1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Know What to Do

 

It is simply to ask yourself the question:

Have I done it before?

Even though we are challenged by a society that extols trying “something new,” we will not achieve great things unless we understand our limits.

For you see, there may be a reason you’ve never done it before. Maybe it’s not because you’re lazy. Perhaps you aren’t unmotivated.

When we begin to believe that everyone is a “sun” there will be no moons. There will be no people who reflect the brilliance of the world around them and shine it off in their own style.

I will tell you flatly, there are just things that I can’t do.

Part of this is preference, part of it is ability and part of it is that with the amount of energy it would take for me to become proficient at this one thing, I could have borne great benefit many times over by using my talent wisely.

Learn to avoid two silly ideas

  1. Try new things.

Not unless you’ve done something like it before and you know it’s in your scope.

  1. Challenge yourself.

May I suggest, rather, that you perfect yourself. Work on what’s already working to make your work better, so your work will mean something.

Have I done it before? Is the answer no?

Maybe humiliation is not the best path to travel for personal growth

Maybe it’s better to be more selective, and therefore, focused.

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Ask Jonathots … September 24th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It seems to me that you only win in life if you’re aggressive. For instance, Donald Trump, who is extremely defensive and cutting, leads in the Republican polls. I’m not asking you to talk about politics, just answer this question: how can Jesus suggest that we get anywhere by “turning the other cheek?” Or is he just talking about the afterlife?

I think the problem in most people’s thinking is that they like to characterize certain words as positive or negative. Putting it in simpler terms, most folks would consider passive to be the opposite of aggressive.

But the issue is not whether we should be aggressive. The issue is, to whom?

You are absolutely correct–aggression expressed to others as a means of domination or for generating payback is not only non-spiritual, but also generally considered, in the long run, to be a lame choice.

Yet we are certainly supposed to be aggressive to ourselves. Intertwined in the teachings of Jesus is a strong motivational message to go the second mile, be perfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, and take care of the beam in your own eye instead of worrying about the mote in your brother’s eye.

The foible in humans is that we would much rather be aggressive toward other people’s weaknesses than our own.

Donald Trump is characterized as aggressive, but he isn’t alone. There is a general consensus in our society that we can achieve success by–pardon the expression–“trumping” others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After all, insult may be the only word that never requires a period. As long as an insult is hanging in the air, it’s just awaiting the arrival of the next insult.

So what does it mean–to be aggressive to yourself?

1. Take an inventory.

Consider what you actually can do instead of what you want to do, and then work on those talents.

2. Practice what you want to achieve until you reach the point that you don’t have to make excuses for your shortcomings.

There will still be failures but you want to make sure they are not caused by your lack of perseverance.

3. Don’t compare your work to the work of others.

Compare it to your own vision and what you desire to achieve.

The Jesonian life–a life following Jesus–is an aggressive one–but not in relationship to our judgment and critique of others.

Rather, in our own passion to perfect our ways … and learn how to go the second mile.

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G-18: Fellowship or Companionship … April 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Adam it's not enough

It’s not enough

I don’t know how to tell you

You have given me so much

I value your love

I treasure our relationship

I feel you inside me

I am thrilled with my work

I am enthralled by my home

I adore the creatures around me

If perfect is possible, then here it is

At my fingertips

In my pulse

Yet sadly, my friend, it is not enough

I simultaneously feel a vacancy and a sense of shame over the lack

I really tried to make a go of it

I felt as if work, fellowship and purpose should be sufficient to my need

I was wrong

I do not want to lie to you

I do not want to sneak away in a corner and pretend

I yearn for companionship

What is that?

Someone to hold in my arms

To confirm my presence

Someone to share blessing and blame

Someone for me to pleasure, and in turn, draw my pleasure from

Someone who disagrees, but remains

Someone who is like me but in a different sort of way

Someone who is sometimes stronger

Sometimes weaker

Honestly, someone who isn’t you

Someone who is, well … me

I don’t want to complain

But it is not enough

 

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Populie: Be Yourself… March 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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The VoiceIt happens all the time on shows like The Voice or American Idol: a contestant is voted off by the audience and awaits the final words of encouragement from the judges.

Inevitably, one of the mentors will pipe up with, “Be yourself.”

You can see the look of confusion on the contestant’s face as he or she thinks, “Isn’t that what I just did? I was myself–and I lost.”

It is popular. “Be yourself” has become the mantra of a generation which thinks the cure for mediocrity is pumping people up.

It is popular, but it is a lie.

POPULIE.

The problem with the concept of “be yourself” is that individuality loses its power when compatibility isn’t achieved. In other words, if we can’t find a way to peacefully co-exist with each other, merely standing firm, establishing our presence, won’t achieve much except further separation in thinking and segregation between people based upon their quirks.

I will be honest with you–if you’re able to find one other person in your life that you can actually be yourself around, without them running away in horror, you have just discovered a miracle.

Truth–fine tune who you are according to what you need to do and where you want to go.

The Good Book offers us three other “be’s” to consider “beneath our bonnet:”

1. Be not afraid.

You guarantee failure if you are frightened and choke when opportunity comes your way. If you have a reasonable amount of ability and learn how to use it well, you will find a reasonable amount of success.

