Habits are Hard…When You’re Sick

sticking-to-habitsIt seems like getting sick causes one to revert back to certain habits that provide comfort. Lately, I have been sick and it has thrown off all of the new habits I have been doing so well to try and keep. Only one has remained throughout being sick, which is not eating sugar. I haven’t even craved it much.

However, when I am sick, I crave carbs; specifically bread. I don’t know if this has something to do with my body’s need for quick, sustainable energy to heal me, but all I want when I am sick is broth and bread. It hasn’t been a stomach bug, either, so the appetite has been pretty good, just strange cravings.

The other thing I crave when I am sick and it’s not a stomach thing is beer. No idea why, but beer is like comfort when I am sick. It feels good on my throat, curbs my headache and somehow makes me feel better overall.

Hard to Wake Up

Maybe it’s due to the cough medicine, but getting up has been very difficult. Lately, I have been getting up basically whenever my body wakes up because I know I need rest. I have a feeling this will make getting back to the early mornings a bit more difficult once I am 100%.

I also feel very fogging when I wake up. This is probably due to the cough medicine, which I have no tolerance for since I won’t take medications unless it’s pretty bad.

Morning Routine Shot for Now

While I have been able to stick to bits and pieces of my normal morning routine, it hasn’t been as easy or the same. I like to be up before everybody else around us to ensure I can do my routine in quiet without distraction. Even once the dogs get a burst of energy; it can be difficult to get through the entire thing without a distraction.

This has probably been the one big thing that has thrown everything else off. When I am up early and I get my morning routine done, I set myself up for a good day. When I wake up even an hour late, it can make the day a bit harder to accomplish completely.

Habits Will Return

sicknessWhile being sick isn’t any fun and nobody would expect me or anybody else to stick to normal habits, they will return. Being sick requires extra rest and plenty of liquids, of course. It also requires giving yourself a break from habits and just letting your body do what it needs to do to heal.

I am probably about 85% today, which is better than yesterday, but not 100% yet. Still waking up much later than normal, which throws everything else off. What makes it harder to stick to habits, my wife has also been sick, so we have both been off on everything lately.

It’s thrown out normal meal times off, which has adjusted our sleeping schedule and everything else, just like dominos. She actually craves some specific junk foods when she is sick, which makes things even more interesting.

Did Quitting Sugar Cause me to Get Sick?

sugarThe simple answer is No. Quitting sugar or anything you’re used to can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can mirror the flu. However, I quit eating added sugar back at the beginning of the year and have been very successful with it. Usually, withdrawal symptoms happen for up to the first two weeks.

I believe quitting sugar has allowed me to fight this cold offer faster than normal, as the other people I know that are sick have had it longer and a bit harder than I have. This may not truly be the case, but without sugar in your system, your immune system is supposed to become stronger, at least that is what some people say.

What Probably Made Me Sick

My wife got sick before me, so that is probably where I got it, but she picked it up from someone else who picked it up from someone else. Likely, it’s going around because the weather has been so up and down. One day it’s 70 degrees out and the next it’s 30.

I almost always catch colds when the weather is super inconsistent like this or at least end up with a pounding headache. My guess is this is what has caused the sickness to start and it has spread from there, but I am no scientist, so who knows.

I am hoping to get back to things by next Monday at the latest. This sickness has actually delayed me doing much of anything for lent, as I tried to start something, but just like all my other habits, it fell pretty fast.

It’s hard to stick to habits when you’re stick and feel like you can’t focus on anything. I am on the mend, however. I look forward to getting back to my regular habits and feeling human again.

Are you a Coward or a Man?

cowardThis is a touchy subject as most of us don’t like to be called a coward. However, from my personal estimate, about 90% of the male species living in the United States are complete cowards. This may have been true through history, as well, but focusing on the current, there’s a huge need for Men, not cowards.

A man isn’t someone that just gives in or goes with the crowd. If you desire popularity and you want everything to be easy, guess what, you’re probably a coward. Most of us are cowards at some point in our lives, but when we start to become aware of what makes us this way, we have the power to actually become a man.

Side Note – You can put Woman in instead of Man, if you are a woman. I am writing this from the perspective of a man and it’s aimed at men, not women. I, personally, believe men suffer more from cowardice than most women and we, as males, need to step up.

Forming New Habits

Habits tell the world who we are. If you get up at 6am, go out and get your newspaper, read it while drinking your coffee and head off to work, you are communicating to the rest of the people around you. While you may not be directly communicating to them, this is how you start your day, which means you will be up-to-date on current events (depending on the sections of the paper you read) and you’ll probably have accomplished more by 9am than most people waking up later than you.

Effectively changing and developing good habits is the first step in becoming a man. When your habits reflect laziness, you’re less likely to stand up for what you believe in. Of course, that’s assuming you have something to believe in.

Our habits communicate more than we realize because they shape who we are every single day. Good habits may communicate that you are productive, hardworking and willing to go the extra mile. However, bad habits may communicate that you’re only going to do the minimum go get by and you won’t be caught dead exerting more energy than necessary.

What is a Coward?

courage

The dictionary defines a coward as, “a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.”

This is the most basic form of a coward and what we look at most often as men when we call someone out for being a coward. It could be something as simple as not wanting to jump off the high dive or do something else that seems dangerous.

While this is a fine definition, it’s also very basic. The type of coward our world is plagued with today is one that doesn’t stand up for what is right even in a situation that won’t cause any type of danger. It’s more of just something unpleasant because we cannot be bothered to be men. Instead, we just walk right past things we see that are certainly wrong without stopping to help because we are cowards.

Of course, in order to stand up for what is right; you must first have a belief in what is right. All of us know deep down when something is inherently wrong. We also know what the next right thing is for us to do. When we go against what is right and we don’t do the next right thing, we are cowards.

Guess what, every single one of us is a coward at some point in our lives. Some are simply cowards every single day and don’t have a clue how to use their fight instinct. Instead, they are in flight mode all of the time and cannot handle even the smallest amount of conflict.

It’s not about giving into peer pressure to jump off that cliff or high dive into the water below because your so-called friends think you should. It’s not about kicking that nerd in school when he’s down because your friends tell you to. Giving in doesn’t make you a man, but in many ways, it makes you a horrible coward.

Traits of a Coward

There are several traits that make you a coward. If any of the things below describe you, even just a little bit, you’re probably a coward. Of course, you’d have to first give up the selfish desire to think you’re better than others and actually make a true and honest assessment.

Afraid of Honesty

dishonest-cowards

The first one is a strong one because cowards will often tell lies on top of other lies because they don’t know how to be honest. This, at one point in my life, described me to a “T”. When I was in my early 20s, I’d tell lies on top of lies and even have myself convinced the lies were true. It was a pretty dark time for me.

