Personal Growth Self Awareness Self development

Changing Our Perspective

Blue Pill? Or Red Pill? – Popular meme from The Matrix

We are usually more accepting of a bad situation if it resulted from our own act or omission. However, when we are faced with a situation that we did not cause, and which we feel unfair or unreasonable (have you ever found yourself wondering ‘Why does this have to happen to me!!??), how do we handle that?

– We tend to tolerate our bad situations better when we learn to put them into perspective

– Frequent trips to the principal’s office is likely preferable to frequent trips to the hospital, even though each, on its own, causes grief.

– We are likely to choose a broken limb over an amputated limb even though we would prefer neither situation in the first place.

– We are often more tolerant of a bit of extra noise, at nights, when we compare that with an inability to hear in the first place.

Our preferences are often dependent on the impact of our immediate circumstance on us. When we find ourselves at our most vulnerable, when we are crying for relief, our immediate goal is relief, from any source available. When that relief does not come fast enough, if at all, we often take steps, sometimes irrational or destructive, to force the relief we seek.

“Dear Lord, please send me unending pain and anguish, suffering and poverty”, prayed no one ever! But when we do encounter these realities, we learn to navigate them and can cope, indeed thrive, because of them.

Let us consider our circumstances and what causes us grief, and think about what other ‘bad’ situation we would gladly trade it for, understanding that whatever it is that we consider unbearable, someone else , at this very moment, is enduring even worse!

We don’t always get the opportunity to choose what challenges come our way, but how we respond can help determine the outcome.
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Is it time for Surgery?

Is it time for surgery?

If you have had the need to undergo a surgical procedure of any kind, and for any reason whether cosmetic to life-saving. then you can likely appreciate its benefit.

Whether it was elective, urgent or emergency surgery, it would have inherent risks of some sort: risk that the procedure would not solve the targeted problem, risk that the incorrect procedure would be performed, risk of creating an unintended outcome, or worse.

In life we all need surgery of a different type; the kind that does not necessarily result in the loss of any physical limb or organ. Instead, there are sometimes people, behaviours, habits, or ideologies that need to be amputated or otherwise removed.

The aim is to remove any hindrance to personal growth and progress, while replacing some behaviours or habits with positive ones, or totally eliminating some.

This requires an honest, deliberate and strategic assessment of who we are, where we are, and where we need to get to. Any surgical procedure we undertake must point to that objective and like physical surgery will require a period of healing and recovery as we learn to adjust to the change in our condition.

If you find yourself in a place where you are no longer progressing, no longer growing, no longer happy, no longer proud of the person you see looking back at you in the mirror, then maybe it is time for Surgery.

We have the assurance that with patience and the right approach to our recovery, we can become as good as new in no time.

So is it time for surgery?

#surgery #hindrance #becoming #newyou #improve #strength

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…you don’t even have to like the messenger!

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“Give Me Patience!” – Such A Loose Phrase!

Do you ever encounter situations where you find yourself quietly asking for, or wishing you had, more patience? My guess is that your initial thought is “Don’t we all!” And I suspect you would be correct.

If we are at a place where we believe we are supremely patient, I suspect we simply have not encountered the right set of circumstances that really stretch our limits, challenging our bloated sense of the depth of our patience. You see, the strongest and most patient among us will acknowledge that such ‘patience’ and strength only come from exposure to situations, which, when they have passed, result in an expansion in our capacity to better handle similar situations in the future.

We cannot develop patience by being shielded from bad experiences; neither can we develop strength from merely imagining ourselves in hypothetical situations, or even from hearing about other people’s struggles and triumphs. Patience and strength are personal fruits of practical, lived experiences.

To recognize we are not as patient as we need to be, is to acknowledge that we are aware that things could always have been worse. However, to actually ask or pray for such patience, when genuinely done, is to actually INVITE such hardships – TESTS – the likes of which we have never experienced before! Or perhaps we have encountered such tests before, but never really learned the lessons they were teaching us.

