Artwork for podcast Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 2
Day 308 – 6 Essential Waypoints to Live a Better Life
3rd April 2016 • Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 2 • H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III
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Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 308 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

6 Essential Waypoints to Live a Better Life

Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 308 of our trek, and yesterday we hiked steep terrain as we traversed the 7 steps to destroy bad habits. Today we will visit the 6 essential waypoints to live a better life.

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Thank you so much for coming along with me each day as we explore and consume these “nuggets of wisdom.” These bits of wisdom help us to live a rich and satisfying life while creating a living legacy. While some of our daily treks are a multi-part series, you can join us at any time and start along with us from that point on. If you would like to listen to any of the past episodes, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen to them and read the daily journal. You can also subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on iTunes, Spreaker, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play, so each day’s trek will be downloaded to you automatically.

We are recording our podcast from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. We finished the week strong with work and projects. We didn’t accomplish all that we had hoped to, but we still accomplished a lot. It was great to be able to invest the additional time with our grandkids this week also. On Saturday, I was able to finish stripping several layers of old paint from a couple of old metal army beds that were Paula’s dad’s and Uncle Don’s when they were growing up. I painted them with a fresh coat of brown Rustoleum, and they will have a couple of weeks to dry while we are back in Charlotte. When we come back to The Big House in mid-April, we will move them into the upstairs back bedroom.

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As we head out on our trek for today, we will be on the lookout for…

6 Essential Waypoints to Live a Better Life

I’m living a good life, but I can still do better. We all can. Every day is a series of choices. Today is the culmination of all the choices we’ve made up to this point. It is funny when we act surprised by how life has turned out when we ultimately made the choices that have led to this place. Like I heard an older person once say, “I would have made better choices if I had known I was going to live this long.” Here are the 6 essential waypoints that we can learn from to live a better life.

1. Rest

The Roman poet Ovid once said, “Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

As a culture in the western world, we live at a break-neck speed. We’re going so fast we can’t stop until we crash. The statistical evidence of the negative impact stress is having on us is alarming. Stress is literally killing us:

  • Stress is the cause of 60% of all human illnesses and disease.
  • 3 out of 4 doctor visits are for stress-related issues.
  • Stress increases the risk of heart disease (40%), heart attack (25%), and stroke (50%).
  • 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods.
  • 44% of stressed people lose sleep every night.

I could go on, but it’s too depressing. The reality is, none of this is new news. So why do we continue? We need to stop.

You absolutely must rest from your work. Schedule down time into your day where you completely unplug from electronics and all the inputs that bombard you every day. Take time to just be still.

Get enough sleep. Well rested people have better memories and learning ability, better metabolism and weight control, better moods and better cardiovascular systems just to name a few. Sleeping is like hitting the reset button each day. We start fresh every day after a good night sleep.

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2. Reflect

Management Guru Peter Drucker said, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come more effective action.”

Few of us know ourselves the way we should. We are with ourselves all day long, yet we often can’t answer the question of why we do what we do. Or other basic questions like our true purpose and passions in life. Many times we continue doing the same things day in and day out, not getting the results we want, but for the life of us can’t figure out why.

It’s only through reflection that you can ascribe meaning to your experiences. Through reflection, you can better predict what will make you successful in the future. Without it, you continue blindly on your way repeating mistakes, scratching your head, and asking why, yet not taking the time to give a real answer. You can’t live better if you don’t know yourself better.

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3. Build stronger, deeper, richer relationships

As Mother Teresa said, “Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”

We were created in God’s image to be relational people. Relationships are critical to our well-being. Relationships are the key to living longer, dealing with stress, being healthier, and feeling richer. They also help guard against decreased immune systems, depression, and high blood pressure. With all those advantages, why wouldn’t we want stronger, deeper, richer relationships?

Connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level. It’s not without risk because to do so you must put yourself out there in an authentic way. However, authenticity breeds authenticity in relationships that are worth cultivating. To live better, invite someone to lunch, dinner, or coffee, somewhere, anywhere to connect. People are worth the investment of time and energy.

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4. Forgive

Bernard Meltzer said, “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.”

This one can be hard to do. But you remain in a prison of your own making, drinking a poisoned cocktail of bitterness when you live in un-forgiveness. Forgiveness releases you to move on. It doesn’t make the other person right, it just sets you free. Choosing to continue on in un-forgiveness shortens your lifespan and limits your opportunities to have an abundant life.

1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” So, choose forgiveness.

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5. Gratitude

Henry Ward Beecher said, “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

Do you know what all people have in common that are able to endure seemingly impossible hardships? They’re grateful. Not for their circumstances, but for the good in their lives that they see more clearly against the backdrop of tough times and less than ideal circumstances.

Gratitude is a character trait that must be developed, not just a temporary state of mind. It has many benefits including building your immune system and guarding against the ill-effects of stress. Other side benefits of a grateful attitude are increased happiness and life satisfaction. There really is no downside to it.

Build grateful habits into your life. Each day, begin or end your day writing what you’re thankful for. This sets the stage for a positive day.

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6. Get outside of yourself to serve and give to others.

Matthew 6:3-4 tells us, “But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

When you serve and give generously, without expectation of return or profit, your world is enlarged. You become better, live better, and fulfill one of your purposes for being on this earth. Because this life isn’t about you. It’s about your impact on your people, your community, and the world. It is living your legacy daily.

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Along our trek for today, we visited the 6 essential waypoints to live a better life. Tomorrow we will explore the 3 crucial trails to survive major transitions on life’s trek. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.

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That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person, so they can come along with us each day.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.

As we take this trek together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!

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