Comparison Ruins Contentment

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now this is a big subject to cover.  Probably one of the biggest problems in today’s society is desiring what someone else has, to be like someone else, or to feel the expectation to be a certain person.  Now being inspired by someone or something is different, considering you have a realistic view of yourself and can still maintian contentment in who you are, knowing you want or need personal growth.  Otherwise, this is such a negative way to live life without even know you’re comparing yourself to someone.  To not be happy with what you have or WHO YOU ARE!  Sounds crazy!  Yet its an epidemic that I think we all could use a little help on. It’s just “human” to want what someone else has or is.. I mean, the grass is always greener isn’t it?!

Now of course there are many routes to take this.  Striving to succeed because “kicking life in the booty” is how you like to do things,  I think we can completely relate on this mentality.  God gave us the abilities to work and achieve, and so if you’re excited to “work” or “accomplish”, there is nothing wrong with that.  Where this gets hairy, is if your living your life to fulfill other’s expectations or be someone you’re not, because of COMPARISON.

I’m not going to say that I know how to beat comparison, because the remedy is different for each person, and 100% of the time has to do with whether the person commits to a mindset of taking OWNERSHIP OVER THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES, and knowing that where you’re going involves your true passions and purpose, not someone else’s.  We can’t control everything around us and need to understand that life isn’t fair, and if we don’t personally do something about it, not blame anyone else but ourselves. Although our comparisons all come in different shapes and sizes, I will say that being the best version of you, without accepting the noise or opinion from the world, may help you with overcoming your contentment issues.

I’m talking about letting comparison hold you back from your true joy and purpose because of the weight of the world’s expectations, values, and pressure to become someone you’re not.  Many people are afraid the world will swallow them up with its value system, instead of their own, so they choose to conform and in turn are unhappy…UNLESS they become confident and content in what they believe and their life’s purpose.

Are you placing blame that you aren’t where you should be, because of someone or some other circumstance?  Are you comparing yourself to a co-worker, another athlete, another family member?   Do you know what “contentment” looks like, and what to do to achieve it?  What does contentment even mean to you?  How do you get there?   So many people battle to achieve the “world’s” view and expectations of success all the while they unknowingly belittle themselves and their TRUE purpose to strive for a “goal” that once accomplished, they still feel empty.

You’ll have a hard time finding true joy in life until you realize your true purpose and stop worrying about what you think everyone else expects or has.  You would think nothing could hold you back from achieving true purpose resulting in true joy… unless of course you are letting your comparison ruin your contentment.  How are you going to step up to the plate and change your worldview?  I would say that just being yourself is all you should worry about.  Sounds simple? Maybe wherever you are in life, you should consider being the BEST VERSION OF YOU, so comparison doesn’t ruin your contentment. Whether you’re doing data entry in a cubical, raising kids, don’t like to be in the spotlight, on a stage performing, you need to strive to shut off the world around you, and focus what YOU WANT THE MOST OUT OF LIFE and FIND CONTENTMENT… #quietvictory

I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. Rita Mae Brown

You may find this video below corny because it’s Rocky, but it’s a great message…

***Now a quick reminder that as I write these posts, it’s because I’ve been or am going through it, and while learning from my experiences I  just want to share my thoughts or insight.  I just hope the time I’m learning can in-turn help someone else that is striving for a similar mindset.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Strength for Service, not for Status…

Posted: November 7, 2014 in Posts

As I laid in bed with my 4 yr old Jett the other night, he asked me to scratch his back to help him fall asleep.  Now at this point, I had already spent several minutes getting the kiddos to bed, reading books, singing songs, telling stories…  at that moment my “strengths” took over and I thought “Buddy, I just need to leave, not to necessarily spend time with my wife, but to check my phone for any calls on my next business move, or plan my workout in the morning, or jot down more goals to get ahead.”  Kind of sounded pretty selfish didn’t it?    Now is it wrong to be driven?  Absolutely not.  Is it wrong to have the strength to always push forward?  Nope. But if I’m reaching toward a goal that is not pointing to my current purpose for that time in my life, then I’m using these “strengths” for the wrong pursuits.   For me, if I’m not using my strength on my wife and kids, then what am I using it for?  Status?  That next sale, that next car, that place on the podium?   At what cost will I sacrifice my family and the time with them?

