Looking on the Bright Side of Life…Having a Positive Attitude

If you don’t look for the Bright Side You will probably never find it

If you don’t look for the bright side you will probably never find it – Sheila M. Burke

I often work with people who are trying to improve their lives. Some of them are trying to improve their health and some of them are trying to overcome the pain and fear of previous life experiences. The interesting thing, for me, is that no matter what the life issue they are dealing with – I virtually always see a need for a more positive attitude. When we look on the brighter side of life and have a more positive attitude, we immediately open the door to healing and to solutions.

Think about your own life. Do you have a tendency to think or expect the worst?  Have you bought into the lies that the world tries to convince us of or have you made it a habit to buy into real truth? There is a quote by Thomas S. Monson that says, “Your future is as bright as your faith”. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is right on target.

Having said that, I do not believe that a positive attitude makes life easy breezy and that all problems flee at the thought of encountering a positive attitude. I do believe and have witnessed that a positive attitude makes every problem more bearable and more easily solved.

Think of Thomas Edison and all of his failed attempts at inventing a light bulb.  Thomas Edison never put a number on how many times he was willing to try. With his positive attitude in hand, he simply learned from each failure and kept trying.

If life has been unfair, dwelling on all the ways that you have been wronged will not change the outcome. In contrast. dwelling on all of the things that you can do to live a more positive life, in spite of the unfairness, will yield blessings and a greater amount of God’s light in your life. Who doesn’t want more light and happiness in their life?!!

Today, I share a wonderful story by an anonymous author. I love the lessons contained in it! I hope you enjoy!:

Regret City

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. This is my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on “WISH-I-HAD” airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my “baggage,” which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was loaded down with a thousand memories of “what might have been.” No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the “Last Resort” Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event — the annual “Pity Party.” I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the “Done” family; you know, “Should Have,” “Would Have” and “Could Have.” Then came the “I Had” family. You probably know old “Wish” and his clan. Of course, the “Opportunities” family; “Missed and Lost,” would be present. The biggest family there would be the “Yesterday’s.”

There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Of course, “Shattered Dreams” would surely make and appearance. “It’s Their Fault” family would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in their life. Each story would be loudly applauded by the “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Couldn’t Help It” committee.

To make a long story short, I went to this depressing party, knowing full well there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that this trip and subsequent “pity parties” COULD be cancelled by ME!

I started to realize that I did not have to be there. And I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as being encouraging.

Knowing this, I left Regret City immediately, and didn’t leave a forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no way to undo them.

So, if you’re planning a trip back to Regret City, please cancel all those reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a nice place called: “Starting Again.” I like it so much that I made it my permanent residence. My neighbors, the “Been Forgiven” and the “We’re Saved” are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around the heavy baggage anymore either. That load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself.

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-6.html

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Adversity…Making Lemonade From Our Lemons

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. Charles R. Swindoll

Do you have individuals from history that you would love to spend time with and chat with for a few hours – maybe even a few days? Benjamin Franklin is one of those people for me.

There are many individuals who, through their example and legacy, continue to mentor me and my life even though I have never met them and most of them have long departed this world.

The one consistency that all mankind has faced and ever will is adversity. It is the stuff that growth and improvement is made of.

Yet, in regards to adversity, we all have a choice: To let our difficulties defeat us or to enable them to grow and refine us. I don’t always succeed as well as I would like, but I try to enable my challenges to create a better person of me.

As you read today’s story, I hope you will think about your own life. Is there something you can do better? Can you turn your lemons into lemonade? Remember, we are never defeated unless we give up! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Overcoming Obstacles: Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues Worth Learning

You may know Ben Franklin as the wise elder of the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Ambassador to France, Governor of Pennsylvania, as well as an ingenious inventor, scientist, and witty author.But you may not know his humble background and the obstacles he overcame to succeed. After all, most of our famous Founding Fathers came from rich, privileged backgrounds. Instead, a look at Ben Franklin’s life provides a worthy education in character.

