You have truly pushed me further than I ever imagined I could handle. I thought I had seen the worse that life had to offer me but by only the grace of God I'm still standing. Every tear, heartache, disappointment, and feeling of defeat challenged me to push a little bit further. The moments I wanted to be alone to sulk I was challenged to straighted up and act right. I was smacked in the face with the scriptures I quote, the advise that I give, the affirmations I proclaim, and my very own words to find out where my faith truly lies. For all of that I am thankful.
Thank you, 2016, for reminding me how imporant it is for me to walk what I talk. Thank you for slamming me down and forcing me to tap into the divine power placed inside of me to conquer all things that seek to conquer me. I now see better than ever that all things work together for my purpose...and I finally really believe it. On January 1st I expected you to be the best year of my life and when it all fell apart somehow you really were. You were the year that made me reevaluate everything about myself and led me to find that I am truly all that God says I am. The year that made me take hold of what was and declare over it what I am determined it will be. Never before had I been able to see the sun shine so brightly and in you I realized the only way I could see it was to be in the midst of clouds.
2016, I am grateful for everything you have brought me and look forward to the remaining days we have together. I will forever remember the things that you taught me and how you showed me that the battle is already won.
With great expectation,
In a recent conversation I was forced to accept the fact that I don't have all the answers. I'm a very logical person by nature. I like to gather information and find evidence that supports my position so that by the time I make a decison there is little one can say to argue against me. As I've matured I've learned that there is always something I don't know and that there is always another perspective or point of view on a matter. I can accept that for most things but when it comes to issues concerning my personal life I always believed I should know everything. Accepting that I don't have all the answers about myself has proven to be a lifted burden. It's helped me see how much more I have to grow and made me excited about the journey.
A few days ago I revisited the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and found that my "new" insight is a principle in the book. Hill calls it the "Mastermind Principle" and he uses Thomas A. Edison as an example of how it works. Briefly put, Edison was a man of very little formal education, however, he was smart enough to realize that he could use the knowledge other people possessed to achieve his goals. Edison sought the expertise of people who were skilled in all the areas in which he was ignorant and, together, they created inventions that brought Edison great wealth. Edison recognized early on that he did not have all the answers and that he did not need them to be successful.
It may be difficult to see how this principle applies to personal development but it is necessary for anyone who truly wants to be their best self. In order to grow we must be humble enough to receive constructive criticism, mentoring, correction and guidance. We tend to be more accepting of such things professionally but they are also necessary personally.
Here's a challenge for you: ask someone who knows you well, and who you respect, to share one thing you could do to improve your relationship with others. Be open-minded, listen to the response, ask for examples, and don't be offended. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself.
Have you ever had a day when everything was just too much? A day when you felt if just one more thing happened that you would lose your mind? A day when you wanted to stay in bed and just feel sorry for yourself? You have? Me too.
Some days it seems like everything we deal with is just way too much to handle. There are days when we become overwhelmed with the massive amount of responsibility we've taken on over the years and it seems like no one anywhere could possibly understand what we are experiencing. I've certainly had those days, sometimes consecutively and, occasionally for several days. Those days are not fun. Those days are the worst.
Now, with me being a pusher of positive thinking you probably think that's where I'm going in this post. I'm not. Yes, positive thinking works and I highly recommend that you make it a way of life but, there are times when it just really is not enough. Here are some things I've learned to do to help me on days when life seems to be just too much:
Some of these activities work every time, some only work when paired with others, and some I do regularly regardless of how I feel simply because I enjoy them. I don't expect all of them to work for you. Maybe none of them will work for you. I shared them to show you the effort I put into getting through those rough days when they creep up. Even if it takes me running through everything on this list I have to make up in my mind that I will not be defeat by life and you have to do the same. This list is no exhaustive. As I have new experiences and try new things I learn more about what works for me. Find some things that work for you and put them to use when you need them. In fact, put them to use even when you don't need them. Make a conscious effort to include the things you enjoy in your daily life because you deserve it.
And most importantly, remember that those days are just that, DAYS. Days pass, don't allow them to become a lifestyle.
