Affirmations – 03.20.18

I am sensitive to what God wants me to do. My radar is clear and defrosted from busyness (provision and calling are based on obedience; not over-working); and I am picking up on things I normally: take for granted, don’t give a second thought to, think are unrelated, see as an annoying interruption. I am aware; present; thankful; seeking Him and His wisdom; comfortable with waiting on Him; filtering all impulses through the Bible and prayer; seeing every stimuli – from apps, books, conversations, and mundane – as a channel for His voice; and only working on-purpose.

I am not fearless, but I fear less. I see into the future and know for a fact that failure is not the opposite of success but usually a prerequisite; I can survive 99.99% of failures; failure breaks existing muscles to build stronger ones; most fears don’t even ever happen, and are a figment of my dramatic imagination; and I am guaranteed to learn the secret for inevitable success if I don’t give up.

I am supportive and encouraging of all of my loved ones’ endeavors. I cheer on, I give advice, I make connections, and I do everything possible for their successes without expecting anything in return. The smile on their face and the fire in their bellies are enough to penetrate through any monetary compensation and overflow my soul.


Affirmations – 03.19.18

I am: forgiven, given a clean slate, secured for eternity, and put here with a purpose that only I can carry out – and I think, behave, and act that way. I forgive others; I provide second, third, and infinite chances; I give God 110% of the glory and am proud of what He’s done in my life; and I am a platform for others to fulfill their calling.

I welcome chaos and obstacles, because they are necessary for success. They are the gross-tasting raw eggs and flour that mix in with the sweet ingredients to bake a delicious cake; they are learning opportunities; they make me humble and dependent on God’s infinite power over my human bandwidth; and they make winning more enjoyable.

My goals are massive, because I know that even if I fail – my failure will fall above others’ successes – as James Cameron famously said. I do the goals I am scared of, anyway; I do goals that exhilarate me – because that’s a good signal of purpose and calling; and I do goals that serve the Lord and others well past my own lifetime.

When joy & work join forces

“So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” (Ecclesiastes 3:22 NIV)

Even the Bible sees the importance of loving your work!

Lord, please help me enjoy my work – regardless of whether it’s what I’ve been called to do, when it’s a stepping stone to greater things, and when it’s doing chores that I normally don’t like, perform brainlessly, or don’t understand fully.

I’m thinking of administrative work that I can’t delegate/automate/eliminate yet; feeding, medicating, and cleaning up after my dog Bobby; washing dishes and folding laundry; and tasks that interrupt me while I’m trying to do planned things.

God is my boss, every little task can be an act of worship, doing things with joy is a choice, it’s a practice in mindfulness and presence, it’s an opportunity to serve, it’s a model for my kids and other observers to follow, I’ll never know what and who it could lead to, and it’s an awareness of thankfulness.

I mean – how blessed am I to be alive, here where I am versus less fortunate situations, am healthy, and have the opportunity to do what I am doing?

Affirmations – 03.16.18

I am worthy of love today. This sense of value is not based on anything I do, have done, plan to do. It’s not based on where I live, nor is it based on what I even think. It’s based on the fact that God wanted me to exist, and that Jesus loved me so much he died so that I could have life. It’s not a privilege, but a right; and I need to live and treat others accordingly.

I am a loving parent. I am a model for my kids, and I want to teach them integrity, doing the right thing, serving others, and loving others – and the best way to impart this wisdom is not to tell them, but to show them. Kids won’t listen to what we parents say, but they darn sure follow what we do. I do not let temporary circumstances – like when they make mistakes, break the rules, or fight with us…alter the permanent circumstances – that I love them, I care about them, I want to help them find themselves, and I want them to be a positive ripple in this world.

I am adventurous today in my work. I think about problems and opportunities differently, and experiment with them in hopes of being surprised, finding a better way, getting inspired, appreciating good habits already in place, and having a renewed sense of excitement in what I do. They can be small changes e.g., instead of emailing someone, I get on the phone with them; instead of saying “hi,” I could say “hey;” instead of working through my frustration with something, I can go for a walk and come back to tackle it at a different angle; etc…I can ask “what if” before every little thing I do, and try the hypothesis. There is no shortage of ways to look at what I do with fresh perspective.

