JOHNTJ1   68,231
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JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

Who's Your Spark?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 7/19/2012 1:10PM

    On my list of upcoming blog topics is a thank you to my sparkfriends. Such an invaluable gift.

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GARDENQE2 7/19/2012 1:08PM

    John, what considerate and thoughtful blog.
I feel impelled to make more effort at saying thank you to my sparkfriends and motivators!
Here is a little story from "real life" that I'd like to share with you.
After my kids were grown, I started on a difficult career path. One of the things my mentor told me was "never smile, it's a sign of weakness." So I cultivated a stern look and worked like a slave and finally reached retirement age with a good pension. Success!
One day I met a former coworker. We smiled and hugged and he exclaimed, "What a beautiful smile you have! I've never seen it before! It's like sunshine!"
That gave me to think, and since, I smile at everyone I see, and say hello as you do. I feel it's my duty as a happy successful person to share my sunshine!
Brighten the pathway where you are! emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 7/16/2012 12:26AM

    Another great blog. You are one of my favorite for inspiration. However, there are also several others that touch me each day.

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LINDA7668 7/15/2012 3:25PM

    Thank you for this vlog! You always have thought provoking things to say. I had made the comment to a friend that I really needed to know that there were others that were struggling just as I am. Sometimes I am actually discouraged by the ones that have had amazing success.

Again, thank you for sparking my journey.

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SILLYHP1953 7/14/2012 3:41PM

    You are one of the main sparks on here for me. I do try to let the people know when they've written something that moved me. Thanks for letting us know how much a smile and hello can mean to someone.

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CHANGING-VICKI 7/13/2012 5:26PM

  John, I've left and come back to spark people 4 times over the last year and I ALWAYS hunt you up and friend you and get your blogs because YOU make an otherwise dreary day just a little bit better. You make me think, and I feel like you're there cheering me on even though you know nothing about me. I feel truly blessed to hear from you whenever you're up to posting a message or reading a new blog or listening to one.
Thank you and hope your trip goes well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/13/2012 9:28AM

    You, of course, are one of those inspiring people John!
I had a spark friend who recently came back. Same story, no internet. She now has it on her phone and can check in from there. I was very thankful to see her back here.

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CALLIKIA 7/11/2012 4:54PM

    You are one of the most thoughtful and considerate people on Spark. Thank you for always thinking of others and know that we are always thinking of you as well. emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/11/2012 12:17AM

  you are such an inspiration

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    John - as always your blog is inspirational. Thank you for pointing this valuable lesson to me. Have a great trip and "see" you when you get back!

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STEADFASTNSEE 7/10/2012 12:11PM

  John, as always, Thanks. And truly YOU are counted as one who inspires me and lifts me up. Thank you for that! Enjoy your week in Milwaukee. I wish I could get there to meet you. I'm in Fort Atkinson (a tad far off as the scooter flies!) HUGS Laurie

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MAUITN 7/10/2012 10:34AM

    John, thanks for reminding me how important it is to share a kind word, a thank you, or even just a smile. It not only encourages the other person, opens my eyes to the world and others and lifts my mood.

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DEARTOMYHEART 7/10/2012 10:14AM

  Great blog John. Thanks for your inspiration. You inspire me! I can't wait to read your next blog. I always come away with such a great feeling and a sense of hope. Also a lot of information to think about. This blog made me think about the times when someone took the time to talk to me or say hi or wish me a great day. I feel a lift of spirit each and every time. I hope I to can give a lift to someone I see or meet or talk to or write to. It's the little things that seem to make a difference. John, you have a great trip and enjoy all you meet. God Bless You John emoticon emoticon

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    Great blog today, John, very thought provoking. Have a wonderful time in Milwaukee, and if you ever manage to get up to Madison instead, drop me a line, perhaps we can do lunch or something.

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NOCALORIES 7/10/2012 8:58AM

    Wow! I am glad I have joined Journey to Success for I get to know you John. Have a good week and enjoy your trip. You speak with words of kindness and I appreciate your sharing.

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PATTILYNN224 7/10/2012 8:19AM

    Hmmm. Yesterday I went through my sparkpage and deleted all of my blogs and information about myself and all but one picture as I'm thinking about leaving the site.

Thanks for your blog today. I will take the time to thank those that have gotten me through.

Thanks John for blogs and your insight. You have made a difference. You speak and write with kindness and your gentle spirit is one to aspire to.

God Bless.

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Making A Commitment To Life

Friday, July 06, 2012

Years ago, the motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar defined commitment this way "When you want to understand committing yourself to something look at a plate of bacon and eggs. The chicken made a contribution, the pig made a commitment."

