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Where Do I Focus My Energy?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


2

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYDOWNSOUTH 11/11/2010 8:22PM

    John

That was my first video blog I have watched since joining spark, and I really enjoyed your message, your eloquent delivery and the positive energy you have thrown my way. Who would have thought that you could multiply the positive energy you are feeling by passing it forward. I look forward to followup videos.


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BTINTERNET 11/11/2010 8:58AM

    As always, terrific insights and lots to think about. We *do* put obstacles of our own making in our way. Thank you. Travel safe, John.

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CATHERINEL66 11/11/2010 6:41AM

    John, this is exactly how I think about energy and the power of thought. For years, I've embraced this, but with spark and a whole lot of thoughtful analysis, I've worked on getting better at where I put my energy too. Squandering on drama, things I can't control, or investing in why I can't (victim, poor me thinkin') is like throwing money/energy down the drain. We only have so much to go around and we TOTALLY choose what to do with it.

I choose to hang around with friends like you, buddy, and I'm privilaged to invest energy in your success. And I'm really proud of you getting up THAT early to get that run in before you got in the car. YOU ROCK. You're doing fantastic at blowing barriers to your success away and just catapulting right over them. Congrats to you on this achievement!


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HLPRATT 11/10/2010 12:50PM

    Loved it- and I like the car too for some quiet time. I see alot of mismanaging energy going on. Good for you to get up at 4:45 to run. It always envigorates me yet I find it hard to do. And I even wake up early.

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DEANNROSP 11/10/2010 11:24AM

    Great video blog. Thanks for sharing.

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JURI62 11/10/2010 6:16AM

    emoticon

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DEANNROSP 11/9/2010 10:36PM

    Darn it! I was looking forward to seeing your video but unfortunately it won't open on iPad. I'll have to Che k it out tomorrow when I'm at my real computer.

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MKPRINCESS007 11/9/2010 6:00PM

    So, John.......not sure how you do it, but you seem to reach the heart of the matter so often. The minute we decide that there is SOME way around that obstacle....over, under, around....the gates open and we find our way down the path. I, like you, have hit some road blocks. I lamented about them, and cried that they were there. But, when I truly went WITH MY INSTINCTS and ACTED toward a solution......well, you know the rest.

You bet we are real friends. You are true blue. :)

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/9/2010 5:09PM

    You got it John!!!!! I love the way you put it... it seems so obvious yet, i never thought about it...

"It means i've spent my energy" BRILLIANT!!! I LOVE It on "focusing energy"!!!!!!

I consider you my real friend too! emoticon

OMG WAY TO GO ON GETTING UP EARLY!!!

Dimitra

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MARCYNA 11/9/2010 3:51PM

    WoW...This was absolutely great, John....
The very moment I needed it, I read your blog.
I'll be praying & sending you positive thoughts!!!
PS I have had some jealousy feelings taking me where I shouldn't have and I've just realized how I wasted so much energy emoticon emoticon

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KML410 11/9/2010 8:58AM

    Once again another great blog. Thanks John for your thoughts. I will think about where I am focusing my energy. I too love the quiet of the car, thats where I do a lot of my thinking. I rarely play the radio when I'm in the car. The quiet time is when I think and pray. Have a great day looking forward to hearing from you again. emoticon

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Me and Job

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I was able to get to the gym yesterday afternoon and it was probably the most pleasant experience I had all week. I was able to run two and one half miles and my poor old body paid for the lack of activity over the past four days. I felt renewed and refreshed. As I ran, I started thinking about all my alleged trials and tribulations. Yes, I had a rather disconcerting week, LOL, and yes it threw me for a loop.

As I ran, though, I started thinking about the story of Job. In essence Satan told God he wasn’t as hot as he thought he was and that he would let God pick any person he wanted and Satan would make that person despair of God. God told him “Take my servant Job.” Again, in essence, Job had it all going his way. Nice house, nice family and a pretty hefty income. (He probably worked out five days a week also in a state of the art gym!) God told Satan to take his best shot, Job wouldn’t despair of God. So Satan did. Job lost everything and in the end was sitting “on a pile of dung, covered in sores.” However, he never despaired. He never cried “uncle.” In the end God restored everything Job had lost and Satan went looking for another, albeit weaker victim.” Everybody around Job told him to give in but he didn’t.

Now hopefully I don’t end up on a pile of dung covered in sores but sometimes it seems like my grandmother was right, “No problem is a small problem if it’s your problem!” But unlike Job I often despair. Oh I don’t give up on God. I get a bit miffed with Him from time to time but I don’t give up. Job didn’t have chocolate chunk cookies and Mickey D’s. He didn’t have pizza, beer and powdered covered sugar donuts. When things are going good so is I. when they get tough I have a tendency to bail out and then wonder why I don’t reach any of my goals. There is really nothing in my life I can’t deal with, I choose not to deal with it!! I wring my hands and turn into some sort of drama queen.

