photo of Lori Few and Jimmy Williams standing next to each other

Episode 187: Four Rules to Live a Better Life

Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you had a more structured life?  In this episode, Lori and Jimmy share their special rules of life that give them the greatest opportunity for abundant living.

Episode Keys:

  • Why placing lifestyle rules for you to maintain more consistency in life is the foundation for abundance.
  • How your outcomes can be heightened to a pinnacle of success not seen in your life!
  • When you should focus on your thoughts and control your mindset – daily.
  • Why your future can be bigger than your past and the type of people you should seek to support your goals.
  • How to know if your life is out of balance and how you can correct course.

Podcast Transcription

JW:
Good morning. This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life By Design, and it is a wonderful honor to share a few minutes with you, our valued listeners on this beautiful day.

LF:
Yes. Don’t you just love the crisp cold morning filled with the readiness for a great Christmas season? Jimmy, how are things looking for you this Christmas? You know, on the gift front?

JW:
Lori, I have it on good authority that I, once again, maybe receiving a useful and practical gift, several hundred pounds of coal. I’ll keep trying, but Lori, in my defense, the bar has been set very high according to my five year old great niece. And she just tells me that I’m just not quite good enough to get the gift.

LF:
You were working too hard to get off the naughty list. Is this, is it too late?

JW:
I gotta tell you, I think I’m a permanent written no erasable ink on that naughty list. I’m not sure what else I could do.

LF:
Well, there’s always hope, there’s always a little bit of Christmas magic. And this morning we’re gonna start sharing some of our favorite rules to live by. Are you ready for this?

JW:
I, I think I am. But before we start that, let me ask you something, miss few. You start, as you start your holiday season, you always take this annual trick or pilgrimage down to Florida, you know, the home of the mouse down. So is he still in his house or did you go to some other location?

LF:
Well, I will tell you that, you know, we in the few family we don’t see the mouth every year he doesn’t get our dollars. We go to that other place where Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. And so all of our dollars go to Universal Studios. And it has become an annual trek for our family. And I feel like now we’ve just done it so much that it’s so easy for us. It’s so laid back and relaxed. We had a lot of fun. We chased a lot of things. We did a lot of sales. We drank a lot of butter beer because that’s my favorite. Rode some crazy rides and, and pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone. We always find something fun and new and adventurous to do, and, and we love it. But yeah, the annual, annual trek.

JW:
Nothing says relaxation at the end of the day like over drinking on butter beer and vomiting all over your sweatshirt. This is Harry Potter and I’m a Gryffindor or something. You know, there’s just nothing more relaxing, Lori.

LF:
Well, and you know, while we’re there, it, it’s always during Thanksgiving week, I mean, we kind of started this tradition actually by accident. My, you know, of course it’s my birthday. Our wedding anniversary is, is also during that week. And we just decided, you know, know about six years ago we were just gonna make the best of it. And, and that’s our annual trip. But it is quite hilarious. We have done all the things and there have been a couple of times where the barf has happened.

JW:
I heard a little rumor about you guys on your flight down, that your husband had taken all the candles necessary to put the proper age on your cake, and that he was stopped by the TSA agents for flammable material. So…

LF:
Contraband! Listen, true story.

JW:
That must be a lot of candles here, Lori. I’m guessing at least 29 again, is that what we’re doing?

LF:
Yes, yes, yes. 29 again and again and again.

JW:
So what, what about then, as a more mature 29 year old multiple times over, what are your rules to live by? Give me one of your favorites.

LF:
So I will tell you that my first rule that I try to live by is start the day and end the day with being grateful. When you first wake up in the morning, it’s a brand new day, it’s a fresh start. And so every morning I try to start off with something that I’m grateful for, regardless if it’s big or small, it’s just to plant that seed in my mind that today I’m grateful for this, and I just try to start off in a positive mindset. Now granted, the day doesn’t always go that way. I mean, it, it could take a turn very, very, very quickly. So we circle the wagons back at the end of the day, and I try to remember that something that has either happened during the day or if I can’t find anything positive that’s happened during the day. I try to remind myself when I go to bed that there’s something else to be grateful for. So that’s one of my rules to live by. And honestly, it’s evolved over the years. I find myself being grateful for different things now that I’m a little bit more mature that we’ve talked about already this morning, that I’m, I’m grateful for different things. And so, but that’s, that’s my rule. I I start in the day with something that I’m grateful for.