I met Kait Seyal in November of 2011. She waited tables at a restaurant I frequent and not only did she provide excellent service emoticon we soon became friends. Kait told me of her love for animals, especially dogs, and her commitment to animal rescue and pet therapy for the sick, disabled and elderly.

She and her husband John were looking for a way to bring attention to abused and abandoned animals and the real value of using pets to aid people in their recovery. So they decided to do something small and insignificant (LOL) They quit their jobs, packed up their belongings and decided they and their two dogs would hike from Delaware to San Francisco. They began their journey in late March and as of yesterday had reached Iowa.

I could go on and on but I'd rather give you the link to their blog. It speaks to their journey and commitment to their cause more eloquently than I ever could. As I follow them on their journey I examine my own commitments. If you get a chance stop by and follow their journey.

Here is the Link

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 7/17/2012 5:13PM

    Ohh, John, this is so amazing. I fell in love with these two from their first, oh, I dunno -- three words on their blog? emoticon Thanks so much for sharing, and for this shining example of commitment. I find myself inspired but sad -- likely because I lack this kind of fire these days. Apparently I need a new cause! (And should be darn happy and grateful that this healthy-living thing feels more like an old friend these days.) emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 7/10/2012 10:12PM

    I just recently heard about these folks. How inspiring!

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CRYSTALJEM 7/9/2012 10:55AM

    Looking forward to checking the link. Just reading your synopsis of it makes me remember how much I respect people who do more than think about things, but that make things happen.

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    I love pets too and think this is a great cause. Love it.

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HDHAWK 7/7/2012 10:26AM

    I just heard about this yesterday. What a wonderful thing they are doing.

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NASFKAB 7/7/2012 3:08AM

  awesome work

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LYNMEINDERS 7/7/2012 1:50AM

    Awesome...a great cause...we need more people like them....
Will look at the dogs blog....thankyou

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CARTOONB 7/6/2012 8:59PM

    Wow! Good for them. That is quite the feat. I hope they accomplish their goal.

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SPARKENISTA 7/6/2012 6:03PM

    This is an amazing story. I will definitely check out their blog. Thanks for this.


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    John, this is awesome. I am definitely going to look the blog you mentioned over. I can't wait to read more about their journey.

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SILLYHP1953 7/6/2012 1:43PM

    Well, when you look at it that way, there is a BIG difference between contribution and commitment. I think that is a lot of my problem. I've been making contributions toward my weight's time to make a commitment.

I will check out their blog. Thank you.

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MARCYNA 7/6/2012 1:29PM

    Hey, what a committment, thanks!!!

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HLOCHRIDGE 7/6/2012 12:08PM

    Getting ready to check out their blog! How wonderful!!

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    Thank you so much for sharing this, John. Their story, dedication, and courage are amazing! I'll definitely be following their blog.

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EGALITAIRE 7/6/2012 10:07AM

    That's great

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VONBLACKBIRD 7/6/2012 10:03AM

    emoticon for sharing this and also to Kait and her husband for doing this. We live in a rural area where many dogs are just dumped..We have rescued sad to see the shape these dogs were in when we got them..Glad someone is making a difference.

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    Thanks John. I visited their website and it is a very cool project and cause.

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LDRICHEL 7/6/2012 9:22AM

    Seriously cool. Oddly enough, I've been pondering part of my Bible reading this morning (Acts 16) and was really confused about vs. 3. That quote from Zig Ziglar shed some light on it and gave me a bit of understanding on the matter. I also think it's hilarious that it's talking about a pig (considering the whole issue in Acts 16 is the Jewish culture). Made me giggle. :)

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TRISTAROSE 7/6/2012 9:20AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing .... such a great thing they are doing!

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SIMPLY-VICKI 7/6/2012 9:07AM

  emoticon emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 7/6/2012 8:48AM


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SANDRALEET 7/6/2012 8:43AM

    So with her .I to look after strays emoticon

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The Independence To.....

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

She looked up at the sky, eyes wide with amazement and awe. I saw the joy only a young child has for the simple and truly awesome things of life. As I watched her it struck me that she is the embodiment of this holiday we celebrate in the USA. She is independent to make any choice she wants for her life. She is free to walk any path she chooses and there is no retreating from the magical and mystical life she lives.

She is free and while she gazes skyward beside her stand thousands, nay millions of people, each who made a sacrifice, large or small, so she had the right to choose her own path; her own destiny.

Over two hundred years ago a group of men gathered to put their names to a document that read in part "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal." There we no exceptions. Those independent men had the courage to separate themselves and define a new existence.

