Facing the Giants

Facing the Giants

Today’s Personal Power Memo has been written by my good friend Greg Newton. I can’t think of a more timely or pertinent message to help make this week and every week the best week of your life. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
—John Peterson

There was a movie titled Facing the Giants, about a high school football coach down on his luck who by faith and determination picked up the pieces and moved forward. Yet, for every success, there seemed to be another setback or two waiting in the wings. We, too, face the giants in our life: finances, sickness, broken relationships, failure, disappointment, unmerited hostility from others, health, lack of recognition, betrayal from friends, etc. The list could go on down the road for miles.
Where do we go and what do we do when we face the giants? Do we cower? Do we give up and say “Poor Me!” Or do we ride the tumultuous waves of outrageous circumstance on a small raft clinging for dear life?
I believe there is another answer. There are some simple rules we can follow to help us back down the giants.

1. Practice discipline. Easy said, not easy done, but discipline takes effort and commitment in all areas of your life. Win the small battles and work toward the harder ones. Don’t despair if you slip a notch. Be more determined to move forward. The journey is completed in the multitude of small steps, not the huge leap done once. I’ve said this many times concerning the physical; it is the exercises you do, not the exercises you think about, that get you ahead in your quest. You can apply this same philosophy to any other area of your life that requires discipline. A good rule of thumb every night before you go to bed is to ask yourself, “What did I do today to develop myself mentally, physically, and spiritually?” In your mind, check over the list of successes and failures throughout the day. Don’t beat yourself up over the failures. Make a mental flag of it to do better tomorrow and then go to sleep.

2. Focus on a few things. There are many worthwhile things to accomplish and do in this world. You can only do so much. Draw your life around a few of your most precious goals and hold fast to those. You may have to let go of other things you hold dear, either temporarily or forever. Martial arts have been a passion of mine for many years. However, I came to a point where I had to be realistic. The time wasn’t there to do them. Too, after some fractured ribs and later getting choked unconscious in a class, I had to take a hard look at the risks versus the opportunity costs. I am the sole breadwinner in my household. I can’t afford to be injured or seriously hurt. My wife and child depend on me, and at midlife, work opportunities become harder to obtain.

3. Plug the leaks. What is soaking up your time, energy, and health? Are there psychic vampires leeching your life with their negative thoughts and emotions? Are people pulling you into things you don’t really support and don’t feel right to be involved in? Are you drinking the occasional soda pop, and it is becoming a habit? How about that second helping at the dinner table? Are you staying up late watching mindless TV shows when you could be reading a good book or going to bed early and getting more rest? The leaks are endless. The main thing you need to ask yourself is, “How is this effecting me?” Negative emotions, discouragement, so-called comfort and stress foods, the TV and radio we listen to, and many other things can have an effect on our energy and health. If it is not something that uplifts you mentally, physically, or spiritually, keep it from coming in.

4. Gather the fragments. When times are tough, gather the fragments. We waste so much. What do we have? What can be used? What is encumbering me because I really have no need for it? Don’t be afraid to give things away. This world is temporary. I make it my habit to give. If I become attached to something, I make a habit of giving it away. That way my possessions don’t own me.

5. Tied closely to gathering the fragments is thankfulness. Be thankful for what you do have. The old axiom about counting your blessings is still just as valid today as it was in your great grandfather’s day. Remember, that generation went through the Great Depression and the black horror of World War II.

6. Bless others. If you can’t bless them with material things, bless them with praise and positive words of encouragement. Be willing to volunteer to help others and be willing to step in to lend a hand. Go the extra mile. I have seen this in action time and time again. By being willing to selflessly help others, I have been blessed. My wife, Lori, and I have walked through some very bleak financial times over the years, and by the standards of this world we are poor. Yet, we have never lacked. Somehow the needs are always met.

7. Last, have faith in a Divine Providence. A young shepherd, fresh from tending his father’s flocks, heard the disparaging remarks of a mighty and fearsome warrior who terrified a whole army. Yet that young shepherd had faith in Divine Providence. Taking a simple sling, he killed that horrific engine of battlefield destruction with a single stone. He faced his giant, but what we tend to forget is that he also took four more stones for the giant’s brothers. He had a simple, yet all-encompassing faith, and he was prepared to do battle with more than just one giant.

—Greg Newton

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