LIVE WITH VISION; DO NOT DIE WITHOUT HAVING LIVED

By Terry Carter, Editor

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die — and then dies having never really lived.” 

— James J. Lachard, on what is most surprising about humanity

The summary above describes the average day, year and life of the average person who is working hard and getting ahead in the 21th century. Some work to make money. Some to fill time. And others don’t work at all. They seem to play for 8-12 hours each day, enjoying each challenge, each event, each interaction they have while pursuing their life’s work.


That person, if you study the details carefully, is not unusual, nor a rebel. He is hard working, perhaps so busy he does not make time for family dinners, teaching his children to play ball or drive the car. He may have stayed at the office late to make financial ends meet, to afford a family vacation or to consider retiring late in life. It’s easy to justify the actions because nearly all of us have ignored what is actually more essential — in hindsight — to pay attention to the task at hand.

The fictional character described in the first paragraph dies having missed the reason and the joy of why he lived. He was so driven by societal means goals to “work hard to get ahead” and “promotions come to those with seniority” that he worked beyond the patience of his friends and family, who wanted him to have fun. At the end of his life, he will be well remembered for his work, but the end goals of joy, love, amazement and surprise were planned out of this type of life. 

Nearly everyone grew up pursuing means goals, including “get a college degree,” “work for one company during your career” and “marry once for life.” Of the 350 high school graduates from my high school, I suspect perhaps 30-40 percent did not receive a college degree, 95 percent did not work for just one company in the past 30 years, and perhaps 70 percent have exceeded the once social norm of one spouse per lifetime.

In the 1980s, no one mentioned end goals, such as climbing the tallest mountains on each continent or being surrounded by love daily, as they are primarily emotion-based that will make us happy or satisfied. End goals are about “following your heart,” Vishen Lakhiani writes in his book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. 

Means goals typically take us another step toward a place that our elders or society suggests will make us happy, But there are stipulations and complications. See how this sounds:  You should get a college degree…so you can get a good career… so you can retire. Then you will be happy. As many of us know, the college degree put us in debt and 4-8 years older. The career allowed us to pay off the debt and afford a family and some lifestyle. The retirement, however, is not as likely as we imagined as teenagers.


Stop during your work week and look at your career as you walk or hurry through the day and the deadlines. Do you feel energized to go to work today? Did you spring out of bed this morning because of how great today will be? If not, why not? For each day is only as special as we make it.

We need to dig and change our software and hardware to bring computers to the market. And we need to do the same with ourselves. Ask yourself a few questions to see if your means goals are in line with your end goals. If they are, then your path may have been perfect for you. I have had to re-adjust my path several times due to changes in the economy (new hardware), new information I have uncovered (new software) and unpredictable events. These questions are taken from Lakhiani’s book, regarding all areas of our lives including relationships, spiritual, healthy and intellectual growth, careers, family and communities:

  1. What experiences do you want to have in this lifetime? The in-depth question is: If time and money were of no object and I did not have to seek anyone’s approval, what kinds of experiences would my soul crave?
  2. How do you want to grow? The in-depth question here is: In order o have the experiences above, how do I have to grow? What sort of person do I need to become?
  3. How do you want to contribute? The follow-up question is: If I have the experiences above and have grown in these remarkable ways, how can I give back to the world?


Answer me this, and your frustration with day-to-day work will vanish because we will begin to unlock your vision. A person who works to accomplish their vision never works as we know work. He or she enjoys every moment, brings light to dark rooms, shares and helps everyone who wishes to grow. 

Perhaps you are happy with your work and your life. But studies reveal that 80 percent of us are dissatisfied and just putting in time deposit the check. And the check simply vanishes to the bills that are due. 

This, my friends, is not why we are here on Earth. We are here to do so much more than pay bills, complain in the break room and break rules when no one is looking. 

Are you ready to grow, change and stretch those wings to fly? Be one with the wave and grow forever. Walk the narrow bridge on the highest mountain, and let us discover the thrill of victory at the summit.

A STORY OF BLESSED LIFE

By Scott Thornton, Guest Editor

I have read The Bible approximately 15 times now, and I am consistently amazed at the detailed stories of miracles, faith and history that fill the pages.

But lately I am called to read and re-read the Book of Luke, which begins with the story of John the Baptist’s birth and the connection between John’s mother, Elizabeth, and her relative Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. If you have not read this story recently, open your Bible to Luke and study it carefully. It will bring you to tears if you understand the blessing and joy Elizabeth received  after decades of being unable to deliver a child for her husband.

