I know it may not seem that way sometimes but if you look closely you will notice that every cloud has a silver lining. Yes, it is true that this particular cloud or clouds may be blocking your view of the sun but aren’t all clouds are temporary? Simply, there is something to be said about how you look at your circumstances. It may not be as bad as you perceive it to be.
The other day a friend and I went to grab some lunch downtown after moving a few items. As we anticipated the food we were going to devour we took turns exclaiming how starved we were. We turned a corner and there lied a destitute man with no shoes and withered clothing who was obviously homeless. He was sleeping on a bench surrounded by bags filled with his worldly items. His face was weathered from all of the storms he had lived through and his body clearly suffering from lack of proper nourishment.
As we headed towards the restaurant I couldn’t get that image out of my head. While we felt we are starving we at least knew that it was temporary and were going to remedy that issue immediately because we had the capacity to do so. The man on the bench put everything into perspective; you may think you have it bad and that your problem is the biggest one in the world but someone else is going through worse. While that doesn’t make your problem any less important than the next and it certainly doesn’t solve it, it should help you understand the dynamics of your situation. Simply, while it could be better it could always be much worse.
Thank goodness for all of the blessings that are bestowed upon you and be even more thankful for the challenges you face in life. For it is in solving a problem, overcoming an obstacle, and beating the odds where our incredible strength to endure and carry on comes from. You have made it this far and this is truly the beginning. No problem is too great to solve, ask Albert Einstein. Take a step back, assess the situation, create a plan then execute until your desired results are met. It’s that simple.
Do not allow an issue, problem or challenge to be greater than the blessing that comes from overcoming it.
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Motivational Thought Leader, Corporate Trainer & Keynote Speaker
Twitter : @JoePaulSpeaks
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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Anything worth having is indeed worth fighting for, right? While this is true, most people never consider the opposite. Anything worth fighting for is truly worth having. Think about it. When was the last time you fought hard to have something? Did you get that thing? If you did, you most likely still have it. Where we go wrong is thinking that if it’s worth having then it’s worth fighting for. Shift your focus to whether it is worth fighting for because if it is then most likely its worth having.
There are some people and many things in your life that you did not fight to get yet I am willing to bet that you are willing to fight to keep. Obviously, there is a thin line between the two. Your focus should be to distinguish between what is worth fighting for and what is not. Some things simply aren’t worth fighting for. Truthfully, there are some people who aren’t worth fighting for either.
Your ultimate goal should be to achieve personal happiness; understand that no one and no thing can help you achieve this goal. Personal happiness can only be achieved by taking full responsibility for your own happiness. You are the only one who can make you happy. Most of the time we depend on others to fill that void. If you continue to do this, you will continue to be disappointed. It is not only important to take a personal inventory of what is worth fighting for in your life, it is equally important to know that you too are worth fighting for.
Commit to memory the fact that anything worth fighting for is certainly worth having.
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There is something I am going to tell you that may surprise you but please understand that it is a fact. The fact is that some battles aren’t yours to fight. Although we are strong, most of us are too stubborn to realize when our strength is not enough to win a fight. Yet that does not prevent us from entering a fight. When you find yourself starting to lose strength or when you feel that you may lose a battle, simply turn it over to God.
Sometimes we enter unwinnable battles; at times on purpose. I believe that when we are tested or thrown off course, it is God trying to tell us something. What He’s trying to tell us is that He possesses the necessary power to win any and every battle. You don’t have to fight alone, you are just choosing to. If you are in a situation where you are constantly battling the same demons, it is because you haven’t asked Him for help.
Imagine fighting your battles in a wrestling ring; you against your problems. Your problem has an issue waiting to be tagged in once you get weak enough for them to tap you out. What you must ask yourself is at your weakest moment, who will you tag in? Look over your shoulder, reach out your hand and tag God in; I guarantee you He won’t lose. Although most of us try, we cannot win every battle on our own. In fact, some battles aren’t meant for you to fight alone.
When you feel like you are in one of those unwinnable battles against your problems, simply call out to God, ask Him for help or turn it over to Him completely. Trust me, He can handle it.
