JOHNTJ1   68,210
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Sincere Motivation

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I look forward to Sunday mornings. I look forward to going to church. It's not that I am some great and holy person. To be honest there are weeks I do not go. I look forward to going to church because it means in many ways I have that one solitary hour of isolation. Truth be known, most weeks I zone out sometime during Mass. No one can call me on my phone, no one needs anything. It's just me and my higher power. I believe we have an "inner voice." I believe that if we rely on that inner voice it will help guide us. Some people call that voice angels, some believe it's God himself or a long since passed friend or relative. I have learned to trust that inner voice.

I write this long and windy preface so that you get a feeling for what happened to me this morning. Sitting in silence and being very grateful for everything God has done for me my inner voice asked me a question. "Why do you do everything you do?" (Sometimes I am not fond of my inner voice!!) "Are you kind, do you share, are you loving, so people will notice you or say what a great guy you are or do you love simply for loves sake, because it's the right thing to do?"

Truth be known I did not want to hear this. See I was feeling really, really good about myself. But........ I started to think that the small voice had a really valid point. I wonder how often in my life I have said "I'll do this or that and then I'll get this or that." Sort of like keeping score. It humbled me in a very good way. I was starting to get "the big head." At the same time I felt this wonderful sesne of freedom.

I forgot that a few months ago I was miserable, and despondent. I kept gaining weight, and nothing I tried worked. I prayed really hard and to be honest with you there were days I'd cry. (Yeah guys cry.) But something inside of kept saying "You'll get it dont worry." I do not believe in guilt or punishment or any of that stuff. I believe in forgiveness and letting the past slip away.

This morning was a cold bucket of water that I needed. I AM becoming healthy and my hope is that as I make this journey, in a very sincere and loving way, I can reach out to other people who are struggling and simply love because I was created in love and I am love.

Guess I have a new goal and most likely it will take a life time to achieve. I still belive I am a good and wonderful person, otherwise I would not have been created, but I see my purpose clearer.

Good Sabbath

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STAN5FAM 2/8/2010 2:16AM

    John you are an amazing person. Thanks for sharing your profound insight.

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WOODSYGIRL 2/7/2010 11:52PM

    Such a great blog with some of the very thoughts I've struggled with for years. I've often questioned my motives, that is whether or not I'm doing something just out of love and goodness or because I want the attention that comes from it. I think it's a bit of both. I'm working very hard on not seeking out that attention (subconsciously or not) and just looking to please God... because my ultimate joy is found in Him. As humans, this is no easy feat, but I think my purpose will become clearer the more I let go of the other "stuff". I've long since struggled with trying to figure out what my purpose is from God, and I still don't know. I don't know what my spiritual gifts are either, but I think the more I just keep doing what is right and good and kind, the more these things will become clear to me. Thanks for another inspiring blog that made me pause and think.

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KATIEGLEN012 2/7/2010 7:49PM that you can hear that inner voice. Church is the perfect place for it to speak. It is difficult to love unconditionally. You gave me food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

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WANDAH3 2/7/2010 11:06AM

    Yep, that you are...a good and wonderful person, whom God created for a purpose.
We all have a life purpose, some of us it takes awhile to realize that and to get our lives on the path we need to be on, others seem to know from the moment they are born. I'm just grateful that God has never given up on me and has been able to break through the walls I built to protect myself and instill in me His loving presence. As I continue to allow God and my spiritual guides to lead me, I'm continual amazed at all that lies before me, overwhelmed at times, but eternally grateful that I'm deemed worthy to perform the task set before me.

Have an awesome day,

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Odds and Ends (Or A Glimpse Inside My Mind!!!)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

My wifes birthday is Valentines Day. Two of my daughters stopped over the other evening and we all were sitting in the living room talking about next weekends plans. We have six children and only three live here in town. Most of the discussion centered around who was coming in when and who wasn't going to be able to come in. One of my daughters said, "Mom, you wanted to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast after church Sunday, right?"
My wife looked over at me and said "I do but I dont want to have dad blow his diet."

Okay, first of all let me tell you a bit about my wife. For a woman who went through six pregnancies and had to put up with me for thirty five years she is in pretty good shape. She has never been a mindless eater and has always been selective about what goes in her mouth. In many respects I envy her because she has never approached things with a sense of guilt when she eats. Lest you think I am being biased because shes my wife, by her own admission she needs to exercise more.

I looked over at her and said, "If that's where you want to eat, that's where we will eat and I will do some homework and find something I WANT to eat."