So as I ran around the track I thought about Job and I thought how much he endured and in the end he had everything restored tenfold. There’s a lesson there. The lesson to me is that if you stick with the things that made you successful and got you results you have to stick with them no matter how tough things get. It was a revealing yet humbling experience, all at once. I saw where I had failed and how my inability to deal with things caused me to get derailed.

I woke up this morning to a new day and to a new beginning. I’ll start over and I’ll fall down a few times but hopefully in a little while God can say “Take my servant John!!”

Have a blessed Sunday

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHERINEL66 11/11/2010 6:29AM

    This is a great blog John, and so fitting right now. I must have said, "take my servant Catherine, especially her foot".

My husband commented last night that I've been super grumpy since the foot thing, AND that he noticed that everything that could go crazy at work HAS. So I feel like I'm getting a double whammy.

I tell ya, the temptations of donuts, pizza, beer, chocolate chunk cookies (there were several packages at my office yesterday!! ugh!!) never looked so good.

I'm saying no and limping on by, and the weight is holding steady, but boy oh boy, without the exercise I'm used to, I feel my old drama queen stirring to life! LOL!

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MKPRINCESS007 11/9/2010 6:05PM

    From one "drama queen" to another.........hey, your words not mine :), there is always work to be done to stay on the path. Always. Small deviations from the path are unavoidable, but coming back to the path, now that is the real deal.

I am right behind you!

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AZCUPCAKE 11/9/2010 1:24PM

    You always know how to provide just the right insight that can turn my attitude around. Thank you, John! emoticon

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MANDABEAR11 11/8/2010 11:25AM

    What a wonderful attitude! I think I may just have a different week now because of this blog, well I guess it was more Job's story, but you told it pretty freakin awesomely emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/8/2010 10:55AM

    emoticon

This was a great blog, John. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Have a happy and healthy week!

emoticon

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 11/8/2010 9:04AM

    emoticon

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JPRICE217 11/8/2010 7:27AM

    emoticonfor the reminder that we need to be more like Job

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JUSTFOXXY 11/8/2010 6:55AM

    Well said

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/8/2010 4:56AM

    GREAT!!!!! :-)

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MARCYNA 11/8/2010 3:35AM

    Great...biblical lesson applied to everyday reality. I was about to despair John. The Agency I'm setting up seems to bring about difficulties, and my dance classes are now a dream....not to say ANYTHNG of family difficulties. But if I trust Him., He'll give me everything manyfold.Thanks a million f6r reminding me..ENDURANCE is my motto emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/8/2010 3:36:10 AM

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JURI62 11/7/2010 10:24PM

    emoticon

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CARTOONB 11/7/2010 9:50PM

    And there you go...

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JENNY888 11/7/2010 2:51PM

    I listened to a sermon on TV this morning on acting like what you want to be. In the process of pretending you will become what you wanted to be. I really liked the idea of all of this. An example was given on acting like you really enjoyed the salad with cucumbers in it and over time you will be salivating for that same salad. It was an interesting concept and one I plan to use.

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NJMATTICE 11/7/2010 1:21PM

    Thanks for the biblical reminder of the rewards of faithfulness. Have a great Lord's Day!
Love,
Nancy

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GEEMAWEST 11/7/2010 1:08PM

    We never quit learning unless we have quit living.

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WANDAH3 11/7/2010 10:30AM

    Well done Job (John), well done.

Have a wonderfully blessed day,
Hugs,
Wanda

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HDHAWK 11/7/2010 10:17AM

    Good for you John! It took me months to get back to the correct "mindset", but I'm finally starting to feel it again. I know you'll reach every goal you set for yourself!

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Forgeting Your Past and Answered Prayers

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I have sat here for the last ten minutes trying to figure out a way to tell you about my week. I give up! Just let me say that you have had them too. The kind of week where you know you have a lot of challenges before it begins and then there are a few events sprinkled in there just to gauge how much you are able to handle. No matter how well you plan, things seem to come unhinged and stay there. Toss in an emotional melt down or two, lack of exercise since late Tuesday topped off with a few chocolate chunk cookies and you are really hoping next week is better but in a lot of ways you know it is going to be just as challenging. Anyone else ever feel this way? Good, I am glad to know I have company.