Remember, turn your battles over to God or simply tag Him in; you can’t lose.
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You’re going to have people who are going to mess with you, test you and try to throw you off course. There will be some people who blatantly disrespect you. Believe it or not, there are some people who truly don’t want to see you succeed. These same people will try to push as many of your buttons as they can until one eventually releases you from who you are.
Recently, I almost allowed someone to take me there. You know, take me to a place my mother wouldn’t be proud of. I immediately thought about a message a close mentor and friend shares with me often; “Never allow someone else to set your thermostat”. In the heat of the battle, this is one of the toughest things to recall and initiate. Remember, just because someone else is disrespectful to you doesn’t mean you should respond reciprocally; never allow someone else to make you lose your cool.
Before I allowed myself to go there, I silently called out to God and asked for him to fight this battle. I didn’t ask him to help me. That’s where many of us go wrong; we ask God to help us win the battle. Sometimes we have to step aside and let God fight the battle. Simply, give it to God. To some, this may sound preposterous because one may think that you should be the catalyst in finding solutions to your problems. I agree to some degree but know that every battle isn’t yours to fight.
If you trust God, he will never disappoint you. Turn your seemingly unwinnable battles over to Him; He’s accustomed to winning.
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Your future success is based on the work you do in the present. Do you want to know why so many people dream impossible dreams? It’s quite simple actually, how much effort does it take for us to dream? Precisely right; it takes little to no effort to think of grandiose thoughts or create these visions of grandeur. In fact, I encourage it. The problem is; this is where most people stop. They stop at the dream stage and never progress to the next stage; the work stage.
The work stage is where you work to meet your thoughts and/or dreams half-way. I say half-way because thinking of the idea is truly only half of the way there; the second half consists of the work that you must put in towards making this idea a reality. Write down your plan of action. If you don’t answer the “how” in how you are going to make this dream come true, it will be almost impossible to do it. The how is your set of instructions, your directions, your plan of attack. Your plan should be very detailed, precise and leave little room for error.
Today is the day you choose to put that thing you’ve been thinking about to work. That thing or idea is worth absolutely nothing if it’s stuck in your head. You need to share it. You need to release it. You need to believe in it enough to take the risk and see if it will work out; it just might. Much like you, I have tons of ideas that pass through my mind on a daily basis and don’t necessarily act on all of them. However, there are ideas that pop into your head that evens surprises you. When that happens, write it down and start working on creating it in order to share it with the world. We’re waiting.
Having seemingly impossible dreams is much better than having no dreams at all.
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It isn’t over until it’s truly over. Don’t count yourself out before you even get into the battle. Oftentimes, we talk ourselves out of a battle before we even jump in. Citing countless reasons why we shouldn’t do something. In the same vain, you must also consider citing reasons why something may actually work. Everything is dichotomous in nature; meaning there are two ways to look at everything. There certainly are positives if you focus intently on discovering them; consider the positives.
You will never know the outcomes of the battles you don’t fight. If you choose not to fight, you’ve already lost. Understand that nothing in this world comes easily; nothing. The outcome of your battles has already been determined yet that should not prevent you from fighting as hard as you can. The fact that you are still living simply means that you are on the winning end of the battle. It also means that, to date, no problem has claimed your life and thus has made you stronger.
Your primary goal each and every day should be to never quit. Quitting is not nor should it ever be an option for you. First, understand and commit to memory the fact that you were born to win. There is no such thing as an insurmountable battle. No matter how hard it seems and will become at times, you cannot quit. No matter how difficult the battle appears, you cannot quit. Even if it looks like you are going to lose, you cannot quit. Your reward is waiting at the finish-line and you cannot claim any rewards if you don’t finish. Be a finisher.
The only way you’ll know if you can truly win a battle is if you make it to the end. No matter how long and arduous the journey may seem, you must focus on the end result. Do not fear defeat, focus intently on the finish-line and you will win every time.
You can win and you will win; simply because there are no other options for you.
