Are you Offensive?

February 25th, 2013

(Are You Offensive?)

Last year I was pondering on how bad I am at the game of chess. People always remarked how hard it was to beat me but in the end they always won regardless of how well I fought. It finally dawned on me that I spent all my time and energy on being defensive and little or no time on being offensive and actually winning. A huge “AHA” moment was on the verge of appearing.

Did this have greater implications in my life? Was I running my life like I play chess? Was I making sure that nothing bad happened to me and my family but not going for my dreams? Was I spending all of my time defending what I had instead of going for the score?

If you have ever watched a football game and seen the defense score a touchdown, you probably watched a huge celebration in the end zone. See, the defense doesn’t usually score. That’s not their job. If they just stop anything bad from happening, they’ve done their job. BUT that’s not all there is to winning. In order to win, you have to score. You have to put yourself out there and take a chance on getting tackled or maybe screwing up and fumbling. In other words, in order to win you have to go for it and risk failure, risk being criticized, risk being mocked, risk… well, everything.

Ask yourself, “Am I defending what I have or am I going for what I really want?” You can spend your entire life on the defense and just maybe you might get lucky and score OR you can get offensive. You can say “To hell with fear and the voices inside and outside my head that say I can’t make it, I’d be a fool to try! I’m on the offense now! I am going for the score!”

Whether it’s chess or football or life, you should play to win. No one will remember how well you defended what you had but generations will remember that you were brave enough to go for the win.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride



February 18th, 2013

(THIS Day!)

Most mornings I’ll wake up and think about the things I have to do and I’ll move a bit to see if the regular pains are there and if there are any new ones to worry about. I’ll think about the bills that need paying and I’ll wonder where the money to pay them is coming from. But not THIS morning. THIS morning I will awaken and take a deep breath and even if I cough or hurt, that will be a signal that I am alive. THIS morning I will start thinking better thoughts. THIS morning I will trust that Heaven is there to help me if I believe. THIS morning will be different.

Most afternoons, I’ll eat my lunch because it’s lunch time. I’ll complain a bit about the morning and all the work I didn’t get done. I’ll dread having to shop on the way home and I’ll think of something easy to fix for dinner. I’ll be so tired going back to work after lunch, I don’t know how I will get anything done. But not THIS afternoon. THIS afternoon I am going to eat my lunch like it was the first meal I have eaten in a year. THIS afternoon I will savor every bite. I will mentally thank everyone who made this food in front of me possible. THIS afternoon I will plan the best dinner with whatever resources I have. I will shop and be amazed by all that is available. THIS afternoon when I am finished my lunch I will be more productive than I have ever been. THIS afternoon my complaints will fall as my gratitude rises and rise it will!

Most evenings I will come home and grumble about how I live. I’ll turn on the television and the computer and I’ll look for something even easier for dinner. I’ll dramatize my tiredness so no one will bother me and I’ll have a good reason to lash out if they do. I’ll eat dinner while I watch TV or sit at the computer. I’ll forget how it tasted and I’ll find some desert so that dinner will have some small pleasure. I’ll make the calls I have to because it is expected of me and I’ll go to bed knowing that I’m not going to sleep very well. But not THIS evening. THIS evening I’ll be thinking of my blessings beforehand so that when I step through the door after shopping or working, I’ll feel richer than King Solomon. THIS evening I’ll realize, maybe for the first time, what an incredible life I have and that anything is possible. THIS evening I’ll be thankful for everything from my shower to my bed to my lights to my food. I’ll cook the best meal I can with what I have. I’ll listen to music and wait to use the TV and computer until later. THIS evening I’ll eat consciously like I ate my lunch. THIS evening I will call who I want. THIS evening I will plan a better tomorrow. THIS evening I will give thanks. THIS evening I will lay my head down and rest. Should gentle sleep come, I will enjoy it. If it does not come easily I will rest THIS evening and I will know that I truly lived THIS day.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


You are wrong!

February 11th, 2013

(You are Wrong!)

The three words that fill us with terror, have us scrambling for excuses or blame and automatically triggers a very defensive position are “You are Wrong!”These words have made us cringe since we were children. Things are different now that we have grown but our response is the same. Time for a change.

When we were children, we inadvertently did some things wrong. It was part of the learning process. As we grew older, we touched the hot stove less and we found out that we shouldn’t put a red shirt in the wash with our white clothes. We made less mistakes by accident. Now our mistakes were calculations that went astray, perceptions that were seen different in a different light. In other words, we are still making mistakes but most are conscious mistakes. When someone points out that we were wrong, we should, now that we are adults, study their evidence and if right, change and if wrong, defend our position. But that’s not how we react!

We expect to be humbled, punished, yelled at and made to feel stupid or inferior. Listen to this carefully- NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO YELL AT YOU OR BELITTLE YOU AT ANY TIME! NO ONE! No job is worth it. No relationship is worth it. No security is worth it. You are a human being with all the rights you demand. That’s right, not the rights you were given but the rights you demand.

If you make a mistake that tells me you are trying. If you make a mistake and you are open to a calm correction, that tells me you are growing. If you make a mistake and you are willing to change that tells me you are as strong as the oak tree that bends but never breaks. If you make a mistake and admit it that tells me you have courage. If you make a mistake and refuse to let anyone raise their voice to you or belittle you or bully you that tells me that you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you and if you are not there yet…it’s time for a change.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Lights Out?

February 4th, 2013

(Lights Out?)

What happens when your light goes out? I’m not talking about death. I’m talking about those times in your life when suddenly the joy has up and left. I’m talking about things becoming so dark that you can no longer see the positive words and thoughts and memories that used to project clearly on the screen of your consciousness. How do you find the match to light a candle if it’s too dark to see the matches?

There is a certain harmony to continuing to feel the way we are feeling even if that feeling is dark. Our thoughts, our imagination and our projections all seek to be in harmony with our current mood even if it is in direct conflict to how we say we want to be. Above all, we seek harmony. We want our finances, our health, our well being, our outlook, our family and our friends to all be on the same page. So, we are not just trying to banish the darkness when it becomes oppressive, we also need to find the strength to bust out of our dark harmony. But how?

We cannot stand next to a raging fire without bursting into flames ourselves and therein lies the answer. In order to bring light back into our life we must find a being that is so filled with a burning light that bringing that being to mind or sitting in the company of that being causes our flame to ignite once again. For some that is God or a Great Master. For others it is nature herself. For others it is the unconditional love of a pet. And for others it is the bright burning light of a loved one.

You and I have two directives. One is too seek out those brightly burning beings when we need to escape the darkness and come back into harmony with love and light and the second is to be that bright burning flame for others.

Sometimes you will be the lighthouse and sometimes you will seek the lighthouse. To do one or the other is to truly live. Such is life.

(c)2013 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride