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Challenges are Gifts

Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a different way to stand. – Oprah Winfrey

Challenges are gifts? Yes, I suppose when you look at them the right way they are.  For me challenges mean change, and change is something I struggle with.  I think a lot of people do.  When there is change, there is fear of the unknown. We need to try and look at it differently.

challenges are giftsIn the bible there is a verse that says God doesn’t give you challenges you can’t handle.  At first when I was thinking about that, and today’s quote, I was up in arms and totally disagreeing.  Then, I started to think.

We can handle any challenge life throws at us!

It’s all in our ability to be flexible and roll with the punches. Stop looking at challenges and changes as if they were punishments, or if the world is working against you.  When life is throwing things at you, take a second to regroup.  Change your focus, or as Oprah suggests, change your center of gravity.  Talk to people, ask for help.  A new perspective from someone can go a long way in helping figure things out.

Challenges are gifts.

They are.  I know when you’re sitting here thinking about some of the challenges that have popped up in your life, you’re probably thinking that I’m nuts.  Well yeah, I probably am, but I also believe that if you change your way of thinking, you’ll be able to conquer just about anything life is going to throw at you.  The first thing to do is to stop looking at your challenges as if they are punishments. Instead, think your challenges are gifts.  They are there to encourage you to think in new ways, and to reach out and enlist help from people. We as humans aren’t solitary creatures.  We’re supposed to work together, so when life gives you a challenge reach out – I’m sure you’ll find plenty of people who want to help you.

I know I’m a big one to talk.  I literally hate changes, and I fight them tooth and nail.  But you know what? That doesn’t get me anywhere.  The changes still happen, and I’m absolutely miserable. It’s something I need to work on.  We’re going though some huge changes at my school, and I’m starting to realize I can fight them tooth and nail, or I can embrace them and give them my all. I’m going to view the challenges as gifts, find my new center of gravity, my new way to stand and face them head on.  And if I can do it, so can you!


A New Facebook Group

Hi Everyone – I just wanted to invite you all to connect with me on facebook in our new Think Positive 30 facebook group.  While I love the facebook page, and will keep that going, a group allows more people to interact with one another.  I think it will be  a great way for people to share their positive thoughts, their tips for keeping a positive mindset and for support for those times when you are down.

Check it out and join – I’d love to connect with you!

Look on the Bright Side

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always try to look on the bright side of things. I don’t always succeed, but I do always try.  If I’m going to be perfectly honest, it’s easy to look at what has gone wrong rather than what has gone right. I know it is for me.  I think it is for other people too.

I wish I knew why it was like this, I bet if I could figure it out, and figure out a way to change it, I’d be a millionaire 🙂  A couple of years ago, I made the decision to start looking for a new car.  When I was done researching, my plan was to give my old vehicle to my son, who was driving the minivan I got look on the bright sidewhen my kids were 6.  He was 22 at that point, so it was time.  Well one day, on his way to work, he got hit by a person who ran a red light because they were taking a sip from their water bottle.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, but it was the end of the line for Spike the minivan.  Yes my van’s name was Spike.  It was a minivan, it needed a cool name.

My son went into flip out mode because he was going back to school in a few weeks and he needed his car on campus that year to get to his internship. All he could think about was how his life was ruined, his senior year was ruined, and he wasn’t going to be able to do the internship.  Yeah he was incredibly happy that nobody got hurt, but that was the only good thing he took away from that experience.  What good things? Aside from nobody being hurt, we had insurance, as did the other driver, so things were going to be taken care of.  He wasn’t old enough to use the rental car, but I was, so he just used my car and didn’t miss any work at all – except for the day the accident happened.

I bumped up my car search, and while he didn’t have a car to take to school, he had one the second week of school.  He had a much better, safer car than he would have, had Spike survived the accident.  Between what we got from insurance, and what I had saved, I was able to get a new vehicle for myself and give my son my car to use.  And guess what, I didn’t get to spend as much time researching and test driving cars, but that’s okay too.  Bright side, I went back to the dealership where I worked before I started teaching.  I renewed some friendships, and I got a car that I loved.  I could have focused on negatives, but instead, I chose to look on the bright side.  Honestly, it makes life so much more enjoyable!

Don’t Wait For It, Make It Happen

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. – George Bernard Shaw

If you want something to happen, you can just sit there. Don’t wait for it, make it happen.  The chances of anybody just handing something to you are pretty slim.  Opportunities aren’t just handed out like candy.  You have to look for them.  Push forward and search out the opportunities don't wait for it , make it happenyou’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a job, do you sit in your living room waiting for someone to call and say “Hey, we have a job. Are you interested?”  Probably not, and if you are, you’re probably not going to find anything.  No, if you want a job, you search the want ads and job boards, you network and you send out resumes.  But what happens if all your searching gets you nothing, then what?

