Fighting Roaches

My father would always say, “a roach is a roach, and will always be a roach.” What he meant by this was that, while we all have the ability to change, some people choose never to change. There are some people who, no matter what, will always choose to be negative and hateful. Like a roach, there are those who will always come out at night behind your back. Here’s the rub, the person who gets mad at a roach for being a roach, is the one who looks out of character. Getting mad at a roach for being a roach, is like getting mad at a rock for being a rock. Who gets mad at a rock? Who gets in an argument with a rock? If you were seen arguing with a roach, who would be considered the crazy one, the roach or you? Unless you are an Entomologist studying the behavior of roaches, I recommend not arguing with roaches, less you risk your own reputation. You see, it doesn’t matter what you do or say, a roach is a roach, and

will always be a roach. You can take the roach to church and the roach will still be a roach, just a roach at church. You can take the time to dress, clean, and feed a roach, and in the end you will still be left with a roach. It is just a matter of fact that some people will choose to remain the way they are. In fact, the longer they stay where they are, the more ingrained and planted they become. Roachified!

So then, what do you do? Since you cannot make a roach change, and you don’t want to waste your life waiting to see if the roach is going to change, the change must start with you. The reality is the roaches show up because they are attracted to something in the environment. To help you keep your space roach free make sure your space, especially your mouth, is negativity free. Roaches thrive on negativity. If a roach even thinks you’re going to leave some negativity around it will follow you until the cows come home. Roaches are so sensitive to negativity, that they are attracted to negative thoughts. Roaches can tell when you are heavy with negativity, even when you have not said a word. The next thing you know, the roach is calling you on the phone; fishing for negativity. Remember the sign at the zoo that reads, “don’t feed the animals.” Well in this case, don’t feed the roaches.

 

Finally, don’t be surprised when you see a roach. Even Jesus said, “The poor you will have with you always.” I believe this statement can be applied to roaches as well. There’s always a roach lurking around somewhere…just make sure that roach is not you.

Anything is possible

Darin Sanders

Where’s your focus?

Everyone has two natures. In theology, we often refer to these two natures as one being the Adamic (limited) nature, and the other being your divine or Christ-like nature. One of these natures wants you to advance while the other wants to pull you back.

The one that you cultivate and concentrate on decides what you are in the end. Both natures are trying to gain control. Your will alone decides the issue. A person by the supreme effort of the will may change their whole career and almost accomplish miracles. You can be if you will to be, for will can find a way or make one.

The challenge with this concept is that many confuse the will with the want. Will and want are not the same thing. Want comes from the premise of lack and not having something. Will comes from the premise of determination and causality. One of these will win – you will either want and not succeed, or you will succeed. Every day you are faced with making this decision. Today, what will you choose?

We could easily fill a book of cases where people were just seemingly going about their day, were all at once aroused and, as if awakened from a slumber, they develop possibility within them and from that time on are a different person. You alone can decide when the turning point will come.

It is a matter of choice whether you allow your divine nature to control you or whether you will be controlled by the Adamic (limited) nature within you. No one has to do anything they don’t want to do. They are therefore the director of their life. What you end up doing, is the result of your focus. You, like everyone else, are like putty, and can be completely controlled by your focus, and concentration power.

Your mind is malleable – it can and will change. The real question is, “What are you molding – making of yourself?” Like everything in the universe, the will is spinning and the clay is turning, and you are being formed. What form will you take?

It is interesting that the Potter uses both centrifugal force, which is pressure, and water as tools for forming. Theologically speaking, water is a symbol for word. So, in essence you are being formed by pressure and word.

A good way to tell how you are handling the pressure is by the words you speak. These words represent information IN-FORM-ATION…in other words, the action that is forming inside of you. Today, what words will you choose? Incidentally, we are reminded in the Bible that the power of life and death are in the tongue.

Anything is possible!

Darin

Giving it 100%

Give 100%

What does it mean to give your very best? What do you look like when you’re giving 100%? What does 100% look like when you’re at work? What does 100% look like when you’re at home? What is 100% look like in a relationship? How do you define 100% in a relationship with God? Does it mean giving more time, more attention, more passion? Possibly. One thing is for sure, it does mean being willing to do all the above. It means being willing to go to the next level; it means being willing to be better than better.

This then begs the question, “What does it mean to give 110%?” No doubt you have heard this, and probably have said it yourself. What does it really mean? Or, should I ask, what do you really mean when you say that? That statement is often said to garner a certain level of attention. By saying this we intend on expressing our intention to do better. The challenge with the statement requires that you know what your 100% is. It means that you have to know what your best looks like, feels like, and sounds like.

Giving 100% means fulfilling your known potential. It means doing what you know you could do. Thus, giving 110% means going beyond what you know you can do. It means accessing a certain power within you that you did not know was there. The 110% is you expanded to the Nth Degree. You can’t reach 110% until you have reached 100%. That leaves us with the question, why have you not reached your 100%?

