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Posts Tagged ‘Overcoming’
Hope is the light that glimmers in the dark of the unknown. It is the flicker of possibility in the murky depths of the impossible. It is the reason we kneel in prayer and work to improve our lives and volunteer to help others. It is why we wake up and move forward and dream of better days.
Why do some people get crushed by difficulty, like so many boulders smashing the life and kindness right out of them? Why do they turn bitter and sour and hateful, while others rise to the occasion and come out better than before?
We all like green pastures and blue skies. We like downhill paths and couches with remote controls and tests where the teacher shouts out the answers as we take them. But we also know that such things don’t require much from us and that things that don’t require much tend to inspire, build and produce just as little.
When life gets dark and difficult, when it gets dim and murky, when I’m disillusioned or frustrated or down, there are things I can do to feel better. But one source of strength rises to the top of the list for me.
Life is a journey, a challenge to be mastered, but more importantly, to be learned from. But lessons, and the growth they promote, don’t come to us by taking the easy path. Downhill is still downhill. It takes you to the bottom. Paths of least resistance have always been attractive … until you get to where such paths take us.
For me, personal development is all about self-respect. It’s an expression of faith in one’s own potential. But it also reflects the sense of moral responsibility I feel to improve on the raw materials God and parents gave me. In a way, it’s an expression of the seriousness with which I believe in the inherent worth and value of humanity. In fact, personal development is to humanity what sharpening is to a knife.
Until recently, willpower seemed like the unwanted stepchild of the character family. But willpower, it turns out, is not a self-imposed prison sentence at all. It actually frees and liberates us to pursue our best selves as possible.
When you hold on to resentment or anger or hatred, letting it eat you up from the inside out, your mind gets stuck in a continuous loop. You replay the offense over and over again, unable to free yourself from the person you most want to get away from. Well, it’s time that ends. Learning to forgive your offender will finally free yourself of that mental loop and open yourself to a life filled with more love and more happiness.
I was recently sitting in the dentist’s chair thinking about my mouth. I don’t usually spend much time doing that, but that day, I was. And it dawned on me that personal development is really a lot like going to the dentist. Sounds strange, but not so much as you might think.
We all have trash in our lives. We can let it pile up, rot and decay. Or we can turn it into something beautiful. There are parts of us that are not so pretty. Perhaps it’s a temper or an attitude. But we can change them. We can adapt them. They can become stepping stones by which we climb higher than ever before. They can inspire us to make something beautiful of them. They can inspire us to turn them into the music of our lives.
Happiness is the byproduct of other things. It is the natural effect of the way we live, the way we think, the way we act and believe. Come take the Happiness Pledge as a commitment to those characteristics that add to happiness and start the process of living with more joy than ever before.
Why do we expect life to be obstacle free? In our imagined ideal world we don’t expect difficult situations to get in our way. We should be able to sail through life ‘s seas without any storms. Problems and obstacles only taunt other people. Who are we kidding? I’m here to reassure you that whatever obstacles life dares to dump in your way, you can deal with them.