Episode 16: Are You Growing in All Aspects of Life?

Good morning! It is another wonderful start to your week. You know here on Live a Life by Design we don’t care what you’re experiencing in terms of the weather outside and so forth because how you determine your approach to your week is all right between your ears. Hey, thank you for joining me on today’s episode of Live a Life by Design, I’m Jimmy Williams. We’re gonna talk just a few minutes about some strategies that will take your life to the next level. And I hope you take these thoughts and you apply them in your life because today’s episode will be life-changing.

First let me ask you a couple of questions. When you listen to the podcast do you actually listen to it in your car, and if you do that’s fantastic, I hope you listen first thing in the morning so that it can embed in your mind some positive moves, some attitudes, some strategies, to how to get your day started. You know one of the things I often do, is I always read something positive, I listen to something positive. Or I actually do anything I can to make certain I do plant that good seed of positive thoughts first thing in the morning in my mind.

So today to give you your Monday morning moments of motivation, are going to be some areas that maybe a challenge to you. And that’s the whole purpose of this episode. First let me ask, when was the last time you performed any activity outside your comfort zone? And how did you feel after you accomplished the task? Have you ever thought about the growth of a tree? Yea, just a tree. A growing tree that we take so granted when we go outside, we sit in our yards here in our area, trees are in an abundance. Let’s think about it. Disruption occurs when a tree is destroyed either by disease in a slow nature, or by fire in a very quick nature. You see fire is very disruptive, just by its own operation. It destroys everything within its path, the more oxygen it can take over its growth, the bigger the fire gets, the more intense it heats, the more it burns.

But think about those forests that we hate to see burning out in the northwest. Up in California they’ve suffered devastating fires. We really don’t want to see that, but go and look at the ground after the fires been put out. What you see coming out of that process is that fire, as destructive as it may be, is a small part of the restorative process and power of nature. You see at first, we see the damage to the environment and it is horrible. We see the loss of habitat for animals, homes destroyed for our fellow citizens. However, after much discomfort, something miraculous happens. The area destroyed by fire returns more plush, brighter green, and plentiful than it was before the event.

You see the human mind itself is invincible. Breakthroughs are encountered everyday by someone who didn’t know their limitations. Today we have no qualms of picking up our smartphone or going on a computer or calling our friend the travel agent and saying hey, book us a flight to Mexico. Book us a flight to Florida. Book us a flight anywhere we wish to go. We are not limited on this planet of where we can go if we just ask. There is an airplane literally getting you to anywhere on the planet or at least if they don’t have a runway close to anywhere to on the planet and we have ships that can take you the remainder of the way. But there were two brothers, that were simple bicycle repair men that had bigger dreams. They were going to disrupt an industry and they had no idea that they were the integral part that changed the world forever. The Wright brothers as I said were just bicycle repairmen in their shop, but they dreamed of leaving the earth and seeking a goal of human flight.

The idea of flight is not new. Leonardo Da Vinci, the famed inventor, artist, sculpture, created drawings of various machines to achieve flight. Only after the Wright brothers lifted their flying machine from the sandy beach of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina did man visualize and affirm the true greatness of flight. Disruption occurred. You see this didn’t just say, a one-man flying on a plane so many feet, was a great, great accomplishment. But what we did is build upon that solid foundation of technology and innovation, and now to this day in modern times, have airplanes that have the most luxurious of accommodations and technology advancements.

However, years later after Kitty Hawk, the military experts of that day with decades of battle experience on the ground claimed the airplane was ineffective for use in a time of battle. But just a few decades later during World War II, the airplane was instrumental in ending one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world. By flying high above the artillery shells of the Japanese Imperial Army. By systematically dropping two of the recently developed US atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, millions of lives both Japanese and allied were saved and the war was ended.

The atomic bomb again disrupted the process of waging war. Now we’re talking about disruption today. How you are going to only grow if you disrupt your life in a positive way. You see through the horrific disruption on Japan, this little island nation rose to global, industrial, and financial power. By transforming itself to be a better country with opportunity for all its people. So let’s explore the types of disruption that affect us personally. First, inadvertent disruption. You see this is the type of disruption that occurs accidentally, without preparation. For example, I’ll bet all of our listeners today have at least one if not more in their home, of this invention we’re about to speak. If you don’t have one in your home, I assure you have one available to you either in a restaurant, a coffee shop, or you have one at your office. I assure you these are so prominent now in today’s life, that everyone has the capability and availability of using this invention.

There was a gentleman, an engineer, working for a company known as Raytheon. This engineer discovered through no means of intentional planning, the microwave oven. You see what happened, this microwave oven, was basically a mistake that was made, or an unintentional effect of another experiment. Percy Spencer, an engineer with Raytheon, was working in a radiation laboratory. One day while Percy was working on an active radar set, he noticed the candy bar he had in his pocket melted. This “accident”, led Spencer to design and develop the microwave oven. This invention has changed the way we cook dinner and the time we spend with family.

