Ask Jonathots … June 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2953)

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I keep hearing from pundits that “Americans are angry.” Do you think this is true? If so, what do you think is the source of this frustration?

Every coin has two sides. The problem with America today is a two-sided coin.

This is the source of what most people are referring to as “anger,” which really is nothing more than a tantrum.

Here’s the two-sided coin:

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

Both of these statements are inherently flawed, and therefore often lead to unsatisfactory conclusions, which can cause people to develop a childish rant.

Let’s start with the first one.

The problems in our lives to some degree always involve our own lacking, procrastination, indifference, laziness or bigotry. If you can convince someone that “it’s not their fault,” then they can start looking for an enemy.

On the other hand, the second assertion–that God will take care of everything–has generated false hope. God did not create anything that does not have to participate in life. Humans are no different.

So it’s not so much that people are angry, but rather, that they’re experiencing the symptoms of seven-year-old tantrums, brought on by the fear of being held responsible or the errant promise of God taking care of everything. When these fail, frustration sets in.

So what can be done about this?

First, we have to stop legitimizing childish behavior. We have to take authority over our lives by admitting our part in the problem.

Then I think we need to teach those who seek a spiritual aspect that God is always prepared to give us wisdom, but rarely offers free checks in the mail.

Just enacting these two simple ideas would remove most of the attitude in this country which we have dubbed “anger,” and would replace it with a new feeling of good cheer, because we would be empowered to negotiate in our own lives instead of always looking for someone to blame or some heavenly being to take over our mess.

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The Alphabet of Us: Y is for You… May 25th, 2015

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Building block Y

 

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

Y-O-U.

Or is it Why Owe You?

Here’s the truth. If you don’t find personal satisfaction in the reality of your own life, then your discontentment will trickle down to me whether I like it or not. So I have to ask you a question. Why owe you?

Why would you want to leave yourself absent of the qualities, necessities and feelings that create an atmosphere for happiness?

Why would you listen to a generation of naysayers who portray human life as complicated, festering with tribulation, instead of looking for solutions and avenues for completion?

Why do you owe yourself, instead of paying the debt which allows you to feel free of unnecessary naggings?

First of all, recognize the symptoms. Since we are heart, soul, mind and strength people, start with your heart:

How can you tell if you’re emotionally balanced, or if you owe yourself something?

The first symptom of “heart trouble” is always frustration. If you find yourself snapping at other people, honking in traffic or feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, then realize there is some desire or yearning which you’re ignoring because you either feel it’s unrealistic or undeserved.

Yes, frustration is the clue that you owe your emotions a gift.

How can you tell if you’re spiritually in debt?

Doubt. I’m not talking about the kind of doubt that creeps into all of us when encompassed by undesirable situations. I mean self-doubt which leads to human doubt, culminating in God-doubt–when the only spiritual thing you find yourself saying is, “What the hell?”

Moving along, when we are mentally short on funding for our ideas, confusion sets in.

There are folks who think they have the first signs of dementia simply because their brains are so cluttered with doubt and frustration from the heart and soul that they can’t get traction in their thinking.

Feel confused? You owe it to your brain to clear out the fog.

And finally, your body–your strength–shows that you’re indebted to yourself by the gnawing presence of procrastination.

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Will you feel better tomorrow? Or will you feel worse because you’re one more day delinquent.

Why owe you? Why do you allow yourself to be a day late and a dollar short in your own being?

It makes you dissatisfied and causes you to come across obnoxious to the world around you.

  • If you’re frustrated, track down the unfulfilled desire in your emotions.
  • If you’re struggling with doubt, simplify your beliefs until you can grab onto something and run with it.
  • If you’re confused, realize that you have a traffic jam of frustration and doubt that prevents you from thinking straight.
  • And if you find yourself procrastinating, realize that it’s the culmination of fear which makes you believe you can’t pull off your purposes.

You should always think about YOU.

When you don’t, you either try to become noble and end up with a persecution complex, or you become overly secretive and end up being diagnosed as neurotic.

 

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Three Ways to Be Yourself in a World of Them…May 7th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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us them street sign

Even though I would agree that “us against them” can be a very unhealthy mindset, I also think it’s important to separate oneself from the herd–or you will end up spending all your time marching around in the surrounding crap.

There are three very distinct attitudes that have snuck into the common consciousness of our society, which even 20 years ago, would have been looked on with a bit of disapproval.

  1. Get your own.
  2. It’s no big deal.
  3. You deserve better.

These slogans conjure up selfishness, procrastination and complaining, which are gradually becoming acceptable human behavior, and can even evoke tremendous applause on a talk show if uttered with enough defiance.

The basic problem is that every philosophy has a door in and a door out. The door in is where you apply it, and the door out is when everybody else applies it against you.

So even though I may want to “get my own,” think “it’s no big deal,” and insist “I deserve better,” if other folks start popping these ideas back my way, I will be perpetually aggravated.

Thus, the philosophy doesn’t work.

So how can you live in a world of “them”–who think these ideas are popcorn, to be buttered up and consumed rapidly–and still have the integrity of having a way to believe that is acceptable if it’s projected back in your direction.

Let me offer you my three concepts:

1. Share what you can.

No one is asking anyone to live a sacrificial life. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your own needs, but there is something wrong with making up additional needs and forbidding blessing to others less fortunate.

2. Pursue what works.

We often procrastinate because we’re not convinced that our efforts amount to much. But if you have newfound vitality in knowing that something is going to work, it’s much easier to chase it down with gusto.

3. Let everyone know that you can work with what you’ve got.

I don’t know if I deserve better–because I’m too busy trying to better what I apparently deserve.

  • A genius is not someone who is given much and returns much.
  • A true genius is someone who’s given little and finds a way to make it more.

Be careful running towards the cheers of a generation that is completely befuddled by the inconsistencies of its own preaching.

There will never be any law against sharing, pursuing and working. Even those who don’t do it will eventually express their admiration.

Your job is to find yourself in a world of “them.”

You might be surprised how many “thems” see your path … and decide to pursue who they really are.

 

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Three Ways to Deal with a Disgruntled World… March 12, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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groucy Oscar the grouch bigger

Pause for a moment.

Sit down on any bench in any park or at any mall and listen to the voice of humanity passing by you.

Mingled with the occasional laugh and breathless walker, you will hear your brothers and sisters–upset, feeling cheated and often proclaiming themselves to be disenfranchised.

Disgruntled.

And even though we have convinced ourselves that having a negative view of situations is our God-given, American right, it does not change the fact that this profile of dissatisfaction renders us powerless.

There are three things that drain power from humanity. Grasp them, learn them and avoid them.

A. Complaining.

Every complainer is also proclaiming that he or she is a victim. He or she is giving over the right to be victorious to the complexity of present circumstance.

B. Superiority.

Anyone who feels their problem is caused by another human being, and that if they were left to themselves they would be better off, is a fool.

Superiority settles nothing, only creates a tug of war between competitors.

C. Procrastination.

It is very difficult to be upset when we have caused our own situation by avoiding the solution or doing it too late.

It ends up making us “watchers of life” instead of “doers.”

And I don’t know about you, but my experience tells me that those who watch become critics instead of fans.

Complaining, superiority and procrastination generate the disgruntled attitudes that render us powerless.

So what should we do in a world that seems to have donned the mask of discontent?

Here is the power:

1. I am where I choose to be.

This is probably the only guaranteed choice you will ever make. Find out who you want to be and where you want to be, get in there and stop giving up every time it gets a bit difficult. Let everybody know you’re glad you are with them.

2. I am no better than anyone else.

Make sure you believe it. Stop pitying people and instead, help them. Don’t look for reasons to be inferior only to rebound in arrogance. We are in this together, or we’re just “in this.”

3. I am going to do daily work.

Your prosperity for the coming year will be determined on how little you think and worry about the future. Successful work completed today makes less work for tomorrow and therefore, virtually guarantees success.

  • To complain about complainers is to be at the mercy of their complaints.
  • To object to bigotry and superiority is to admit that it has some sway.
  • And to lament procrastinators is to waste the time that could be invested in finding better employees.

Get the power or find yourself powerless.

Disgruntled is a hole in the gas tank of human passion.

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The Alphabet of Us: F is for Fret … January 12, 2015

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Building Block F bigger

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

Fear tentatively creeps across the stage and cautiously introduces “fret”–then runs and hides. Fret takes over.

Fret has three modes of operation:

1. Hesitation. “I’m not sure.”

2. Procrastination. “Let’s wait a little while.”

3. Frustration. “What the hell is happening?”

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that fear is what got our fretful show going. Matter of fact, it’s almost impossible to trace it back to a specific apprehension that triggers our nervous twitches and worrisome attitudes.

People spend millions of dollars in therapy attempting to find the lineage of their fret. Honestly, my dear friends, I think it’s time and money wasted.

Since fret has decided to be the front man for the “band of fear,” you might want to deal with the lead singer.

Therefore, the main reason we hesitate is because we either refuse to deal with what we have or we’re convinced it’s insufficient. Here’s a great piece of advice:

What you have you have. What I have, I have.

Waiting for a new shipment to reinforce our supply causes us to fret. We do much better when we assume that no more is coming and we make a plan to use what we have.

Likewise, we procrastinate because we are unsure that what we have can be turned into what we can do, and that it will have any impact in solving our situation. Can we simplify?

What we can do is what we can do, and if more is needed, there is nothing we can do.

And often, developing a sense of humor about our lack causes others, and even God, to want to step in and fill in the gap.

And finally, frustration is when we’re constantly obsessed with the finish line and have lost sight of the steps that get us there.

For if I find out what I have and what I can do, I have the great opportunity to celebrate what is at least a good start.

Fret is an exercise in vanity.

It is the notion that we have achieved some status of importance that should make us pressure-free.

But if we find out what we have, and we discover what we can actually do and we pronounce it to be a good start, then hesitation, procrastination and frustration will be dismissed from our cast and replaced with much better actors.

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Three Ways to Gain Respect Without Bragging … August 7, 2014

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Aretha

“R-e-s-p-e-c-t

Find out what it means to me…”

Aretha Franklin vibrantly and tunefully punctuated the Otis Redding lyric.

Almost every human being desires to gain respect, and therefore, placement in the pecking order of the human family.

Yet for some reason or another, we’ve begun to believe that this can be achieved by boasting, bragging or screeching our requests to the world around us, bolstering our demand with the threat of bad attitude or vengeance.

It’s just not the way things work.

Although we tolerate people making claims without backing them up, we eventually require that they prove their point or we will find a way to set them aside.

So I’d like to tell you three ways to gain respect without bragging:

1. Show up on time.

Let us make it clear once and for all: there is no such thing as “fashionably late.” People who arrive late communicate that they think they’re more important than everybody else in the room. It is only excusable if humility is at the heart of an apology, and then only if it’s done once or twice.

If you want to establish a reputation for being powerful, show up on time and make sure everyone knows it is part of your conviction.

2. Show up with your mood.

Honestly, it doesn’t have to be a good mood. But people who fluctuate, constantly bouncing among emotional profiles, are considered to be unstable, gossip-worthy and basically negated by their friends and family.

Being positive is good–if you’re always positive. Being neutral is fine as long as you bring that at all times. Even being in a sour disposition has its charm as long as you don’t occasionally build up hopes that you’ve made some sort of transformation to positive thinking.

Consistent moods are powerful. We may act like we will put up with people gyrating from one mood to another, but secretly we don’t.

3. Show up with the work done.

Here’s the problem with procrastinating and failing to achieve your quota: you have to explain why, which lends itself to excuses, too much story-telling and an over-abundance of drama.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself and everyone else is to make sure that today’s calendar is free from yesterday’s “things to do” list. If it isn’t, just say so, without explanation.

So these are three things that will gain you respect without you having to plant your foot, put your hand on your hip and posture for it.

After a while, if people know you’re going to show up on time, that you have a consistent mood and you get the work done … you become the champion you desire to be.

 

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

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Three Ways to Get Yourself Going… July 17, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2294)

lake

When procrastination and fear get together, they certainly do resemble laziness.

Matter of fact, millions of people castigate themselves for being lazy, practicing deep breathing exercises and trying to walk on the treadmill, only to end up, when the day is finished, with the task incomplete.

I really don’t think most people are lazy. They are victims of a common human emotional disorder:

“I’m putting this off because I’m afraid I’m going to fail.”

Now, I suppose you can try to kill your fear or fake enthusiasm, but I think that’s just placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.

Here are three suggestions on how to get yourself going when procrastination and fear have done their best to make you look lazy:

1. Begin your day with a good conversation.

Honestly, the worst place to live is in your own head. It may be where you store wisdom, but it shares the room with your doubt and fear. It’s just good to hear another voice say something different from what you’re thinking. It’s the purpose of fellowship. If you live by yourself, pick up the phone and make human contact. It isn’t good for us to be alone and when we are, we fall victim to our own insecurities.

2. Start out doing something else.

Don’t begin by working on your main project. Life is a lot like waffles–the first thing you do is never going to be as smooth as the second through the last. So do something else. Practice efficiency. Ease your way into excellence.

If you have to go to the dentist at ten o’clock and you’re not looking forward to it, then do something else at nine o’clock to give yourself a sense of well-being and accomplishment before you get drilled.

3. And finally, get away from the common.

Repetition is really noisy. It’s also where we make the most mistakes. When we believe we know something really well, we remove the valuable tension that creates the kind of focus that generates success.

  • Drive to work a different way.
  • Have a unique breakfast.
  • Do something uncommon in pursuit of your everyday activities.

It places a little jeopardy into the situation, which makes for a very good mind exercise.

You’re never going to get rid of your procrastination. Likewise, chasing your fears is similar to trying to hold jello in your hands.

But what you can do is hear fresh voices from other folk, pursue an alternative idea to get you warmed up, and choose a unique path to travel to where you’re going.

Because the secret to life is not overcoming our foibles.

The secret to life is learning how to avoid them and not put them in the controlling position.

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Arizona morning

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

 

 

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