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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Follow Your Heart….

Pursue what catches your heart, not what catches your eyes Roy T. BennettIn my experience, the heart is not given its due respect. As the recipient of a host of various experiences involving the heart and my Creator, I believe that not only is the heart vital for knowing and understanding God – it is also of prime importance in understanding ourselves.

In today’s complex world of technology and insistent demands, it can be so easy to quit listening to our hearts. Yet, that is exactly where all of the answers are that we need!

Our hearts can tell us what our true passions are as well as provide answers from God, himself.

However, the heart does not shout and it does not demand attention. In order to get the full benefit of our heart, it must be listened to. In order to listen, we must allow ourselves quiet time, time to reflect, and time to commune with God.

If you want peace and joy in your life – make time to listen to your heart! I know that you will be blessed for doing so!

Instead of an inspirational story today, I found a poem that I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy!

Follow Your Heart

Although it’s been said many

times before

It’s a powerful message, so I’ll

say it once more…

Follow your heart, go wherever

it may lead,

Follow your heart and you’re

sure to succeed!

For when you follow your heart

and do what you love,

God gives you guidance and help

from above…

And things start to happen that

you never thought could,

And dreams come true…that you

never thought would!

For God’s given each of us a

special part to play…

So follow your heart and you

won’t be led astray!

©Faye Kilday 2000

Today’s poem is shared from the following website: http://www.inspirationalstories.com/poems/follow-your-heart-faye-diane-kilday-poem/

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Gratitude Is the Healthiest of All Emotions…

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions, the more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for Zig ZiglarToday, as I searched for a story on gratitude and it’s healing effect, I came across a wonderful website called 365grateful.com. It is a wonderful website – I would recommend it to everyone!

Even though my intent is for you to be able to receive a quick tidbit of inspiration from this website, I am going to step beyond that a little today and share a video from 365grateful.com. I think the extra time it will take you to watch the video will be well worth it…It definitely was worth it for me.

I know that gratitude and freeing our hearts of pain, remorse and bitterness is HUGE to our health and well being. I also know it is huge in the process of letting God into our lives.

So, with that intent, I hope you will enjoy today’s story in video form:

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Cynicism is an Intellectual Cop Out…There is a Better Way

Cynicism is an intellectual copout, a crutch for a withered soul, a thin excuse for inaction and retreating commitment. Do not become cynical; be appropriately concerned and actively involved.

Cynicism is an intellectual cop out,a crutch for a withered soul, a thin excuse for inaction
and retreating commitment. Do not become cynical; be appropriately concerned and actively involved.    Jeffrey R. Holland

There is a lot of cynicism being thrown around in our country right now. I believe in the quote by Jeffrey R. Holland. That is why I used it for today’s meme.

I understand concern. I understand differences of opinion. I understand a desire for leaders to see the world as we see it. I also understand that the solution to every problem, concern or care in this world is God.

I wish that I could share the memories of my near death experience with the world. In it, everyone would be blessed to see that God is real and His love is perfect and ever enduring. Everyone would see His infinite and complete perfection and understand that the key to all happiness, joy and true success is to make God an integral part of all we do and align our choices and actions with His unchanging truth.

The world is imperfect and we are imperfect but the greater the effort of mankind, as a whole, to choose light in this world, the more we will receive peace, safety, and joy. As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “When God works through us, No One and Nothing can stand against us.”

I hope you enjoy today’s story which was shared by Hugh Downs!:

Hugh Downs on Overcoming Cynicism

One morning on our Today show we reported on a group of teenagers whose demonstrations had shocked their community. In the faces of the young people pictured on the screen I saw a total rebellion against authority.

“That could have been me 25 years ago,” I said to myself.

It started me thinking back to the age of 14 when the change within me occurred. Up until then I had accepted without question the patterns my parents had set. Then slowly I began to see things through a haze of contempt and rebellion.