JW:
So I always love that one, and that is a great rule. But let me see if I can augment it. Just a moment, Lori. So when you say nothing went great during the day, you have to find something to be grateful for. Let me ask you a couple of questions you have to answer honestly. Okay. This is a very family show, but answer honestly. Okay. Do you normally wake up in the morning?

LF:
Do I? Yes.

JW:
Yeah. Do you normally wake up in the morning, you say? Yes. Do you normally put your feet on a warm floor in the morning?

LF:
Yes.

JW:
Do you normally have at least some reasonably nice clothing and shoes to wear as you go out the day?

LF:
Yes.

JW:
Do you have a reasonably nice vehicle that’s warm in the winter, in the summer and has four tires that aren’t bald?

LF:
Yes, but my definition, my tire history is not good.

JW:
I knew you were going there. All right, stay with me on this. So, so far I’ve heard nothing, but yes. Okay. Now last thing. Are you gainfully employed where you have the capability and opportunity to be your bigger, better Lori during the day? Yes. So at the end of the day, if nothing goes right at work, you have already said yes to five very good things that a lot of people would like to enjoy, in my opinion, right? So we do have things to be grateful for, even though they may not be the big, hairy, audacious goal was captured today and we can celebrate it or, you know, we, we don’t have that. But at the end of the day, I think you’re right. We have something to be grateful for at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. I like that.

LF:
Okay. So what’s one of your roles, Jimmy?

JW:
Well, you’re gonna laugh. I have several as you know, and many of them are written down. Most of them are. But I’m gonna tell you my my first one that I do take the mindset each day is don’t complain, take action. Let me explain what I mean by that. You know, there are people that sit back and life isn’t always fair. Now, my dad, I was a little boy, I’ll never forget this. I didn’t win something. I was in some kind of race that came in second or third or whatever. And I’ll never forget, I was real little too, and I was about probably first grade or kind, not kindergarten back then, but we had head start. But my point I’m making is, is I didn’t win and I ran over to my dad and of course, tears in my eyes. I was upset. I had thought I’d given it my all and my dad does. The most compassionate thing he could ever do is put his hand on my shoulder as any good dad would to a young boy. And he said, Hey, life isn’t fair. Get back up and get after it.

JW:
Now, I don’t know if that’s tough love. I don’t know if that’s just compassion. I don’t know if that was just my dad’s son, suck it up. It was just a race, right? But, but my point I love about that is, is don’t complain what he’s saying. Don’t complain. Right? And so what I do is take action. If you don’t like the way things are going change course, you know, my mentor Jim Ron had this saying, he said, if you don’t like where you’re sailing, change the setting of your sail. You can go a different direction. You’re not like a bird that only can fly south in the winter, right? And so we as humans have this great thing called a brain that we just need to use from time to time. And that means we get the opportunity to change course if we don’t like how things are going. So I say, don’t complain and take action.

LF:
Oh, that’s a really good one. And listen, I, I, I and myself took up running during COVID and I always told people, if you saw me running, I’m sorry, but it looks like a turtle trying to run through peanut butter.

LF:
I commend you even at a young age for wanting to run a race because I never did that as a child. I was terrified. I I I was, I’m so, it’s, it’s really embarrassing. Very, very much a klutzy child tripped over my own two feet, was never able to become a dancer. I was never a runner. But I did try it as an adult. And it, it’s quite refreshing if you keep at it and keep working at it. So but I, I absolutely agree with that rule. No complain.

JW:
I’ll tell you this. I couldn’t imagine Lori running slow at all. But let me tell you what motivated me, Lori, at the age of five and six. I had two older brothers that weren’t very kind to me at times. You have to learn to run fast. So that’s kinda-

LF:
You, you ran out of necessity.

JW:
I don’t wanna say this out loud, but I guess I will. But I had had my pair of underwear, my little Haynes whitey tidies pulled up to where they looked like a t back t-shirt. You pulled ’em up over my head there.

LF:
There’s a visual for Monday morning.

JW:
That was during the years. I sounded like Geddy Lee of Rush. I had a real high pitch voice. For some reason I thought, why are the other kids’ voice down to lower registered mine’s really high pitch. But anyway, true story.

LF:
Well, my second rule is to live by is not near as exciting as that one. But I will tell you that what, what I have, and this is kinda a new one for me I know we talked a little bit about this in the past that, you know, you can’t be afraid to say no. So I’m not really sure what I would call this rule selective time management rule. But I recently had an experience, I’ve gotten a little bit better at saying no not great, but I’m trying. But I recently had an experience with a dear friend of mine that I mentioned to her that I was thinking about maybe just seeking out, putting out some feelers about, you know, a potential volunteer opportunity. I was kind of excited about it and I thought, well, I’m gonna share this with her and see what she thinks.

LF:
And she literally came back and said, have you lost your mind? Why would you do that? You’re already so busy, that’s, that’s not gonna work for you. And I was kinda taken aback by it, and honestly, I value her opinion, of course, as a friend, but it, it just kind struck me and, and it kinda hurt my heart. And I thought maybe, well, maybe I really need to reevaluate. Maybe I need to think about whether or not I really wanna do this. And after I really thought about it, and it may never come to fruition, but I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to say, and I know she said it from a place of love that that’s not the point. She wasn’t trying to be disparaging in any way.

JW:
sIt sound like it came more from the kidneys to me. I don’t know, kinda a gut punch. But anyway, go ahead.

LF:
Right? But I just, I thought it really kinda gave me an introspective of, I never wanna sound like that. And I, I don’t want people to, I, I do, I want people to come to me and ask my advice and my opinion and value my opinion, but at the same time, I don’t, I don’t want to impact their thought process negatively if this is something that they really wanna try or they really wanna be, you know, involved or invested in. So, I don’t know, I just kind of really put it into perspective for me that I, I, we value the people that are in our circle no matter how big or how small or professional or personal or, and it just really kind of gave me that, okay, maybe I need to reevaluate. So saying no is not a necessarily a bad thing, but I think as a general rule of thumb in life, you have to be willing to kind of equate what that looks like to someone on the outside. I mean, and also what it looks like to me, to know what I can handle and what I can’t handle. And, you know, just moving forward, how valuable is my time? And am I really willing to put myself in a position where it might be something I want to do, and then I get committed to it? And what if it’s not what I want? Just very interesting. I, it was a very like, thought provoking process.

JW:
You know, we only get 24 hours in each day. Everybody gets the same 24 hours. I don’t care who you are, if you’re the president of our country the pope I mean, you name any person of great celebrity in this world, they get the same hours as you and I, and of course you do because you’re a great celebrity in my mind, in our local area. But anyway, my point here is.

LF:
You’re too kind.

JW:
My point to this is, is you’re absolutely right though. Some people though, measure what your time and capability and availability is based on their energy. And I’ve always told people, I mean, if you wanna keep up with me, you better tie your sneakers on. Cause I’m running and I’m gonna take advantage of the day. You know, me, Lori, I like to get up, run and run and run, go to bed, tired, but happy. And I just believe a lot of times we don’t think of how valuable that minute is in the day, right? You don’t see me sitting around watching a lot of tv. I record most of my stuff and then I watch it and later and I skip through the commercials or whatever. And the reason I do that is a friend of mine in Canada, age 47, was diagnosed with a horrific disease.

JW:
And he’s now got about, oh, probably two months to live. And so he, he got als and it in three years advanced to this point so quickly that he is now unable to move anything but his eyes. So he can move his eyes. He can’t speak, can’t breathe, he has to have help. He’s in a chair unless he’s in a bed. He still smiles a lot with his eyes. And what I’m saying with that is when we talk, talk in quotes, we send messages, emails or texts, and he has to use a machine that will text you back or email you back that he moves with his eyes. So it’s just kind of a wow, wild technology. But what that taught me is, is I’m like, huh. You know, if John is still able to quote, smile and find happiness in that life, he is now forced to live.

JW:
He is really the hero to me that says, I do not wanna waste a day. So I just don’t, you know, that’s why I don’t like to complain. Just move on and get things done and find the alternative. And as you said, find that area you wish to serve. And if others don’t wish to serve, great, that’s okay too. But you be you and they’ll be them. And life is good, you know, that’s what I’ve been using as my philosophy. What’s my philosophy? Since I turned 50, you know, eight years ago, nearly, what did I tell you? What was my philosophy? Do you remember?

