Tag Archives: Seth Godin

Little Victories

“The right answer might not be the best thing you can say.

Perhaps it would be better if you could help your friend take action instead. The acts of finding and doing are almost always more useful than getting good advice.

Inciting action is often better than contributing insight. Better to move forward and figure it out than to stand still and believe you know the right answer.”

-Seth Godin,”Inciteful“, April 27, 2018

I’ve always wanted my blog to be about encouraging, contributing insight and hopefully giving good advice.  But Seth is saying that’s not good enough.  And he’s right.  If my words don’t incite action, then what am I writing for?  I keep hearing the word “action”. So today, my 47th birthday, let’s talk about action.

I want to be an encouragement.  I want to be someone who takes action.  But, many times, I don’t believe I have the energy to accomplish what needs to be done.  Do you ever feel that way?  Like you want to make an impact and you want to enjoy the journey, but you end up feeling like you’re just trying to keep up?  

How can I be creative, productive, helpful, encouraging and inspiring, when I constantly feel like I’m falling behind?  I want to learn how to catch up and stay caught up so that I have excess energy to share. 

In her book “Come Matter Here: Your invitation to BE HERE in a GETTING THERE world“, Hannah Brencher talks about the lies she struggles with and how to defeat them:

“Action steps are my favorite thing because we live in a world where people try to make their words count for works.  There’s a difference though.  Either you talked about being there for someone, or you actually showed up for it.  Even when the lies in your brain are deafening, you can make them weaker by stepping out into action.”

I love that.

“Even when the lies in your brain are deafening, you can make them weaker by stepping out into action.”

Yes, there are lies in my brain.  I bet there are lies in your brain too.  So, let’s dig a little deeper into the power of stepping out into action.

A few weeks back, our Pastor, Chris Zarbaugh, said that “Love is fundamentally more action than emotion”.  He quoted what is probably the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, stating that it doesn’t say, “God so loved the world that He felt it in His heart.”  What good would that have done?  No, it says “God so loved the world that He GAVE”.  He did something about the love that He has for us.  He gave His only Son.

The Apostle James said it this way:

“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”  -James 2:15-17 (NIV)

James continued:

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” -James 2:26 (NIV)

James clarified further, using Abraham as an example:

“You see, his faith and his actions worked together.  His actions made his faith complete.” -James 2:22 (NLT)

I think it comes down to awareness (faith) and action (deeds).  First, we need to be aware of what needs to be done and then we need to do it.  We probably won’t do it perfectly and we certainly won’t be able to do it ALL, but we absolutely can do SOMETHING.  Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25:40

Thankfully, Craig Mayes clarified this by asking if Jesus said to help ALL of the least of these?  “No, He said whatever you do for ONE of the least of these.”  Just one.  If we each take care of one thing at a time, one person at a time, it’s all going to get done.  We need to see what’s in front of us, ask God what He wants us to do, and do it.  Take action.

No wonder we’re exhausted, trying to do it all.  No one is asking us to do it all.  Joshua Becker, the creator of the Uncluttered** on-line course, addressed this very issue in his recent blog post, How to Craft a Life You Don’t Need to Escape From:

First, Joshua quoted Seth Godin:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”  

And that quote incited action in Joshua.  Check out his post (click the orange title above) where he explores 9 ways that we can craft this life:

1. Make Relationships a Priority.

2. Remove Unneeded Possessions from Your Home and Life.

3. Make Your Work Your Job.

4. Or, See Your Job as Part of Your Work.

5. Guard Your Time.

6. Take Care of Yourself.

7. Appreciate Your Season in Life.

8. Understand the Reality of Trials in Life.

9. Find Happiness in Your Every Day.

In point #6, “Take Care of Yourself”, Joshua says that “an empty cup cannot pour into another.”  So, how can we take care of ourselves?  Well, we know the answer probably isn’t taking a vacation.  Maybe it has more to do with a “Stay-cation” (click on those orange words to read the article about “reclaiming the place you already chose to live”).

I’m so thankful that my “Stay-cation” this May, June and July included Joshua Becker’s 12-week on-line Uncluttered** class.  I was astounded by the results.  Our very first assignment was to formulate our “why” and this was mine from 5-1-18:

I long for the day when the energy and inspiration I receive from my “clean spaces” is more than enough to fuel what I need TODAY to accomplish those energy-draining tasks that I continually look at and say “not today”.”

One of the best parts of this class is the real-time interaction with participants from all over the world via a closed Facebook page.  On 7-21-18, I wrote this response to a fellow-De-clutterer’s celebration Facebook post:

“Just goes to show how de-cluttering truly creates energy!  Yes, I know that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but only changes form.  So, let me restate that.  De-cluttering takes the energy that was wasted on telling yourself that some day the mess would be gone, and turns it into energy you can use today.  Yippeee!!”

In one of the class Webinars, I remember Joshua Becker saying, “Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “better”.”  Every single “better” is a little victory that your future self will thank you for.

So, here’s where we get to the action.  What have you been thinking about but haven’t acted on yet?  What one action would your future self thank you for?

Signing up for a class?

Returning what you borrowed?

Making that phone call?

Volunteering and/or giving to a worthy cause?

Turning on some uplifting music?

Apologizing / asking forgiveness from someone?

Cleaning the shower?

Requesting a payment plan on that bill you’ve been dreading?

Telling someone you’re proud of them?

Finding a home for one item that doesn’t belong where it’s at?