Perhaps it was partly because I stood first in my class and took great pride in my pseudo-intellect and glib tongue. Success, I concluded, was all that mattered.

As captain of my own ship, I decided that I needed help from no one. Sensitivity to need and concern for others were, to me, signs of weakness or guilt. I had a theory for everything.

Since a great percentage of those in my home town of Lima, Ohio, were church-going people, I divided them into two neat groups: the ones who used church once a week as a cleansing ritual, and the others who attended church with the thought, “I want to be on the winning side in case there is something to all this.”

So I argued that all churches should be abolished because they stood in the way of faith. I theorized that a man can worship God as he sees fit—where and when he chooses. And if he doesn’t choose to, that is his privilege too. (I didn’t choose to, by the way.)

My name for this theory was “Reverse Piety.” It sounded very smart to me.

But as a working philosophy of life it was to prove more and more unsatisfactory. Actually I should have known better.

My father was a Methodist, my mother a Baptist, but in a spirit of early ecumenicity they became Episcopalians when they were married. Time after time they showed their concern for others.

For a while, my father and a partner ran an auto accessory store. When they went into the red, the partner declared himself bankrupt. My father and mother decided that there was a moral as well as a material obligation involved. He took a job and over the years paid back every penny he owed.

I resented it since it meant there was no money for me to continue college. I had to quit after the first year. My bitterness increased when I applied for 26 jobs in a row and didn’t get one.

Then one day I stopped at the radio station in Lima with the halfhearted hope that there might be some kind of job open. They gave me an audition—and to my surprise I was hired as an announcer. The pay was $7.50 a week.

There was hardly any direction to go but up. I was married and a father when one of those experiences occurred which, in retrospect, you can call a turning point.

The radio station where I worked had to cut costs. My job was in danger. Thinking that my boss was looking for a good excuse to let me go, I built up a real dislike of him.

Then one day he called me into his office. To my surprise his manner was kindly. He was concerned about me. And he worked out a plan for me to stay on the job.

Something happened inside me at that point to chip away at the crust of cynicism I had built up around myself. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, then said impulsively, “You do this for me when all the time I have been hating you because I didn’t think you wanted me here?”

My boss said calmly, “Why don’t you try to get outside of yourself, Hugh? If you do, you’ll tap a source of spiritual and physical energy that will make you feel inexhaustible.”

I chewed that thought long and hard. The words were certainly not new, but now they had meaning.

For a time I had been examining other faiths, from Judaism to Buddhism and Islam. Each has much to offer. Inevitably I came back to a reexamination of Christianity.

While pondering questions of faith and systems of philosophy, I was moving from radio to television, from Ohio to Chicago and then to New York. The years passed. I worked with Kukla, Fran and Ollie, with Sid Caesar, Jack Paar and the Today show.

As success came I followed the pursuits I liked: astronomy, boating, flying, celestial navigation, music. They can satisfy body and mind, but they leave the spirit unfulfilled. Yet, answers to my quest for faith were coming and piece by piece, like putting together a mosaic, the picture was taking form.

An actor contributed to it. I don’t even know his name. But he was in a very successful play and he was asked how he could possibly remain fresh after giving the same performance, day after day, 700 times.

“The audience hasn’t seen the play 700 times,” he said. “It’s a new play for them every night. If I thought only of myself I’d be stale by the 10th performance. But every night I think of the audience instead of myself and they renew and refresh me.”

Last year I sailed across the Pacific in a small boat. It was immensely satisfying to navigate that distance, even though I had a fall during the voyage that injured my spine. Back home, doctors said it required surgery.

I was taken to the hospital in a wheelchair. The operation was a success and I walked out without any help. Yet the experience added something to me.

First, the ordeal was neither fearsome nor intolerable though from the outside it seemed so. Second, there was always someone along the corridors whose troubles and pain were worse than your own. Cheering them was not depressing or morbid, but just the opposite. You got outside yourself.

At one time I served on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the New York State Mental Health Association. That committee was scheduled to make one of their regular visits to patients.