That’s when you make the circumstances you want. Start thinking differently.  Don’t wait for somebody to come to you. Create your own opportunities.  I’ve talked before about wanting to write a book.  Publishers are not knocking down my door begging to read my manuscript.  When it’s finished with the editing process, I will send it to a few places, but I’m also going to make my own opportunity and publish it on Kindle.  If it generates enough interest (and income), I’ll see about going the self-publishing/vanity publishing route to get some hard copies and see if I can get them in stores.  What I’m not going to do is sit around with a completed manuscript and hope that Random House or Hay House or whomever shows up at my house asking for my book.

You can do the same thing.  Whatever it is you’re looking to have happen, don’t wait for it, make it happen.  Be the master of your own destiny, don’t leave it to chance or to fate.  The opportunities are out there you just have to make them happen.

If You’re Going To Do it, DO IT!

The path to success is to take massive, determined action.~ Anthony Robbins

I was actually going to title this post “Don’t Half-Ass it,” but I decided to be a little more politically correct and say if you’re going to do it, do it!  What do I mean by that?  It’s pretty simple.  If you’re going to commit to something, you have to put forth all your effort.  Not some, but all.  That’s the only way you’re going to succeed.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say I do this all the time.  I don’t.  I’m actually  a pretty laid back, lazy kind of person.  It’s not a great thing, but it’s a thing.  I tend to go with the flow on a lot of things.  But, when there is something I am super passionate about, I put a ton of effort into it. What if you're going to do it, do it!do you think happens then?  Yep, that’s right success.  It makes sense, if you put forth your best effort, or massive determined action, you’re going to be that much closer to achieving success.

What does massive determined action look like?  That’s the tricky part. It’s going to look different to each and every person.  You can’t judge the effort that somebody else puts into something, you can only be the judge of you. I was thinking about massive determined action today, and wondering exactly when I’ve actually done it.  My immediate reaction was no, because again, I’m lazy.  But then I started really thinking, and the last time I lost a tremendous amount of weight, I really worked at it.  I ate so healthy, I walked every night, and I gave up my beloved Crystal Light.  It worked, I lost almost 50 pounds.  I was super proud of myself.  I put forth that massive determined action and I did it.  I am also working on the books that I’m writing.  I procrastinated for years on one of them and one day, I just sat myself down and I pushed and pushed and pushed and got all the various notes and bits and pieces that I had accumulated and I wrote.  And I finished it, and it’s actually with an editor right now. That was my massive and determined action.  Yours is going to look completely different.

The first step is to decide what you want.  I’m not a huge fan of SMART goals.  I have to write too many of them for work, but I am a huge fan of goals in general.  You need them.  You need to have something to shoot for.  So set your goals. Decide what you want to accomplish and how.  Also since I am a HUGE proponent of the Law of Attraction, throw it out to the Universe. Believe that you’re going to do whatever it is you want to do. Then start planning what you’re going to do.  What steps are you going to take to make this happen?  Then, say you’re going to do it.  And if you’re going to do it, do it.  Get it done.  Put in that massive determined action and crush that goal.

Not the Then but the Now

The past does not define you, the present does.
– Jillian Michaels

Who you were and what you did are in the past.  It’s not the then but the now that matters. If you’ve made mistakes in your past, it’s okay.  When you think about it, who hasn’t messed up at some point in the past.  You have to move forward from them and create a new and better future for yourself.

not the then but the nowI make mistakes all the time.  I sometimes look at my own kids and wonder how in the heck they turned out okay because I messed up a lot as a parent. But every time I made one of those parenting mistakes, I had to make a decision.  I learned from it, and I moved on.  The learning is the big piece.  Learn from your past, if something worked, do it again.  If it didn’t work, figure out why, how you can fix it and move on.

I know, you’re probably thinking there are some things in the past that are too big to come back from.  I really don’t think that’s the case.  No matter what the mistake, if you’re truly repentant and do your best to make amends, you’re good.  Will everyone forgive you?  Probably not, but you’re not living life to get approval and acceptance from others. Well you shouldn’t be, anyhow.  Life your life for you.  Let go of the mistakes that you have made.  Don’t get mired in the past.  It happened, and it’s over. Let it go and move on.  Who you are now and what you’re doing now define you. Not what you may do in the future, and not what you did in the past.  It’s not the then, but the now that matters.  Make it count.

Don’t Get Stranded

The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision. – William Arthur Ward

Sometimes, when I pick these quotes out, they say something to me. Then when they pop up during the week I wonder what the heck was I thinking about. Today is one of those times.  I just know it’s important not to get sucked into the pessimistic mindset. Don’t get stranded!

don't get strandedI don’t know what it is about the pessimistic mindset, but it’s so easy to fall into, and even easier to stay there.  It truly takes the same amount of energy to think in an optimistic way as it does a pessimistic way, yet so many of us tend toward the more negative side.  I wish I knew why.  I tend to focus my energies on positive thinking.

I love the image of pessimism being an island and being stranded.  It calls to mind, for me, a barren rocky outcropping surrounded by stormy seas on all sides.  No place to go, and being endlessly buffeted by rain and wind.  Who would willingly go there.  And when I think of optimism being a peninsula, I see sunny Florida on the map, or even closer to me, Cape Cod.  All summer sun and full of endless fun.  Think about it, where would you rather be?  On a nice fun, sunny peninsula, possibly visiting the house of mouse, or having a clambake, or would you rather be stranded on an island with no place to go?  It seems like a pretty simple choice to make in my mind.


