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Tag Archives: Pressure

Finding David

28 Apr

We’ve probably all heard the story of David and Goliath. David was a normal sized man who came up against Goliath, a mean and vicious giant. Goliath tried to kill David and if were only a matter of size and strength would have succeeded. But David was skilled with a slingshot and in the midst of being pursued, sent a rock sailing through the air that hit Goliath in the head and killed him. When we think about this story we may marvel at David’s ability to keep his wits about him while being chased by a murdering giant, and being able to steady himself enough to make the shot that saved his life. While it’s unlikely we will ever be in the same sort of circumstance, we may face times in our lives when we feel we are being pursued or overtaken by something far bigger than we are that is threatening and making us afraid and unsure. It might a person who has power over us or a situation we can’t control. Whatever the threat, we may feel it’s too big for us to overcome. No matter what the issue or how powerful the other players are, we always have choices about what we will do. We can run and hide if we decide the fight is too strong but hiding from our problems will never solve them. We can pretend the issue isn’t a big deal and look the other way, but ignoring issues doesn’t solve them either. In the end, the only way to address whatever is disturbing our peace is to face it head on. Like David, we have to stop and turn around, and look right at the head of the problem. There isn’t any issue too hard for us to face and solve. We have enough courage and wisdom to manage anything that comes. We can find the David within us, face our problems, consider our options and find the way forward that brings us success.

There are some people who want to control others and situations. They need to have the final say, they demand their way be honored and they want to be in charge of where things are going. When we must work with them we may find it hard to be heard and if we push against them, they may aggressively constrict our efforts and exert pressure upon us. If we strongly believe in our views we may struggle with them before decisions are reached. Although it may be uncomfortable to disagree, our opinions are valuable and we deserve to be heard. We can state our case and press for what is important. We have all the strength and courage we need to proceed and win.

We may face a painful situation where we have little or no control over the outcome. If there is nothing we can do to mitigate the problem we may need to simply endure. It’s hard to wait through hard times when we have no control. But even as we wait we can exercise the courage to be still, and the wisdom to listen. If our only option is to endure well, we can still choose the best course forward and succeed.

Today if you’re facing a threatening situation and you feel apprehensive, find the David within you. You have all the courage you need to face anything you must. Reach for it and be strong. You are secure and capable. Look ahead, aim high, and push forward. There is nothing too big for you to overcome.

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Redefining

6 Oct

We all have ideas about what success looks like. For some it’s how much we earn, what we look like, or what goals we accomplish. Everyone has a different idea and how we see our personal success often defines how we see ourselves. If we haven’t reached a level we want to achieve we may be discouraged. If we haven’t moved our careers forward like we thought we would or haven’t gotten the praise we think we deserve we can feel like we’re failing. Although success is a personal description of what we want and where we want to go it is often influenced by the ideas held by others. If those around us see it only one way and we haven’t reached that level, we may be discouraged. If we don’t meet their standards and they are important to us, we may feel like failures. It really doesn’t matter how anyone determines what success is but us. If our idea of success if that we manage to get our tasks done every day and don’t lose our temper and we accomplish that, we are successful. We decide what our personal success looks like and we determine how we’ll achieve it. We can redefine what others call it and make it unique to ourselves.

We all have different experiences in life and as a result have unique perspectives about things. What one sees as moving forward, another may see as taking a step back. If we’re focused on non-profit work our motivation may not be to make more money. On the other hand, if we’re driven to be financially independent our income level will mean a lot. The interpretations of how to live our lives depend on who we are and what we want. Our personal choices determine what’s best for us and our personal ideas of success may be very different from the ideas of those around us. We are entitled to define our lives any way we choose and will find happiness from making our personal dreams come true.

The pressures of the world may make us believe our choices aren’t good enough or valiant enough and any number of other ideas. But that doesn’t matter. We have a gift to offer that nobody else can offer. What we do is up to us and we can define success our own way. Maybe we define it by being very patient, or by serving our community, or by practicing the piano every day, or by helping a student with homework. Or maybe we define it by how much money we make or how many people we help. However, we define it we can achieve it. The world has all kinds of ideas about success but we don’t have to adopt them. We can redefine it specifically for us and find great joy in being exactly who we are and achieving what is most important to us. Our lives belong to us and what we do with them is our choice.

Today if you feel pressure to succeed based on someone else’s idea of what that is you can choose your own path. You know what you want and you know how to get it. Be exactly who you are and define success your way. You are a gift to the world and we’re all blessed because you’re here. Your success is defined by you and you will achieve it.

