The Danger of Apathy

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.”–Dan Millman

One of the greatest illness that affects our lives is apathy.  The dictionary defines apathy as: a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion.  An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life.

The mind is like a muscle, the more we use it, the more it becomes strengthened and the more we are able to accomplish and  fine tune it in order to accomplish all that we set out to do.  Granted, there are days that you might wake up and feel a lack of initiative or “get up and go”, but should you begin to entertain this as being your “normal”  state of mind, beware!

With all the great new technology at our finger tips, the numerous venues of entertainment, it is all too easy to come to the false conclusion that, if I am not being entertained, or if it is not “fun” then why bother.  The great danger today as parents and raising our children in this new technological advanced, gizmo-abundant world, is that they grow up getting addicted to constant entertainment.  When however, once they get to be adults, they find that life is not all fun and games, there is a lot of responsibility that needs attending to that can be way too “down to earth” and downright “boring”.

I believe life with all its challenges, both positive and negative, must be confronted  with a sense of excitement and challenge.  If you entertain the spirit of apathy, you are setting yourself up to a more serious problem of depression, and depression can lead to a list of other complications. The answer to this is NOT anti-depressant drugs as they only lead to addiction and eventually drain your bank account and add to your woes.

You have to guard your mind, and by saying guard your mind I mean use it by seeking out new interests.  You have to actively and aggressively fight this state of mind and attitude of “whatever”.  You have to realize that you are important and that you are needed no matter how insignificant you may feel! No man is an island, you affect people one way or the other.

Personally if I can have even just one person comment that what I have to share helped them, then my whole existence has new meaning!  It was worth my time to write my article, it was worth the effort that I made to get out of bed this morning, it was worth having gone through all that I have in my life.  Because if you can be there for just one person, you have begun to change the world!  The world around you!

If you have a child, a friend, a colleague anyone you might know that seems to be lacking in motivation, interests, and are into themselves, or don’t seem to care about anything, take the time to talk with them, share with them your interest, take them out to do something get them involved in something!

Get involved yourself with community projects, find some new trade you might think interesting and read about it. It takes just that initial act of getting started  on something new (which is always the hardest part) and you will have a whole new lease on life! Do not get sucked into just being entertained, start caring about what is going on around you! Get involved, shake yourself up as if you yield to apathy, it is the beginning of death! Don’t be like the person of whom it was said “died at 20 buried at 80″ start living now!

I would be interested if you have been a victim of apathy in your life, tell us a story on how you overcame it!  Please do leave your story here! Thank you!

Brown-Noser or Contributor?

“The danger in the leader-follower relationship is the assumption that the leader’s interpretation must dominate. If this assumption exists on the part of either the leader or the follower, creativity and problem-solving processes become stifled” — Patsi Krakoff

Any truly great leader or boss, if he is going to accomplish anything, knows that he needs to surround him or herself with people who are going to be honest and able to speak up if they see things differently than themselves.

At the workplace, it is normal that when you have just joined the team, you have everything to learn and it is time then to sit back and take it all in and learn how things are done.  But as time goes on, and you are given greater responsibility within the organization, it should become your responsibility along with everyone else to seek out ways that can help to improve productivity or service.

Too many people believe that in order to keep their job they need to become “yes-men” and just always agree with the boss.  In certain circumstances, like in emergencies, this could be what is needed, however on the long-term you will not be contributing in the way that is necessary in order to make the needed progress.

A boss who looks for people to “suck-up” to him is really insecure in his own leadership.  He feels the need to have someone affirm his position

Don't seek out this reward!

whether sincerely or not, as it tends to feed their pride. But it is better to inspire participation than it is to demand total submission.  A good leader seeks out help and knows that he, in himself, is not the “all-in-all”.  He builds a team around him, and after getting to know his team he then knows who he can pass the ball to trusting that it will not get fumbled.

