In our family, we love “The Incredibles!”
The idea of a family working together to protect and solve the world’s problems is appealing to all of us.
Apart from their every day lives, they have something more to offer the world. They have special powers. The most interesting thing is that they had nothing to do with it. They were born with it and their creator decided the specificity of each of their powers.
Just like them, you were born with special powers. You are equipped to handle all the ups and downs, brokenness and completeness, success or failure, sickness and health, as well as life and death.
You did not ask for them, but God has equipped you with the powers you need to live your life. It is up to you to discover your powers and use them. Regardless of what you decide to do, you are a powerful person who can make a difference wherever you are.
Your neighbor is driving the car of your dreams. Your friends are always conveniently sharing the latest restaurants they have dined in. Your coworker is yet again taking a week vacation to visit the next island on her bucket list. Wow! These pictures of these beautiful people on social media looking so fabulous and ecstatic in their relationships can leave you dissatisfied with your own reality.
You do not care for facts, that has been proven with countless research, but you have to realize that the perceived social media reality: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, you name it…social media… is conveying distinctly one’s hallucinations about who she wants to portray to her circle of influence and the world. There is no way you can account for the truth in these portrayals. Nor should you care.
Why You Compare
What is it with you…feeling better about yourself and your situation only when you can find those who are doing worse than you. Take this, real estate professionals suggest that people seek an expensive community and buy the smallest house there because it will appreciate tremendously faster than the biggest house on the block. But, that does not make people feel good, so, they buy the biggest house in a less expensive and downward neighborhood because it makes them feel good and happy.
You like to compare down because you want to feel as if you are doing something right. When you compare up with someone who you think is doing better than you or looking at a more upscale community than your own, you tend to feel unhappy and dissatisfied. You might believe that these people who seem better than you are keeping a secret from you. How come they have more money than you. Why do they wear better clothes? How can they afford this or that? You work harder than they do.
You compare yourself with others because what they remind you of the unrealized goals in your life. You had a plan three years ago to upgrade from renting an apartment to buying a house. Life happens, so you are still renting while all your friends seem to be buying beautiful houses right before your eyes. So, you may think that the universe is on their sides and not yours. Perhaps, they have better jobs and more money than you. You let these things get you down not understanding that your are projecting…you are overestimating what people may have and underestimating what you can do to realize your goals.
Another reason why comparing yourself with others is not positively productive is because you have a flawed perception. You assume too much. You assume that your neighbor can afford your dream car because he has more more money than you. He may be eating can beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to be able to afford the payments for that car. Maybe his car is the only thing in his life that makes him feel significant for the moment. So, keep in mind that all of these things you assume about the person who might be doing better than you is a concoction of your imagination to justify why you are not in a better situation or have more expensive things. Know this, your assumption is not the truth.
Lack of Gratitude
Dissatisfaction in life can be a good thing; it can help you get motivated to take action towards changing your life. It is an energy that can be utilized to create the life you want. It becomes negative energy when it is derived from comparing yourself with others. You have more than you can ever use in this life. Why don’t you count your blessings when you feel like taking a turn at comparison road. Say out loud what you are thankful for. Write a list of things that makes you smile. Keep a gratitude journal and record the things that keep you ground, happy, and joyful. These activities will help you focus on your blessedness not other people’s things.
Finally, research has shown acquiring things only keeps you happy for a moment, because once you achieve a goal, it no longer seems important. The next goal is just around the corner. That is why you should spend more time investing in your growth and development rather than on comparing yourself to others.
What is your favorite color (s)? Why?
What kind of work do you enjoy doing? Why?
What’s your favorite smell? Why?
What is your dream car?
What kind of food do you enjoy?
Where would you prefer to live? Why? Describe your perfect home.
What are you good at doing? When and how did you discover it? How can you expand on your strengths to achieve your goals?
What is your personality like?
Sometimes answering the most simple questions can help you discover profound things about yourself.
What are some of the questions you ask to get a deeper sense of who you are?
Leave me a comment.
We all have baggage. They were given to us in our childhoods by parents, friends, and associates. Later on in life, our spouses and employers give us some more baggage.
Although baggage can be associated with good and bad things that happened to us, the word is mostly used to describe the effects of negative experiences and traumatic events throughout the different stages of life.
Low self-esteem, guilt, fear, pessimism, anger, and the desire to please others are some examples of baggage. We walk around heavily burdened because every choice and decision we make are filtered through our baggage.
The ongoing effect is that of insecurity in everything we do.
Therefore, we continuously behave in unproductive manners and sabotage the plan designed to move us forward.
If we are to have positive changes in our future, we must dump all unnecessary baggage because they will only serve as hurdles in our paths.
Conquering the happiness habit is not for the faint of heart, especially when our culture demands that we focus on what is outside of us rather than what is on the inside.
On the outside, we want to look and sound good. We want to maintain a stellar reputation, securing how we want people to see us.
At the same time, we give very little attention to what is going on on the inside. We don’t seem to care about the person we are becoming.
Practicing integrity forces us to practice wholeness; therefore rendering it more difficult to segment our lives to accommodate the many expectations that we insist others to require of us.
We tend to be incongruent when we feel like we have to be a different person in different environments. Then, happiness cannot exist because we are trying to be different everywhere we go. To practice integrity, we have to aim to be ourselves; that is the only way we can be out best.
Seeking wisdom is very important in developing integrity. Wisdom tells us what is right, equipping us in extraordinary ways to practice integrity. By making wisdom part of our arsenals, we will be better prepared to distinguish the voices of the angel on our right shoulder and the voices of the devil on our left.
