Thing 2: Pull the Tooth (b212)

This is the second in a post series on Dr. Henry Cloud’s excellent book: “9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life.” Read the post on “Thing 1: Dig It Up

Dr. Cloud summarizes this principle this way: Successful people do not hang on to bad stuff for long. While a positive attitude is a good thing, ignoring things that need to be addressed will prove to be a roadblock in your life. If the tooth needs pulling, don’t wait. Get ‘er done. Pull the tooth!

In this chapter, Dr. Cloud distinguishes between things that are not a big deal but not positively contributing to life and things that are truly negative.

Successful people do not hang on to bad stuff for long. - Dr. Henry Cloud Click To Tweet


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Thing 1: Dig It Up (b211)

This series of blog posts will cover Dr. Henry Cloud’s “Nine Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life.” It’s a book I’ve read/listened to more than once. I’ve found it helpful so I’m offering these blog posts to you. If you find these helpful, consider reading or listening to the entire book. It’s well-written and accessible, with plenty of anecdotes.

In his years of dealing with people of varying degrees of success, psychologist and author, Dr. Henry Cloud, writes that he has noticed nine ways of dealing with self and life that “successful” people appear to have in common.

Note well that Dr. Cloud does not define success in terms of wealth or status. His definition of “success” rests on the way people’s lives are lived. Are they fulfilled? Are they peaceful? Is their life moving in a direction that they want it to move?


In summary, this principle recognizes that the outer life arises from the inner life. Successful people take the time and effort to dig inside themselves. They find and own their own dreams, desires, talents and other treasures of the soul. And they honor them.

This doesn’t mean dropping your responsibilities and rushing off half-cocked to fulfill your dreams right now.


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A Simple Way to Spread Joy

[Throwback Thursday from 2015]

I like to spread joy and I found a simple way. I was using Chipotle’s web site to order Mother’s Day dinner. The ordering window for each item includes an open line for special instructions (like “extra sour cream”) but you can type anything in that field. Thinking I’d be funny, I typed, “Make it like you were making it for yer momma!” in the special instructions field. Then I was hit by a way to kick this up a notch.

With help from my daughter, Lilia, I put a joke in the special instructions field for each order. This did take a bit of work because there is a 50 character limit. (e.g. “Y can’t u hear a pterodactyl urinate? Silent P” or “What’s brown and sticky? A stick.”) I was curious about their reaction to the corny jokes.

When Lilia and I arrived at Chicopee to pick up our food, the guy at the cash register told us they had passed the food ticket around the kitchen and then he asked if they could keep it to put on their bulletin board. Bull’s-eye!

Corny jokes may not be your style, but you have an opportunity to feel good today. That opportunity is intentionally using your interactions with other people to do nice, kind, helpful, uplifting things for them, whatever your style. Spreading joy is win-win because in bringing joy to others, you bring joy to yourself as well.

Spread joy!

The Resurrection of Jesus for Everyday Life

We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus every year, as we should! As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the biggest of deals! But the “big deal” resurrection speaks to more than our ultimate life after death. It speaks to us in the helpless and hopeless of times of life. It speaks to us in times of disillusionment, frustration, and unmet expectations.

To believe in “the resurrection” gives us solid ground for believing in resurrection in every area of our lives. If the dead can come back to life, then all the other lesser problems can experience resurrection, too.

What’s going on in your life that needs resurrection? What difficulties or struggles are you facing? Where has hope died in your life? That’s a place for resurrection to enter.

But death comes before resurrection. Jesus said that in order to live, we need to die to ourselves. Is your difficulty, struggle, or pain being prolonged because of your unwillingness to let something die? Your pride? Your worldview? Your bitterness? Your sense of injustice? To die in the midst of a difficulty is to commit it to the Lord. To commit it to the Lord is to leave it in God’s hands and do what Jesus would do if he was living your life.

Jesus does want to live in and through you. He is the resurrection and the life. When you entrust your life to Jesus by allowing him to teach you how to live, you begin to experience resurrection.

But resurrection always looks different. The resurrected Jesus told Mary not to hold onto him for the moment. The resurrected Jesus was, at times, unrecognizable to his disciples until he decided to make himself known.

Littler resurrections in our lives are like that, too. To say that you can experience resurrection is not to say that your problems vanish. To experience resurrection is to follow the path of Jesus, the path of the cross. Instead of clinging, running or hiding, you move into the difficulties and pains of life expecting God to work. You choose to act in faith and you make your choices based on your Lord’s direction. Even if the choice is to wait, it is an active choice with a purpose rather than a choice to avoid.

When you move into difficult situations new life blooms, often in unexpected ways. The resurrection that comes out of your difficulty and pain will not be a return to the old normal that you were clinging to or running from. It will be new and different. It will be wonderful. It will be God working God’s resurrection power in your life.

I cannot tell you exactly how this will work in the midst of what you face right now. That’s not the way resurrection works. But I can tell you that if you commit your ways to the Lord he will make your paths straight. If you knock, Jesus will answer. If you seek, you will find.

Grace and peace to you,