Definition of Strength –  the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way

Now everyone is in a different season of their life.  If you don’t have kids, or if you’re not married, then of course it’s a different scenario.  But is it really that much different with how you can use your strength?  Is there anyone who can benefit from your will power or determination?  Anyone you can serve?   As a husband and dad, my strength should be used to serve my wife first and foremost, never leaving her on the back burner, then my kids in a close second, and third to serve others. Do I do this consistently? Nope.  I am far from perfect.  In times of reflection I sometimes wonder how I could’ve been so selfish in certain scenarios. Many times I serve myself or others first, or maybe my kids first, and leave my wife as last priority.  This is a surefire way as a married couple to dissolve and drift apart.  Strength in a family needs to be focused between spouses. Studies and experience show how the love and support trickles down and is very positive for the kiddos when the their mom and dad are putting each other first in a loving relationship.

Now if you’re someone without these types of responsibilities in your life, where could you use your strength?   If you focus all your strength on yourself, do you feel fulfilled?  When your name is in lights and the people are chanting your name, do you feel like you’ve utilized your strength for its true purpose?  If so, don’t read any further.  That’s cool and I won’t condemn that.  It’s always been an empty place for me in the past… just speaking from experience.   I’m guessing there’s someone out there that needs to be poured into, to be served, to speak life into, to be blessed by your strength.  In turn I know you’ll be blessed.

Proverbs 11:25A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

One of the many reasons I write this blog is to most certainly keep myself in check, but hopefully keep others in check as well,  in the hopes that they are finding joy, because they are focused on serving others…

That night as I laid in bed with Jett, all this I just wrote, were thoughts that went through my head…    At that moment I stopped myself from getting out of his bed, then decided I would shut my phone off and spend my time with my wife, and then I pushed away anything in my mind that could take away from such an amazing moment with my son.  I scratched his back until he was asleep.  This moment made me feel more accomplished than consuming all the vanity, completing my goals, watching a recorded TV show, or checking Facebook would ever have for me…

At that moment, Jett needed my strength to serve him.   Who needs your service in their life?  Are you using all your strength and ambition to just serve yourself to achieve status,  when maybe someone around you is desperate for help?   #quietvictory

charity-serving-others

Here’s a new song from a popular rap artist named Lecrae, that recently went big on mainstream pop charts, even as a Christian artist.  You can agree or disagree with his point of view, but the message he presents is how many of these secular artists with status represent something that can be empty instead of boasting of who they are intrinsically and how they potentially have a huge gift to be used in a positive way for this world.

Speak Life!

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Posts

Throughout your normal day, what comes out of your mouth?  Do you closely watch the way you talk?  Do you consider each word a gift?  If you do, how do you use that gift?

Now I don’t want to sound corny, but if you think about it, you can use most every word you say to literally be “life-giving”.  Why wouldn’t we strive for this? Why is it so innate in us to drag others down if we’re having a bad day?  Why does this make us feel better?  At the end of the day, did gossiping really have a positive affect on you?   On anyone else in the conversation?   Was being around you difficult for others today?  Did you make their day better or worse?  Lastly, maybe you just kept quiet and said nothing.  Did you hurt anyone?  Nope.  Did you help anyone? Nope.

Definition of Life-  the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead one.

SPEAK LIFE into others!  Speak encouragement, affirmation, praise, thankfulness, grace, hope…

Man, I’ll be honest… although I consider myself to be an optimist and joyful much of the time, I say things that I regret almost daily!  I’m not perfect, and kick myself often, but what if our struggle wasn’t to avoid negative talk but to increase positive talk?!   I’m guessing if you fill up your time and energy thinking about how to lift others up, then the other will be limited or even non-existent!  Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Based on scripture or not, I think the Bible hit the nail on the head… at least for me.  I find if I don’t decide to SPEAK LIFE into this world, to my neighbors, to my friends, to my co-workers, to my kids, to my wife, then the world will drag me and them down by degrees, little by little.  But on the other hand, if I consciously CHOOSE to SPEAK LIFE each moment, I think I’ve had a chance to not just bless someone else, but bless myself with something that is fulfilling and contagious!

To SPEAK LIFE, you don’t need a podium or a stage.  There are people everywhere that long for encouragement, affirmation, or maybe just a pat on the back.  Ask yourself,  “What does speaking life into others really mean to me?”   We have to take the people around us, by the hand, and decide to be contrary to this debilitating world, and SPEAK LIFE!   #quietvictory

ghandi