JOHNTJ1   65,077
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Digging Deep

Monday, July 07, 2014

I am frustrated. Frustrated and feeling beat down.
I weigh more than I've ever weighed in my life, even more than when I joined Spark almost 5 years ago. It's embarrassing, humiliating and frustrating. My self-image is the toilet. It's as if I'm starting all over again, plus!!!!

I don't want to. I want to sit here and blame the entire world for me being morbidly obese.

I've tried to write this blog for 2 weeks and couldn't figure out what to say or how to say without coming across like someone who was bit**in and moanin' During my meditation this morning I found it.

Back in September of 2010, before I hurt my back, I ran my first 5K. A week or so later I wrote a blog about what I learned running up a place called Cochoran Hill. It was steep and winding and lasted close to one half mile. So, imagine getting ready to finish your very first 5K and you are looking up at a hill that appears to be as long as the Great Wall of China. It's about what I learned in the last 5 minutes or so of that run.

I'll let it speak for itself. I printed it out and put it on my bulletin board.

Time to start the long climb back up the weight loss hill.

I am glad you are with me.

Here's to those of us who are starting over ----- Again

I've included the blog here for you to look at.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3673264

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 7/12/2014 5:36PM

    We all keep starting over until we get right. Hang in there. You are never alone!! emoticon

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SANDRALEET 7/8/2014 9:15AM

    Yes you can yes you will emoticon

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SNOOPYLINKOS 7/8/2014 7:42AM

    Look out Cochran Hill! Here comes John! It was worth doing once, it's worth doing again! emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 7/8/2014 5:31AM

    I'm right there with you John ..... I have started over so many times that I just don't keep count and try not to worry about it. Just keep at it!


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/8/2014 12:56AM

  you can get up & do it all the best we cant give up

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/7/2014 9:02PM

    Most of us at sometime in our lives have had to start over again in some way. It can actually be a positive thing and I tend to think that more often than not it is. We are a whole lot smarter when second chances come. We are often more likely to see them through to fruition when we can avoid a the steep learning curve. Some of the most successful maintainers I know struggled for years and then finally they got it right. They didn't quit and they finally found what worked for them. There is no reason we can't do the same.

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PEGGY11 7/7/2014 8:49PM

    If it was easy John, we would all be at goal weight. emoticon As long as we don't give up we are winners. emoticon The aches and pains are a pain in the booty but we will work around them. emoticon I have started not eating wheat and it is making a big difference. emoticon Have you tried that? Some people say if it is white don't eat it, but I will try this first. The rest can be added later. emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/7/2014 8:00PM

    Right there with you. Lost 16, gained back 9, now trying to go down again although it hasn't gone well the past few days. We're in this together John! We know how to do it, but it seems to get harder each time I have to start over. I know what I used to be able to do and it's frustrating that I'm so far out of shape now. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/7/2014 7:50PM

    Been there, done that. I think I've climbed that hill three, maybe four times, over the decades. This has been my most successful maintenance, but it doesn't mean I was never in your shoes. Definitely live in a glass house over here. So nothing but support and encouragement for you, John.

YOU are worth it. YOU can climb that hill again. Yeah, it's a bummer that you have to. BUT, that doesn't mean it's not worth it. emoticon It's a "we" thing.

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KRICKET4 7/7/2014 7:29PM

    Sounds like you're ready to climb back up Cochran Hill again.
Best wishes, John. I'm cheering for you :)
emoticon

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GINILEE4 7/7/2014 7:15PM

    emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/7/2014 6:35PM

    Sometimes bi***in' and moaning is what we need to do. Then we pick ourselves up and move on. Good for you for moving past that first part.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/7/2014 6:10PM

    Great to get back to basics John...we have to do that regularly....well....I do anyway.....

Stepped into the role of a leader at WW for 3 months and when i did decided that being at the top end of my goal weight was not a good enough example for my ladies so took them on a journey with me....
It was awesome....I reached pretty much where I want to be and they also had great success stories .....
The fact i am no longer Leading this meeting is gutting however i hope and pray my ladies keeps achieving....

You can do this John...I know you can....
Small steps at a time grow into big ones....

