“Not All Readers Are Leaders, But All Leaders Are Readers”-Harry S Truman
I really like this quote from Harry S Truman.
I have not always been a big reader however several years ago, I accepted a personal growth challenge to start reading more and ever since then I have literally been addicted to reading.
I initially started reading books on a Kindle but this past year, I really struggled with not having an actual book in my hand so I retired the Kindle and started ordering the actual book. There is something to say about holding an actual book in your hand and having the ability to highlight information on the pages of that boook.
What is on your reading list? What would you add? Would you drop anything from the above list?
Men….I am talking to you. I know that 2020 was an unprecedented year, unlike anything we have been through. But that is no excuse. I know because I have fallen in that trap as well. The truth is that our wives need us. They need us now probably more than ever.
Over the next several days, maybe weeks, I want to share about marriage. Last year, I committed to Jessica that we would attend a marriage retreat at least once every quarter. Not because we needed it but because we wanted it. There is something about attending an intimate weekend marriage retreat with your spouse that can not be replicated.
Unfortunately, we were not able to attend any last year due to the pandemic. I am not sure about Jess but I know that I could feel it. I could actually feel the effects of not attending a conference last year. But we are finally able to attend a conference this month. We are excited to attend Romance Uncovered this year and hope to make it one of our yearly conferences to attend.
Leading up to our conference in a couple weeks, I want to share 10 tips to effectively date your spouse. These are tips that I have learned and believe they can greatly improve your married, dating life. I hate to admit it but I struggle with effectively dating my spouse as well. I will share 1 tip a day for the next 10 days.
Do not be lazy. Think. Prepare. Act. Dating your spouse takes planning. It takes thoughtful preparation. Think back to before you were married, How much time and effort did you put into planning each and every date you went on? I would venture to bet that you have not put that much planning into a date night with your spouse since you have been married.
The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. – Proverbs 21:25
When it comes to working on our marriage relationships so they grow stronger, too many of us treat it with a “whatever…” attitude. But realize:
“Love is a choice. So choose to love your spouse well. Remember that they are not the same person they were when you met them. Nor are you. So while you may think you know a lot about them, there may be new things to discover if you have the courage to go there.” (Mark Merrill)
And it does take courage. It also takes gumption and grit to challenge yourself when you’ve let yourself fall into the trap of marital complacency. Additionally, you will need to get to a place of “mindfulness.” You will need a “made up mind” in order to fight a lazy marriage attitude.
“Dr. John Gottman states that ‘couples often ignore each other’s emotional needs out of mindlessness, not malice.’ So, if you absentmindedly leave laundry on the floor or dirty dishes in the sink, it most likely isn’t with malicious intent. In fact, there probably isn’t any intent on your part, but rather a lack of mindfulness about your partner’s needs to have a clean house, which could lead to a conflict. To minimize or avoid that conflict, practice daily mindfulness about what your partner needs from you.” (The Gottman Institute
So this is a wakeup call to all of us. Are you (are we) ready to mix things up a bit? Look for ways to bless your spouse. Ask him or her if there is anything you can do within the next few days that will bless them.
That will certainly wake up him or her. It could actually introduce excitement. They may be confused for a few moments. But after they shake off the confusion, they could get quite excited. It’s like, “What do you mean? Is this a trick question? Do you mean I didn’t have to nag, or push at you to do this?” THAT’S a blessing in itself, but don’t stop there. Actually do what they ask of you.
And then look for other ways to take your marriage to a new level. Flirt with your spouse. Keep in mind that your marriage CAN be crippled by apathy. It can also die from boredom. Don’t let this happen. Look for ways to stir things up (in pleasant ways). You did this when you were dating each other. Just make a point of looking for ways to do this now that you are married.
There is still time to sign up to join us in Branson at the end of this month for Romance Uncensored. Click on the link here to sign up.
What is direction? Dictionary.com defines it as “a course along which someone or something moves.” When I think about direction, I think about a destination. A starting point and an ending point. An end goal in mind.
Dictionary.com defines speed as the rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate. Speed does not take into account anything else. You can go very fast without regard to direction or where you are going.
I was talking with a co-worker last week who was discouraged with her weight loss journey. She had not lost the amount of weight that she had wanted within the time frame she wanted. I reminded her that the most important part of meeting her goal was making sure that she was going in the right direction. She was losing weight, maybe not as fast as she wanted but she was in the right direction of losing weight.
Many times we get so focused on something that we get more caught up with the speed rather than the direction. Many people are going nowhere fast because they are more concerned with speed than direction.
Remember that no matter where you are in life, no matter what task you are completing or goal you are meeting, Direction is more important than speed. Getting to the right destination is better than getting to the wrong destination quickly.