I had taken most of last week off to be home with Joan after her surgery so this week was going to be busy to begin with. Last Saturday a young friend of ours took his own life and the week ended with one of our dogs breaking a nail, spilling a lot of blood, but basically being okay. I was away so much that by the time I reached home at night the gym was either closed or getting ready to close and when all was said and done I was pretty depressed.
Wednesday I was driving to Louisville. It was raining, blowing and cold. So was I. Half way there I melted down. I lifted my eyes to heaven and said “I can’t do this. You got the wrong guy here. I don’t know why you picked me to begin with but I am not your guy. I got way to much baggage and if I were you I would have kicked me to the curb years ago.”
I felt so very alone and so very lonely. Yes I know there are people who love me. Yes, I have this wonderful network of people who support me……

I sometimes wish I just had someone in a three dimensional form I could talk to. Maybe whine to, LOL? I went on and on about not being able to handle everything. Lately it seems that everywhere I go I am reminded about all my mistakes. An event, a phrase, an issue comes up and it feels like I have been stabbed in the heart. How do you say “despondent.”
So I finish my talk with God and I resign myself to feeling crummy. Intellectually I know it will pass but emotionally I am out of breath. I ask Him for some help = something, anything.

Let me fast forward.

Six hours later I am eating lunch with a client. Physically I am present, emotionally I am hoping he shuts up really soon. My mood isn’t much better and now I’m feeling guilty because I am not paying attention. He pauses for just a moment and gets an odd look on his face.

“I’m not sure why I’m bringing this up,” He begins “Have you seen the movie Secretariat?”

I haven’t

“There is a great line in there and it just made me think of you. The line went like this,” he said.

“You can’t ever go forward as long as you drive looking in the rear view mirror.”

“You say stuff like that to me all the time.”

I do?

Fortunately he got a phone call and I had a few minutes to collect myself and was over whelmed with this wonderful divine sort of warmth. As quickly as it showed up it left. Prayers are answered, maybe not in the form or fashion we would like or suggest but so often God uses us as a vehicle for someone else to grow, learn and be at peace.

I’d like to tell you my world changed on a dime and the sub poked through the clouds. It was only Wednesday and the rest of my week sucked but it sucked in a way that made me focus on getting the plane through the thunderstorm and not looking in the mirror for something to catch up with me.

Be blessed this Saturday

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BEATIT1 11/11/2010 4:33PM

    Excellent blog once again.
Jean

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FUNNYSUNNY123 11/11/2010 3:22PM

    I happened on this blog post from my friend feed. Someone commented on another blog of yours and I went to that one and then picked this one for some reason.

God uses the smallest things sometimes to make an impact. I'm all teary eyed because I know He just met me here in this moment.

Thank you!

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 11/7/2010 12:28PM

    John,

This is exactly what I needed! It's something I've been searching for! Begging for! And... Here it is, in your words!

I should have know. After all, you're the person who taught me to not just speak this phrase , but to believe it:

YOU'RE WORTH IT!!!

Bless You John! You are an Angel to me!

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2BEATIT1 11/7/2010 11:23AM

    John You have done it again,
You've given us someone to think about who went through more than most of us would ever have to. Good analogy.
Thanks again for sharing so honestly and openly.
God bless you abundantly.
Jean

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JPRICE217 11/7/2010 5:15AM

    John I have missed you but I can understand now. Sorry for your troubls and trials. You have my prayers. emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 11/6/2010 4:37PM

    Hang in there, buddy. If you were a girl, I'd guess you were having hormonal-induced issues.

What's with no gym? Can't you go in the AM before you take off?

This part of the journey, which included the thunderstorms, broken bones, and despondancy is the part I hate. It's pretty grueling and lasts too long ... and it's when we have our gumption tested. Stick to your plan. Get rid of those cookies :)

That movie was great! I saw it when I was in Seattle on business last month and loved it. You should see it. They managed to capture the sheer joy of running to run and winning to win ... and the truth and beauty of an enduring spirit.

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TINKERBELL200 11/6/2010 3:58PM

    Sorry you week was so bad to begin with, but I'm thankful God answered your prayer. What a powerful statement that was. Oh so true! I hope Joan is feeling better. She must be because you're back to work! You are both in my thoughts and prayers!
emoticon
Lynne

Comment edited on: 11/6/2010 3:58:43 PM

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/6/2010 3:40PM

    Sorry to hear it's been so rough for you, John.

I had a major crap-butt week, too! At this point, I'm just welcoming the fresh-start and potential of a brand new week.

I wish you a happy and healthy day.

Giant emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/6/2010 2:19PM

    I've had that conversation with God on more than one occasion, John, only sometimes it's me yelling at God about it. Thankfully He always patiently lets me get it all out, then speaks to me as He did to you. You are not alone; you know that, but as fragile human beings, sometimes we need to FEEL it, not just know it intellectually. Keep hanging in there; the sun will come out tomorrow, as I recall someone saying recently, and there will be smooth sailing again eventually. And if not right away, well, it's time to fly above the clouds again.

