Life is a gift. We must design the life we want to live, and that design must become a daily focus.
We are sculpting our tomorrows, today.
And that is why I want to teach you how to punch your latter days in the face.
It is true that what we do today is seen tomorrow. How you live in the next three to four decades will show up in decades five or six.
Our latter years should be our golden years. Will we have challenges? Yes.
But we can design our lives to minimize the effects those challenges bring.
"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (Prov. 24:10).
The following tips will save you some pain and provide you with wisdom:
- Deal with your dark side. Everyone has dark thoughts. These thoughts are not by choice, and there are times we do not know the source.
Controlling our thoughts is the key to managing our lives. You never want to take action on thoughts like "run them off the road" or "punch them in the face."
Some people turn from and divorce their wives to buy a sports car. Don't do it!
Others fail to control their dark thoughts and, in one moment, ruin their entire lives.
"But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:20-24, ESV).
- Minimize your problems. As a young man, the smallest things that went wrong made everything wrong. Trials and tests are a part of life, and we are never ready for trials or trauma. That is strange since the Bible tells us not to be surprised when tests show up.
"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange happened to you" (1 Pet. 4:12, NLT).
We are good at making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to handling challenges. Resist that.
Most of your fears never show up.
Here is a considerable tip : Llearn to minimize your problems and maximize your opportunities.
- Know the reality of getting old is real. For years, I dreamed of being on the front porch in a rocker while watching the grandkids. I thought that was the ultimate life.
First, grandkids do not want you in a chair. They want you on the floor.
Second, getting old and having to sit in a rocking chair is not fun. The joy of a rocker only lasts a few minutes. That's my personal estimation.
And getting older is cool, but we never project the condition of our body in our latter years — vertigo, brittle bones, arthritis and more.
Prepare to grow older. It's going to happen.
Here is a tip : Growing older requires finesse and an astute attitude.
"The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair" (Prov. 20:29, ESV).
- Stay true to your character. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Character is higher than intellect."
People with great character don't allow circumstances to determine their actions. A person of character will follow through, whereas others make excuses for their own bad choices.
Displaying good character is a hidden trait but vitally important.
Character is the person you are when no one is looking. A person with a strong character is faithful ; their word is their bond.
Here is the tip : People of good character do the right thing at their own expense, cost or pain.
Why? Because the right thing is always right.
"Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out" (Prov. 10:9).
- Save your nerves for an emergency. Test and trials are real. Trauma is worse, and emergencies happen.
When we are young, anything outside of the normal is considered an emergency.
What is a real emergency?
I heard a story about a young man who damaged his father's boat. The damage was over $4,200.
The young man said to the dad, "This is a big problem."
The dad said, "What do you mean, son?"
The son said, "Well, I don't have the money."
The dad said, "Son, not having the money is never a problem. If money can solve it, it is not a real problem."
How true is that? Smart dad for sure.
There is life, and emergencies do happen. A flat tire is not a true emergency unless you are responding to an emergency.
All surgeries are important. But all surgeries are not an emergency. You can recover from most surgeries.
The truth is we recover from most emergencies. Not every fear is real, and our worst nightmares rarely happen.
Do not miss this tip : Save your nerves for a real emergency.
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today" (Matt. 6:34, NLT).
For the rest of this article, visit thomasmcdaniels.com.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor and writer. He has written for churchleaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas.
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