Posts Tagged ‘fire drills’

The 99% Game Plan

September 24, 2010 1 comment

Part of being young is being stupid. As a boy growing up in the days of Evel Knievel, I was inspired to more than my fair share. They knew me by name in the ER. I remember one particularly nasty little altercation with the ground. Gravity was involved – as it often is. We had a trampoline in our backyard, and I was getting quite good at a full flip with a half twist. I practiced this over and over. In my mind, I was an Olympic athlete executing a perfect 10. One sunny Saturday, I decided that doing a dismount like the pros do would be just the thing to put the polish on the routine.

I started out by just jumping off the trampoline and landing on the ground with a flourish. I would try to point my toes and give a little wave of the hand, with all the snap an untrained seventh grader could muster. It was pretty pitiful. It really needed some pizazz. I don’t know when the brilliant idea of adding the flip with a half twist to the dismount struck me, but like a space rock hurling from the outer reaches, strike it did. I knew I had to try.

Well, I started practicing these little dismounts. The great thing was that the ground was even a little wet and soft. It really didn’t hurt so much landing. It looked awesome! After ten or so times, my socks were nice and wet and the trampoline was getting wetter with each try.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

The bones in my forearm made two neat, audible snaps… clear as a bell. I can still hear them today. Time slows to a crawl when you’re watching your arm bend into a neat little right angle between your elbow and wrist!

My bright idea turned out to be less than stellar. There were a lot of places I could have stopped this little event from happening. Let’s list some:

  • Don’t buy a trampoline
  • Don’t do dismounts without a spotter
  • Don’t do dismounts at all
  • Stop if the ground is wet
  • Use pads on the ground
  • Go watch TV instead
  • Be really, really skilled in falling so I can avoid breaking my arm

There were so many better boundaries that I could have put in place. By doing this crazy flip off the trampoline, I was just setting myself up for a potentially life changing injury. I was relying on my skill in the latest of moments to avert disaster.

Somehow, we think that the place to put the boundary is where our toes are right up against the line between sanity and sin, when we’re struggling to stay on the sanity side of the line.

We let all these thoughts rattle in our heads… Fantasies that inspire acting out. Desires that sooth the pain and hurt from years past. Eyes that roam. We decide that if we ever find ourselves at that certain website, or in the park, or going to lunch with that woman in accounting, or face to face with a prostitute, that we would run. If those are our only boundaries then we are kidding ourselves.

Putting our only boundaries at the end game is creating a 99% failure plan. It’s the Hail Mary play – a desperate plan in a desperate moment almost certain to fail in the long run. It’s like jumping from an airplane with no parachute with the plan of finding a soft spot to land. The reality is that temptation starts as a small seed – a little 1% thought. It’s tiny but can grow to immense tragedy in our lives.

Next article – Drastically increase your chances for success – the 1% rule.


Fire Drill – Magazine asiles

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Magazines in America are getting very aggressive in their attempts to get you eye. A trip to the grocery store is like a leisurely stroll in a mine field. The worst thing about magazines are the covers that use airbrushed women get grab your attention. The problem is that once you see it, it’s in your brain.

I do three things in the grocery store. First, I avoid the magazine aisle if at all possible. I find that for me it’s better to not go there to begin with. Second, if I have to go to the aisle then I look at the ceiling, the floor or the cart that I’m pushing. Lastly, the checkout aisle. I look at candy, the scanner, the cashier’s face, the card reader, the stuff in the cart. The key for me is looking at anything other than the magazine covers.

Fire Drills – Traveling – TV

April 6, 2010 3 comments

Hey…here is a real easy fire drill that just takes a little forethought.  I know a guy who used to watch x-rated videos. Now that he is clean and sober he no longer does that. Problem is that he travels. Even being in a hotel with a working television is a temptation.

His solution? Duct tape! First thing he does when he gets in the room is unplugs the TV and wraps the plug in duct tape…lot’s of duct tape! Seems to be a good deterrent for him. Now when he is tempted it’s so much effort to get the TV on it stops him cold!

Bouncing Your Eyes

April 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker and Mike Yorkey in their book Every Man’s Battle describe a strategy they call “Bouncing your eyes.” It has been a very helpful idea for me. The basic idea is to “train” your eyes to automatically react and look away from your temptations. Remember last week’s email on fire drills? This is really just a specific kind of fire drill for your eyes.

You start out by identifying a situation that tempts you, for instance, a jogger on the side of the road. Decide now that you are going to look some other direction. I look at the lines on the road, the other side, the car in front of me or even the rear view mirror. The key here is you look anywhere (safely please) other than the jogger.

Wait a minute! The first look is free right? No. Wrong. Negative. Never! That idea is sheer nonsense invented by a lustful, deceitful heart. If it’s lust, then the first look is never free. It’s the start of a process that leads to full blown sin.

You gotta practice! This is like lifting weights, the longer you train the more you can lift. Don’t expect to be Arnold Schwarzenegger on the first try! The first time your brain is going to scream, it’s gonna hate not looking. You’ve got to keep at it and practice. It gets better with practice.

If you do this enough it becomes an automatic reflex. The other day I had a situation where the gal on TV bent over right in front of the camera. I am certain that the only reason the shot was in the show was to sex it up. It was after my eyes automatically jerked to the other side of the TV before seeing anything that I realized “Hey, I didn’t even have to think about that, my eyes looked away automatically.” Persistence pays off!

Fire Drills

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

OK. We’ve talked about denial, elephants, statistics and the fear of discovery of our sexual sin. It’s time we talked about some easy, practical things we can do. Time for some Fire Drills.

Think back to grade school. Remember all those stupid fire drills the teacher made you do? Seemed lame at the time. Turns out it’s really a great idea. Teachers knew that if we plan ahead for a fire, we’re more likely to survive.

This is the key to fire drills: make a decision ahead of time to take some action that tilts things in your favor. The key is to think out a course of action that puts you in the driver’s seat and reduces your temptation.

Here’s how a temptation fire drill works:

– Think now of a circumstance in which you’re often tempted.
– Brainstorm some ways to avoid or reduce the source of temptation and/or the way you react to it. Choose one to try.
– Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you when the time comes, and to help you work it.
– Put it in action.

Temptations come from many angles – you need to have fire drills for each one. Here’s an example…

An almost universal temptation is to look at women as they come and go in high traffic areas in restaurants, malls and other public areas. One solution for this is to physically place yourself in a position with your back to the high traffic area. This way the temptation never presents itself in the first place. Simple dead easy! Anybody can do this stuff.

It only takes a few minutes. Put it in action, try it now. Think of a tempting situation, brainstorm ideas for avoiding this temptation, select one solution and make it a fire drill.

One last thing: the fifth step in a fire drill is to revise as needed. Keep rethinking your plan. Lust is a sneaky, crafty and baffling adversary. It changes tactics as we change and get stronger. Some fire drills need to be tweaked, others strengthened, some dropped and new ones added. It’s a dynamic plan – adapt, improvise and overcome!

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