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2BEATIT1 11/6/2010 1:33PM

    John, John, John,
What can I say? That Blog really is about most of us some of the time. We all go through those moments when we feel so alone and so unworthy. If we say we don't I doubt the genuine in them. This is all part of our sin nature and the enemy of our souls. He likes to put us in the defensive or down in the dumps (very subtly, I might add), and then he sits back and is our biggest condemnation.
Thanks for always being so vulnerable so that you can help others walking through a much similar path.
Many times when we are in this state and try to pray, we feel God is not hearing us, and yet, often we want to talk with someone who has skin on. However, God NEVER leaves us nor forsakes us. He is as close as the mention of His Name Jesus.

For those moments when you have what you expressed in this blog, I have some homework for you. It will work wonders.
For ONE WHOLE WEEK before you start your day, read PSALMS 139.
That chapter got me through my darkest moments. Also Isaiah 43:2.

I trust you will take time to read these and be blessed and encouraged.
And again, thank you for all your wonderful down to earth blogs that help so many of the rest of us.

God bless you again and again and again.

Jean emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYTURN11 11/6/2010 11:59AM

    Hang in there and keep the faith John.

Sent you boxing gloves so that you are prepared to do battle with the enemy - Satan.

If you met me in person you would see that I appear fragile looking w/ small bone structure and a soft voice. I think that my looks and persona are very deceiving; especially for Satan, because he is always wanting to spar with me, and if he cannot get to me directly, he tries to goes through the people I love the most.

My take on people like you and me is that God just loves us so very much that He allows Satan to do battle with us but God always, always, always (never fails) comes to our rescue. God just wants us to fight the good fight - of faith.

You are a wonderful person.

Peace and hugs to you.

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KLEONIKI 11/6/2010 11:58AM

    All this divine whispering in our ears with the voice of persons we simply meet by accident, step onto them by mere luck!?!
I have lived it thousand times and i know it is the gentle divine caress, the elusive smile of my guardian angel,always speaking softly, whispering to enable us ignore if not yet ready, to offer us the free choice to turn the will of our lives' car.
Happy to be a witness of your reasoning!
Kleoniki

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JENNY888 11/6/2010 11:56AM

    I'm so glad your prayer was answered so soon. What a not so subtle reminder that we need to participate in the answering of our prayers and to trust that the results will be good without second guessing what is going on.

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TRISH2229 11/6/2010 10:47AM

    Drive on dear John. Those dreadful weeks we experience come, slam us and then their gone. I too have been living a nightmare (father hospitalized) that started a week ago yesterday and ended abruptly on Thursday. Now it seems like much time has passed even though the relief just came less than two days ago. Life is strange; it twists and turns and yet we survive and move forward to our next task or hurdle. I never thought I was athletic but I realized I've become a master hurdler this year! LOL

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MKPRINCESS007 11/6/2010 10:45AM

    Hi John..........so glad to see you posting again. You know I am feeling your pain. Your emotional pain. The way I have felt this past month has riveled losing my mom, and both grandparents within 3 years time. POWERLESSNESS. Unable to change the course of events. I learned, just as you have practicing, that while I couldn't change certain things, I could change my reaction to them. I have spent some time this week, along with you, looking in that rear view mirror. Thinking "shoulda, coulda, woulda". Everything that we have become to this day is build on the events of the past. So, good bad or indifferent, those events had to happen for a reason.

So, today, we forward focus! Sending you strength and peace....

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GEEMAWEST 11/6/2010 10:44AM

    You sure had a tough week. Now it's behind you and you can move on. Enjoy your weekend!
emoticon emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 11/6/2010 10:42AM

    Thanks so much John for posting this experience of your week. Dad always said every day-week-month-year won't be a bed of rose's, it's what you do with them is how you learn and grow. We all are growing along with you. Together we WILL MAKE IT!

Skeeter

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MARCYNA 11/6/2010 9:59AM

    I read somewhere, The Lord is all about our future while our enemy is always reminding us of the past. So, drive soon away thoughts relating to the past and concentrate on the present. I'll send you my guardian angel to comfort you when you feel lonely. Hugs

Comment edited on: 11/6/2010 9:59:42 AM

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ANDI571 11/6/2010 9:48AM

    A few years ago, I was at that point of, I am drowning. I did the same thing, I just looked up and told God that I was drowning and didn't know what to do. The story of Peter and Jesus walking on the water came so clear to me. When Jesus walked up, Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Him. But when he looked down and saw the stormy water, he started to sink. It is when he looked up and took Jesus' hand that he didn't sink into that stormy water. I will never forget that day. Other storms has come my way since then, and I again felt like I was drowning, but Jesus' hand is always there to keep me from sinking. We just have to look up.

