Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Your Pain Can Be A Catalyst to Becoming a Better Person

When you experience situations or challenges in life which threaten to take away your joy, peace, and happiness by causing emotional pain to the point where it hinders your progress, you have to decide to live. I know how life can be when you lose something you thought you would keep forever. The best thing to do when these types of situations occur is to evaluate the lessons that you've learned as a result of the thing or relationship.

Once you have identified what you've learned, decide on what you will keep or dispose of mentally. This will help you move forward with confidence that better days are ahead. Sometimes we can get stuck thinking about what we could have done to make things work out, but you must realize that some situations come to an end to help you grow and become the person you were destined to be. When you allow bitterness to take up residence in your life, you limit yourself and your blessings to an event or someone who is finite in their ability to produce what you need.

Your Test is Almost Done, Keep Going

I know it seems like I'm saying that it's better said than done, but trust me. My experience has allowed me to embrace the possibility of what I can be instead of what others say I won't be. Make a decision that you won't let your past or someone hinder your future based on their limited view of you. Job's friends could not see his future because they were too busy looking at his losses. They did not know the blessings God had in store for him or the test that was orchestrated in heaven before Job's challenges emerged. Don't let your current circumstances or other people block your view of the blessings that are waiting for you after your tests are done. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What to Do When Your Circumstances Don't Change

Everyone has had something occur in their lives that we wish never happened or wish we never did. The situation may or may not have been your fault, but the effects of the situation may have lasted longer than you expected or damaged some area of your life that won’t go away. On the other hand, there are some people who do things to other people and don’t care how their lives are affected just as long as they get what they want. We see many examples of these types of situations in the world news and in our personal lives. So when life happens, what do you do?

There’s a story in the Bible in II Kings 4:1-7 which tells about a widow who lost her husband who was a prophet. After he died, the family was left with a lot of debt that she could not pay. It got so bad to the point that creditors were threatening to take away her two sons until the debt was paid. In desperation, she went to talk to the Prophet Elisha for advice about her dire circumstance. After listening intently to her grievous situation he asked her ... “What do you have in your house?” She informed him that all she had was ... "a jar of oil."

Elisha then instructed her to go throughout her neighborhood and borrow as many vessels as she could.  He then told her to go in her home and fill each vessel with the oil and go sell it.  He advised her that after selling the oil, she should pay her debts, and live off the rest of the profits.

What’s In Your House?

I remember reading a story about a group of people who were known as the Phoenicians. According to history, these people originated from Sidon and inhabited the land freely until other people who were more powerful than they were began taking over the city. Eventually, the Phoenicians were forced to live near the Mediterranean Sea. Although their lives had changed because they were abruptly uprooted from their homes and their future seemed bleak because of this forced invasion, this inconvenience turned out to be a great opportunity for the Phoenicians to discovered their hidden potential.

They had to find a way to make a living, so they began to use the sea as a trading post to do business with other countries. Part of this business was shipbuilding which played an intricate role in their ability to trade. Some of their goods included precious metals, wine, and purple dye. The Phoenicians eventually became very wealthy because of their newfound occupation. Many countries depended on them for their purple cloth. The Phoenicians also created an alphabet which was later used in their trading business  and influenced other countries' writing skills.

There is a rich lesson that can be learned from the Phoenicians. They dealt with challenges as many of us do today. You may be dealing with difficult bully-like people who want to take something away from you. If they have already, you may be forced to figure what you need to do in order to survive now that you don’t have the possessions or relationships you once depended on. If you can't do anything about the situation, you have a choice to either settle for the situation they’ve pushed you into believing you have to accept or you can turn the misfortune into a fortune.

If you look deeply at the Phoenicians’ history of success, you’ll notice that although their land was conquered by Cyrus the Great, the Phoenicians had more access to wealth that their invaders. People may see what you have physically and desire it however small or great it is, but they don’t understand that their view of what they see is limited. The Phoenicians had a creative mind. The conquerors of their land did not. If you had a job, home, car or something else that was taken away from you, do you have enough ingenuity to build something else?