The big problem with a “brown-noser” is that they are most likely to act as though they are with you whilst in your presence, but they are quick to criticize you when they are with others.  Most are entirely double-faced and can tend to cause more problems for the organization than good. The idea in the end is to build a good team so that it wins in the end, as in sports, if one team member thinks that he has to always carry the ball, the game will most likely be lost.

So if you want to keep your job, or make sure your business stays afloat, be a contributor, not just a wimpy bottom smoocher!  Your boss needs you more than he might lead on to make you think.  Naturally, keep in mind that you don’t know everything either, so don’t become over-confident or cocky either, as this also is of no help.  Be a team-player, be a contributor!

Gratitude and Positiveness

“I once complained because I had no shoes, till I met a man who had no feet.”

Life is so full of ups and downs, and twists and turns.  It is sad but it is so easy to look at what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have.  We work hard at times to achieve certain goals, and when things don’t work out just the way we think that they ought to, it becomes all too easy to complain or get upset.

Most of our problems however are things that we can work out without much ado.  If things don’t quite work out one way, we can easily adjust things to work out our problems in rather simple fashion.  There are however those who have it harder than ourselves, they were not necessarily dealt the best cards out of the deck, you might say.  Some people can tend to grow bitter about it and blame God, parents nature or life. And yet others can turn something considered catastrophic and male into a gift.  If you have not yet met this wonderful person, allow me to introduce to you, Nick Vujicic


Did God make a mistake?  Should his parents have aborted?  Nick has inspired millions throughout the world to reflect on their lot in life.  He has truly inspired me as well and I pray that after having watched this video you can realize how silly most of our problems are in comparison.  And who may have a true difficulty, handicap or problem, you can turn around and make it into a gift and inspiration to the entire world!

The Stranger

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.

The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations.

He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up – while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places – and go to her room read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions.

But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house – not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life.

He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive.

But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?      We always called him TV.

-Author Unknown

Stand Up and Stand Out!

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”–Author Unknown

Human nature is so fickle, we are so greatly influenced by what we hear or see and sometimes it is so subtle we don’t even realize it is happening!  The commercial and advertising industries has known this and have played on this for years!  The media at large can post a number of articles in regards to a situation, take an angle of a situation, paint a story that will get you all bent out of shape and marching down the street for possibly the wrong cause! The mind needs to be kept under subjection, otherwise your body can be led around by its nose, beware!

It is a fact that if something is repeated enough times, or you view a product repetitively over a long period of time, or hear of a cause that you previously were not convinced about that you then begin to accept it as being something normal and you become perfectly fine and comfortable with it.

This psychology is used by companies, political campaigns, lawyers, doctors, and many a rights groups and has been extremely successful in convincing many to compromise on what might otherwise have been a previously held conviction.

Certain campaigns can be so convincing and successful that you find yourself on the other side of the stick on a given topic, so much so that if you hold on to your convictions you are soon to be ridiculed publicly as being”narrow minded”, “a bigot”, and if you happen to be religious, then you are a “religious fanatic” or politically inclined you will be blamed for being a Democrat or Republican or God forbid, a terrorist.

I, not long ago, sat down at a table with an elderly woman at a facility since it was the only remaining place to sit at lunch time.  It was during the protests in Tariq Square during the Egyptian uprising.  Naturally you want to engage in a conversation to be sociable and at one point she asked how things were going in Egypt as she was not able to see the news that day.  When I explained that the protests were still underway in the square, her response to my shock was, “we should just go in there and bomb the place!” Talk about ignorance, but I could not help to feel that this was her take on how things in the Middle East should be dealt with, and what is worse (and scary), she is not alone!

The masses are too easily influenced by what they are fed. It brings to mind a scene in one of the old classical movies of the depicting the Caesar  of the Roman empire whilst watching the gladiators fight in the Roman Colosseum. At the end of one fight when one gladiator had won the fight the people were holding their thumbs up to say to let the losing gladiator live, however they then looked over to see that Caesar was giving the thumbs down to have him be killed.  Within minutes the entire crowd “changed their opinion” or rather they compromised and turned their thumbs down.

