THE CHOICE FOR LIFE

By Terry Carter, Editor

When you were a child, what inspired and powered you each day? Why did you fly out of bed each morning?

Were you:

A) Filled with energy 24 hours a day, always chasing the next game, party or thrilling ride because of the fun? If so, you may have played sports or joined dance, band/orchestra or theater classes as soon as possible.

B) The curious one who liked to read, study, get ahead of homework and evaluate opportunities/situations? If so, you were a strong student and enjoyed learning new hobbies, skills.

C) Did you join the events already organized or started by family and friends and let others show the way? If so, you may also have been the peacemaker in your family. You were the glue for your family.

D) Or did you play leader of the pack as a child with all of your friends trying to keep up with you and the trends you established? If this was your natural strength, you made the bold choices without regret and adjusted strategy to win games, contests and really just control the room.

Nearly all of us have two of these four characteristics as a personal strength, and they work together as a team to make us the person our friends and family loved when we were young. Trouble is, not all of us find a career with our born strengths. We often have to learn new skills like organization, promptness, setting an alarm clock and being nice to co-workers to earn and keep a job.

Still some skills feel like a cage that boxes us in, so we cannot grow to our potential. If you had those characteristics as a child/student, you probably don’t feel tied down by your gifts.

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With your answers in mind, now consider: Are you using that personal strengths in your current life and career that helped you grow into a valuable adult? Odds are that nearly half of you are not using your natural strengths.

About two decades ago, I was recruited to work at a technical support call center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a significant change from my journalism career and customer service background. I entered the job with a natural strength combo that was fun-loving and ready to lead a team.

Call center work, however, focuses on analysis, deductive reasoning and troubleshooting with great customer service. I could have failed at that position because it didn’t suit my natural strengths. But I was looking for a new opportunity at the time — ALERT: fun-loving people get bored easily, and leaders leave jobs if they are not given growth opportunities — was eager to learn something new.

So I sat at a desk and took incoming calls on computer problems, but my fun-loving side got to play Nerf basketball and video games while solving major hardware/software issues. In retrospect, I can attest that my analytical skills are now among my best skills that I can draw on in any situation. It was semi built-in like my base characteristics because I have always been very good with numbers.

Conclusion: If you are working and using your childhood strengths at full force, congratulations. You probably have good self-esteem and knew your advantages in life before you picked a college and career path.

If you have switched away from your natural strengths, you have two options: Enjoy the journey and learn all you can from this new opportunity.

Or investigate the true strengths in your childhood and reconnect with those super powers. If you were a follower, you can become a leader again without departing a quality employer or partner. Keep your eyes open for a chance to plug-in one of your dormant powers. The world will thank you.

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My advice to 98 percent of adults is to remember your childhood and the happiest times. Whatever you did on those days will still bring you joy today. So do the homework and chase personal happiness over career happiness.

We all know a lot of unhappy coworkers or bosses who never seem to smile or enjoy the moment. That attitude sucks, friend. It hurts that person’s health and the attitude — if not the health — of everyone they come in contact with.

Since you are likely interest in living your best life and not a miserable waste of time, I suggest we all actively pursue happiness at home, when we look in the mirror, when we drive and at work.

Let your smile come out and play. Studies are showing that happy people are more productive, even if they spend extra time playing on the Wii or meditating. And a happy office — hey boss, this is in your hands too — not only works better together, but the employees are more loyal and they go out of their way to help coworkers.

Let the leaders lead. Let the peacemakers lead too because they are not confrontational; it is a sweet change to the Type-A hot head.

Bottom Line: We are all magnificently made with unique and wonderful talents. Don’t hide your glory. Let it shine and share your perspective, wisdom and skills with those around you. This is another way to improve our little blue planet.

 

 

 

 

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FUN-AND-GAMES THERAPY

Suffering from depression or just the blahs of life? We all have moments when life appears to let us down, taking all hope away.

Breakups, divorces, deaths and more tragedy occurs. I have recently lost my mother and father. Despite initial dejection and some mourning, I found a way to bounce back stronger than ever from life’s letdowns. And today I have become happier, healthier and more content with life. 

