Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Overcome ANY Obstacle with 3 Simple Questions

I thought this was worth sharing:

Overcome ANY Obstacle with 3 Simple Questions
by Jack Canfield

What stands between you and what you most desire?

Your answers might relate to a lack of money, time, support from family, or all of these. Obstacles can seem so numerous, so obvious, and so tough to change.

You can relate to obstacles in many ways. Typical responses are to explain them or resist them.

Both responses take a lot of time and energy. And both anchor you firmly in the past, keeping your focus on areas of your life that are not working.

To immediately generate alternatives, remember a simple analogy...

Imagine that you’re driving down a scenic highway. Suddenly you come to a huge rock in the middle of the road.

At this moment you have several options. You could try to explain how the rock ended up there. You could also go into resistance mode, complaining about the carelessness of highway construction or the lack of state funding for rock removal.

Or, you could bypass all this negativity and remove the obstacle from your life at once. Instead of explaining the rock or resisting it, just drive around it.

When faced with obstacles, people often respond with questions based on explanation and resistance, such as:

- Why am I so alone?
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Why am I such a failure?

However, you always have another option. You can ask questions that help you drive around any obstacle in your life.

Questions have uncanny power. Questions direct your attention— and along with it, how you think and how you feel. If you want to create different thoughts, feelings, and results into your life, then ask different questions.

Start now by skipping the why questions and begin asking what questions, such as:

1) What’s the lesson here?

There’s an old saying about learning from experience: Beware the person with twenty years of experience. This may consist of one year of learning and nineteen years of repetition.

The point is that experiences do not come prepackaged with empowering lessons. Everything hinges on how you interpret experiences, and your interpretations can change over the years. A single event can take you a step closer to emotional contraction or expansion. It all depends on how you interpret that event.

Psychologist Martin Seligman has made a career by studying how human beings interpret their experience. He notes that each of us has an explanatory style. People who chronically feel helpless tend to explain events in ways that are:

Permanent: “I always get confused when trying to learn something new.”
Personal: “I’m just no good at meeting people.”
Pervasive: “I’m just the kind of person who fails to follow through, no matter what kind of goals I set.”
Optimistic people use a different style. They explain events in ways that are:

Temporary: “When I feel confused, I ask questions that lead me to understanding.”
External: “I find it hard to talk to people in bars, so I invite them to quiet restaurants instead.”
Specific: “I find it challenging to meet long-term goals, so for now I will focus on achieving short-term objectives.”
You should interpret these obstacles as yield signs rather than stop signs.

These are signals that the world is expanding to accommodate your growth. Instead of resisting a challenge, just lean into it. Ask yourself: How can I interpret this event in a more powerful way? What’s a positive lesson that’s waiting here to be learned?

2) What’s great about having this problem?

There’s an easy answer to this question: “Nothing!” However, looking beyond that knee-jerk response can quickly open up your perspective.

Tony Robbins offers an example in his book Awakening the Giant Within. He recalls a time when he’d been on the road for nearly 100 days out of 120. Returning to his office, he found a stack of urgent memos and a list of 100 phone calls that he needed to personally return. Before making these discoveries, he was tired. Now he felt exhausted.

Tony managed to shift his internal state simply by asking: What’s great about having this problem? He then realized that just a few years ago he would have been grateful to get calls from twenty people—let alone one hundred people with national reputations.

This insight was enough to break his pattern of frustration. He found himself feeling grateful that so many people he loved and respected were willing to connect with him.

3) What’s my next action?

This question shines a spotlight on solutions. No matter what happens, you can choose what to say and do in response. Rather than manifesting resistance or explanation, you can choose your next action.

Successful people hold a bias for action. Add inspiration and intention to the mix, and you gain an unstoppable momentum.

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I'll be back in two weeks with another edition of Success Strategies. Until then, see how you can discover ways to immediately implement what you learned from today's message!

© 2010 Jack Canfield
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Are you "stuck" in this area?
Join me this summer at the Breakthrough to Success Retreat where we'll work together to overcome any unconscious blocks holding you back from your ideal life.http://www.breakthroughtosuccess.com

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Excerpt - Surviving Your Season of Shame by C. M. Blount

"Surviving Your Season of Shame" will be published soon! Look for it online. In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt:

Let Him be Crucified!

The prime example of purposeful shame is the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you imagine the scene in Jerusalem? If you’re having trouble, just indulge me for a moment:

The cry rang out from among the people, the same people Jesus healed, fed, and taught. Pilate was trying to release Him! Jesus knew this, yet He did or said nothing which would aid Pilate’s attempts. Pilate was under strain. His wife had told him not to bother with this man of righteousness. She said her dreams had been troubled because of Him!

Jesus just stood there, giving the most minimal, but powerful, answers to Pilate’s questions. Pilate knew he had to act – the people were thirsty for blood. But did it have to be this man’s blood? In a last-ditch effort to save the Galilean, Pilate addressed the people. Surely they would want to see the murderer Barabbas crucified rather than this man!

