Are You Cheating Yourself?

Well, happy fifth of July, everybody. Hope everybody still has all their fingers that’s going to be watching this. I did a video. One of the things I hate to do is I hate to do videos, come on here and waste everybody’s time, if I got nothing to talk about, or anything worth the value of saying, right?

There was something that a couple weeks ago caught my eye, challenged me, hit me hard, hit me in the old proverbial bread basket, and made me really think. I love those times, those times where I … That’s what makes me better. That’s what challenges me to be different.

Every now and then, I may have to pause for effect as a boat goes by. We’re up at the lake, and taking a break between tubing with the kids, and playing in the water with the kids, and getting a few videos done, a little work done too, right?

Anyway, this Facebook post that I saw, and I’m going to talk about who posted it, because I feel, this isn’t, if it’s not my original material, I need to give credit to the person who brought it forth. Here we have one of those pauses for effect. Yeah, and there we go. Two boats, each of them flying the American flag. That’s awesome. Anyway.

I’m going to make sure I give credit where credit is due, because that it was, in my mind, the concept and the words and how this person did this was brilliant. So much so that I did a post in our business page, that relates to our business that my wife and I do, for our team. Those of you that have seen it already, no big deal. You’ve seen this and heard this, but I wanted to talk to you a little bit about you are cheating yourself.

By that, I mean this. I’m going to read you something. This was written by [Ashley Decker 00:02:02], who is a member of our team. She does some coaching and stuff like that. It was absolutely phenomenal. Bear with me while I read you guys something.

It’s Sunday. You know what that means? You can have sex with anyone. I worked so hard today, I deserve to make out with my coworker, Mary. It’s like 15 minutes. No big deal. I’ve earned it. Celebrating 15 years of marriage, I need to go on vacation and hook up with as many strangers as I can in seven days.

Yeah. Again and again, this is how we treat our relationship with food. It’s Sunday. Margaritas, queso, and all you can eat taco bar. #cheatday. I worked so hard today, I deserve this pint of Ben & Jerry’s while I polish off this bottle of red. No big deal. I’ve earned it. I’ve been hitting the gym hard and eating clean for the past six months. When we go on vacation this week, all bets are off. I’m eating as much as I want in the next seven days.

We completely understand and accept that relationships with our partners need commitment and dedication. If we love our partner, we won’t hurt them. Relationships need respect for our partners and ourselves, right? We choose to take longterm love and certainty in a marriage over the short term bliss of lust. We need the same expectations in our relationships with every other part, right?

Think about it this way, and this is why I think it fits so well into every aspect of life. In the book, I talk about the different areas, as men, we need to man up, right? One of those is, let’s say, as a father. How many of us, as fathers, would say, “You know what? I’ve been parenting really hard for the last two weeks. I deserve a week off from parenting. I’m just going to take a break from that. I worked hard, right? I deserved it. I’ve earned it.” None of us are going to do that, unless you’re an absolute crap parent. There are those out there, but no. We’re going to muscle through it. We’re going to push through that piece of being there for our kids, parenting. You don’t take a break from parenting. We may have, maybe we’re on vacation and we’re leaving the kids at home, but we don’t take a break from it. We’re always their parent. We always care for them. We always love them.

Our spouse, the same thing. This talk abouts our spouse. How many of us think that way? “You know what? Hey. You know what? We’ve been married 15” … If I told Brenda, “Hey, you know what?” We just had our 22nd wedding anniversary. If I said, “You know what, honey? We have been doing really good for 22 years. Tell you what. Let’s just take a break, both of us, and … We deserve it. We’ve earned a little extra play time with someone else.” I can guarantee you pretty much that we wouldn’t have that 23rd wedding anniversary.

Think about that in our faith. You know? “I’ve been working really hard to become a better person. I’ve been watching my language. I’ve been looking out for others. I’ve been showing love to others. You know what? I’ve earned the chance now to not do that. I’ve earned the ability to not show love towards others, to not look out for other people.” No. We don’t do that.

When it comes to our health, when it comes to working out, why are we so willing to shortchange ourself? Why are we so willing to cheat on ourselves, to cheat on everything that we’ve been moving forward in life in? [inaudible 00:05:34], it’s exactly, it is time to man up. It’s time to man up and just continue to push forward.

