GUTS #23 is about Starting
More specifically it is about
New Starts & Restarts…
And its really fitting that it starts with 23. Twenty three is the age most people have graduated from college and are starting a new life. But then again, that’s the whole point of this BEAM. I want to remind you and me that: You can start a new life at any age.
If you have the health, will-power & energy to start, you can begin life again!…. So, if the IF….. is whether or not you have starting power? Then the primary question we need to answer is how to harness this power, that in most cases, we already have. So in this BEAM: Let’s talk about how to get the power we need, to start new dimensions in our life. Dimensions that may be our dreams come true. Dimensions that are just waiting on us to begin, for them to begin to materialize into reality.
I used to arm wrestle. One lesson always helped a lot. I knew and practiced sudden-ness. I knew that if I came out the gate with amazing force & speed; most opponents will yield. If you surprise the opponent with a fast start, it greatly increases the odds of your victory. Puny starts don’t win athletic contests. Neither do they win the challenges of life. The scripture says: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” So if you decide to start a new adventure in life or even to re-start an old one; take off with vigor and speed.”
Don’t get me wrong. I am no quitter. And I am not recommend quitting current tasks. Nonetheless, there are times, the best way to improve your life is to start something new. Maybe it is a task you know you should be doing and you have just been putting it off. Or maybe you have a dream, you believe in pursuing but have never gotten it out of your mind and into action. / The key to both of these seems to be the finding the courage to try…. And to try with powerful, fervent effort.
Not only are there, brand new paths that are worth new starts in life. Sometimes the path you have already taken and failed deserves a fresh effort. Maybe, you should start the same thing you have tried before over again, but with a brand new approach. You may ask: Why would you begin what you are doing now, afresh? Commitment to marriage or children is often an example of a good reason why. The grass looks greener elsewhere but frequently is not. The most courageous thing to do often-times is not to start something new! But to start the thing you already believe in strongly, with a renewed and vigorous action plan. You can’t bring back the past but you can restore the present and plant the seeds for a good future. If you will line back up at the starting line and give the task a NEW effort, you may see new results.
The easy thing to do is nothing. This is a sure recipe for complacency. But while it may be easy; it is also costly. The best approach to problems is to face them and if the current approach does not work; face them differently & with focus & intensity.
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
– Raymond Lindquist
Perhaps you feel like you should not start again because you have failed so many times in the past. An old Japanese Proverb gives us some valuable insight, if we feel this way. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” Life has presented many opportunities for me to practice this lesson. In 1998, I lost my Father, my wife of 20 years, 2 businesses, my home & was left with nothing but 2 children to raise alone. For their sake; falling apart headlong was not an option… I do not know how looking back on it. But somehow by the grace and mercy of God and my own drive and initiative: I was able to re-create a future. After falling, I was able with God’s help to get back up. And that has not been the only time I have had to start over. As a matter of fact, in many respects I am doing it again today.
You are never too old, to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis
The problem with most is not that they can not win, if they begin again. The problem normally is finding the intestinal fortitude to begin the process & endeavor the path. Lao Tzu said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” But it’s like looking at the bottom of the mountain from the top. “That first step is a doozy.” So it is with many of us, we see the challenge of the task and we are afraid, if we take that first step that we will fall headlong. So we miss the prize of the goal, because we fear the cost of the travel.
Perhaps the most rock solid lesson that I can offer you; about your own need to start again is to remind you that permanent inaction is not an option; if you want a vital life. If a river ponds up and becomes still-water, it becomes a swamp and the once life-giving stream becomes stagnant and reeking. Many times I have worked with Seniors in the hospital, who had to be made to move around. Refusing to get up and be mobile, literally for many of these friends was a certain door to death. Even so, lethargy is not an option if we would experience our maximum life. As Thomas Edison said: “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
So to live victoriously, we must adapt & grow. Yet, To dare these heroic halls of change, we must shed the comfort zone of sameness…….. and dare the often uncomfortable unknown. The uncertainty of the outcome makes this prospect of new starts a frightening prospect. Yet even Nature teaches us that starting again is powerful, effective and necessary. Remember: every day starts with a new sunrise…
I learn great lessons from movies. They allow me to have experiences; and let someone else have the pain of the mistakes. That is why, it is tempting to stay on the sidelines. We can let the thought of pain or some previous failure out-weigh the promise of a different course of action. We can learn from a movie character, how to avoid this tempting dead-end street. “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.” – Forrest Gump
And sometimes, when we finally dare the nerve to make a new start; the first part of our journey is to run straight into a huge obstacle. Yet the right perspective can prevent such a wall from becoming a prison. We need to realize “Every wall is a door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As many of you know, I write a lot about, how a very real relationship with God can make a powerful, positive impact in our day-to-day dimension. It might surprise you to know, I have some friends who are agnostics or atheists. They often tell me, they are surprised by how real & pragmatic, I am with my perspective. The truth is that I will be the first to admit that religion can make you useless! If following some creed or dogma substitutes for your own passionate growth, then that creed or dogma is not beneficial to you. In fact, it is harmful.
As the old saying goes: You can’t plough a field by turning it over in your mind. A positive faith moves you to real constructive action. I love God and spend much time in spiritual communion. But the communion that I spend with God results in real life change today. Faith is not an opiate for me. It is a rocket, compelling me to higher realms of meaning, performance and service.
Performance. There is that word again. Shotokan karate is all about performance. As I have grown older; I am not capable of the same range of motion in my kicks. But my Karate punches are still known for their speed and devastating power.. Maybe, even more than at the top of my athleticism. It might shock you what I credit a great portion of my jolting speed from. Great Punching Speed is generated from a relaxed condition. You can move faster than you think (you do not know how fast you can move). & You can move faster than you think (your body properly released will move faster than your conscious mind moves)… So the message is: lighten up about the new direction that you need to pursue in your life. If you act more and worry less; you will find that you can move faster and with more effectiveness. Hajime!
This reminds me of a selling adage that I use frequently. The best way to get a NO in #sales is not to ask. It is an automatic NO, every time. Similarly, the Best way to get a NO in #life is not to try. You will never know until you do. If it’s the right thing; God will help you succeed. Get started today.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.