Are you a night-owl or a morning riser? Let’s be honest, everyone of us is one or the other. We either stay up late at night and are hard to rise in the morning, or we are early to be and early to rise.
For most of my life, aside from my time in the military, I was a night-owl and hated mornings. I kept the snooze button handy and would have 5-6 alarms set so that I could snooze to the very last minute. What i continually faced was unplanned days and unfinished task/goal lists. At the beginning of 2020, I decided that I was going to make a change to be more intentional with my life. I studied some of who I consider the most successful people and I found that all of them had a few things in common, but the most common was that each of them had a regular morning routine.
What is a morning routine? A morning routine is essentially a set of actions you perform in the morning, usually before starting your day’s main activity like going to work or to school. The actions can be anything from drinking a glass of water or brushing your teeth to doing a two-hour workout or running around the block and more. I sat down and wrote out what I wanted to accomplish in my morning before I started work or before it was time to get everyone else in the house up for the day. What tasks, what goals were most important?.
Early on when I first started my morning routine, I was struggling to get up and get it going. What i discovered was that I was setting my self up for failure due to what I was doing each night before. I would stay up late each night. I was going to bed with my phone or ipad and browsing Facebook, Instagram or the internet. I was doing this until I was exhausted and falling asleep with my phone in my hand. Then when the alarm would go off at 5am, I would just continue to hit snooze. I knew that something had to change.
I quickly figured out that in order to have a successful morning routine, I need a nightly routine as well. Once I put a nightly routine in place, I was able to have a successful morning routine.
I will share in more details what my nightly and morning routines look like in a later post. But first, Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like? What have you found to be most helpful in staying on task with you morning routine?
Men…Let’s be honest. 2020 was not our year. We made excuses as to why we could not complete our goals. We failed in our priorities. We failed to lead as we were called to do. As we look back, we can see that in nearly every aspect of our lives, 2020 had some sort of impact, mostly negative I am sure. What is ironic about last year being 2020 is that 20/20 signifies perfect vision. When it comes to our vision and eye sight, we all want 20/20 and we want to be able to achieve that without any sort of corrective lenses. But the truth is that many of us still need corrective lenses to achieve 20/20 vision.
My goal for 2021 this year is to grow in many facets of my life this year. I hope to grow more as a
In order to achieve that growth, I am developing a Growth Plan for 2021. I am not sure yet what it will look like. I hope that it will include some type of mentorship with other men for accountability.
A growth plan is a kind of a guideline, that helps to show the skills one needs to acquire and the goals one needs to achieve by changing the way of your life in a positive direction. Besides, planning about the future gives you better control over their life. Also, it helps to guide them on days when they feel demotivated and down. Having a personal growth plan helps in finding out how effective one is in their everyday life.
If you would be interested in being a part of a mentorship/accountability group, let me know.
We all know that 2020 was definitely the year to forget. For many it was a year of heartbreak, loss and mourning. For others it was a year of growth and perseverance. I am thankful that we have closed the 2020 chapter and opened a new one here in 2021.
So in looking ahead for 2021, I am needing to update my reading list. I am looking for your recommendations and want to know what must be on my list for 2021 in the following topic areas.
When faced with a challenge, overcoming fear, or coming back from a “failure,” successful people are focused on growth more than they fixate on the outcome of failure. (Trick: when feeling letdown, reflect by writing 3 things that went wrong in the process and how you plan to fix them next time.)- Carol Dweck “Mindsets”
Last night we went to see the new JOKER movie. I am not one who likes to frequent the dark movie theater but I was interested in this movie and was actually excited to see it.
Mental Health is a huge problem in our society today. It comes in all shapes and sizes. This movie really brings to light many key points in regards to mental illness. I am going to share a few of my take aways with you.
1. Mental illness is non discriminatory-It does not care about your age, race, sex or social status. It can effect anyone.
2. Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes- It effects people in different ways.
3. Mental illness is not always visible on the outside-Many times you will never see the mental illness that someone else is struggling with.
4. Those who suffer with mental illness are not freaks or clowns- They are mothers, wives, sons and daughters.
5. Our healthcare systems has failed those with mental illness-Our healthcare systems are actually causing more harm by prescribing all kinds of medications and then kicking them back out on the streets without seeking the root of the mental illness cause.
6. Telling someone to “get over it” actually causes more harm then good. It’s not as easy as just “putting on a happy face.”
There are several more take aways that I could share from this movie. I would encourage you to go and watch it. I will say this movie is not okay for children. Once you watch it, feel free to share your thoughts.
I am currently reading “Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision” by Andy Stanley. This book is packed full of principles and practical “how to’s” that will help you develop and maintain a personal vision. I am excited to get to the end of the book and then apply the principles to my personal and family vision.
What are you reading this month? What do you recommend?