Sunday, October 30, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "A Steady Diet"

There are moments in life that really define us. The circumstances of the experience may vary, but the strategies to successfully navigate the unexpected twists and turns, my opinion, rarely, if ever, stray. Stuff happens leaving us wondering, “What the heck is going on?”

But despite the bone-rattling experience, we persevere and march forward. We, as buddy Bill McCartney would say, “Lie on the battlefield, bleed a little, rise and march forward” with, despite the crap, hope and confidence. Coach Mac likes to talk about, “The greatest source of motivation is encouragement” and to that, I shout, a huge “Amen brother.”

I have always been in love with the definition of encourage. According to the torn and tattered Oxford American dictionary referenced often in writing Pep Talks, the word encourage suggests: “give hope and confidence to.”

Dang, can I have two? You? Imagine what our world might look like if everybody was walking around with hope and confidence? As I’m writing this on the first night of the 2012 World Series, St. Louis hosting Texas, almost 50 exotic animals, released from an Ohio refuge, are running wild. The community around Zanesville, Ohio was on high alert after a felon somehow ended up owning the sanctuary and, before taking his life, set the lions, tigers and bears loose. The media shouted, “Stay inside.” The communty, wondered, “What the heck is going on?”

Life throws us curveballs - mental, physical and financial - leaving us in that “WTH” frame of mind. We’ve all been there, right? Amen. The next step is critical. We must decide. Student, or victim, of the experience? Our choice, choose wisely, right?

I’m a simple dude from Missouri; been called many things in life, smart rarely one of them; but this much I do know: choose the former.

Dust yourself off and keep on trucking. Learn from it and become better because of it. That ain’t easy to do. So, what’s real important is to realize we’re not alone. Given that truth, let’s find other folks in the same boat and focus on one thing: encouraging one another! Give each other hope and confidence to put fear and self-doubt aside and allow wonderment to win in turning sour lemons into sweet and savory margaritas.

It’s real easy to talk about achieving but damn tough to accomplish. Back to McCartney, he’d say, “We’ve got some tough sledding ahead.” Yep, no question. However, the reward is so worth the effort. Challenge one another to move forward in ways honoring self, nurturing those dependent upon us and adding value to the communities we serve. Trust me, that ain’t a bad thing. To handle life’s twists and turns in ways helping us grow as humans seems a viable way to play like a champion in this crazy adventure we call life, right?

All this takes me back to a guy who taught me to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and under control. The fruits of a healthy and productive spirit. In the Bible’s chapter focusing on Galatians, Jesus talked to his social network about the benefits of embracing those noble nine traits.

It what seems a world with few absolutes can you imagine a world where we love one another? We’re joyful for whatever blessings exist; peaceful toward others; patience with same and self; kind; good; faithful; gentle and under control?

Man, I want to play on that team. You? Let’s make sure those nine fruits, available for daily consumption, are a steady part of our diet this week, K?

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