Cowards don’t believe their character matters much so they often create a persona to hide behind. It’s a mask they show the rest of the world because they cannot be honest with themselves long enough to figure out who they are and what they stand for.

Most cowards are dishonest people living in a fantasy world where they have decided what is real and what isn’t. They have no clue what truth is because they have created a world of fiction with their own set of facts.

Weak-Minded People are the Cowards Best Friends

Cowards try to prey on weak people to build themselves up. They don’t want to be seen as a coward, so they seek out weak-minded people to prey on. Often, they will act very nice to people and wait to attack their prey later. Sometimes, you will spot this pretty easily when you see someone in their 40s or 50s hanging out with people much younger than them because they can guide them to be exactly who they want them to be.

The Words “I’m Sorry” Don’t Exist in the Cowards Vocabulary

im-sorry

The main reason a coward won’t apologize for anything is simply because he’s a coward. He’s not going to step up and be a man by making it right when he has wronged someone. That would be too manly for a coward to even attempt.

Cowards fear punishment and they refuse to look in the mirror at themselves. They cannot bear the thought of discovering how horrible and broken they are (we all are broken btw) and how they have screwed up time and time again.

If they were to apologize, they would have to admit fault and it could spiral into something much larger.

Cowards Love to Blame

Part of what makes a coward a coward is their inability to face who they really are. We are all screwed up in so many ways, but the coward cannot face this. Instead, he finds other people and things to blame for what is ultimately his own responsibility.

Sometimes, cowards will place blame when it makes absolutely no sense. It can ruin relationships and ultimately this is one way the coward weeds out the strong-willed people they cannot control.

Love to Create Drama

In the coward’s mind they are always the victim and nobody else is allowed to be. When they place blame it usually creates drama making them the victim because they cannot simply man up and admit they screwed up. The coward, instead, is looking for sympathy.

Often, these cowardly men will admit their life is full of drama, but they cannot step back and see they are the cause of the drama.

The Show Never Ends

With cowards, the show never ends. This is the person that wants to start a fight to prove they are big and bad, but will never follow through. When faced with confrontation, they crawl back into their shell because they cannot deal with a man willing to face the consequences of his actions.

Cowards are Bullies

bully

It seems like it should be the opposite, but a coward is the bully. You’re not a coward when someone is picking on you and you haven’t yet figured out how to stand up to them because sooner or later, you’re going to stand up to them and become the man you already know you are.

However, when you’re the bully, you are always the coward. Instead of facing your problems, you’d rather take them out on everybody else around you. The worst part, they are often very broken people either under the assumption nobody would be willing to help them or unwilling to seek help.

If you’re being bullied, don’t take it. Stand up and watch your bully back down. Usually they will because they don’t like confrontation unless they are 100% in control of the confrontation. When you take the fight to them, they usually back down and crawl back into their shell.

Measure Validation from Social Media

This would not have applied 15 years ago, but today, cowards often think they are popular or find validation in the comments and likes they get on social media. The sad part is, cowards are not honest people and it’s far worse online. They can become a very fake version of themselves when hiding behind the computer screen.

A coward often thinks the entire world exists online and they will even accuse others of thinking this. If you seek validation from social media, you’re a coward and it’s time to take a real hard look at who you are and who you really want to be.

Passive Aggressive Might as Well be the Coward’s Motto

Cowards often use sarcasm and jokes to hide behind. They will also refuse to ever come clean because they are looking to gain the upper hand with these jokes and sarcasm. Since cowards are also attention-seekers, they will often sulk instead of face things head on.

Have very Little Faith in Anything

From Christ to their own family members to the person they call their best friend; cowards have very little, if any faith in anybody or anything. They think they have to do it themselves or it will be wrong. They may go through some motions, such as showing up to church every now and then, but it’s just to help complete their fake persona.

When it comes to real faith, cowards don’t have it. If they did, they wouldn’t be cowards because they would stand up for their faith above all else. Instead, a coward just wants to appear as a person with faith so they look good, but they have very little faith in anybody or anything.

While these are all traits of a man acting as a coward (yes, he is acting…goes back to that fake persona) there are some others that are exactly the opposite, which also point to a coward. For example, a coward may say I’m sorry for the smallest things that they don’t even need to apologize for because they are afraid. This may also be a sign of a coward.

Traits of a Man

In order to define what a real man in today’s society is, we must go back to the bible. Before we get to this, here are a few things you may think make you a man, but really have nothing to do with being a man.

  • Large muscles you can use to overpower others
  • Guns or any weapon at all
  • A large member in your pants or one you think it large
  • The ability to drink without passing out
  • your ability to eat a ton of food
  • Being better at a sport than someone else
  • Telling crude jokes that get some laughs
  • Good looks based on what society says are good looks

This list could go on and on as our modern society has a very odd way of defining what a man is and what’s considered to be manly.

Now, I am not going to say that you need to be able to cry or show some kind of sensitive side to be a man. That wouldn’t be true and I don’t care for that part of the modern definition of a man, either. However, here are some of the main qualities men possess when they stop being cowards.

Ability to Admit When they are Wrong

While men may not admit it right away, as soon as the heat of the moment has subsided and the man has a chance to process, he will admit he was wrong, if he was wrong. Real men are not scared of their ego and don’t give into it at every turn. If they did something or said something wrong, they admit it, apologize and move on with life.

When we look at the bible, we see this quality time and time again. Men have to be willing to admit their faults in order to grow. Paul may be the best example of this as he writes multiple times about how he is the worst of sinners, yet he’s still growing and moving forward with Christ.

Don’t Really Care What Society Thinks

Real men could care less about what society says they should or shouldn’t do. The opinion of others will never trump the beliefs a man has, no matter where they are coming from.

Job

If you want to see an incredible biblical example of this, just read about Job. No matter what, he wasn’t going to care about what anybody else thought. His faith was strong and nobody was going to trump his belief in God.

Stands Up When No One Else Will

If you’re a man, you’re not afraid to be alone in something. When you know something is completely wrong, you are willing to stand up and say so and even take action, if necessary. Whether others follow or not, you’re a man and you won’t stand for or participate in something that is utterly wrong.

david-and-goliath

The bible is filled with examples of this from David and Goliath to every early Christian talked about in the book of Acts and most of the New Testament. Constantly, characters in the bible have to stand up when no one else or very few will. Jesus did this with the Pharisees on a regular basis and he was far manlier than anybody.

