Three Requirements to Keep You, Your Business and Your Relationships Fully Alive!

Charlie Horse!

Last night I woke from a sound sleep with a Charlie Horse.  I leaped from the bed so fast that it was yesterday when my feet hit the floor.  If you don’t know what a charlie horse is, have a friend hit you on  the back of the leg with a baseball bat.  That’s a Charlie Horse.

I realized that after a day of strenuous exercise, I had forgotten to stretch.  The strength gained exercising is of little use if it is used up dancing around the bedroom stubbing your toes and screaming for your mommy!  As the pain subsided I started thinking.  There are at least three physical, mental, social and spiritual requirements you must have to keep you and your business “fully alive” instead of “dancing in the dark.”  Here they are:1.  Strength

It doesn’t matter whether it is a muscle, a relationship, your business or your brain.  If you don’t work to keep it healthy and strong, it will atrophy and become unusable.  That’s why I am training my grandchildren to be active.  It’s why I encourage them to read books, practice their faith and make new friends.

Any organization or person that isn’t gaining strength is dying. I used to sing in a band. I stopped singing 20 years ago. Today, I can still carry a tune if the song only has a range of two notes. My voice is gone.  Use it or lose it.

2.  Flexibility

All the strength in the world is worthless if you are inflexible.  Flexibility allows you to adjust a business plan to meet the needs of a shifting economy or marketplace. When the economy tumbled those who survived learned to make adjustments quickly.“We’ve always done it this way,” can now be read on the tombstones of failed businesses all across America.  Keep on your toes, my dad used to say.

Flexibility allows you to get out of the recliner without having to rock six times to build momentum.

Flexibility allows you to bend down to pick of a grandchild and throw them in the air.  Strength allows you to occasionally catch them.  Stretch yourself in every area of life.

Flexibility also keeps Charlie Horses away and allows you to escape from anyone with a baseball bat who wants to show you what they feel like.

3.  Endurance   

An interviewer reviewing my book “Fully Alive”  asked me the secret to my long and fruitful career.  My answer was simplistic but true.  50 years!  

Hanging in there for 50 years even when the times were tough.  Fifty years of trusting in God’s grace when I was stupid.  Staying committed to my wife and my family.  Determining a focus for my life and never losing sight of it.  Establishing and living by core values that would keep my life and my work headed in the right direction.  Did I make mistakes?  Absolutely!  But I determined early to never give up.

Yesterday, I watched two little granddaughters cross the finish line of their first triathlon.  They were exhausted and ecstatic.  I smiled and wiped a tear from my eye as they sat in the shade to recover.  They were reaping the benefits and learning the value of strength, flexibility and endurance.  They knew it had required discipline and hard work.  I hope they have learned that if they continue, they will live “Fully Alive.” 

How about you?





  1. Thank you for that!!! As a 56 year old MOM of a 14 year old, I need to stay as alive as I can. My attitude is the thing that gives me the most trouble. Yours helps me! Squeezing humor into a day of about 9 day care kids and homeschooling really really makes the days brighter for all of us!

    I’ve had those nasty old charlie horses before… it seems that when I’m taking Calcium Magnesium supplements there’s not a hint of a visit, so I highly recommend that!

  2. I love this reminder that to be fully alive that you must remain active. this simple concept works no matter what shape your brain or body is in. Even though I use a wheelchair I exercize an average of 5 days a week and also try to keep my mind as active as possible. I work all the time to maintain my strength and endurance. The hardest of the three requirements for me is to remain flexible it seems that the older I get the more inflexable my faith becomes. I find it harder and harder to accept the changes I see happening in churches. As I see mainstream churches using statistal ethics, bowing to what 51% of the people will let them get away with, rather than maintainin the ethics that are taught to us by God I tend to get angry. Our bodies should remain flexible, but, our faith should never bend or waiver.

    Ok time to get off my soap box.

    As far as getting out of the recliner without rocking 6 or 7 times I fixed that through the use of technology, My recliner has a remote that stands me up.

  3. This was great! It reminded me of a posting that someone had put near the copier where I used to work “Blessed are the flexible, for they do not bendeth out of shape.” As we get older physical flexibility seems to diminish if we don’t constantly keep moving. Thanks for reminding us we need all three components to be “Fully Alive” physically and spiritually.

  4. My chiropractor is always saying to be more flexible, but I don’t listen very well!

    Seriously, great article. I run my own small business so I see the great benefit for all three for my life and business as well. Thanks!!

  5. Ken, as I read this I felt it was talking directly to me. My wife and I have purchased her parents small craft business this year. It has been very successful in the past, but some things that sold in the past now do not. We have struggled with her mom as she says “these are good sellers, what are you doing differently?” yes she has the experience, but times have changed and reading your post has helped me realize if we expect to survive and become self sufficient with this business, we need to be willing to change some things. Thanks for your words of encouragement, and may the Lord bless you for your ministry.

    Mark Plummer

  6. Another great article with good, sound advice. Now if only I can move out of my computer chair long enough to become more flexible, I’ll be fine! Love that Charlie Horse graphic! In all seriousness, thanks for your words of wisdom, Ken; I appreciate your ability to “hit the nail on the head”!!! Blessings. Sharon

  7. DearKen, love hearing you on Moody radio.. thanks for todays message.. I just started ( again) on a path to get healthier.. thanks for reminding me to stretch.. I laughed at the flexibility part.. that is one thing I need to work on.. Endurance.. yes, I am in my healthy lifestyle program for the long haul.. thanks…

  8. Thank you for the humour reminder that we need to continue to hang in there. I recently was a part of our water coop’s work party and discovered how quickly I couldn’t keep going. It was embarrsing to go into a full blown asthma attack especially when I was the only female amoungst 5 males cutting down trees and brush to clear a space for a new water tank pad. It was the worse attack I have had in a very, very long time. I couldn’t get out and walk up or down the road without weasing at an elvation of 8000 ft. Even though I used my immediate acting inhaler it didn’t slow my attack down, but it did manage to give me a headache. I remained bound and determined that I would try to be helpful in some way even though I had petered out of strength to haul brush up and down the road. I got into the truck and would drive it up and down from one location to pick up brush with the help of one of the guys to load it while I drove the truck loaded with brush to a chipping pile. Finally a couple of guys came over and told me it wasn’t worth killing myself and just sit there. So I finally just sat there watching them do the work while weasing. After I while I went and got them cold drinks and snacks to replenish lost fluids from all the hard work. It surprised them all when I came back still weasing and shaky with fluids and snacks for them. None refused the refreshments.

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