I’m not saying that sitting down and having a piece of birthday … Let’s say you’re working out really hard, you’re losing weight, and you’re meeting your goals, and you’re watching what you eat. You’re becoming healthy. Let’s say you’re doing that. It’s not saying that you can’t have a piece of birthday cake when it’s your son or your daughter or your wife’s birthday. It’s not saying that. It’s just saying why would you now just say, “Screw everything I’ve been working for. Screw every piece of heartache and work that I’ve put in to doing and achieving what I’ve achieved, and I’m just going to go [inaudible 00:06:22] the door for a few days or for a week.”

There’s being realistic about these things. It’s not saying that you can’t go on a vacation with just your wife and leave the kids with somebody else, and have that alone time, that one on one time, where you get that reprieve or you get that break, right? It’s not saying that, in a relationship, that you both also deserve that time alone, that time to fill up your cup, so you can now go back and fill up their cup. That’s just as important, but it’s not saying you’re going the other way, right? Because that cheating piece, when you’re cheating on …

Many times, when you’re cheating, you’re cheating yourself the most. If you’re cheating in the relation piece, where you’re not, I’m not saying you’re sleeping with someone, but you’re just not giving the most you can or what you could be giving to them, the attention that they deserve, here’s what happens. Many times, when you slack off in that piece, when you slack off in what you should be doing for your kids, when you slack off on that …

How many times have heard, when they say, “You know, when I went and I gave and I worked and I did something on a service trip, or I volunteered my time. I got more out of it than I think the people did that I served or I volunteered for.” Right? We’ve all, most of us have been there at some point, and it’s no different in our relationships with our spouses, with our friends, with our kids. The more we give, the more we get. That’s just what happens. When you’re cheating yourself, because you’re giving up on those other things with other people, you are the one, at the end of the day, if you want to talk about it from a selfish perspective, you’re losing out. The more you give to others, the more that you’re going to get. The more free you are with who you are, the more you become. I think that was just a big thing that I had today, guys, was you know, look at …

It’s not … What this caused me to do is it didn’t cause me to go, “Oh, I’m a terrible person.” What this caused me to do was to sit and reflect and to go, “Okay, am I doing any of these things? Am I allowing myself to cheat on myself, to cheat on what I’ve been going for, to cheat on what I’ve been trying to accomplish and moving myself backwards instead of forwards?” Again, none of us are perfect. None of us are going to always be on the perfect diet. None of us are always going to be the perfect father, the perfect husband, perfect in our faith. None of that. If you think you, if that’s what you’re striving for is perfection, the only thing you’re going to do is cause frustration for yourself. That’s it. You’re going to let yourself down.

I talk about this quite a bit. Many people say they want success. I’m striving for success. Right? I’m going to challenge your thought process on this success piece. Don’t strive for success. Success is not my goal. I don’t think success is Brenda’s goal either. What you should be striving for, in my mind, is excellence. Excellence is …

Success is comparing myself against somebody else and what they’ve done, or comparing myself to a standard that may or may not be real or attainable for who I am or for what I can expect, right? If I’m striving for excellence, excellence is just trying to be better than I was yesterday, improving. That’s it. This whole cheat piece here, if you’re striving for excellence, you’re only striving to be better than you were, and guess what comes when you strive for excellence. Many times, the proverbial corporate version of success, success at life, success in your marriage, success as a father, that comes when you strive for excellence. When you strive to be better than you were, when you strive to not cheat on yourself, that’s that excellence piece that I’m talking about.

Here’s the thing. None of us are perfect. None of us are going to be perfect. We can’t attain that, but what we can do is we can attain imperfect progress. That imperfect progress is striving for excellence, being better than you were yesterday, being better than you were last hour. When somebody’s trying to quit something. When I was trying to quit chewing, excellence, for me, was being better than I was the last minute, better than I was the last 10 minutes, being better than I was the last hour. That was that excellence piece.

That’s what I’m saying today, guys. Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t try and focus on success, but focus on excellence, because that excellence piece will push you forward, you forward. You’re not comparing yourself to some other set of standards that you can’t live up to or that somebody else created. You’re comparing yourself to what you were and the standards that you want for yourself.

That’s all I got today, guys. I hope you all had a safe Fourth. I hope you all have … I got all 10 fingers. I got all 10 toes. I hope everybody had a wonderful Fourth of July that are in the States that are viewing this. Have a safe rest of the week, fun rest of the week. We’ll talk soon. I’ll get back on here when I got something else to say that I think is of value. Take care, guys.