Born and Raised

Born as Benjamin Franklin in Boston on January 17, 1706, he was the 15th of 17 children, the son of a soap and candle maker. After only two years of schooling, at age 10, he was forced to leave school and make candles for his father. As for further education, he was self-taught. At 12, he was apprenticed to an older brother James, who ran a print shop.

James was a cruel taskmaster, and would beat young Ben when displeased – which was often. When his brother started a newspaper, The New England Courant, James would not allow brother Ben to publish any of his own writing. So Franklin submitted 14 witty pieces under a made-up name, Mrs. Silence Dogood, and they delighted the paper’s readers. But when James discovered Franklin’s ruse, he was jealous and punished him severely again, eventually forcing Ben to escape his servitude – which was against the law.

Franklin ended up in Philadelphia, with just the wet and ratty clothes on his back and three pennies to his name. Hungry, he went in to a bakery shop and came out with three loaves of bread, one for his mouth and two tucked awkwardly under his arms. It was October 6, 1723, and as he devoured the bread, the bedraggled young man saw a charming young woman, Deborah Read, watching him. Little did either of them know that seven years later, they would be married!

An Early Lesson Revealed

In Ben Franklin’s famous Autobiography, he looks back on the mean treatment he received from his brother, and reveals an important lesson: a lifelong “Aversion to arbitrary Power.” This hard-earned lesson would match up well with the philosophy of the revolutionary movement. After all, just as Franklin got out from under his tyrannical brother’s beatings, so would the Colonies strive to gain independence from the tyrannical King of England’s “arbitrary power.”

The Philadelphia Years

That poor, 17-year-old boy pounded the pavements of Philadelphia and was able to find work, using his skills as a printer’s assistant and his many outstanding traits and talents to make his way in the world. He borrowed money and set up his own printing business. Before long, he was known as a tireless, honest, and diligent businessman, and Franklin gained attention and landed major jobs, setting up a thriving business.

After marrying his childhood sweetheart, Deborah Read, they set up their own dry goods store, and Ben opened up a book store. He didn’t stop there. At the ripe age of 23, in 1729, he bought a small newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and turned it into the most successful paper in the Colonies. He even created the world’s first political cartoon of himself! And, while getting involved in civic improvement groups, in 1733 he also launched Poor Richard’s Almanack, which became famous for its down to earth advice and witty writing, such as “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Prominence and Inventiveness

The list of Franklin’s ideas and accomplishments goes on and on, and this only scratches the surface:

  • The nation’s first free library
  • Philadelphia’s first fire-fighting company (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” was Franklin’s fire prevention advice).
  • A fire insurance company
  • The founding of the Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania – both still in existence today
  • Inventions such as the heat-efficient Franklin Stove and bifocals
  • His famous experiments with a kite in a lightning storm verified the nature of electricity, and led to his invention of the lightning rod
  • He even played three instruments and composed music!

By age 42, Franklin’s inventive, industrious nature had brought him from rags-to-riches, enabling him to retire from business and devote his next four decades to the revolutionary politics for which we know him best.

Franklin’s 13 Virtues

As we’ve seen, Franklin overcame many obstacles at a young age. And when he was just 20, in 1726, Franklin took what he had already learned from adversity and developed a method to improve his character by what he called “13 Virtues.” It was something he worked on for the rest of his life. His idea was to focus on only one virtue each week, “leaving all others to their ordinary chance.”

His autobiography lists his 13 virtues as:

  1. “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
  2. “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
  4. “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
  5. “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
  6. “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
  7. “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
  8. “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
  9. “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
  10. “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, or habitation.”
  11. “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
  12. “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
  13. “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

Franklin admitted that he fell short of these virtues many times, but believed that sincerely trying his best made him a better man, and contributed to his success and happiness. In his autobiography, he devoted more pages to the 13 Virtues than to anything else; in fact, he wrote, “I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.”

We are all, in a sense, “descendants” of the great Founding Father, Ben Franklin. So by all means, take these virtues to heart, “follow the example and reap the benefit!

