Tuesday, November 25, 2014

39 Clues (For a Better Life): 21-25

In no way do I consider myself a life coach. However, in light of turning 39 this past week (and of course my wife had to remind that  I am in my 40th year) I have created a list of what I think are wise decisions we can implement in our lives - all for the sake of ongoing improvement and a sustained quality of happiness and joy.These are in no particular order. 

21: Find a band whose music transcends your soul...that inspires you to follow your dreams...that evokes untapped emotion. I don't know what I would do without the music of U2. Bono's powerful, image-filled lyrics in Achtung Baby inspired me to start writing poetry which lead to a deeper desire to become a writer.  I could literally write a book about this band and just how good they really are and how much I have truly been inspired by them, but will save that for another time. Find music- maybe a band, maybe just a style or genre - that makes you feel empowered and use it as a catalyst to dream out loud.

22. Sticking with the music theme...Play songs in the car that the whole family can enjoy and sing a long to. Put aside your macho attitude and start rockin' out to "I Got the Joy Joy Joy Down in my Heart." Put the windows down and let the dude next to you at the stop-light know whose boss. Okay, so don't put aside all of your macho-ness - just be macho for God. And when you have "your" music on, turn it down when a voice in the back wants to say something. Let them know how important their voice is.

23. Build a campfire and:

  • have deep, meaningful, heart/mind opening conversations.
  • eat S'mores
  • bring an acoustic guitar and sing songs
  • meditate/pray
  • make shapes out of the burning hot embers. (Like you do with clouds.)
  • Share a blanket with a loved one.
  • Listen to the Phillies game (I guess if you're not a Phillies fan you may get the same enjoyment out of listening to your team.)
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Stay up late

24. Help the homeless. Thirty-some years ago I was inspired as a young boy by a speaker named Trevor Ferrell. Trevor was only about 12, but had already started a place called Trevor's Place. A campaign that helps those that are homeless. Literally, ever since then, I have been saddened by the world of homelessness, but unfortunately had done nothing about it. It wasn't until a few nights ago that I helped out in some way - by making manna bag. Now I just have to deliver them or my time will have meant nothing. It felt great being part of that and was it was even more special that my wife and young daughters were part of it as well.

25. Don't bring your work home. Don't let your profession define you. I am an educator, something I take very seriously and something that I'm grateful to be part of. But that's not who I am. Above all, I am a Christian dedicated to living a life that praises, celebrates and worships God. I am a husband and father - also something I take seriously. I spend a lot of time praying for my family and for the wisdom and patience it takes to model what a good father/parent is. I am blessed to be married to someone that put as much thought, dedication, time and prayer into the family as I do. When I step into my home - even before that - when step outside of my workplace I shutoff work mode. I shutoff teacher mode. If you think that makes me less dedicated, well...I'll bite my tongue on that one.


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