How? I have tried many methods to contentment and bliss with some success, possibly because I was a happy, fun kid. But the deep-down, soulful happiness that everyone sees because it pours out of you was more difficult to obtain. Still I knew friends like this, and I had the choice to conclude they were either; A-Fake; or B-A source of inspiration.

While analytical at times, I rode my faith and chose option B, which proved to be a good first step toward toward positivity. I discovered over time that positive self-talk — that is, the discussions we have with ourselves — in good times and bad is a primary strategy to overcome any hurdle in life. 

Acclaimed therapist Marisa Peer is renowned for solving major issues for people after their doctors have determined they to be long-term patients whose issue cannot be resolved without years of additional appointments. Having met Marisa in Spain in June, I can confirm that is an amazingly intelligent and one of the world’s best therapists. Additionally Britain’s top therapist is well known as a trendsetter among therapists because she can often resolve long-treated issues within 60 minutes and has helped women become pregnant after their doctors told them they could never have a child.

Marisa ranks as one who does not mince words. When speaking one-on-one in Barcelona, she focused completely on each person in front of her and helped them promptly when asked. Instead of asking you to talk about your childhood, family and troubles for months as a standard therapist or counselor might, Marisa assesses and then solves situations with astounding efficiency.

She has inspired my progress in life, and I place her on a special list I categorize as “angels” to many of us who have met her, watched her mind-blowing video “The Biggest Disease Affecting Humanity: I Am Not Enough” on YouTube or read any of Marisa’s practical books. 

Beyond focusing on finding a positive attribute to everything in my life (a rain day helps plants, trees grow tall, for example), I resolved to become content where I am at the moment. Not an easy task, but I know it’s important not to envy everyone else’s life and hate your own environment. 

Now these two key elements are not and never will be easy as you start. I struggled with stating what I wanted in my life and with smiling at my own situation, despite my background in psychology. I believe all of us have a test to take every week that is part of earning a Master’s in Maturity. Fail the test in front of you today, and the same test will arrive on your plate again next week.

That outlook helped me enormously to review my mistakes, personal weaknesses and to tackle those weaknesses as a priority. Step three in solving problems in this life is to take a self inventory and know yourself in every detail.

Know your strengths, weaknesses and what ruins your day, as well as what makes you angry. With that information, you can begin to avoid moments that you lose control. For me a knee injury gave me the focus I needed to direct my focus on making my biggest weaknesses into my greatest strengths. After four years of self-directed physical therapy, I have strengthened my knees to a point I can now walk, jog and even run a 5K race and still have energy left.

Start with these proactive steps, and you will begin to see that everyone can improve their outlook and their life in general. As you will see, you and I often determine our own destination in life by how we think subconsciously and therefore consciously. Improve one area, and you will improve all areas of life.

More steps on the way in future blogs here at 3FORADIME.WORDPRESS.COM 

 

WIM HOF: GET FROZEN

Wim Hof is slowly becoming a household name because he defies science and medicine.

If you are not familiar with Wim, you are not alone. Two weeks ago, I had only a surface knowledge of this European wildcat known as a stuntman who can endure tremendous cold. He is a world record holder and best known as “The Iceman.”

Two weeks ago, I listened to Wim speak in Spain at a 3-day conference hosted by Mindvalley, which also included hypnotherapist Marisa Peer and author Vishen Lakhiani to speak. Each made a profound appearance before hundreds of international go-getters in attendance.

For more information on Wim’s life, check YouTube.com. His Ted.com talks and footage of Wim’s climb of Mount Everest in short and barefoot are available if you suspect such achievements are BS. Wim also has run races barefoot above the Artic Circle and come away with no known frostbite. 

Scientists have attached all kinds of equipment to him and determined by Wim does indeed control his body temperature by will. And studies now reveal that Wim’s techniques of breathing and exposure to cold environments — think cold showers, guys — will dramatically improve anyone’s ability to do the same.

Wim has proven that was thought uncontrollable by the conscious mind is now a new universe that Wim Hof controls and explains to the world. 

His secret weapon? Wim mentally adjust his body temperature up to counter the ice and freezing water. Effectively through breathing techiniques, cold showers and regular training in frigid environments, Wim has altered what science long believed cannot be controlled voluntarily — the autonomic nervous system. He regularly states he enjoys ice and needs exposure to it on a regular basis.

More soon…

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.