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

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HDHAWK 11/6/2010 9:10AM

    I'm sorry you had such a rotten week John. I'm thinking you've been doing so well for months that this is just a new challenge thrown you way to help you stretch and grow even more. Don't you hate it when that happens. All we can do with these situations is make it through the best we can. Sometime down the road we realize we learned something from it all. It may take a day or a year. Who knows. Here's hoping next week improves for you and yes, you have tons of love and support here!

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TEACHING1ST 11/6/2010 8:59AM

    John, I'm far behind in following how life's been for you. Please give Joan my best and a hug for a speedy recovery. Thank YOU for being you---willing to share your life with all the bumps in the road. Your eloquence and heartfelt advice, musings, etc. help everyone who drops by for a virtual visit. God loves you, we love you, Joan loves you...thanks for being you!

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WALKNLOVE 11/6/2010 8:24AM

    John you are so real, just like the rest of us. The only difference between us & you, is you share it better.Once when I was driving down the road, I saw a blip in the sky. I thought for a moment that it was a plane, but it was white. I kept looking at it. As I drove closer, it grew. Finally as I got really close, this blip had become an enormous cloud in an otherwise clear blue sky. God reminded me that that is how we are sometimes...we focus on our (blip)problem until it becomes huge, instead of focusing on our GOD, who is so much bigger than any problem we could ever face. It just depends on what we are focusing on. Know today that GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH and finds such value in you (flaws and all) that he gave his ONLY son for you! That's alotta love right there!
On a separate note, give Joan a hug.Tell her I am praying for her speedy recovery. emoticon

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REJ7777 11/6/2010 8:24AM

    I enjoy your blogs because you're so honest.

Two of my cousins committed suicide in their early twenties. It's hard to believe that anything in our day-to-day routine matters after a tragic event like that... but it does.

BTW, you're in pretty good company when you say you told God He had the wrong guy. Here's what Moses said:

And Moses said unto God, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3.11)

Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."
So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."
But he said, "O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send." (Exodus 4.10-13)

The rest is history! emoticon

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HONORINGGOD 11/6/2010 8:14AM

    amen emoticon

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Blessed Failure

Monday, November 01, 2010

“With each failure I encounter I am one step closer to reaching my ultimate goal(s)”

Sounds really, really nice doesn’t it? Makes ya wanna print it out and hang it on your fridge, don’t it? Truth be told, we most likely believe something like this:

“With each failure I feel more and more guilty and then I say what the H-E-double hockey sticks, I am going to give up because I’ll never look like all those shiny happy successful people who I want to hunt down and run over.”

If ya hung that on your fridge they might come lookin’ for ya. Just sayin’…

I have more failure than I care to count, so I started counting them. I have a sticky note on my computer desk . I make a mark when I fail. For me it takes about eight failures until I get one of those enlightened successful moments. Then it seems as if I can see very clearly. Alleluia the strife is over and all that other cool stuff. The failure is forgotten until the next time which for me is usually thirty five to forty minutes later.

Failure, however, has a roommate we over look. He is not on the original lease so he isn’t there for us to see. His name is guilt and he has an inferiority complex, to say the least. He wants to make sure that you give him equal time with failure. So every time I fail guilt stands up says “Hey John, don’t forget about me!! The only reason you failed is because in all reality you are a pile of waste that will never amount to anything valuable……….. Have a nice day!!!” That’s when the cycle starts and we buy a one way ticket to giving up on whatever it is we are looking to achieve or overcome. So what can we do?

I have decided to embrace failure and treat it as a natural part of any process I choose to embrace. Case-In-Point: The first time I rode a two wheeled bike I fell. Actually the first one hundred times I fell. Then I learned what I needed to do to succeed and stay on the bike!! Those falls were failures. I didn’t go in the house, cursing my fate and vow to never ride again.

I had to repeat the first five weeks of C25K training twice. I didn’t have the stamina to go on after just one week. I would read blogs about people running from here to the North Pole in under twenty minutes and screw my face up in one of those frustrated grimaces. “The book” says if you haven’t run at all you shouldn’t try running a competitive 5K for six months. I ran my first 5K in four months and three weeks. There were a number of days I didn’t think I could do it. I was too old, to out of shape and I didn’t look good running. My legs hurt, my body ached and my inner child screamed at me to quit this nonsense. I failed, and then I won.

Next time you read someone’s autobiography realize that you are only looking at the highlights. If every failure, every moment of indecision was chronicled they would have to deliver the book to your house in a semi-trailer.

We fool ourselves into believing that our failures are a part of some moral character flaw inside of us. They are not, they are part of growth.

My number one goal for November is to embrace failure and as the blog title says, embrace it. The more I fail and move forward the closer I am to reaching happiness. No reason to feel guilty about that.