I would have ducked going, if I could. I couldn’t. In our car pool the driver of our auto was a rabbi whose sense of compassion interested me.

At the hospital we walked through the clean, neat rooms. Two very disturbed boys caught our attention. One was 13, the second, perhaps two years older. The older one said very little. The younger one said nothing at all.

As the rabbi talked with them I asked a nurse, “What hope is there for these boys?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Very little,” she said.

As we were leaving, I looked over my shoulder and saw the younger boy sitting on an oak bench, all alone, staring into nothingness, the picture of endless despair.

“That boy,” I said to the rabbi, “looks very much like my own son. I can’t help it, but I’m glad—” I was starting to express thankfulness for the fact that my son was normal.

“I know how you feel,” he interrupted. “That boy is my son.”

It was days before I got over the shock of that experience.

The picture of the rabbi not only ministering to his own son, and to all the afflicted in that institution, but also moving to save me embarrassment is still vivid before my eyes. For in his agony he had learned to lose himself in his concern for others.

This was what my parents were trying to tell me as they scrimped and sacrificed to pay off a debt that was moral, not legal. It was what my boss at the radio station was saying to me when I was 22; and it was what the actor meant when he talked about playing one role 700 times.

Different people were getting the message to me, but it took a long time before I really heard and embraced as the heart of my faith the words Christ uttered to His disciples: He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Shared from the following website: https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/positive-living/emotional-and-mental-health/guideposts-classics-hugh-downs-on/page/0/2?nopaging=1

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day…Make Sure You Love Yourself Too!

Happy Valentine's Day! Make Sure You Love Yourself Too!

It may seem odd that I make a plea for you to love yourself on Valentine’s Day – the day when we make a point of sharing how much we love others. However, I find that many if not most people don’t realize that in order love others deeply and have healthy relationships with them, we must love ourselves first.

Love is a wonderful thing and not only does it make life worth living – it is the stuff eternity is made of as well! The love I felt in heaven denies words to describe – suffice it to say that the love I felt there was glorious, inspiring and enveloping.

It was in heaven that I truly learned about the importance of loving myself. I saw that I not only loved myself there, I honored myself. We loved ourselves and each other. We honored ourselves and each other. It was truly magnificent and inspiring! The love and honor I am speaking about had no conceit or arrogance to it – it was a deep understanding of our divinity, our worth and our worthiness to be loved.

I am not there yet, but I make it a daily quest to feel about myself in mortality the way I felt about myself as I witnessed my existence in heaven, prior to my birth here in this world.

We truly are divine spiritual beings! Our world needs us to love ourselves and to manifest our deepest abilities to love! I hope you will join me in being kind to ourselves! Give yourself a pat on the back! Identify and give yourself credit for your talents, gifts, and abilities! Look in the mirror and love the reflection you are seeing! You are literally a child of God and you deserved to me loved (by yourself and others)!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you enjoy the blog post I share with you from Maria Shriver!:

Learning to Love Yourself by Maria Shriver

Do you love yourself?” If you were to approach me in early 2009 and ask me that question, it would’ve been blatantly obvious that I didn’t.

There I was, 20 years old, living a sedentary lifestyle at a whopping 230 lbs.

I didn’t communicate with myself and, as a matter of fact, I didn’t communicate with anyone. I allowed myself to be bullied into silence by my peer’s comments, which left me feeling completely ashamed and worthless to all walks of life.

Some days, I didn’t even want to get out of bed, nor did I feel like I had a reason for doing so. I self-medicated with food and my unhealthy eating habits spiraled out of control.

To rid me of this empty void within my heart and soul, I brainwashed myself into thinking that food was my only comfort in life.

But my hatred towards myself became so strong that I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was slowly killing myself with food…something whose purpose, ironically, is to aid in our survival.

It wasn’t until one night, in April of 2009, that I woke up and realized that it was time to make a change.