LF:
No.

JW:
I just love everybody. Let me be me and you be you and the world. Get along. That’s kind of where I’m at, this philosophy of life. Now, that’s a big, big philosophy. My pastor at church says, oh, that’s a toughie, Jimmy. Some people are hard to love and a little Jimmy goes a long ways. Now, I don’t know what she meant by that. I think, I think she meant, because Dina told her that.

LF:
Oh, little Jimmy goes a long way. I thought that was your philosophy.

JW:
Well, it should be cuz that’s what my wife tells me all the time. No. So I love that. I think that’s a great plan and a great rule to live by Miss Lori. That is outstanding.

LF:
Well, so what’s your second rule?

JW:
Well, you know, I’m gonna tell you, I’m gonna give a bonus rule after this. This is a more serious one, but a bonus rule here at Live a Life By Design, we don’t just skimp by. We wanna give you more than you ask for. So my second serious rule is, is this simply, this is that I find something during my day to smile about. Now, don’t laugh. There are days we’ve had deaths in our family. I look back with memories and I go, there’s something I can smile about. And I try to listen to comedy and stuff and try to watch these memes or something on Facebook or YouTube where, don’t laugh, I don’t know what it is. But when people fall down on ice, that just tickles me. I hope they’re not hurt, you know? But you just see ’em gingerly walking across there to get the mail.

JW:
The next thing you know, boom, they’re down. The mail’s scattered all over the snow. That kind of stuff tickles me. So I like to find something to smile about. Now, let me explain why you don’t simply do it for the smiling feature of it. You do it because the brain then releases all of these endorphins in your body and makes you feel so much better if you’re smiling and happy than if I moped around felt sad and didn’t have a compassion for any other person. So I like to smile a lot, and I get accused of being a Baptist minister, Lori.

LF:
I would not take you for that.

JW:
I, I don’t know where they get the Baptist part. But anyway I’m a minister of positivity, as I’ve always said, the pastor of positivity here. But anyway, the point I’m making is I smile and find something to smile about literally every day. You wanna hear my bonus one though? Yeah. My bonus rule to live by is simply this: if you wish to lose weight, don’t eat cottage cheese.

LF:
Why?

JW:
Well, what I have observed after many, many years of watching people that say they’re on a diet, every one of them eats cottage cheese and they’re all overweight. So it’s gotta be a correlation between the cottage cheese and being overweight. So to me, I just don’t want to eat cottage cheese. That’s another, that’s a bonus rule I try to live by.

LF:
You have just solved the scientific metabolic issue. Cottage cheese. I just can’t even look at cottage cheese. I can’t imagine how people like eat. I don’t know. Everybody has their thing, but that is, I’ve never been able to eat it.

JW:
If, if there’s such a thing. I made my own cottage cheese in undergrad school. A lot of you would call it clabbered milk, but that’s about the same thing. I let the milk go too long. And that’s what you get.

LF:
Oh, oh.

JW:
You gotta admit, though, that is a lot of flavor.

LF:
Everybody needs to go now and check their milk in the refrigerator. I’m just telling you that is we’re not, we’re not advocating for people to make their own cottage cheese.

LF:
So this morning we’ve shared, we’ve shared our rules to live by this morning. So now we’re gonna set you up for this week’s challenge. So this week, the challenge is to implement one or if you’re very adventurous, all of these rules of daily living to maximize your joy every single day.

JW:
And a bonus challenge-

LF:
A bonus?

JW:
Yeah. A bonus challenge is to enhance your happiness: sending me a Christmas gift.

LF:
Oh!

JW:
That’s the only way, Lori, y’all have Christmas this year, is if someone feels sorry for me listening in the 58 countries that we’re broadcasting. Hopefully I’ll get a small gift. Anyway, hey, thanks for joining us today.

LF:
Please, please, someone feel sorry for Jimmy.

JW:
Yes, please. Thank you for joining us today and here on Live a Life By Design, we wish each and every one of you a merry Christmas, a happy, happy holiday season. Take it away, Lori.

LF:
Go out there and live your life by design!


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