Progress

Progress.

I’m not one much for resolutions. I like the idea of themes and red threads to guide actions. I like the idea of having a lens for filtering decisions and taking actions. I like the idea of identifying the movement already going on in my and maximizing that movement to help me develop the changes I need to be a better person.

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The last theme I had was focus. I make these themes not as a short term decision but as a habit forming decision. I choose the theme based on what I need in my life and the movements I am already seeing in my life. I have felt myself fishtailing a bit as I have been traveling along. Whether I have been going too fast for road conditions or dodging too many obstacles I knew were coming. I have also felt myself making progress in some areas of life.

I know I am in a transition where ‘progress’ is the next step. Intentional, measured, regular, and focused progress. I’ve already started taking some steps. I’ll continue to take these steps and take more steps. This theme is starting now and will really pick up in the next few months.

Whether you’re choosing one resolution, a few resolutions, a theme, or nothing at all. Write it down somewhere you’ll see it every day. Make it your phone’s background. Make it your desktop background. Put a note on your dashboard you can’t miss.

Your change starts with you. Your change happens with one or two people who are going to help you stay accountable. Your change happens when you measure the progress and intentionally choose the difference.

I am who I am today because of the decisions I have already made. The habits I have today are what they are because I have needed them. My movement of late has been progress. I have been making progress and I can see places where I need to make more progress.

Who is going to help you? What change are you making? How will you measure the difference?

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Loft Foothills

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As I sit in the lofty foothills of the almighty Rocky Mountains, I can sit and watch, slacktivist, and react to what goes on across America. I can project theoretical ideas, offer commentary, and make posters. But I have to come up with an ignition to the catalyst before I can expect to make a difference.

I refuse to fight fire with fire. I have had 2nd degree burns before and I do not wish that on anyone. The way to fight against those I do not agree is to stand up with love and peace. For me, the difference worth making is love. The difference I can make in the world is through peace.

Love

Peace

The reason I know the work of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Pope Francis is because they are all agents of peace. They want peace through peace because peace always wins.

I might look at the current social political landscape and see only hate and anger. I might feel like all my friends do on Facebook is argue. I might only hear from news outlets about how bad things are all over the world.

But I am not responsible for all these people. I am responsible for my actions and bringing love and peace to the world around me. I have tools such as a smile to a cashier who is having a rough day, helping a coworker who can’t seem to figure something out, and choosing to be a light more often than anything else.

What are the little things you can do to bring love and peace to the world around you? What are peaceful ways you can stand up to the negativity you encounter? How you can you bring joy to the lives of others?

Peacefully,

–JT

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Another Way

Martin Luther King Jr. was a very prolific man. He inspired change without violence or riots. He shaped the face of equality and carried the flag of equality. He did all this without firing a shot.

He is one of the reasons I will never support a message of hate or rioting to cause change in America.

He showed us that despite the need for radical and immense change, it doesn’t take a gun or rocket. It takes the courage to believe in the human beings on the other side of the line from me. It takes me believing they are capable of change, progress, growth, and prosperity in a world where we work together.

A message we need to remember in this political climate.

We are a bunch of people all trying our best to do what we think is right.

How are you doing at treating the people across the line from you as real people trying to do what they think is right? What are you modeling for your friends, children, and coworkers?

Peacefully,

–JT

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Cranking Away

Given all of the changes and upcoming changes in my life. I am looking at a lot of turbulent times as far as my regular schedule goes. My schedule is actually becoming much more dynamic than it has been. Between my work schedule being variable and then you add a baby into the mix. I hear these babies like schedules but take some time to get into a rhythm and the amount of time it takes is relatively indeterminate.

Knowing these changes are not controllable, I have to pay attention to my priorities. I have to pay attention to the importance of my marriage, my health choices, and relationship choices. It is going to take discipline to maintain some semblance of sanity while I am in the midst of having my world rocked and yet trying to maintain these priorities.

As a matter-of-fact, I believe it is going to take me focusing on discipline to make sure I do not let myself give up my priorities in the midst of the change. All the change is going to test my resolve to whether or not I actually do prioritize these things or if I have only been giving them lip service while things are easy.

What other way do I have to prove how important these things are than when they are tested in the midst of the fire?

What do you prioritize? When was the last time your priorities were tested? Did the testing show your actual priorities to line up with your stated priorities? What needs to change?

Priortizing,

–JT

On Changing The World

The Relevant Podcast was one of the staple podcasts I originally listened to when I started listening to more podcasts. I do not listen to them much anymore, but I am still subscribed to them to see who they have on as a guest, what they’re talking about, and generally keep up to date on whether or not I want to listen to the current episode.

On one of their more recent episodes, they interviewed Seth Godin and talked to him about several things. The one thing that stuck out to me most was his discussion about how we can make the world a better place. He was not focused on everyone starting their own movement or everyone trying to conquer and control the world. He was focused on the simplest of things. He was focused on trying to positively affect a few people around you. Every day, have a positive influence on four or five people each day. 

How simple. 

I do not need to start a movement or create my own non-profit or travel to the deepest darkest parts of North Korea to change the world. I need to have a positive influence on a handful of people every day. Some days might be the same people over and over again. Other days might be a completely new group of people.

If I tried to improve or positively affect four or five people a day, how much better would the world be?

What is a reasonable number of people you can positively affect each day? How can you positively influence people each day?

Affecting,

–JT