Monday, December 27, 2010

Are you ready to drop the ball for 2011?

It’s that time of year again with crowds in Times Square, Dick Clark (or his protégé) rocking New Year’s Eve, and the crystal ball dropping and ushering in the New Year. The dropping of the ball represents the move from the old into the new, the dying hopes to the new hopes, the aged thinking and ideas into the new and bright ideas. But wait a minute!

Haven’t we had 30, 40, 50, or more New Years to bring on the new, the bright, the exciting, and the change? I have had 63 of them. But I don’t remember all of them since I was a child for a number of those (my wife would say too many of them). I didn’t care when I was a teen or a young adult. I may have celebrated too much at a couple of them, but I have had 63 of them.

So many of us have had the real New Year’s Eve experience, we have dropped the ball. We have dropped the ball on making the changes that would make us better, healthier, nicer people. We didn’t quit smoking like we said we would, we didn’t lose weight like we said we would, we didn’t work hard to change ourselves into better people. We dropped the ball.

We dropped the ball when it came to our families. We were going to spend more time with the kids, we were going to have regular date nights with our wife, we were going to mend fences with our brother, and we were going to call Mom and Dad regularly. We dropped the ball here too.

The same goes in our businesses. We are going to follow a budget, we are going to work on our business not in our business, we were going to improve Customer Service, we were going to improve our website, we were going to pursue new business lines, we were going to clean-up the warehouse, we were going to make a budget and track our results. None of it got done. We dropped the ball again.

Well the Lord has blessed us with another New Year to celebrate and make changes that will affect us in such positive ways that we can’t even imagine. Try to think what it would be like if you were healthier, if you spent more special time with your wife and kids, or if your business became profitable (or more profitable). It’s really hard to do, but I assure you it can be done. A few dedicated people do it every year. The answer may be as simple as writing your goals down for 2011 and thinking about them constantly. Keep reminders everywhere, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the dashboard of the car, on a 3x5 card in your shirt pocket, on your IPhone or Blackberry in a spot you see often. Don’t ever give up! You can do what you pursue! Go get your new life in 2011!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are You Too Blessed?

I recently talked with a friend who has started to help out at a church that assists homeless people. I asked her what she knew about the people that came seeking help. She told me about one gentleman that her husband had met and spent some time talking with. The gentleman had lost his high paying job about three years ago. He searched for a new job. He then lost his house, car, and most everything he owned. But that's not the worse part, his wife left him with their two children and disappeared from his life. He didn't have a minimum wage job but has a college degree and had a good paying job. He had a nice 4 bedroom home in the suburbs, he was living the American Dream as many of us are doing.
I then asked her what they do for these homeless people. She told me they give them the basics of food, clothing, wash their clothes for them, provide showers, provide things like toothpaste and other basic human needs. But the thing that seems to mean the most to these less fortunate individuals, is the time the volunteers give to talk with them, do basics for them like washing their clothes or providing a warm shower.
I expect you are saying, "Another sad story, oh well." Could you share some of the blessing the Lord has provided to you? "But Dan, the kids want, the kids want, the kids want!" Sure they want and you can provide them with at least some of their wishes this Christmas season, but you could also teach them the joy and satisfaction of helping people close to home in need.
Yesterday I heard on the radio that the Detroit Salvation Army was significantly behind on donations as many of the charity organizations are today. Could you cut back on the gifts a bit and donate to the Salvation Army, Gleaners Food Bank, your church's local outreach, or directly to a homeless shelter close to your home. You could also volunteer to work at one of these facilities. You could contact one of them and offer you plumbing, heating or electrical services to someone desperately in need. You may have other skills you could provide. You could adopt a family for the holidays. You could get your whole family involved.
If you were to do one or more of these, perhaps the I want, I want, I want would change to the I am truly blessed, I am truly blessed, I am truly blessed!