As she stood in the field commemorating that event, all those who came before her stood there also.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOCALORIES 7/5/2012 10:22PM

    Thank you! We are blessed to live free. I went to church last night and thought of our Freedom of Religion and how grateful to have the privilege to Praise God through my own understanding.

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SILLYHP1953 7/5/2012 10:59AM

    I do celebrate our freedoms, and I also pray for peace.

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BAMAJAM 7/5/2012 10:31AM

  Indeed this 4th of July was a day to celebrate our freedoms---I have profound gratitude for the men and women who fought for our liberty. Bless all our brave heroes--- However, there are now exceptions to freedom for all. The lives of the unborn babies are not protected in the great land of America---

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NASFKAB 7/5/2012 6:55AM

  Loved it

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LYNMEINDERS 7/5/2012 6:43AM

    Awesome...enjoy the celebrations

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LKEITHO 7/4/2012 6:53PM

    Great blog! Thanks!

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  God bless the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I to pray this young person will forever know freedom.

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    If only everyone could see the light like we can. Too many can't see beyond their own noses. Have a good one.

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LDRICHEL 7/4/2012 4:27PM


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TRISTAROSE 7/4/2012 2:58PM

    Happy 4th of July!! emoticon

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SIMPLY-VICKI 7/4/2012 2:52PM

  HAPPY 4th, my friend! emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/4/2012 1:46PM

    Happy Fourth!

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VONBLACKBIRD 7/4/2012 1:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 7/4/2012 12:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SANDRALEET 7/4/2012 12:54PM

    Freedom is a right some want to replace with there form of dictatorship.Believe only like I do.

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    Let's just pray that her independence remains when she grows up.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NWFL59 7/4/2012 12:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NUMD97 7/4/2012 12:07PM

    Nicely written. Thanks for posting.

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Never Quit Pledge, Read, Agree, and Share With Those You Love

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Never Quit Pledge

Friday, June 29, 2012

Today, I promise I will not quit.
I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey.
I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself.
I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations.
I pledge to treat myself as I would my best friend, because that is who I am.
I pledge to stay in the race and to be a WINNER!

signed: Leisa (Sunflowergal40)

Signed: Chris (chriskenandkids)

Signed: Linda (scoutmom715)

Signed: Nancy (tedybear2838)

(from Linda S. Jayne (Geminisue)

Signed: Vicki aka VICKI-B--56

Signed; Pixie (Pixie-Licious)

Signed: Gloria (GloriaB73)

signed Fran

Signed Sarah (Millie 5522)

Signed Shelby (theshelbster)

Signed Beckie (BIRKIE528)

Signed Debaune (Doobie893)

Signed by Wallahalla on Friday, June 29, 2012

Signed by Karen (MAMAWALMART) on June 29,2012

Signed by Sibille (musolf6) Friday June 29,2012

Signed Shirley (Lookingup2012) Friday, June 29, 2012 who needs to do this because she quit SP three times in 3 years.

Signed Susan (catladyx8) Friday June 29, 2012

Signed John (Johntj1) Saturday June 30, 2012

Will you blog and post the Never Quit Pledge, today/soon?
Let's spread it through Sparks, so all can have the choice to commit!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 7/6/2012 8:52AM

    Never ,ever, ever giving up! emoticon

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BABY77A 7/4/2012 4:47AM

    Wow! This is great. I have printed it out and signed it. Thanks you very much for this blog.

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SILLYHP1953 7/3/2012 9:43AM

    I printed and signed this pledge today.
Thank you!

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NUNZIATA43 7/3/2012 9:21AM

    I will NOT quit! Thank you for the comments and reminders! I need to TAKE IT EASY, and for me this is not simple. Your words hit my very core! THANK YOU!!!


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NEWMOM20121 7/2/2012 10:20AM

    consider it signed from me.

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  I have already signed this in my spirit a very long time ago and will never give up or quit and am loving myself and all others as I am keeping on in this journey and life long quest and adventure of living a large life of faith and over coming any and all obstacles that come my way because I have the love, grace and truth of Jesus making me a winner all the time in the name of Jesus

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LYNMEINDERS 7/2/2012 5:38AM

    Am blogging this now....

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HDHAWK 7/1/2012 6:04PM

    After nearly 5 yrs. on Spark and gaining the weight back I'd say I'm in it for the long haul. I'd be happy to sign!

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SLIMLEAF 7/1/2012 11:17AM

    If I'm really honest (and it's foolish to be otherwise), I'm not ready to sign this pledge just yet. Particularly not the bit about being my own best friend and not critical of myself. It's something I need to work towards and indeed I am trying to already, but I'm not up to pledging yet because once I promise something I HAVE to stick to it.