Why do you think two individuals, facing the exact set of circumstances, can end up responding in such disparate ways with disparate impacts? Well, temperament might play a role in this but under the right set of circumstances even temperament will not be sufficient. I suspect that a great determinant of this difference in response and impact has to do with past experiences – or lack thereof – to which these individuals would have been exposed.

Notwithstanding the value of experience, Patience is not a destination that one can say they have reached. Instead it is a constantly evolving capacity that will continue to be expanded as we are exposed to situations that test and stretch us. Increased patience is an excellent thing to strive for; however, in the quest for patience do not forget to ask for wisdom to navigate the challenges, and the correct mindset to help us embrace these challenges when they come, “…knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience…” – James 1:3 (NKJV).

While developing patience does not only result from actual victories won, it requires actually facing and enduring the challenges that we encounter, which provide the ‘lived experience’ we need to gain the benefit of increased patience.

patience #grow #challenges #adapt #strength #inspiration #encouragement #endurance

A rabbit doesn’t complain that it is getting cold; instead it takes advantage of, and patiently adapts to, the challenging conditions to protect itself from would-be predators by blending in with the environment it finds itself in.

Stress, Patience, Strength, Confidence…all part of the same package
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When we respect others’ right to be different, we promote peace and harmony

You could perhaps call it ‘the Cliche of the century’ but it still remains true: everyone is different. No two persons will have the same combination of experiences, traits and genes that will allow one to be a replica of the other. Our values will therefore be different, and our expectations will be different.

To try forcing our views and values on someone else, or setting our expectations of others based on our own is therefore futile, and perhaps even silly.

I suggest that our best option in effecting change, is to BE the change we want to see in others. If we value respect, hard work, honesty, strong relationships, or whatever the case may be, then our best bet is to demonstrate these values by practicing them. We will find that it is the consistency of our actions that has the greatest impact, not the loudness of our ‘preaching.’

People see, experience and interpret things through the lens of their own experiences. I believe it is important for each of us to be self aware – having a good understanding of ourself, and to seek to recognize that we do not need to understand where another person is coming from in order to respect their right to be different, or to act different.

We usually claim the right to having our own opinions about things, and will defend that vigorously. Others have equal right to do so as well.

As we approach the new year, how about striving to be more self-aware, supportive, patient, respectful and tolerant of others while celebrating our differences. Then witness how beautiful the results would be!

We are all in this journey called life together, each of us being unique – just like everybody else.

#selfcheck #differences #respectothers #values #harmony #inspiration #motivation #embracedifferences #diversity

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So you have changed; and that’s a good thing!

Without the process of change, the caterpillar would never become a beautiful butterfly

So someone says you have changed – and that might be the best compliment ever!

Stagnation is not only boring, it is also dangerous. No matter how much you enjoy who you are today, or enjoy what you do today, don’t expect this to be the case always. It should NOT be the case always.

You see, change is a natural part of life. Take a look in the mirror; do you look the same as you did five, or 10, or 15 years ago? Aging is not something you DO, it is something that HAPPENS! Almost without realizing it, you are changing.

Similarly, your different experiences lead to a constant evolving of your outlook on life, the goals you have set for yourself, your level of general maturity, your capacity to tolerate hardships, among other benefits. When someone says ‘You haven’t changed one bit,’ that is not necessarily a good thing!

Embrace changes, not only in your external environment, but more importantly from within! The hardest thing to conquer is one’s self. Bringing our base impulses under subjection is a difficult task, especially when those impulses are inconsistent with what we know to be best for us! Nevertheless we should always aim to aspire to greater things: greater love for others; greater humility; greater self-control; greater awareness of our need for ‘community’; and above al else, greater willingness to submit to the power and authority of our Heavenly Father!

So next time someone says ‘you have changed’ just respond ‘Oh thank you for the compliment! I have been working hard at it!’

#change, #growth, #changeisgood, #youcandoit, #embracechange, #dailymotivation, #dailyinspiration