Sets an Example for His Family

The bible calls men to be the spiritual leaders of their family, even when they want to be lazy. Instead of coming home and plopping in front of the couch, a real man is taking care of his family’s spiritual needs. Whether this is done through reading the bible, praying or simply spending time with the family, a real man becomes the example.

Lives and Dies by His Word

While the days of a handshake meaning something are long gone, real men still honor their word. If they say they are going to do something, they do it. They don’t shy away from it when it becomes difficult or takes up more time than they thought. When they make a promise, they do everything within their power to keep that promise, no questions asked.

Gossip Falls on Their Deaf Ears

Real men don’t gossip. The bible discusses this many times and gossip might as well be the devil whispering in your ear and using you to spread it. If you want to be a coward, talk behind the backs of others and spread gossip, but you’ll never be a real man if you continue to participate in gossip.

Knows or is Seeking Beliefs

While the beliefs of a man may differ from one to another, he either knows exactly what he stands for or is in the process of figuring it out. Men don’t stand still and they are not wishy-washy. Instead, they make decisions based on their beliefs, which may evolve a bit over time. However, the core stays the same and each decision is made with the beliefs in mind.

For a Christian man, it all comes down to Christ. Conforming his life to be more like the life of Christ is found in every decision. Instead of doing what society would do, a real man becomes an uncommon person by mastering the art of making the decision based on the next right thing to do.

right-vs-wrong

Often, a man will make a decision not based on what will benefit him the most, but what is right. Sometimes, this means giving up something that society would say is good or would make the man successful. For example, if a man is faced with the decision to enter into a business deal and stands to gain a large sum of money, society would often say do it. However, a real man will look at what is right and if the business deal is not good or even flat out evil, he will not be swayed by the large sum of money.

Judas is a great example of the opposite of this. He sold out his savior for money and later found it too much of a burden to live with so he did the ultimate cowardly thing and killed himself.

Temptation Doesn’t Sway a Real Man

We all fall victim to temptation from time to time, but a real man doesn’t let temptation get in the way very often. If he does, he knows it and does what’s necessary to face the consequences.

temptation

Real men won’t choose their job based on money alone. They cannot be bought and there are very few left in our world like this.

Often, real men are not the most popular or the best looking. They may not be able to fend off every attacker, but they won’t flee, either. If you want to be a real man and stop being a coward, you must become honest in everything, look at decisions as a chance to do the next right thing and not what will benefit you the most and you must be willing to own up to your shortcomings.

No male can become a real man until they start to become aware of who they are, what is holding them back and how they have screwed up. Nobody is perfect and we are all very screwed up at our core. However, how you deal with your screw ups and how you stand up when something isn’t right will make all the difference.

If you are Christian and you want to see what a real man looks like, start with the Gospel of Matthew and read through all four Gospels. You will see what Christ does as He shows compassion, stands up to Pharisees, chooses strong men to stand with him and ultimately faces death for the rest of the world. This is the example of how men are supposed to live and act. While we cannot live up to it, we are not supposed to give up and become cowards.

Our world needs more real men and fewer cowards. If you believe you’re a coward, you’re already on your way to becoming a man just by admitting it. Those unwilling to admit it probably already think they are men, but they can never become men until they actually step out of their own way and admit to their shortcomings.

Here & Now & Measuring Success

past

It’s important to understand why we crave change in our lives. Whether the change is good or bad, as human being (if we are not the living dead) we crave change. When things stay the same too much, we stop growing in the here and now. This causes a catastrophe of epic proportions in our lives we simply cannot handle, even if it looks like or feels like we are doing great.

Living in the Past

When change doesn’t occur and we get comfortable, we start to live in the past. The prime example of this I have seen from my many years of bartending is the 30 something or 40 something still hanging on to that big football/basketball/other sport game in high school. Old stories come up after a couple of drinks and all of the sudden, the entire bar conversation is about what they did in the past.

While this may seem innocent on the surface, it’s a cause of becoming comfortable and no change. Most bar regulars I encountered are stuck. They have become a part of the living dead, but they are not the only ones.

past-present-futureOthers live in the past every day clinging to their own personal history as some sort of accomplishment or way of measuring themselves. In fact, we see this theme throughout society. You must show proof of experience through a resume for a job, if you want a loan; you have to show proof of being able to pay your bills in the past and so on.

We, as a society, cling to the past and use it as one of the worst measuring sticks for humans. Living in the past isn’t healthy for an individual or for a society. While we can certainly learn from the past, humans and society change and sometimes so rapidly, it seems like it happened overnight. Just as the suddenly famous person is called an “overnight success” even though they put in 15 years perfecting their craft before that happened, humans have the ability to wake up one day completely changed in one way or another.

Clinging to past accomplishments, past sins, past anything means we are not living in the here & now. This is a highly dangerous way of living as the more you live in the past, the more you have the potential to slip into the society of the living dead.

Living in the Future

While living in the past is incredibly dangerous, so is living in or for the future. When all you care about is future wealth, future vacations, future success, it can put you in a very dangerous category. You become the mouse seeking the cheese. There’s always a bigger chunk of cheese and a new maze you must conquer to get it.

This type of living is all about the, “if I get that next promotion life will finally be great.” The problem with living in the future is it never stops. It grabs us and turns us into mice seeking cheese that can never get out of the maze. In a sense, this type of living also turns you into the living dead, you’re just moving a bit faster than those stuck in the past.

timeIt seems admirable when someone is ambitious and has a ton of lofty goals. This is what our society has taught us is above normal, good and the path to success. While, as humans, we think we need goals and we are taught we need the proverbial carrot on the stick leading us, we don’t. We can live a meaningful life without ever setting a goal or striving for anything.

Yes, we need something to look forward to, but not things of the earth. What happens when Mr. Hardworker has a vacation to look forward to in a few months? He gets excited and feels better than when there isn’t something to look forward to. However, when the vacation is a week away, he either goes into “vacation mode” early and becomes nearly worthless at the job or when the vacation comes, he takes his work with him making it not a vacation, but a relocation of work.

I bet we are all guilty of the vacation theory above. The point to this is, we do need something to look to the future for, but it doesn’t need to be something earthly or pounded into us by society. Instead, it can be something not of this earth, that is, if you’re a Christian. Those of us calling ourselves followers of Jesus Christ have something to look forward to: Heaven.

You might think, why would I look forward to death because to go to heaven, I must first die? You are not looking forward to death in the sense of being excited to die when you look forward to heaven. Instead, you are looking forward to passing on to your real home with Christ. The hard part for most, this seems so far away it cannot even be imagined as a goal or something to look forward to.

