#repent #forgive #180degreeturn
When we think of repentance, with think of the religious context of sinning and repenting.
Certainly, when we sin, it should give us pause.
But repentance has two parts, according to Rory Vaden, a self-discipline strategist and cofounder of Southwestern Consulting. He discussed repentance in an April 19, 2015, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
The first part of repentance is apology. You’ve done something wrong and you beg forgiveness. But it’s the second part that we often forget about, Vaden says. That involves a 180-degree turn away from the actions from which you are repenting.
In other words, don’t just say you’re sorry and go back to doing the wrong you did. Addicts can apologize all day long, but unless they beat their addiction, they have truly not repented.
What could this mean for you? Perhaps you’ve done nothing “wrong,” yet your life does not seem right.
Perhaps no one but you notices. Perhaps YOU don’t even notice. Perhaps you’ve done everything you were told was right, yet something is missing.
That might make you ask yourself: if I’ve done everything the way I was told, why am I feeling this way? Why SHOULD I feel this way? What could possibly make me feel this way?
The feeling gnaws. One cannot control feelings. You believe there is something better out there for you, but you may not have a clue how to find it.
Yet, you rationalize, and tell yourself that mom, dad, your family and friends are still proud of you. In fact, you may have accomplished a great deal, yet you are still unfulfilled.
You may feel you have nothing to apologize to others for, for you have not sinned against them. They may even tell you how great you are, and that you are doing the right thing.
Still, you dream of better. Your family and friends may laugh at those dreams. They may encourage you to stop dreaming and get real.
Yet, your dreams are real. They come from deep inside. You know what you want, but not quite how to get it.
It may be the time to apologize to YOURSELF, then make that 180-degree turn in your life.
Your life may be like a big ship. It may not turn quickly. But it certainly can turn gradually.
The great news, if you have dreams you would like to fulfill, is there are many ways of doing so.
If you have big dreams, you may need to look for ways to fulfill them. For one of the best, visit
There, you will find others like you who had good lives, yet wanted more. Then, they found the way to get what they wanted, and helped others like them do the same.
The movie “Love Story” has a famous line that says “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” But telling yourself you are sorry, and fully repenting by making that 180-degree turn, can fulfill the need you have inside.
Your dreams are real. They can be fulfilled. Never, ever be sorry for dreaming.


#newyearsresolutions #time #discipline
Why do so many of us abandon our new year’s resolutions?
Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and a self-discipline strategist and speaker, says it may not just be a lack of self-discipline. It may be a lack of time.
Vaden discussed the topic in a Jan. 11, 2015, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
It’s easier to get to the gym when your house is clean and your bills are in order, he says. It’s easier to eat healthy when you don’t feel so rushed you have to cram some fast food down in 20 minutes, Vaden points out.
So let’s tackle time, or lack of it, that most say is their biggest problem in life.
Time is choice. Sure, most of us MUST go to work. Those who have children MUST tend to their needs etc. Oh, and we MUST sleep – or at least most of us do.
But there are many other hours in which we do things that are not MUSTS. There may even be some hours we do things we believe are musts, but may not be.
Some of us take time doing things, then ask ourselves, why did I waste my time doing that?
Some of us decide that we can’t do something that may be good for us, because we don’t have time. Others make time to do something good for themselves.
Vaden believes that if you want to achieve your goals in 2015, you have to intentionally decide what you won’t do that has taken up your time.
In short, resolutions require a time commitment. You have to determine whether what you spend your time on is worth your time, or could your time be spent doing something better for you.
Let’s take the food example. If you are wolfing down fast food at lunch because your boss gives you no time for lunch, try bringing healthy food to work with you. You’ll eat better and save money. If cleaning your house takes up too much of your time, there’s the option of hiring someone to do it. Chances are, that person can clean your house much more quickly than you, because he or she cleans houses for a living and has the process down to a science.
How can you hire a housekeeper when you are barely getting by yourself? There are many ways to pick up extra income, often without interfering with what you are doing now. For one of the best, visit You might not only find a way to pay your housekeeper, but also you will be using your time more productively.
Often, those who use their time most wisely have cultivated the ability to say, NO! Sometimes we are backed into a corner and say yes when we want to say no. Perhaps the person whose feelings you don’t want to hurt would rather hear no, than a reluctant yes.
Vaden also talks about procrastination vs. patience. Sometimes, waiting for a better time to do something can be a virtue. Putting off things you should do kills success, he says.
So, if you haven’t already, make those resolutions: Live healthier. Know what to do to prosper, and do what you must to make it happen. If you are unsure about the latter, be open to looking for the answer, and recognize it when you see it. Your patience could pay off.


