Morning Cup of Joe – Heartbreak Hotel

Heartbreak is inevitable but it isn’t the end of the world. Have you recently experienced a loss? Have the wounds healed or are you still scarred from the experiences of a past relationship? Did you wake up this morning thinking to yourself if life will ever get better? Well I have great news for you, it absolutely will. Your life will absolutely get better, if and only if you believe that it will and commit yourself to ensuring that it does. Coping with a loss of any kind is tough to deal with. Unfortunately, the right formula to heal you fast enough doesn’t exist and there is no magic button that you can press to make it go away. What you should focus on is what you have control over; today and tomorrow.

We are not responsible for the challenges life throws our way but we are responsible for how we choose to respond to them. How are you choosing to react and respond to your situation?

There is no set time for someone to get over an experience that may have broken their hearts. It could take days, weeks, months and in some cases years to get over a traumatic experience. The bright side of that is time truly does heal all wounds.

Sooner than later, you will overcome the obstacle that is in your way, you will run out of tears to cry and the memory of the experience will not have the same impact it initially had. It may still hurt a bit but it wont be as bad.

Sooner than later, you will be able to turn this heartbreak into an opportunity to be better you.

Remember what doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Hard Work Pays Off

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Anything worth having never comes easily. In fact, not only does it not come easily but you have to be willing to work twice as hard to keep it. Think about the things you may still have in your life right now that was simply given to you. How did you treat it? Do you still have it? Is it in good shape? Now think about something that you definitely have that you worked hard for. I bet you take care of it. You may actually still have it. You probably thank God for it as often as you can.

When we work hard for something or have to earn it, we treat it better. Whether it’s a relationship or a material item, we work harder for something that we’re vested in. Not only do we work harder, we treat it differently. The best example is a rental car. Think back to a vehicle you rented. How did you treat it? I can bet you didn’t wash it; you may have driven over speed bumps going 40mph. You treated it like it wasn’t yours. Now think about the car you actually make payments on or the one you own outright. You probably wash it every weekend. Keep it gassed up and treat it like a prize possession.

What’s the difference, you ask? They are both cars, aren’t they? Well, the difference is in the fact that with one of the cars you actually had to work hard to get it and even harder to keep. With the other, the sense of pride of ownership simply doesn’t exist because it isn’t fully yours. Your relationships work the same way. You must be willing to give in order to receive. You can’t treat others like they are rental cars and expect them to treat you like a car they make payments on. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Remember, nothing worth having ever comes easily. If you worked hard to get something, you must be willing to work hard to keep it.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Living In The Past

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This may come as a surprise to some but to my knowledge there is no time machine that has yet been invented. We all dream about going back to the future and hopefully fixing something we played a part in breaking. In many cases, we hope yet never act on finishing something we started. This is the unfortunate plight of many people who fail to understand that you cannot change the past; all you can do is learn from it and apply those lessons to the future.

Your past, whatever it may be, should merely serve as a reference guide for the future. Most people allow their past to hang over their heads in such a way that it stifles their growth. Your growth is based on your ability to learn lessons from your mistakes. We have all made mistakes, no exemptions. The separation from this group comes when you realize the intended lesson that was meant to be learned from making that particular mistake. Continuing to repeat the same mistake simply means that you haven’t learned the intended lesson.

If you are thinking about an event that occurred in the past or even yesterday, understand that this is not the highest and best use of your time or mind space. You cannot change the past, at all times focus on the future. Tomorrow is not promised but that was true for yesterday and thankfully you are still here. Make today what it should be by thinking forward progress only. So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to live in the past or focus on the future?

Stop living in the past. Yesterday really did end last night.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Confront Your Past

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There is a reason why you haven’t been able to fully move forward. There is something that happened in your past that you haven’t completely recovered from. There is someone in your past that wronged you and you haven’t been able to forget nor forgive. Today is the day you choose to muster up enough courage to confront your past. It may take a little longer than a day to gain enough courage to face the truth but the end goal must not change.

The more time passes, the more hurt you will continue to feel. Understand that the pain you continue to feel is a direct result of the fact that you haven’t yet confronted the person who wronged you. Some people don’t know how bad they’ve hurt us and they very well may not know especially if you haven’t told them how they have and continue to affect you. In order for you to fully recover from the pain, you must be willing to face the truth. You must be willing to tell the person who hurt you that what they did was wrong.