I was tired of having my quality of life go down as the numbers went up. I was tired of feeling breathless after hauling myself up a single flight of stairs.

I was tired of avoiding social gatherings because I was too embarrassed of my existence. Most importantly, I was tired of not living.

I had to wake up from this self-induced ‘coma’ that I put myself in. I was just a body comprised of fear, hatred, and sadness — a walking billboard for the hopeless.

Believe it or not, I came to terms with my food addiction and was inspired to change by watching The Biggest Loser. And after making necessary lifestyle changes, I successfully lost 110 lbs.

Unfortunately, I didn’t focus on my psychological well-being. I was still stricken with fear. I was chained to the scale, my life controlled by numbers.

After time, my inner strength began slipping through the cracks. Self-sabotage pushed me too far in the other direction and I found myself in the same deep depressive state that I was in at 230 lbs.

If I hadn’t met a runner in late 2010, I have no idea where I’d be today.

This avid runner I mention convinced me to sign up for my 1st race after showing genuine interest after testing my limits on the treadmill. The rest is history.

Now I can proudly call myself a 2x marathoner and an ultramarathoner 2 years later. Running has trained me to run the day, not let the day run me.

I put on my cape, chased my fears, and rescued myself. I am my hero. I am me. I am Adrian.

I’m not just a runner. I’m someone with a strong passion for life. Even when a gust of wind crosses my path, I will continue to keep my flame burning bright.

The best reward of this journey is being able to say ‘I love myself’ and actually mean it.

You all have the power to love yourself, too, and here’s what I’ve learned through much struggle:

1.) Change your vocabulary. What is the first negative thought that comes to your mind? It may be something along the lines of, “I can’t do this; I’m a failure!” Repeat your thought loud and clear for the entire world to hear. Come to terms with your negativity. Bottling up these intense feelings that you have towards yourself is unhealthy, whether it has to deal with doubt, lack of respect, and so forth.

Write this thought on a piece of paper, crumple it up, and toss it into the garbage. This thought can’t destroy you any longer! Like the old saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. Start saying the exact opposite; “I can do this; I will reach my goal!” Repeat this thought over and over again, ultimately locking it up inside of your head.

When you need a moment of self-affirmation, you now hold the key to release the positivity.

2.) Grab a pen, some paper and make a list. Write down your positive attributes, greatest abilities, and biggest accomplishments. Next, identify areas in your life that you feel need to be changed or improved. Once you’re fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can come up with possible solutions to the latter of the two. Instead of dwelling on what you believe needs fixed, do something about it and stop making excuses to rationalize your behavior.

Prime example: “I failed this exam, so I’m obviously a loser. I’m going to give up now.” What should really be rolling through your mind is: “This too shall pass, and I will try harder next time. This is no time to give up because I’m much stronger than this.” A little belief in one’s self goes a long way.

You have to trust your journey and love yourself before anyone else can. Come to terms with underlying problems and do differently than what has failed in the past.

3.) Bring your “little voice” to the surface and really listen. The past is the past, and oftentimes, the little voice inside of our heads is merely a result of our past conditioning. It’s a bundle of experiences, could’ves, would’ves, should’ves, regrets, wishes, etc. Don’t let the past control your future. You hold the power to change your current situation for the better.

Your inner voice is only a wall, and that wall doesn’t have to be permanently erect. Bring your inner voice to the surface, actively listen, and dismantle any unnecessary fears that may pose a threat to your future success. Be the change that you wish to see in the world, even if it’s your world. Your world is no less important than anyone else’s, so don’t allow it to be.

“Once the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Sure ,the caterpillar was probably unhappy in it’s former state, but now it’s free to fly away and embrace the life that it was always destined to have.

It’s time to break through your cocoon and spread your wings. I’ll see you there when you do.

This blog post was made by Maria Shriver and is shared from the following website: http://mariashriver.com/blog/2013/02/learning-to-love-yourself-adrian-crouch/

 

 

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