Six months after Elizabeth was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would have a son who would be great and filled with the Holy Spirit, Mary received a similar conversation with the Angel Gariel. Elizabeth was told to name this son John, which was not a family name. That created some conflict as her husband Zechariah had been silenced during the pregnancy for not believing Gabriel when he delivered this good news to the priest Zechariah some nine months earlier. Fortunately both parents had been told by Gabriel to name the baby boy John.

When Zechariah was asked about this at the circumcision, he wrote that the boy should be called John, and then he was able to speak again. 

After Mary had been blessed with the life of Jesus, she traveled to be with her relative Elizabeth during the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. When Mary entered Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home and greeted the expectant mother, the Book of Luke states that the baby “leaped in her womb and Elizabether was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The two mothers-to-be spoke like each knew the other’s holy secret already. It must have been an amazing time in their family as they exchanged stories that no one else has ever experienced. Both women were blessed with remarkable fortune and children who are famous across the world. It was a great day in their village.

According to Luke, John the Baptist was born approximately six months before Jesus was born to Mary. And John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were related through their mothers! Never heard that announcement before in church, and I have been oblivious to the holy connection until now. For decades I always remembered the story of John the Baptist started halfway through his life as he was preaching of repentance. I initially believed his was a loner, ranting in the wildness who eventually became more persuasive as leaders have done before.

Somehow  I overlooked one of the most blessed events – and the miraculous nature of the birth and upbringing of John. 

With that knowledge, John’s passion, his works and his meeting with Jesus carry amplified significance. That was truly a troubled time to believe in Christ.

But simultaneously, it was the best of times to see the Miracles of God, the life of the Holy Son and a significant bit player who warned the world to clean up its act quickly. Clearly there were differences between them, but both were filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by the Father. And both died horribly to fulfill a sacred mission for us.

And we – either has historians or Godly people – will recall their stories for all time.

HAPPINESS TO SHARE

By Terry Carter, Editor

As parents, tradition says we will adore our kids when they are very young, teach them when they are willing and withstand the rebellious years until they move on (not .org).

My wife and I are nearing our 29th wedding anniversary, and our offspring are fully sprung. That is, they all have their own lives and homes outside ours — and they are 21+ years old. None have children yet. So Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just opportunities to give the parentals a hug one more time from their 20-something mindset, I imagine.

Just wait until you children arrive, my children. Then those holidays will mean more to you. With luck kindness and generosity will be key traits you teach your young ones. If so, the rewards are well received on all holidays. 

But tonight I mention traditional values like love. As my son celebrated his epic birthday this weekend, I already see a great man who is capable of achieving any goal — as all of our children are. Of course all parents think their kids are the greatest thing on Earth, and I signed up for that class three decades ago.

Children are what makes life most enjoyable. As they grow, they are curious about everything. They are happier than anyone, and they are so honest. Then comes the heredity: Children are adorable, funny and unique from their siblings. It is truly a gift from God to have three healthy, brilliant and beautiful/handsome and well-adjusted children in the world today. 

We are so thankful for their leadership, their compassion, their peace and their chosen paths in life. I doubt I could have selected any of their current journeys at birth, but I am consistently impressed by what they done and their ambitions for the future. One has lived in Hawaii for years after buying a 1-way ticket. One helps save lives each day and has participated in a national rally in Washington D.C. And another found her true love, married and has been to Paris for her honeymoon.

I write for a living. But these three tales of three outstanding young adults keep me filled with hopes and dreams every time I think of them. Grown children rarely are told that they are wonderful and a gift from God — but they certainly are.

I know I speak for all parents — even those who mumble or whisper their “I love you” when I say this to my children: You are loved, and love lasts forever. Greatness lies within you, and you are already on your path to a great mountain. Always aim high, dream big. 

Then pack for an exciting journey, for success is not reaching a picturesque destination. No, success is taking a worthwhile journey requiring personal growth, hard work, endurance, peace and faith. You will reach 100 destinations on the journey. Enjoy each step, each stopover and each barrier. Greatness is not handed to anyone. It arrives after the hard work, after the pain. You are great, and your greatness arrives from journeys and challenges. Face them and solve them. It’s part of the growing-up, being-independent thing we all deal with.

Happy birthday, Bobby. I’m so proud of you doing things your way.

