What to do when you don’t feel like doing ..

Today feels a bit like the day after a thunderstorm. The last 48 hours have been chaotic and emotionally draining. And although the sun has risen upon a new day with new possibilities, the smell of ozone lingers and the leaves are awash in the streets.

I feel the exact opposite of excited to tackle the day.

I definitely feel like I’m falling.

The emotional lows that come with spiritual growth can be soul-crushing. Our inability to see past our current situation can make it feel like God has forgotten us. We may be tempted to opt out of doing the very things that God has perhaps called us to do. We may also want to indict God, because honestly, if He is the King of the Universe, and controls all things why is he making me suffer like this?

In moments of emotional pain, that seems to exist with no reason, it can feel much easier to reject God wholesale in order to turn to the things that will comfort us in the short run. Those things can be food, unhealthy relationships, pornography, drugs, or other band-aids that will distract you from the waves of pain that seem to wash upon your heart with no end in sight.

If you can..

I’d highly recommend you hold tight before you make any decisions that won’t serve you. Instead, I’d ask you to stay engaged with God.

Be angry with God, but talk to Him.

Curse him if you must, break down and ask Him about his absence.

The Psalms are full of this exact situation where the pain of life can seem to separate us from our faith in Christ. Where believing in the God of angel armies feels like the flimsy hope of an immature child. Psalm 77 is one of these psalms. It perfectly reflects the thoughts that accompany the pain of times when God seems to have put up an “out of office” sign.

“I cry out to God; yes I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven but my soul was not comforted. I think of God and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.

-Psalm 77:1-3

I was recently in one of these spells and, while I failed at a lot, I can share a couple things that I did right:

  • Stayed connected with the body of Believers
  • Kept talking to God, even if it was mostly about my pain and his [perceived] absence

In the spirit of transparency I did a lot more wrong than right. I let my emotions and need for control run wild and didn’t discipline myself to spend more time with him during my morning devotional time. In fact, I was so fed, I was only able write a couple of words. In fact the first sentence I wrote in my journal was: “Lord, where are you. How could this happen?”

Psalm 77 gives some insight into a tactic that I didn’t use but that we should when were in these tunnels of darkness.

“And I said, ‘This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” but then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”

Psalm 77: 10-12

The writer of this psalm, although they were in the midst of deep pain, chose to double down on remembering how good God had been to them in the past. This gave him the strength to continue on, even if things seems particularly dark. This is something that I’m going to try to remember during my next trial in the hopes that my faith muscle will remember how I feel now, after I’ve come out of the darkness and feel 1000% better about God’s faithfulness.

Also, honestly, after I’ve come out of a storm and can see clearly again that God did not forsake me but that I was just throwing a tantrum or couldn’t see the benefits of the situation at the moment, I feel so embarrassed.

I feel almost ashamed at my lack of faith, but then I have to remind myself that I’m not alone, and that believers through the generations have endured the same feelings as God works out the immaturity that can be found in us all. Praying for your strength and remembrance of God’s goodness.

F.O.F

OFO

[7/26/22 – 7/27/22]

Godly Marriage Pt. 1

Whew, yesterday I got the opportunity to go to our couples ministry at church and when I tell you that the session was heavy ..i’m talking elephant carrying a hippo.

Why? What could have made a meeting about love and serving your spouse feel like the scene of a murder?

This particular class was about the reality of living with a person who is just as broken as you and the inevitable roadblocks that you’ll encounter as you journey through life and the feelings we will face when endeavor to get our needs met via another person.

Before we dive in, how did our church land on such a potentially disheartening topic? We were working through the book – “Families where Grace is in Place” by Jeff VanVonderen. The book goes through and mentions (and we’ve heard it in some or fashion) through life that:

“That no man or woman is powerful enough to provide life and value to their spouse. Spouses weren’t created by God to “fix” spouses. Jesus came ot provide life and value to each one of us.”

-Jeff VanVonderen

Basically a relationship in which performance is demanded or expected is a no-win situation for both parties.

