Don’t Read this Post! (unless you’re finally ready to take action)

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

Sometimes, for some people, an extended hand, a gentle voice, a nudge, an invitation or a reminder call is all that’s needed to get us off the couch of life and back into the game.

But sometimes, for some of us, we need a little tough love to push us into taking action. For such people, at such times, the gentle voice is ignored. The nudge brushed off. The invitation left unopened.

Sometimes forthright honesty delivered in the form of a verbal shake of the shoulders is needed to wake us up, to motivate us to step out of the gray comfort we’ve become accustomed to, into the brilliant eye-stinging daylight of possibility.

Sometimes Happiness comes after the Climb

Happiness is not about trying to make you feel good all the time. It doesn’t always feel good to climb mountains over rugged terrain. Legs burn. Arms ache. Shins bleed. Feet blister. Toes bruise. Shoulders knot and backs grow weary. But that’s how you get to mountaintops.

Happiness is not always in the valley. Quite often, it’s at the summit after a long climb.

This is a post meant to get you climbing again, not to tell you how special you are, even though you very likely are! Those posts have their place. I’ve written them. I’ll write them again. But not this one today.

This is another kind of post. Direct. Bold. In your face. Challenging.

So click away if you’re not ready for some straight talk. Today, the gloves are coming off.

In the meantime, start with these …

5 Bad Habits you have to Stop … Yesterday!

1. Stop whining and do something!

Life can be spent moaning and groaning about all the unfair disadvantages, gross injustices and horrible circumstances it has condemned you to live.

Or you can get up and do something about it. Fix it. Change it. Write about it. Get others involved in overcoming it. Or change yourself so that you experience the circumstance differently, thereby transforming the experience of it.

But ultimately, the responsibility is yours. The condition you find yourself in may or may not have been your making. But if you want to change it, it is all yours to change. The more you whine and complain about it, the more you will likely sink into the mud of inaction. Your life belongs to you, so own it and go make it better!

2. Stop crying about what was or wasn’t and live!

Stop living life in your rear-view mirror. The past is done. It happened. It’s over. Let it go already. Now go do something more with it. Change the direction and trajectory as needed. Get into living now, in the moment, in the daily experiences of which life is made.

Stop wishing for a different past and create a different reality, starting today. Stop regretting and start doing. Stop focusing so much on how you feel about what has or hasn’t happened to you and start building something of your life in this moment, something your future self will look back on and be proud for having started.

3. Stop waiting for life (or luck or dad or God) to bail you out!

Are you waiting for the cards to finally be dealt right, or God to finally favor you, or dad to finally show up at the last minute to bail you out? Well, just stop it!

Go ahead and keep praying, but live your life as though it was up to you to make God’s blessings show up. Get to the work of living. Get to the work of growing. Get to the work of fashioning the life you dream of. It falls on your shoulders and on no one else’s.

The clay of your life is in your hands. But you have choices: You can let others print their will into the patterns and attitudes of your life. Or you can leave it out to dry, hardening around the DNA of your family culture and handed-down worries and fears.

Or you can pick up the ball of clay that is your life and take 100% responsibility for the end product. One attitude puts you in the role of victim. The other gives you power to shape your own life. So stop waiting and start shaping the clay you’ve been given into the life you were meant to live!

4. Stop wasting time and start respecting yourself more!

Turn off the TV and sign out of Facebook and stop watching other people’s creativity on YouTube and go do something creative yourself.

Get off your butt and get involved with people. Serve them. Work with them. Find a creative group of people you can associate with. Feed them and feed off of them. Create a frenzy for living life to its fullest.

You don’t have to jump off mountain tops or trek around the globe. Just do something meaningful with the time you’ve been given.

It can be as simple as joining a book or bike club, or a Bible study group, or an explorers or science club, or the local PTA, or a service organization, or a group of people dedicated to, well, whatever! Just do it! Stop waiting for others to open the door of your life to coax you out. Just get up. Walk over. Open. Go!

5. Stop waiting to feel loved (supported, forgiven, liked, appreciated, apologized to, whatever) before you start loving (supporting, forgiving and appreciating)!

Those who wait for others to change before granting them forgiveness are condemned to do a lot of waiting in their lives. They give their power and self-directive control to others. They forfeit self-determinism for a scripted reactionary life.

Don’t let how you feel be the excuse you use to justify living life somewhere south of your potential.

Don’t wait to be loved before loving. Don’t wait to be served before serving. Don’t wait for life to align just right before you truly begin living!


When you become this proactive and self-responsible to the point that such self-defeating habits largely fade to a memory, you will be well on your way to living an extraordinary life of happiness and accomplishment and purpose and meaning.

But be sure to come back next Monday because I’m not done shaking your shoulders! 🙂

Over the course of the next 5 weeks, I’ll be challenging you to step up your game, to pick up your feet and climb to higher ground. I promise not to yell … much. But I will challenge you in no uncertain terms to step up your game and live life at a higher altitude.

Are you ready for the climb?

Come back regularly to check out my personal progress with each of the challenges as I daily catalog my triumphs, failures and discoveries in the comments (starting next week with the first formal challenge, that is).

Read: How Will You Measure Your Life?


  • In what area of your life do you need a kick start?
  • Where have you been lagging?
  • What do you do to motivated yourself?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out each of the Challenges in the series below:

Challenge #1: What Do You Have to Complain About?

Challenge #2: Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

Challenge #3: Are you Finally Ready to Forgive?

One more thing: