What Our Stuff Says About Us

what our stuff says about us

Just because someone lives in a nice house, drives a fancy car, and is up-to-date on the latest fashion doesn’t necessarily mean they are rich. Our society is plagued with a social phenomenon known as the Diderot Effect – the constant dissatisfaction of consumer goods that keeps a person wanting to buy the next best thing. Diderot describes the event this way: One day Diderot was given a gift of a beautiful scarlet dressing gown. Initially, he was pleased with the gown but eventually came to rue it. The rest of his possessions began to seem tawdry when compared to his elegant new dressing gown, and he became dissatisfied that they did not live up to the elegance and style of his new possession. He began to replace everything throughout his house; chairs, desks, tables, prints, plunging him deep into debt.
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One of People’s Dumbest Mistakes

one of peoples dumbest mistakes

Are you “working” on your relationship with someone or are you “working” at changing someone?”

People in relationships often confuse working on a relationship with trying to change or fix the other person. A lot of effort is put into nagging, manipulating and getting mad at them if and when they don’t do what is expected.

Taking this approach will, more often than not, lead to failure and add to the dysfunction. It simply won’t work! Everyone has to choose for themselves if a change is necessary. When I’ve looked back to some of my turning points in life, I was at a crossroads. I could continue to head deeper into darkness or I could take responsibility for my actions and future.

I could never change the people around me to better suit my needs. Instead, I was required to change my attitude and beliefs that weren’t in line with having a healthy relationship with myself, God or others.
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Invest in Inner Growth – Financial Freedom

financial growth

When we think about investing we most often think about our retirement – our ever-dwindling nest egg. Sure this is a good long-term goal but do you know what will significantly increase your returns? Investing in yourself today! For years I overlooked investing in myself and because of this I was guided by wrong beliefs, my relationships suffered, the quality of my life was poor, I worried too much, my clothes were 15 years old, and I felt like I was merely surviving when I should have been thriving.

There are many different areas we can invest in ourselves; managing grief and emotional maturity, improving our relationships, better parenting, healthy lifestyle changes, money management, spiritual maturity, etc.

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Get the Most Out of Your Day

get the most out of your day

How do you feel at the end of your day? Do you feel good about how it played out and all that you accomplished or do you feel frustrated, tired and overwhelmed because you didn’t get to half the things you wanted to do?

This day and age it can be difficult to check off all the tasks on your ‘to do’ list. More things are continually being added. Even with technology, fast food and self-serve things aren’t getting any easier. It seems with every new advancement more is expected from us, the age of instant gratification isn’t making things easier – it’s just making us want MORE. Nevertheless, you can maximize your happiness at the end of the day by following these 5 simple steps.
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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

mirror mirror on the wall

Living in the Moment vs. Reflection

I don’t know what it is about Sunday nights. When most people are sleeping and the morning hours quickly approaching I begin to contemplate my life, relationship with God, goals, beliefs, mistakes, family’s health, my next step in this journey and things that make no sense whatsoever. It makes for a very long and frustrating night. I’ve come to accept that living in the moment, and getting some sleep, isn’t always going to happen (no matter how much I want it).

Granted, the timing for my reflection could use a bit of adjusting, but the thinking in itself provides me with an opportunity to check-in. Am I meeting my goals? Have I neglected my family? Am I nurturing my relationship with God? Have I been overly self-centered? Was my impact on society positive or negative over the past few days?

Reflection, when done correctly, provides the opportunity to see where we are doing good and areas for improvement. Reflection, done improperly, will lead to a poor me mentality, pity parties, and low self-esteem.
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How Spring Cleaning Can Help You Live in the Present

how spring cleaning can help you live in the present

This may sound a bit odd, but I am looking forward to spring cleaning. I love to have a place for everything and everything in its place, but over the course of time, I seem to accumulate more ‘stuff’ than I need or want. This applies to scars and old memories as well.

Just like in our homes our past has cobwebs that need to be taken down and discarded. Living in the present requires we let go of things in the past (most often emotional but could be physical) and I think a lot of it is simply forgiving ourselves.
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How Much Failure Can a Person Take?

how much failure can a person take

The question of how many failures can a person take probably doesn’t cross your mind until you are hit with a surge of failure. We’ve all failed at some of the challenges life has bestowed upon us. Whether it is at school, work, doing the right thing, sin or in our relationships with other people. Each day we are faced with the opportunity to fail at something.

It doesn’t matter who you are, and whether you are bad or good, rich or poor, married or divorced you will not be spared from failure. With a surge of failure, especially major failure, you may lose hope and feel like giving up. It can be tempting to slap a band-aid on the problem and look for a quick fix. We humans hate pain, especially emotional pain, and will unknowingly create additional problems for ourselves simply to feel better in the short-term.

We all have different thresholds for failure before feeling like giving up. We know that failure is a test, an opportunity to learn and try a different approach. But for many, it leads to falling victim to everyone and everything. Life, God, and everyone is out to get them, and there is nothing they can do about it except accept defeat. Failure should never be allowed to win! Everyone deserves to be successful and live the life God intended.
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How to Have a Wretched Life

how to live a wretched life

Tips for Living the Life You’ve Always NOT Wanted

I’m always writing about how to live life to the fullest, heal from the past and find hope in the future but it dawned on me that some people may not want that. Instead, they find comfort in misery and to feel anything else would leave them out of sorts.

Living a wretched, miserable life is pretty easy. I’ve been down that road a few times and if you follow these simple steps, you can too.
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Shut Up and Listen!

shut up and listen

At some point in our lives, we go through a phase thinking we know everything there is and the last thing we want to do is take advice. I can remember as a teen my parents having to tell me to shut up and listen from time to time. Of course, I would then try even harder to find fault in their well-intentioned advice. As I matured, I realized that there are times where I do need to shut up and listen. Good advice isn’t a bad thing nor is authority. I took some hard lumps when I was younger because of my stubbornness, but I am grateful that God kept me around this long.

In my 40’s I often wonder if God were standing next to me would He say, “Jason, shut up and listen?” I may not be the rebel I once was, but I have a tendency to be a know-it-all (shocking huh?) and often miss out on a blessing because of my lack of ability to quiet my mind, shut up and listen.
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