I’ll admit in our relationship this was particularly difficult for me to hear. I think this message is always tough for the planner, fixer, or someone who has grown up with the performance model in their family of origin. This probably describes me to a T. I’ve enjoyed some of the benefits of having this performance based model – in that it has pushed me to perform and achieve, which can pay some nice dividends in things like career and finances. However, in the soul deep level of happiness, this approach to life is deeply toxic. This predilection towards performance lends itself to a focus on comparison and not really being able to rest and enjoy the gift of life that God has given. You may also find yourself growing resentful of people attached to you who are not performing up to your standards. This can be absolute kryptonite to a relationship. There is nothing less sexy than an atmosphere of expectation that ushers in a cycle of disappointment and pressure when people don’t perform up to your standards.

The last couple of sessions we were outlining the problem and in today’s session – it really hit home because we had spent the morning arguing about unmet needs and every word of the book had rattled around my head but hadn’t made it to my heart just yet.

My next post I’ll tackle what I learned from our session and start ot unpack my next steps as I try to apply the word to my real-life marriage.

Pray for me.

Fly or Fall.

OFO

How does one change a heart?

Not a strangers. Or even a intimate partners’ heart. How does one change one’s own heart.

How do you undo a heart that’s been scratched, pulled and beaten into a certain shape? That’s got habits older than middle schoolers? sometimes I pray and I get discouraged because I see the same behaviors tripping me up today that I saw tripping me 1 year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago.

How do we create lasting change that happens at the heart level and spills out into our day to day.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2 

How do we accomplish Romans 12:2?

The verse that seems to point to an answer is in Ezekiel 36: 26:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26

Basically, it looks like it must be a gift from God. Is there anything I must do to receive this gift? The only stipulation that I can seem to find is that I be “in” Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

So I just have to figure out, is how to live IN Christ. Somehow, I feel that I may be complicating something that Christ meant to be easy.


Lord, Help me today as I hunger for your transformation. Everyday I see the damage that my old heart does to my family – I Pray that you help me discover a new heart and change the way that I love. Give me patience, kindness. Help me not to be envious of the people around me whom I love. Help not to dishonor others or keep no record of wrong. Help me Lord.

Amen.

Fly or Fall.

OFO

7/21/22 – Shining a Light on Brokenness

The last couple of years have been the most self-reflective years I’ve ever had. For someone who thought they were constantly interrogating themselves and trying to figure out what I could do to become a better version of myself this came as a bit of surprise. There are a couple of reasons why, but the biggest by far has been being in a long-term relationship. I’ve heard it said that relationships, especially intimate ones serve as a mirror that sheds light on the parts of yourself that perhaps you’ve been able to ignore. This has certainly been the case for me. Everyday in a long-term relationship, I’ve had to come face to face with some new insecurity, or responsibility that seems to loom large and highlight an area where I’m lacking something seemingly vital to the success of my family.

This is humbling and scary in the most intrinsic ways.

Your realize that if your not careful and diligent in addressing your shortcomings, people will suffer. Your wife will suffer. Your children will suffer. Future generations will inherit the fruit of your faithfulness or irresponsibility. It’s made me much more appreciative of the Father’s who came before me who withstood the almost constant messages of the world that their own personal happiness should come before the wholeness of the family that they’ve taken an oath to build (speaking especially of men who hold themselves accountable to God).

There is a particular bible verse that helped me this particular morning as I was struggling with the enormity of the task ahead of me, and to be quite honest, my dissatisfaction with the state of things. I feel anxious and worried about the future and scared that I’ll fail. I lack practice in being content and struggle with comparison which is THE thief of joy.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:6-9

This verse is actually an amazing framework for doing battle with anxiety and the stresses that come with attempting something bigger than you are.

  1. It clearly says that we shouldn’t worry -> instead we should give things over to God
  2. It lets us know that if we do give things over to God – he will will “Guard” our hearts and minds. This is so powerful because it implies that our hearts and minds are under attack by an external force and that we perhaps need this protection.
  3. It gives practical instructions on how we ourselves can do battle on the fields of our minds and hearts – by mastering our thoughts and focusing on [paraphrasing] “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable..anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”

Lord as I head to the airport to get my family – give me wisdom and strength and the ability to lean into the word you’ve given me. Help me to fight the good fight of faith and to think on the things that are positive and inspiring and not the things I don’t have. Give me a new mind as I seek contentment and joy in you and in the life you’ve gifted me. Amen.

Fly or Fall.

OFO.

7/20/2022 – Fighting Condemnation

Good morning Lord. Thank you for a new day, thank you for the opportunity to wake up safe and in my own bed. Lord I pray that you help me to overcome the spirit of condemnation and frustration that sits heavy upon me.


