Tuesday, September 27, 2005

YOU are the GOOD worth fighting for. Fight for it every moment of every day.

I don't know if you've seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books. You should.

It came to my attention recently that J.R. Tolkein was a Christian. And Christian symbolism is littered throughout the movies and books.And there is one part that struck me as particularly powerful in the second movie, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

At the point of complete and utter hopelessness towards the end of the The Two Towers, Frodo, the ring bearer, has given up hope. After a desperate battle, Frodo and Sam sit dejected and demoralized. At that moment, Frodo is ready to give up on his epic quest…
Then Sam says to Frodo,

“By all rights we shouldn’t even be here…but we are. It’s like the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered, full of darkness and danger they were, and sometime you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy, how could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass, a new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. And those are the stories that mattered. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now, folks in those stories had lots of chances to turn back, only they didn’t, they kept going, because they were holding on to something. … that there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

And I’m here to remind you of that good and to remind you to keep fighting for it, every moment of every day that you breathe. Because if you do that, you will be fulfilling your purpose, your destiny, your life will have meaning, and you will be happy.

At that point, you will live without regret, without worry of lies or exaggerations tripping you up, without fear of death even, because you WILL know, at the end of the day, that you have given everything you have, you’ve given it your all. When you live your life to its potential, when you act according to you dearest values, when you manage your emotions, steer your thoughts, and speak to God, then YOU become the good worth fighting for.

That’s what I’m trying to inspire you to do – I need you to wake up to life; stop waiting to die and start wanting to live. Don’t settle for mediocrity and normalcy. Strive for greatness. Don’t stop until you’re living an exemplary life.

Realize that YOU set the bar for others. Set it high on every level – physical, ethical, emotional, mental and spiritual. You ARE the example for others. If not you, who?

So how do you go about doing that?

Odds are that you are already doing much of it if you’re listening to this show.

The burning question is “Are you doing ALL of it? Are you pushing the envelope in each of these six areas?

Do you know what your top values are?
Are you in great physical shape?
How well can you manage your emotions?
Do you know how to keep your thinking positive amidst trouble?
Are you surrounded by supportive, nonjudgmental people?
Just how strong is your relationship to God?
Because a weakness in one of these foundational areas can cause a whole life to collapse onto itself.

And I’ll give you an example…

Ted is a strong Christian man who speaks daily to God through prayer. He is physically fit, running five miles daily. He knows what his top values are and lives according to them. Yet, he is weak in one area – managing his own emotions. When his children misbehave, his anger erupts. He yells at them, making his children believe they are bad people, undermining their self-confidence and causing fear and anxiety to take root in them. His children will grow up to resent and reject God because of the behavior of their father. Ted’s wife fears his unpredictable moods – irritation, withdrawal, sadness, anger, and impatience fill most of his days. Due to his poor emotional control, Ted risks undermining his values which include treating others with respect and love. He risks an unbalanced spiritual life by setting a poor example for his loved ones, an example that is in direct contradiction of the behaviors modeled by Jesus. Ted’s negative emotions also eat away at his physical health for we now know that anger and irritation are directly related to greater risk of stroke, heart attacks, low self-esteem, migraines, ulcers, substance abuse problems. Finally, Ted’s difficulty with anger has been shown to lead to troubled relationships at work and with friends and family. It also will interfere with his financial situation because it’s likely to lead to frequent job loss.

As it goes with the management of your emotions, so it goes with each of the other critical areas – physical health, relationship with God, mental health, awareness of values and supportive relationships. You cannot lead an exemplary life by excelling in only one or two of these.

Focusing on one or two of these areas is not sufficient for an extraordinary life. Because weakness in any one of these areas is enough to destroy a lifetime of hard work. Each of these areas interacts with and has an effect on every other area. They are interconnected. So you can’t simply ignore one and hope it goes away. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
You have to focus on strengthening and becoming more aware of each of these areas to create your extraordinary life.

Remember, YOU are the good worth fighting for. As Gandhi said, You must be the change you wish to see in the world. You must begin with yourself. Only then can you truly help others

Guide To Self(C) 2005.


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