There may be jealous people around you who don’t want you to excel or have anything of great value or status, but you must realize what they see physically is not the real you it’s only a manifestation of the real you. The conquerors thought the Phoenicians were weak because they were able to get away with possessing the land that rightfully belong to the Phoenicians. However, they did not know that they weren’t able to take away the Phoenicians’ minds, creativity, and resilience.

Defeat Doesn’t Have to Repeat

Your struggle with your current situation may not look the best because you’re struggling to survive and others who have bullied you out of your position may be taunting or ridiculing you. Despite this turmoil, you must begin to look beyond your borders like the Phoenicians did. Don’t look at your limitations. Start looking at your potential and begin developing something out of your nothing. Recognize that physical things may come and go, but you still have a will and a mindset that you can control to either build or settle. No one can take away your ability to motivate and reinvent yourself or your surroundings.

The Phoenicians were shipbuilders, but they didn’t become shipbuilders overnight. They looked at the wood from the trees that bordered the sea. They traded precious metals. So perhaps they went into the deep caves near them and dug the metals out. They sold dye and purple cloth. So they had to search for sea snails to increase their supply for consumer demand. Research also reveals that they were slave traders. I'm not an advocate or supporter of slave trade. The point is they kept moving and searching for new ideas and eventually created multiple streams of income. Although the Phoenician culture eventually dissipated, they took advantage of the opportunities the sea offered. The sea may have been quiet, cool, and vast, but before they began trading, they imagined that ships were sailing, goods were exchanged, fish were caught, and transactions made. In order for something to happen, you must first imagine the activity, work on the concept, and put it on display in order to attract what you want.

You may be saying that you don’t have anything because you lost this or that. Everyone has something. If you’re not sure what you’re good at, take a piece of paper and begin to make a list of what you can do.  Ask yourself what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you like to write? Can you sing? Do you enjoy sewing or cooking? Any skill that you have can become an opportunity for you to increase your wealth financially, mentally, and socially. Unexpected situations may happen in life, but you don’t have to settle for defeat. Start looking and building what you already have. There's a platform out there that's waiting for what you have to offer. Go for it!



Monday, August 10, 2015

You Can Survive


“The spirit of a man sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14).

This verse says a lot about the power of your mindset. You may be experiencing a really hard time right now and may have come through some of the worst times in your life, but somehow you made it, and you will make it through your current situation.

Your reason for survival during those challenging times may have been your children, or others who depended on you. There may have been times when you wanted to give up, but somehow you found a reason to live. You may have been very sick, broke, or experienced seasons of failure that you could not seem to break loose from.

If you begin to look back on your experiences and wonder how you survived, you should think about your innate strength. Despite your thoughts of giving up, you have a level of strength in you that motivates you to handle your challenges everyday with grace.

You may not want to deal with difficult people and situations because you’re tired or frustrated, but each moment you live is an indication that you will survive.

Don’t give up! Keep moving forward, and you’ll soon have a testimony to share with others who are experiencing the same situations you survived.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's Time to Shake Off The Dust!


What are you waiting for? 

Awake, Awake; Put On Thy Strength O Zion;

The challenges of life can appear to be tailor-made especially when you do not know anyone within your social realm who has encountered similar circumstances. There are a number of catastrophic emotional and physical events which may occur simultaneously that can push the mind into isolation. Lack of trust, rejection, and fear will at times accompany the feeling that no one cares about you. While it may be true that no one you know personally has gone through the same troubles you are currently facing, there are those who have endured and conquered many challenges before you were born.

A Historical View of an Unsung Bible Hero's Triumph

Throughout history a lot of attention has been directed toward the lives of well-known Biblical heroes who have conquered and acquired the most. Popular names can be easily remembered when someone mentions their names such as King David, Samson, Moses, or Joshua. However, there was one hero named Jephthah who did not gain the same level of recognition as the aforementioned legends.

Jephthah's life seemed doomed from the start. Born to a prostitute mother and an emotionally distant father, Jephthah experienced rejection and abandonment to the fullest extent. While living in his father's home, his stepbrothers were not receptive to the concept of having a blended family and felt compelled to throw him out of their father's house.  However, during the process of time, he was able to succeed beyond the negative stigmas he received as a child. After being exiled from his father's home, his strength and popularity increased.  Seeing how Jephthah survived his childhood, his family's rejection of him turned into reliance on him for their defense on the battlefield.