The family has been away this week and for the most part its been a much welcomed break. Yesterday was kind of tough however, I’m not sure why it was so tough but I think a large part was because I was unable to be as productive as I would have liked. Work wasn’t flowing and specifically something that was usually my forte I was unable to accomplish up to standard. This for some reason really threw off my whole day. I grew despondent and my mind started racing.

I’m really know sure what to do on days like that – I’m guess I should have spent more time in the word and less time worrying and letting my mind lead me down these dark roads of frustration and self-blame. Regardless, I’m hoping that today I can turn the corner and focus much more on the positive and filling myself with God’s word and praise music and being patient enough to hear from God.

God did do something to reach out to me in the midst of my dark session of despair. I had actually ordered a study bible a couple of days ago and luckily it arrived today. As soon as it arrived – even in the midst of my pain, I flipped it open and it fell to a particular passage about Elijah after he had fled from jezebel.

And he [d]was afraid, and got up and ran for his [e]life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and he left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself to die, and said, “Enough! Now, Lord, take my [f]life, for I am no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down and fell asleep under a broom tree; but behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat!” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a round loaf of bread baked on hot coals, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him, and said, “Arise, eat; because the journey is too long for you.” So he arose and ate and drank, and he journeyed in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

-1 Kings 19:3-8

This was super helpful because one of the main points from this passage for me is that sometimes the most impactful thing we can do is eat, and sleep and rest before we continue. And to be honest, my sleep pattern had been really terrible over the last couple of days. I had been waking up really early but going to bed really late in an effor to accomplish everything that I think I needed to while the family was awake. Perhaps yesterday was my body’s way of reclaiming its time.

Anyway- Diving into the book that I’m reading this week with bible study: “Kingdom Man” by Tony Evans.

One of the quotes from this section is:

“With everything in motion, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is stability”

-Tony Evans, Kingdom Man

Explaining further Tony says: “No matter what else is happening in the world, the children of a kingdom man can be confident of having stability at home. That stability fuels them to take on the world in flux around them. Establishing this kind of stability isn’t that difficult… Most of all you do it by simply being there – fully present, not just in body but in mind and heart too.”


Lord, I pray that you help me to be able to raise a Godly focused family. Help me. Guide me. Grow me. Help me not to crumble under the weight of responsibility but to trust that you are able to do what is impossible for man. Get rid of the obstacle to you in our family and allow us to make room to hear your voice and will for our family.

Fly or Fall,

OFO

A Post pretending to be about a Marriage..

So it seems that marriage and family will be topics that I hover over for the next couple of post as I try to talk aloud to myself and try to get a better understanding of where I am.

The sense of having ot locate yourself with these two institutions isn’t too far off, I don’t think.

These institutions are millenia old. Older than the church, older than most modern religions. Older than any standing building or arrangement of stones.

With the momentum they’ve gathered – it’s no wonder people can feel either, crushed under their weight, lost in their movement, or simply feel that they’ve gone out of style and need a Generation now makeover. America itself seems to be perpetually having and identity crisis, it’s fascination with the now and urgent often placing it at odds with the old, staid, traditions of yore.

This is a boon for a country who like to play act that it is actually a company.

This is perhaps not so good for the people and families who seek to find solid footing and support as they embark upon the age-old tradition of raising a family.

I now find myself in that number, and the difference in perspective is startling.

What is the objective of tonight’s missive?

I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s just to plant a flag in the grass as an orientation maneuver. To declare where I am at this very millisecond with the understanding that I’m gestating information, different viewpoints, and seeking understanding and wisdom. With this new wisdom I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to look back and see where the tectonic plates of truth take me.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I’m married.

I’ve been married for 1.5 years and I think I’m just now understanding that there is a deeper game afoot in the pursuit of a healthy, whole marriage. This game, for me, includes a curious bait and switch. I’m finding that in order for me to work on my marriage, I must actually not focus too much on my marriage in its current form. I actually must turn my attention towards a higher purpose. For me this is found in the seeking of God and his plan for my life. In that pursuit I find that I am able to access the strength to make some of the changes necessary to survive and potentially to thrive inside a marriage.

At least that is my working theory. I’m smack dab in the middle of testing this hypothesis.

