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The decisions we make in the valley

Life has many peaks and valleys. The peaks are the high points, and the valleys are the low points. The decisions we make in the peaks (high points) seem to be different than the ones we make in the valleys (low points.)

While not always possible, we should be more careful about the decisions we make in the valleys. When you are in the valley, your spirit, confidence, drive, and hope are less than perfect, and we tend to make quicker decisions in the low points. We make quicker decisions in hopes it will quickly change us from the valley back to the peaks, but more times than not, those decisions in the valleys can make things worse.

The best advice for valleys is to just keep walking until you see the next peak and be careful and thoughtful on the decisions you make in the valleys. If possible, save the important decisions of life when your spirit is uplifted and your confidence and hope are strong. KT

Gene Dickinson

Gene Dickinson was my father and he passed away yesterday. I call him my father because that is who he was to me. Technically was my stepfather but my love for him and his love for me was that of a father. He married my mom in 1967 when I was nine years old, and my sister was twelve. He was a very dear man to me because I knew he always loved me as his own.

I will never forget the first time we were going somewhere together after he and my mom married, and he introduced me as his son. Not his stepson, but his son. I was never able to express to him what that simple introduction meant to a young boy. He gave me a sense of belonging that me and my sister needed, and we never doubted his love for us. I have many fond memories of time spent together with Gene that will stay with me for the rest of my life. My daughters referred to him as papa and he loved them just like they were his own, because they were.

After the divorce between my biological father and my mom, we as a three-person family were trying to put the pieces of our lives back together and find our new place in the world. Before the divorce we lived in Atlanta Georgia but after the divorce, my mom moved me and my sister to Memphis TN to be near her family. Looking back, my mom was such a rock in our lives but now realize that she was younger than my two daughters are today. As a father, it would terrify me if my daughters went through that life altering change.

Gene came into our lives in 1967 while my mom worked at the Rexall drug store in Memphis. Gene was the Coca Cola delivery man on that route, and they met and started dating. They were married in December of 1967 and he had a profound impact on our lives. I will be forever grateful that God put him in our life and helped my mom, my sister and me pick up the pieces on a new life. He always told me to never take life for granted and live it to the fullest. Having him, helped me do just that. KT

One chapter doesn’t make the whole book

You can’t read one chapter of a book and expect to know the whole book. I read a lot and have 100’s of books at home and at our lake house and probably average reading two books a week. I can’t read one chapter and put the book down.

In life, there may be a chapter or two you wish you could delete but they are part of the book of your life. I was with a friend this week who needed a little love. He told me of his failures and how the memories of those pass failures seem to have prevented him from moving on. I told him about all my past business failures and how there was only one thing I was able to do with any success. Sell hotels. I have often wondered if those failures were simply the path, I had to take to get me where I am today. I intend to ask Jesus when I get to heaven.

The point is to not let a chapter or two determine the whole book of your life. Momentum in a football game is a lot like life. There are many changes in momentum during one football game, but the objective is to push through the valleys until you regain your purpose. There are many people who die having never gotten past a bad chapter or two in their life and just couldn’t seem to finish the book. In case you didn’t know it, Satan has his own YouTube channel of your greatest hits and the number one way he tries to influence our life is to play the old videos from our past. He waits every day for you to wake up so he can punch the play button on some old failure from your past.

One of the hardest things to do in life is forgive yourself. Doing so, could be one of the greatest things you could ever do for your future and your family’s future. A pig will find a mud hole and go back and wallow in the same mud every day. Its like he just can’t get enough of it. You are a child of the living God and he doesn’t want you to wallow in your past. The problem? He can’t make that decision for you. You must do it. KT

Play button versus pause button

We all have seen videos, games, presentations with the play arrow in the middle of the screen to get started. If you are watching a YouTube about how to paint your house, go ahead a hit that play button. However, in the weightier things/ big decisions in life, we would all do well to remember the pause button exists for a reason. It lets you stop and think about it before proceeding.

As you think back over your life there are probably memories of times you wish you could go back and hit pause instead of play. There may have been a job decision, relationship decision, parenting decision, financial decision, health decision and the list could go on for pages. The point is, when faced with a decision that will affect your future and your family’s future, the pause button is your friend because it lets you think it through.

In my career I have hit the pause button many times and thankful I did. There are also many times in business when I proceeded to hit play only to find out later, I should have hit pause. We cannot go back and rewind and get a do-over. We must live with the decisions we made, but we can use that knowledge in future decisions. Many times, a short pause can often be the difference between a good decision and a bad one. KT

Speed bumps versus stop signs

Many or possibly even most of the life issues we come across that we think are stop signs, are only speed bumps. A speed bump slows you down, but it doesn’t stop you.

Some people because of fear or insecurity, will call a speed bump a stop sign. Why? Because they don’t believe they can handle the rejection if the idea fails. There are people that look for reasons something won’t work. You’ve seen people like that just like I have. It doesn’t matter what the idea is, there is always something wrong with it. Keep in mind, these same people never have an idea of their own but always enjoy tearing down other people’s idea. I have a distant family member that is like that. Just to look at him he is one of those people that thinks he holds all the wisdom and just loves for people to ask him what he thinks. He is sour man that just walks around with a cloud over him. He really enjoys playing the roll of the ultimate advisor on all things about life.

I remember one family gathering he was just sitting over in the corner all prune-faced just waiting for someone to ask him what he thought so he could spring into action. It made me laugh (under my breath) when no one wanted to know what he thought. He finally got up and left and I have never asked him his opinion since. There are people like this in every walk of life from business, family, financial and even in many churches. They never agree with anything and always point out the weak points and list the why’s it will never work.

Lastly there are many people that look for a stop sign so they can have a good reason not to do something. They (in their heart) don’t believe they can do it, so they fabricate a speed bump into a stop sign so they can say “see, I told you.” In our neighborhood we have many more speed bumps than we do stop signs. They say to the driver, we just want to slow you down a little bit, but not stop you. That’s the way it should be in life, slow down a little and be cautious, careful, and thoughtful, but don’t let fear be a stop sign. KT