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Posts Tagged ‘Overcoming’
Do you regularly interact with the chronically negative? Is there someone in your life who whines and moans and complains about everything, predicting doom and gloom around every corner, seeing dark clouds brooding in every silver lining? If you do, you don’t need me to tell you how draining it can be. But how can you protect your own happiness around such regular negativity?
When it seems like everyone has betrayed you, don’t lose hope. Remember, most people are decent. Even when it is difficult to see, most are behind the scenes of life, doing the work of living decent lives.
What do you do when life painfully crashes and burns and you find yourself scraped, bruised and buried under the weight of disaster and heartache? Do you run and hide? Or do you get up and fight back with all that’s inside of you?
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.