Here are a few tips you can incorporate in your daily activities to help you practice integrity today and to become a happy person.
- Keep your words: do not make promises you cannot keep. Unkept promises produces bitterness in the people you love.
- Do you best at all times. Everything that you do, give it your all. Then, you will not have regrets.
- Be yourself with people. Do not try to be anybody else other than yourself. Refuse to wears masks and play games with people.
- Treat others like you want to be treated. That means no backbiting and stabbing in the back. Work on uplifting people rather than putting them down. It is not necessary for you to win arguments, so be willing to let some things go.
For the Lord God is a son and a shield;
the Lord gives grace and glory;
no good things does he withhold from
those who walk up rightly.
Many of us have a warped perception of God. We see God as a domineering father figure who is ready to strike us down when we do something wrong. To the contrary, God is the opposite. He is loving, benevolent, generous, and caring. God does not pay us lip service when He says that only He is good. He has given us ample evidence to demonstrate that. He shows us his goodness through nature, the way that he cares for us, and through His Son Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, the evidences for God’s goodness permeate our everyday living. The natural blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis. For example, we take for granted waking up every morning, having good health, and experiencing the seasons of life. God is good enough to give us food when we need to eat, clothes when we-re naked, comfort when we feel afraid, and music to soothe our very soul. God delivers us from everyday troubles. He delivers us through the ups and downs that we go through when we experience life’s trials and challenges.
When we understand the goodness of God and we take it to heart, the Spirit of God will move us to repentance because we often doubt that God is good and that He has a good future for us. Once we have God’s goodness in the right perspective, the mind will be renewed, will have the confidence to pursue a different direction; and as a result, we will begin to see the Holy Spirit change our lives. In addition, when we understand the goodness of God, we will not be surprise when adversity comes. As a matter of fact, we will be excited to take big risks and step out on faith. Deep down we know that God will never ask us to do anything that will hurt us. Everything He asked us to do is to transform us to the likeness of His Son.
Psalm 84:11 is a good example of God’s goodness. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly.” “The Lord is the sun” – your source of power energy and resources. He’s a shield – your protector. “The Lord gives grace and glory” – your comprehensive source of resources and blessings. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly” – if you live your life God’s way, he will make sure that you lack no good thing.
Here is a prayer by Chip Ingram taken from God: As He Longs for You to See Him that will be a blessing to you if you decide to meditate on it.
Oh Lord, full of goodness and mercy, as I look into the
face of Jesus and ponder the goodness of the cross, grant
that I might
repent of my unbelief and ingratitude,
rest in your goodness even in the midst of trials, and
risk trusting you in every area of my life like never before.
I praise you that I live under a friendly sky, that you are for
me, and that I need never be afraid of the future because
you are good!
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Success sounds wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to have it? So many have made it sound so easy and beautiful in every way.
However, that is far from reality. Success requires hard work and is at times not very beautiful.
Achieving daily success includes:
Waking up early to review your goals and to perform your morning routine.
Pushing back the “I don’t feel like doing it” to the aside and proceed to your agreed commitment to yourself.
Working hard when others around you are having “the time of their lives.”
The truth is success is hard and it is not for the faint of heart. It requires consistency.
Inherent in the word consistency is the promise that if you take consistent action towards your goal, you will be rewarded with consistent success. We get better at things when we do them repeatedly or consistently.
Consistency does not in any way demands perfection.
Consistency is a decision to:
Do something every day no matter how small it seems to you.
Refusing to give up when you face negative people, obstacles and emotions.
Keeping your eyes on the goal.
No matter what the pursuit, consistency is the key.
The answer may very well surprise you.
Because being brave is a decision and you make decisions every day.
Brave is not a word people often use to describe themselves. It is too grandiose and lofty. It is too far removed from how we see ourselves on a daily basis.
It is a word used to describe warriors, soldiers, and fighters because they face danger and pain willingly. The reality is BRAVE is a word that describes YOU when you:
Do things others will not.
Greet a stranger.
Ask for what is important to you.
Take the first step knowing that you will not be perfect.
Admit you have all you need at this very moment to start making a change.
Feel the fear and do it any way.
So being brave is not about having all the answers, because you do not. It is not about not being afraid. It is all about acting unafraid and pursuing your goal anyway.
A valuable strategy that can be helpful is acting as if. You can pretend bravery — encouraging yourself to actions that are out of your comfort zone. The more you take action, the better prepared you will be to be brave when the next opportunity present itself.
The fish does not climb a tree because it was not created to climb a tree. It has its special intelligence that equips it to navigate its environment with ease. The water environment and the skills necessary to thrive there is empowering not self-defeating.
So, why do we belittle ourselves and hinder our progress on the basis that we are not intelligent enough. Let’s be reminded that “God does not create junk.” The problem occurs when we place ourselves in the wrong environment and engage outside of our skill set.
We don’t have to spend our lives thinking that we’re stupid simply because we are in the wrong environment, doing something we are not prepared to do.
Remember, we have the potential to learn and become better at anything we put our minds to. According to Merriam-Webster, intelligence is defined as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with difficult situations.
Some people naturally possesses or are drawn to a specific type of work. That is wonderful. That does not in any way diminish our ability to learn that type of work or skill.
Einstein says it best, the measure of our intelligence has very little to do with where we are right now. Our ability and our flexibility to change makes all the difference.
We can improve our intelligence on a daily basis by:
- Reading widely
- Take a workshop or a seminar
- Spend time with people we want to learn from
- Take daily action toward change
- Feed our minds everyday
- Be nice to ourselves–often