It's really good to see that lots of people are signing up to it, though. I wish you all well in keeping your pledge each day. The world will surely be a better place for it.

Maybe one day I'll be able to join you.

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DANCING4UJESUS 6/30/2012 8:47PM

    This has come at a good time. I just recommitted myself last night and today has been my first day back at it.
emoticon God is so Good!

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/30/2012 7:13PM

  Consider me pledged. Laurie aka STEADFASTnSEE June 30,2012

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IAMAGEMLOVER 6/30/2012 3:08PM

    I signed this back in 2011

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WORLDSERIES11 6/30/2012 3:05PM

    I'm in! Will spread the word:)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/30/2012 12:49PM


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NASFKAB 6/30/2012 11:54AM

  want to sign it also its great

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JEWELLE217 6/30/2012 11:51AM

    Thanks! I signed and shared on my blog!
Spread the Spark!


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This Is The Control Tower, Can You Read Me?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I’d been in a foul mood all week and it wasn’t getting better. Starting today our temperatures are supposed to be in the triple digits. We had planned to attend a three day blue grass festival starting this evening and now are plans are in a state of flux. That makes me angry!!!!Does that rant make me feel better; hardly? I was investing in something I had absolutely no control over – the weather. Like everyone else in my neighborhood I took every opportunity to blame the woes of the world on something so inanimate it couldn’t even defend itself.

I sat down and pulled out my frayed and dog eared legal pad to make a list of all the things I THOUGHT I could control but couldn’t. It was pretty long. It’s the proverbial flight of fancy. I asked myself how much time I devoted to things I had no control over. It was a lot more time than I had imagined. I started another list, the things in my life I could control. If I stopped stressing out over stuff like the weather maybe, just maybe, I could attack the real issues in my life, the beliefs that are barriers to my success. But, ah-ha, they have faces and names and OMG they can fight back and they require moderate to severe introspection and the dirty and nasty H word --- Honesty. There are three things I know I can control

1. I deserve to be successful.
Please note I am not entitled to be successful. My success depends on my perception of myself. Nothing about my age, my gender, my education, my race or sexual orientation has a hoot to do with my success. I can stand here all day and go toe-to-toe with you about people I know who looked at those things as being challenges to their success, not obstacles or reasons to give up. No one, parent, partners, friends or employers are going to believe in your value until you believe in it. What can I control? I can start with the perception I have of myself. No one owes me anything, except me. I owe myself the honor and dignity of believing I deserve.

2. I am worth all the effort I put into myself.
I have a nephew who runs in marathon races. He told me that just about anyone can run the first twenty three miles of a marathon if they train correctly. He went on to say that it is the last three miles or so that require maximum effort. How often do I reach the point in my development whether it’s personal or professional and pull back in fear or anxiety? How often do excuses abound? Excuses like “lack of time,” “bad weather,” not enough support.” What excuses do I use to not push those mental last three miles?

Don’t believe me? Here’s a challenge. The next time you walk into a bookstore notice how many books have been published on self-help and on dieting. Next time you clean out your spam folder notice how many “miracle weight loss” e-mails you receive. How often do we gravitate towards the quick fixes in lieu of the positive and often painful effort required to assure long lasting success?

3. You are who you hang around with.
Years ago a boss of mine gave, me a pearl of wisdom I’ve not forgotten. “There are two types of people in this world, People that make things happen and people that let things happen!”

There is nothing wrong with imitating positive, successful and healthy behavior. We are largely a “monkey see, monkey do” society. Imitating and mirroring positive behavior in another person only raises us to their level of excellence and performance. Who do you associate with and why do you associate with them? Coaching and mentoring professions are growing rapidly because we are identifying with people who practice positive behaviors that can help us reach our life goals. You can apply them to any aspect of your life. I use them with my coaching clients and now, I’ve found the magic of applying them to myself as I weed out the worries and cares I have no control over. It’s a lifelong practice, but if I eliminate worrying about the things I can’t control, I should have plenty of time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGALITAIRE 7/6/2012 10:14AM

    Wishing other people were different, or did things differently is one of areas that is an unproductive use of my time. From stressing about little things like the garbage person missing when dumping the can and leaving garbage on the street to wanting to reform my kids behaviours.

Wouldn't it be useful to sit down and do a comprehensive inventory of all the things we can't control but try to anyway.

Comment edited on: 7/6/2012 10:15:03 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 7/2/2012 5:37AM

    Calling the control tower....
ready to start making changes....thankyou

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    The empowerment is ours!

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    Very encouraging words and you nailed it. We all have to keep doing a self-perspective on ourselves so we can keep ourselves in check. I'm glad you brought it out here for all of us to share.

