074: You Need Mental Weight Loss [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

Did you know that just as your body can get out of shape your mind can as well?  When was the last time you got in shape mentally?  How do you do that?  I’ll talk about the importance of mental weight loss and how it is a key to peace and success.


On This Episode:

The basic process for weight loss is simple.

  1. Commit to it.  This is mentally saying, “I’m going to do this no matter what!”
  2. Eat right.  What you take in is healthy (increase the healthy and decrease the unhealthy
  3. Exercise (movement).  You need to get off the couch!

When you lose weight, your body is simply loosening and getting rid of the toxins and sludge that is stored up in your body.

As much as we put our focus into our bodies, what about your mind?

Here are a few truths:

  • The outcome of your life is determined by how you perceive it. 
  • Be Transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Rom. 12:2
  • You have a choice about what you think.

I heard someone say that you aren’t responsible for your first thought, but you are for your second

Thoughts come and they go.  It’s how we deal with them that really matters.

How do you know if you have some extra unhealthy pounds of thought?  Listen to your words.  Negative and positive thoughts show up by what you speak. 

If you don’t take hold of your thought life, every other aspect of your life is affected.  

How do you shed the mental sludge and negativity?  You follow the same pattern for losing physical weight. 

  1. Commit to it.  You decide you’re going to get healthy mentally. 
  2. Begin thinking about good things. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil 4:8
  3. Put your brain to work.  I suggest right away in the morning.  Do a devotion.  Claim the promises of God over your life.  Look at your calendar and decide you’re going to enjoy every second of it.  When you set your mind right at the beginning of the day, it positively affects your emotional stamina for anything else that follows.

In podcast episode 28, I talk about my morning routine.  


Links:

 

                     

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031: How To Have A Better Perspective About Your Boss [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

bossWhat do you do when the boss you have makes your job unbearable?  How can you change your perspective in order to thrive in what you do?


On This Episode:

I talk with so many people who are in a job they aren’t passionate about or they don’t like.  I always ask how they got into the job.  Usually it is for money, family expectation, whatever.

The biggest complaint is the boss.  Many times, bosses only connect with the employee when they felt a need for correction. Many bosses never compliment but only criticizes.  If you’re like this as a boss, STOP IT!

Col. 3:23 helps change your perspective on who your boss actually is:

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Changing your perspective about who you work for is so important.  If you’re a christian and are in a job that you don’t really like, the first thing to do:

  1. Up your game as if you were working for God.  Do excellent work.
  2. Spend time learning about yourself.  Why did you take that job in the first place?  Why are you still in it?
  3. Take my hardwired survey.  The basic is free.  You can access it here.

A bit of homework:

Identify one thing about your job that you loathe.  Most likely you have a negative perspective.  Before you go into work, change “I don’t want to do that” to “I can’t wait to finish that.”

if its a person with whom you struggle, commit to finding good things about them and compliment them on it.  Remember that its not for them, its for you!

Remember that you are the only one who can make you happy.  Choosing your perspective about your boss will make all the difference in the world.


Resources:

  • Audible.com – 180K audio book, right at your fingers
  • Hardwired Survey – a work-style survey to help you learn how you like to work

What Is Your Battle, Today? – Todd Stocker.com

BATTLE.001I didn’t want to get out of bed.  The one meeting with that one person glowed from the screen of my digital calendar and I wished it would self-delete.

It was one of those needed conversations spurred by a miscommunication and resulting confrontation that turned my gut just visualizing it — and I didn’t want to do it. 

That day, it was the hard thing that had to be done.  That day, it was a cancer on the lining of my relationship that just had to be removed.  That day, it was my battle. 

We all have days like this — days that loom like a distance thunderstorm.  It is that conversation, that task, that inevitable ending that requires us to suit up for battle.

If I rely on my emotions as I look at the difficulty, the battle will go worse.  Yet if I ask God to give me his perspective, the battle will go better.  Sometimes resolution is not part of that perspective.  Sometimes it is.  All the time, trusting in and acting on his guidance is the best way to engage. 

I told my hand to pull back the covers and mentally pushed my body out of bed.  The battle awaits and it will all be okay.

Peace!

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A Perspective On Life’s Storms – Laura Dekker – Todd Stocker.com

maidentripI recently watched a documentary called “Maidentrip” in which 14 year-old Laura Dekker spent 18 months sailing around the world.  Here’s the kicker.  She did it alone.  

She comes from a family that basically lives on the water so her skills and abilities were heartily grounded.  Yet, to take on a trip like this would make even the most seasoned sailer quiver.  

A crew flew to her destinations of port and captured her on-land film footage.   However, the on-the-water footage was taken by Laura herself.  Much like a vlog (a video log), she recorded her thoughts, feelings and experiences as her tiny boat cut across the world’s oceans. 