Cutting up vegetables for a salad instead of eating that ________?

Donating an item that someone could use right now instead of keeping it in case you might need it some day?

Taking the dog for a walk?

Scheduling the doctor’s appointment that you’ve been putting off?

Balancing your bank account?

Visiting a friend?

Recycling the bottles and cans?

Asking her to marry you?

Putting away the laundry?

Cooking a meal for someone in need?

Getting out of bed?

One step.  Accomplish one thing, grab onto the energy that brings and take the next step.  It builds.  It grows.  And it’s not just addition.  It’s multiplication.  It compounds, like interest.  But it all starts with one action step.  Just one.  Let’s take that step.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Let’s make it count.

And if you’ve never put your faith in Jesus Christ, maybe that’s the most important action step you could possibly take right now.  Accepting the gift that God so freely gave, thanking Him for His forgiveness and putting your faith in action.


**When I wrote last October’s birthday blog post, “The Best is Yet to Come“, I had no idea that “the best” would start with the Uncluttered class.  I’m so glad my 12 year old Jordan Rose encouraged me to pay the $89 to take the 12 week class.  But you don’t have to pay $89.  Now that I’ve taken it, I have permission to share with you the discount code to take the same class for 25% off: FF25.  Now that I’ve paid once, I never have to pay again and I will definitely be taking the class again (for free).  Join me!  Truly, the best is yet to come.  🙂  https://my.becomingminimalist.com


Previous birthday blogs:

2014:  Moment by Moment  (all that junk – yep, Jesus redeemed that)

2015:  Through Heaven’s Eyes  (what does God see when He looks at us?)

2016:  Treasure Hunting  (can we really live every day better than before, or is this as good as it gets?)

2017:  The Best is Yet to Come (encouragement for the road ahead)

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT)

Ever been one of those adjectives and tried to make a good decision?  Or tried to respond appropriately to a given situation?  Doesn’t work very well.  More likely, we’ll react on impulse and it won’t be pretty.

Let’s try this instead.  First, let’s stop (HALT*) and ask if we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  Once we’ve identified the problem, let’s respond:

1) Hungry:  This sounds really simple, right?  Eat!  Well, it could be that we’re thirsty and we really just need some water.  Or maybe we ate not long ago, but it was the wrong food.  Or it was pop when we really needed water.  Sugar crash?  Try some protein or some fresh veggies.  The worst part about hunger is that the easiest food to grab is usually the worst option.  If our options are limited, let’s skip the candy bar and bag of chips and reach for the nuts instead.

2) Angry:  Identify the source.  Is there anything we can do about it?  I should rephrase that.  Is there anything positive we can do about it?  Not sure?  Check this out:  In your anger.  If nothing good will come out of it, our best option is to give it to God.  Yep, that sounds cliche’, but it really is the best option.  For more on that, click here:  Moment by Moment

3) Lonely:  Phone a friend?  Maybe it’s the friend who upset us and now we’re angry with them and lonely because we can’t call them to talk about it.  Sometimes just knowing that we’re upset because we’re lonely, identifying the source of the “ick”, is enough to help us get past it.  Let’s take a look at our schedule.  What’s next?  What is the next best thing to do right now?  Fold the laundry or put away the dishes?  Sometimes moving on to the next thing is enough to breathe some fresh air into our day.  And, all the while, don’t forget that God is always there.  I know that it’s good to have someone “with skin on” to help work through the loneliness, but know that God is always longing to talk to us.  Having trouble hearing Him?  Read this: Hearing Aids

4) Tired:  This one sounds simple too.  Take a nap!  Well, that’s not always practical.  If I can grab a five minute cat-nap, sometimes that’s all it takes.  Set an alarm and close my eyes.  Even if I don’t fall asleep, a little time with my eyes closed can help clear my mind and gain new perspective.  But if a nap is out of the question, what’s something else that can help us wake up?  Music?  Playing my favorite song, singing along, dancing along, even if I’m driving (as long as my eyes are on the road and my hands are on the wheel), can be just the medicine I need to get me where I need to go.

The thing I like best about HALT is the awareness of what’s really going on.  All is not lost, the world is not coming to an end, it’s not time to fall into a pit of despair.  It’s just hunger, or lack of sleep, or the fact that the person I called to help solve my problem couldn’t help me, leaving me angry for wasting my time calling in the first place and lonely because I really needed someone who could help.  But it’s okay.  We don’t have to sit “in the grip” of those feelings.  We can do something about it.

Seth Godin put it this way in his blog post called Retribution:  “When we react to a medicine, that’s a bad thing.  When we respond, it’s working.”  We can choose to respond to the situation we’re in instead of reacting on impulse.  Beth Moore once said that “kindness wears down when we do.”  When we’re worn out, we react, and it’s usually not kind.  And then we have guilt and regret to deal with.  There must be a better way.

Life is hard.  It takes endurance.  Things are going to go wrong.  There are going to be problems.  But there is hope and I wrote about that here:  Decide to Keep Deciding.  I hope you’ll read it, especially at the beginning of a New Year.  What will our year be like?  When we look back a year from now, what do we want our year to have been about?  A series of problems and irritations, pits and valleys?  Or do we want to grow up a little more this year?  End the year a little wiser?  Is there a way to prepare for the problems that will come?

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”  The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”  The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”  – Author unknown

Which wolf will we choose to feed this year?

*Special thank you to Jack Wilson for sharing this information with me and John so many years ago.  Jack, you are a blessing to so many people.