A Response to Recent Election Results

BallotAlong with millions of others I was watching the election returns on TV Tuesday night. The last two days have provided somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me, and I know I’m not alone. A large group of people were surprised by the election results, and are now struggling to find ways to both understand what happened and to choose how to move forward.

Some possible responses to these events are decidedly unhelpful: becoming angry, running away and hiding, remaining depressed. And moving to some South Pacific island probably won’t work for most of us!

The pundits and TV talking heads have poured over the detailed numbers and there seems to be somewhat of a consensus: the country is changing.

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4 Ways to make Comings and Goings Count

Couple Saying GoodbyeEven if we wanted to, two people can’t be together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And some say that bits of time apart are healthy.

Those times apart may mean working during the day. It may mean separate work shifts, or one may work while the other takes care of things at home. There may be travel, separate hobbies or activities, different friends. Without great care, too much time apart can erode the connections between husband and wife.

Regardless of how much time you spend together, the moments when you go apart and the moments when you come together again are especially important. How you handle those moments can do much to keep you strongly connected. Don’t waste them!

When I come home from a shift at the hospital I know what will be waiting for me:

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Doctor, Doctor: Bitterness and Unforgiveness

Doctor, Doctor: Bitterness and Unforgiveness

Bitterness and unforgiveness doesn’t pay. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

OK, pretty graphic. And I can’t take credit for coming up with that analogy. But that’s exactly what bitterness and unforgiveness does. It’s terribly toxic physically, not to mention emotionally and spiritually.

It does no good to say, “It’s OK. It doesn’t matter.” It does matter, and that’s the very reason forgiveness is so important – and so difficult.

Some fascinating research has found some very physical effects of unforgiveness. (And by the way, this research has been done by psychologists and medical doctors at major universities.) Here’s a sample:

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The Benefits of Healthy Investments

Cash IncreasingInvestments come in all varieties. Financial, yes, but so much more. Little things you do today make a much bigger difference in your tomorrows.

Small seeds grow into big trees. Small habits form character traits. A small stream can carve a deep valley. Small deposits can grow into a significant fortune.

We look at the nobel-prize-winning scientist, the Olympic medalist, the concert musician and think, “I wish I could do that!” We marvel at the accomplishments of well-known authors, thinkers, politicians, preachers, sports figures, artists, or entrepreneurs. But we usually only see the end result, not the investment of blood, sweat, and tears day after day, year after year.

Sure, there is the occasional child wonder, the occasional lottery winner, the occasional “big break.”

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7 Things to Do Intentionally Every Day

Girl Looking Down RoadDo you remember learning the classic laws of thermodynamics, perhaps in seventh grade science class? The basic idea of the second law goes something like this: any system will seek equilibrium where the least amount of energy is expended.

Now I’m sure any of you physicist types will find glaring holes in my paraphrase of such foundational principles: my apologies to such greats as Newton and Kelvin. But the point applies to ALL systems. Left to itself everything becomes more disordered. Without putting energy from the outside into a system it is doomed to collapse.

YOU are that outside energy. Doing something on purpose makes the difference.

I don’t want my personal “system” to collapse! And I know it takes doing things on purpose to keep that from happening. So, for myself, here are some things I must do intentionally every day:

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