2. Be of good cheer.

The greatest buzz-kill in life is to take things too seriously. A light heart lends itself to a willing spirit, which invites an open mind, giving you a chance to survive when things begin to evolve in front of you.

3. Be perfect.

Maybe that should be “perfect your be.” In other words, find something you do well and continue to practice it until it’s at market quality, and then make sure you keep it up to spec-ready to go.

If you decide to pursue a lifestyle to “be yourself,” you will have a narrow vision for what is acceptable, and you will have a smaller and smaller handful of folks who are willing to put up with your alleged uniqueness.

  • It is a populie. 
  • It is marijuana to the masses.
  • It is the notion that we can remain the same and still get our portion.

What we need to be is whatever is necessary to allow ourselves to be part of the human family…successful without hurting anyone else in the process. 

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We Are (The Jesonian Creed)… February 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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We are blessed. holding hands

We are mourners, but comforted.

We are hungry and thirsty for better things, and end up filled.

We are merciful and in so doing, get our needful share.

We are pure in heart, which enables us to see God.

We are peacemakers and blessed to be called the children of God.

We are the salt of the earth.

We are the light of the world.

We are a city set on a hill for all to see.

We are not alone.

We are not even lonely.

We are loved.

We are possessed by love.

We are part of an ever-growing family.

We are perfect, even as our Father is perfect.

We are able to pray and be heard.

We can forgive and be forgiven.

We are given daily bread.

We can lay up treasure in heaven.

We are in no need of worrying.

We can seek first the kingdom of God and have everything added unto us.

We can stop judging, unafraid of being judged.

We are able to ask and be given.

We are able to seek and find.

We are able to knock and have the doors flung open.

We are given good gifts.

We can bear fruit.

We are able to bless the least of these.

We are known by God.

And we are built upon the rock, and even though the storms will come and the rains will pelt and beat upon us, we are not going to fall.

(Adapted from Matthew 5, 6 and 7)

 

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G-3: Create or Critique… December 20, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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apeI struggled with the decision.

I do believe I have ability, but apparently I possess enough insecurity that I would rather discuss my efforts than enact them. Why? Because stepping forward always generates the possibility of slipping or falling off a cliff.

Yes, it is much more pleasant to contemplate an idea than it is to perform it.

But here’s the difficulty: when we fail to create, we find ourselves tumbling into the backward, ignorant position of critiquing. Why? Because those around us who have the audacity to actually produce a product end up making us look insipid in our indecision, so we feel compelled to pick and fuss at their endeavors in order to make ourselves look viable and intelligent.

At the heart of every critic is a person who could have been creative, but balked out of fear. But I will tell you–once you begin to create things, you are much less likely to criticize the virgin efforts of others. The experience of making yourself vulnerable by presenting your gift also causes you to feel greater mercy for others who brave the terror.

Why are we so afraid?

1. We have convinced ourselves that something has to be perfect.

I don’t know why–nothing ever is.

  • But the reason most people don’t write is because they think every sentence has to be aligned with the gospel of grammar.
  • People refuse to sing, horrified that bad pitch or forgetting the lyrics will render them the fool of the day.
  • A carpenter will stop working with wood, terrified that he’ll hit his thumb with a hammer.

All creativity is brought to a halt by the superstition of perfection. There is no such thing, but we insist on its existence.

2. We are afraid to perfect.

Yes, there is a certain chill that goes down our spine over the dual prospect of admitting lack and jumping in once again to remold the idea. So because we’re plagued by this tentative energy, we choose to critique instead of create.

But after I wrestled with my own frustrations, I finally decided to become a creator instead of a criticizer. And what did I get for my noble decision? Criticism. But also–something to work with.

So I will make something today that did not exist yesterday, knowing that it will be critiqued by those who made nothing. For creativity is the only way we sense the breath of God within us.

Criticism is for monkeys … and those who ape them.

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

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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

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G-2: Big and Small … December 13, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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ballsIn the midst of my great jubilation over the findings in my pursuit of who I am and what I can do, I still feel compelled to stop and ask myself, when does conceit begin and gratitude end?

What opinion rules? Is it mine, or the misgivings of others?

Am I trapped in a game of guessing God‘s will, or placing upon the Divine Father attitudes that are comfortable to me, but not necessarily in the spectrum of His vision?

Is is possible that my “big” is really “small?”

Or maybe that I’ve underestimated my “small” and it’s truly “big?”

Am I stuck in a quicksand that has me sinking with indecision instead of escaping to walk on firm ground?

Can I salve my ego with platitudes or rationalization?

Oh, please God, let me avoid the obvious pitfall of comparing my efforts to those around me, for that is truly planting the rose-colored glasses upon my blinded eyes.

Yet somehow there has to be a standard. Isn’t there girth in accomplishment which should be obvious?

Is the fact that someone else would be overjoyed with my accumulation evidence of my prowess?

What power is there in just being alive? Is a tree that bears no fruit really a tree? Or just a huge stick in the mud?

Who do I compare myself to without becoming lazy or crazy?

May I present three thoughts:

  1. Big is always small without the inclusion of faith.
  2. Small is big if the feelings, dreams and needs of others are honored.
  3. Yet it doesn’t really matter if I am using up what is available instead of saving it for a rainy day.

I will create … even if it’s not perfect.

 

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

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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

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