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LOOSEGENES 7/7/2014 5:46PM

    Glad you're back, John. I'm rootin' for ya! emoticon emoticon
cheers!

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DRAGON-CHICK 7/7/2014 5:30PM

    Thanks for the blog!
I'm pretty much at the same place. (sans 5k)

Good luck to both of us!
We CAN do this!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTINEBWD 7/7/2014 5:28PM

  John I know you can do this. And you can bi*ch and moan all you want to if you want! This is a hard journey and both of us have bad backs. emoticon

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SDEHNKE 7/7/2014 5:25PM

    We've all been there. You only fail if you quit trying. This is my third time on Sparks and I hope and pray that I can stick with it but LIFE has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Hang in there! Let us know how you are doing and how you are feeling so we know how to provide support. I'm so very proud of you for still being here.

Suellen


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CHARITYAK 7/7/2014 5:23PM

    Grace and forgiveness...important and oft-neglected companions in this journey. I wish you well and am sending hugs all the way from Alaska!

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WORLDSERIES11 7/7/2014 5:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYM48 7/7/2014 5:11PM

    No one thinks of you as a failure, just human and we all make mistakes and sometimes we have to start over and climb the hills again. It is not fun to have to start over, but you are worth it. I read your other blog and you had the right attitude, we all have hills to climb and we will be climbing hills for life, sometimes we will coast and other times we will have a mountain in front of us. You know what to do and how to do it, now the tough part comes again, getting out there and climbing for your life. Because that is what it is all about. Your health and your life! You can do it. We are here to cheer you on! Best of luck!

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TRIPLE_EMME 7/7/2014 5:10PM

    Be kind to yourself. You haven't given up... and *that* means something!

This isn't a race. Let's enjoy the journey, together.

emoticon

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BAMAJAM2 7/7/2014 5:09PM

  Well, dear John-- I wish that I could stand by your side and give you the "thumbs up!'--and say to you--- Indeed, you have a network of Spark friends who are supporting you and cheering for you! Reminding you, John, of your OWN words, "I AM A WINNER"----- You said this, and it is true! Many of us feel discouragement at times, but there is no other course of action except to start over---again! Many Sparkers, successful folks, have a pattern of starting over, but never losing sight of their goal. Don't quit-- because we are not mediocre--- we are winners! C'mon, John, it is just another hill -- upward!

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LOVINGKATE 7/7/2014 5:06PM

  John you are trying and that has to count for something. You are exercising, right, so that is a great health benefit. I say to my self every day to do the best I can for today. I check my eating and portion size and how much moving I did. Also, I try very hard to keep my head up even if I'm hurting so much I could cry. Some days are just like that for me but putting on my smile, even if I don't want to, put on my positive attitude makes me feel better all around. I did not say it was easy but I put my best foot forward. God is control and he can sure handle me. God did not have it easy either, that is my reminder. Love ya John, keep putting your best foot forward. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon way to go John! emoticon

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AJDOVER1 7/7/2014 5:03PM

    It may be a long climb, but it's not a race.
You're not alone. We're with you every step of the way.
emoticon

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Choices

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Joan used to do the book keeping for a family owned store. They hired her away from another company paid her a great salary and gave her benefits plus a pension and a 401K. About 2 years after she began working for them two of our kids were diagnosed with ADD. We spent a boat load of money with evaluations, psychologists, educators, etc to make sure. ADD can often be a dismissive diagnosis. Kid acts out, give kid pill, everyone is happy. Matt and Maggie were both struggling to keep up in school and had a hard time concentrating. The medication helped them create strategies to cope with their disability. Both are still on medication today at age 36 and 30.

We filled the prescriptions to the tune of $275 per month. Joan filed it on her insurance and a few days later the store owner called her in his office. They weren't paying for the prescription because they believed ADD was a form of demonic possession and they could give us the name of few good faith healers. All of this was spoken with a straight face.

So we had a decision to make. We had 6 kids, in private school, which meant tuition etc,.etc. $250 per month was a lot of money to us then. Joan decided to look for another job, one that would cover the prescriptions with its health insurance.

The family owned store lost its best employee. A year or so later they went out of business and one of the family members told me that they were lost once Joan decided to leave. They made the choice to honor their beliefs and Joan made hers.