The Great Distraction

The reason heaven seems so far away from us is simple: we are distracted by worldly everything. From smartphones to billboards to music to TV to other people and so on, distraction rules our world. If you stop and think about it, the great distraction of our technologically advanced world is part of the long game of Satan. I think we forget how cunning Satan really is and how intelligent he is, along with his legion of demons.

Satan is also a very patient creature as he has endured trying to turn humans against God for thousands of years. He revels in small victories and certainly has a long game. Distraction is a great tactic as the distracted, living dead, are not concentrating on any type of relationship with God. Often, they’ve decided doing the bare minimum, showing up to worship on Sunday once in a while and giving a bit of money to the poor occasionally is plenty.

The bare minimum labeling themselves as a Christian is a lie and simply wrong. They often cling to the image other see of their so-called Christianity than the truth within it. This leads to a horrible measuring stick and one we are warned about often: other people. To be Christian means to conform more to the life example and teachings of Jesus Christ. Doing the bare minimum and staying the same doesn’t measure up to this, even if you’re doing as much as or a little bit more than your neighbor.

The Here & Now

successLiving in the here & now is where we belong, no matter what faith/religion you practice. Living for today is the only way we can truly connect with God, connect with others, show joy, provide true love and be truly human. The past and the future are both very dangerous measuring sticks, if we get stuck in either. Judging others based on what they did in the past only leads to condemnation and utter failure of the human race.

It’s hard to live in the here & now, but the hardest things in life often reap the greatest rewards. Part of the problem, however, many will read that type of statement and assume rewards equals more money and more things. Rewards come in many forms and money and things are often the worst rewards only provided by a distracted, living dead society rooting for staying the same.

Forming new habits to fit with living in the here & now is important. When something becomes a habit, it cannot become a mindless habit. Instead, it has to be something you are fully present within or it’s worthless.

If you make waking up early a habit so that you can become more productive in your life’s mission/calling, that’s a noble habit. However, if you mindlessly crawl out of bed and go to work like a machine, you’ve missed something. Stop, look at the sunrise, take the time to do something other than just roll out of bed early and get to work.

Maybe you’ve decided to read the bible as your habit. If you do this just to complete chapters and complete the task without understanding what the words mean and how they can transform you, then you’re missing the point. Your habit has become mindless and the value has dropped drastically.

Living in the here & now means not looking to what you have to do at 5pm when it’s only 10am. It requires laser focus on whatever you are doing right now, even if it’s just playing a round of golf with friends. Be fully present and you’re life will be transformed.

Creating a Real Measuring Stick

goalThe past, the future, other people, money, job title, power, popularity and image are all society’s evil measuring sticks. If you consider yourself successful because you’ve measured your life based on any of these (and many others I cannot think of right now) you’ve utterly failed at life.

Measure your life based on other things, such as how many people have you impacted in a positive, joyful way, how many people have you changed for the better, how many of the living dead have you helped wake up, how closely does your life conform to the living example and teachings of Christ (if you’re Christian) or something else with a true and good belief and foundation and you’ll find real success.

Choosing to forget about society’s measuring sticks and living an uncommon life is the mark of a person living in the here & now. We are not promised tomorrow and yesterday is long gone, so what do we really have left? Live for today, measure your success in a different way and watch your life change as you become a rebel against the society of evil dragging more people into the living dead every single day.

Minimalizing Your Clothing and Gaining Freedom

simplicity

Recently, my wife and I started to minimalize. While this is a difficult thing for her (she does a great job with it and gets rid of more than I would have imagined), it comes pretty easy to me.

Without realizing it, I have been minimalizing all my adult life. When I first moved to Florida for golf school, I took what I could fit in a Pontiac Grand Prix, along with my dog. Then, when I moved to South Florida after school, myself and my roommate took what we could fit in an old Dodge truck and his little Corolla. We gained many possessions while in South Florida, but that was short-lived.

When we moved across the south to Texas, we had to minimalize again to fit everything in my little Kia with a roof bag….still had to carve out space for the dog, too. Again, I minimalized after moving once in Texas and then back to Indiana.

My wife and I had to do a small amount of minimalizing after we met and moved from Indiana to Florida. However, we have a pretty big apartment in Florida, so the real minimalization journey didn’t start until we left the apartment to hit the road. Of course, some of our most prized possessions ended up in a storage unit we still have, but we are now in the process of minimalizing even further.

Clothing First

Before Minimalizing

Before Picture 1

Before Minimalizing

Before Picture 2

Some books may not recommend you start with clothing and you can figure out where you want to start on your own. I started with clothing because, for me, it seemed like the easiest place to start.

Now, I have done this in the past and took bags of clothes to thrift shops for donation, but I had never really gone into it with any kind of plan, except to eliminate what I didn’t need or want anymore.

This time, the plan was to get my clothing down to only the pieces I actually needed. I also had the goal of being able to fit most, if not all of my clothes in a suitcase meeting the size you can carry on to an airplane. While I couldn’t minimalize every bit of my clothing since I do have some items still in storage in Florida, I did minimalize everything that I had with me.

The Numbers

I started by taking an inventory of everything I owned, clothing wise, and laying it all out. This is what I had:

  • 1 reversible belt
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of pajama pants
  • 3 sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of sweat pants
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 leather coat
  • 6 pairs of shoes
  • 2 pairs of flip flops
  • 2 long sleeve T-shirts
  • 3 dress shirts
  • 3 pairs of jersey shorts
  • 3 pairs of dressy shorts
  • 2 plaid shirts
  • 4 sports jerseys
  • 13 T-shirts
  • 6 sweaters
  • 9 Polo shirts
  • 12 pairs of boxers
  • 13 pairs of socks
  • 4 loose socks looking for mates
  • 2 hats
  • 3 pairs of black dress pants
  • 3 neckties

I quickly realized I had far more than I need. For some, this may seem like nowhere near enough clothing, but for me, it’s way too much. First, I don’t dress up much since I work from home, so there really isn’t much need for 3 pairs of black dress pants, 3 dress shirts and 3 neckties. I think I collected them during our wedding and her best-friend’s wedding because we had multiple events to attend.

In the future, we may use a company to rent suits for me, since we don’t attend formal events very often and a cool suit will be far more fun than a shirt and tie from a department store, anyway.

Now, the task was to really make some cuts. I had to look at everything I owned, look at the quality and decide whether I liked wearing it, whether it was easy to care for or whether it could go. I know, some of the books say to find what “brings you joy” but I don’t derive much joy from clothing, so this wasn’t my mindset.

Minimalist Clothing

After Picture – Can really get them all on my side of the bed…lol.