The reason is because your productivity matches the stimulus placed upon you externally. This stimulus could be positive or negative, for example, getting a bonus or losing your job. When your productivity is based on external stimuli you minimize your real potential for 100% to the level of that external stimulus. So the moment you reach the requirements of the external stimulus you cease to pursue further greatness. The reason you cease to pursue further greatness is because you have misconstrued the payoff as external. The true payoff is accessing the greatness inside you that is greater than anything that anyone could pay you. The satisfaction of fulfilling your purpose is the true payoff, and there is nothing that can compare.

When you ask a wealthy person why they continue to work hard, the answer is often not for more money. If they are not working for more money, even though they don’t need it, why continue to work hard? The answer is because the wealthy understand what the true payoff is – it’s the internal satisfaction of fulfilling their ultimate potential. Being a difference maker makes a much bigger difference than any paycheck could. The poor are counting the dollars, while the rich are counting the difference they make.

So the next time you show up to work and you see that you’re counting the dollars, you know which category you are operating from. I invite you to take on the other category – the difference makers. Think about what difference you can make today versus yesterday. What is something that you could do today that you don’t usually do? And consider this, what could you do today that others tend not to do but could do? Because we are creatures of habit, this requires stepping out of your comfort zone. This means that you have to look at yourself differently, and you have to look at your world differently. It means seeing yourself as a person who takes advantage of every opportunity. It also means seeing the world as a place of abundant opportunities.

If you don’t believe opportunities are there you will not pursue them. If you believe the opportunities are there, but believe you are incapable of achieving them, you will not seize the opportunity. You can start wherever you would like, but for those who find this challenging, I recommend starting small. You could start as small as picking up a piece of paper, or trash and throwing it away, versus just walking past it. Will you get an extra dollar for going out of your way and doing someone else’s job? Probably not. Again, the satisfaction is internal. You, in that moment, have made a difference regardless if anyone sees you doing it or not. You pick up and throw away the trash because you are a difference maker, and throwing away trash properly makes a difference.

What’s actually happening when you do this is you are training, and empowering your will. Most people operate there will out of some compulsory stimulus. In other words, they conform their will based on the requirements to getting pleasure or avoiding pain. This is the difference between being motivated and being inspired.

Motivation is external. I could motivate you to run at your fastest pace as long as you possibly could. It might require me pulling out my pistol and firing a few shots your way, but in the end chances are you will start running. The moment you stop hearing the gunshots, and you turn and you don’t see me anymore the first thing you’re going to do is stop. The reason you stop is because the external stimulus is no longer there. Thus, motivation requires a constant external stimulus to get results. Furthermore, the stimulus has to get stronger over time in order to produce the same results. This is because some stimuli you get used to, and they don’t produce the same results. The reason is because you know you are not going to get anything more out of doing what you’ve been doing. So, as long as the stimulus is there and gets stronger the motivation will be there to produce results.

Conversely, inspiration is internal. Inspiration does not require external stimuli in order to produce results. The stimulus is internal, it’s the burning on the inside that says, “I’m better than this!” Inspiration is that insight that you get when you see how things could be done better or more efficient. Inspiration has you do more than just think about making a difference, it has you going about making a difference…because you can. When you have made that difference it gives you a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction than your normal paycheck. What it means is that you understand your own worth, and that you are worth more than the paycheck you get in your hand. This is the beginning of moving from the poor mindset to the attitude shared by the wealthy and elite.

The excuse that many people give for not giving 100% is they believe that it would pull away from the time they have for the other important things in their life. The answer to this quandary is proper time management and communication. So, this means that you can’t just show up to work tomorrow and say okay today I’m going to give 100%. The reason you can’t do this is because chances are you don’t know how to prioritize what you could do to make the biggest difference. So my recommendation is to build a list of priorities that make a difference. Build a separate lists for different areas of your life: your work life, your family life etc. After you have built your list identify the top three difference makers and plan them into your day. If this means that your schedule has to change a bit communicated that to those who need to know. And in your communication explain the value that they are going to get out of you fulfilling on this difference making. Also, create an expectation of the difference you are going to make in the category that that person occupies.

That said, the biggest impact you can make is the one that is done when others aren’t expecting it to be done, or at least others don’t expect it to be done by you. This reinforces the important notion that the reward is not external but internal.

Anything is possible!

Darin

 

Too Busy for Life?

Are you one of the ones who live life with your self perception on the back burner? Are you so busy that you have no time to think about who you are being? It is easy to lose a sense of who you really are in the busyness of life.

The danger of being that busy is that you become your work and potentially lose your self-worth. It is interesting how the highway gets filled early in the morning with people rushing – rushing to get to work. These same people, at the end of the day, are rushing to get home – rushing to leave work.

With thousands of people pressing their way through traffic, I wonder what’s on their mind. Are they excited about were there going? Or, are they already full of dread and stress?

I know what it’s like to lose yourself inside the demands of others. I know what it’s like to work through pain, both physically and mentally. I too have had to put on the mask that looks like I’m smiling, but behind the mask is despair.