Today’s story shared from the following website: http://www.learningliftoff.com/overcoming-obstacles-ben-franklin/#.WTm0C8bMxBw

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Gratitude…It Has Power to Empower!

Gratitude is so empowering that it ignites us to action Ed J. PinegarI carry a card with me everywhere I go – it is not a credit card or a gift card – it is a card with special meaning for me.

It is a Ronald McDonald room card. It reminds me of the kindness of strangers and the miracle of my granddaughter’s survival. Both fill me with gratitude!

During those weeks that I remained away from home and assisting with my granddaughter the kindness of strangers surrounded me. Sometimes it was a group from a business that was extending their support by cooking and providing breakfast for residents of the Ronald McDonald house. Other times, it was someone just asking how my granddaughter and all of our family was doing. Always, the support and kindness we received from others warmed our hearts and made a difficult situation more easily bearable.

The healing power of gratitude and kindness are undeniable to me – I have seen their effect too many times to discount them!

I was not surprised, when I read the book recently called The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness by Greg Anderson, that one of those laws was the law of gratitude!

I hope you will join me in making it a daily habit to find something to be grateful for! Reasons to be grateful surround us no matter our circumstances!

I hope you will enjoy today’s story!:

The Train Story – a journey, an experience, and a feeling!

I was traveling by train from Circular Quay to Central (in Sydney) one morning some years ago. Quietly sitting there reading, I found myself suddenly listening to the train guard’s announcements. Now train travellers reading this will readily testify that when the guard makes an announcement, rather than the recorded message, it’s often quite dull or hard to understand. Whether it’s the recorded message or the guard’s message, few people (apart from tourists) listen to these messages.

This one was different.

As I looked up from my paper, I noticed that other passengers (previously engrossed in their smart phones or tablets) were also looking up and appeared to be listening. Not only that, everyone was smiling!

Why was so much attention being paid to this message?

As best I can recall, the guard said something along these lines, ‘Good Morning Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, this is the 7.35am from Penrith to Central and you’ll be pleased to know that we are right on time. This means that we’ll get you to where you’re going in plenty of time. And what a lovely morning it is in Sydney today. The sun is shining, temperature is about 21 degrees, birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. I trust you have a great day wherever you’re going. Thanks for catching my train this morning and I hope to see you again soon. Have a great day.’

Wow! Have you ever heard an announcement like that? I certainly hadn’t.

And how contagious was it? As well as getting everyone smiling, there were quite a few people (obviously previously strangers) who started talking to one another. They were all talking about the guard’s fabulous message and how good it had made everyone feel.

I started thinking about this and as I exited the train at Central, I approached the Guard’s cabin and started to thank him, to which the guard replied ‘Don’t know what you’re talking about mate, I’ve just come on’. So I asked where the other guard had gone and he pointed to the exit stairs.

I raced down the stairs, taking them two at a time, and caught the young guard at the bottom. He had obviously finished his shift and was on his way home.

I tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘Were you the guard on the 7.35 from Penrith?’

The guard seemed a bit stunned at first replying, ‘Yes, yyyyes.’ (In hindsight I think I too would have been a bit stunned if someone had approached me like that).

Pressing on I said ‘Well, I just wanted to thank you for your fabulous message this morning on the way from Circular Quay to Central. The message was so upbeat and pleasant. Most importantly, it got everyone’s attention and had everyone smiling. Thank you so much for giving me and the other passengers such a good start to the day. Please keep doing it.’

There are two messages for me in what happened that day. Firstly, when people are happy in their work it shows in what they do and say.

Secondly, the story highlights the benefits that can accrue from thanking people for something they’ve done, particularly when it’s not expected. Can you imagine the conversation that guard would have when he got home . . .  ‘Guess what happened to me today – a customer actually thanked me!’

Written by Bob Selden

Story shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/attitude/index.shtml

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Joy & Sorrow…Overcoming Depression

Weeping may endure for a night but Joy comes in the morning Psalms 30:5We all want Joy and we will all experience loss and sorrow. More and more of us seem to be adding the experience of depression to our life resumes.