My friend MSSUNBUG has on her SPARK Page “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” Every time guilt comes a knocking, I remember that. Maybe I need a tee shirt that says "I'm a failure and proud of it"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANDOK1260 11/5/2010 2:07PM

    yep, you can write great blog and this one hit home too

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CROBINGO 11/5/2010 10:05AM

    So true. I wonder why we look at failure so differently when it comes to our health than other areas of my life. I wouldn't let myself be blown all over by whims in any other area of my life. Why here and why does failure stop us or trip us in this area of our lives? Crazy, huh?

Great blog and I agree with the goal!

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JPRICE217 11/4/2010 10:14AM

    Good goal . emoticon

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CARTOONB 11/3/2010 10:57PM

    When I see something like this, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. He started a small business...it failed. He ran for office...failed. Ran for office again...failed. And those are just a few things this man failed at. And yet, we don't remember him for his failures. Nor do we remember you for yours. Ever. emoticon

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BROSEQUILTS 11/3/2010 7:05PM

    Amazing blog post!!!

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HALFFAST 11/3/2010 6:35PM

    Wow, amazing blog! Thank you!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/3/2010 4:57PM

    You have opened my eyes in so many ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WANDAH3 11/2/2010 5:13PM

    As usual John, a great blog.

I especially loved your statement : Next time you read someone’s autobiography realize that you are only looking at the highlights.

What a great reminder that in order for those highlights to shine, there was a lot of hard work and attitude to get there.

Thanks my friend.
Hugs
Wanda

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HLPRATT 11/2/2010 8:49AM

    I love this. So many times we don't try something because we're afraid to fail. Let's throw that whole idea out the window. Failure is a sign that you're trying something new. We all need to be doing that.

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PINETREEGIRL 11/2/2010 8:43AM

    Gorgeous blog, John! It's really true that if you try, you fail. Just like with the bike story. We look for the goals that are unobtainable, and strive to meet them without a chance in your H-E-double toothpicks. If we did accomplish everything we wanted, I believe that our goals would change anyway onto something new and even more impossible! If you decide to get that t-shirt printed, I want one too!
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MARCYNA 11/2/2010 7:37AM

    Failure, the greatest gift of all,,,'When I feel weak I am stronger...' emoticon
PS I think I am embracing your goal for Novemeber and I've already had a good start..... emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/2/2010 7:39:32 AM

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 11/1/2010 10:37PM

    I needed this so... much that I kid you not, I'm crying. Thank you John! You truly are an Angel to me. You help me face my evil.... myself.

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BTINTERNET 11/1/2010 10:28PM

    The analogy I always loved was that we don't yell at little kids for not learning to walk. We help 'em back up, dust 'em off and they try again and again. We don't decide if they haven't gotten it in two weeks that they'll never walk.

Why aren't we as gentle and forgiving and understanding with ourselves?

I needed this today. Thanks.

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KSGROTHE 11/1/2010 7:31PM

    emoticon for another terrific blog!

I often have trouble distinguishing between encountering a failure, or suffering a setback, and *being* a failure. If I fail at X over and over again, doesn't that mean I *am* a failure? Of course, it doesn't, but that negative voice in my head often says I am. Maybe this viewpoint of thinking of failure as a blessing rather than something to fear, something to be avoided, will help reduce those negative voices.

Once again, you've given me something to think about.

- Karen

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SMOCKON 11/1/2010 2:49PM

    I really thought about quitting this diet and exercise thing this weekend after a big failure to resist the hotdog and hamburger at the concession stand Friday night. I decided to give it "half of my all" today. Look what happened: you brought me the rest of the way. Thank you!

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REJ7777 11/1/2010 1:16PM

    Great blog! When did we get to the place where we think we don't have the right to fail anymore? I love your example about learning to ride a bike. Fear of failure or looking foolish keep us from continuing to learn throughout life!

Your blogs not only challenge me, they make me laugh, but you WILL have to change your attitude: "I’ll never look like all those shiny happy successful people who I want to hunt down and run over.” I'm convinced you soon will BE one of them!

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GEEMAWEST 11/1/2010 1:15PM

    Really needed to read this today. Thanks!
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CATHERINEL66 11/1/2010 12:12PM

    Thanks John! This was a really helpful counterpoint to my Monday moaning!

What really jumped out at me was the thought that you often don't see other people's struggles. You DO see the good highlights (thin, successful, happy) but it's rare that people advertise the downside of life -- like the everyday struggle to cope, the monotony of doing the right thing over and over, the patience and the sameness of the same of thing (vs. the fantastic *new* thing).