One of the most impactful scenes for me was when she hit a storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Filmed by her from inside the boat, the waves, wind and rain hammered the vessel.  I was expecting her comments to be ones of fear.  Yet her commentary was, “I love seeing the wave splash across the bow.  The spray is so beautiful and bobbing around makes this all fun.”  

My mouth dropped open. Here she was in a near life threatening situation and she calls if fun.

The word is perspective.  Laura knew that she could rely on her experience and equipment to make it through the storm.  She knew that even in the worst cast scenario, help was only a short distance away.  This knowledge released her fear, gave her perspective and allowed for even a bit of fun.

I know that many of you reading this feel like you are in a tiny boat on a big ocean being battered by an even greater storm.  I know many of you wrestle with the sails of doubt and the ropes of fear.  What would happen if you knew that our God is right there with you?  How would the knowledge of him being an ever present help in times of trouble change your perspective?  Yes, storms need tending to.  They need managing and navigation.  Yet, is there a possibility that the next wave could be the most beautiful one you’ve seen? 

Sail on.  Stay The Course.

Peace!

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How to Find Happiness on $1.60

starbucks_coffeeCoffee house gift cards tend to be my favorite.  I use them up to last drop. However, the other day, I didn’t.  The barista handed me my tall half-caf and slid my used gift card across the counter.

“Can you check the balance?”
“Sure,” She said.  “There’s a dollar sixty left on your card.”
“Thanks,” I said.

My normal reaction would be well that’s not enough for a full coffee purchase but I’ll apply it to my next one.  This time, I had an idea.  Sliding the card back to the gal, I said,  “Would you apply the remaining balance to whomever is next in line at your drive-thru?” Her eyes and half-opened mouth gave away her confusion.  But then she understood and repeated back to me my request, just to make sure.

She smiled and walked the card to the hostess at the window.  I took a quick sip of my steaming coffee and walked to my car.

What happened next took me by surprise.

A feeling of happiness and exhilaration welled up inside me.  What caused it?  Was it the look on the Barista’s face?  Was it the fact that I had finished yet another gift card?  Maybe it was the kick of the caffeine.  None of the above.

What caused my heart to race and changed my attitude for the rest of the day was that I gave something to someone without any hope of getting something back.  Even though it was such a small amount, that’s how being a giver can change your attitude and your life!  Imagine what could happen if I took giving seriously!

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Winston Churchill said  “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”  I believe that to be true.  Life is more than what you accumulate.   Life is made rich by the free sharing of that which you have.

I’ve become addicted by using gift cards in this way.  Several times since then, I’ve randomly paid for the person in line behind me with my gift card.  Be a giver and your attitude in the moment and your perspective on life will change.

Try it.  I dare you.

Peace!

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SNOW! Keys to Changing your Perspective

Winter Snow Storm Dumps SnowYesterday, my part of the world was buried in 12 inches of snow.  People were spun out on the freeway and large tree limbs had collapsed under the weight of the frozen blanket.  Slow traffic, hard shovel-work and the threats of illness are all part of the winter experience.   It’s a burden.  It’s an inconvenience at the least.  But I choose to see the beauty in burden. This is simply a change in perspective and planning.

How to change your perspective.  “Perspective” is the way we view a situation.  If you find yourself feeling down and negative, you could have a perspective problem.  To change your perspective to a more positive one, answer these questions:

  • “Will it matter a year from now?”  We tend to get too focused on the inconveniences of the moment without a long term look on how or if the situation will affect us in the future.
  • “Is it really that bad or do I simply feel it’s that bad?”  Our emotions can lift us up or push us over the cliff.  However, emotions aren’t right or wrong, they simply are.  When you feel negative about something, simply ask “what is the reality of the situation.”  This tends to limit the emotional input and get a real view of life.

How to plan.  “Planning” is the act of anticipation.  They key is that it is an act.  I know that I’ll need to give myself a few extra minutes this morning to get into work.  I need to plan for it.  Here are some questions to answer to help in planning for a potentially frustrating situation:

  • “What potentially could cause frustrations in me tomorrow?”  This question digs into the emotion of frustration and identifies your own personal triggers.  For me, I despise being late for anything.  Because I know that that will frustrate me tomorrow, I’ll take necessary action today.
  • “What can I do right now to prepare for later?”  Life teaches that we can’t be prepared for everything but we can give it a shot.  If you can identify those people, situations or events that give you the most frustration, then you can be intentional about avoiding or emotionally revving up to encounter them.

Right now, I’ve changed my perspective about the snow – choosing to see it as a beautiful way that God gives moisture to the ground and repaints the earth.  I’m also donning my warm clothes to go “mow the driveway” with my snow blower.

