How You See It: 3 Ways to Change Your Perception

half fullHow you see things is everything.  There are some people we know who suffer through some truly horrific circumstances in their lives, but are seemingly happy.  Then, there are some who that had a lot of things in their favor and are unhappy.  Heck, I remember watching a program where the person acknowledged they had a great upbringing:  loving & understanding parents, money, good schools, health, etc.  However, can you believe they actually said that having an upbringing that seems to avoid many of us, was a problem?  Really?????  Perfect example of how perception shapes our reality.  If you choose to see something as a problem, it is a problem.  To change our lives, it helps to change our perceptions.  Below are 3 ways we can change our perception:

  1. Spend actual TIME helping people. Notice I didn’t say spend money to help people.  Don’t get me wrong, giving away money can be helpful, but it doesn’t seem to provide the same sort of impact for the giver and receiver that spending time does.  You will definitely gain some insights into life when you spend time helping or getting to know someone.
  2. Read about people you admire. Many times, these people have overcome great odds to achieve greatness.  Their stories can be inspirational and, more importantly, provide perspective.
  3. Learn your history. In addition to reading about history, talk to those who have lived through different eras.  Understanding your place in a WORLDLY and HISTORICAL context will change your perception and put you on the path to finding your purpose.
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Stay Encouraged! 12 Signs You Are Doing Better Than You Think You Are (Shared from Chocolate Vent Blog)

It is so easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t have and haven’t accomplished that we don’t always realize what we do have. It’s easy to feel like we’re not doing as well as we should, but sometimes we have to pay attention and measure our progress more objectively. Here are 12 signs you’re […]

via 12 Sure Signs You Are Doing Better Than You Think You Are — Chocolate Vent

Good Things Are Supposed to Happen to Me!

better-days-aheadI was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily.  Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive.  Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds.  Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of.  We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.

So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?”  Does that mean everything we pursue will happen?  Of course not!  Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed?  Absolutely not!  This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself.  People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities.  They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.

There is a flip side to this type of thinking.  If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing.  I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something.  It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down.  In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well.  It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.

Follow the Leader- 7 Qualities of Effective Leaders (original post)

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What qualities make great leaders?  This is an important question, especially in this election year, since we will be electing a new president for our country.  Leaders are faced with significant challenges, temptations, and responsibilities at any level.  Here are a few qualities I have observed and appreciate of effective leaders:

  1. Ability to listen and value input, regardless of person or position. Great insights can come from all directions.
  2. Provides reachable goals and a vision that incorporates the concerns of all.
  3. Prioritizing– understanding what needs attention and what actions will yield the greatest positive impact. Everything doesn’t need the same time and energy.
  4. Being pragmatic. A leader must do what is practical, sometimes deviating from the ideal, in doing what is needed.  They do this while treating people fairly.
  5. Does not overreact or make impulsive decisions. Great leaders have an intuitive ability to “wait it out.”
  6. Positioning people to take advantage of their strengths, like a good coach.
  7. Builds leadership capacity. Great leaders aren’t insecure about empowering those they lead.

Leaders at any and all levels should embody these qualities. If the person you support doesn’t embody these qualities, then you should reconsider.  Choosing a leader, whether it is in your local community or the president of the U.S., should not be taken lightly.

Assembly Required

toolboxThis past Christmas, I, like many parents, spent a portion of my day reading directions and putting together gifts which require assembly.  It seems as though it is becoming more difficult to remove toys from packages and put things together, but that’s a discussion for another time.  My youngest daughter received a desk for Christmas.  The instructions were fairly easy to follow, but as anyone who has assembled furniture knows, it can be time consuming.  The last step in assembling the desk was attaching it to a wall.  The instructions recommended a specifically sized drill bit to drill holes and attach the desk. Of course, I did not have that size; I had a drill bit that was close to the recommended size.  I knew I could not go out and purchase the recommended bit on Christmas Day.  I attempted a number of alternatives, hoping they would work.  I probably spent an hour or so trying different options, to no avail.  After an hour or so, without much more I could do, I decided to try the drill bit I had.  It was not the recommended size, but it was close.  Guess what?  It worked just fine!

We are often looking for ideal solutions to our goals, problems, etc.  Many times, the ideal solution is not available.  However, we often have what we need within our grasp!  Especially in today’s day and age, the right people, knowledge, and skills can be a few clicks of a mouse away.  Technology has connected our world and opened doors that were not available several years ago.  I did not have the recommended or ideal tool for attaching the desk to the wall, but what I did have was good enough.  We may not have the absolute, best resources for what we are looking to accomplish, but we usually have enough to get started.  This is a message which especially needs to be conveyed to all, especially our youth.  Many come from challenged backgrounds, but there are people and resources that can put them on the road to overcoming their circumstances. We must have the awareness to recognize and share available opportunities and start on the process of success!