A Challenge to Wake Up the Champion in You

In A Summons for Champion Strength, The Legacy of an Unsung Bible Hero, a unique illustration is given as S. R. Sinclair shares personal testimonies, highlights Jephthah's struggles, and provides scriptural references as a way to broaden your perspective on how to overcome challenges which seem to be permanent. Application tools are provided to guide you in increasing your spiritual, mental, and emotional strength. A daily scripture fitness plan and champion record templates are also provided to document your personal victories. You will be inspired to move beyond emotional destitution and encouraged to occupy a new role as one of God's outstanding champions.

Click here for more information about A Summons for Champion Strength, The Legacy of an Unsung Bible Hero

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Five Tips for Planning and Achieving Your Goals

Are you having a hard time achieving your goals? Perhaps you've started out with a plan but somehow became distracted with the demands of a career, family or some other situation that is lasting longer than you expected. Well, regardless of your circumstance, you can still have an awesome life.

Listed below are five strategies you can use to accomplish every goal you have always desired to achieve.

Write a Detailed Goal Description

Typically when someone is asked about their goals, generalized statements are given such as I want to become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, fitness instructor, entrepreneur and so on. While the statements sound good, the process of achieving these goals can seem daunting especially if you don't have a team of supporters cheering you on. The best way to begin pursuing your goals is to write down the steps involved in each goal such as filling out a college application, paying the application fee, and submitting the application. Once your are accepted, move toward registering for classes, attend class faithfully, and complete your class assignments. Focusing on the small steps will reduce the stress that is associated with looking at the entire process.

Conserve Time

We all are busy these days and while some responsibilities must take precedence over others, there is a way you can work toward meeting your goals amidst your hectic schedule. While we all desire to meet our goals immediately, the process can sometimes take longer. However, each goal whether short term or long term can be met with rigorous discipline. If you can't spend six to eight hours working on a goal each day, begin working on one or two of your goals 15, 30 or 60 minutes a day. Although this strategy may seem nonproductive, at the end of the week you will see how much you have accomplished. This strategy can help you avoid burnout, discontent, and the temptation to quit.

Set a Deadline

Most people are used to meeting a deadline for projects that must be completed for school or for work. However, in order for you to meet your personal goals, you must set a timeline as well. While it's easy for us to meet deadlines for other people we want to impress, it's not always easy to meet our personal deadlines. This is sometimes due to lack of self confidence especially if a goal is something that your peers are not striving for.  Searching for approval can be a bigger obstacle than performing mundane tasks. Sometimes in order to be the person you want to be, you may have to risk lack of approval from everyone until you achieve your goal. If you don't step out to see what you can accomplish, you'll never know what you could have become.

Set Personal Boundaries

The process of setting personal boundaries can also be difficult especially when others rely on you for so much. These people can be your family, friends, and others to whom you have dedicated a considerable amount of time helping or who want to spend time with you. However, if you're not careful the people you care about the most can distract you to the point where you'll find yourself months behind in your goal work. You must be determined to carve out as much time as possible for your goal agenda. If prior to your goal achievement venture, others have not taken you seriously, it's quite easy for them to assume that you're not doing anything important.

You have to recognize the signs early otherwise you will become resentful to their disregard of your time. I'm not saying that you have to brush them off, but just let them know in a kind way that you have to finish a project or have a deadline to meet. What's important to you may not be important to everyone else, but it's your goals that are stake. You don't want years to go by without being able to look back and say you did accomplish something whether it's learning how to crochet, play golf or a musical instrument. When you value your time others will recognize the boundaries you have set and will value your time as well.

Keep Track of Your Progress

After writing down your goals, it's important to keep a record of your accomplishments. By doing so, you can review your growth and encourage yourself to keep moving forward. If you don't have someone to motivate you during each goal phase, become your own goal coach. You can also read inspirational books such as Personal Goal Atlas Journal Guide to help you remain focus on your goal journey.

Streamlined Life Solutions

If you're looking for solutions for daily task management you're welcome to read posts on my blog Streamlined Life Solutions. I provide resource information for legal, education, employment, elder care, food, financial, organization, and personal development challenges.

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