Instead, I was looking at function and quality. I had some T-shirts from over a decade ago and the necks were stretched out. I noticed these were at the bottom of my list, most of the time, and I only wore them when nothing else was clean. They were the first to go.

My polo shirt collection grew because I used to spend a large amount of time on the golf course. I don’t play as much as I once did, so this got cut down, too. The main factor here was eliminating the shirts that don’t stay wrinkle-free after going through the dryer. Some require a large amount of ironing and that’s just too much work when I have other polos not requiring all that work.

I also looked at the quality of the polo shirts and anybody else that’s a golfer knows there’s a huge difference from a cheap polo to a more expensive one. I got rid of the lower quality ones because, if I am going to live with a limited wardrobe, I want the highest quality items I own to be a part of it.

My new inventory of clothing looks like this:

  • 1 reversible belt – no change
  • 2 pairs of jeans – down 1
  • 1 pair of pajama pants – no change
  • 2 sweatshirts – down 1
  • 1 pair of sweat pants – no change
  • 1 jacket – no change
  • 1 leather coat – no change
  • 4 pairs of shoes – down 2
  • 1 pairs of flip flops – down 1
  • 1 long sleeve T-shirts – down 1
  • 1 dress shirts – down 2
  • 1 pairs of jersey shorts – down 2
  • 2 pairs of dressy shorts – down 1
  • 0 plaid shirts – GONE
  • 1 sports jerseys – down 3
  • 6 T-shirts – down 7
  • 2 sweaters – down 4
  • 2 Polo shirts – down 7
  • 7 pairs of boxers – down 5
  • 8 pairs of socks – down 5
  • 0 loose socks looking for mates – GONE
  • 1 hat – down 1
  • 1 pairs of black dress pants – down 2
  • 2 neckties – down 1

When I was done, I was able to fit just about everything into a carry on size suitcase. If I were wearing jeans, a sweater, a jacket and pair of my shoes, it would all fit with room left for toiletries. This is also assuming I would carry my entire wardrobe even though some of it is seasonal.

In Suitcase

Everything but one pair of shoes, a hat and a couple sweaters.

I immediately felt free from the burden of worrying about so many clothing decisions. With a limited wardrobe, the decisions are nearly already made for you, which is a GREAT time saver and excellent way to live, in my opinion.

Upgrading the Items

I minimalized my wardrobe about 6 weeks ago and since have made a few minor adjustments. I have upgraded my entire set of socks (I was due for new ones), so now I have 5 pairs of dressier socks and 6 pairs of regular white socks. All except the two dressy pairs from our wedding are brand new and I really do enjoy wearing brand new socks. I probably didn’t need quite as many as I have, but I cannot control that they sell them in sets of 6 and 3.

I also added a new pair of Jersey shorts for working out and wearing to bed. I left myself with only one pair because one was very old and needed to go and the other I got rid of had paint stains on it. Now, I have two pairs of jersey shorts.

Nothing else has changed, but I do have plans on upgrading my tennis shoes by replacing them and replacing my reversible belt with a Mission Belt. The goal now is to only replace items, as necessary, and follow the “bring one in, take one out” rule.

Why I Minimalized

My wife and I love to travel. We are itching to get back into traveling and when you travel the way we do, you simply don’t have a ton of room for things. This was one of the driving forces behind minimalizing for me, but just one of the reasons. Some of the other reasons I made this decision include:

  • I don’t need much
  • My wife does the laundry for us and less clothing means less laundry
  • Clothing and fashion are not that important to me
  • Living lighter is something I see as a necessity today
  • Less clothing meaning less laundry also means less money spent on laundry things
  • Spiritually we are called to live lighter than we do today
  • I want to value the things I own and not just own them to have a bunch of things
  • I believe in quality over quantity and with a limited wardrobe, I can spend the same amount annually for clothing, but only buy high quality items
  • I want to support clothing sold by companies supporting worthy causes, but it can be hard to justify $40 for one item when I can get 3 items for the same price. A limited wardrobe doesn’t put that same pressure on the decision.
  • Less to choose from means more time doing other things
  • A lighter, minimalized life has been proven to be a happier, more joyful life
  • I don’t want to be a slave to my stuff and be stuck moving it whenever I want to go somewhere

The list could probably go on forever as I have many reasons for minimalizing.

What’s Next?

The first things I will minimalize next will be the clothing I still have in Florida. We have already talked about going through that entire storage unit in the upcoming months and eliminating things we don’t need/want anymore. The hope is to combine that one (which is larger) with our smaller one near us now and eliminate one of the two bills. Some of the things will go into our new home, when that time comes. Some will also get donates or sold and other items will probably end up in the trash (usually only throw away what doesn’t work or what is worn out).

Along with minimalizing my clothing, I hope to minimalize all other aspects of my life. My wife is also in the process of minimalizing and I believe it was her idea to do it this time around. The last time we did, it was a bit out of necessity because we moved from a 1,250 square foot apartment to a 300 square foot RV. This time, it’s a bit out of necessity, but more because we want to live a life uncommon.

Matthew Kelly says, “Master the moment of decision and live a life uncommon.” This, to me, also means eliminate unnecessary decisions and you will be able to focus on mastering the moment of decisions when they matter.

No longer having to choose as much with clothing is one less decision I have to make in a day. As we minimalize further, we will eliminate options, which will make decisions for us. This means we will spend less energy on decisions that really don’t matter much, leaving more focus for the decisions that matter most.

Reference – Many of the things I learned about minimalizing came from the book, The Joy of Less by Francine Jay.

Why I am Quitting/Cutting Down on Sugar

sugar-is-badMy journey with sugar started when January 2nd rolled around, since January 1st was a Sunday and I like to start new things on Mondays, when possible. It may seem silly or even stupid to some people, but cutting way back on and even quitting sugar became very important to me as I did my research throughout the holiday season.

Actually, the journey probably started a few years ago when my wife (fiancĂ©e at the time) and I decided it was time to start thinking about eating healthier. We didn’t think we ate all that bad back then, but looking back with the knowledge we have gained, we didn’t eat all that good, either.

Over time, I researched many things about health and my wife pointed out a number of stories about families quitting sugar, individuals finding a healthier life when they let sugar go and many others. This year is that year for me and it’s not a 30-day experiment or a one-year experiment or anything like that. Instead, it’s a new habit I hope to make a lifelong habit.

Sugar and I simply had to break up if I ever wanted to get back to my goal weight, live a happier life and feel good again. For about 7 years now, I have felt fatigued more often than ever before in my life and I refuse to believe it’s because I have gotten older. I know plenty of people older than I that seem to have plenty of energy.

