20 Tough Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit.

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We all struggle.

We all suffer on the inside. Every day…
We worry.
We procrastinate.
We feel overwhelmed.
We feel angry.
We feel lonely.
We don’t feel good enough.
We wish we were thinner
We wish we had more money.
We wish our jobs were different.
We wish our relationships were different.
We think everything in life should be easier.
And yet, every one of these struggles is self-created. They are real, but they are only real because we have created them in our minds. We have attached ourselves to certain ideals and fantasies about how life has to be in order to be good enough for us.
We worry because things might not turn out how we expect. We procrastinate because we fear discomfort and failure. We feel overwhelmed because we think we should be further along than we are. We feel angry because life should not be this way. And so it goes.
But it’s all in our heads.
And it doesn’t have to be this way. At least not for YOU.
You can think better… you can live better. This is a choice you can make.
Take a deep breath, and let all that thinking and ruminating go. Just bring your attention to the present moment. Focus on what’s here with you now – the light, the sounds, your body, the ground under your feet, the objects and people moving and resting around you. Don’t judge these things against what they should be – just accept what they actually are. Because once you accept reality, you can improve it.
See life as it is, without all the ideals and fantasies you’ve been preoccupied with. Let go of all of those stressful distractions, and just experience this moment.
This moment is good enough as it is. Be here.
You can go back to fretting about everything else in a minute.
But before you do, now would also be an opportune time to remind yourself of some truths we tend to deny when we’re stuck too deep in our own heads…
1. There’s a lot about our lives we absolutely can’t control. – You cannot control everything that happens in life, but you can control how you respond. In your response is your greatest power.
2. Our expectations often make us utterly unhappy. – Happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is.
3. We will always be incredibly imperfect. – If you wait until you’re “perfect” before you share your stories, ideas, talents, and gifts with the world, no one will ever hear from you.
4. A moment spent worrying is a moment wasted. – Worrying will never change the outcome. Do more, worry less. Train your mind to see the lesson in every situation, and then make the best of it.
5. The best lessons often come from the hardest days. – Stand strong. Sometimes you have to experience a low point in life to learn a good lesson you couldn’t have learned any other way. (Read On Fire .)
6. Success easily gets to our heads, and failure easily gets to our hearts. – Our character is often revealed at our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountaintops. Be steadfast in the valleys. Be faithful in between.
7. We confuse being busy with being productive. – What you pay attention to grows. So focus on what truly matters and let go of what does not.
8. More money left unmanaged just creates more problems. – Yes, we need money to live. Earn it. Save it. Invest it. But avoid spending money you haven’t earned, to buy things you don’t need, to impress folks you don’t even know. Manage your money so it doesn’t end up managing you.
9. Most of us don’t need more to be happy – we need less. – When things aren’t adding up in your life, begin subtracting. Life gets a lot simpler when you clear the clutter (mental and physical) that makes it complicated. (Angel and I discuss this further in the “Simplicity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently .)
10. Our fancy gadgets often get in our way and dehumanize us. – We all need to learn to be more human again. Don’t avoid eye contact. Don’t hide behind gadgets. Smile often. Ask about people’s stories. Listen.
11. As a society, we are utterly infatuated with outer beauty. – If the whole world suddenly went blind, how many folks would still be able to see your beauty? Focus within. Be beautiful on the inside too. And always do your best to see beauty in others.
12. Most of the arguments we have with one another are pointless. – Be selective in your battles. Oftentimes peace is better than being right. You simply don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to.
13. We default to judging others by their actions and ourselves by our ideals. – Be the type of person you want to meet and be around. Be the type of person whose actions, words, and values always agree with one another.
14. We don’t always get what we give. – You will end up sadly disappointed if you expect people will always do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.
15. None of us know anyone worth continually blaming. – Steal your power back. Free yourself to step forward on your own two legs. The best part of your life will start on the day you decide your life is your own, with no one to endlessly lean on, rely on, or blame.
16. It’s easier to hold on to the way things are than it is to let go and grow. – Letting go and moving forward means coming to the realization that some things are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
17. If we want the benefits of something in life, we have to also want the costs. – Most people dream of the rewards without the risks. The triumph without the trials. Don’t be one of them. Life doesn’t work that way. When you find something you want, start by asking yourself: What am I willing to give up to get it?
18. Even with all our advancements, progress still requires old-fashioned work. – In a culture that seeks quick and easy results, we must learn the beauty of effort, patience, and perseverance. Be strong, be present, and build positive daily rituals that get you there. (Angel and I build positive, life-changing rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy .)
19. We never feel 100% ready when good opportunities arise. – Most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually. They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first. And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.
20. Many of us will have our lives cut short. – One way or another, none of us live forever. And it’s much harder to change the length of your life than it is to change the depth of it. So, how deep will you go today? That’s something you should reflect on. Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
Closing Thoughts
Again, life is tough sometimes. There’s so much you simply can’t control, but you have to let your resistance to this GO. Do not let what is out of your control interfere with everything you can control. Be mindful. Be present. Focus on the small steps you CAN take today, and take them! No regrets. No looking back.
We have no way of knowing exactly what lies over the horizon, but that’s what makes every day’s journey interesting and exciting – that’s what makes today so powerful. Anything is possible!
Your turn…
Which of the points mentioned above do you sometimes struggle with? How have you coped? What other truths have you learned and accepted that have helped you live well?

