Monthly Archives: November 2015

Just Asking… (Are you too busy?)

We live in a world where busyness is the norm. Before most people place their feet on the floor, they have a slew of items on their mental “things to do lists” that fight for their attention. Many get out of bed and dash through their daily routines, oftentimes functioning on automatic. They move from item to item, neglecting to take time for reflection or gratitude. Some people promise themselves that they will make time to slow down and enjoy the small things in life, but just when they set their minds to do so, something else captures their attention.

 

How can one person continue to run at such a pace and keep his sanity? How can he fulfill the excessive demands of life? How can he be everything to everybody on a daily basis?

 

If you are one of the unfortunate souls caught in this quandary, you need to make an immediate change. Force yourself to take a few minutes each day for self-reflection. Stop at some point during the day to say “thank you” for something you appreciate. Prioritize things you need to do, and do what you can, realizing that leaving a few things undone won’t cause the world to evaporate. Delegate whenever possible. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes people take on too much because they’re afraid to use that two-letter word.

 

Implementing a few of these strategies (and others like them) can ease the burdens of life. So stop stressing yourself and begin putting some of these things into action. Cut back on the number of things you do and replace them with quality things instead. Given time, you may be amazed at the difference.

Books by Levon

 

Just Asking… (Will you agree to be the best person you can be?)

Sometimes, what is beyond our reach seems more appealing than what we have in our hands. Many married people eye single people, secretly wishing for those single days again, while many single people envy those who are married and beg to exchange places with their married counterparts. Some parents wish they didn’t have children, while those who can’t conceive beg to experience the miraculous wonder of childbirth. Some people hate their residence and wish to whisk from city to city or country to country, while those who dash from place to place wish for stability.

 

Interestingly, many people look at the lives of others and wish to mimic what they see. They examine their own lives and conclude that they are boring and monotonous. They yearn for something different, something exciting. They covet their neighbors’ lifestyles. They fret because they don’t have what they think their co-workers have. They peek over the fence of life and feel that the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Are you one of these individuals who loathe your life and wish to live in someone else’s shoes? Do you secretly envy the way others are living because you are frustrated with your life? Do you wish to be that famous movie star or that wealthy person you admire?

 

It’s easy to yearn to live someone else’s life when you don’t know the details of what made them who they are. It’s simple to want what someone else has when you don’t know what it cost him to obtain his possessions. It’s a piece of cake to envy someone else rather than find out what it takes to live your best life.

 

There’s nothing wrong with looking to others as role models or gleaning from others’ knowledge in order to improve; but when you begin to covet what other people have or who they are, you rob yourself of being the best self you can be. So if you find yourself wanting to live someone else’s life instead of your own, stop yourself. Then channel that same energy into finding out how to live your best life and be the best person that you can be.

Books by Levon

 

 

Just Asking… (Do you realize that a wayward adult child can still cause his parents pain?)

Have you ever witnessed an individual who seems bent on doing wrong? Regardless of the support and encouragement he gets from those who care about him, he decides to do things his own way in his own time. Instead of listening to the voice of wisdom, he rejects it and chooses to follow the wrong crowd, listening to the wrong voices. He tells himself that he has a right to live his life as he pleases, and his choices affect no one but himself. He reasons that he is an adult, and no one can tell him what to do. He is correct on one level; he can choose to live his life as he pleases (however, consequences will follow his actions), but he is wrong on another level. Many times, his bad choices and actions cause pain and grief to those who love him.

 

Oftentimes, loved ones (especially parents) will enable that wayward individual, trying to shield him from negative consequences. They may give him money (supporting his bad habits), pay his bills, lie for him, etc. Instead of allowing him to learn from his repeated mistakes, they try to soften his blows by intervening when it is evident that the person has no intention to change.

 

One of the antidotes for a situation like this is to begin to allow the individual to experience the consequences of his actions. This may seem harsh, and it may be difficult to do, but if loved ones have tried other methods and they haven’t worked, maybe they should quit bailing the wayward individual out of trouble.

 

I’m not recommending that you give up on the wayward adult. I’m only suggesting that you stop being the middleman. Allow him to experience consequences for his actions. When life throws him enough negative blows, he may come to the place that he sincerely desires change. When this occurs, you can offer your support, but only in ways that will promote and not impede his progress.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Are you receptive to God’s agenda?)

God is a Supreme Being, One with infinite intelligence, wisdom, power and might. He is so awesome that He sees the end from the beginning, and He calls those things that are not as though they were. Try as we might, we can’t hide from His presence because He is everywhere at the same time. He is also all knowing, even in regards to our thoughts; yet, He is liberal enough to provide us with free will. Even though He is the Creator, He yearns for relationships with us, His very creation.

 

Many of these concepts are mind boggling, leaving us powerless to comprehend the entire spectrum of such a Holy God. However, in spite of this awesome truth, at times, we attempt to use prayer to manipulate God into fulfilling our desires. Sometimes we set our sights on particular things, acting like bulldogs, holding on to freshly cut meat. We won’t let go, demanding that God complies with our wishes. Instead of approaching God with opened hearts and listening ears, we come with set agendas, demanding that He fulfills our wants and desires.

 

Those approaching God in this manner may be setting themselves up for major disappointments. God is not a genie, waiting to perform our every whim. He is a God of order and purpose. We must understand that we were designed to fulfill His purposes, not the other way around. Once we wrap our minds around this wonderful concept, we will find it easier to accept God’s plans for our lives. This doesn’t mean these journeys will be without bumps and bruises, but they will be fulfilling journeys, journeys producing character and strength that otherwise would be forfeited.

 

So when you enter God’s presence, go before Him with an opened heart and listening ears. His plan for your life may not be what you wanted, but it will always be for the greater good.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you belittle yourself in order to make others feel better?)

Self-esteem falls on a continuum from high to low. Some people love themselves, and others loathe their very beings. Some people’s self-esteems are based on who is around, and others’ self-esteems are based on the situations in which they find themselves. Before we move forward, we must first define self-esteem. Dictionary.com defines positive self-esteem as a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.

 

In this segment, we will look at those who are uncomfortable with themselves. Take a moment to think about someone who puts himself down in order to be accepted by those around him. When someone compliments him, he retorts with a negative aspect of himself. When someone commends him for doing something well, he immediately points out his past mistakes. At times, he will play dumb so as not to draw positive attention to himself. He may not mind being noticed, but he only wants to be noticed in a negative light. Living up to high standards is beyond his comprehension because he feels if he raises the bar, he’ll make someone else feel uncomfortable.

 

It seems almost criminal for someone to treat himself so poorly. In fact, when one succumbs to these measures, he is abusive, and the recipient is self.

 

In order to correct the problem, a person must first realize that he is guilty of this wrong. He must listen to what he tells himself and others after he receives a compliment. He must listen at how he describes himself to others, and he must dissect the thoughts that frequent his mind. Once he notices a negative pattern, he must immediately replace his self-defeating thoughts or words with positive thoughts and words. A simple “thank-you” in response to a compliment is a good way to start.

 

Changing one’s opinion of oneself can be laborious, but it is worth the effort. If you belittle yourself in order to make someone else feel better, stop it now. You don’t have to elevate your worth beyond measure, but belittling yourself is criminal, and the one who suffers most is you!

Books by Levon