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Chapter 51

How Many Of Your Problems Are Truly Problems?

Today's Empowering Quote

"Joy is the life of man's life."
-Benjamin Whichcote

Today's Empowering Question

"How can I think about this situation so that I can enjoy it to the fullest?"

Today's Fast Session

It's nearly impossible to be in a good mood all the time.  No question about it.

People who are don't get to move about without supervision.

But it IS possible to take just about anything that could happen to you and USE it to feel good... happy, empowered, strong.

A woman I know used to look at the fact that her now ex-spouse did everything possible to sabotage her finishing college, and felt upset whenever she thought about it.  It seemed to her that she would have been much farther along in her career, she'd probably live in a much nicer home, etc. if she had been able to finish college right after high school.

This was a constant source of despair.  She felt that if she had not married him, her life would be so much better today.

I told her that I didn't believe in that; that I feel that there is a reason for everything... even though it often doesn't seem that way.

If you examine your own life, I think you'll see that those things that get you down often are, in truth, the source of some of your greatest joys and may have set the direction at some of the most important crossroads of your life.

In her case, as a result of her being married, she had moved to a different city, where she got a great job and flourished in it.  She made a lot of great friends whom she loves deeply.  She has a daughter that she wouldn't trade for the world.  Plus, the move to the new city made it possible for her to ultimately meet and marry the man she calls her soul mate.

So, none of the great parts of her life would exist if it wasn't for her first marriage.

Although it wasn't the wisest thing to do at the time, it was now ridiculous to beat herself up for succumbing to the pressure her ex-husband applied all those years ago.  I helped her to realize that it's BECAUSE of her decision to marry at a young age and not finish college immediately that gave her all the things that she enjoys most about her life.

She ultimately got her degree and joined the ranks of CPA, just as she would have if she stayed in college to begin with.

If she had done it differently, nothing that she holds so dear today would be in her life.  Kind of like the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," huh?

After I pointed that out, she realized that problems are not problems at all.

Problems, as we call them, are situations that either teach us to go forward more intelligently, or they're dead ends.  But they can only be dead ends if we decide they'll be.

If we hold onto our old decisions, "bad" breaks, and situations that didn't work out for us in the short run, using them to remind us that we're just not meant to be happy, that we're not good enough, that we'll never get
another chance...

...then that's exactly what our life's story will be.

Even when things are great, it's still possible to look back with regret, isn't it?  How does it make you feel when you do that?

Like crap?

Then you just need perspective.

Look at all those situations that appear to have been tragedies.  See what they meant to you in terms of people you met as a result.  Career moves that worked out well.  How about family, health, location, attitude, schooling and other learning?  What about skills you now have that you may not have acquired if your "problem" never happened?

Do this for every "problem" you ever had that you think or even "know" stopped you or limited your life in some way.

I think... no, I know that you'll find otherwise.

There are no such things as problems.

Shakespeare said, "Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." You see, there are certain indisputable principles of life, and this is one of them.

Just because you've managed to live for 20, 40 or even 80 years and this never occurred to you doesn't mean it's not true.

There is nothing more true.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.

Once you start to instantly "feel" deep inside you that this thing that just happened to you is actually your next gift, your next chance to grow, to gain peace of mind, to finally understand that there IS such a thing as a problem-free life...

...that's when you'll stop living with wild mood swings.  That is when you'll realize that you can reduce and even get off your happy pills because your mental focus isn't on problems any more. That's when you'll start doing things that used to make you nervous and scared and you won't be scared ay more.

When you accept the unwanted hurdles that pop up daily as simply a part of your path and move over them like someone who's on the way somewhere, then every day will go a lot smoother and happier.

So do this...

Write down some rotten stuff that's happened to you in the last year or so.  Then look for the silver lining in each one. Write down the good that came out of each one.  If you can't, then you're not looking with intention of finding it... because it IS there.

Write them down and carry the list with you. Then, the next time you find yourself in an irritated mood, pull out your list and see what all your hurdles have actually done for you.

I bet you'll smile.

And isn't that better than fuming? You'd better say yes!

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I see all problems as valuable learning opportunities
-- No challenge I could face is bigger than my ability to beat it
-- I happily look forward to my next big challenge
-- I get enjoyment from everyone and everything in my life
-- I accept peace and joy in my life

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