Leave a reply below and share your thoughts and insights.

Faithful C. C

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A Sad, Familiar Tale of Procrastination.

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He has always dreamed of pursuing a career in computer hardware engineering. “I want to design my own chipset”, he used to tell his Computer Science teacher in high school. Now, as a junior enrolled at a reputable technical college, he finally has the chance to make his dream a reality. Although he somewhat slacked his way through the two years of general education courses, he always knew he would have to be studious during his junior year when the core engineering classes started.
He wakes up every morning filled with excitement and positive intentions. Studying is actually the first thing that crosses his mind. “I’ve got to get that chapter read”, he tells himself. But first he needs to grab some Starbucks and a muffin. “Okay, now I’m ready.”
He sits down at his dorm room desk and cracks open the book “Modern Computer Hardware Design”. The phone rings. It’s Jane, a good friend he met in his sophomore English class. “Lunch, today? Yeah, I could do that. How’s noon sound? Perfect. See you then.” Before he sits back down to read he remembers that he skipped his workout yesterday. “A quick workout will only take 45 minutes and it will energize my mind and prepare me for a couple hours of diligent studying”, he thinks to himself. He puts on his sneakers, grabs his iPod and heads over to the campus gym.
When he returns from the gym, he takes a shower and is again ready to start reading. Page one: “Welcome to the exciting world of computer hardware design. This book is divided into…” “Ah, crap! I forgot to email my mother those photos I promised her. Heck, it will only take a second.” He quickly opens up his laptop and logs into Gmail. Before he has time to send the email he gets an IM from an old high school buddy, Greg, who he hasn’t spoken to in six months. After a forty-five minute chat session, he fires the email off to his mother and returns to the book.
He glances up at the wall clock and realizes he only has about thirty minutes before he has to leave to meet Jane for lunch. “Jeez, it will be pointless to get into the groove of a focused study session for just thirty measly minutes”, he thinks out loud. He convinces himself that it would be in his best interest to save the reading for after lunch. So logs into Facebook, replies to a few messages from his friends and then heads off to meet Jane.
Once he returns from lunch an hour and a half later, he feels exhausted. The post-meal grogginess is kicking in hard. “All I need is another round of Starbucks and I’ll be ready”, he thinks to himself. He heads out to grab it.
As he sits back down at his desk with his coffee he repeats the word “focus” over and over as a mantra to himself. He cracks the book back open. Page one: “Welcome to the exciting world of computer hardware design. This book is divided into…” But then… His neighbor knocks on his door. “Turn on the Local 6 news channel. The college apartment complex down the street is on fire”, his neighbor says. Again, he puts down the book and then clicks on the television. This should only take a second…
Yeah… right…
Procrastination is a deadly, cyclical virus.
Stop Procrastination 101
Plan, Prioritize and Dedicate Time – Make a bulleted list of the things you need to accomplish, denote the next action you need to take for each bullet point, prioritize based on due dates, and dedicate a window of time for getting each bullet point done. Once you have your plan setup, do NOT deviate from it unless a real emergency occurs.
Disconnect Yourself – Go to the library or another quiet location where nobody can disrupt and distract you. Leave your cell phone and internet connection behind.
Start Early, Finish Early – The gym, along with everything else you’d rather be doing, must wait. Get the important tasks done first thing in the morning when your mind is fresh. Once the weight is lifted, the rest of the day is yours.

