1. Be Your “Better Best Selves”:
I believe we should seek and embrace high moral standards and behaviors. And, we should always strive to live close to the highest and most ethical standards we subscribe to …this is the essence of “Moral Integrity.” At all times and in all circumstances, we should be honest and true to ourselves and strive to pattern our lifestyle and behavior after the highest values we believe in (personally and as a society). And I believe we can always do better.
2. Be Concrete and Sequential (at least a little):
I like routine, and I like things done in order. This is not an illness! It’s liberating. Of course, there is much in life that is best lived spontaneously (true love, charity, kindness, joy, and happiness). But, there is also much that is best managed with clear instructions and/or proven procedures.
Clear instructions or proven procedures help to remove confusion, doubt, and stress. With complex and difficult tasks, clear instructions or proven procedures are essential for a positive outcome. For example, if you want to bake your favorite cookies correctly, you should follow your favorite and proven recipe. You probably won’t like a batch of cookies that were made with miscellaneous ingredients randomly thrown together, and baked at no particular temperature, or amount of time.
On a grander scale, I believe that understanding what needs to be done (and how to do it) frees the mind and soul to complete the complex and accomplish greatness beyond our imagination. By following correct instructions or procedures, we would have a clearer vision of our purpose and objectives, more positive control of our lives, and more glorious outcomes. We would have the clarity to know where we are; where we are going; what we must be doing; and when we have arrived. We would not likely be adrift.
3. Stress Management:
Stress is unavoidable. We will all experience some stress in this life. Some will be good stress, some will be bad. Good stress has the potential to help us grow. Bad stress can be debilitating. Regardless, we can anticipate there will be some stress in this life. How we manage stress often makes the difference between good and bad stress. From my personal experience, there are three particular conditions or elements that have a direct impact on our ability to manage stress effectively. They are 1) hunger, 2) financial insecurity, and 3) a crisis. We can usually handle (or endure) any one or two of these conditions at a time; however, if all three elements are present simultaneously, our ability to manage stress is challenged significantly.
We can’t always avoid element #3, a personal crisis in our lives. We can minimize the probability of a crisis through responsible personal preparation. But often, a crisis will come despite our preparation; and, the potential for bad stress will follow! So, to minimize the stressful effects of a crisis in our life, and to maintain a good healthy outlook (especially during a crisis), we should strive to avoid element #1 hunger and #2 financial insecurity. We should:
1) Eat wisely (sound nutritional food in moderation). Also, always try to have good food on hand in your home. You can’t understate the positive psychological effects of seeing food “on the shelf.” And,
2) Always, always pay your bills and debts on time. A practical, understandable, and disciplined financial budget is necessary. In addition, it may not always be possible, but it’s best to try to stay out of debt, and it’s always wise to maintain a healthy financial savings plan (a nest egg).
Remember, crises and stress will come. If we avoid hunger and financial insecurity, we’ll better manage each crisis (and the stress) and minimize their negative effects. In addition to dealing well with the crisis; we’ll more likely maintain a good healthy outlook on life.
NOTE: This “Stress Management” thought is written to those who have the means, but who must learn to manage. I know there are thousands of people out there right now who are hungry (starving) and financially insecure (no means) through no fault of their own. Their situation and enormous crises go far beyond the scope of this simplistic approach. For the thousands who are starving, unable to exist, I encourage those of us who can help, to help in whatever way you can! There are many organizations and ways to help. Find those ways and those legitimate charitable organizations …and help.
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