Welcome back! If you started on June 6 when we kicked this off, you are now on D-Day plus 22. What we are building in you is the strength and the endurance to win and dominate in our world. Many worry about those who are couch potatoes and those who numb themselves with social media. I suggest that we do not need to worry about them. They are not the competition. Really our only real competition is with our own selves. The flesh is weak.
Last week we talked about daily discipline. It is this discipline that will give you the freedom to fulfill your God given mission in this life. Remember that you want to ensure that you have daily opportunities to grow physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.-Luke 2:52
Establishing a healthy beginning and ending of your day leaves you in position to be flexible with the rest of your day. Now there needs to be some discussion on other disciplines that must be added to your overall life. Fit these in as you can.
Physical: The morning routine is a base to get your blood pumping and knock the cobwebs out. While it will keep you fitter than a couch potato, it will not enable you to have the strength, agility and stamina that a warrior needs. You must figure out a way to get in a full body workout 3-4 times a week. Find a trainer. Once a year I take about 2 months working with a trainer to force me to consider exercises that I would not do on my own. A trainer can push you to the point of pain, where your own mind might try to stop you.
One other challenge: Take an ice bath at least 1 time a week. Always start or end your showers with cold water.
Mental: Read. Read. Read. Read books to inspire, to teach and make you think. Teddy Roosevelt read wide and deep and ultimately read several books a week for most of his life. If someone as active and busy and Teddy could do this, we should be able to pull off at least 1 book a week. Do that. Also take time to memorize Scripture. This works the brain and the spirit. Read professional magazines in your field. Write in your journal your random thoughts and dreams. If you don’t use your mind, you will lose it. Play games that challenge your thinking to exercise that mind muscle. Finally, one time a week sit down and brainstorm what needs to be done. Just write it all out. Don’t analyze it. Use your calendar if needed. In my journal this is my hit list for the week. When I am done just free thinking and writing it all out, I will look for what needs to be done first and then what is next and so on. Not all of these things need to be done. Many will carry over to future weeks. Some were just written as an idea to consider later. The point is that all week I know that when I have gaps in my schedule there are productive things to do and I go to my list. Wasting time is a travesty.
Spiritual: Most of my Spiritual work is done in the morning. However, I also routinely go to church and if possible Sunday School, midweek services and special church events. I pray with my wife and kids at meal times and other times. Reading the Bible out loud at work has turned out to be a great exercise. Again let the warrior life which is also a life in service to God, permeate the rest of your life.
Social: Most of my work day has a social element. Meetings, conversations over the phone, internet interactions, texts and other things are always a part of the social exercises of the day. I also recommend classes on the internet on manners, small talk conversations and leadership to build the soft skills of being a warrior. In the evening make it a discipline to eat dinner with your family as often as possible. If you are married woo your spouse like you did before you were married. Everyday life often makes us take people for granted. Choose to love your closest family members in a special way, every day.
Journaling: By far the one exercise that I have added over the past few years is routine journaling. My goal is that I write down about every 20 minutes what I was doing or thoughts after a meeting. My days go by fast and I don’t want to lose what I am learning. I also want to be able to slow myself down enough to process what my senses have experienced. The journaling process also clears my mind so that I can relax with my family at night without being haunted from remembering things that I think I should be doing.
Daily green drink: Every day I drink at least 1 smoothie that I call my green drink. They all turn out different and you can get recipes online if you wish. But make sure each smoothie contains the following:
- 2-3 green vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, cucumbers)
- Protein source (Greek Yogurt works well in most recipes)
- Grains (Oatmeal, flax, chia seed)
- Fats (Avocado or Olive Oil)
This drink energizes me and fills me up so that I don’t end up snacking when someone brings in a donut and offers me one. (No one actually offers to share their donut with me. But if they did I would be too full to indulge that weakness.)
Overall find freedom in discipline. The warrior inside of you needs this to play the long game. In World War II, the Japanese and the Germans won many battles, but they lost the war. Too many men and women that I know win many battles but lose the war.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36
Find balance in your discipline and you will finish strong. Rarely does anybody remember who was leading in the first couple laps of a NASCAR event. They only remember who won the race. Be the winner, be the champion. Be the leader.