Joan loved her job and yeah, she thought it wasn't fair and they should cover the prescriptions, but they made a choice; so she made hers.

The Supreme Court never had to decide who was right here Joan or the store owner. That's because no one made anymore of the situation then it really was. I think their reason for not covering the medication was a bit bizarre, but there is this document called the Constitution. It give us, all of us, rights and with those rights come choices.

A company doesn't want to cover your prescription or your procedure that's their right, and with it comes the possibility that some of their best performers make choices to work elsewhere.

And when it comes down to it isnt that what our lives are all about--- Choices?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 7/3/2014 8:45AM

    emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 7/2/2014 9:54PM

    This is what I tried to tell my "protect the rights of the downtrodden at all costs" daughter....

and it fell on deaf ears...but I like the story. It's a doozy!





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CHRISTINEBWD 7/2/2014 9:48AM

  I am the sum total of my choices too! :)

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NASFKAB 7/2/2014 1:08AM

  emoticon that was their chice & Joan made hers great job Joan

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LYNMEINDERS 7/2/2014 12:59AM

    Totally agree John...we all have the choice....good or bad...we all have the choice....

Go Joan

Comment edited on: 7/2/2014 12:59:51 AM

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WORLDSERIES11 7/1/2014 7:01PM

    just like we can choose not to shop/support that particular store....it's all about choices:-)

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/1/2014 6:59PM

    Well stated.

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CARTOONB 7/1/2014 5:30PM

    It's important to make your own choices. It's good that Joan was able to find another job that could/would cover the prescriptions.

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SANDRALEET 7/1/2014 10:18AM

    So many choices are not of God put of greed Bulling is not a right Each person has rights I do not force mine on you The store paid the price for theirs

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/1/2014 10:17AM

    Unfortunately some companies with the "demonic possession" mentality are some of the highest paying jobs and it makes you wonder if they really are being true to their beliefs or are just cheap or protecting their vested interest. As you know from your example, it doesn't stop people from getting what they need. Some people take the high road, like Joan, and find another job. Others become sneaky "backdoor" employees. They aren't going to go to demonic possession classes, they will buy their meds and take it anyway. People are going to get what they need or at least what they feel they need. The majority of people are not going to allow some other person to be in control of their bodies. They will drink if they want to, smoke, take drugs, gamble, overeat, have promiscuous sex, use birth control, have abortions, commit suicide, steal, murder people, on and on. N one will ever be able to stop them unless by force. I'm not advocating doing these things as I wouldn't but I'm just stating this is a losing battle and should be. Trying to force your will or beliefs on another person is wrong. Some people you can win over to your side through compassion and reason. Others will always follow their own path. If they are hurting someone besides themselves then they have to be stopped. Today lots of schools try to force kids to be on ADD meds and while I think some of these kids needs meds some of them don't. I have a friend who is a school nurse and over half of the kids are these meds now. Some of these children have ADD and some of them just need guidance and discipline. My son's best friend really had ADD and was put on meds for years. He finally went off them when he could and he blossomed into a fantastic adult. He has a ton of energy but channels it into productive work. I've always said that if I ever had a business he would be the first person I hired. People are individuals. There is no one size fits all. Some people need ADD meds and some people need demonic possession treatment and the choice should be theirs.

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LOVINGKATE 7/1/2014 10:05AM

  It all come down to choices. Thanks for sharing John. Great blog. emoticon

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REGILIEH 7/1/2014 9:35AM

    emoticon

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JAROL7 7/1/2014 9:34AM

    YEP ... you are so right. life is made up of choices.

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It's Not What You Say..........

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The story goes that two men were walking to church, deep in a discussion. The first man said, "I wonder if it's okay to smoke while you pray?" The second man said he didn't know and suggested the first man ask the preacher.

The preacher looked the man in the eyes and said "Absolutely not!!! It's an abomination to God. How disrespectful to light a cigarette while you are praying....."

The second man thought a moment and asked "Preacher, can I pray while I'm smoking." The preacher beamed. "Of course my son, you can pray anytime, regardless of what you are doing."

