From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

The second mile in life

January 21, 2019

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As a parent - we are always seeking to teach our children the right way of doing things. It is only natural, particularly for teenagers, to do the minimum.

My youngest daughter, who is now married and has a one-year-old daughter, was a social butterfly when she was growing up. She has always been very thoughtful and caring, but she also has a mind of her own.

One of the few chores she had at home (a term used by old people from childhood) is to do the dishes. That means once a day...not when she felt like it or when both sinks were piled full and we are having to eat off paper plates.

There were times she was walking out the door and I reminded her she wasn't leaving until the dishes were done -- which means I got to hear the purse slam on the floor and a few huffs and puffs. But at the least the dishes got done.

Now that she is a mom -- she has already started to let us know how she is going to lay down the law with Leighton. We'll see!

The phrase "going the second mile" has found its way into our modern jargon. It has its roots in first-century Palestine. The Romans had conquered much of the known world. One of the marvels of their conquest was a vast system of super highways which they had built to and from their conquered territories. There were over 50,000 miles of these Roman roads throughout the empire. At each mile was a stone marker.

The New Oxford English Dictionary calls them "guide stones." These guide stones pointed direction, determined distance, warned of dangers and each one of them had the miles to Rome etched upon them. Hence the phrase, "all roads lead to Rome."

By Roman law a Roman citizen could compel a subject from one of the conquered lands to carry his backpack, or load, for him for one mile, but one mile only.

Guide Stone #1 - The mandated mile – motivated by law

The first mile is always the hardest. Ask the distance runner for example. But if it were not for the first mile, there would be no possibility of the second mile. We live in a world where many do not even make it to the first mile marker. That is, they do not even do what is required of them at the office, at home, at church, at school, or wherever. The first mile is vitally important. It is what makes us function. It is that which is required of us.

Guide Stone #2 – the miracle mile – motivated by love

This mile is motivated by love and respect. What is it that separates some from others in the world of athletics? The second mile, doing what is required and then some. What separates some from others in the arts or in education or wherever? It is this principal of the second mile.

You may be required to carry someone's load the first mile. You have the right to stop. But the true act of love for others is going the extra mile when you don't have to. Why not try it? The one you help will be grateful and you will have joy in your heart that the world can't give.

Old friend Robert said, "One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile. The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Life is measured by what you have learned

January 15, 2019

One thing I have a hard time with is being around people who seem to be so miserable. Do you know what I mean? When I think of that first sentence -- my mind immediately goes to a couple I saw a little over a year ago at a sporting event. I don't know their names - but I have never seen them smile, but I sure have seen and heard how miserable they are by the way they have talked to others -- especially people they don't know.

I am a firm believer in laughter and making others laugh. It seems that no matter where I go -- I find myself around people who feel the same way. Yet - when those who are miserable enter the room -- they continue to wear that scowl on their face and it doesn't take long for them to feel uneasy in their surroundings and leave.

Someone once said, "If you say you are happy -- then make sure you tell your face so others will know it."

I love the word "joy" and it should translate into happiness. But I have also learned that "joy" is an inside job. There is no way that you can express outward joy unless it begins inside your heart. You can't manufacture it. You certainly can't be in a room full of people who have joy and try to fool others because those who have inside joy can spot a fake a mile away.

My mother-in-law is named Joy. My oldest daughter is named LeJoy - which means "The Joy!" My one-year-old granddaughter is named Leighton Joy. All three are a joy to my life.

I have spent years collecting things that "I've learned..." Perhaps a few more will bring joy and peace to your life.

  • I've learned...That money doesn't buy class.
  • I've learned...That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
  • I've learned...That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
  • I've learned...That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
  • I've learned...That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
  • I've learned...That love, not time, heals all wounds.
  • I've learned...That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
  • I've learned...That there's nothing sweeter than holding your grandbabies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
  • I've learned...That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
  • I've learned...That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
  • I've learned...That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
  • I've learned...That I can choose how I feel.
  • I've learned...That when your newly born child or, in my case, grandchild holds your little finger in their little fist, that you're hooked for life.
  • I've learned...That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs in the valley.

I trust that you are experience great blessing at the start of a new year. May 2019 be your greatest year ever as you continue to learn life's lessons.

Old friend Robert said, "They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."



Twitter: @drdavis111

From the Cluttered Desk... by Dr. David Davis

Four reasons our resolutions don't work

January 8, 2019

Four reasons our resolutions don't work

The health clubs and the spas, do they love January! And beyond probably. Business skyrockets when December bulges turn to January workouts. The infamous New Year's resolution: A resolution according to the dictionary is "A firm decision to do or not to do something." Unfortunately, research shows that about 88% of our resolutions won't happen.

It's not that we aren't sincere; we want to improve. We want to be healthier. We want to spend more time with the family, get out of debt, do better in school, clean out the junk in our house, maybe in us. So why do our great intentions so often end up in failed commitments?

Number one, we're not specific.

Goals have to be more than just general intentions. "I'm going to get in shape." "I want to make more of a difference." Those intentions probably won't succeed. We need to be more specific and measurable enough to give a person a decent shot at really changing.

Here's the second reason I think we fail. We're not accountable.

A resolution between me, myself and I is just too easy to forget. But when you announce to several key people the commitment you've made, you've put yourself on the line to do it.

Here's a third reason that our resolutions fail. We give up too soon.

You know, babies learn to walk by a process that I call "step ... boom!" They fall down, but they don't stay down. They get up! Next time it's "step, step, step ... boom!" Until one day they're rocketing across the room. My one-year-old granddaughter, Leighton, is now going through that process!

Sadly, when we fall down in our effort to do better, don't we often just stay down? But one day's failure is just one day's failure. One day - keep it that way. Get up and keep walking!

And the final reason - maybe the most important of all - why we don't improve like we want to improve is we've got a power shortage.

Especially when it comes to the changes that really matter, like breaking the cycle that's hurting the people you love, conquering that dark part that's brought you down again and again, moving beyond the pain of your past, attacking that fatal flaw that has cost you so much.

We may joke about various resolutions, but deep in our heart, we long to change or adjust some attitudes, actions, or habits that we don't like about ourselves.

I have decided that I am going to exercise. Certainly not the same way I did when I was playing college football -- but I am going to do more than lift a fork to my mouth.

A few years ago -- my kids bought me a new bike. I haven't ridden it much -- so then they decided that I needed a stationary bike. That way I can't make excuses about the elements being too hot, too cold, too wet, etc.

I did ask them to get the kind where I can hang a bag of chips on the handle bars on one side and a bag of candy on the other....OK - I'm just kidding.

Over the past two years, I have lost over 20 pounds so I am on the right track. I would like to get rid of a little more so I hope that I will see that happen in 2019.

Old friend Robert says, "What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year."

Here's to a most blessed New Year and watching Judge Judy while riding on my indoor bike!



Twitter: @drdavis111

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