Intentions

1 Mar

There are a lot of things we all want to do in our lives. We accomplish some of them, we plan for some of them, and we let some of them go as we change. Sometimes we intend to do certain things but for reasons we didn’t plan on, can’t explain, or don’t want to explore we don’t do them. They say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Good intentions are things we plan to do that will benefit us or others in some way. There is nothing wrong with having good intentions, and when we say we’ll do something most of the time we sincerely intend to do it. But there are times when because of pressure from others, or situations we aren’t quite ready to face, we might agree to something or promise something we know we’ll never actually do. Perhaps we agree because something important depends on it and we don’t want to lose that, or it will get everyone to stop asking. Or maybe we go along because it’s important to someone we love, and although we really have no intention of following through, it will buy us the time we think we need to get what we want. The road to hell is what we end up on when we continually break our word, and don’t follow through on what we’ve said we’d do. Others stop trusting us, and we lose credibility with those we care most about. If we continue doing this, we may even lose our relationships with them.

What we say is important. It gives others a view of who we could be but not necessarily who we are. Who we really are isn’t what we say, but what we actually do. Talking only goes so far and doesn’t make anything happen. If all we do is talk about what we want, and how we feel, but do nothing, and make promises we never intend to keep, eventually nobody will believe anything we say. All the beautiful words in the world don’t mean anything unless we follow them up with action. If we say we love someone but do nothing to show that love, never see them, don’t spend time with them, and are never available for them, all our professions of love, no matter how tender and beautiful, mean nothing. Our actions tell the real truth.

There are a lot of reasons why we sometimes say things and don’t follow through. Our lives are complicated, our relationships can be complicated too, and if we feel pressure to be a certain way or do certain things, even if we don’t want to, we may agree. But
when we say we’ll do something and then don’t do it, we are responsible for that decision. It may be easier to go along in the beginning, but it makes us dishonest with those around us in the end. We need to be honest in all our decisions, and we have sufficient courage to do that. We are entitled to our personal choices even if they are different than what those close to us want us to do. Our lives belong to us and we own every decision we make. We can do things our way with confidence and we can honestly say no when we need to. We can choose to live our lives with integrity and truth. When we do, we’ll step off the road to hell and onto the road to happiness. And being on the road to happiness is the best place to be.

Today if you’ve been saying you’ll do something to keep the peace or get what you want, but have no intention of following through, choose to be honest. Clear the deception and be truthful about what you want and what you’ll do. You have everything you need to be the best you can be. Today choose well. You’ll feel better and those around you will appreciate your integrity.

Decision Time

13 Aug

Everybody has their own opinions about things. Sometimes we agree with them, and sometimes we don’t. When their opinions don’t involve us, we can disagree, and move on. But sometimes they are about us, and what we’re doing with our lives. Sometimes we get advice we haven’t asked for, and sometimes others frankly tell us what they think we should be doing. It can be uncomfortable when someone else makes a decision about our lives and strongly suggests we listen to it, especially if it’s someone we value and trust. But in the end, our lives belong to us, and the decisions about how we live them are ours to make.

Nobody knows the complete story of what we’re living but us. We have the insider’s view. No matter how close we are to others, it’s impossible for them to have our perspective. We are the ones living our lives, having our experiences, and being shaped by them. Sometimes those who care about us think they know what’s best for us. They may tell us to leave a personal relationship, or stay in it, quit our jobs or keep them, move or stay. There are all kinds of opinions out there and lots of people eager to share those opinions. If we are close to them, we may feel pressured to comply with their suggestions. We may find it difficult to say no, but saying no is our right. We have the starring roles in our lives, and only we know what we need to do.

When others project their opinions onto us and make the argument that their way is the right way, we can be polite and decline. We don’t have to give our reasons if we don’t want to, we don’t have to explain why we won’t take their advice, and we don’t have to justify our answers. We have the right and the responsibility of being in charge of our own lives. Even if everyone in our circle is screaming “Go left!” we can go right if that’s what we think is best. We have the power to control our lives. We can be loving, and thankful for suggestions, but in the end the choice is ours alone.

Today if you’re feeling pressured to make a decision you don’t think is right for you, you may decline. You can be confident in saying no. This is your life and you are the only one who knows the whole story. You can decide what’s best for you. You can live it your way. Today stand up for your decisions, and let those around you know that while you care for them, you will make your own choices. You’ll feel more empowered and you’ll be happier knowing you’re in control.