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There may come a day when you reach out and call someone but they do not answer. There may come a day when you really need help but no one is around to hear your cry. There may come a day when you are at wits end and just need a friend but no friends are available to come to your rescue. The world can be a lonely place sometimes. When that happens, learn to depend on the only person you’ve been able to depend on your entire life; yourself.
Having to fend for yourself is not easy; trust me, I know. Obviously you can be more effective if you have “back-up” or at least one more soldier on the battlefield with you but that will not always be the case. Some battles are simply yours to fight and certainly yours to win. When you start to feel as if you are the only person who cares about your situation, although you can’t see Him, you are not alone. In essence, even if it seems as if the world has given up on you, God never will.
Learn to depend on yourself. You cannot realistically expect for others to forever be there for you during your time of need. Sometimes we have to pick ourselves up from our bootstraps, dust our shoulders off and keep on truckin’. Please understand that you are not going to enter every war with an army. There may come a time when your entire military consists of an army of one; you.
When it feels like the world has turned its back on you, walk in the understanding that you serve a God that is capable of anything. With God on your side, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
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Everything happens as it is designed to happen. I believe that our paths are predestined yet the journey is ours to determine. Simply, the route we take to get to the end result may vary based on the obstacles we have to overcome along the way. During our journey, we will be faced will countless “forks in the road”; turning left will yield a particular set of results which would differ if you made a right turn. The goal is to keep driving no matter which side you choose.
Learn to recognize challenges ahead of time so that you can develop a solid plan of attack. Your challenges will look the same, especially if you haven’t learned from them. In some cases, it is a test of endurance. The Endurance Test simply tests your ability to outlast your opponent; in this case, your opponent is your problems. Endurance is the key that will unlock the door to your potential. Understand that God doesn’t make mistakes. And since He doesn’t make mistakes, it is imperative that you learn how to outlast your problems. He will never give you more than you can bear.
Our lives are not as puzzling as some may think. I believe that we assist in the creation of a majority of our own problems; sort of like a self-inflicted wound. We know what pains and troubles us yet many of us prefer to stew in our problems until it boils over instead of doing something about it. Many folks know “how” to overcome an obstacle yet they refuse to take action; an unexplainable phenomenon. We must not wait until it is too late, we must put forth maximum effort in order to produce outstanding results and we must act now.
Quitting is not an option. When you feel like giving up, think about the reason you got in the fight in the first place.
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You are not your problems. All too often we allow our problems to not only define us but also dictate what our tomorrows will look like. The problem may be small to the world but it may be as big as the world to you. No matter what the problem is, it is not insurmountable. We allow most problems to fester and ferment in our psyche until it eventually overcomes us. Before you get to the point of no return, I urge you to connect with someone you trust, share your problem with them and allow the both of you to come up with viable solutions. You are not alone.
You truly never know what someone is going through and you can’t possibly know just by looking at them. When you think you have it bad, someone else is experiencing something ten times worse. While there is no test or special sign that will alert us if and when someone is experiencing pain or trouble, that shouldn’t prevent us from trying to be a friend. A friend is one who will ask the uncomfortable questions in order to find the root of the issue. This is the only way you can create an exit strategy to remove you from your problems. The first step is to understand that failure is an event, it is not a person. Just because you experienced failure does not mean that is who you are as a person. The attempt may have failed but you certainly did not. It is better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. If you are going through hell, do not stop, keep going.
If you are on this side of the dirt, I am unequivocally convinced that you can do something about your problems. Most of us try to handle our problems alone; this method of problem solving can be exceptionally overwhelming. While handling it alone will allow you to exercise your independence, it is not the only option. Understand that two heads are always better than one. If you have two people working to solve the same issue, you may find the solution twice as fast. In essence, whatever you are going through does not have to be the end of the world; you must stay strong. You must stay strong especially for the people who rely on your strength.
Remember that you are not your problems. Your problems are just that, problems. And all problems are meant to be solved. If you aren’t able to find a solution to your problems, join forces and restructure your attack until you eventually overcome it. This is a proven strategy for winning any battle.
Life is so precious and we truly only have one of them to live which is why I urge you to make every single day count by focusing on overcoming your obstacles, preferably with an army behind you.
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