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LIVINGFREE19 6/30/2012 3:51PM

    I love these situations when you have to 'come clean'.
We should always do a 'checkup' from time to time to keep things headed in the right direction! LOL!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/30/2012 3:40PM

  This is life and the only thing that we can control is ourself.

So, I will myself to be filled with joy and smiles and laughter and happiness for being me and strong and healthy and a good sound mind.

It makes such a difference not to lose control over one's emotions.

Just roll with the punches and stay strong and smile and laugh and enjoy what we do have which is a whole lot more than many people I can think of.

Life is so much fun and a huge adventure of figuring out ways to get around the obstacles that one thinks he does not have control over, just rest and relax in the love of Jesus and His grace.

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NASFKAB 6/29/2012 8:45AM

  great thanks

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ZURDTA- 6/29/2012 7:21AM


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WORKINGSTIFF 6/28/2012 8:29PM

    And add this: we spend time on that which is important to us. Be it watching TV, eating too much, playing with the grandkids, or complaining.

Our actions tell us what we value and tell others what we value.

Food for tasty!

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/28/2012 6:51PM

    We too are in that heat wave and expect it to remain this way for the rest of the summer and it is so much earlier this year..It makes us all crabby..but I'm taking heed and realize I can't change it and that I can change the way I act and I'm choosing to be happy no matter what...even if I have to go out and sit under the sprinkler..I will enjoy life!!!

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/28/2012 4:13PM

  Each day is such a beautiful gift. Why is it so hard for us to let go of worry and things we have no control over. John, I hope the rest of the week goes better for you. We must remember the blessings. The US is having a heat wave!!!! This to shell pass.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I have a hefty list of things I wish I could control and the weather is way up there on it but after weeks like I've had lately I am happy just to be in control of my bladder and bowels. LOL. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/28/2012 3:16PM

  Number 3 is SO true. According to the Scriptures "Bad associations spoils useful habits" Oh and I did try yesterday's experiment for the 24 hours. I need to KEEP trying! emoticon emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:46PM

    One of the most fun weekends of my life was spent at a bluegrass festival in a camper with two of my girlfriends. After the concerts were over all the musicians sat around their campfires and picked and grinned most of the night. We just walked around the campground and found little parties going on about every 5th or 6th camper.

The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorites, it helps me remember what I can and cannot change. I have it taped up across the top of my computer monitor at work.

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    A great reminder that the ONLY person we have any control over is ourselves!!! We make all the decisions and choices about our own life - so can't bit** and whine about the results - and consequences.
You are who you hang with, is one of my favorite life lessons that I have tried to pass on to my son especially during his teen years - thankfully he has always made great choices in this area.

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GIRANIMAL 6/28/2012 1:09PM

    Thanks for this somewhat painful but oh-so-useful reminder. It's hard for control freaks (like me) to come to terms with this!

For most of my life I have spent far too much of my time worrying over things (and especially other people!) that I can't control, and then marvel at how little time I have left for me. I've been working on disassociating myself for some time now, but as we are all too aware, old habits are awfully freakin' hard to break most of the time! emoticon

God grant me the serenity...


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IDEBORAH 6/28/2012 12:58PM

    I'm glad I found you. I am enjoying your blogs. I think you have identified the missing ingredient: honesty. I honestly wish I could control, well everything, but I need to focus on my own life and making healthy choices.

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KLEONIKI 6/28/2012 12:01PM

    This struggle is so common and well known ..
maybe the difference lies in the "beyond the words area"
i know i must not only ACCEPT the uncontrollable
not only define it well and put my frustration into words but also
INVENT new controllable approaches always new ,
always fresh and ready to RESTART.
Running those last 3 miles as if you had just began your race.
Thank you for the motivational and supporting words, dear friend.

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BAMAJAM 6/28/2012 12:01PM

  Heat waves are hitting our country--- but here is a sobering thought!

Our brave troops in the war zones have battled during extreme hardship.

My brave nephew was one of these warriors. He told of HEAT, 130 degrees, with sand blowing everywhere....

John, we can all be thankful to be able to sip a lemonade when it's 105 in the U.S.---- God bless America, and make us grateful for YOUR blessings, Lord.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/28/2012 11:52AM

  Isn't it funny how often we complain about things beyond our control?
I try to remember to remember the Golden Rule:
God grant me the strength to accept the things I can not change and the wisdom to know the difference. ( I think the wording is a little different but the meaning is the same) emoticon

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SANDRALEET 6/28/2012 11:38AM

    We think we earned deserve A good life God builds up the devil destroys We only think we control things.

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