All I needed was…

Just one more second.

Just one more inch.

Just one more word.

Just one more dollar.

Just one more signature.

Just one more degree.

Just one more step.

Just one more note.

Just one more answer.

Just one more try.

Success isn’t measured by our performance in the moment that matters most.  Success is measured in the preparation for those moments.  If you needed one more second to succeed, then you didn’t prepare properly.  You chose failure when you opted for rest.  You picked second place for yourself, when you needed Friday off.  You decided to have fewer friends when you were too busy to call someone back.  Choices.  Not circumstances.  Not luck.  Not what-ifs.  Options.  Decisions.  Calculated specifics.

You could have done one more yesterday… but you didn’t.  Much of life is like a transaction to me.  If you pay in reps yesterday, you succeed in an amount based on those reps today.  You can’t go back in time and make a payment just because you decided today that you want it more than you did yesterday.  Pay today for what you want tomorrow.  If you want a million dollars in your savings account, can you get there by putting in 1 dollar a day?  NO!  Why do we think we can perform miracles and ace tests we didn’t study for, win races we didn’t run, or gain acceptance we didn’t earn?

Tomorrow, you will take a test.  Wouldn’t it be neat if we could pick our grade?  I’m not going to promise that everyone can choose to get a 100 and then will get it.  What I can promise is that if you put in enough effort to get the 100 then you will.  Two things tend to happen during the training process.  We either procrastinate or we accept mediocrity.  Regardless of the path, some of us are still surprised at how we fell short.  Can I retest?  Will you curve the grade?  Did you cover that, this question didn’t make sense (i.e. its someone else’s fault)?

When I read posts like this one I tend to get sad.  I regret yesterday.  I start the inner dialogue of frustration with myself.  But I’d like to encourage us (you too) to try it from the other perspective.  While its not yesterday anymore… it’s not quite tomorrow yet either.  Why not do something you will thank yourself later for?  Train.  Study.  Live.  Love.  Do good deeds.  Embrace life so that when you can’t anymore, you savor the moments you chose.  This is the anti-regret opportunity.  This isn’t my only post like this.  It won’t be my last.  I’ve read countless others.  Why?  The struggle is real.  The Bitter reality hurts.  But the remedy is just out of your reach.  Will you figure out how to get it?

Do you feel like removing the ed from needed?  You can if you opt to get out of the past and live for the future.  Can you do one more today?  Can you go further?  Will you work harder?  Can’t you go faster?  Don’t you want to be sharper?  Those decisions are born in moments all around you.  Grab that moment and make it your success story.  Make it your time.  Make it yours.  Make it.  Choices come and go so quickly.  Stop pondering and start choosing.  Stop blaming and start excelling.  Stop excusing and start winning.  In all matters of life, YOU are the one that can conquer defeat and make tomorrow a great day.

All I NEED is to choose right now that tomorrow I’m not going to regret anything.

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I Keep Finding My Weight

Some time ago I lost 50 pounds.  And it went quick.  Everyone wanted to know my secret.  I stopped drinking sugar drinks, I watched what I ate, and I exercised.  Big secrets, right?  EVERYONE wanted to know.  And when I answered, can you imagine the response?

Disappointment.  It was NOT what they wanted to hear.  They wanted the pill, the surgery, or the fad that would take the weight away without any effort.  Effort.  I worked my butt off (sort of literally) and no one was please that I did it on my own.  Because I couldn’t share that with them.  I couldn’t give them a prescription of weight loss that they could take over cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

I goth healthy and they wanted a lottery winning story.  Because the answer is the same when it comes to wealth.  How did you get so wealthy?  Hard work!  oh, nevermind, thought you could share your winning ticket with me.

But I’m not wanting to beat up on the deadbeats too much.  Mostly because I am one.  All of that weight I lost… I found it.  And I found some of the weight that some of you must have lost as well.  It happened gradually.  Weight fluctuation is common so I could let a pound or two slip.  Rewards are good motivators, so I endured several of those.  And the justifications started.  Well, at least I’m not as bad as I was.  I’ll crank it back up next week.  Oops, I’m injured, gotta take it easy.

I could go on for some time about my downfall and how I need to lose 20 pounds just to be 50 pounds overweight again.  But I’ll spare you and give you the short version.  My goal was to lose weight.  That’s it.  If you want to fail and fail hard, let your goal be to lose weight.  Why?  Simple.  Because once you reach your goal, you are done.

Let’s enjoy the Cub’s victory with them shall we? cubs

You know the story by now, right?  Its been decades since they have been to the world series.  Now they have won.  What is next for them?  In 3 months their record resets to 0 – 0 and they begin spring training.  No longer will they be the current world champs.  They will be fighting every other team in the league that didn’t win this year. Can the Cubs simply reproduce their effort from last year and win again?  NO!  Because every other team that didn’t win is going to work harder to try and remedy their mistakes from the past.  So to win again next year, they have to do more.  Even more than they did this year to win.  Its always stronger and faster and smarter.  The scale never ends.

When you set your goal too low, you have no where to go once you have achieved it.  If the Cubs goal isn’t to be the best team in the entire history of baseball, then they will never become that.  Just winning the world series is something that has happened over 100 times before by all sorts of different teams.  All you have to do is ask a Brave’s fan.  We endured a similar victory in our past as the Cubs did this year.  And it seemed that just winning the world series is all they wanted.  World series turned to playoff losses.  New years brought on just decent seasons.  And this year, the same year the Cubs won, they finished dead last in their division with one of the worst records in the league.  This is what happens when you achieve your garbage goal.  Its just that.  It means nothing almost as soon as you achieve it, and it guarantees failure.

My goal was to lose weight.  I lost it.  And then I found it right back.  This failure is true in all aspects of life.  Money, relationships, career, you name it.  Your goal has to be higher.  Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things”.  Our bodies are temples given to us but once.  What if my goal became to honor my body?  We need something to hold onto that doesn’t end at a specific pound or milestone.  We need a mindset change.  I don’t need to lose weight, I need to respect the housing that God made for my soul.  1st Corinthians 3:16 says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  This body isn’t just for us.

And we can abuse ourselves in more ways than simply overeating.  What if we stopped with the exercise equipment, the track, the charts, the measuring cups, and the motivational posters?  Those things all are traps to a horrible goal.  And instead, we set our minds on things above?  Instead, we honor God, and we honor our body, and we clean up the temple meant for us and the Spirit?  Of course we can use those tools just mentioned to get into to shape, but they are tools, not goals.

There is a massive difference in mind set between the 2 types of goals.

1.  I’m not going to eat this because I have reached my calories today.  Otherwise I would tear into that bad boy and enjoy every salty bite.  Maybe tomorrow! or… maybe I can just walk a little extra and have it anyway?

2.  That does not honor God or this body.  Its toxic and I will NEVER put that into my body.

See the difference?  Option 1, even if you turn the bad food down, you leave the door open for tomorrow’s failure.  If you are looking at food and rationalizing or reasoning with yourself, you already have the wrong goals.  A mindset change says those things are disgusting.  They are poison.  And its amazing how this change of mind works against all kinds of temptations.  Does this mean its easy?  No.  Its hard.  And that takes us right back to our miracle diet that our friends and family want to know so much about.  If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, you will BOTH:  work hard, and make decisions for your whole life (and not just for the calorie chart that day).

Prayers to all of us struggling with various temptations every day.