ASK BIG, PRAY BIG, LIVE BIG  

  • EACH DAY YOU CHOOSE EITHER A SLAVE MENTALITY OR GOD’S ABUNDANT MENTALITY

By Terry Carter, Editor

When we hear of a friend or relative speak of a blessing, an opportunity or a miracle in their life, why do we doubt that a great gift could exist for them?

Is God unable to hear our prayers and bless us in special ways? No, God hears all of us, but some prayers – like the ones Pastor Joel Osteen spoke of recently – seem to remain unanswered. And like most of you, I feel frustrated without instant gratification of my prayers. What Paster Joel Osteen recently mentioned during a televised sermon is changing my mind regarding routine ideas, prayers in my life because they often orginate from a limited or “slave mentality.”

When we pray, do we ask God to keep us alive through a tough time or to keep our old car running? Those are weak prayers. By asking and praying big, I suggest you ask God not to become a better slave in your current life. Ask to become a better dreamer, a better achiever, a better go-getter, to set a new standard for this generation. 

How big are your dreams? Ask big today!


Our God is the God of abundance, and you cannot reach your fullness in life without asking for and pursuing your biggest dreams. In order to reach grand dreams, you must first begin to think great thoughts and envision greatness in your life.

 Now will God make you rich, famous and fabulous just so you can look good on the red carpet? It is unlikely you will be blessed greatly despite a strong prayer unless you also tell God that you will give back and help others.

The Book of James 4 describes praying a sick prayer, a weak prayer or a prayer for the wrong motives that seems to go unanswered. Joel suggests that asking God for big dreams and miracles is exactly what the Lord wants.

When we ask God, we acknowledge that He and Jesus can do the impossible. When the blind men called out to Jesus, Jesus asked them what they wanted

You are God’s prized creation, the apple of His eye. Joel suggested asking Him daily for your biggest dreams like it is your special birthday. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you treasure. Be bold enough to ask. Ask big in child-like faith, and there will be times when God will show you miracles even though it looks impossible in your eyes.


God said you are to reign over your life – not hide in the shadows hoping the poverty, pain and desperation will subside one day.  What you do will prosper and grow abundantly, based on The Bible. The Lord will give you the desires of your heart if you “ask for explosive blessings.”

So why do so many of us back away from helping friends and chasing our dreams? I have seen good christian people turn their back on a friend who is offering needed help or an opportunity. Often their reasoning for rejecting the gift is unsupported by facts, but I suspect they lack an inspired dream – or they are too embarrassed or complacent to improve their situation.

Sitting on the sidelines and watching the world go by is not God’s plan for us. We are directed to seek out and pursue Godly, inspired dreams, missions, achievements. I believe we should look for inspiration each day in nature, in music, in art, in people, in love, in friends, in business and much more. 

Regardless of your sex, dimensions, skin color, education, you were created for greatness. Either you pursue that every day, or you avoid it by running away from inspiring moments, great people and life-altering events. Will you boldly ask for blessings and go where no man, woman or child has gone before?


My next area of greatness will never be reached by me if I sit at home watching TV each night. Because big ideas come true for others, I know I can also strive for better results and perhaps great memories. Success will never be a destination. It is simply a journey I am taking up a tall, amazing mountain slope where the view improves with each step I take. 

Success is reached daily by moving – sometimes falling – forward. I am traveling on this global quest with many inspired friends, and the comradery makes the sore legs and stumbles all the more memorable. They are quality people with big dreams, big prayers and big needs – all of which Jesus can meet at the right time. And failure is a healthy part of success – don’t think you can reach the pinnacle of life without hard work and failure.

Perhaps our journey together would be even better if our prayers also became fearless as we pray for dynamic miracles to help millions of people insteadof hundreds of people. For we are all humans, and each of us is a miracle worthy of great prayers, great blessings, great healing, great recovery, great strides and great achievements that may shock our own families.

But for the one small child who today decides that she will be the first Master’s Degree in her family, I say, congratulations. See it today. Chase it each day, week and year – and your life’s successes will begin today and never stop. You can climb higher and higher on the journey to success. Their is not summit – just more joy and challenge ahead.

See the biggest dream, and go get it.