Question:  What are some ways you change your perspective and plan for frustrations?

Peace!

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“Life is Good” – A Perspective

Life is good.

No, not all the time.  Hardly.  Ask the new mom who looses her first child to SIDS.  Ask the husband who walks into work on Friday and is asked not to return on Monday.  Ask the young single who, once again, is offered a life-time of love and relationship only to have that offer pulled off the table.

pix by Sarah K.

Yet Life is good.  In the midst of hard-ache and sadness.  In the midst of emptiness and pain, life continues to be, at it’s foundational experience, good.  Why?  Because the Giver of life, Himself, is good.  And if He is good and only has good purposes for us, that means that nothing we experience in life, is ultimately bad.

How can that be when we see the dark evil that lurks in the heart of the pedophile or murderer?  Simply because of this:  for those who know the Giver and follow His lead, the end outcome of every experience is good.  The death of a child can result in rebirth for the family.  The end of a job could mean the beginning of a new business.  The loss of physical health could mean the enlightenment of mental productivity.

So today, I choose to see the greatness in failure and the calmness in chaos, because I know that Life is Good.
(Romans 8:26-28)

Peace!

LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Last summer, our family nestled in the mountains of Estes Park, Colorado for a reunion. Every few years, our goal is to get together to catch up, love on each a bit and reconnect.  One of the points of our family’s reconnection is laughter.

Even as a small boy, I can remember the calm mood that my parents set in our home.  Something would happen that could potentially explode into arguing and yelling but instead, my parents would smile or shake their head or find something humorous to say about it.  While sometimes it was misplaced, that lighthearted atmosphere allowed us to deal with troubling situations in a way that gave perspective and peace.

Researcher say that there are many heath benefits to laughter.  Here are a few:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. (read more here…)

So how do you create that sense of lightheartedness in your life?

  1. Choose to laugh.  Most of us don’t realize the power we have in the choices we make.  Set out this day to identify 3 situations in which you normally would be frustrated and choose to see humor in them.  (e.g. The daily commute or that irritating coworker.  Click Here for a free app regarding your office mate)
  2. Smile when you begin to feel frustrated.  As mentioned above, smiling can trigger laughter which can trigger feel-good chemicals in your body.
  3. Make reality your friend.  When you feel anger, bitterness or paranoia, remove the emotion from your thought process and determine to ask, “What is the reality of this situation?  Is it all that bad?”

Remember that Jesus told jokes all the time in the New Testament and that’s one of the reasons that people loved to be around Him.  Be like Jesus.  Have a fresh perspective of your life and, for heaven’s sakes, laugh!

How do you lighten up your day?

Peace!

“WE SURVIVED!” HOW TO STAY CALM IN THE MIDST OF A CHAOS

I work with incredible leaders.  It’s a good thing because yesterday was a crazy day.  This time of year always is in the line of work to which I’ve been called.  But yesterdays event, while planned out in advance, had the potential of a train wreck.  Here’s why…

First, our worship services were overstuffed with, what I call “extras.”  Extras are those elements of a service that are not normally experienced during the course of a typical worship experience.  Important as they are, they simple aren’t the norm.  Extra announcements, extra videos, extra ministry moments, extra commissioning, extra, extra!  They all seemed to fall on yesterday. Second, our worship leader was out of town and her substitute went into labor the night before.  Third, I was late in getting my presentation material to our media team.

As the clock ticked down toward the beginning of the service, all of our team was making last minute changes, edits and additions.  Then the worship team launched into the first song, leading the standing-room only crowd in a smooth and God-honoring worship experience.

On my drive home, I pondered how blessed our church/organization is to have such great leaders.  Leaders who care, leaders who step up, leaders who lead with elegance and grace.   This is what I learned from my team on how to stay calm in the midst of chaos:

In the midst of chaos, good leaders …

  • Find perspective:  With a smile on their faces, my leaders kept reminded me that it’s going to be OK.
  • Remove emotion in the moment:  They clicked into task-mode and got the job done.
  • Get laser focused:  They prioritized what really mattered in a handful of moments.
  • Execute flexibility when needed:  The leaders adapted the worship plan and changed songs, unnecessary announcements and talking, all to streamline what we did.
  • Portray external calm while ignoring internal nerves:  Like ducks on the water, the team looked calm to those they were leading as we all paddled like crazy behind the scenes, just to keep afloat.

Yesterday, no one would have known that the wheels could’ve fallen off in the worship service.  That was because of the professionalism of our team.  I pray that you have people around you like I do.  A big thank you goes out to Ann, Mike, Terry, Amy and Nicole (just to name a few) who did what had to be done, even in the midst of chaos.

How have you learned from the people you lead?

Peace,