Resiliency in the Time of Unbearable Conditions

When a situation occurs that can ultimately affect the way your life can possibly turn out for the worst, there is one of three possible choices you can make to react to this condition. You can decide to panic, do nothing and adapt, or become innovative.

Considering the economic conditions we are facing in this country with unemployment in the double digits, the increasing home foreclosure rate and diminishing property value, and healthcare prices through the roof, people are wondering how is it possible to save even a dollar; especially with taxes increasing every time a politician sneezes. With the constant negative fluctuation of U.S. currency, upheaval with our political officials, the threat of nuclear warfare, and white-collar crime increasing, whom do we trust with our future earnings—whom do we trust with our lives? Our military men and women are committing suicide at an alarming rate. Three quarters into the year 2010, the military experienced twice the number of suicides from the previous year. Americans are angry and fed up with our government sending government civilian personnel and troops over to defend and help build the economies of other nations as they perform such a task under volatile conditions, while the U.S home front is collapsing under the weight of social programs, wasteful spending, excessive taxes and a bureaucracy that apparently does not care about its own citizens.

Already, some people are surmising that the American ship is going down and have decided to check out of this life by committing suicide. Panic appears to be the choice of some people. However, when a person panics, all self-control is lost and the ability to think clearly is cluttered with ‘what ifs’ that have nothing to do with what is. Let me suggest to you that this is not a time for panic, but sober contemplation. We cannot assume the phrase, “We will not go down without a fight.” We must only consider the phrase, “We will not go down!” With this attitude, fortitude is established and focus intensity is applied. Therefore, when politicians fail, pandemonium is served, and conditions are other than favorable. Who do you trust…trust God!

There are people who do nothing in this country but complain and adapt to environments without any attempt to create change. “What can one man do” they exclaim while conditions worsen around them. They are wielded into the declining conditions as a permanent fixture, never to rise above it. There is still another choice that should be considered, and yes, it is the best choice of all.

It was Plato who said that necessity is the mother of invention, and believe me, innovation is the prevailing thought. There are a people who have displayed resilience under severe and sometimes unbearable circumstances and have come out even more determined to live on. Jewish people, whom I have had the wonderful privilege of engaging and hearing their stories, have encouraged me in more ways than one could possibly imagine.

If Jewish people were forbidden in one direction, they would excel in another. When Jews were prohibited to deal in new clothes, they sold old clothes—that was the beginning of the organized traffic in secondhand clothing. When they were not allowed to deal in merchandise, they dealt in waste—the Jew is the originator of the waste product business of the world; they were the originators of the salvage system and found wealth in the rubbish of civilization. America and the world have the history of the commercial descendants of those earlier Jews who turned adversity into success…not by becoming bitter, but better.

Beloved, despite the economic woes of this nation, if we, the people can believe, decide not to panic and begin to eradicate our personal debt by taking a strategic approach to doing so, we will succeed. Despite what the nation is experiencing…do not panic nor adapt to the conditions of your surroundings. Become resilient and learn to work within the system until the system works for you.

Is Your Past Your Future?

How you think reveals who you are. Are you a previewer or a reviewer? Discover you answer in the post.

I remember some time ago, a well-groomed young man in his early thirties came to me and asked for a minute of my time, and I said, “Sure, what can I do for you?” I was slightly skeptical, but also curious as to what he had to say. “I used to dream big until my business failed. I made too many mistakes and bad financial decisions to think that I could ever own a business again,” he said. My reply was, “Reflecting isn’t bad until you live there.”

Two Patterns of Thought

People have two basic forms of thinking patterns, one is constructive and the other is destructive. Melancholy people often live their life in review, too afraid to attempt new things because of their past failures. This form of thought pattern is destructive in nature because it demolishes hope. You will find this to be true with those who have been hurt in relationships, experienced divorce, or been disappointed with a business associate. Whenever a melancholy person initially becomes excited over a new business idea, they will put their life in review and recall the difficulties of starting and not succeeding in business. Therefore, after careful examination of their past failures, they will conclude that their ideas will never work. This person is often sad and depressed because the things they would love to do are reduced to his or her historical blunders.

The other form of thought pattern is constructive because it helps to build a healthy outlook on one’s life and personal future endeavors. These people often see things in preview. They would rather focus on tomorrow whether than presently live the regret of the disappointments of yesterday.