"You're sure?" she asked.

"Ya know honey, the world dont come to a grinding halt because I am trying to adjust for about fifteen years of unhealthy living!! and by the way......" I began.

"I know" she said. "You're not on a diet, you're changing your life style."

If I have gained any insight at all over these past two months it has been that I am on a journey towards my own health which doesnt include the whole world getting out of my way. Diets fail, plain and simple. From my own experience they fail because we end up like we are being punished and feel so sorry for ourselves that we justify eating an entire bakery. I have realized that in many ways i have just needed to "grow up" and get on with it!!!

I was riding the virtual bike at the gym the other day. I'll admit I was getting a bit bored so I started looking around. There were around five or six fitness instructors on the floor, walking around and asking people if they needed any help. what bothered me was that the only people they seemed to stop and spend any time with were the skinny people!!!! all of us over weight and obese people who need the encouragement were treated like we had a infectious disease. Rather than form a snap judgement I watched this for three days and then yesterday morning I acted!!!!

When I finished my workout i walked up to one bright and perky young lady at the desk and said. "Is it just me, or do you guys only talk to the young and the buff?"

I got a blank stare in return.

I been working out here for a year and I bet you dont even know my first name.

Her eyes widened and somewhere i believe she was wishing they had a security staff.

Just another day in paradise. Have a great Saturday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSISQUAUSDI 2/7/2010 8:24PM

    Hi, John,

If you want to get something started, don't just say something to the little girl at the front desk - Talk to or write a letter to the owner.

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TIE_DYE00 2/6/2010 11:47AM

    I love your blogs! I noticed the same thing at a gym that I was a member of, sadly enough it made me stop going. It's very demeaning. It is so awesome that you said something to the staff. You're my hero!!!

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WOODSYGIRL 2/6/2010 10:58AM

    Wow, good for you for standing up for yourself and all the others at the gym who are ignored!! I hope she told the other instructors so perhaps they'll do some internal thinking and realize how biased they are being. Congratulations on your amazing success and coming to terms with this whole "lifestyle" concept. It's easy to talk about it, but it's another thing to truly believe it and live it...and that is just what you're doing. emoticon emoticon

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WANDAH3 2/6/2010 10:31AM are indeed a blessed have a wife that obiviously loves and supports you and the same back. I'm so glad that you are going to Cracker Barrel to celebrate her birthday! This is real life and we need to adjust according to what life brings us...that is what the lifestyle change is about. HOORAY!

Good for you for stepping up and making the remarks to the instructor. Hopefully, she will consider what was said and learn that everyone there deserves assistance, not only the hunks and "beautiful" people. I have found the same thing in the past...the crass remarks about those of us that are there to become healthy and fit, the lack of recognition after going to months. Interesting world we live in.

Have a great weekend. Happy Birthday to your wife for Valentines day.


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CMBELISLE 2/6/2010 10:25AM

    You're right about Cracker Barrell - life doesn't have to stop or get out of your way. You can adapt and make it work for you.

I also love what happened at the gym! What a great visual! I wish you had been able to take a picture of her face!


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TNTEACHER2 2/6/2010 10:17AM

    I had a similar experience to yours at the gym. I have become interested in zumba, and I read in the paper that they are offering a class at my gym in Murray, so I asked the owner how much the class will cost. She asked me,"Are you a member?" I have been going there for more than three years, and she does not recognize me as a member!
You are going strong. Yea, John!

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NICKI2B 2/6/2010 9:54AM

    Maybe she will think about it. It is sad.
On a brighter note, Congratulations for deciding to do a bit of homework about your upcoming Breakfast for the wife! Great Idea!

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HOPE208 2/6/2010 9:09AM

    So true. We think a like. I say what crosses my mind and it seems you do too.

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Never Underestimate The Value Of Humor

Friday, February 05, 2010

I have a client who over the years has become a close friend. We met under less than "friendly" circumstances. His company hired me to help him create strategies to improve his job performance. He was extremely close to losing his job, after twenty five years because of performance issues. Three years later, thanks to a lot of hard work on his part he not only kept his job but was rewarded for his good work by being promoted to the position of Vice President. Over the years I have done work for him when he has had people in similar circumstances as well as some over all training for his company. When I am in town I pop in to see him and we always have a good visit.

Recently I found out my friend's health is failing. He has a number of issues that may cause him to take an early retirement in the next six months. He has always been an out going, vibrant person. These health issues have really hit him hard, not only physically but mentally.