Will report back.

Fly or Fall.

Family – Pt. 1.

Family life is about sacrifice.

Leadership is guided sacrifice.

Having a Good family life requires deep emotional connection.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Ok, can I be honest with ya’ll (i.e. My future self) – Leading a family is the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do.

What makes marriage and raising a family so difficult?

One of the biggest things is the level of emotional investment it takes. Especially in the context of the secular western society that we are raised.

Society at large values very different things then the things you will need to successfully remain married and raise a family. Society values or glorifies individualism, self-prioritization, machismo, image over substance, microwave level relationships, and external accomplishments. In contrast, at least in my estimation, getting and staying married will require huge levels of self-sacrifice, humility, the ability to wholeheartedly apologize, a jesus-level ability to forgive, and the prioritization of emotionally taxing internal work.

Needless to say when you spend the first quarter of your life practicing short-term relationships, and learning how to guard your heart from true intimacy – it can be very difficult for people to cross the threshold over into true emotional intimacy. Lump in things like emotional abuse from bad childhoods, or even unintended emotional trauma from good childhoods and people have a lot of headwinds that they must come to terms with in order to allow room for a marriage to bloom.

Let’s talk for a moment about pain.

Pain is powerful. Pain is not something we often reference in a positive way but some of my most transformational changes and biggest accomplishments rode the tidal wave created by significantly painful events in my life. I think of pain like fire – there are situations where pain can be useful. The pain of overexertion gives us signals that we should rest, the pain of heartbreak can signal to us that our mate- choosing abilities could use some work, and the pain of muscle fatigue can signal to us our current exertional limit.

Emotional pain can also tear down the walls of ego or pride and help us to connect with the humanity of other in new ways. Significantly painful times can often remind us just how human we are. The loss of a loved one doesn’t stop to ask about socioeconomic status, race, or zip codes. These uniquely painful human experiences bind us together with a shared human experience.

Now, even though pain can be useful and transformational, no one is going out of their way to experience a fresh hot batch of pain.

This is the crossroads where new marriages find themselves.

Marriage can be and feel a lot like pain. Not the useless pain of a random ailment or an sports injury. Marriage can expose its participants to a level of emotional pain that they previously could use evasive maneuvers to avoid.

Let’s take a hypothetical couple of Fran and Bobby. Fran and Bobby met each other at work. They share similar values and after a whirlwind romance they find themselves married and settling into their first months of the oldest institution on earth.

Reality sets in and Bobby finds that Fran isn’t quite as enthusiastic about certain things as she was in the past and finds that after a couple of conversations that strayed into shouting matches finds himself sitting in his car outside their shared abode shocked by how upset, afraid, and angry he is. In the past, when Bobby found himself in uncomfortable situations like this he would invariably find a way to make his slow exit from the relationship. However, this is Marriage. Bobby feels like there is too much to lose by leaving and thus adds feeling trapped to his emotional milieu.

What are bobby’s options at this crossroads? What has he trained himself over the last 20-30 years to do? What is popular media telling him? What are the inputs from his friends and family? What is Bobby’s emotional/spiritual mentors telling him is the right thing to do?

If your like the typical western adult male:

  • You’ve trained yourself over the last couple of decades to leave when things get difficult
  • Popular media trumpets that feelings of pain are NOT NORMAL and that when a relationship gets too hard you should consider yourself first and LEAVE
  • Friends and Family may have a biased view and hate to see family members in pain, constructive or not, and will start to form a viewpoint that paints the partner as a source of friction or frustration. This can eventually lead to situations where advice starts to lean toward negativity
  • Depending on the relationships that Bobby has cultivated the response from mentors could range the gamut – if he has single older friends or bitter divorced friends/mentors or men who view women as tools to be used and then thrown away the advice can vary from “leave immediately if she wont get her act together” to “find something on the side to ease your pain”.

None of this necessarily will lead Bobby back to himself to examine his assumptions, his behaviors, or his patterns of relating to his partner. Not a lot of the “default” things that surround Bobby will support him in using the pain of this partnership as a pushing off point towards greater self-realization.

I’m going to stop here because it seems good enough for today to just realize the state of affairs when it comes to some of the challenges of pursuing a good family life.

Hopefully the next post will dive into the solution I’ve found for these challenges.