Affirmations – 03.15.18

I am obedient to You today, Lord. I no longer have the mindset that the Israelites had as slaves in Egypt – where they toiled away to gain little provision, and found comfort over calling. I am Your chosen people, I am free from that unproductive lifestyle, and I know that it’s obedience that makes things happen, that allows provision to overflow, and where my purposes are clear and focused on. I expect miracles to happen because of that simple dedication and act of faith, and because You are at work for me.

I practice great health habits today. I eat more food that gives me energy and burns fat; I take breaks to meditate and recharge; I take walks to keep blood flowing; I am carrying things correctly and knowing my real capacities when emptying the garage today; and I am breathing and laughing a lot. I am aware of my gout, my older age, and that my kids model everything I do. I am a great steward over the body You have given me and house Yourself in.

Wake up, wake up, wake uuuuuuuuuuupp…

This is a passage from an interview Tim Ferriss did in his new book and my new favorite guide “Tribe of Mentors,” where he interviews Jerome Jarre – someone whom I never even heard of until now, but is a courageous person who encourages me to dig even deeper and find true self and calling.

“Turns out they were the best decisions of my life [leaving comfortable, sure-shot situations like dropping out of business school, failing all of his startups early and staying with it, quitting Gary Veynerchuk’s marketing company that he co-founded with him]. Because each one of those difficult decisions that looked like failures (at first) took me a bit closer to my real self. Each one of them empowered the real me. Each one of them woke me up from the illusion. At this point, I can see a clear pattern of rejection every time I try to get closer to my real self, so the feeling of ‘looking like a failure’ has become more of a fuel than a burden.”

Most of my defining life moments occurred when I was stepping outside of the comfort zone i.e. dropping out of college – during my last semester! – to start a restaurant with no experience; finding a real relationship with Christ through Christianity, and creating tension with my inherited Catholic upbringing and environment; divorcing someone I was with for seven years and had immersed our families in; leaving a company I loved, was thriving in, and served for ten years; etc…(another post for another time), and the list goes on.

And while I am experiencing a tremendous amount of joy and authenticity in what I do, I am still on a long journey to find out my ultimate “real self;” and I do this by periodically asking myself these questions.

(1) What and where are my comfort zones – things and places I know, can easily access, and won’t help me grow but just allow me to milk what I already have, almost passively? Will I consider dropping them in hopes of “waking up” and clearing the space for something new, scary, unproven, exciting, and potentially life- and world-changing?

(2) What are some of the craziest things I can do with my life right now? What things I could drop, add, and/or modify that the public eye would find unexpected, or that my loved ones would tell me I’m out of my mind to do?

(3) What has always piqued my curiosities and passions that I’ve put to the side because of overcommitments and the “daily grind?” Are there things I know, I know, I KNOW in my heart that I should be doing?

(4) When I’m on my deathbed, what will I be proud of saying I did? What am I doing right now that wont’ make the cut?

(5) What would I still be doing if I didn’t get paid?

(6) What would I still be doing even after I’ve amassed $100 million and didn’t have to worry about money ever again?

Hope time and these hard questions that require honest answers keep chipping away at the stone block until you find the masterpiece of art that is…uniquely YOU.

Books Calling Comfort Fear Jerome Jarre Notes Personal Development Personal Inventory Purpose Questions Risk Tim Ferriss Tribe Of Mentors

Exceptions to working on the Sabbath

“He answered, ‘Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’” (Matthew‬ ‭12:3-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

According to the web site Theology of Work, this is what is said: “One of the chief areas of conflict between Jesus and his opponents was in keeping the Sabbath. In this passage, Jesus is criticized by religious leaders for allowing his followers to pluck and eat grain on the Sabbath. The Pharisees regarded this as work, which was forbidden on the Sabbath. Jesus dismisses both their interpretation and their motivation. He argues that plucking just enough grain to satisfy immediate hunger does not break the Sabbath, because both King David and the temple priests did so without incurring God’s rebuke (Matt. 12:3-5). Moreover, true adherence to the Law of Moses should be motivated by compassion and mercy (Matt. 12:6). God’s love of mercy (allowing hungry people to pick grain to eat) is higher than God’s desire for sacrifice (following Sabbath regulations), as had already been revealed in Micah 6:6-8. The gift of a day of rest each week is a promise from God that we do not have to work incessantly just to make ends meet. It is not a judgment against relieving someone’s hunger or need on the Sabbath.”