If the general public were to  interest itself in the truth, demand to know more about issues, not be afraid of standing out, then perhaps… just perhaps, we might not be in so many wars and conflicts, we might not have a huge debt, we might even be safer on the streets, have healthier lifestyles, our children might be better educated and disciplined.  Be careful, if you don’t stand up for what you believe,  you will certainly fall for anything.

Parenting Can Be Fun!

Having fathered 6 kids (now pretty much all grown) I have heard all the typical comments, “were you too poor to afford a TV?”, “no other sport interests you?”, “ever try taking up playing cards?”.  These days it is difficult to find too many large families in the western culture and many tend to think of children as being a burden rather than a blessing.  I have a totally different perspective in that, for me, I would think a long-term relationship with my wife would have been empty and boring without children.

With a family comes great responsibility and it is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be fun.  And the more fun that you bring into any relationship, the longer it tends to last.

Family Outing on the East Coast of Taiwan

It is my personal belief that having children can be the most rewarding experience one could ever have.  I can’t imagine having gone through my married life without kids, for one, they complete your relationship and two, they give you the opportunity to make a real difference in another human being more so than in any other way.

The most important thing that you can give your kids, is not the latest gizmo, the coolest video game or toy, the very most important thing you can give them is your time!  There are so many distractions in the world that keep us from doing that which is our most important task, and that is to spend time with those we care about.

As a family we had what we called “Family Day”, on family day it was time to spend time doing something together.  Naturally having such a large family it becomes ever so tricky as to what to do with all your kids.  Eventually we had to dedicate special time, perhaps towards the evening to cater to the needs of each child.  On family day we would ask the kids what they wanted to do that day, if it were to go on an excursion, stay at home,. play some games or sports, watch a movie together, whatever it was, it was their day and they chose.  Although we live in a digital world, and we now can be reached with our cell phones at any time of the day or night or day of the week, the one feature that I find most valuable with the cell phone is…it has an “off” button.  This time is sacred, and should not be interfered with by anything unless of course there were to be a genuine emergency.

While growing up there was a special something that up to today I have never forgotten about my dad, it was that on Saturday morning he would always prepare pancakes!  So it became a tradition in my family whilst my gang was growing up.  And they like myself, still talk about this today.  Having traveled and lived in many countries of the world we changed houses and even countries pretty regularly.  Some Psychologist today warn that too many changes in a child’s geographical location may cause psychological problems.  Believe me, geography plays little if any role at all, it is the security that you provide or fail to provide that makes the difference.

Eldest Sonia with youngest Alisa

Of course, when a child arrives at puberty and adolescence, they have a God-given desire for independence and they tend to drift away from mom and dad. This is a very natural phase, yet as a parent it can be tough as your “little darling” who at one time never wanted to be too far from you, all of a sudden seems to not be able to stand being around you, what can I say, it ain’t easy!  But just be ready and hold on for this bumpy ride, as it will come to pass, not to stay, and once it does, and they get to that point that they have matured to understand things that previously seemed so “dumb”, and they will come back to ask you for your advice.  Mark Twain had a few things to say about fathers and here is another quote from him which depicts what I am saying. “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”

So parenting can be fun and this is entirely up to you, make it fun, make it memorable, you will be so thankful you did.  Too many kids in the world are lost in the world and become a problem to society, and a shame to their parents, not because they were born that way, but because they never had the attention that they needed and deserved.  It is a responsibility, so make the best of it and have fun whilst doing it!  Happy parenting!

Believing is Seeing!

“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”–Franz Kafka

The act of believing is so powerful and most of us think we need to see something or touch something before we believe, that is like putting the cart before the horse. If everyone were to have had this philosophy, we would still be using horses as our main means of transport.  We would still have to carrier our messages on pieces of paper delivered by a reliable person. We would still be living in the dark ages!  Thanks to a great number of people who simply believed in what they were doing, perused it with a passion and ignored those who ridiculed them, we are blessed to have some many new and revolutionary ways to travel, communicate, and live more conveniently due to their perseverance and faith.