Clink! That's my virtual toast to you for celebrating the everyday flying of the plane!! :)

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/1/2010 12:05PM

    Fear of failure has stopped me far more often than real failure; I learn so much each time that I'm willing to risk and accept the possibility of failure. It has taken me a long time to realize that trying something and failing at it does not make ME a failure. We only truly fail when we fail to try. Well said, as always, John.

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/1/2010 11:24AM

    I so needed to read this today! Thank you so much! And thanks for making me laugh... “With each failure I feel more and more guilty and then I say what the H-E-double hockey sticks, I am going to give up because I’ll never look like all those shiny happy successful people who I want to hunt down and run over.” still chuckling at that one - so true!

Failure is part of the process. Here's to embracing our failures and our success!

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PRINCESSNURSE 11/1/2010 10:11AM

    The road to success is always under construction isn't it?

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FREDIA2 11/1/2010 10:08AM

    You express it so well. It is a part of our life. You make me believe that even with failure I can accomplish my goal

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MSSUNBUG 11/1/2010 10:04AM

    I REALLY needed to read this today. For an assortment of reasons, I've already convinced myself I'm a pile of steaming poo this morning with nothing valuable to offer. I read in a magazine recently (crappy article, but this point was important) that successful people accept stillness, accept the space where nothing new has materialized, or "what's next?" hasn't come through with any clarity yet. For me, it's been about recognizing that I'm not just either succeeding (in the concrete way) or failing--there is a space of stillness in between that isn't really either of those things. If it's not either of those things, I certainly don't have to convince myself it's failure.

Guilt wants to be my best "frenemy." But who needs THAT?

Anyway, this was very much what I needed to read today.

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AKATUJE 11/1/2010 9:48AM

    emoticon Going through a failure right now.... But reading this i realise that it is really guilt i am listening to. Thanks for the pick up.

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WISEONE68 11/1/2010 9:48AM

    Love it, as always, John. Your insight is wonderful and YOU ARE RIGHT. The Lord has blessed you with a gift to take what you are feeling and help others.
This sure helped me today (coming off a 3 pound gain over the past week)!! Thanks!!

--Erika

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/1/2010 9:46AM

    Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure. ~ Jack Lemmon

I just looked up "failure" in my Daily Celebrations website. Quite inspirational and I applaud you for embracing failure.

So many of us fear the attempt that we won't even try something new or difficult.

However, when we fear an attempt we also cheat ourselves out of what in the end can be a magnificent experience.

On my bulletin board at work is this quote: "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." William Shakespeare.

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WALKSFAR 11/1/2010 9:42AM

    Great blog.

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Sometimes There Is Not Much To Say

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I met Perry when he was in the third grade. He knocked on our door one Saturday morning and asked for a piece of paper so he could do his homework. He had, on his face, what I have always called an “award winning smile.” That is my first memory of him and it will be my lasting memory of him.

Perry was small in stature, which is what initially caused him a lot of trouble in life. Called, “shrimp,” “squirt,” or “midget,” he was always in a fight with someone who was unfortunate enough to press his buttons.

Perry hung out with our son Paul and three other boys in our neighborhood. Paul is an accountant; Brian became a plumber and then ultimately took over his dad’s plumbing business. The other Brian went into the Army and will muster out in December. Andrew manages an Outback Steak House. Perry never graduated from high school. But honestly, out of all the kids Paul hung out with Perry was my favorite. He called me “Mr. J,” and he was always wanting something but not in a mean or selfish way. As a kid, I think Perry enjoyed life.

Around age thirteen his family life went really sour. His mom and dad divorced, he had two sisters who were in and out of trouble and I think Perry got lost. The problem became that he never got found. I think beneath that warm smile and care free attitude was a really sensitive kid.

Paul and his friends used to say he was bad. I used to tell them he was misguided. We moved away and I kept track of Perry through Paul. None of it was good. He had alcohol issues and drug issues and mucho trouble with the law. One night, drunk, he ran his car through the front of a convenience store. Paul pulled away from him. As a matter of fact he wasn’t invited to Paul’s wedding last month. They were afraid what kind of shape he’d show up in.

The last time I saw Perry was at my son Matt’s wedding almost six years ago. He tugged the back of my tuxedo and waved at me. He appeared sober and I asked him if he was behaving and he gave me that grin of his and said “Yeah.”

Last night Perry took his own life. He hung himself. Perry was 29. Paul called me this morning and told me to sit down. He cried, I cried. I told Joan and she cried. He always called her “Mama J.” I have cried off and on all day.

It makes no sense to me. Nothing like this ever does. I am not even sure why I am writing this except maybe I want you to know that buried beneath the crime, the drugs and the alcohol was a little boy with a smile, ringing my door bell a long time ago, asking for paper to do his homework.

I do not suggest we avoid reality but I choose to recall a time when that piece of paper was blank and there was all kinds of hope. There is a tendency to try to blame someone or something for this so we can make a kind of peace with it. But tonight all I feel is a very cold wind in my heart.