But alas, the people had another plan. The Bible tells us that when given the option of which prisoner should be released, they cried out for Barabbas. And when asked about Jesus, they shouted, “Let Him be crucified!” Pilate was stunned – he washed his hands of the whole affair after delivering a stern warning. Pilate told the Jews he would not be called into account for the blood of this man.

The Jews, however, responded with a statement that has puzzled me for some time. They said, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!” Why would they curse their children with the consequences of their actions? I still do not really understand, but I submit it is something to think about: are the seasons of shame our children experience brought about because of our actions? Maybe.

But that’s not the point. The point is Jesus knew he would be crucified. He explained to his disciples that he would be lifted up the same way Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that multitudes would be healed. Jesus knew that he had to die. It was the reason that he came into the world.

But such a death! He was humiliated – stripped, mocked, spit upon, beaten, and then crucified. He was publicly destroyed (from a human standpoint), but He understood that it was all for the purpose of reconciling man to God.

Does that mean that it was easy? No! It is not easy to bear the cross. It is not easy to fulfill God’s purposes. And knowing that it is God’s will does not necessarily allow you to breeze through the process. Jesus prayed! He truly prayed asking God to let this particular cup pass from Him if there was any other way God’s purpose could be accomplished.

But after He let God know how He felt about what He was going to have to go through, Jesus uttered a sentence that has become another part of my daily prayer, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thy will be done.” That is a hard prayer to pray, but if you can get to that stage, you can walk through your season of shame without batting an eye. As long as you know that what you are going through is to accomplish the will of God, you will be able to handle it.

The writer of Hebrews explains it this way, speaking of our Lord, “who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame….” What was the joy set before him? Simply, God’s will being done and man being reconciled to God.

Ask any church founder or pioneer, I’m sure they would tell you they had to learn to endure so that they could perform the task God laid on their hearts. Many of them were ridiculed, harassed, and abandoned by friends and family. But the conviction that they were moving in the direction of God’s purpose carried them through. He has not changed, He will do the same thing for you.

Have you given any thought to what people might learn about God by watching you walk through your season of shame? I know I didn’t – not at first. The revelation of that truth did not come to me until years later. And guess who it came from? My first husband. He told me years after our divorce that I had been a good wife and that I taught him how to hold his peace instead of arguing and fighting. It had never occurred to me during our trials that he was watching my reaction and learning from me. It turns out that what we went through made us both stronger and better. And it led me to the place where I am today, walking into my purpose with no fear of the past.

From Jesus’ example, we discover the high price that God was willing to pay for our redemption. Christ’s picture of sacrificial love should elevate our spirits and reveal to us just how much we are treasured by our creator. As one of my former pastors used to say, God took what He could not replace and traded it for what He could replace. He could have wiped us out, been done with us, divorced us if you will.

But through Hosea, Mary, Jesus, me, and you, people can learn that the love of God is richer, fuller, and deeper than any human love. Now that’s purpose!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Insomnia (an excerpt from "Go to Sleep" by Catrina Johnson-Bloun

Insomnia–the inability to go to sleep, or to stay asleep for a full night of rest. This has plagued me for most of my adult life. It seems like a mixed bag of blessing and curse. Lack of sleep, sustained over a period of time, hinders you in a lot of ways. It breaks your concentration and impairs the body’s ability to repair itself.

On the other hand, my wakeful moments are sometimes my most brilliant. I write a lot of my poetry during the midnight hours. A few restless nights isn’t too bad, but I have realized that a sustained period without rest is not a good thing. Not only that, if your lack of rest is brought on by worry and fear, you are working outside of God’s plan for your life.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Psalm 127:2.

Not only that, the Lord Himself keeps watch over us, so there is no need for us to stay awake!

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:2-4.

Even though God does not slumber or sleep, He created in us a need to do just that. Sleep is needed so that the body can rest, replenish, and dream. I began to think about that. Many of us are exhausted and over-stressed. In our high-tech, fast-paced society we are always driven to do more and to see more. It is no wonder that we can’t turn off our minds when it is time to go to sleep. So how do we conquer this problem? If you watch television, you’ve surely seen the myriad of commercials advertising things designed to help people sleep. But are sleeping aids, as helpful as they are, the best answer? Perhaps we need to ask the Lord to help us sleep. That’s what I am learning to do. And I have learned that God desires sleep for us, and for our enemies. In fact, He uses our sleep, and our dreams, to accomplish his purposes in us.

In the creation which crowned the head of man, woman, the Bible says that God caused a “deep sleep” to come upon Adam.

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:21-22.

This sleep was deep enough to allow God to take a rib from Adam and create Eve. This sleep was so deep that God was able to cut Adam open, extract the material that would fulfill his deepest need, and create that fulfillment without interruption and human intervention. Notice that God already had in Adam everything he needed to make Eve. All it took to pull it out was a good sleep. I dare you to go to sleep and let God go to work on you. There’s no telling what He might bring to you in the morning!