It’s All in the Diet

quitting-sugar

It’s amazing the things I have learned about my diet over the past couple of years. My stress level, the amount of energy I have, how focused I feel and many other things are tied directly to what I eat.

If I eat junk, my productivity becomes junk and my stress level skyrockets. If I eat healthy, my productivity remains high and my stress low. It’s amazing how what we put in our bodies makes such a difference with our mental abilities.

This may seem like common sense, but it wasn’t always something I realized. Sure, I have known for years that fish or fish oil is good for your brain and carrots are good for your eyes, but beyond that, I don’t think I learned how much food impacts our moods and mental capacity until more recently.

Stats About Sugar

sugar-and-diabetes

Certain stats about sugar jumped off my computer screen at me when I read about them. My wife and I decided to give a very low-carb (not no-carb) type of diet a try. This led me to looking at what I was eating on an average day/week compared to what the diet called for. I like to see the difference before I start something new like this.

Our new diet had us choosing a level of 60, 90 or 120 grams of carbs a day. This may seem like quite a bit, but an average day had me between 250 and 300 grams of carbs, so it was going to be a big change. We did this before the New Year and it’s where my more diligent research about sugar began.

Sugar is a carb and one of the worst ones you can put in your body. I knew it wasn’t good for human consumption, but I never knew that it should basically be labeled as poison. Here are a few stats that shocked me when I started looking into quitting sugar.

  • On average, Americans consume about 765 grams of sugar every 5 days. Compared to 1822, Americans used to consume about 45 grams of sugar every 5 days.
  • The recommended amount of sugar to consume in one day is less than 10 teaspoons, according to the American Heart Association.
  • The average adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and the average child consumes about 32 teaspoons a day.
  • One 12-ounce serving of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • If the average American cut out all sugar, they would cut out 500 calories a day.
  • Table Sugar is 50% fructose
  • Fructose can cause the same fatty liver damage as drinking too much alcohol causes.
  • Eating too much sugar may cause you to become insulin resistant, which may lead to diabetes
  • Sugar from sodas and others sugary drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay.
  • Sugar is highly addictive since it stimulates the reward center of the brain.
  • Too much sugar changes the hormones of the body including leptin, which tells the brain you’re starving. This can actually cause you to be hungrier when you’re full and lead to weight gain.
  • Many studies have linked sugar to some of the worst health problems in our country including cancers, diabetes and obesity.

I could go on and on all day and make this a 10,000-word blog post just about bad stats about sugar. This is just a small sampling. Instead, here are a few links to other articles with even more information about studies done on the harms of sugar.

Does quitting sugar reduce your risk of cancer?

Sweet poison: why sugar is ruining our health

World sugar consumption will hit a new high in 2015

TRYING TO QUIT SUGAR? THESE HORRIFIC STATS WILL HELP YOU STAY MOTIVATED

Is Quitting Sugar Easy?

For some, it will be easier than for others. It’s very difficult to avoid sugar. There are simply too many things that have sugar in them that shouldn’t contain sugar. When you start reading the ingredients and you understand the different names for sugar out there, you’ll realize just about every processed food item is loaded with sugar.

When you first quit sugar, they say you might start to feel like you have a hangover or the flu. This is usually due to dehydration because you are cutting down on carbs, which help to keep water in your body. The solution is to add in a bit more salt to your diet and make sure you get enough water.

Cravings will hit you for a good month, too. I am just past that point and now I don’t crave sugar nearly as much. I cannot say my journey has been perfect, as I have indulged in the occasional beer (sugar in beer is maltose, however, which we can digest, unlike fructose) and a few items with a small amount of sugar here and there. However, most of the past 7.5 weeks have been sugar free for me.

Fruit is the one exception because it’s natural sugar and there is enough fiber in the fruit to help our body digest the sugar found within it. I don’t eat much of it, but about one serving a day gives me what I need.

Quitting sugar is, by no means, easy. It’s a hard journey, but the first three weeks is probably the hardest. Some say you need a solid 21 days in a row to build a new habit and others put the number at 66 days. I have surpassed the 21-day mark and I don’t crave things like candy or marshmallows. I don’t miss sugar in my coffee (never used much of it anyway) or in my tea. I certainly don’t crave soda/pop, but I started cutting back on that years ago.

You may be different, however. We are all made different and our bodies and minds react different. However, none of us can truly live a healthy, full life with sugar dominating our diets.

When did Food Companies Start Deceiving Us?

food-companies

Back in the 1960s or 1970s (saw it in a documentary and can’t remember) food companies started worrying more about profits than anything else. They started looking for ways to make foods cheaper, keep them on the shelves longer without spoiling and get people hooked on their products. This is also about the time processed foods became a huge thing, including TV dinners.

Food companies started to add sugar and other carbohydrates to their food (that’s being generous) products to preserve them and make them super cheap. This was also about the time when so-called scientists and doctors started telling people fat was bad.

Food companies basically use sugar to cut foods they make like a drug dealer cuts his/her cocaine. They want the pure product to go much further and make them more money, so they cut it with sugar. This also leads to you thinking their foods are so incredible because they set off the reward center in your brain. Getting you addicted to Twinkies or pop tarts load their pockets with more cash.

Today, ketogenic and paleo diets have us looking at things differently. We are now learning that overloading on carbs is a horrible thing and sugar is one of the worst carbs to put in your body. Drink more than one soda a day, you’re over your limit of safe sugar consumption. Eat pop tarts, processed cereals or anything else processed for breakfast and your day is started in a sugar coma.

The food companies want to make huge profits and they do so by using sugar in everything. This gets you addicted and makes it hard to break the bonds between the can of garbage you call dinner and a real, home-cooked meal consisting of healthy fats, proteins and vegetables.

My Ultimate Reasons for Quitting Sugar

sugar-is-poison

There isn’t just one reason I decided to cut sugar from my life. We didn’t need to break up because we couldn’t get along and it wasn’t me, it’s sugar for sure. We had to cut ties for the following reasons:

  • Sugar is responsible for weight gain and makes it very difficult to lose weight. Therefore, if I ever want to get to my goal weight, cutting out sugar is necessary.
  • I want to have a family and I want to be there for them fully. Sugar clouds the mind and in many ways, can act much like alcohol does. I don’t want to be a zombie in this one life I have been given.
  • Cancer and diabetes are both linked to sugar and I am not interested in either.
  • I personally believe sugar is used by Satan to keep us from achieving everything we are capable of achieving.
  • Sugar slows you down both physically and mentally
  • Sugar destroys your immune system and I don’t enjoy being sick
  • Sugar takes out it’s aggression on your liver, which is already working overtime to filter out the rest of the crap in our air, water and food supply. I need my liver to be healthy, so sugar has to go.
  • Sugar has been linked to aging our bodies sooner.