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
–John M. Richardson, Jr.

Where is Your Focus?

People who often succeed in living their life’s perspectives are those who learn from their past, focus on their present to develop for their future. This kind of person loves to get up in the morning because they look forward to doing something they have never attempted before. They do not live their entire lives trying not to rehearse the past, but rather preparing for the future. They are not familiar with living in the safety zone. In fact, the safety zone is very uncomfortable for them because it suppresses their creativity and locks them in a cavity of routines.

Are you the kind of person who often focuses on “what use to be” or one who loves to channel his or her life in the direction of “what ought to be?” Are you one who has to squeeze the worth out of living or value living because of its worth? Make your choice and decide today!
Charles F. Kettering once said,

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there”

If you are not concerned with your future, you are someone who has no clue where you are going. Allow your future perspective to be previewed instead of your past being constantly reviewed.

The Rhythm of Life

Have you ever listened to a live band that was sounding so good that you found yourself patting your feet to the rhythm of the beat, and then that ‘odd sound’ happened; someone abandoned their note or one of the musicians played the wrong cord? Did you suddenly feel something was wrong, especially if they continued to play that way? The problem was easily recognizable—the rhythm was broken. The continued sour notes and playing the instruments out of key becomes unbearable. To sit throughout the entire performance would be a sacrifice. Unless, of course, if it were your child after their initial music lessons giving their first recital.

There is a rhythm to life that can easily become broken and that is when life’s priorities are out of sync. When people find themselves unhappy after achieving success, getting the girl or guy of their dreams or after landing that six figure job, it is because they are finally awaken to the reality that having things or accomplishing one’s goals does not necessarily translate into happiness. The disharmony in their life creates a repugnant and unpleasant feeling. They were under the assumption that happiness is the ultimate reward of success, but that depends solely on the priority the individual gives to their success.

Generally, people think that their dreams and priorities will automatically synchronize, but this is the furthest from the truth. True synchronization is when a person deliberately places their wants, needs and desires in the correct order and are completely content with that sequence. You may ask, “What is the correct order?”

There is a general order to the rhythm of life, but not all arrangements fit all. The order of your priorities may not be the exact order for me. The Rhythm of Life is putting life’s priorities in perspective.

Two men looked out through prison bars. One man saw the mud; the other man saw the stars! It is often just a matter of perspective. Before you consider changing jobs, churches, or spouses in hopes of finding the fulfillment you seek, examine your attitude. If your attitude is not right, then it does not matter where you work, how much you are compensated or even what you do.

There is an innate quality that is in every human being and when that quality is disrupted, so is life. God is that quality which gives life its quality and rhythm, not things. Counting numbers is just not the same starting with the number two. It is virtually impossible to sincerely start your day with God and end up out of sequence.

Divorce statistics and what they mean to you

Most reasons given for divorce are simply byproducts of a deeper interpersonal deficiency – hypersensitivity to trivial matters. Most people are aware that divorce has become a common occurrence both in the United States and abroad. We are also aware that an estimated 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the United States.
According to statistics, second marriages fail at a rate of 60-67 percent; and third marriages fail at a rate of 73-74 percent.

Divorce statistics show that there are a number of reasons why marriages fail. On the other side of these reasons are a good number of reasons why marriages succeed. However, why do we love to narrow our sights in on the negative aspects, as though couples should spend the majority of their energy trying to prevent these reasons from affecting their marriage? When this happens, the debris of our struggles slowly eats away at all the good reasons for enjoying a successful marriage.

According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. There is a positive side to this negative scenario. Couples who are happily married report that they enjoy communicating with one another.

I do not claim to have all the answers for enjoying marital bliss; but I just happen to be the author of a book about marriage entitled, “msHow to Fix Your Marriage without using a Hammer.” I am also a clinical counselor certified by the State of California. This may mean absolutely nothing to you, but for what it’s worth, having over twenty years of experience helping people from rocky marriages to rocketing careers should account for something. In my previously mentioned book, I wrote about the solutions more than the problems. I figure this way, if you are busy doing what is required to have a good marriage, you will not have time to be concerned with what can destroy it. The dos will far outweigh the don’ts. People must be honest with themselves and with their spouses. Working on yourself is far easier than trying to fix your spouse. However, without exaggeration, most people are external when it comes to problems and finding solutions to those problems.

