Rest Stop (Saturday) ... learning life lessons from Olympians

Have you, like me, ever dreamt of becoming an Olympic athlete? As I watch the current Olympic Games the talents of the athletes never cease to amaze me! Knowing that I will never be a member of an Olympic team, yet I realize that I can still learn much from these Olympic champions. Their example of persistence and training encourages me to do the same in my daily life.

Jim Ochowicz, who competed in the 1972 Olympic Games and coached the 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic men’s professional road racing team, said in a 2008 Forbes interview: “People don’t know the process which [athletes] undertake in their individual sports to reach the Olympic level. You get there by sticking it out. There [are] a lot of people that try and give up.” This quote inspires me!

In life, here is what we can learn from Olympic athletes so that we can achieve greatness in our personal lives:

  • Focus on what matters.  One key principle every successful athlete learns early on in their career is to stay focused on the task. In training, practice, and on the field, focus on one’s task and goal takes precedence above all else. For…

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Rest Stop (Friday) ... The Secret to Overcoming Fear

When I was a young child I was petrified of thunderstorms. Whenever a storm approached I would find a place to hide, plug my ears and pretend there was no storm. In fear I needed to stop reality. I was told by my parents that thunder couldn’t hurt me, but it sure sounded like it could. I was also told by my parents that the sound of the thunder was only the angels bowling in heaven, and although that conjured a comforting image, the next lightning bolt immediately stole away what little comfort I had. I am told, although I do not remember this happening, that I was nearly struck by lightning when I was quite young. The story goes that I opened our old metal refrigerator door just as a bolt of lightning entered the house. I was saved, but probably mentally scarred from the event. Was that experience the cause of my fear?

Fear is a normal reaction built deep within our brains to aid in survival. When we feel threatened we will either flee or fight. As a young child experiencing storms, I chose to flee. As I grew into my teen years, still afraid of storms,…

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Rest Stop (Sunday) ... Kids Teach Us How to Find Peace

Have you ever thought to yourself: “I’m on a round object which is spinning and flying through space.” A few evenings ago as I was sitting outside reflecting on life, I noticed the movement of the stars and constellations over the hours I was outside. Then a thought hit me; we're moving! I was sitting  in the same spot in my yard, and I know that stars don’t move, yet they seemingly were moving. The constellations weren’t in the same spot they were when I first sat down as they were a few hours later. Of course I know, intellectually, that the stars aren’t moving, although I have never reflected on the implication that if the stars aren't moving, yet they seem to be moving, then it must be me who is moving, even though I am sitting in the same spot! “I’m on a round object which is spinning and flying through space.”

According to my research, the earth is spinning, at the equator, at a speed of roughly 1,000mph!  While at the same time that we are spinning, we are moving forward at an estimated speed of 67,000mph! At all times, no matter what we are…

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Rest Stop (Fri) ... 5 tips for knowing when to unfollow someone

The intensely heated political season in the US is leading people to unfollow others from their social media sites. It’s not just strangers they are unfollowing, either. I know of friends of mine who are unfollowing long-term friends, and, in one case, unfollowed a family member due to the political postings and comments they make on social media. Social media allows for a sense of anonymity, or, at least, a physical distance from the person with whom you are communicating, allowing people to feel more open and safe to engage in interactions which eventually lead others to unfollow them.

But what about in “real” life, as opposed to social media? There are people with whom we interact, whether it be at work, school, social circles, or even family members, whom we need to “unfollow” for our own mental well being. In a Forbes article (10 Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs) author Travis Bradberry writes: “Recent research from Friedrich Schiller University in Germany shows just how serious toxic people are. They found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive…

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Rest Stop (Fri) ... freedom & hope is possible: here's how
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms...to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl

I’m writing this article while sitting at home on the 4th of July. Unfortunately, this summer holiday is being rained out in my part of the world. The cool temps, clouds, and rain make today feel more like autumn than mid-summer.  So, while sitting here, I am thinking about freedom and how freedom applies to my life and not just a country. Do I have freedom? Am I truly free? Yes, we all have the potential to be free! Let’s find out how.

Have you ever thought of how minuscule our place is in the universe? I do. Try it now for a moment. In reference to the vastness of the millions of galaxies, and the large size of our planet, focusing now on my exact location, where do I really fit in? Am I just a cog in the gears of the universe, or do I have freedom?

A few weeks ago I attended a symposium focused on the current heroin epidemic in the US. The conference room was filled with…

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