I've been married for 40 years to the same wonderful person. I am OCD, she is tidy but relaxed. In other words, she'll fold her laundry, set it on the kitchen table and take it upstairs when she next goes upstairs. (It drives me crazy!!!) Used to be I'd say something like "Aren't you going to put that away?" Her answer usually was "If it bothers you so much why don't you put it away?"

Things sorta went down hill from there, lol.

But never let it be said I don't learn. Instead of confronting or attacking or suggesting she lacks moral fiber because she can be a bit messy I'll ask if there is anything I can help her with or I was looking for a change of scenery today and instead of working in my office downstairs I was going to work on the kitchen table. The response I get is either "If you want to help you can put the towels in the down stairs bathroom" or "Oh, okay, if you are going to work here today, let me clear off the table for you."

She doesn't feel attacked or criticized and I don't have to take a Valium.

The door swings both ways. Joan gets her best results from me when she starts with "What do you think about......." It gives us both options and within those options are choices.

The question I am asked most often in my business is "John, how do I get my point across?"

My answer is always the same:

"It's not what you say, it's how you say it."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGY11 7/3/2014 1:02PM

    When my hubby wants to do something I don't think he should, I sit down and tell him all the reasons I have. He listens then 90% of the time does it anyway. The point is he listens. If we argued, neither would be listening. I know when I start he is still going to do what he wants, but his listening is what is important.

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IMEMINE1 7/3/2014 8:48AM

    Very good. I liked this! emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 7/2/2014 11:21PM

    emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 7/1/2014 3:51AM

    AMEN

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BAMAJAM2 6/30/2014 11:35AM

  This is a valuable lesson, John----

Another example of how you say it:

You have a face that would stop a clock--- OR
When I look at you, time stands still---

BTW--My dad was very sarcastic, and my mom took Valium----

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SNOOPYLINKOS 6/30/2014 8:22AM

    Oh my goodness, YES! emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 6/30/2014 2:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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REGILIEH 6/29/2014 11:12PM

    AMEN!!!

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CHRISTINEBWD 6/29/2014 10:20PM

  Well said John :)

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AJDOVER1 6/29/2014 7:05PM

    Very well put, John! Thanks for this

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LOVINGKATE 6/29/2014 3:13PM

  emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/29/2014 2:24PM

    I think Joan is great!! She sounds just like me and hopefully she can help you relax too. When all is said and done no one will say, "Oh, Joan, she was a great gal but she left her folded laundry on the table until she was headed upstairs.We were all shocked!!!" LOL. Think of all the housewives that you could say things like - She drank like a fish. She slept with every man who looked at her. She neglected her children. I know tons of them.

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CARTOONB 6/29/2014 1:59PM

    Well put.

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DEBRITA01 6/29/2014 11:51AM

    emoticon So true...

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SDEHNKE 6/29/2014 11:43AM

    Exactly right. My former boss who was from Tennessee used to say "You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar".

Suellen


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NANCYPAT1 6/29/2014 11:31AM

    I too have learned this same thing with regard to my son - if he in any way feels attacked or criticized, I lose but if I phrase it correctly, I almost always WIN because he really WANTS to please but is VERY sensitive to the slightest implication of "fault" - it is a valuable skill to develop and a lesson that once learned can really improve our lives.

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/29/2014 11:06AM

    Speaking of how you say it: emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/29/2014 11:01AM

  very well put thanks for sharing

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TRISTAROSE 6/29/2014 10:58AM

    emoticon

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EDDYMEESE 6/29/2014 10:53AM

    VERY true, thank you for the reminder!

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WENDYSPARKS 6/29/2014 10:50AM

    emoticon

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SANDRALEET 6/29/2014 10:46AM

    WE EACH HAVE OUR OWN POINT OF VIEW we DO NOT PUT OUR VIEW ON OTHERS

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EVIE4NOW 6/29/2014 10:42AM

  So true. If you start out confrontational, the whole conversation will be confrontational. If you start with options and choices, the conversation will be a whole lot easier.