We visited for a bit yesterday and he told me the medication he was on caused him to be in a foul mood most of the time. He told me he felt bad for his staff. When I got ready to leave I stopped to talk to his secretary. She told me he had good days and then down days and she was really worried. She paused for a minute and said "Could I ask you a favor? Could you call him more often/"

I told her I would and then I asked her why. She grinned and said "We can always tell when he's on the phone with you because we can hear him laughing all the way down the hall. He always seems to be in better spirits once you get him laughing. He'll walk out here and tell me how crazy you are."

I am crazy. I will not argue that point.

I got in the car and I thought about how what I considered "me being me," was such a big issue to someone else. Yes, there is a lot of misery, tragedy and heartache in this big old world of ours, but every single day there is an opportunity to see humor and happiness. I over heard someone at the gym yesterday say how they wouldnt be happy until they lost "all this weight." Her work out partner said "I know what you mean. I wont be happy until my summer clothes fit."

How many of us begin changing our life styles with a lot of trepidation? My friend taught me a good lesson yesterday. The lesson was that, while it may take a lot of effort, a smile and finding humor in our lives may be the best medicine there is.

A good Spark Day to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOODSYGIRL 2/7/2010 11:56PM

    I couldn't agree more! Faith and humor are the 2 key factors that have kept me alive and shaped me into who I am today. I always try to make someone laugh or smile no matter what the circumstances. I laugh at myself all the time for some of the goofy things I've done and it helps me not take myself so seriously. I'm so glad your friend's secretary told you what a difference you make to your friend. Here you were just being your fun-loving self, and all the while it was impacting this man in ways you never knew (as well as those around him). What tremendous feedback this woman gave you!

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WANDAH3 2/5/2010 8:25PM

    Great blog.

It's that old ripple effect at work. When we give of ourselves in a positive manner, you just never know how far that goodness travels.

Good for you John for be a positive light in others lives.


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-JENSSPARK- 2/5/2010 10:42AM

    Thanks for this blog. I really needed the dose of positivity today/this week. I will definitely pop back and read this when things get me down.

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/5/2010 10:35AM


Thank you for spreading the spark far and wide!

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STORMTMB 2/5/2010 10:32AM

    It's great to hear that you are such a blessing to your friend. What a wonderful tribute. Keep up the great work for you and him.


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NICKI2B 2/5/2010 10:14AM

    Its wonderful to find out how much a difference we make to someone!

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KATIEGLEN012 2/5/2010 8:19AM

    Oh...I so love your blog today. Seeing the humor in situations and ourselves is part of what makes me a good educator. it is sooooo easy to see the glass as half full!!!! I love that she recognized how you affect your that you can help him through this. Such a compliment to you.

Today is the day to be happy. We each make that choice each day. The "l'll be happy when..." folks never get there cause there's always another want to take the previous wants place.

A smile costs nothing. It brings less wrinkles than a frown...and it is contagious. Thanks for reminding all of us.

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BUFFALOGAL1952 2/5/2010 8:08AM

    What a wonderful lesson! Thank you so much for sharing.

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Creating Real Change In My Life

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I sat at my desk late yesterday afternoon very frustrated. I felt like I had accomplished absolutely nothing the entire day. It started with my daughter calling at seven AM asking me a really big favor. She left her work shoes at home and needed them........ Right Now!! Sigh. This put me behind. I got to the gym late and while my work out made me feel good temporarily, I still felt rushed and irked. My day wasn't going as planned!

As I was leaving the gym I made the mistake of stopping in the washroom. The CEO of my local YMCA (And a friend!) asked me what I was doing. I told him I had a meeting to go to and he asked me when and I told him. He wanted to know if on my way to my meeting if I could drop him at the garage to pick up his car. Another sigh!!!

That's sort of a snap shot of how my day went. By late afternoon I was ready to burst. I felt like nothing of value had been accomplished. I mean after all, My agenda went undone.

I got up early this morning. I have to travel roughly one hundred fifty miles to see a client so I want to get an early start. As I lay in bed, still upset over not getting done what I needed to yesterday, a small voice asked me this:

"What if you got done what you were supposed to get done?"

I thought about that for awhile and then, as it usually does, the light went on. While my day wasn't spent doing for ME it was spent helping out others who were very appreciative. What I saw was a selfish perspective of me not getting all the me things done that honestly can wait until today or tomorrow.

