337 – Routines

Know life’s routines—food, exercise, sleep, study, work, whatever. Know them in yourself, know them in others, keep them, change them, always respect them in others. If changing your routine proves a difficult necessity, tell yourself that changing your routine might be part of the routine. Still, changing and managing routine remains an individual task. The most important thing in having a routine is to know that one has a routine and to then respect it.

If you get fat, miss your exercise, lose needed nutrition, skip a Sabbath rest, lose sleep, oversleep, don’t read your daily Bible, fail in your commitment to positive entertainment, or don’t add the daily brick to your road—you will have many more problems than you thought you saved yourself. Staying true to necessary steps of your routine is one part in keeping your personal integrity and staying true to your values.

You can’t always keep normal routines. In travel and holidays, routines can get upset, which will test your resolve. So, you must be prepared to return to your routines after those disturbances. Moreover, you must structure your routines in such a way that you can keep them going to some extent, even during irregular times. Itinerant speakers and highly productive people have very sporadic schedules, but their routines must stay maintained to some extent in their travels. The key is to be low-budget and scalable.

Resourceful routines endure. You do not need to buy super expensive food to eat healthily or to get minimum nutrition supplements. Convert some junk food money to Calcium or change “beer to sleep” time into exercise time. Learn to do push-ups on your bed, and include multiple skills in your exercise repertoire, including street dance and martial arts. Buy the cheaper, smaller computer first, if computing is part of your routine, then you can take it with you. Sometimes your only place to work or exercise is at the airport and your only place to buy food is a gas station. Some shoulder freezes at the train station will draw YouTube likes and a chili dog with sour kraut, extra ketchup, and double mustard might compensate for a day without vitamin tablets.

217 – Let Action Shout at You

The louder voice of action shouting down the quiet voice of words serves as a common reminder to act wisely and charitably. But, the stronger teaching might impel us to listen to the actions of others more carefully than we listen to their words. If we learn the art of listening to action, we might quickly improve our ability to speak the language of action more fluently. Human language and friendship works the same way: Listen first.

If we listened action more than words, politicians wouldn’t get away with lying via “effort”. Bad companies wouldn’t be able to cover their tracks with deceptive marketing. And, we wouldn’t spend as much time arguing with friends.

Think about the times your friendships have been strained by conflict. The neighbors won’t control their dog, it barks everyday, and one day bites. A simple conversation in the beginning makes sense. The neighbors make a promise to control the dog, but don’t. More conversation isn’t the answer. Their actions spoke, but too many follow the foolishly well-worn path of over-beaten dead horses. Take a hint. Get the message. The neighbors aren’t going to control the dog. Get wise before someone gets bitten.

Religious, social, and sales organizations speak the same “action” lingo. From leader to pawn, when people announce through their actions that you don’t agree, don’t go to committee; hold one, single conversation, then move on. Your response could include taking a witness, but no more than once.

When the pastor won’t preach Jesus without preaching tithes for himself, two days is more than enough time to converse and get out—and certainly more than enough reason to make your reasons public. If the MLM won’t focus on sales through competitive prices, but keeps promoting “sales tools” to help win the uphill battle that those inflated prices created, take the hint: You’re not selling soap and kitchenware; you’re selling a set of self-perpetuating teaching tools.

Criminals know that wrong is wrong. People don’t take dishonest action because they haven’t listen to you enough; they take dishonest action because they don’t care about others. Hear the shouts of action, then let your own actions respond: gentleness once, witness, then act.