It all boils down to what’s healthy for me. We are told to take care of our bodies in many different ways throughout the bible and God gave us what we have. Therefore, I see it as imperative, as a Christian, to do what I believe is right, which is quitting sugar.

I want to live a long, healthy life and I don’t want to miss out on things because I end up fat, in the hospital or even dead because of sugar. Yes, sugar is a murderer and one of the leading killers in our world. Just because it doesn’t kill you suddenly doesn’t mean it wasn’t the murderer.

As the leading cause of diabetes, a contributing factor to many types of cancer and the link to why our country has become obese, it’s pretty clear, sugar is guilty!

My body needs to be fed the best to perform the way I want it to perform. Even though I live a pretty sedentary life, I still need my mind to be fueled by good nutrients and not garbage. You wouldn’t buy an expensive sports car and put just any type of fuel in it. Heck, even with a moderate car you still make sure it gets the right type of fuel and oil.

Why would I take such good care of a vehicle (a thing) yet still continue to feed my body the lowest grade/cheapest fuel possible? Sugar would ruin your vehicle if it was put in the gas tank and guess what, it’s slowly ruining your body. Me, I choose a different path and it’s not paved with candied gumdrops or sugar coated anything. For me, the days of candy, desserts laced with sugar and foods containing hidden sugar are over!

7 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

2017

The New Year is only 26 days old or about 7% over and probably close to 75% of people making New Year’s resolutions have already given up or will before the end of the month. Did you grab that bag of potato chips after swearing off junk food? Have you forgotten about the gym for the past week after forking over two crisp $20s for a new membership at the beginning of January?

It doesn’t matter what your New Year’s Resolution was, you’ve probably already given up on it, started over or decided it’s not worth it. You may even be wondering why you made a resolution in the first place. After all, you’re life isn’t that bad. You’re only 30 pounds overweight, which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

All the rationalizations in the world start to pop into our minds round mid-January. You’ve tried waking up early to exercise for the past two weeks and were actually successful for about half of those days. However, it feels better to stay in bed and you convince yourself that you’ll exercise later in the day, but it never happens.

Before you throw in the towel and make 2017 a bit of a mirror for 2016, it might help to understand why we so often fail at New Year’s resolutions. Experts will spout of a number of different reasons and some of they are certainly true. However, the reason you specifically fail may not be the same as anybody else you know.

If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with New Year’s resolutions in the past. Maybe you even boycotted them a few times (I sure did), but now you want to make this year’s stick. Understanding why we fail may be the first step to success. Here are seven of the most common reasons why you can’t make that New Year’s resolution stick.

You Really Don’t Want to Change

change

While it may seem admirable in the moment, losing weight may not be something you really want to do. Sure, you’d like to be thinner and if it means a healthier overall life, that’s fine, too, but you really don’t want to do the work to change.

Losing weight isn’t about exercise and diet. In fact, those may be the last two words you ever want to hear again and the word diet may be the worst four-letter-word in the book. If you could just magically shed 25 pounds all would be right with the world.

However, that’s not how it works. With any New Year’s resolution, you will need to make changes in your life. If you want to lose weight this year, it won’t just be about getting up off your butt and moving more, but also about eating healthier foods and plenty of other changes. Maybe you need to wake up earlier to hit the gym or skip that Netflix marathon to grocery shop more often.

Any new habit (which is what a New Year’s Resolution is) requires change to enjoy the benefits. It’s easy to want to be skinnier and healthier, but without a good reason to change, the motivation can be sucked out of you before you really get started.

Instant Gratification Not Met

instant-gratification

Maybe the most common reason people don’t change today is due to the need for instant gratification. New Year’s resolutions seem all shiny and new in late December, but when January 7th rolls around and you step on the scale to see it’s only moved 0.5, you lose all motivation to continue.

We live in a society of instant gratification, but we cannot allow your New Year’s resolutions to fall prey to this trap. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you can’t get to the finish line without falling a few times, getting back up and pushing forward.

Seemingly Unachievable Goals

unachievable-goals

Often, we bite off far more than we can chew, which can suck our motivation fast. Maybe you found out you’re 100 pounds overweight and your goal is to lose it all by spring. Well, you only have three months to do it, which means you need to lose, on average 33.33 pounds per month or more than one pound a day.

First, if this is your goal, that kind of weight loss is simply not healthy. Second, setting a goal like this is setting yourself up for failure.

We have to set goals that stretch us and make us push ourselves, but they also have to be achievable. It may be achievable to lose 100 pounds in a year (2 pounds a week for 52 weeks is reasonable and still healthy), but expecting this type of weight loss in just three months is a mistake.

Making your New Year’s resolution achievable will help to ensure you don’t quit. It’s much easier to stay motivated if you know you only need to lose 2 pounds a week and you find out in mid-January you’ve already lost 6 pounds.

You Don’t Have a Plan

no-plan

So many of us expect to wake up on January 1st and just get right to achieving our New Year’s Resolution. We don’t put together a plan because the resolution was really just something we said to others to make ourselves look good when they asked.

If you really want to change, you need a plan. Nobody loses 30 pounds by accident. They set the goal, break it down into smaller goals and put together a plan to achieve the goal. They take the time to figure out what they will eat, how much they can have and when they will eat.

Achieving your New Year’s resolution means you need a plan. If you didn’t make a plan for this year, you don’t have to give up. Instead, make your plan now and get started.

Never Defined Why

why

It’s fun to say, “I want to lose 30 pounds this year.” It makes us feel good in the moment after someone asked what our New Year’s resolution will be. However, the what isn’t going to happen unless you define the why.

The What – Lose 30 pounds
The Why – Because it sounds good

In this scenario, this is your what and your why. The what is pretty and would be wonderful, but the why is basically undefined and setting you up for failure.

Do you want to lose 30 pounds because you want to gain energy? Are you worried about your overall health? Are you single and you’d like to look your best before entering back into the dating world?

There are plenty of great reasons for losing 30 pounds, but if you never define the why, you’ll never accomplish the what.

Over Thinking Instead of Doing

over-thinking

You cannot think your resolution into fruition. You have to get off your butt and do. If you want to lose weight, you cannot stay still and think about it and expect the number on the scale to go down. Instead, you have to get up, move around, change your eating habits and do the things that will move you close to your goal.

Taking on Too Many Resolutions

too-many-resolutions

Are you that person that answers the resolution question with something like, “Oh, I have too many to count”? Taking on too many resolutions will most likely lead to failure.