I have been through depression – the very worst form. I never want to go there again and I have learned that depression does not have to be a life sentence. With the right ingredients, it can almost always be overcome! The catch is the right ingredients. You can’t do the same things you have been doing – there will have to be some changes. Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! We don’t want to be guilty of insanity, we want to overcome depression!

I believe that more people need to know that anti-depressants are not always effective (for me they made no difference) and that answers do not always come in a prescription bottle.

Today, I share the story of another woman that experienced depression. She now works to help others overcome depression. I hope you will read her story and if you are suffering from depression, I hope you will commit to taking those steps to overcome and defeat your depression!

Depression Story

There is hope! You are worth it!

by Merri Ellen Giesbrecht

I remember not so long ago sitting on my couch unable to form any words with my mouth. My husband asked me questions and I could only muster up enough strength to look back at him with a look of “why don’t you just kill me now?” I couldn’t speak. I was so emotionally exhausted and mentally burnt out from suffering from depression. I could not sleep and would get up in the middle of the night to stare out the window in darkness. I was completely lost in depression.

I was 25 years old and I had suffered a traumatic work related experience that left me in emotional shock and disbelief. I went through anti depressant drugs which didn’t work for me and only made things worse. In fact, they brought on thoughts of suicide instead.

My world had crumbled due to the recent loss of my job thanks to the betrayal of mentors whom I had admired and sought for advice. Problem was their advice got me in hot water. Perhaps I wasn’t strong enough to make my own decision and listen to the warning bells going off in my own head. Now I was devastated.

The ones I admired and trusted had abandoned me. My life was now in pieces and my career as the department’s head stripped away from me thanks to another’s selfish ambition. I forever played the events over and over in my mind and I grew in anger, bitterness and depression.

Their words and actions cut threw me because I had put those leaders on such a high pedestal and when they let me down, I was deflated and incorrectly thought God was unhappy with me. I put those leaders in the place of God and so I thought surely God did not love me to allow such a thing to happen to me.

My family managed to get me outside to walk and get exercise. My father in law and I were walking alongside each other and we looked down and saw coffee cups littered on the ground. He asked me if I thought it was the fault of the coffee shop that their litter was on the ground. I looked at him strangely. Then he reminded me that even though God-fearing people had betrayed me, I should not attach them to God.

Amidst all of this, my husband and I were also expecting our first child. It was hard to feel any joy over the event at the time of my pregnancy. But, I now realize it was God’s perfect timing. My depression was so horrible that I would easily have committed suicide but for some reason could not bring myself to harm an unborn child. It was the child within me that kept me alive.

I tore myself up inside, attacking myself for trusting the wrong people as my leaders, I remember one early morning around 3am not being able to sleep with all the anger, bitterness and depression. I got up and yelled at God through my window looking outside as the rain poured down. The tears flowed alongside the rain. I got my Bible out and started reading in the Psalms where David is crying out wanting an answer from God as to why his enemies surrounded him. A familiar cry came from within my own heart, “Where are you God!?”

On that early morning and through the tears, I looked up and I saw a vision of God opening His arms out to me and I heard a voice say, “Trust me”. I then remembered Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads,

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (The Message)

Then my mind went to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament who was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a pit and sold as a slave. Later, his master’s wife accused him of doing wrong to her and he was thrown in jail. I could definitely relate. I read the entire story again of how God was still with Joseph and God used the evil that was done to him for good. God somehow took Joseph from slavery and into the position of governor of the land of Egypt under Pharaoh to save the people from famine. Joseph’s despair later enabled him to bring hope to many.

When my son was later born, I gave him the middle name of Joseph, for my son was my hope child and a constant reminder that God could use the evil that was done to me and turn it into good. I hung on to that hope that perhaps my hardship could one day prevent other people’s hardship just like Joseph did.