A Tale of Dogs, Cats

Watching people at the park is educational at times. But even more telling is watching people with dogs and/or cats in any environment.
As a dog lover, I have had many dogs in my life, both large and small. These days, our family has two fat, lazy cats. It's an interesting contrast as well.
Dogs are usually loyal, loving and playful. Cats are typically aloof, regal and slightly more demanding when it comes to food and water.
But even those descriptions are subjective as any cat lover will explain emphatically.
I have had the best of dogs (thanks to my parents), the best trained of dogs (thanks to my elder daughter) and a Chihuahua that acted a bit like a dictator on steroids — thanks to Pancho for leaving my toes intact.
The best of dogs was a greyhound mongrel named Tex. He was supremely athletic and ran circles around all of the neighborhood kids in Michigan. The 6-foot, chain-linked, metal fence could not hold him when he decided to take a day trip.
He sailed over the fence with one bound and would usually return within 36 hours with dirt on his white fur and a dead animal in his mouth. Tex didn't dig holes in the ground by his fence. He simply jumped over the fence again and curled up for a nap.
For all of his strength and speed, Texas very gentle around young children. However he may be the real reason why postal delivery people still have his picture posted on their Most Wanted wall.

Pancho, the chihuahua, weighed a scant three pounds. Even living in snow-covered Michigan didn't calm his nerves. He easily qualified as the next of kin to any mass murderer in history,
Pancho, to be polite, was a short male determined to overachieve and rule the world. He began growling and biting toes at a young age.
When he was two years old, the under-sized Rambo made two enormous leaps to reach the dinner table and grabbed my steak dinner. Pancho then ran off with a steak that weighed nearly half his body weight. From then on, Pancho only increased his dangerous ways.

While the canines are hilarious to watch, many people treat their dogs and cats as if they are human children.
It's difficult to give a dog or cat convincing human characteristics. However we humans often prefer trying to win a cat's love and affection — good luck — over the more complex challenges of human interaction.
I know some great people who have no children, but their cat or dog has all the privileges of a spoiled child. Special treats, special sweaters, gourmet food and posh appointments at the doggie/kitty day spa (aka veterinarian).
Some will tell you that every animal deserves to be treated like royalty instead of left under a bridge to fight with other animals.
The same line of thinking says spay/neuter all animals to minimize overpopulation.
While I am an animal lover, I see animals for what they are: animals, not humans. Certainly taking care of an animal is a legitimate concern. But the level of spoiling that dogs, cats see today is amazing.
It's too much for a healthy family to endure.

Those who enable their pet to run their lives need to look closely at why their home is partially run by a 4-legged animal with a limited vocabulary. By “run,” I mean the animal wakes you up at 4 or 5 a.m. on Sunday because it’s the time they know your predictable schedule — or worse, because they are hungry and their patience is running low with the human species.

3FORADIME ADVICE: Train your animals at a young age to listen and obey you. Discipline on your part is what makes a pet’s best qualities shine. If you are inconsistent with children or pets, they will take advantage of that. And some, given a chance, will become the dog or cat in charge in a home you provide. Don’t let that happen with offspring, nor domesticated pets.

Happy Birthday, Davey

My brother Dave is a special guy in many ways. And today we meet to celebrate his Aug. 1 birthday.
Dave has always led the league in humorous anecdotes and keen (aka awkward observations). He sees humor in nearly every event and lowers the tension in nearly any situation.
Dave is the middle brother of three sons my parents introduced and mentored on this planet. As the middle boy, you know he’s been through some crap in his life. He used to tease me, and I responded by knocking his front tooth out — not a very kind gesture, I must admit.
Dave also had a streak of bad luck when he was about 12. He slid into third base in our expansive back yard and broke the basement window with his big foot.
Shortly after that he pured a 5-iron through the Mr. and Mrs. Sobotta’s plate glass window surrounding their indoor swimming pool. Nice shot Dave. Mr. Sobotta kindly retrieved the TopFlite golf ball — from the bottom of his 10-foot deep pool.
Dave also had he misfortune to turn on a light switch in the middle of the night, only to find the suspended light above the bathroom sink fall into the sink and shatter it.
Beyond all of that, Dave has been a great man, a great brother, a great dad and far less trouble than I imagined when I was only 10 years old.
He has been a blessing in my life and many others. Thank you, Davey, for being my brother and for encouraging me to never give up.
Sorry about your back, the diabetes, all of the toes scars from Pancho the killer Chihuahua and for that hooked fairway wood that almost sliced you in half.
You have done great things, and from what I see, life continues to be improving daily for you and Charlene.20140803-131848-47928756.jpg20140803-152648-55608347.jpg