Monday, April 23, 2012

Power in Pain

Have you ever noticed how the motivation of many people comes from a place of pain? The majority of the experiences that shape and mold people's lives were born in very dark places.  For example, think of some of the most successful charitable causes and non-profit organizations. The majority of them were formed   because of the loss of a loved one, acts of violence or injustice, to fund research to find a cure for an illness or disease, or a host of other similar reasons.

I have a dear friend (who is probably reading this right now) who did just that. Initially, the loss of loved ones left him very sad and wondering what his motivation was now that they were gone.  In an attempt to cope, he used art as therapy. Now he is a successful visual artist whose career has taken off. The art not only brings him the joy that he needed, but it also brings joy to art lovers around the country.

What if, instead of using our pain as an excuse to wallow in a downward spiral of despair, we used its power for positive purposes?

What if...

...The pain of an illness prompted you to create a remedy, invention or cure that helps to heal all of the other people in the world that deal with your same affliction and makes you millions of dollars! (I heard about an episode of the show Shark Tank where someone created nose strips to help people with allergies, I bet there are a bunch of you reading this right now that would love to get a hold of those!)

...The pain of the loss of a loved one inspires you to start a foundation that raises money to provide programs for youth and citizens that substantially reduces violence in your community.

....The pain of a messy break up gave you enough juicy stories to write a bestselling book.

The pain of poverty motivates you to increase your financial literacy and turn your entire life and the lives of all of your family and friends around for the better...

The healing that comes along with using the power that you pain brings is priceless, but it also brings other amazing benefits such as healing and helping others, making a difference in our communities, and in many cases, extra income. Now I'm sure we could all use a little more of that!

This week I challenge you to think about the one major thing in your life that brings you pain and come up with a plan to change that pain into positive power!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Five Alive!

Much of our motivation, or our lack of it, is directly related to the company that we keep. Who do you expose yourself to? Remember that you are highly susceptible to the energy that people give off. Think of other people’s energy as a highly contagious disease. The more you are around them; the more likely you are to get infected. It’s pretty hard to go through life without interacting with people; therefore it looks like we have no choice but to catch something. The questions is, what would you rather be infected with, negativity or positivity? Optimism or pessimism? Drive and ambition or complaining and excuse making?

Take inventory of the top five people that you spend the most time with…what is their affliction? Do they have that good bacteria that we need to keep our bodies healthy and balanced, or do that have a downright nasty disease? Negativity can literally make you sick, and if you surround yourself with those that are plagued by it, you will get it too!

Positive people are the antidote. Surround yourself with those that give off light, love and pure positive energy.

This week I encourage you to mix it up. Switch out one or two of the people who you give the gift of your time. I’m not saying to completely discard friends or associates, but like money…allocate or budget your time wisely. The negative people around you are like sweets or fried foods, when they are consumed in moderation, they won’t do too much harm, but if you eat them all of the time, the effects on your health are dangerous.

If you want to change your circumstances, it may be a matter of changing your immediate circle. Think about five people that you know, or you want to know that you admire and aspire to be like because they possess powerful characteristics that fill their lives with joy and success.   Once you’ve identified those people be intentional about surrounding yourself with them to improve your health, your wealth and your well-being. Those five will keep you alive!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Can't Is A Curse Word

I used to teach a dance class for kindergarten through fourth grade students and I noticed that when I introduced a new move, exercise or skill that there would be a few students that would say, “I can’t do it,” before they even gave it a try. From that point on I established a new rule. I told them that “Can’t” and “Don’t”, as in “I don’t know how,” were curse words that were banned from our classroom and punishable by 5 push-ups.

I’m not sure how effective the push-up part of the punishment was, but the youth really bought into the idea that “can’t” and “don’t” were indeed curse words that hindered our progress in our class.

If one of the students accidentally uttered the one of those words they would immediately catch themselves then reluctantly drop down and give me five push-ups. If a student did not catch themselves, the other students would quickly jump in and say, “Oooooooohhh, she cursed!” Each time this happened I asked the student’s, “How do you know that you can’t, or that you don’t know how, if you’ve never even given it a try?”

The rest of us hinder ourselves in the same way. We may not always actually utter the words, but there are several things that we don’t believe that we could ever do, even if we’ve never given it a good try. We paralyze ourselves with fear and self-doubt. It didn’t take long for the kids to catch on to the danger of using such self-defeating words and thoughts, so what is your hold up?

This week I challenge you to begin weaning the word “Can’t” out of your vocabulary, especially when it comes to things that you’d actually love to be able to do, but you are too afraid to give it a try.

“Can’t” is a curse word. How do you know you can’t if you haven’t even tried? Watch your mouth...and your mind!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Safety Net

Are you done trying to save the world yet? If so, maybe the other super heroes in your life will get the opportunity to rescue you.

The past month of my life has been sprinkled with unexpected setbacks and things that forced me to stop all of the busyness and take a seat. This was hard for a person like me who is extremely independent and accustomed to trying to save the world and figure everything out on my own.

When I finally just let go of trying to control things that were beyond my control, something very interesting happened. People began to show up to help me in ways that I'd never imagined. What I learned is that these amazing people that had been in and around my life all along had never gotten the chance to show me how much they were willing and able to be there for me.

Friends and loved ones stepped up above and beyond the call of duty to help me in a time where I needed the support. What I came to learn is that I never would have experienced this love and the magnitude of their devotion had I not given them the chance. I had simply never given them the opportunity.

Sometimes we get so busy, scurrying about, trying to put out fires all by ourselves, that we don't realize that there is an entire fleet of people behind us with buckets full of water just waiting for us to get out of the way.

If you have a hard time believing that the people that love you will have your back in a time of need, trust that God will use them or even strangers to help you get through, if you'd only give Him the opportunity by stepping back, or sitting down and getting out of the way.

Stop trying to figure everything out. You don't have to. This week I challenge you to give someone else the chance to walk in their purpose by supporting you in your time of need.

There are people, places and resources waiting for you to get out of the way. You are not alone. There is a safety net waiting to catch you when you fall.