The most exciting thing about this is that we are all privy to this same power that can catapult us into being successful and achieving our goals and dreams! There are a lot of hurdles along the way once you take the road of faith. There are a series of steps that you need to take in order for everything to fall in place. Step 1, begin to desire something with you whole heart! Step 2, believe that you can obtain or achieve what you have desired! Step 3, make specific goals and plans with specific dates within which you plan to achieve your desire, be sure to write this down on paper and read it each morning when you wake up. Step 4, stay true to your plan, take action accordingly!  Step 5,  do NOT allow the poison of doubt and discouragement play any role in what you set out to do. Remember it is YOU who has to have the faith for what you want, it is YOU who have to achieve the goal and therefore you will need to guard yourself from comments from others that might discourage you in any way!

Belief has a tremendous power so much so that you can achieve your greatest dreams. Have you heard of Steven Spielberg?  Of course you have, one of the most successful movies directors of our time. He wanted so much to be a director since he was a child having filmed different short films with his little camera.  But how he got into Universal Studio is a classic! First he went on a guided tour as many of us have done to the studio.  He left the group whilst there, and after his stay he left the gate making certain to wave at the guard.  He continued to return through the same entrance each day for three months always waving and greeting the guards and he even located a vacant office that he listed himself under.  He became acquainted with the head of TV production Mr. Sid Sheinburg and showed him his work that he had produced as a college student the Sugar-land Express.  He so impressed Sheinburg that he was then hired at the studio but his true breakthrough came a year later when he was able to convince all that he was the best guy to direct the Movie series Jaws. Talk of perseverance!  For more inspirational stories and for a real life changing reading, I highly recommend that you get the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

Do you need an important title first…no, do you need a great diploma…not necessarily..  you need great faith and determination, and the guts to see it through!  Go for your dream, don’t let anyone get in your way, befriend those who can be an encouragement to you!

 

Choices and Consequences

Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. — Alfred A. Montapert
For every action there is a reaction, what goes up must come down, what you give will return unto you, choices have consequences.

I believe that we have been placed on earth through this gift given to us of life, to make our own personal choices, the majesty of choice. The God of the universe has set things up in such a way that not even He will intervene to change things around (unless you call him and ask Him) to avoid the consequences of our actions.  Well, I wouldn’t want to be God, he gives this great gift of life, the chance to make good and when things don’t go quite the way we think they ought to we get all P.O.-ed at Him! Parenting is hard enough, imagine being God! No thanks!

It is a great gift we have, a privilege, honor and trust bestowed upon man in that we have been given this life and we can make free choices.  But what a lot of people tend to forget is the fact that when they make certain choices, that there will be a consequence.  If you over eat, you will begin to gain weight, if you do not exercise you will become weak, if you over do it with alcohol, over the counter drugs,take up smoking or engage in unhealthy sexual practices you could call upon yourself undesirable illness that can take this gift of life away.

Now, take a look at how things are going on the global scene and in our country.  Not so good! Stock market reeling, debt ceiling on the rise, jobs are hard to come by.  Everyone is playing the blame game, but what really lies behind this whole mess we are all finding ourselves participants and victims of  is non other the consequences of the selfishness and money hunger of a large group of people.  Yes I know, it may be convenient to blame the Democrats because they are in office now, and the Democrats are clambering that it all started with the Republicans when they held office, but do you really  believe that it has all that much to do with those who end up as figureheads of government.  Not that much tends to change in the end regardless of who is in office, and why might that be? I believe that at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter if the person who is running for President has all the great ideas and promises in the world that they are going to turn things around, and they may be truly sincere people wanting to the very best for their country, but actually those who hold the financial reigns are he ones that steer the ship.