Fly or Fall

Faith. vs Laziness.

There is a perennial question that haunts me whenever I have weeks like this.

What’s a week like this?

It started with one car overheating and having to be taken to the dealership to get diagnosed. Unfortunately – the turnaround time doesn’t seem to be anytime soon and in the meanwhile – we were down to one vehicle.

24 hours later the second vehicle shudders to a near halt and suddenly we’re scrambling to obtain a rental car and the emergency fund and correlated security that we’d try to build up is suddenly looking more like an endangered species on the way to extinction.

This all coincides with the struggle I’ve been in over the last two weeks to try to work my way towards some level of financial abundance. I have a tendency to think that these events are God’s way of trying to communicate with me.

A verse comes to me:

Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:4-5)

Proverbs 23:4-5

This verse definitely speaks to me because this is exactly what I have been doing over the last two weeks – trying to work enough to get to some level of financial security and abundance. The timing of this unlikely event makes me feel like potentially there is a message that would go something like: “Don’t get distracted by the temptation to try to make finances your security. Instead – relax, wait on God and trust Him to make sure that all your needs get met.”

The rational part of my brain thinks this is soo crazy. How can I possibly not work hard as I can? Isn’t that laziness?

But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters].

1 Corinthians 2:14

I have the hardest time with this. I don’t want to be lazy. I have all these goals to accomplish and I want to be a good steward. Everything I see from the people who are super-successful seems to point to extremely hard work being a vital component of the recipe for success. I’m not sure how to square the circle.

I’m probably going to need to just take God’s word as truth and his schedule as a good model. Working 6 days is probably OK, because that was the schedule he kept. Working till my body is screaming is probably due to me making money the most important thing in my life and it is probably a good time for me to reconsider my relationship with work at that point.

Fly or Fall.

The battle within.

The theme of the past week has been that I’m discovering the battlefield is all in my mind. The hardest things I’ve had to do last week were all related to wrangling my mind into compliance.

It puts me in the mind of a quote I heard from Lebron James about how being tired is a frame of mind. While I don’t know if I 100% believe that to be true I can say that my ability to accomplish things is deeply tied to my mental fatigue or discomfort than any true physical limit being reached.

Last week was an exercise in meeting the self-imposed limits of my mindset.

By brushing up against the limits of my standard mindset I hope that I’m in the first stages of a dramatic change in what I’m capable of.

Photo by Matteo Basile on Pexels.com

How do I imagine this happening?

Phase 1: Find the limits of my mindset – run into the things that make me uncomfortable. Notice the things I do to escape that discomfort. What am I willing to do to prevent myself from experiencing the mentally tough tasks that I must complete? What compensatory things do I do to make myself feel better? What money do I spend to make myself feel better? What story do I tell myself about these behaviors?

I’m knee deep in this phase. This is the phase where I start to ask myself questions that seem to revolve around self-care and work/life balance.

Not that these are bad questions – but in my case often these are questions I use to grease the wheels toward quitting.

While those things are definitely important – what is more important for the future of my family and I, is that I learn how to achieve the goals that I’ve set for myself. Or at least give the pursuit of these goals my absolute best effort.

How can I actually know what my best effort is until I have given absolutely everything I have to the goal in front of me?

I can’t.


So what is the goal I’m looking to achieve?

Mentally:

  • I want to learn how to work hard while maintaining mental flexibility and toughness (a.k.a Not Quitting until goal is achieved)

Financially:

  • I want to pay off some consumer debt.

This year we finally had the celebration for our COVID postponed wedding and managed to rack up around $23k of debt on two different credit cards.

In the two months since the wedding I put in some extra shifts and budgeted very precisely to be able to pay off $10,500 of our wedding debt. However, we’re heading into month 3 and austerity historically hasn’t served as a great long term plan for me. Right around this time I usually end up letting my foot up off the pedal.

This time I want it to be different.

That means that continuing to work long days is the plan of attack for me. What started as working Saturday’s to gain a couple of extra dollars has started to grown into 16 hour days where I work two jobs in order to speed up the process.

For me, 16 hour days have a special ability to play with my mental toughness. Usually ten hours into a sixteen hour shift I can come up with all sorts of reasons why this is no longer a good idea. The other thing that can happen is that I start to make all sorts of unnecessary purchases on account of the fact that you “deserve it”. All this of course ends up just short circuiting any progress you’ve made financially.