Matter of fact many argue that this disruptive device was the initial catalyst for interrupting family dinners. In other words, they didn’t have the sit-down family dinner where food was made on the oven conventionally, served at the table and all the family sits down. At this time kids come in throw something in the microwave, hit for a couple of minutes, go run somewhere else, come back, foods ready, they’re out the door and gone. I’m not certain I buy this idea, but many have said that the invention of the microwave oven was the disrupter to family time.

So if we talk about inadvertent disruption, then the opposite of that has to be intentional disruption. You see, to reach any goal we set for improvement in life, we must exercise, if you’ll allow me the pardon the pun, intentional behaviors to change. Intentional disruption can be applied to any area of life. Let’s start with our emotional capabilities. To become more mature in our emotional state we must focus on the process. You must be in control of your emotions at times others may not be so strong. To simply allow anger, frustration, and depression to rule our lives is to set yourself up upon the ocean in a raft empowering the waves with authority to take you in the direction the wind is blowing for the day. You are simply going to be pulled in every direction possible. And this will create, in my opinion, a wasted life.

You see disruption can be positive or negative. It’s how you interpret. To achieve a satisfying fulfilled life you can’t hope the winds of the day will take you to success. Only purposeful intentional planning and execution will achieve success as you define it. Another area we must apply intentional disruption is our physical body. So if we got our emotional area now in the process of improvement, let’s work on our physical body. I’m not telling you to go on a miracle diet, run a marathon, or by a gym membership. What I am asking you, is to look at your physical body and ask yourself can this body I currently have accomplish the greatness that my mind can imagine in the current health state I find myself?

And if you’re answering back, well, no there’s just no way I can achieve all the great things I wish to because I don’t have the stamina, I don’t have the strength and I don’t have power to do it, then we need to make some change. You see what a tragedy it would be for you to dream of changing the world, for our greater cause, and your body is unable to execute on the mission. To implement intentional disruption on the physical body, take small incremental steps. Change in your diet by eliminating poor choices such as sodas, candy, desserts, chips, etc. will go a long way to helping you feel more energetic and fit.

Exercise, such as simply walking, will exponentially help your circulatory, digestive, muscular, and immune systems to function properly and efficiently. The United States, based on a survey by the American Medical Association, is the most innovative county on the planet but forty percent of its citizens are considered obese. With the invention of television another disruptive communication device to the newspaper and radio industries, people spend an average 2.8 hours watching TV per day in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Turn off the TV, let’s disrupt that watching of tv, and let’s get moving. Now if you’re like me, I do like to watch TV, but I do something a little differently. I don’t simply sit at the sofa and change channels trying to find something I want to watch. I’m a lot more intentional than that. What I do is I look at the guide for the week of what is going to be showing on the television that I find some interest some learning in, and I set my Tivo or DVR to record those. Then I can actually go through the commercials and watch an hour TV show in about 40 minutes. It thereby saves me 20 minutes and plus what it also does is allows me only to watch those things I wish.

How many times have you said, hey, this looks like a great show and then you’re flipping through channels and now you see another great show, well you may miss something in the first one you wanted to watch, so by recording them it allows you to review areas that you may wish to see later, to get some greater emphasis or learning from that particular show. So now we tackled emotional and physical. There’s just one other area I want to tackle today on disruption. And I’m talking about disrupting your intellectual capabilities.

You know there’s a certain thing in life called formal education. Many of us have formal educations. We go through grade school, junior high, high school, go through college, get a degree, and some of my colleagues have said after getting their degree I will not read another book the rest of my life. Because they were forced into disruption in their college careers, of doing something that they hadn’t done before. They were simply being forced to read books that they themselves wouldn’t have picked at the library and had to write some kind of research paper or something on that book.

So let’s talk about intellectual capability. To increase knowledge you must intentionally act upon a means of learning. I use three modes of learning to keep me in a growth mode intellectually. First, I read books on areas of history, religion, biographies, strategies, business, etc. I don’t refine only one area of life as a genre of books and say that’s all I want to know. I think to be a wiser person to be a more intellectual person, we must dive into areas other than that in which we spend our career. That’s why I’m a big, big fan of reading in areas that I have no means of pursuing a career at this time, or no desire but just love the topics. This is the way I love to learn. And one of the areas of reading I limit myself is novels.

Now I’m not saying there aren’t great novels out there, matter of fact there are thousands and thousands of great novels to entertain us. If John Grisham, for example, publishes a new book, I have read every book from the very first title through today that he’s published. I’ll have read that new published book in a weekend. Man, I just can not put down a good John Grisham thriller. Otherwise, I focus on areas that stretch my thoughts and capabilities to greater heights. You see reading also motivates me to be a better person than I have been. For example, some of the most empowering and motivating biographies are those of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, of which I gained tremendous information. Or leaders like President George Herbert Walker Bush, and his time he spent in battle as he was shot down as his aircraft came to the ocean and he floated in the ocean until being picked up by another vessel.

These men have disrupted what they had for their careers, President Bush did not have to go into the military, he was a letterman in baseball, for his university, his family had wealth, his family did not need to send him to fight a war. But he chose to disrupt his life for the better, and serve his country. You see when I was a small child, reading was my escape from life and it took me to the stars. You know as a little boy I often thought, wow that’d be great to be on one of those rockets and be in that space ship that takes me up to the moon and then beyond. I was often caught and sometimes scolded by my parents for staying up too late, because I’d take a flashlight and I’d sneak one of the encyclopedia volumes from our set of encyclopedias, and I’d sneak it to bed with me and I’d have the covers pulled up and I’d have that flashlight on, because mom and dad made me turn the light out, and I’d be reading about the last space adventure. Or I might be reading about some other area to help me grow my mind in my inquisitiveness to be a bigger more intellectual person.

You know don’t want to date myself too much, but the local library system, when I was a child, supported a bookmobile that came to our small community every two weeks. I was allowed to check out books from any genre and it was one of the seeds that were planted that in my mind and in my life if you will, that placed me on a path of loving books and reading. Thank you Southeastern Oklahoma Library System. So the second mode of learning that I utilized after reading, the second area of learning is I consistently digest courses about subject that are of interest to me.

A company called The Great Courses offers thousands of courses in all imaginable subject areas to allow you to continue your education, whether you’re in a car, on a plane, sitting at your computer. It doesn’t matter, you have a mobile university as I call it. Currently, I have 88 courses in my past experience and they have contributed immensely to my personal growth. You see the completion of these courses is the equivalent in my mind of earning master’s degrees in history, business, and writing. And one of the most interesting areas of study for me has been the World War II era, and the related leaders of that conflict. Sir Winston Churchill, in particular, is one of my favorite historical characters of the era. His ability to overcome insurmountable odds and achieve greatness first for his country, the United Kingdom, and then for himself, is so inspiring to me that I reflect upon his approach to resolving challenges and apply those processes in my own life.

He was a man that had a stutter. He was in terrible physical shape. He was defeated publically and humiliated by his own government at times, the opposing party of course, but he still rose to prominence at one of the most difficult times in the history of his country. You see I firmly believe you can dramatically improve your life by taking a few simple intentional steps toward a better you. So for reading, and we’re listening to great courses, then last mode the third mode of learning for me is listening to podcasts. Now this is gonna sound a little pedantic and self-serving, but there are thousands of podcasts on any subject you may have an interest in pursuing. My personal podcast library consists of seven series that I listen to consistently. By understanding others points of view, it allows me to broaden my horizons on subjects that I have never studied.

Two of my favorite podcasts are focused on history. One is titled Constitutional and the other Presidential. Both produced by Lillian Cunningham of The Washington Post. Now, Constitutional is exactly what you think. It is an in-depth podcast series about the constitution and its findings of law for our country, how it holds us together as a cohesive people. And Presidential, of course, is about all the presidents up to and including our current president number 45, President Trump. It’s a history of these presidents provided by experts from the authors of biographies of these presidents. Their presidential library curators, and also these come from experts at the Library of Congress in DC that possess an in-depth and great knowledge, some of which are PhDs in the study of history on a particular president or era in the United States.

Just fascinating for me to listen to their comments. And I might take just a moment if you don’t mind to brag just for a bit. If you listen to the introduction to the Constitutional podcast, you will hear my voice proudly proclaim a portion of the preamble of our United States Constitution. And it is the phrase, “Do ordain and establish this Constitution.” Lillian was kind enough to allow me to record my voice reciting the preamble and she used a portion of that for the introduction. You know the first time I heard my voice on Lillian’s podcast I just beamed the biggest smile, knowing that I had a very small part in the success of her outstanding show.

So this week, consciously and intentionally set a total of three small goals to improve yourself in one or all areas of your life. This could be a focus on your physical fitness only, or a combination of intellectual, emotional and physical areas. You see, you have greatness within you. However you must disrupt your current mode of living and it will be uncomfortable at first, but I assure you, the end result will be something that moves you forward so that you can live a bigger, better, and bolder life on your own terms.

Without mentioning any identifiers, do me a favor, leave us in the comment section on our website, your improvement goals for next week that will disrupt your current way of life and help your realize your full potential. I’d certainly love to see these, it will motivate me and inspire me as well to know that our listeners are doing things that are making themselves a better person.

Join us next week as we discuss the secret to true happiness and life, here on the Live a Life by Design podcast. Thank you for listening this week and for all of you that have supported this podcast with your reviews and your ratings. Thank you so much, it’s making a tremendous impact as we go throughout these episodes of helping others find hope and a bigger life for themselves.

If you like the show, please tell your family and friends about it.

Let Us Hear From You

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Blogs

See More