TINY TRAINING ADVICE

By Terry Carter, Editor

I am not a physical trainer. However I listen to trainers, athletes and read the best advice available as I continue to chase my goal weight. So I consider myself pretty informed compared to most people who enter the commonplace weight room for a workout.

I like to start with stretches because I’m older than dirt. Don’t argue — I’m probably a century older than you. Regardless stretching is essential for everyone, whether round or thin, tall or short, male or female. After a 5-minute, warmup stretch, then start with a walk to get you perspiring.

Why? Because you don’t visit the gym in shorts and a muscle shirt just to because you bought new running shoes. Sweat matters. For many of us, the more we perspire, the more weight we lose. My experience is ongoing, but I’ve seen that fat areas start  to slim down where I perspire the most. Even my neck dropped 1.5 inches in the past year due to evening walks, mixed with short sprints and some strength work in the gym.

PS — The strength work probably does not help your waist, neck, thighs unless you work in classic Circuit Training style. Translation: Medium-to-heavy weights, high intensity and very little breakdown between exercises or sets. Bruce Lee used this method to create the best real world physique ever — and remember Bruce was amazingly lean.

So I’m calling this workout the Midlife Fundamentals for those of us who fit this generous description: No longer 30; no longer as thin as we once were;  no longer as strong as we once were; no longer flexible. OK some of you were cheerleaders, and others never stretchy. You know who you are. We all have things to deal with — stand tall.

After stretching, a 5-10 minute walk/run is essential to start the sweating, aka weight loss. If you are a slow starter like me or you haven’t worked out in a while, sprint at least 3 times for 30-60 seconds. You know what kind of shape you are in. So give it 70-80 percent of your top speed. For me that is about 6 miles per hour.  Have mercy on me, you younger athletes. I realize you can fly at 15-18 mph and keep it at 12 mph for complete 5k run. 

Here is a quick anecdote that may prove helpful to your workouts: I was at the gym today and observed a personal trainer there working with several female clients. I noticed that some of the people coming to the gym consistently focus only on their strengths, aka strong guys work on strength exercises; thin girls focus on burning calories on a treadmill. My advice to myself and you is simple: If you are actually overweight like me, use their calorie-burning, endurance excises for 60-70 percent of your gym time. If you are thin and not entered in 

Now for 3 upper body strength exercises. Minimize the break time to keep your heart beating fast by perspiring. Remember to vary your various exercises, the amount of weight, the repetitions/sets so that your strength exercises continue to put muscle where you need it. Schwartenegger set the bar in the 1970s at Mr. Universe with legendary trainer Joe Wieder by varying his intense workouts. 

I focus on my back, shoulders and whole arms (biceps, triceps). I use cables, an adjustable military press and a lat pull down machine frequently. Use what machines you prefer, including free weights. BTW guys: It’s not necessary to workout your biceps with a 100-pound barbell each time you visit a gym. Every muscle needs 36-64 hours to recover from an intense workout. Working hard on the same, sore muscles you used yesterday results in more extreme soreness and virtually flat-line growth.

Then go to core exercises and/or machines. One abdominal machine I started on 2 years ago was brutal. I could not move the machine with only 10 pounds on it. I know somebody was probably laughing at me struggling to do a seated crunch. But  I endured the moment. Better technique and time have helped me to now workout with 60-80 pounds. I’m hoping to max out at 100 pounds this summer. 

Another point: If you go to a weight room more than once, you should max out on all the machines you will frequent so you can create your standardized 3 sets, 10 reps workout with the proper weight. In reality, most people — including me — cheat on the 3 sets/10 rep standard we all heard of or read about years ago. If I am trying to build a little muscle, I will find a weight that allows me to barely finish 8 reps and either 2 or 3 sets. If my goal is to burn fat/calories, then I increase my repetitions to 12-15 and do 3-4 sets with a lighter weight on the bar.

Once the core is worked over — and certain dense much groups like calves and abdominals can be worked harder due to their ability to bounce back quicker — move on to legs. Like I said earlier, I’m ancient. So I can’t do all the leg workouts. But a leg press do in 4 different positions with the maximun knee bend can do wonders for your inner, outer thighs, as well as calves. Let me know if you need more details on this.

Finally when you are feeling leg weary, you have 2 choices to complete the gym portion of your workout. Either go swimming for 30 minutes like I did recently, or go 15-30 minutes on a treadmill, Stair Master or elliptical. Or just go for a jog in a nearby park.

