I’ve been going through some tough times lately. I’ve felt like I was drowning. Very often, I felt like sitting in the middle of the floor and doing nothing. . . forever. I wanted to give up on my dreams. But I didn’t. I kept going even though I didn’t see any end and I learned some life lessons as I went along.
1. Attitude is everything. I know you have heard that saying before. But during my trials, I truly realized attitude is not everything, it is the thing. How you respond to any given situation is a choice which can make you or break you. I decided to have a positive attitude. I reminded daily myself that my trials were temporary and I spoke about them as being temporary to the people I confided in. Because of my attitude, I saw the good side of the trials. My thinking stayed clear. Instead of saying, “I can’t do X because of Y”, I asked myself, “How can I get X done?” This question caused me to think out-of-the-box and come up with creative solutions to problems. I can’t wait to see the long-range effects of some of my solutions! I also didn’t focus on my problems. Rather, I actively found ways to help other people. My attitude really got me through my trials. Many people couldn’t tell things were very wrong in my life.
Was it easy? No! It was hard keeping a positive attitude when everything around me was crashing in on itself. It would have been much easier to have a pity party and whine and complain and be a “victim”. But then I would have hurt myself and others eventually. I would have missed solutions right in front of me because my mind was closed and my eyes were cast down. I truly learned attitude is the thing, which reminds me of the following phrase:
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 (AMP)
2. Self-improvement and personal growth are a constant thing. Reading and listening to empowering books and tapes are great. But during my trials, it really hit me how desperately necessary it is to constantly (i.e., more than just 30 minutes a day) put good stuff into my mind and that I could not rely on the stuff I had put in last week, last month or last year. Why? Because we as human beings, are constantly bombarded by our negative self-talk and by the negativity in the world, and for some strange reason, we as human beings, readily embrace the negative. But if my mind is full of empowering and positive stuff, there is no room for garbage. So I re-delved into books I had read, highlighting and underlining new passages. I wrote positive quotes in my planner and recorded what I accomplished each day. I re-listened to tapes. And I learned different things this time around because I was in a different place in my personal growth. I truly learned I need constant re-enforcement so that my positive and empowering thinking will grow thick deep roots, which reminds me of the following sentence:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Yes, I am still learning after all these years and loving it!
Question for Comment: Are you still learning life lessons? What are some of those lessons? Did this post help you in any way?
(originally posted September 30, 2010)