My doctor at the time, offered little help other than drugs. Well-meaning people made comments like “you’ll get through this” but that did not provide hope. I soon realized that if I was going to get out of depression, then I had to take the steering wheel and do something about it myself. I couldn’t leave it to time or only to my doctor to help me. I couldn’t blame others for my state of mind. So, I set out determined to find an answer and the answer I found was different than what I heard on the commercials for anti-depressants (no kidding). I started to research medical journals on my own and discovered what truly cures depression.

That seems like ages ago…

However, it was only a few months later that I was able to find joy again. I came out of my pit and these days I look out of my window excited about life. When my husband talks to me, I am excited to answer! My passion is for life. My joy is found in living and in helping others find joy out of depression!

This is where God began to turn the evil into good…
After having coffee with a friend and months after my recovery, she asked me,

“Wow, you’ve come a long way! What exactly do you think helped you get out of depression?”

She had been a loyal friend giving me strength throughout my journey back to joy and had been there through it all. I shared with her the discovery I made of 6 major ingredients that the medical journals reveal to cure depression better than any antidepressant.  They are all ingredients that can easily be implemented. There are some specific guidelines that originate with general lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleeping routines, social cirles and your self-talk (how you talk to yourself).  The website below explains them.

The more we talked, the more we realized that many of our friends and family members were going through the same thing and needed to hear my depression story and what helped me. Perhaps my story could help people around the world!

So, I started out doing research on using the internet for sharing my story. I had no formal training in this whatsoever but that didn’t stop me. I went to work. Soon I was interacting with thousands of people in over 80 countries. I absolutely loved the emails I started to receive from people sharing how their lives became changed after reading my own story and my research on my website.

One woman had been on antidepressant drugs for over twenty years but became depression-free and drug-free after going through my compiled story and research.

Another woman wrote…

“I just want to thank you. These tips have really changed my life in less than a month. I honestly believe that God has brought this website over my path for recovery. The work you done is wonderful and a true inspiration. If I think where I was a few weeks back, I can’t believe I am out of that hole. God will bless you for this wonderful work you are doing. You have inspired me so. Thanks again.”

The act of putting my website together to help others has only helped me further in my moving beyond depression. I am more aware of what to look out for in my life and I am having great joy helping others!

I’ve even found it in my heart to forgive what was done to me. It’s the only way to survive. Do I still feel angry? Sure, from time to time. But, I have learned that anger gets me nowhere. I am now stronger because of what I had to go through; and perhaps smarter. No longer do I put others in the place of God either. That role is only for God. He is the creator of the universe and only He is perfect – no person; only God. The best thing is, not only is God all powerful, He is also personal and wants to know me. Psalm 139 reads,

“God… I’m an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body” (excerpted from The Message)

Once you fall into a pit of depression, it can be very hard to get out. But, it is possible and you need to be shown the way like a guide with a flash light through a very dark tunnel. I had friends, family and my hours of research to guide me. If my research and personal experience could help you along your own journey, you are welcome to read about it at: www.cure-your-depression.com

There is hope! You are worth it!

Story is shared from the following website: http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/stories/giesbrecht_m.html

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Our Task is to Become Our Best Selves…

Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s Greatest Gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no Failure ever need be Final Thomas S. Monson

I have always believed in self improvement. However, since my near-death experience, I have had a deeper and greater appreciation for the gift of being able to improve myself.

You see, the me I witnessed during my near-death experience was not the me I thought I knew as a mortal. Yet, in all reality, both were, in fact, me.

Who would you believe in? The self that God showed you or the one that had been clouded by mortality and failure?

I choose to believe in the me that God showed me.

I still have failures and days that seem like they were written by a sinister author intent on creating a scenario filled with the most difficult of events. Yet, the wonderful thing is that those days end and I am blessed with a fresh new day every morning!

I have found that as long as I keep on trying and keep hanging in there that eventually everything gets better – including me.

I hope you are hanging in there too!

Please enjoy today’s story!:

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories#5%20Motivational%20and%20Inspiring%20Short%20Stories%20About%20Life,%20Stories%20that%20Will%20Make%20You%20Smile.

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