Many of us have suppressed memories and feelings while falsely believing that we’ve moved on but every now and then we think about the event or person and the hurt resurfaces. Suppressing the memory that caused your pain will only cause you to feel more pain. Not dealing with your issues will continue to affect the way you react to the world around you and the way the world responds to you. Do not be misled, this is not easy. I myself did not know where the pain I was feeling derived from because I had completely blocked that memory from my mind. So much so that at one point I thought I made it all up in my head until I called a childhood friend to confirm that it actually did happen; he confirmed it.

God brought you this far without you having to face your past but it doesn’t mean that you have fully recovered. Some may think that they really don’t have to confront the past because they’ve figured out a way to succeed in spite of the devastating events that occurred in their lives. They continue to hide the pain without having to face the truth; that can be dangerous.

Your life will be a million times better if you build up the courage to confront your past. Do not allow your mind to continue to make excuses and concessions for your negative experiences. You can fully recover from this if you decide today that you will no longer give the person a free pass. This is a major part of your healing. It doesn’t matter how they receive it or what you think they may say or react; the fact of the matter is, you must tell them. Do not be afraid.

Are you ready to live a healthy and fruitful life? Are you prepared to have healthy relationships moving forward? If so, then it’s time to confront your past. The hurt and pain you feel is very real and the person who caused it is also real. You deserve to live a life without regret; don’t regret not telling the person who hurt you how they’ve hurt you.

The reason why you haven’t fully recovered from the pain is because you haven’t confronted the person who caused it. Confront your past, you deserve closure from this.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Moving On

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Letting go doesn’t mean giving up. Just because you release yourself from a toxic relationship doesn’t mean that you’ve completely given up. In fact, you are freeing yourself from the possibility of recurring hurt and disappointment. How much hurt can you take before you decide that enough is enough? Some relationships simply run their course. Some relationships are naturally incompatible yet many of us try to force that relationship to work; this method is doomed from the start. When we try to force something that doesn’t naturally fit we will be met with countless road blocks.

When you let go of a toxic or unhealthy relationship, you are releasing yourself from the grip of one in order to open yourself to the possibility of another. Simply, when you decide to move on, you are increasing the possibility of moving forward. Relationships come and they certainly go. Some are permanent, some are not. The constant in all of this is you. You need to constantly change what you are doing and in some cases how you are doing those things until you get what you’ve always wanted. Be true to yourself. When we change our lives for the sake of others, we end up losing in the long run. The goal is to find someone who you are compatible with, someone who knows you well and someone who shares the same morals and values as you do. Most importantly, the goal is to establish a relationship with someone who loves you just for you.

Don’t be afraid to let go of the past; that is truly the only way you can progress into the future. Remember, letting go doesn’t mean giving up; it simply means you came to an understanding that there are some things that simply cannot be and perhaps were not meant to be. Just because your relationship failed doesn’t mean that you did.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up and giving up doesn’t mean you are weak. It simply means that you are strong enough to let go.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Forward Progress

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There are people in your life right now that is keeping you from reaching your full potential. These people may be really close to you or may be someone you interact with a little less. These people and/or person may be the one you turn to for advice. This person may be someone you trust. Besides you, this person may be partially responsible for some of your failed dreams.

Sometimes in order to move forward, we must leave some things behind. This is perhaps one of the most challenging things to do. Earlier on in my journey, I was faced with a similarly difficult choice. My best friend since elementary school and I were starting to grow apart; our interests were constantly clashing. While I was focused on creating a better tomorrow, it never seemed to make the top of his list. I did not want to accept the fact that in order for me to get to the next level I would have to part ways with people I’ve known for most of my life. While some choices may not make us feel good they are certainly good for us. I did what I had to do to protect and preserve my future and I challenge you to do the same.

Change is not easy but it is certainly necessary. Some decisions are exceptionally difficult; that doesn’t mean we should shy away from making them. Reevaluate who is in your support circle. If you have someone in your circle who you cannot count on, you need to cut the dead weight. If someone in your circle is constantly negative, you may want to limit your communication with them. If you are wondering why some of your dreams aren’t coming true, check your dream supporters. There are some people who simply don’t want to see you succeed. Figure out who they are and separate from them.

Not everyone who is around you is on your side.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – No Control

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There are some things in our lives that we have complete control over like the brand of toothpaste we prefer to use and which outfit to wear to school or to the office on any given day. In fact, we control many facets of our lives; from the type of gas we put in our cars to the friends we choose to accept on Facebook. While we maintain control over many aspects of our lives, there are some things that we cannot control.

