Posts Tagged ‘principles

01
Aug
13

The Three Decisions by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Three_Decisions1I’ve heard my father give this speech hundreds of times. In fact, it was a major section of his bestselling motivational classic, Life Is TremendousThe Three Decisions: Who are you going to live your life with, what are you going to live your life doing, and who you are going to live your life for. I know my father worked very hard and came from humble beginnings, but I always kind of assumed that he was one of the very few who just got it right the first time. After all, he married my mother at 20 years of age and they stayed married for the next 60 years. He was a world-renowned motivational speaker who had a certain charisma that was unrivaled. His faith in the almighty God after he became a Christian at 23 was as pure and radical a transformation as Paul’s on the road to Damascus.

So easy for him to make these decisions, right? Wrong! When you read The Three Decisions you will see a man who made a decision and then spent his life committing himself to it. There was nothing easy about it. Committed people only look that way to outsiders. This is such a rarity these days we just assume great fortune or that the stars were aligned when someone leads a charmed life. There are no charmed lives. There are only those who live life giving their all to what they’ve committed to with their decisions.

My father said the secret to a lifelong marriage isn’t compatibility, its commitment, and that you cannot make this decision based on how it goes, but solely on integrity; that God does not put romance in marriage, but in people, and it’s up to us to ensure it stays there. My father also said that God never made a job to make a man; He made men to make a job. And if you wanted a better job, you needed to do a better job. And when my father finally made his personal commitment to accept the Bible as absolute truth, he pursued it with all his heart. He would say, “With all my heart I’m telling you this: you ought to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe, and you ought to be willing to believe it so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.”

His lifelong mantra was that if what you’re going to get supersedes what you’re going to give, you’re in the wrong ballpark. In other words, if you are always on the make for a better person, job, or god based on what it’s going to do for you, you aren’t even alive. But when you are so ready to commit to one person, one passion, and one master that you’d give it all up, then you are capable of making the three most important decisions of your life and to live life tremendously and triumphantly.

03
Jul
13

TGIF! Thank God I’m Free!!

FREEDOM Flag 3I am a happy person by nature. I am also strong and tolerant. That means I tend to attract those who are, as well as those who are not. Unfortunately, on planet Earth, the latter outnumber the former, so you do the math. While some people create drama, my life seemed destined to attract it.

I became aware of this as a young girl when my father called me a “weirdo magnet.”  So, after a half century of hearing thousands of bitches, complaints, whines, and excuses, I am turning that channel off.  I am finally free to be me, and just in time for Independence Day!!

Freedom from everyone’s expectations!

I am free because I am finally doing exactly what I should with my life. No more chasing other people’s ideas of what a good job is, no more going into jobs to fix what others should have corrected years ago. Why, even my father didn’t ask me to come back and run the family business on his death bed. He knew it had to be my choice alone. I also no longer expect bosses to be fair and ethical. I know that, while there are some who are, there are many more who aren’t. I no longer have to deal with them. I am free to make as much money as I want to give to organizations that I know will make the world a better place.

Freedom from everyone’s drama!

I am free because I no longer allow myself to engage in drama with others, including family members. I just give the old stormtrooper’s wave-off, “Move along, nothing to listen to here.” This may seem harsh, but the true cruelty is when you allow people to continuously wallow in their own self pity and poor self esteem. It’s like the old Nik Kershaw song, “You gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure.” Emotional vampires don’t care about getting advice from you; they just want to suck the life out of you. Pull out the garlic cloves and holy water and tell them to be gone!!

Freedom from everyone’s manipulation!

I am free because I am true to myself and my beliefs. I don’t get drawn into arguments anymore. I don’t fall prey to subtle forms of manipulation such as false praise or subtle digs. I follow my principles even if they are unpopular, or they cost me a neighbor, an author, a boyfriend, or even a family member. We all die alone and in the end, the only person we have to answer to is God. Don’t believe? Then don’t you worry about it. And don’t try and bring me down because I have faith and you don’t.

You know you’re on the right track when you’re uninterested in looking back. The quieter you become the more you can hear. Know what you believe, and why you believe what you believe, so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.

26
Mar
13

Does where you stand depend on where you sit?