This way of living is not the divine plan. It clearly states in Scripture that God’s plan for your life, in part, is not to harm you. Your Creator wants you to prosper – body, mind, and spirit. Are you too busy trying to keep up? Are you so busy trying to survive that prosperity doesn’t even enter your mind? Do you really think that God wants you to live this way?

The obvious question then is, “How else are we to live?”, “What else is there?” These are great questions. In fact, these questions are so important, that if you don’t answer them you could find yourself working yourself to death without ever having truly lived.

Working was part of the original plan of the creator. Struggling to survive and to make ends meet is contrary to the original plan – your divine design.

If you are unhappy or feeling incomplete, it is critical for you to address what is happening in your life. This task is a lot easier than you might think. Let me show you how it works…

First, divide your life into four sections:

Your spiritual life
Your social life
Your physical life,
And finally your mental life.

Don’t stress about the order of your list because you’re going to address all four categories. Now, answer this question for each category, “What are some activities that you can do in each category that make you feel good?”

Remember, if you don’t take the time to answer this question for each category, you may find that work is taking over your life – whether it is work outside of the home, or the work that you have to do at home. People who work from home, including stay-at-home moms, can also just as easily lose themselves in the busyness of daily life.

When you lose yourself in the busyness of daily life, you will find that you have nothing more to give. Your tank will be empty and you will not be able to give anymore to anyone else, including giving to yourself. Another term for this is called burnout. Trust me, I know, I have been so burned out that I was nothing more than a crispy critter, helpless to anyone – I couldn’t even help myself. This is why answering this question for these four categories is so important.

Do your best to come up with at least three things you can do in each category that help you feel happier, and more complete. It does not matter how simple, or seemingly insignificant the activity is. What matters is that you recognize that the activity helps you feel alive. Finally, I strongly urge you to implement an activity from each category, if not every day, at least every week. It is important that you do an activity from each category, or you will feel your life being out of balance – out of harmony. When you are out of balance, and not aligned it will be very difficult, if not impossible to discover your true purpose and calling in life.

Some examples of activities that can propel you into feeling more alive are:

Your spiritual life
Meditation, sacred text reading, attending spiritual renewal events, having a spiritual conversation with someone, contemplative prayer, reading a devotional book, or any book that helps you feel connected to the Divine.

Your mental life
Reading a good book, watching a television show that makes you laugh, or peaks your interest, challenging yourself to learn something new (My wife and I recently challenged ourselves to learn the alphabet backwards). While there was no practical value to learning the alphabet backwards, there was tremendous amounts of intrinsic value for stretching ourselves to accomplish something new together. You could also consider stepping outside to take in the view of a brilliant sky, catch up on current events – be informed, but not inundated.

Your physical life
This category, like all the categories, is different for everyone. So, always be sure to consult your physician to ensure the safety of your health. That said, you don’t have to run a triathlon to energize yourself physically. You could simply go for walk, you could do some exercising such as swimming, or simply do some stretching.

Your physical life also includes your physical space. This means tidying up where you live, maybe clean out the car, consider your workspace, perhaps getting an organizer could help. This doesn’t have to be hard, you could start with just making your bed after you wake up. In short, do your best to move, and do your best to address your living and working space.

Your social life
In the busy world that we live in we are often too busy, or too tired to spend time with friends. If you stay that busy you will discover that you will have fewer and fewer friends over time. While I am not saying that you have to throw a party every weekend, but you could take the time to make a call, send a text, “Just saying hello and how are you?” If you are reading this and you don’t have any friends, then perhaps it is time to make some new friends. You could also take the time to connect and reconnect with family members you haven’t spoken to for awhile.

Have courage, and don’t let the fear of rejection deter you from this important activity in your life. Even if you are a homebody, you are still a social being…find a way to connect. We live in a world where technology has made it unbelievably easy to connect with friends and family, and even meet new people – and you can do this without ever having to leave your house! The point is be careful not to be too busy for life.

 

Break your chain Part Five

I am fortunate to have a father, who is also a preacher – a faith preacher. He taught me that no matter what, if I really believed, and aligned my mind, my heart, and my strength with that belief, it would be impossible for me to fail. What this meant was my ninth grade year would be my moment of change – if I believed enough to make that choice. I believed.

I can’t really explain how it happened. My parents, who wanted the best for me, simply had been out of school too long – education was different, so they could offer little help.   A tied up elephant doesn’t roam with the free  elephants, which means I didn’t have very many smart friends. All I really had was that lesson from my father – it is impossible for you to fail. Turns out, that’s all I needed.

The elephant began to press against the limits that had been there all his life. When the elephant could go no further than what limited him, he would pace back and forth, pulling against what was holding him back, while keeping a laser focus on where he wanted to go. There is strength in you to keep moving, even if it doesn’t seem like you are making progress. Just keep moving, and stay focused. You will experience a breakthrough.

Anything is Possible!

Darin Sanders, M.Div.

 

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