Money and wealth can be a real blessing, but it can be an awful curse. The Bible tells us that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, and we are all suffering at the hands of people who have such a lust for money that they are willing to do anything to get more.  The whole Wall Street debacle resulted in a mere hand slap and then the culprits went right back doing as they have always done, who gains and who pays in the end?  It is a sad day but we are now in the middle of great consequences that we are all feeling the reverberations of, thanks to a group of greedy individuals who really are not interested in your well-being.

Be careful what choices you make in your life, they could have negative consequences that might not only involve you!  No man is an island, we all have an effect on those around us. Don’t allow selfishness to take root in your life that you grow calloused to the needs of those around you!

This post depicts the meaning of my header, there are many doors that you can choose to enter into, each one has something awaiting behind it just for you!  What will you choose?

A New Look

My New Look

I hope you like the new look, those of you who have been visiting on a regular basis!  I decided to change my theme a bit to add more of a clean look and I hope that it will be more pleasant to your eyes.  If you miss the waterfall that I had for my header then you can follow me on Twitter, I placed that as my background there, I kind of liked it.

I thought that since physically I cannot change like some guys can who might in their life span try sporting a beard thus transforming themselves into a different looking dude, therefore I have to make other physical changes like my blog layout etc. My facial hair just tends to grow in all scruffy and multicolored and so I look more… ah um, mature.

Changes are good, if you get too used to the old and set in a rut then it becomes hard to keep moving and making the necessary progress in life.  So bear with me if at times you will notice a few twists and turns along the way, I hope you enjoy the ride.

Those of you who are joining the blog for the first time, you might say “who cares”..what a dumb post.  Well guys (and gals), since I have a number of serious topics I think it important that you get to see the less serious side of me too just to confirm to all, I am a pretty normal person.

I would like to welcome you to follow me on Twitter for a daily dose of good thoughts  and quotes that are worth your time to read. Then, click on the RSS feed if you want to read the latest posts that I hope you will find interesting, helpful and beneficial.

Oh yes and BTW, did I tell you that I am working on writing a book? Well stay tuned as I will hopefully be launching it by the beginning of 2012 and it will tackle a few interesting (and potentially controversial) points in regards to “politically correctness” vs. what is really correct or natural.  It is surely to make people either mad..sad or glad!  So stay tuned!

Cheers,

Rusty 🙂

Body Language–what are you really saying?

“Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” –Deborah Bull

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and what you wanted to communicate was something very important for you, yet while you were speaking to the person they were looking past you, or checking the time, or fidgeting with their hands?

We all communicate through our body, the way we stand, what we do with our hands and where we train our eyes during the course of a conversation.  Our body exposes us to where we really are when together with someone who is trying to talk with us or share their thoughts or their heart.

Some of us have an ongoing problem with our attention span, but then you might actually have other matters that are pressing and important to tend to.  In this case, when you are approached by someone who has something that they consider important, and you are late for something or really don’t have the time, it is best to let the person know that it might be best to schedule the talk at a different time when you can give them the necessary attention.

Body Speach

When your body is not listening while others are talking what you are saying is they or what they have to say is not important to you. In relationships this can lead to trouble and misunderstandings, and at the workplace it can lead to mistakes or lost opportunities to make the needed  progress in whatever the topic may be at hand.

If you are busy with something else at the time your mate or co-worker come up to you with the hope of communicating with you, it is best if you stop what you are doing entirely and look at them as they are talking.  By doing this you are saying, you are the most important person to me now, what you have to say is important.

The habits that we have with our body language can make or break our effectiveness in our work, and our unity in a relationship.  Others need to feel that they or what they have to say is important. There are great courses that you can take online that teach the different ways that you can communicate positively with your body that are well worth your time.

It has been said that the “eyes are the windows to your soul”.  It is very important to make eye contact with the person you are talking with.  This is a sign of honesty and integrity as it tells the one you are communicating with that you have nothing to hide and you are sincere.

Try paying attention to your body the next time you engage in a conversation..what are your really saying?