ImageI have no idea why they even bother to broadcast “news” anymore. Seriously, if I were a mainstream journalist, I would be so embarrassed I’d go incognito. Without even turning on the sound, I can tell where a particular commentator stands.  For example, if you have a “D” after you name, I know what you are going to say, and if you have an “R”, I also know what you are going to say. Truth in reporting has been smothered out by snarky opinions and facts have been replaced with personal attacks and fabrications.

This problem is as old as man himself. It’s the old love of power versus power of love dilemma. Or as my neighbor so beautifully put it, “People don’t want to do right, they want to be right.” And therein is the true reason why leadership is so scarce. General George S. Patton said, “Congress is usually void of leadership. I don’t know that congress will ever have any leadership because they are always running for reelection.” And this type of motivation leads an individual to make all kind of policy shifts and flip flops.

Now it is perfectly acceptable (even enlightened) to change your opinion about things, but you should not change your principles. You must keep your convictions regardless of what the poll of public opinion says. We can uproot and change political parties, faiths, jobs, and relationships, but once uprooted our roots must be firmly replanted on something with sustenance. If we root in the shallow soil of wanting only to be voted “in” or promoted “up” at all costs, we won’t have deep roots and won’t be capable of producing fruit or withstanding the “violent opposition of mediocre minds” as Albert Einstein so aptly put it.

Doing the right thing has nothing to do with you personally proving yourself right. Doing the right thing has nothing to do with which side of the political aisle you sit on. Doing the right thing is about the constant application of the truth because the truth will set you free. That’s exactly why we are so confused as a country and in this endless national morass. We have put ourselves in bondage to perversion of truth and accountability and discipline in all aspects of our national existence. And until we face it, we are not going anywhere because we do not have a root structure that can sustain growth.

Leadership has nothing to do with where you sit; it has everything to do with where you stand. When I was in the military, leadership was about showing the troops how to do the right thing and living it by example. There was structure and the absolute expectations that those at the top would do the right thing, regardless of what it may cost them. They took clear, decisive action and in doing so created better soldiers who would obey and, when necessary, pay the ultimate price.

So for God’s sake, get off the party line and learn to think based on your principles. Just because you’re in one base camp doesn’t mean that the other side should jump off a cliff. 

02
Aug
12

This is a free country, right???

I remember back in the mid ‘90s when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under President Clinton was unveiled. Many of my fellow soldiers thought this relaxing of standards was wrong based on the fact that homosexuality is deviant behavior. Being analytical, I told them that adultery was as well, and we knew several soldiers who were having affairs. My point was that no sin is worse than any other sin from a Biblical standpoint, not even suicide.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” No matter how much worldly progress we make on this planet, man is wicked to the core, plain and simple. It’s called the human condition and we all suffer from it; not just certain groups or lifestyles, all of us.

You’ve got to give respect to get respect. When you come across someone who believes the Koran or the Book of Mormon and expresses their beliefs, do you vilify them? I doubt it, at least in this country. Not yet anyway.

We all enjoy freedom of choice. If God gives each of us the choice between Heaven and Hell (heck, he even allowed Adam to decide what to do with the forbidden fruit), why do we need to vilify others for their choices or their beliefs?

Hate the sin, not the sinner. As a Christian, I look to the Bible for my guidance on the definition of marriage. I also have several gay friends for whom I would do anything. Christ consorted with all kinds of sinners, even very righteous ones. That doesn’t mean he condoned their lifestyles; it means he loved them.

There are people in other countries who will kill you for your beliefs. We don’t do that in America so stop trying to condemn and verbally stone each other! The double standard is revolting. The founder of Amazon.com is pro-gay marriage, as is Ben and Jerry’s, yet there is no attempt to have them barred from various cities for not reflecting, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “the views of the city.”

Tolerance and judgment are two different things. I’m a publisher of motivational material. I don’t allow negative people to rent space in my life. Does that mean I’m judging them? No! It means I do not tolerate certain attitudes. When I worked for the government I had many different clearances. That meant I could not associate with people whose lifestyles were deemed risky. Did I judge them? No! Did I tolerate hanging out with them? No.

There is no requirement to personally tolerate every type of behavior or lifestyle. We are each free to set our own standards and, for many of us, those standards are Biblical. Our founding fathers fought and died to allow us these freedoms, and our nation exists so that each of us may live according to the dictates of our own conscience. Are you are a little out of step with society at large? March proudly anyway. You are free to do so.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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