REAL ISSUES

One Degree Off

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When you’re flying it doesn’t take much to end up way off course. Just being off your heading by one degree over a long enough period of time will put you miles away from your destination. For every sixty miles that you fly - when you’re off by just one degree - will equal being one mile off course. In aviation that’s called the 60-to-1-rule.

The same is true in life. Being off course a little each day, over the course of several years will put you miles away from being the man you wanted to become. Overeating and skipping workouts might seem only slightly off course, but that behavior over years will take you far away from the man you want to be. Looking at porn might seem like being only one degree off heading, but that behavior over the long-term will transport you farther off course than you realize.

You don’t have to make a colossal turn in the complete wrong direction to ruin your life; it’s those small everyday choices that can destroy us. Stay on course with the small things, and become the man you want to be - one degree at a time.

Don't Shoot!

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Picture yourself walking through a battlefield where your friends and family members are all lying around wounded. They’re alert and talking, but they have serious wounds that require attention. As you picture this scene, what is your reaction? Is it to help them or trample them? To yell at them or carry them?

The truth is, we do have friends and family that are very seriously wounded. Maybe they’ve suffered trauma or abuse. Maybe they’re battling depression, anxiety, or addiction. They’re alert and moving, but they aren’t living up to their potential.

The problem is that too often we men trample them instead of carry them to help. We act like super heroes when our loved ones are hurt physically, but we behave like villains when they suffer emotionally.

Dwight Carlson, M.D., explains in Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded that emotional and mental problems are real neurological conditions that require treatment; they are not just imaginary because we can’t see them.

It’s time to change the way we think about those who suffer from anxiety and depression. We need to help them as we would a buddy on the battlefield.

Anxiety

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I use to think that only other people had problems with anxiety. Probably because I didn’t really understand what it was.

But that panicky, short-of-breath feeling like you're about to jump out of your skin and run away over a situation that makes you nervous…now that I could relate with. Oh, that’s anxiety!

If you listen to your anxiety and obey its commands, then it grows stronger. It learns that it’s in charge. And it will keep you in a cage that shrinks a little bit each day. The key to conquering anxiety is to run straight towards it. Force it into the cage.

Do the opposite of what anxiety tells you to do. Take a deep breath and approach that person, make that phone call, take the stand, speak out.

Like so many things, anxiety attacks us when we’re tired, hungry, or stressed. So the best defense is self-care. We can’t run ourselves ragged, over-worked, under-rested, eating fast food and expect to avoid problems like anxiety.

When we’re relaxed, well rested, practicing self-care, and eating healthy we’re a harder target for anxiety. But if it does slip into your day, do the opposite of what it wants.