It’s not about brains. It’s about beliefs.
Your brains may be worth a given amount to someone else, i.e. an employer or a client.
Your beliefs have a value only to you. What would you sell them for?
Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and author of “Take the Stairs,” posed this question in a column in the Dec. 1, 2013, edition of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
He calls the sum you would command to compromise your beliefs your “character quotient.”
If you have strong beliefs in something, what would tempt you to deviate from those beliefs?
Criminals, obviously, have a low character quotient. Their beliefs are compromised regularly, and they don’t seem to mind. Or, they never had a strong set of beliefs in the first place. Some of them would compromise themselves for very little.
Some business people have low character quotients. Their belief systems have much to do with making as much money as possible. Some of them don’t really care whom they hurt to feather their own nests. Because of these people, commerce and capitalism carry a bad name among many.
Some people in politics have low character quotients. But, there is an exception here. One does not want a politician unwilling to compromise. Governing is all about compromise, and accepting election results. But some in politics are in it for self-gain and, frankly, make no bones about it.
No matter what you do for a living, no matter your faith, no matter your core beliefs, you probably have something you would go to the wall for. No amount of money, in your mind, would make you deviate from that. Let’s look at Vaden’s formula: a quotient is the answer in a division problem. The dividend is what is being divided. The divisor is what the dividend is being divided by.
Your character dividend, Vaden says, represents the self-assigned value you place on sticking to your virtues and doing what you know is right. The divisor is the amount of money or other payoff that would be offered for you to choose NOT to stick to your principles.
In a concrete example, we all hate paying taxes. How many of us tinker with our tax returns to pay as few taxes as possible. Of course, there is legal tinkering that is OK. But illegal tinkering – cheating – is not. How much tax savings would tempt you to cheat on your taxes, perhaps risking an IRS audit etc.?
Perhaps, you may be offered a job that would violate your core principles. How much would they have to pay you to do it? As an example, you may have a place you’ve always wanted to work. You get an offer to work there, but as a strikebreaker. In other words, you’d have to cross a picket line to go to work. How much would they have to offer you to do that?
Or, you discover that your employer is doing something illegal or unethical. You do not want to be a part of it, because of your core beliefs. Would you quit your job over it – actually take something of value away from yourself?
These are questions we may never ponder, or we may ponder constantly. Do you consider selling out as selling yourself? Do you try to justify your decisions by saying you are doing it for the greater good? Again, politicians are the exception here. They must ALWAYS think about the greater good. Have you ever been placed in a bad position, having to make a decision from which none of the alternatives would be good? What are your beliefs really worth?
If you find yourself in a position to make what you feel is a bad choice, visit You may realize there is a positive place to go when all of the choices placed before you make sense to you, and none would compromise your beliefs.
People who do the right thing usually get rewarded in the end. Those who do the wrong things eventually get caught. Do what make s YOU feel good. Don’t hurt others in the process. The rewards for straying are usually short-lived. Your reward for standing firm may not come immediately, but one day, you’ll find it.



Trust must be earned. It can’t be ordered.
Therefore, trust is valuable.
If you’ve earned the trust of others, they will do what you want them to, and they expect you to have their backs.
As you earn trust, don’t lose it. It could cost you dearly.
Rory Vaden, a self-discipline strategist and speaker, as well as co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, lists seven ways to lose trust. They are: be selfish, be protective (of your turf), be ungrateful, be self-centered, be passive-aggressive, be negative and be incongruent.
Vaden talked about these trust busters in a Sept. 8, 2013, column in the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville.
People generally trust positive, upbeat people. Sure, we all occasionally meet phonies who fein a positive attitude, but turn out to be snakes in the grass. But most of us can spot those folks easily, before too much trust has been established. We react differently to those who are genuninely positive.
People who are genuinely positive, even under difficult circumstances, also tend not to be selfish. They tend to be grateful for anything anyone does for them. They tend to think of others first, and that generally separates them from the phonies.
They tend to be private people, but not secretive. They tend not to protect their own turf at any cost. They tend to do what they say and say what they mean all the time. They would not even think about being devious, unless it’s all in fun, as in surprising one’s spouse on a birthday.
Sometimes it’s difficult to trust, especially when someone you’d trusted violates the trust. In that case, don’t presume EVERYONE will violate your trust, and give the person who has violated trust sufficent time to earn it back. Many marriages that could have been saved dissolve because one spouse’s trust was violated, and the other spouse is never given a chance to earn it back. The rule here might be that one violation of trust is not insurmountable. Trust can be earned back. Multiple violations of trust may do you in.
In marriage, not only is it virtuous to be trustworthy with your spouse, but more convenient. It has to be really difficult keeping a false story straight every time, day in and day out. Eventually, if you try to do that, you’ll slip up and get caught. If you are trustworthy, period, your spouse always knows everything, and everything he or she knows about you is true.
One’s trust should be given with care, but still given. Never trusting anyone will lead a person to a pretty miserable life. It’s OK to trust. It’s also OK to, as former U.S. President Ronald Reagan once put it, to verify, if there is any question.
You’ve heard that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sometimes, we have good things come into our lives, yet we don’t trust that they are true, or they will do what they say they will do.
If you are looking to improve your life, visit You can trust that everything you read, hear and see there is true.
Trusting, and being trustworthy will also improve your life. Trust is valuable to give and valuable to receive. Do both with care.