Overcoming Struggles

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a map that could tell us the outcome of our decisions?  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we see what hardship is coming our way so we could brace ourselves for it?  In some way, I think it would be nice to have that gift of foresight, and yet perhaps not.

If we looked back at all that we’ve been through to get to where we are today, we’d see moments that make our chests swell with pride and moments that may inspire shame or guilt.  If we had that gift of foresight, we surely would have avoided some hardships.  Let’s face it, many of our hardships turned out to be moments of pride that wouldn’t have come to be if we had avoided them.

For those of you who struggle through some hardship, though you may not understand why you’re struggling or how you’re supposed to resolve the issue, fight on.  This could be one of those hardships that you will one day look back to with pride.  Learn from the past, live in the present, and work towards a brighter future.

Be a light to your world today!

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Being Positive

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always enjoyed being around positive people.  I’ve always been drawn towards those who can see the bright side of a lousy situation.  It’s as if no matter what life throws at them, they know how to adjust and they find a way of make lemonade with lemons.

Positivity is contagious.  We’re more likely to smile when someone smiles at us.  We’re more likely to laugh with someone than by ourselves.  Positive people seem to have a gift for facing life’s challenges with humour and determination.

However, the same goes with their negative counterparts.  Grumpy, moody people tend to suck the joy out of their environment.  Gossipers tend to sew division and suspicion.  Others’ negativity sucks the life out of you and gives you a taste of the internal misery the live in.

My solution to negativity is simple: tune it out and move on.  Don’t bother opening dialogue with negativity.  It’ll take a tremendous amount of energy to get yourself out of that toxic internal conversation.  Rather, focus on surrounding yourself with positive people whenever possible, and try to “contaminate” the negative ones with your positive spirit.  For your sake and that of those around you, limit the influence their negativity has on you, even if it means setting firm boundaries with some people.  You’re mental health depends on it.

Be a positive light to your world today!

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Many of us enjoy reminiscing on past events and certain periods of life.  Lately, I’ve found myself reminiscing a lot more.  Places I’ve been and people I’ve been with.  Wondering how differently things would have turned out if I had made better decisions or invested more in some friendships.

It’s crazy to think of where we’ve been and where we are now.  Reconnecting with old friends/classmates makes that contrast even more impressive.  Although I am not proud of every decision I’ve made in life, I do consider myself very blessed with the life I have today.  I am blessed with a beautiful wife and beautiful daughters, I am building a successful career, writing books that I hope to publish (sooner or later), enjoying the support of amazing family and friends, etc.

Can I say that this is all due to my decisions in life?  No way.  I’ve made decisions that drove me further from my goals.  What I am learning from all this is that no matter the nature or number of our mistakes/sins, God’s Goodness can never be outdone.

Any time you feel regret, shame, or guilt, simply admit it to yourself.  Then count your blessings.  Literally.  Look at all the great people you’ve been blessed with during those difficult times, all the great turns of events that helped you along.  See all the good that could not have come about otherwise.  It doesn’t justify our bad decisions, but it shows that we’re being looked after by someone or Someone.  Life isn’t as lonely as we may think it is.

Next time you see someone in a difficult situation, be there.  You may not be able to fix the situation, but you can be present to help that person pull through the current challenges.

Be a light to your world today!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/58782227@N00/2250359151″>Day 39</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Be What You Should Be

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze” – Catherine of Siena

This line penned by Catherine of Siena is breathtaking.  The possibilities seem endless.  It’s a promise that nothing in this world should come between us and making this world a better place.

We have to ask ourselves, then, what it is we should be.  In the words of speaker and author, Matthew Kelly, it is to be the best version of ourselves.  We don’t need to deny our identity, we just need to become the best version of it.  If we could unleash our full potential, who knows what we’d be capable of doing.  And with God on our side, we’re be capable of doing anything.

Unfortunately, we all too easily get side-tracked by our fears, insecurities, and confusion.  Perhaps the issues are deeply rooted in childhood experiences or incidents.  Perhaps we put too much stock in what others say.  Whatever the sources of these, they are probably what’s keeping you from being the best version of yourself.

God’s given you every gift and talent you need to be an amazing person.  Take a moment to identify all those God-given qualities.  Courageously tap into your full potential and move forward hand-in-hand with God.  Then get ready to start seeing some change.  Some will respond positively to the change, some won’t.  That’s secondary and out of your control.  What matters is the good you’re bringing.

Be a light that sets your world ablaze!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/33470929@N05/15893654768″>Fire (II)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Be The Best You Can Be

We all have dreams of making a difference.  Whether it be to invent new means of communication, to solve world hunger or poverty, or simply to be that positive voice others need to hear.  Whatever our dreams are, they are still dreams.  We’re not there yet.

Last post, I spoke of how fleeting time is in comparison with eternity.  Our life is relatively short, and we only get one shot at it.  So instead of dreaming, start living your dream.  To live your dream, focus on being that person you dream you become… the one that can make this dream come true.

You don’t have to be perfect.  You just need to be the best you can be.  Be Super You!  Super You does the little stuff with just as much passion and determination as the big stuff.  Super You has the ability to see obstacles as challenges to be overcome.  Super You doesn’t compromise with mediocrity.  Above all, Super You is still human.  So make sure you remain realistic with yourself while striving for your goals.

Be a light of “super-ness” to your world today!

How Long is Eternity? Very…

I once heard an analogy that sort helped me put life and eternity into perspective.  Say you take a rock the size of our planet.  Once a year, a bird swoops down and brushes its wing against the stone.  When that stone wears down to nothing, eternity will have just begun.

That sounds like a very long time.  How many lifetimes would it take?  More than all the human lives in history, from the first human to the very last to walk this earth.

The realization has always helped me to understand that this life we live is so short.  Even if we were blessed with a long life of say 200 years, compared to eternity, it’s hardly a blink of an eye.

Some of us believe that there’s life after death, some don’t.  Some believe in reincarnation, some believe that we all end up swallowed up by nothingness.  Whatever our beliefs or creed, one thing remains irrefutable… our life as we now it will have an end.  This, then, begs the question: What will I do with the time I have?  What’s really important for me?  We have a limited time to live this life and none of us know for a fact when it will all end.  If you want to leave a legacy behind, if you have goals on the back burner, perhaps you’d like to consider getting to work on those now.  Life’s too short to waste, and wasted time can never be regained.

Be a light to your world today!

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KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly!

Ever feel weighed down by the hustle and bustle of every day life?  I know I do.  You reach a point where you begin to look desperately for a way to squeeze in some down time or even a vacation, but you can’t seem to be able to justify fitting it in anywhere.  You’re worn out from driving around to run errands and chauffeur people around.  You and your significant other hardly spend time together that doesn’t involve talking about finances, children, or something that requires problem solving.  You want to pursue your life goals and realize that there’s not enough time in a day, or in a year for that matter.

My answer?  Kiss.  Yes, KISS… Keep It Simple, Silly!  We can run around pursuing all sorts of dreams, committing to all sorts of causes or sports.  In the end, how many of these are actually helping you attain your ultimate goal?  I’ve found simplicity to be an important part of self-care.  When it’s simple, it’s not very stressful.

Simplicity gives you a clear sense of direction, whereas complexity pulls you in many directions at once.  The key to happiness, in my mind, is not about having more or doing more, but in being the best version of yourself.  To do so, you need a clear sense of direction and purpose, which comes from simplicity.

Be a light to your world today!