer briefly for both arenas.

{By the way, there are many people who counsel on financial matters and do it much better than I can. Just punch up on the Internet “Balancing Budgets” or “Creating a Family Budget” and you’ll be inundated.}

My answer will be more general: how much is money involved in your state of contentment?

Give yourself a quick test. Two questions:

1. When I have enough money for my needs, do I feel more grown-up and delighted?

2. Do I have an occasion when I haven’t had money and still felt delighted?

And I should probably add a third question:

3. What do I find that delights me most of the time?

If money gives you an aura of well-being, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it, but you must create a budget that is always achievable, because this will determine your peace of mind.

If money is something you can handle in small or large quantities, with equal affect on your psyche, then you can vary your budget, allowing yourself a week to splurge and a week to go without.

Feeling dependent on money is not a bad thing. After all, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Money itself is not only essential, but is quite pleasurable.

Now, keep in mind, though–you have a second person involved. Your husband. His sensations may be completely different.

So the first thing is for both of you to sit down and discuss what money means to you, what you feel about the pressure of bills, and whether you are more comfortable earning more money or trimming your budget.

These will be the two choices.

For magical checks don’t come in the mail, banking institutions don’t suddenly become generous and give you lower rates of interest and no pot of gold has ever been found at the end of the rainbow.

“Will we be more content earning additional money to satisfy our desires, or will we be equally happy with less money, trimming our budget and buying Brand X popcorn instead of Orville Redenbacher?”

There is only one thing to remember in life: if you try to live off somebody else’s experience, you will end up devastated.

  • What does money mean to you?
  • What do you really require to feel content?
  • And are there ways to achieve that magical amount of money by either working harder or cutting the budget?

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Three Ways in Three Days to Escape the Maze… September 18, 2014

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maze

Feeling trapped.

It brings out the worst in us.

Once we have the sensation of being a mouse caught in an endless series of twists and turns, we very quickly turn into a rat, clawing at our surroundings.

Perhaps it is a flaw of human character, but we have a tendency to blame others for our limited circumstances in an attempt to avoid the inclination for self-destruction.

It usually falls into three categories:

  1. I don’t like what I’m doing.
  2. I don’t like who I’m doing it with.
  3. I don’t like doing it here.

If you think about it for a moment, these three statements can become the descending path that plummets us into inactivity, depositing us at the bottom, grouchy and unproductive.

So what can we do?

Take three days of your life and try to generate a GPS to escape your maze.

DAY ONE

Set in motion a culture of candor. You will be astonished how much freedom and peace of mind you can achieve simply by stating the facts or trying to live up to your press release.

In a twenty-four hour period, if you will be completely honest about your desires, as long as you’re not attacking people, they will appreciate the revelation.

A culture of candor relieves at least half the burden.

DAY TWO

Show what you mean. Don’t explain what you want, demonstrate it. Create a prototype for your heart’s desire. Even if it’s crude and not exactly to spec, let people know what you want to do.

Let me say, working in the music industry over the years, I have run across two types of individuals who dub themselves “artists.” There are those who believe they are camera-ready and studio suited and they’re just waiting for the big break. And there are those who are tired of waiting for the big break and have found a way to use their talents every single day, to demonstrate their ability, while improving.

If you’re not going to show what you mean, don’t expect people to understand your explanation. We all need a visual.

DAY THREE

And finally, move towards the movement. If you’ve had a day of candor and a day of showing what you mean, a bit of movement will come your way. It may not mirror your final preference, but if you always move toward the movement, something is always moving.

When you feel trapped in your maze, trying to reconnoiter your environment is exhausting because you never know if you’re going in the right direction.

But if you’ll take three days to create a culture of candor, show what you mean and move towards the movement, in no time at all you will begin to understand that there is a way to escape the mundane. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

G-13: Contented or Complacent? … February 28, 2014

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Contented is having the peace of mind to pursue greater things.hammock

Complacent is thinking that peace of mind is the greatest thing.

Contented is arriving at a goal and noticing that the road continues.

Complacent is the belief that the road ends with the latest goal.

Contented is being grateful for the next challenge as you celebrate the present victory.

Complacent is deciding that the present victory grants permission to languish in gratitude.

Contented is finding your footing and looking out to help those who are still slipping.

Complacent is being satisfied with personal safety.

Contented is having good cheer without always being happy.

Complacent is demanding happiness before having good cheer.

Contented is seeking God.

Complacent is loving God.

Contented is a stop-off to glory.

Complacent is finding glory in the stop-off.

We are not meant to be satisfied. We gain satisfaction with each new, meaningful encounter.

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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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