It’s very interesting that a lot of my posts this week have all been related to mental health and the challenges we face when we choose to do hard things. Focusing on growing the mental toughness necessary to accomplish the tasks that will significantly move my life forward has been intriguing and helpful. It’s allowing me to get a 30,000 foot view of my habits and weaknesses.

Now that I have a family I’m feeling like if I ever want to experience the life that I’ve dreamed of – I have to become a better man. A more patient man. A man who is capable of being able to accomplish more. A man who may have to suffer more without spewing his pain onto others. A man who is also still able to love and express joy.

A man who is deeper than the man who I am today.

Photo by Sondre Dahl on Pexels.com

I know that one missing part of me achieving the things I want to is that I need to find communities to plug into that will support me in getting to the outcome that I desire. My family is a great support but I’ll need to seek out men who are on similar journey’s and who can inspire me to be more than I am today.

Fly or Fall.

Mind Games.

Happy Friday! I’m going to throw a couple topics into the ether of the internet and hopefully find a couple that I want to riff on longer than others.

I might have mentioned that this week has been very long.

The 16 hours days are thankfully not too physically demanding. I’m not lifting heavy things or having to dig ditches outside. The real struggle has been mostly mental.

Maintaining the right frame of mind when putting in extended hours. I find my mind wanting to slip into a particular frame of reference that can be quite insidious. I’m going to try my best to describe the circumstances that bring it about and try to get my hands around the type of thoughts that bubble up from my subconscious.

First: The Environment

What is happening internally or externally that makes these thoughts more prevalent?

Boredom is a risk factor. When I’m doing something that is completely passive or that requires memorization or no active engagement from me I can find myself wanting to make decisions that would shorten the amount of time that I had originally committed to the activity.

Hunger is another risk factor. It’s funny because I don’t think I have a good gauge of what mild hunger feels like. I’m very familiar with ravenous hunger and total satiety but I think I struggle with the grey area between these two extremes.

Second: Results

When I’m beset by these thoughts I find that my immediate temptation is to cut short the activity that I’m currently endeavoring to complete. I’m tempted to try to seek the fastest shortcut to make the negative feelings disappear. Then I get disgusted that I’ve moved the goalposts that I initially set.

I can sometimes be dragged into a tug of war between my high expectations and the reality of how my body is experiencing the current activity.

It’s been interesting how fast these feelings can resolve with a bit of food, water, or a mindset vitamin- usually in the form of reminding myself of what the ultimate goal is for the activity and also hopefully being brutally honest on whether the activity is actually moving me toward the goals I’ve set for myself or is just a time-waster.


What is the balance between goal-focused intensity and “wholeness”. I’m operating under the assumption that “wholeness” for the most successful people is a myth and that they just apply intense levels of effort to the goals that they are pursuing. They also probably have learned to ignore or manage the physical discomfort that comes with high levels of effort.

I’m still navigating and learning how to manage these emotions and stressors.

And that will have to be enough.


What is the ultimate goal for the hard work that I’m undertaking?

Goals..

Short Term (3-6 months):

Debt freedom with a lowercase d.

This year we celebrated our wedding and with it came a bill that seemed to balloon like Pennywise’s head in the last couple months before the actual event.

I hate debt.

We have around 18 months to knock out the consumer debt before our promotional 0% interest rate expires. I’ve taught too many financial freedom courses to fall victim to the usurious rates that are attached to these credit cards.

Medium Term(6-8 months):

I want to save up to take a data analysis bootcamp certification at a well known school in my region.

This course cost about $10k – which while not a huge sum will require some extra efforts as there are so many other start up costs to consider when starting a family.

  • Emergency Funds
  • Debt Paydown
  • Retirement Savings
  • Lifestyle expenditures
  • College Savings

So in order to keep some semblance of financial consistency – it’s going to require me to put in some serious effort to get all these things rolling before any other significant financial obligations present themselves (read: more children)

Reminding myself that I have both clear goals and some timeline constraints helps me to get refocused on the task at hand.

Long Term:

I’m not sure there is a long term objective with this particular level of effort.

I’m hoping that by accomplishing the goal that I’ve set above the end result will be skills that will continue to pave the way for more freedom.

Keep me in your prayers.

Fly or Fall