The Good Thing About Bad Situations

October 16, 2013

Is there such a thing as good coming from the bad? If you’ve known me long enough, you know I completely believe the answer is yes. I would much rather not face negative situations at all, but if we have to deal with them, it’s nice to know something good can come from them.

Today I share with you good news and bad news. The bad news is that negative situations are unavoidable. We are told by God not that we may face trials, but that we WILL face them. Even the best, happiest, most successful people on this earch will face negative situations at times.

The good news is that these situations can be used for our good. In fact, this is also written in the Bible. Everything happens for our good, even if we have to take some bumps and growing pains along the way.

How can negative situations make things better for us? I believe there are many ways. Here are a few:

  • I have found that in almost all cases, the negative experience made me a better person.
  • They caused me to learn something that perhaps I wouldn’t have learned if I hadn’t faced that situation.
  • They have resulted in blessings. I am always reminded of the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers”. I would not have some of my greatest gifts and blessings now had I received what I wanted and didn’t have to go through the trial I endured.
  • They force action. It’s easy to procrastinate…except when your back is completely against the wall. Then you are forced to act. Many times this action ultimately results in the success you are looking for.
  • They bring an additional perspective you may not have had before. This perspective can a major help sometime down the road.
  • They bring you closer with someone else. I hate interpersonal conflicts and will do all I can to avoid them. However, many times these conflicts, when handled correctly, enhance relationships because the air is cleared, and necessary feelings are communicated.

I can go on with a much longer list. Hopefully you can see that, as much as we want to avoid them, negative situations can be good things. Here’s another list of how you can use negative situations to help you. Once again, the list can be much longer than I’m making it, but I find these suggestions very helpful, and hopefully you will too.

  1. Learn from it.
  2. Here’s one that really helps…deliberately meditate on all of the good that comes from a particular adversity. For example, I struggled with money for most of my life. It hasn’t been fun, but in my quest to earn money I have learned so much about so many other things besides money. For example, I learned to trust God more, to use the power of my mind, and to be content with what I have. I would have never learned those things had money just been a regular part of my life.
  3. It changes your thinking patterns. When you focus on the good that can come from negative situations, you take your focus from the bad and place it on positive thoughts. It is often said that you receive in life what you focus your primary thoughts on. When you focus on the bad situations, you will only see more of them. However, when you focus on the positive and appreciate the good that comes from any situation, you are more likely to see the good manifest in your life.
  4. Take action. As mentioned before, negative situations often force you to take action. The key is to take advantage of the opportunity.

I invite you to add to these lists. How have negative situations helped you in the past? How have you used them to improve your life. I would love to know, and appreciate you sharing them.

Once again, I am sure we would all rather not face and experience bad situations. However, even though we can’t avoid them, we can make the best of them. That’s one way your life gets taken to a higher level in a hurry. Enjoy the blessings : )


Who Cares What Other People Think?

October 15, 2013

On the way to church the other day, my daughter and I were talking about her Sunday school teacher. He’s is a rather good teacher, even though he’s only about 20 years old and has no formal training in teaching. He was simply asked to do it, and did so without hesitation. In fact, that’s what the main part of this conversation was about. We admire this person because he will do anything (within reason) without worrying about what people might think.

OK, I know I can’t see you right now, but raise your hand if you’ve spent a significant amount of your life holding back because you are worried about what people might think. I know you can’t see me, but my hand is raised high. Many of us do it. Part of it is human nature. After all, we want to make people happy and we don’t want to disappoint anybody. However, after many years, I have found that the only person I am disappointing in these situations is myself.

It is only recently that I have avoided relying on the opinions of others. I will say that sometimes it even causes some resistance. Yes, I may disappoint some people. However, I find found that, the more I rely on my own intuition and “the voice of God”, the more I am led to where I want to be.

I will take a time out here to say that you don’t want to completely disregard the opinions and advice of other people. If you believe moving in a certain direction is going to hurt someone close to you or make things very difficult for them, then obviously it is probably best to make the sacrifice and find a different way to get where you want to go. Also, if many people are telling you the same thing about where you’re falling short or even where you are excelling, than you may want to pay attention and listen to what they say.

The problem is that people get too hung up on what other people say. What’s worse is that they get hung up on what they MIGHT say or how they MIGHT react. Nothing’s even happened yet!

Someone once told me….don’t worry about your reputation because for as many people as you know, you have a different reputation for each one of them. It’s so true. Whether you have hundreds of people, thousands, or millions in your life, you are being judged differently by each one of them.

