Why You Need A Super Reserve

Growth without risk is impossible but taking fool-hardy risks leads to destruction. You can increase your risk tolerance and help mitigate the effects when a risk plays out by building reserves. You can further enhance the one and guard against the other by creating Super Reserves.

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Disasters 2020

2020 has not been a good year for many people. The number and enormity of disasters are jaw-dropping. [“Disasters”]

At the top of most peoples’ list would be the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Then there are the wildfires that have burned and continue to burn millions of acres of forest, as well as hundreds of homes, in California, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. And let’s not forget the hurricanes that have devasted the Gulf Coast and caused damage throughout the Southeast. In fact, as of this writing, we have tied the record for the most named Atlantic storms in a season at 28. Add to that the derecho that tore through the midwest, destroying crops and farm buildings, killing 4, injuring dozens, and leaving thousands homeless. [“Disasters”]

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How To Declutter Your Life And Why

Knowing your “Clutter Archetype” can help you get a handle on the barriers you may be facing when you try to declutter your life. Don’t fall for the flashy illusions of affluenza.

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Organized . . . Or Not

Imagine yourself coming home at the end of the day. As you go by the mailbox, you stop and take out the day’s mail. You park in your garage and get out of the car. You quickly go through the mail and toss the junk mail into the recycle bin. The items with your name and other identifying information go into the inbox in the front hall. Some need to be shredded, others filed away. You’ll deal with that shortly.

You remove your shoes and place them on the shoe rack. Next, you take off your coat and hang it in the closet. Then, you empty your pockets and put your wallet, keys, and pen in the drawer where they belong. Finally, you change out of your work clothes, putting the dirty garments in the hamper and hanging up the ones you’ll wear again.

How do you feel? Pretty organized and clutter-free? Actually, that describes me and my routine when I come home.

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Dealing With Tolerations — The Things You Can Change

The Stoic concept of knowing the difference between what you can change and what you can’t may be useful when you are dealing with tolerations – those aggravations and annoyances you have been putting up with and putting off dealing with.

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dealing with tolerations

The Car Fire

When I was a young man, I confess I was not very responsible. I learned to ignore and put up with many things instead of dealing with them. And looking back on that time, that behavior showed up as a haphazard life, with no direction and little control.

For example, when I dropped out of college and went to work full time, I bought a new car – a Volkswagon 412 station wagon. It was very, very nice. But I did little to take care of it. It stayed filthy most of the time, with overflowing ashtrays and piles of beer cans in the back floorboard. Over the years, I ignored the minor problems and put off having maintenance work done, and the car deteriorated.

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The First Rule Of Goal Setting

You need a BIG – Bold, Important, Gratifying – goal and you need a plan. The plan gets you started, but the plan you start with is likely not the plan that will get you to your goal. Be adamant about your goal, but be flexible in the plan to get you there.

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A Plethora Of Plans

I had a difficult experience trying to find a job when I first moved to South Carolina. My wife and I, newly married, moved here when she was offered a position as a high school media specialist. I was finishing my degree in data processing. Computer programmers were in high demand, and we assumed I would have no trouble landing a job. However, this was not the case.

I began by having 100 resumes printed with our new address and phone number. I mailed them out, unsolicited, to 100 companies I identified in our area. Then, I waited for two weeks with not a single call. Then we learned from our local phone company that the phone number they said was our new number was not the correct one. I had mailed out 100 resumes with a non-working phone number!

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Freedom From Choice

Too many choices can keep us from the Excelerated Life™. When we are focused on living a life of flourishing and well-being and a life of meaning, purpose and service, then we do not have so many choices. We don’t make the same decisions again and again. We make them once and cut off other options.

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too many choices

Decisions, Decisions

This is a story about two people, the choices they face in a typical day, and the results of their decisions. With a question for you at the end.

The first person is Sally. Sally set her alarm for 5:00 AM so she can get a quick start to her day. When the alarm goes off at 5:00, Sally has a choice. She can either get up as she planned or she can decide to sleep a few more minutes. She decides to sleep a few more minutes and hits the snooze button. A couple more hits of the snooze button and now it’s 5:45. Sally gets up.

One reason she planned to get up at 5:00 AM was to go to an exercise class at the local gym. She has a plan to work out at least 4 days per week. Sally has a choice. She can either go to the exercise class – if she hurries – or she can skip today and go another day this week. She decides to exercise another day.

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Power Under Control

You don’t need tons of self-discipline to live the Excelerated Life. You need just enough discipline to train yourself to behave in a certain way. Untrained power is useless. Excelerated Self-Discipline helps you get your strength under control and channeled toward the life you want.

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Blessed Are The Disciplined

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” ~ Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

I came across an interesting idea recently. It concerns the word meek, specifically as used in this Bible verse from the Beatitudes.

In English, the word u-meek comes from the old Norse mjúkr which, according to Google,
means “soft” or “gentle”. We sometimes think of this meekness as mild-mannered, reserved and unassuming, even to the point of weakness.

But here’s the interesting tidbit I found. The Greek word used in biblical texts is praus. Praus refers to strength controlled through discipline. It is “power without undue harshness.” [1]

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How To Have A Healthy Brain – More And Less

The activities that lead to a strong, healthy body give us a strong, healthy brain as well. Unfortunately, some experts have found that about 1/2 the activities we engage in lead to improved brain health but the other 1/2 are detrimental to a healthy brain. Doing a little more of the healthy activities and a little less of the unhealthy ones, add up over time to major improvements.

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Family Curse

My mother died from dementia, more or less. That wasn’t the official cause of death but a few days before she passed, a doctor told us how her brain had shrunk. She forgot how to swallow so she could no longer eat or drink anything and, then, she forgot how to breathe.

Her dementia was genetic, caused by a specific recessive gene, which can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia – too much homocysteine in the blood. We found that out years before her passing when she first began showing the signs of memory loss. Once we discovered that it was a genetic trait, I went to my doctor to be tested. I have the same recessive gene. I found it interesting that, in the report, the doctors labeled it “the family curse”.

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How To Build Healthy Relationships – And Why

We need each other. We depend on each other. We literally cannot live without each other and we cannot be our happiest, our best, and our most productive without building healthy relationships.

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healthy relationships

All Together Now

“We’re all in this together.” I can’t count the number of times nor the number of people from whom I have heard this sentiment over the past months of the pandemic. I suspect you’ve had a similar experience. From doctors on TV to product advertisements to personal injury lawyers to friends on Zoom, these words have been spoken again and again. “We’re all in this together.”

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Between Stimulus And Response

The ABCs of effective living? A = Adversity, B = Belief, and C = Consequent feelings. Our Beliefs (B) about an Adversity (A) – NOT the adversity itself – cause our Consequent (C) feelings. [Seligman] It isn’t what happens to us but how we think about what happens to us that determines how we feel. By stepping into the space between stimulus and response, we can choose a more empowering set of beliefs. But first, we have to see that space.

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between stimulus and response

Understanding The Gap

“Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.” ~ Dr. Stephen Covey, “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”

When I first read this statement many years ago, I struggled to understand what it meant. I understood the words, but I didn’t get the concept. It was completely foreign to me. I had become so inured to reacting to whatever I encountered, it never occurred to me that there was any other way to behave. I pondered this idea, discussed it with various friends, and read and re-read that section in Dr. Covey’s book.

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