Archive for November, 2018

November 12, 2018

Plan your inner life before you plan your day…..

by Rod Smith
Who and what you will BE each day is vastly more important that what you will DO each day. So, plan. Decide, first thing in the morning, on your emotional state. Strategize about planning HOW and WHO you will be and therefore you will also be planning who you won’t be. When you have decided HOW you will be, planning what you will DO during the day will probably go a lot easier.

Here’s a portion of yesterday’s column:

Kindness, patience, happiness, hospitality, the willingness and ability to forgive others and afford others the room to be imperfect are inside jobs. They are states you establish within your heart (soul, spirit, mind) and then choose to have as a platform that informs the manner you will respond to life and others.

You can: 
  • plan to be in charge of yourself and not of others
  • plan to NOT let the behavior (or misbehavior) of others derail you
  • plan to be the most generous, kind, and forgiving, person you know
  • plan to allow others their imperfections and not let them upset you  
Will things always go to plan? Probably not. At least if you have a plan you increase the chances of enjoying a fruitful day free of victim-thinking and victim-living.  
November 12, 2018

Inside job

by Rod Smith

Some mornings when I retrieve my son from his 6am basketball training I stop Jack’s Donuts for a tiger bun ($1.09 each).

Last week a middle aged man stood and the door and screamed into the busy shop, (yes, people line up for donuts at 6:10am).

“Who drives the blue Toyota?”

A customer nearing the front of the line raised a hand.

“Well how do you think I am going to get into my car when you park so close?”

My quotation omits his harsh, angry language, and fails to impart the bitter contempt in his voice.

This is on a dark and cold morning in a donut shop!  

Kindness, patience, happiness, hospitality, the willingness and ability to forgive others and afford others the room and space to be imperfect – are inside jobs. By “inside jobs” I mean that they are states or places you establish within your own heart (spirit, consciousness, soul) and then choose to have as a platform that forms and informs the manner you will respond to the world around you.

I guess the angry man at the donut shop has quite a life. I bet he’d try to convince any one who challenged his outbursts that it all really was someone else’s fault.

November 11, 2018

Stay or go……?

by Rod Smith

Relationships can set tone and trajectory for a lifetime. Almost all significant relationships, especially romantic relationships, will face moments that require a decision and the decision becomes a defining moment in the life of the relationship. While such opportunities for defining moments are usually delivered in conflictual situations, some couples are able to make them quite proactively. Either way, each person must decide to walk away or toward and be willing to face the consequences of the decision.

When to walk away, sometimes for a while, sometimes forever:

  • Where there has been violence of any kind or degree.
  • Where there has been betrayal and infidelity – sexual or financial.
  • Where there’s an addiction (and they usually come in pairs) where your staying is enabling or facilitating the addictive cycle.

When to walk toward and try again:

  • Where your feelings of fear and abandonment are familiar to you and have persisted within you in preceding relationships and now they are surfacing again.
  • Where there’s been genuine and visible change and it’s been for reasons other than trying to make you stay.
  • Where rash or impetuous decisions have caused you great pain and resulted in much regret in the past and you’d prefer to not repeat the pattern.
November 6, 2018

Generosity – the challenge remains

by Rod Smith

I have seen some remarkable acts of generosity:

  • A visiting speaker from England (to South Africa) did not receive honorariums when he came to speak to churches. He’d give them. He’d preach around the country and give out large sums or money wherever he preached. I know that one evening before he flew back to England he asked his host (a man I knew personally) if he owned his house and proceeded to take thousands of British pounds in cash out of his pocket, “Here, pay the bank off tomorrow. I am not taking all this back to England,” he said.
  • I was greeting a congregation at the door one Sunday morning and a man placed a wad of hundred dollar bills into my hand as he whispered a name of who he wanted to receive it. The thousand dollars saved the recipient of much anxiety having just lost his job. He never knew where the money came from.
  • The brand new car I drive was delivered to my house (in the USA) on a truck from the generous hand of my brother (who lives in Australia). The only thing I paid for is the personalized license plate. It reads “BROGFT.”

Please send me your similar true stories.

The challenge remains: Become the most generous person you know.

November 3, 2018

Are you here?

by Rod Smith

Your relationship may need some help if:

  • You find yourself sighing when you know you have to spend time together especially if you are unable to have someone join you to make the time easier to endure. You are both practiced at making sure you have someone with you to help you get along.
  • You are able to predict what each other will say, you finish each other’s sentences, and you think you have heard everything he or she has or will ever say. You talk over, belittle, interrupt, and regard each other with contempt.
  • Some of the things you partner talks about can trigger your anger in a split moment. Conversations can rapidly escalate to where voices are raised and foul and derogatory language is used. Cutting jokes or observations about each other are commonplace.
  • One, or both, speak negatively about the other to “outsiders,” to your children, to your extended family. One of you says things like, “I wish you’d treat me as nicely and kindly as you treat _____ (fill in the blank)” and it could be anyone from a friend to a total stranger.


If you recognize anything about your behavior from the above markers, please, get help. There is no reason to continue with unhealthy patterns. While there’s life there really is hope.