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Pruning Our Lives

Friday, June 27, 2014

About half way home from Charleston on Sunday I remembered that I'd forgotten to ask Julia to water my tomato plants when she came to feed the dogs. After we unpacked I went in the back yard and surveyed the damage. Thank goodness there is no agency for tomato abuse or I'd be cooling my heals in a jail cell somewhere. Wilted would be using a polite word. The temperature had hovered around 90F all the time we were gone so I broke out the hose and soaked them for about an hour hoping they would revive.

By yesterday afternoon they'd come back about 75% A few of them had some dead leaves and stalks and after my walk this morning I pruned them away. What remains are healthy plants. They are not pretty but they are healthy.

While I was snipping away it dawned on me that I'm not much different than those tomato plants. From time to time I don't feed my body, mind and soul the right way and I have to go through the painful process of pruning away the dead stalks so what remains can be healthy and allowed to prosper.

It's why you and I have Spark People. Our food journal, our exercise tracker and that ever so despised weight tracker are all signs of healthy growth or where we may need to snip and prune to get back on track.

It's not always pleasant, this journey we call life. Just about the time we think we have it all figured out, something, somewhere pops up on the path and way lays us. That's where the pruning comes in --- adjusting our workouts and our food intake. I dont enjoy it one bit; yet in the end, like the reshaped tomato plant, it may not look pretty, but its healthy

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 7/1/2014 3:49AM

    Awesome blog John....love the picture you painted in it

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MARCYNA 6/29/2014 8:34AM

    emoticon emoticon 'What remains are healthy'.....exactly what happens to us after we get pruned!!!!
Lovely metaphor!!!!

Comment edited on: 6/29/2014 8:34:28 AM

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AJDOVER1 6/27/2014 6:31PM

    Good reminder that it's easier to maintain than to correct. Also a good reminder that getting off track isn't the end....

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LOVINGKATE 6/27/2014 4:27PM

  Pruning can be hard but we know it must be done to continue our journey. We want great results. Thank you for sharing, John. emoticon Blog!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 6/27/2014 2:11PM

    Good analogy! :) The pruning is hard!

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SANDRALEET 6/27/2014 1:53PM

    Yep all the useless foliage removed

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TULIPVIC 6/27/2014 11:58AM

    Very nice blog!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/27/2014 11:23AM

    You are very fortunate you could save them. I better check mine. LOL.

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TRISTAROSE 6/27/2014 10:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/27/2014 10:49AM

    Wise!

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NASFKAB 6/27/2014 10:23AM

  great blog loved it

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TRIPLE_EMME 6/27/2014 10:18AM

    Love this blog, John!

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7 Steps For Success

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I was cleaning out a file folder yesterday and found these. I'm not sure who wrote them but I must of thought they were valuable enough to hide so good that even I couldn't locate them.

7 Steps For Success

Take 100% responsibility for your life

Be clear why you are here

Decide what you want

Believe it is possible

Believe in yourself

Expect the best

Commit to setting goals

It struck me that most effective solutions aren't really all that complicated. It's just that there is no magic wand.

Some days I wish there were

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGY11 7/2/2014 1:00PM

    I agree. Magic wand please. emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 6/26/2014 8:37PM

    I wish there were too sometimes. But how is it that something so simple is so HARD??

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LOVINGKATE 6/26/2014 5:54PM

  emoticon John!!! How ever, I would like a magic something to keep me on track.
emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 6/26/2014 4:09PM

    Brilliant john...something to really mull over

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KRICKET4 6/26/2014 2:03PM

    Keeping it simple is a good way to go.

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CARTOONB 6/26/2014 10:07AM

    K. I. S. S. Right?

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NASFKAB 6/26/2014 9:45AM

  so very true have to stick at it not give up

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EDWARDS1411 6/26/2014 9:36AM

    emoticon tips. You're right, there is no magic bullet, but if we all follow your tips we'll get there!!!

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JSPIN74 6/26/2014 9:30AM

    emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 6/26/2014 8:51AM

    Great Advice .... I could sure use a magic wand right now!

emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/26/2014 8:48AM

    Great advice!

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SANDRALEET 6/26/2014 8:32AM

    Also remember if a drunk driver hit and crippled you not responsible for that tornado forest fire flood lands slide and many things others to are responsible Even those who exploit and uses people God sees all

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