Knowing this, the best advice I was given is to control the reputation that I can control. That is the judgement of two…me and God. It’s up to me to see myself as God sees me, nothing more and nothing less. It’s also up to me to act in a manner that it pleasing to God. That’s it.

I will say that one of my goals in life is certainly to make people happy, and avoid disappointing people. However, I am done holding back from pursuing my goals and enjoying life to the fullest in fear of what people might think.

I share the same advice with you today. Be like my friend from church who (meant in a positive way) will do anything without fear of the way things will turn out or that people may laugh at or ridicule him. If you are inspired to do something, and firmly believe it’s the right thing that won’t bring anyone down, then by all means move forward and do it. You will find life so much more joyful and rewarding. I can certainly attest to that. Enjoy the blessings : )


Feeling Better About Yourself Is As Easy As ABC

July 21, 2013

Throughout my life I have been lucky enough to be able to travel and drive long distances to see relatives, the country, etc. Each time we take another trip new memories are created, and old ones are brought to the front of my mind.

There is a game that we often played, and still sometimes do today. It’s called the alphabet game. The object is to pick a topic, like animals, food, movies, or whatever, and name one that starts with A. Then the next person says one that starts with B, and so on.

I was having a very difficult day a few days ago (yes, even the best of us positive, optimistic people struggle sometimes). I was looking to find something to bring me back up, and I found a gem.

The article I read suggested using the ABC game to come up with positive words about yourself. It may be difficult for some, but contrary to popular believe, you ARE allowed to say nice things about yourself. I tried it, and didn’t have too much difficulty coming up with words for each letter of the alphabet. Even X was usable, as I improvised with words like xtra special, xtra nice, etc.

Does this exercise work? Yes, and it works almost immediately. I went through two rounds of the game, thinking of positive words starting with each letter of the alphabet to describe myself. Within minutes I felt far better about myself, and was right back to being my normal, positive self. I did this in mid-afternoon, and the rest of my day was happy and pleasant. In fact, according to theme of the article, this is exactly the purpose of the game…to help you feel more positive emotions about yourself, and about life as a whole. The reason being is that when you are at a high emotional level, you set yourself up for the positive outcomes you seek.

I share this exercise with you and challenge you to use it. Use it if you are feeling down, but also when things are good. This morning I used this as a gratitude exercise and came up with with words from each letter of the alphabet of things I am grateful for. The positive feelings surfaced quickly and easily, and now remain as I go through my day.

The more things you can be positive about and think about, the more things will go your way. The more you maintain positive emotions, the more you will set yourself up for blessings. I am constantly looking for ways to do this and to share, and as mentioned earlier, I believe I hit the jackpot with this one.

What great things do you have to say about yourself? Answering that question should be as easy as ABC. Enjoy the blessings : )

If you are interested, here’s a link to the article…http://www.discoveringpeace.com/abraham-hicks-and-the-emotional-grid.html


Release Your Burdens

April 14, 2013

Sometimes there are many burdens that we have to deal with in our lives, and at times we lack the strength and energy to deal with them.

I heard a song today that I hadn’t heard in a while, and it reminded me that we don’t have to handle these burdens alone. The main chorus from this Ryan Starr song says…

“Breathe, just breathe. Take the world off your shoulders and put it on me.”

I don’t know if the artist intended it this way, but it reminds me that when we cast our burdens on the Lord, He handles our difficult situations for us, and we no longer need to spend time worrying about them. He will show us the steps to take, and use it for great things.

I recommend you check out this beautiful video for more on this great message. Have an excellent day : )


Appreciate Your Beauty

April 13, 2013

I had a difficult week this week. I returned to work, took on some new responsibilities, the work load was non-stop, and I did not sleep well. As a result, I didn’t get some things done that I wanted to. When this happens, I sometimes get down on myself and return to my days of doubt and incompetence, rather than faith and determination. It seems as though countless other people around me are also going through difficult personal times.

The following is a chapter from my e-book “30 Days To A More Powerful Life”. As I thought about my situation and the hurting people around me, God immediately brought this concept to mind. I do not exaggerate to say that, when I re-read this and reflected on it, all of the difficulty from the past week was washed away. I hope the same happens for you, especially if you are going through difficult times or doubt yourself….

One of the most fun and rewarding jobs I ever had was as an announcer for a Christian radio station on Long Island in the early ’90s. During that time I was able to meet several Contemporary Christian Music artists. The one that stands out the most is being able to, not only meet, but spend an entire day with one of my favorite artists at the time named Michelle Wagner.