Trust is such as delicate thing. We can’t see it but it is clear when it is present or lacking. There are many different levels of trust; the higher the level the more painful the hurt when it is violated. Trust is a very simple word but the experience of it is remarkably complex. Too much of it can be dangerous and too little of it results in a miserable life. How can we find the balance? How can we make the right decisions with trust?
For many of us the negative events and experiences in our pasts create barriers when it comes to trusting others. Very often we are so concerned with protecting ourselves and our feelings that we miss out on great opportunities because we won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We have all had unpleasant things happen in our lives that give us a need to act with caution, here are some tips I use to make decisions on trust:
Have you ever experienced a time in life when it seemed like you were failing at everything? A time when you felt helpless because every attempt you made to move forward ended with frustration and nothing you tried to do actually worked? Most of us can say we've felt that way a time or two but I venture to say that those times may have passed us by much quicker if we had taken full advantage of them.
Let me explain. It's human nature to resist change. Some of us adjust well to change, and even welcome it, but most people need some time to get used to new things and would prefer to keep things the same if we can. So much so that even when things are clearly not working out we stick with them just because they are familiar to us. We remain stuck and unfulfilled in jobs, relationships, and circumstances simply because we fear stepping into the unknown.
Over time I've learned that when it starts to seem like nothing I do is working it is a sign that it's time for me to make a major change. I've also learned that the sooner I embrace the idea of change and take steps to move forward the quicker the frustration of being "stuck" subsides and my life changes for the better. Every major change in my life has been proceeded by a period of frustration and each decision to move forward into something new was met with challenges. But, I can confidently say each of those changes improved my life in a major way for the better and every time I step out it gets easier.
So, if you're at a point where it seems like life is a grind and nothing seems to go the way you planned consider making a change to shake things up, it may be the best decision you've ever made.
Over the years I have learned that life can teach you things in the most inventive ways and that, if you are open to it, you can learn from almost anything. I recently had an experience when I saw life in one of the most obscure places: a cartoon. Here is a Life Lesson Revealed.
Netflix recently added Animaniacs, a cartoon series I loved when I was a child. If you’ve never seen the show before, here is the premise: When the Warner Brothers studio first opened the artists were pressed to create new characters and thus created the Warner Brothers Yakko and Wacko, and their sister, Dot. The Warner Brothers and the Warner sister prove to be a fail as they were uncontrollable and their movies made no sense. To recover from the mistake the studio decided to lock away all the Warners’ movies in a vault, to hide the Warners themselves in a water tower, and to deny their existence to the public. The plot of the show is that the Warners escape from the water tower and are chased by the security guard to be hidden once again. During each episode the show features skits of other characters doing whatever it is they do then suddenly the Warners come running across the screen as they are chased by the guard to remind you of the real plot of the show and that the show is really about them.
Where’s the life lesson? Let me explain.
Hopefully by now you have some vision or goal you are working towards whether big or small. If you do, you will find that challenges arise that hinder your pursuit of that vision or goal. When we experience those challenges we are often put in a place where we feel like we have to make something happen. We need a solution to a problem and we need it right away. Herein lays the analogy…
When we are pressed to make a decision, sometimes we don’t quite think it through and end of making a decision that not in our best interest (creating the Warners). After we find that the decision is causing more problems, instead of bringing resolution we try to get things under control and cover our tracks (hiding the Warners and their movies away). Then, we try to act like the decision never happened and to move forward with our lives (denying the Warners’ existence to the public and showing skits of other characters). Sometimes, however, our poorly-made decision has had so much impact that the residuals pop up in our lives when we least expect it (Warners escape) and, when left unresolved, we find ourselves trying to catch the lingering negative effects so we can hide them away again (Warners being chased through skits). We are able to get a hold of things most times and save face but when we continue to let things go unresolved eventually “the Warners” escape again.
Now, think about a poor decision you’ve made in the past and that still affects you today, can you see the parallel? As I watch the show I can even see traits that impact our decision-making in the Warner characters themselves: Yakko who talks way too much, Wacko who eats everything and leaves nothing for others, and Dot who thinks she can get away with things just because she’s so cute…WOW!
Click on your Netflix and check it out for yourself.