This was a great explanation of how to handle seemingly blurred lines between working and not working on God’s holy day. But I can’t use this as an excuse to perform truly nonurgent and noncritical work – something a work-addicted person like me is prone to justify and be guilty of committing; it can only be performed when there is immense hunger or any sense of pain or bodily need. And I loved this perspective that honoring the Sabbath isn’t one of the Ten Commandments as a rule to punish me if I violate it; it’s a promise from God that obedience will allow His provision – not mine – to take place. And a wise person would be…wise…to choose that over their own abilities.

“Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’ He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’” (Matthew‬ ‭12:10-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Another type of work that is permitted on the Sabbath is helping people and things in need. If it brings glory to the Lord, it’s not for personal gain, and it’s an opportunity to be more Christlike…these opportunities are dishes at a healthy AYCE buffet; they’re unrestricted and I can have at it.

Affirmations – 03.10.18

I take Matthew 13 to heart and sow seeds only in good, fertile soil. I am careful not to let any fall along the path, on the rocks, or in the thorns – and if any do, I need to be serious about picking them up and putting them in the right place. I want ALL God’s Word to take root in my heart, body, and soul; I want it to guide and pacify me when I’m confused, brokenhearted, and angry; I want it to fuel and give purpose to the work I do; and I want it to keep me grateful for all that is given me.

I am careful not to be drowned by a sea of okay, good, guilted, and irrelevant projects. I am concerned only with ones that are great, make me say “hell-yes,” and help build the Kingdom. I am not seduced by the false sense of pride from busyness; working late hours to the cost of my health, loved ones, and growth are NOT how “it’s supposed to be;” I am strong in saying “no” to engagements that don’t serve the Lord and His goals for me; and I’m supposed to have and be comfortable with white space – to spend time with Him, reflect, explore more layers that He’s created in me, and work on my relationships.

I love people; am focused on encouraging them; and have more faith in them. I appreciate their differences to my own way of living because God loves variety; Jesus died for them like he did for me, too; and we all need each other. I am looking to be surprised and delighted by others.

Affirmation – 03.09.18

I see EVERYTHING as a blessing today. My senses are heightened to the things I normally take for granted – sunlight, the fact that I’m breathing, my dog licking my face as an alarm clock, etc; and I’ve reframed interruptions, problems, uncertainties, and bad news with the question “How can I see these as gifts?”

I am only interested in the present and the next five minutes of my life. The future is ultimately in God’s hands, so it’s the best stewardship of time and energy to focus on the present. I don’t count chickens before they’ve hatched; I don’t stress out about what’s to happen; and I don’t try and get ahead of God’s plan. The present is called so for a reason, and I am using this unmerited gift to enjoy what’s given and serve others.

I am successful because I give more value than I capture. The best way to make a million dollars is to help ten million people.

Affirmations – 03.08.18

I am aware that what I spend my time on most is what I care about the most, and I focus only on doing things that matter – building/strengthening relationships and making impact. All other tasks get delegated, automated, eliminated, and liberated. Being swamped is a choice, and isn’t correlated with doing important work.

I understand that having evening rituals is just as important as having morning rituals – which I have been successful at, and can implement to the other bookend of my day. I incorporate habits that rev curiosity, passion, positivity, good health, and are tasks outside of my normal work – because work is not my only dimension, should it even be the main one, either. These habits include sleeping early and adequately; reading fiction – because non-fiction personal development is checked off in the morning; writing or learning to write better; enjoying movies and shows; spending time with my wife and kids – with board games, conversations, and their projects; exercise; learning a new industry or business; and until I find a new hobby – maybe mentoring/coaching salespeople and entrepreneurs.