While some will tell you to focus on one, that’s not what I believe everybody should do. Yes, it’s great to be laser focused on one new habit at a time, but you can actually stack your habits to achieve more in a shorter amount of time.

For example, my New Year’s resolutions for this year were to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, exercise first thing in the morning, quit eating sugar and cut back on drinking alcohol. These all fit nicely together.

Going to bed earlier will most likely make waking up earlier easier. This is simply an adjustment in my schedule, which makes it really just two resolutions rolled into one.

Exercising first thing in the morning is far easier to do when you wake up earlier.

Quitting sugar and cutting back on alcohol are probably the hardest two. When you remove alcohol it’s common to crave sweets since many alcoholic drinks are loaded with sugar.

Out of all of my resolutions the only ones that take a large amount of willpower are quitting sugar and waking up early. However, the exercise helps with the sugar and the going to bed early helps with the waking up early. All of these resolutions work together, which makes them possible.

Of course, they are all designed to push me closer to my goal of getting back under the weight of 200 pounds. Plus, I have other goals for my productivity this year, which waking up earlier will help with.

You don’t need to focus on just one resolution at a time to achieve change in your life. If you have proper motivation, you can tackle multiple resolutions all leading you to one larger goal.

There are several other reasons why we don’t stick to our New Year’s resolutions. However, these are some of the most common. If you take the time to put together a plan and you have the proper motivation, you can achieve any change in your life you desire.

What’s holding you back? Why did you quit your New Year’s Resolution this year or are you still on track? Comment below and share your thoughts.

An Introduction to A Blog by Benjamin

I once wrote on this very domain name about many things. It started as a blog about different sports, TV shows and interests of mine, but quickly turned into more of a religious blog. That is not my goal with restarting BenjaminEhinger.com. Instead, I plan to allow freedom throughout this blog for my writing in order to see what develops.

my-journeyThroughout my personal journey, I have been challenged in many ways to change, grow and become the man I am today. I believe I will continue to be challenged and growth will only stop when I take my final breath. This blog will help to document some of my challenges, provide real-world tips I have used myself and go into detail about many other things.

Some of what you can expect from this blog includes:

  • Tips, Tricks and Helpful Advice – All things I have used or believe will help you or someone else
  • Reviews of Books I am Reading/Listening to
  • Exercise and Diet Information
  • Helpful info on Creating Habits
  • Rants/Raves about Things Going on in the World
  • And Much More!

I make no promises about what the content will provide or whether it will even be good. However, if you follow along with my blog, you’re sure to agree with me, disagree with me, find something helpful or find it a complete waste of time; that I can guarantee.

Question Everything, Until Belief is Formed

question-everythingMany famous people, and some probably not so famous, have advised others to question everything. I believe this to be one of the most important things we can do within our society today and within our own personal lives. Instead of just buying the premise of a new fad diet, political candidate, religious leader, bestselling author or anybody else, question what they say, until it becomes belief or disbelief.

There have been many that have set out on a journey to prove something wrong only to adopt it as truth once they couldn’t prove it wrong. When you question something, it causes your brain to work harder and it causes you to look for the real truth instead of just accepting what someone says. Too often, we just accept things as truth without really looking into them. A few examples include:

  • Sugar is Okay for Our Bodies – We accept this even though any study showing sugar to be good for us or even tolerated by the human body have been funded by soda companies and other food companies using sugar as the main preservative.
  • Fat is Bad for Us – This one was fed to the American people back in the 1950s and 1960s and it’s simply not true. Cutting fat helped and helps to save food companies tons of cash as they push garbage processed products on us loaded with sugar and other carbohydrates, which are far cheaper than using fat and protein.
  • Every Fad Diet or Exercise Program Under the Sun – While some diets certainly do work (usually the ones causing a complete shift in lifestyle) many are simply the product of marketing genius. We see before and after pictures and believe if we follow a diet that seems rather insane, we will get the results we want. Just look as some of the craziest diets we have bought into over the years, here.
  • False Pastors Promoting Prosperity Gospel – When it sounds nice, cuddly and beneficial for our lives on earth, we eat it up like it’s the most delicious meal we’ve ever encountered. Many false pastors promote the prosperity gospel and end up with flocks of sheep unwilling to question what they are teaching. It sounds good, so it must be truth.
  • 99% of Political Candidates Before Elected – How often do we fall for the false promises of a candidate before they get elected? Every single election we hear outrageous promise after outrageous promise and we vote based on these promises. Question what they say and look at what they’ve done already to find the truth of what’s more likely to happen when they are elected.

These are just a few of the many examples out there of things many don’t ever question. If you want to find true belief and figure out what you stand for, question everything until you have a real answer to believe in.

Setting Priorities for This Blog

prioritiesBefore we go any further, it’s important to understand what one might expect from this blog of mine. While many may never read this post, but may read other posts of mine, I believe it should at least be out there. The priorities of this blog will be very simple: 1) Christ will be at the center (God willing), 2) I won’t sugar coat anything, 3) Nothing will ever be written for anybody specific, unless I say it is, so don’t take it personally, unless I tell you to, 4) I won’t filter my writing outside of spelling and grammar check in Word, so don’t expect perfection as typos will happen, 5) This will be a representation of me and the journey I am on, I make no apologies about that.

I could tell you that I don’t want to come across a certain way or I want everything to be positive on this blog, but that would be a lie and would not represent truth. We don’t live in a 100% positive all the time world and not every day will my face display a smile. Some days are difficult and others are not so difficult. It’s the difficult that causes the growth and the deep thought, so it should be welcomed.

In addition, I cannot control how you, the reader decides to take the words I write. Just know, I am not here to personally attack anybody, nor am I here to single one person or group out, unless I specifically say that in a post. Instead, I am here to give you truth for you to question, as I see it.

A Few Final Thoughts

Before I get into the next post, I want to wrap this first post up with a few final thoughts. While I am starting this blog with the hopes to inspire and help others, my main goal is simply to get those reading my content thinking. Not every post will cause deep thought and maybe none will cause deep thought. However, we get fed so much puffed up content only written to grab traffic and drive profit that it’s necessary to seek out truth in blogs and all other content.

I want to deliver truth and I like to think myself. You’re allowed to believe the opposite of me and even comment about why you disagree with me. However, if it gets nasty, hostile or dirty in any way, I won’t allow the comment to be published. Remember, this is my blog, so I get to make the final say. However, if you whole-heartedly disagree with me and you do it respectfully, I won’t filter the comment (unless you add a bunch of links and it’s clear your motive was for backlinks to your own websites).

With that said, let the fun begin!