One of the most critical skills a person can acquire is the skill of acceptance. Believe it or not, acceptance is one of the most difficult choices many feel they must make. In fact, that is the first step towards overcoming any obstacle. Accepting the fact that there are some things in your life that you cannot control will allow you to live a more stress-free life. Many of us are programmed to believe that we have complete control over our circumstances. We are so confident we are in control that our egos will not allow us to recognize our countless failed attempts at “creating” an answer.

Understand that there are some events that will take place in your life that will force you to choose between sinking and swimming. If you are on this side of the dirt, there is still hope that you can swim. Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Now the reason, in many cases, may not be prevalent at first. It may take some time before you understand and are able to fully answer the “why” in your situation. There may be some things that you may never know the reason for; accept it. I urge you to practice the skill of acceptance. Understand and embrace that some things are out of your control. Stop trying to play God.

God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Action vs Reaction

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There are plenty of reasons to feel down about our misfortunes. In your mind, everyone seems to be enjoying their blessings all the while yours seem to be in a holding pattern. No matter what you do, nothing seems to be working. It feels as if the whole world is plotting against you. It isn’t so much the things that happen to us but how we respond to them that is so critical to our progression. How you react to your situation is paramount to you overcoming it.

While you are not responsible for the actions others take towards you, you are certainly responsible for how you receive, interpret and react to it. There have been times in the past when constructive criticism was offered by a colleague or a friend and I took it personally. They were simply offering alternatives that may have served to improve my overall project. That is not how I saw it; I took it personally. My first mistake was taking it personally. The words “don’t take it personally” have literally changed my life. With this new understanding, I no longer feel as if the advice one is offering is a personal attack on my knowledge, skills and abilities.

Never make the mistake of thinking that you know everything about anything. Understand that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Simply, while your approach may be a viable one, keep an open mind and accept the fact that there are other approaches just as viable. It should never be your way or the highway. If someone cares enough to share their thoughts on a process or idea that you can improve, embrace it with open arms. Do not allow your ego to trick you into believing that you know everything.

The wisest among us knows that he knows nothing at all.

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Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Surrender

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It happened again. You know how I advised you to pay close attention to messages sent from God? Well, I don’t think I mentioned how frequent those messages can be.

I saw video of an interview with Oprah as she shared how before becoming Oprah as we know and love her, she was an inexperienced actress auditioning for her first ever role as strong willed Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. She talked about how she had been calling her agent almost on the hour asking for updates when he finally told her “Alfre Woodard just left my office and auditioned for the same role. Alfre Woodard is an experienced actress and you are not. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Oprah was distraught and disappointed because she just knew she didn’t have a chance against a more experienced actress. To take her mind off of it, she decided to go for a run on a nearby track. As she was running, she began to sing the song “I surrender all” and simply asked God to do his will and that she was no longer going to worry about it. She turned it all over to Him. A short while later, someone came running onto the track where Oprah was running and told her that Steven Spielberg was on the phone. We all know what happened next.

The beauty in the story is in the surrendering. The final and perhaps most critical piece to the success puzzle is surrender. If you feel that you’ve done everything in your power to yield a particular set of results and it hasn’t happened yet, it is because you haven’t surrendered. There is no need to worry about a future you have no clue about, turn it over to God. When you surrender, you trust God to guide your steps. When you surrender, you give up all desires of your own. When you surrender, you must be satisfied with however God chooses to bless you.

Choose today to surrender all. Give it to God and watch as His will be done. There is no power in the universe that can interrupt God’s plan. What God has for you, is truly for you.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Temporary Pain

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Trials and tribulations aren’t meant to tear or break us down. They aren’t meant to see how low we can endure nor are they meant to test our stamina. The trials and tribulations we face in our lives are meant to build us up. When we think about all of the misfortunes that we have experienced throughout our lives the fact that we are still standing is a great sign that we are conquering, have conquered or will conquer our problems. Understand the fact that no problem is insurmountable.

Many people question God as to why he allows us to experience pain and hurt. I’ve learned over the years that in order to appreciate joy sometimes we must experience pain. Instead of dealing with it head on, most people try to avoid pain. Sadly, the more you try to avoid trials, challenges & obstacles, the less strength you will develop in those areas. Stare your challenges in the face and adopt a conquerors attitude of “bring it on”.

It took me a while to fully understand what I am about to share with you; God only puts you through things because he knows you can handle them. I’m certain you are familiar with the old adage that God will never give you more than you can handle; this is the honest truth. Understand and trust that whatever it is you are going through it is something that you can absolutely handle and positively overcome otherwise you wouldn’t be experiencing it.

Much like we must exercise regularly in order to strengthen our physical muscles, we must continue to pray and accept life’s challenges in order to strengthen our spiritual muscle.

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Joe Paul