If I knew yesterday what I know today I might have found him and told him, he was worth so much, he deserved so much and those people he hung around with early in his life loved him so much. Ten of them, including two of my sons are together tonight and Brian is flying in from San Francisco.

Please, please remember all of that, because so are you, loved very much.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZCUPCAKE 11/9/2010 1:29PM

    Heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss. He will always be that little boy with the big smile who you will always carry in your heart.... emoticon

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KAT573 11/9/2010 9:35AM

    Memories of my younger brother we lost; he was 30. I understand the cold wind blowing, and the hollow feeling. It is unfortunate that this is one of the huge events that made me realize, beyond a certain point, it is entirely up to each and everyone of us to decide, hopefully, while aligning our will with God's so we can receive through Grace,the strength, compassion and correct guidance, to own, increasingly, however falteringly, fully who we are, and accept fully where we need to go, no matter what...it is easy to balk at, but the price is high.
"The best way out is always through."
-Robert Frost
May those who are lost be found. emoticon

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EPIPHANYANGEL 11/3/2010 9:31AM

    makes no sense... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 11/3/2010 4:28AM

    This is terrible, and I think you're suffering a lot.
Yet, you can pray for him and I'm sure prayers will be heard, and give a piece of blank paper -love, trust, opportunity, you name it- to all the boys you'll meet, in Perry's loving memory emoticon
A big hug to you & to your sons

Comment edited on: 11/3/2010 10:50:58 AM

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/2/2010 4:50PM

    I am really sorry to hear this news.

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LOOKY-LOU 11/1/2010 11:02AM

    So sorry to hear about your loss.

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AKATUJE 11/1/2010 9:37AM

    emoticon

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RUNTRILAUGH 11/1/2010 9:34AM

    I don't know of anything sadder than the feelings left for the "survivors" of a suicide to deal with. If the ones committing suicide only knew what it would do to the rest of us, then they would know even just a little bit, how much they WERE loved, EVEN by people they would have never imagined, and how there is nothing we wouldn't have helped them with....

So sorry to hear you're dealing with this....
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PRINCESSNURSE 11/1/2010 9:11AM

    emoticon I will keep all of you and his family in my prayers

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CARTOONB 10/31/2010 11:36PM

    I am so sorry. Words cannot express, but you did a dang good job...

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REJ7777 10/31/2010 9:29PM

    You're right. It doesn't make sense!
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ANEPANALIPTI 10/31/2010 8:38PM

    Oh my goodness.... Oh John.... emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 10/31/2010 7:59PM

    I am so very sorry about your loss. Just know that I'm sending out hugs for all of you.

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CATHERINEL66 10/31/2010 5:22PM

    What shocking news. We've all been lost sometime in our lives, and it's horrible that Perry didn't get a chance to turn things around. I'm so sorry to hear about this.

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TIME4AFITME 10/31/2010 3:36PM

    That is so sad. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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HDHAWK 10/31/2010 12:22PM

    How sad John. He reminds me of some of the kids I see in school. You give them the best you can and encourage them as you much as you can and hope it has an influence on their future. It's all we can do. Never forget how you, Joan, and the young men you mentioned showed him he was valuable. Unfortunately, just like weight loss, it has to be up to us in the end. Sending big hugs to you and your family. I'm very sorry for your loss. emoticon

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WANDAH3 10/31/2010 11:42AM

    John, thank you for such a heartfelt blog.
Perry, I believe, now knows just how much he was loved by your circle of family and friends. You are right...he was no bad...just lost.
We need to stop acting as judge and jury on those around us....we don't know what pain they are carrying on the inside.
What a wonderful memory you have of him...his smile and big heart.
Thinking of you all.

Hugs,
Wanda

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ZURDTA- 10/31/2010 10:25AM

    That poor poor boy and his friends and family. Suicide is so tragic, there just aren't words for the pain it creates. My heart goes out to everyone who knew this lad... such a crying shame.

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FERNASHES 10/31/2010 9:36AM

    emoticon

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_AIYANNA_ 10/31/2010 4:23AM

    This was really a sad story, John. I am so, so sorry. I work with children and teenagers and it worries me sick to see how misguided some of them are. You are all in my thoughts. Hugs xxx

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 10/31/2010 12:45AM

    My heart goes out to you & your family. Perry was obviously very special to you. You are all in my prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/31/2010 12:07AM

    John, I am so sorry. Suicide is never easy to deal with; my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and all who knew Perry.

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LAURAS14 10/31/2010 12:01AM

    My heart is saddened by this story. I teach elementary school and there are many "Perry" students out there. We can't save them all, but we can love them. My prayers are with you all.

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