I was recently reading a book by Joel Osteen. It stresses throughout the book that, because we are creations of God, we are “beautiful” and should see ourselves that way . It reminded me of that day with Michelle Wagner and one of her greatest songs called, “You’re Beautiful”. The song is based on I Peter 3:3-4 which says “your beauty should not come from outward adornment….Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight” It’s main message is that, as long as we are creations of God and remain close to him, we are beautiful and of great worth to Him.

The chorus goes like this…

You’re Beautiful
Like a diamond in the sun you’re so beautiful and you’re becoming brighter
You’re Beautiful
And the world needs so much to see all the treasure in your soul
You’re Beautiful

At that time I led a youth group and gave several talks about this song and its theme. I had the kids think about something they created. A picture or painting they did, a sculpture, anything. Then I had them think about how proud they were of their creation after they completed it. Maybe not everyone thought it was great, but nothing could take the beauty out of the eye of the one who created it.

God feels the same way about us. Maybe not everyone sees us as beautiful. In many cases we don’t see ourselves that way. However, our Creator is very proud of the one of a kind creation He has made. He sees us as beautiful, and as someone that can make a difference for Him.

We are beautiful in God’s eyes, so let us see ourselves that way in our own minds. Let us also use that Godly knowledge to show that beauty to those around us, and remind those in our lives about their beauty as well. With God’s help we can and will make a difference and make this world a “beautiful” one.

Action Plan: Spend several minutes a day focusing on your beautiful, positive qualities. Focus on them throughout the day. Before long, it will be automatic, and you will soon realize others are seeing that beauty in you as well.

I remind you that a free copy of this e-book is available for download on this site. Feel free to check it out and share it.

If you really want to be inspired, I recommend you check out the song and corresponding video here. Have a beautiful day : )


3 Power Steps To The Next Level

August 8, 2012

I am a firm believer in doing what it takes to bring life to a higher level. I am very happy with many things in life, but at the same time, average just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Many posts I write here are geared to help my readers and I take life to a higher level.

I received a newsletter from one of my favorite pastors/authors Joel Osteen the other day. It is titled, “3 Keys To Experiencing the Next Level”. As you can imagine, it certainly had my attention in a hurry! I found the information very helpful and interesting, and I would like to share it with you. Here are the 3 keys Joel mentions:

  1. Believe that God has great things in store for you and wants to bless you. He quotes Psalm 37:4 which says..take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
  2. Release every negative thought and bad experience to God and trust His plan. The verse he mentions here is 2 Corintians 5:17…if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here.
  3. Receive the promises of God for your life and live with confidence. He uses Matthew 21:22 which says…you can pray for anything, and if you have faith you will receive it.

I agree with Joel Osteen and firmly believe God wants to take us to a higher level in our lives. I find his 3 step process very helpful, and very simple to do consistently. It can certainly work for you too. For more information on this, go to http://JoelOsteen.com/elevate

Have an excellent day!


A Short, But Powerful Word

November 17, 2011

When you ask a question, what is usually the answer you want to hear? It is almost always, “yes”. I thought about the power of this word again today. Just the sound of the word brings an air of positivity. There are several reasons for this. One is that it symbolizes the affirmative. It also means our goals have been acheived. How did you feel when someone asked if you got the job you were seeking, and you could proudly answer yes? Or when someone looked at you and asked if you lost weight and you smiled and said yes. I think you get the picture.

I am realizing again that, to live a successful life, this yes word needs to be a regular part of our vocabulary. Assume the yes in all areas of your life. Believe that, yes, I can earn that promotion; yes I can improve that relationship; Yes, I can be more positive and energetic. Think yes only, and don’t even think about no. If for some reason God’s answer is no for something, then stop and follow for a better way. Otherwise, live with an attitude of yes, that your goals can and will be accomplished.

One can even use the yes to prove a point. In the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie says that an effective way to influence others is NOT to force your views on other people. Instead, he suggests asking a series of questions that will provide a yes response from the other person. By doing it this way, you are more likely to get the other person thinking towards your point of view instead of completely rejecting the ideas you forced on them. I use this method in teaching adolescent students, as well as working with adult customers. I can say from experience it is very effective.

I recommend that, on a regular basis, you repeat this short, powerful word to yourself often. Again I will say that, even just hearing it brings to mind thoughts of positivity, power, and accomplishment. Make this yes word a regular part of your language and attitude, and you will experience many yes moments in your life. Enjoy the blessings : )