Invest in a 30-45 minute workout like that 2-3 times each week and try to go walking before or after work for 30-60 minutes with a friend or pet. And you will be feeling 10 years younger if you embrace the fun some people call hard work. Check with your physician before you go to the gym to get some advice and approval for such an exercise plan. I started taking the tiny aspirin tablet each morning years ago, and I find it makes me more comfortable when I get to the park or the gym with big ideals of an intense workout.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve lost a little weight, about 25 pounds. However I still have 30 pounds to go. I’m not perfect and never will be. If you prefer sitting in a lounge chair and smoking a cigar while laughing at my efforts, I wish you well. But I really wish — under my breath — that you would get out of that sleeping chair and join me at Cullen Park near Barker Cypress…

…At least when it’s not flooded. 

FITNESS IN YOUR LIFETIME

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have always been an athlete, playing a handful of sports as a student. Today, I display a few war wounds, but not many are from sliding into third base, catching a pass or getting hit with a ball.

My right knee has had surgery and six months of rehab after a non-sports accident. The right leg is now about 1/2 inch shorter thanks to the surgery, but I’ve learned to walk and jog again. And in 2015, I completed two 5K runs within two weeks. It was dramatic progress over walking and dragging my bad leg behind me like Festus in the long-running TV series Gunsmoke.

My left hand also sustained a serious injury, but at least this one was somewhat related to sports. About 15 years ago, I was the National Football Editor for an ambitious prep website called VarsityOnline.com. While covering the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, I was on the sidelines taking photos with some pricey Nikon equipment and a monopod to keep my images steady. All went well until a cornerback plowed into me about 3-4 yards off the field. Naturally I took the brunt of the collision, and my monopod — shiny, new and straight when I arrived — wound up looking like the letter Z. Unfortunately a couple of fingers on my left hand did the same. They have never recovered despite surgery, about 30 stitches and more therapy.

Now in my 50s, I’ve learned several ingredients to getting in game shape from the athletes I covered over the years and from the authorities in healing and improving your health. 

My weight has dropped about 25 pounds and stayed off since my wife and I began walking to rehab my legs. That began about 26 months ago in February. By June, my competitive nature forced me to keep a wrap on that healing right knee and jog a little at a time. Later that fall, I began adding 50- or 100-yard “old man” sprints into the walking jogs to keep the workout challenging and fresh. I recall reading that the best body builders constantly changed their workouts to keep their muscles growing because standard routines minimize explosive growth.

Later I incorporated swimming 1-2 times each week. OK, I am not much of a swimmer. But I race walk in chest-deep water and am breathing hard by the time I finish 15-20 laps. At the same time, I challenge myself by pushing off the wall and swimming as far as possible on one breath to improve my lung capacity.

Why would an old, scarred guy in his 50s do this? Same as you, I hope. I am not ready to be stuck in a rocking chair yet. Most people my aged still some get-up-and-go. I decided when I fell on some stairs 4 years ago not to let that end my active days. So I’ve chased improvement ever since, and I am typically beat when I go home from work, which is physically taxing. 

Just because we are not 25 and handsome or beautiful does not mean we cannot stay focused on being our best — and keeping our best years ahead of us by working out mentally, physically and spiritually.

The result of my somewhat rigorous workouts has truly surprised me. I am now stronger in the leg press than when I was 35 years old. I can run faster and farther than anytime in my life. However running was never my forté, I might add. Still I have shown that beginning to use a weight room and a county park running trail and a pool can change you physically regardless of your age. I am 51 now and happily accept the compliments from those who guess I’m about 40.

I credit my loving wife for making it much easier to remain dedicated because she is often at the gym and walking beside me. Teamwork makes it much easier to let the fitness dream work. She is also keeping us healthier by altering her cooking routines and mixing in low-carb meals. Vitamins, more water, more daily steps and 100-percent juices are also keys to keeping me energized.

To those of you who are thinking you are past your prime, wake up and go for a walk. If permanently disabled, scarred diabetic who used to walk like Festus can do this much, you — my friend — can do much better. Now go outside and enjoy this fabulous spring weather.

Or take a long walk off a short pier. At least you will get your steps in and a short swim also.