Scenario: Have you ever lost something and instinctively blamed someone else for it because the item was not where you thought you left it? If couples will look introspectively at themselves, they will not point the finger of blame at their spouses. Marriage can work, if you learn how to work it.

Join my FREE 1 Day Marriage Tune-Up on May 2 @ 1:00pm at the beautiful auditorium of Christian Joy Center in El Paso, Texas. If you are in town on this date come by and enjoy one of the most insightful afternoons of your life. It will be worth it!

Are you concerned about our country?

I do not claim to know everything about most things, but I do know something about some things—and one thing I do know is that America is on a slippery slope into a deep immoral and character deficit society. I have never been more concerned about the state of affairs of a country I love so much as I am now. From politics to the lack of integrity, from money to taxes and from crime to same sex marriages, this nation is facing issues unlike that of any of our predecessors.

Primetime television is pushing the limits to what can be viewed and seen on television at a time when most children are watching. Pornography has exploded on the internet leaving eighty percent of the people between the ages of seven to seventy vulnerable. While our athletes are viewed as heroes, treated like gods, and overpaid like corporate CEOs, we continue to experience a decline in the quality of goods, embezzlement from top corporate giants, and reckless behavior from those who are supposed to be examples in the faith. I cannot help but think that somehow we are being left to our own stupidity and evilness.

  • Forty-two percent of all runaway youth confess to living a gay-lesbian lifestyle.
  • Among youth ages 16 to 24, Hispanics accounted for 41 percent of all current high school dropouts in 2005. However, they only made up 17 percent of the total youth population. Black and Hispanic youth are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to drop out of high school.
  • In 2005, 6 percent of non-Hispanic whites ages 16 to 24 were not enrolled in school and had not completed high school; compared with 11 percent of Blacks and 23 percent of Hispanics. The high rate for Hispanics is in part the result of the high proportion of immigrants in this age group who never attended school in the U.S.
  • Asian youth, with a dropout rate of 3 percent, had the lowest dropout rate among all racial and ethnic groups in 2005.

America’s pool of leaders will come from this pot of delinquents. Frightening to say the least that America’s political leaders cannot see that we created this entire mess by passing laws that encourages individuality and do what feels good even if it is at the expense of others. Our economy did not become this messy by itself, it took politicians lining their pockets and legislation designed to keep people struggling financially.

So, where is God in all this? We kicked God out; if there is such a thing. We do not want God involved in our government, our national policies, our commerce, our laws, our educational system, our marriages, etc. Historically, this nation was better off with God; and our present condition makes it obvious that our nation and world continues to get worse without Him.

Getting Out of Debt? Hogwash!

Is it possible to get completely out of debt? Yes, it is. But, is it realistic? Considering the culture we live in today, it is virtually impossible to avoid having any debt unless a person has a generous income that is not tied to a business. Debt reduction is more realistic than getting completely out of debt; especially if you are between the ages of 18 and 65.

It is between these ages that 98 percent of the American public is preparing for a career, building a career, or preparing for retirement. Ninety-five percent of assets and liabilities are acquired between these ages. Unless you have a Trust Fund with millions waiting for you at age eighteen, you are most likely to fall into the temptation of getting into debt for college tuition, buying a car or home, etc.

Most people do not have the kind of savings account established where they can withdraw $150,000 for the purchase of a new house. Therefore, debt reduction should be considered a viable option. This does not mean that you should not aim for total eradication of your debt; it simply means that if you aim for the moon and you so happen to fall short, you will at least be among the stars.

I was once asked a question by a studious young man, “How long will it take to get out of debt?” My answer was in the form of a question. I asked,”How much debt do you have opposed to the amount of money you have left over once your normal monthly expenses are satisfied?” If your answer is that you have a deficit every month, getting out of debt is going to take some time. If your answer is that you carry a surplus of $500 or more, considering how much debt you are carrying, it is still going to take time. You build debt as if you build wealth, over time. However, time is one of your greatest assets when it comes to debt reduction.

Join me and the hundreds of others by signing up at the top left hand column of this post for the “Taking Control of My Life” Campaign, which will give you the kind of information to help you redirect your focus and kick your life into a higher gear.