You Made a Mistake? So What!

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. – Elbert Hubbard

What is stopping you from trying something new, of doing something different?  Is it the fear of making a mistake?  So you made a mistake? So What! Seriously, when it comes right down to it, most of the mistakes we make are no big deal, yet the fear of making them stops us from trying new things.

You made a mistake? So What!Imagine you’re at a restaurant, and on the menu they  have a dish you always wanted to taste.  But you don’t try it. Instead you order the same cut of steak you always order. Why? Because it’s safe. You know what it’s going to taste like and you don’t want to waste your money on something you may not like.  You know what? I get not wanting to waste your money, I really do.  I was on my honeymoon, and we were at a very elegant restaurant and they had caviar on the menu.  I had always wanted to try it, and so I decided to order it even though it was extremely expensive.  Guess what, I hated it.  Guess what else.  They waiter knew I was trying it for the first time, took it off the bill and brought me something else in it’s place.  Why? Because I told him I wanted to try it for the first time.

Sometimes, in a case like that, you just have to mention that you want a sample and they’ll help you out.  Try a new sport or activity.  Pick up a new genre of book to read, see a different type of movie, or buy that new bathing suit.  The possibilities of new things you can try are endless.  And what if you hate the book, or the new sport or activity? Well then, you say you don’t like it, and don’t do it again.  No harm no foul.  Learning and trying are a part of life, as are success and failure.  When you have a success, that’s great…and if you made a mistake? So what! Try again or try something else, but above all, never stop trying.

Worrying is Such a Waste of Time

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. – Glenn Turner

Originally posted December 20, 2011

Worry is such a waste of time…logically, I know this. There are songs that remind me of this (Don’t Worry, Be Happy) and let us not forget Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman’s “What, Me Worry?”

Worry gets you know where. It doesn’t change anything and it only makes what you’re worrying about seem worse. However not worrying is hard. In fact, it’s practically impossible. I wish I knew how not to worry, but I don’t. I’m working on it though. I try to be aware of the things that are going on in my life, but I’m working on not dwelling on them or obsessing over them. It’s not easy, but I’m trying it. I won’t ignore things and walk blissfully along as though I have nary a worry in the world, but I’m not going to let those worries take over my life, either.

worrying is such a waste of timeSome new thoughts

I think it’s kind of great that I chose this quote to repost this weekend.  I’ve talked a lot lately about how I’ve been down in the dumps and a bit stressed, and this quote helped me to realize that I have indeed been worrying.  I’ve been worrying about things I can control.  Okay that one make sense.  But I’ve also been worrying about things that are out of my control.  That one makes a lot less sense, because they are completely and totally out of my control. Worrying is  such a waste of time! So I’m actually going to try not worrying at all.  I’m not going to ignore the things that are on my mind.  What I am going to do is acknowledge them, and try and let them go to the universe.  I’ll do what I can, that’s all I can do.  I often tell my daughter to “let go and let God,” when she’s stressed and worried.  It’s good advice.  I need to start taking it.  Actually, I don’t think it will hurt anybody to take it.  If you believe in a different deity, that’s fine, let go and let your deity deal with it.  If you don’t believe in any deity, that’s fine too.  Let go and let the universe handle it.  Don’t worry, in the end, it really isn’t worth it.

What good is worrying going to do?  Is it going to fix what you’re worrying about?  In my experience, no.  Maybe you know a different way of worrying that actually accomplishes something.  If you do, let me know. So my advice to you, tonight is this.  Acknowledge what’s going on.  Do waht you can to fix it, but whatever you do, don’t waste time worrying about it because your worrying isn’t going to change anything.


Own Your Choices

The choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. – Unknown

Well I’m a little sad because it’s the weekend, and this quote always makes me think of school.  We’re always on the kids to accept responsibility for their actions.  Own your choices.  Good or bad, they belong to you.

own your choicesIt’s easy to push responsibility off onto other people.  “Well so-and-so made me do it.”  Unless someone is holding a gun to your head, or the head of someone you love, they can’t make you do anything.  We are all blessed with this wonderful thing called free will.  I can think of so many poor decisions I’ve made in my life, and I’ve tried to make excuses and find ways to shift the responsibility off on to others.  When you come right down to it, though, they were my choices, my decisions.  I made them, and nobody else did, so I get to live with the consequences.

It’s kind of hypocritical, when you make a good choice or a good decision and people comment on it, or good things come from it, you’re more than willing to accept the responsibility for that.  You have to step up and do it for the poor choices and the poor decisions.  Own your choices, don’t make excuses.  It’s okay to make a poor decision or make a poor choice.  We are human beings, we’re not perfect.  We make mistakes.  It’s one of the ways we learn.  So try and make the the good choices and the good decisions, but if you don’t, that’s okay. Celebrate the good ones, in facet, revel in them!  As for the poor choices? Own them, learn from them and move on.

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