I smiled a bit as I got out of bed. The diet and exercise part almost seem easy. It's changing how you look at the world and the people in it that becomes the real challenge.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NICKI2B 2/5/2010 11:29AM

    You remind me so much of my brother. He is a wonderful, giving person too! Thanks for being who you are and sharing it!

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-JENSSPARK- 2/5/2010 10:47AM

    This line spoke volumes to me:

"The diet and exercise part almost seem easy. It's changing how you look at the world and the people in it that becomes the real challenge."

I remember putting off getting healthy because it was "too hard". Now, as I'm doing what I need to do to take care of myself, I'm realizing that it isn't hard at all. In fact, I find myself wondering daily, "Why can't everything be as easy as eating right and exercising?" I'm glad I'm not the only person that has that issue.

I need to start working just as hard at changing my outlook. I need to get away from the negativity in my life and inside of me. Thanks for helping me move on along!!

Thanks for such an awesome blog!

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STORMTMB 2/5/2010 10:34AM

    As you were reminded, people are always more important than things. Good for you for doing what was right. You may never know how you impacted those you helped in a much bigger way.

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MARCYNA 2/5/2010 7:18AM

    When He changes our plans,it's because He has a better Plan....thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/5/2010 7:20:30 AM

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PAWPER 2/5/2010 12:26AM

  You are such a neat guy. I look forward to reading your blog every day. Thanks for making my day brighter.

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/4/2010 10:03AM

    Good for you!

I love that you always look on the bright side.

Thanks for sharing you sunshine.


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MINDAC20 2/4/2010 8:54AM

    Kudos to you for putting a positive spin on your day!

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WANDAH3 2/4/2010 7:32AM

    WOO HOO! love the "ahhh" moment you were willing to embrace. Good for you for allowing that inner voice to reach you. What a fabulous lesson you are learning.
Sometimes when our agendas are "derailed", it's because God has something more importantfor us to do...He was answering others prayers for assistance.

Have a wonderful blessed day.


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Goals and Objectives

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

One of my team leaders did an exceptional job of inspiring me to set some goals and objectives for myself over the next sixty days or so. I have some long term goals and I believe I have shared them in past postings. I am going to run in a 5k one day and I am going to peddle my bike in a 100 mile event. Those are two things I have wanted to do for a very long time. In order to get there a lot of things have to happen. Here are some of them and a few other things to boot.

1. Register and prepare for a 2k Heart Walk March 20, 2010 in my community.

2. Increase my cardio workout to 45 minutes per day on 2/8/2010. ( I am currently doing 40 minutes per day.)

3. Increase my cardio workout to 50 minutes per day on 3/9/10

4. Enroll for a one hour personal training session focusing on core and balance exercises.

5. Begin to write my book on Developing Successful Life Strategies.

This bears some explaining. For over a year I have published another blog called Developing Successful Leaders. It is mostly stories of people I have worked with or known over the years who have inspired me with their lives and actions. Many of my faithful readers have told me I should write a book. My wife agrees. I am going to start, and I have no clue what to do next. This should be fun.

BTW: If any of you Spark friends have had experience in this area I'd appreciate a Spark Mail with some guidance.

6. Revise my Leadership Development Seminar.
This is what I basically do for a living and it was what attracted me to Spark People. I havent revised it in over a year.

7. Paint My Bathroom
This is a strategy to get me a bit more active. Nothing more

That's what I plan on doing over the next 2 months. your help would be appreciated.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANDAH3 2/3/2010 4:48PM

    John, you are setting some wonderful goals for yourself. I'm sure your wife is very proud of you and all that you are attempting to do.



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NJMATTICE 2/3/2010 12:16PM

    Sounds like a plan.

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/3/2010 10:16AM

    Bravo on posting your goals and objectives! It is a great way to stay accountable. And, you have some really good goals on your list.

Way to go!

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CMBELISLE 2/3/2010 10:02AM

    These sound like some terrific goals, especially the heart walk - that will definitely help you get ready for reaching some of your longer-term goals.

As for your book, I don't have a lot of assistance beyond start writing, but I think you knew that already.

Keep up the great work - I think I'm going to suggest something like the heart walk to a some people I know that are training for the Breast Cancer 3-day. A few shorter walks before that should help them train.

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KPDRMNG 2/3/2010 9:02AM

    emoticon Awesome goals! I love to bike, but don't think I want to go 100 miles! Love how ya plan on increasing cardio in increments, keep up the great work! And since I love home improvement & painting, what color are ya painting the bathroom?
lol emoticon

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