1. When hiking, stay on the trail. Resist the urge to venture into the woods. You are not Daniel Boone. 20 yards off the trail surrounded by thick forest and you can easily lose your sense of direction. You then have no idea how to get back to the trail. You shall then be featured on the 6:00 news as a swarm of rescuers search for you in an effort to save your life. I once hiked alone through Red River Gorge in Kentucky and I lived to tell the tale because I stayed on the clearly marked trails.
2. Don’t bully people or pick a fight with anyone - ever. That person you are so sure you can beat up just might turn the tables and beat you to within an inch of your life. Remember that Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” This truth may save you a needless trip the hospital and a wounding to your body and your pride. And, most likely, someone will video you getting your hat handed to you and you will be humiliated before a worldwide YouTube audience. Just remember, you are not Chuck Norris.
3. When swimming in a lake or river, wear a lifejacket. There is no shame and nothing unmanly in taking steps to assure you do not drown. Many people have drowned because they overestimated their swimming ability. Do not make this fatal mistake. You are not Mark Spitz (If you’re under 40, please Google search him – he was an Olympic gold medal swimmer - the best).
4. Be kind. The world is a mean, hateful, and harsh place and growing more so all of the time. Jesus said we reap what we sow. Sow kindness and it will come back to you. You aren’t Jesus, but you can follow His example and you will be blessed for doing so. Lend a hand, give a nice word, go the extra mile, be patient, be less judgmental, and be forgiving.
5. Try listening more and speaking less. Someone has said we have one mouth and two ears and we ought to use them accordingly. You do not have to be the life of the party. You are not Jim Gaffigan, nor should you attempt to be. You do not have to be the center of attention. Stop topping everyone’s stories. Learn to sit back, relax, listen, and allow others to have the glory. People will love you for it and you will be a more relaxed, laid back person whose perspective is ever growing and expanding to the greater needs all around you.
6. Try being more positive. No one likes being around an incessant complainer. We all know life is hard, difficult, and we all have problems and frustrations, which is why we all benefit from positivity. Stop and consider what you are saying and the nature of your conversation. Be honest, because complainers and critical people (you criticizers are next) rarely see these traits in themselves, but are quick to point them out in others. Instead of griping and complaining, try listening (please review #5), and when it’s your turn to speak, say something positive and encouraging. I know you get no respect, but you aren’t Rodney Dangerfield (please find him on YouTube kids), and your complaining isn’t amusing to anyone.
7. Don’t be critical. Being around critical, complaining, and negative people is exhausting because they drain all our emotional resources. Are there people whose numbers appear on your caller ID and you sometimes don’t answer because right then you lack the emotional strength to handle them? Strive to not be such a person. Work toward being the kind of person that your friends and family welcome your call because you rarely complain and you never criticize others. Instead of criticizing others, seek to learn from them. Rather than criticize people, try seeing life from their point of view. Rather than criticize your boss, co-workers, friends, and whoever else is on your list, try praying for them instead. Everyone is carrying a hard burden. Stop being critical, hateful, and judgmental. You are not a politician running for public office. Well, most likely you aren’t.
I hope all of this is helpful. It is going to be a great day.
As always, comment are encouraged.
God bless you.
God bless you.