3 Ways We Failed Our Way to Happiness (written by Mark and Angel).

 

3-failure-happinessSuccess is not final, failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill
I. Rejected from Seven Universities
When I was 18, I wanted to be a computer scientist. So I applied to seven U.S. universities known for computer science. MIT, Cal Berkley, Georgia Tech, etc. But I got rejected by all of them.
Soon thereafter, a high school guidance counselor told me to apply to The University of Central Florida in Orlando, which had a rapidly growing computer science and engineering program. Out of desperation, I did. And I got accepted and received a scholarship.
And when I settled on Orlando, the move changed my life.
I met Angel there – my wife and the love of my life. And I met a professor, Dr. Eaglan, who convinced me to switch from the school of computer science to the school of computer engineering, with a strong focus in web design and technical writing – two skills I use today to run the blog you are reading now (a website that makes me happy and financially supports my family ).
If I hadn’t been rejected by those seven computer science schools, neither of these priceless encounters would have taken place.
II. Your Writing is Not Good Enough
While in school, I began to enjoy my technical writing classes so much that I decided to take a few creative writing electives too. I absolutely fell in love with writing inspiring stories and expressing myself in prose.
So I applied for a part-time editorial position at the school newspaper. I sent them five articles I had written along with my application. Two days later I received an email which cordially explained that my writing was not good enough.
That afternoon, I went home with a bruised ego and told Angel what had happened. She hugged me and said, “Regardless of what anyone says, if writing makes you happy, you should keep writing. Because that’s what happy writers do . They write.”
And after a bit more discussion, she added, “I like writing too. We should start our own little writing club and write together.” A few minutes later, Angel and I turned on my computer and registered the domain name marcandangel.com , and our blogging days began.
In other words, if my five articles hadn’t been rejected by the school newspaper, the article you’re reading right now would never have been written.
III. Fired for Doing the Right Thing
After college Angel used her business degree to land a head store manager position at a major retailer. She was in her twenties and she was running a $40,000,000 store all by herself. Although some of the regional executives thought she was too young, she was doing far too well for them to do anything about it.
Until one day in 2009, when one of her floor managers got a DUI on a Friday evening and went to jail. He didn’t have enough money to post a $600 bail, so he called Angel to let her know that he would not be able to make it to work the next day. Angel decided to lend him the $600 he needed. The regional executives found out about this and fired Angel the next morning without a valid explanation.
Suddenly Angel had a lot of free time on her hands. While she looked around for another job, she spent her afternoons marketing our blog. She learned all about social media marketing, and opened accounts for us on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites – the primary source of traffic to our blog today.
We didn’t know it then, but the traffic was going to grow exponentially over the next three years, and by January 2012 our blog would be making enough money to completely replace Angel’s lost salary, allowing her to work on it full time and get paid for being happily passionate .
If Angel hadn’t been fired, none of this would have happened.
Failures Along the Road to Happiness
As our friend Steve Jobs once said , “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
The truth is, it happens just like that. What seems like the end of the road may just be a cul de sac. It feels like rejection. It feels like failure. But it isn’t.
You simply ran out of road on that route. Time to back up, turn around, and look for a new route to get where you want to go. And as long as you keep smiling and moving forward, the road ahead is going to be far better than you can imagine. Because eventually, through all its twists and turns, it leads to happiness.
So if you’re currently struggling, hang in there. Remember, sometimes the best thing that can possibly happen to you in the long run is not getting exactly what you want right now.

7 Shortcuts You Will Regret Taking in Life.

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“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.”
―Sarah Dessen
There is no shortcut to anywhere worth going. There is no substitute for doing the work. Meditate on this every day: “I will do the work.” As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% effort.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively attend to your relationships if you want them to flourish.
By all means, find ways to be more efficient. But make no mistake that it takes diligent effort to build something worthwhile. There are certainly some success stories out there about people who excelled rather quickly, but you will usually find they had put in years of related work long before anyone was paying attention to their seemingly rapid success. In other words, their current state of achievement is simply all those years of work coming together flawlessly in the present.
The most effective way to handle what must be done is to do it. Put in the required labor. Don’t sell yourself short by taking shortcuts like these:
1. Taking the easiest route possible.
Someday you will look back on your life and realize that everything worthwhile you’ve ever accomplished initially challenged you. And that is as it should be, because big challenges often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary success.
Every struggle arises for a reason – for experience or a lesson. A great journey is never easy, and no dose of adversity along the way is ever a waste of time if you learn and grow from it.
Remember, an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards, and such is life. When life is pulling you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to eventually launch you forward in a positive direction. So keep focusing, and keep aiming!
2. Settling for the way things are by default.
The decision to settle for mediocrity is a real killer. If you settle for just anything, you’ll never know what you’re truly worthy of. There is ample time for you to be who you want to be. Despite the struggles that you might be facing, never give up on yourself. Don’t just take the easy way out and settle for less than what you know you are capable of.
Realize that it’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken either. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something new. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing stronger means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something different that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what LIVING is all about. Don’t settle. (Angel and I cover this in more detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of
1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently .)
3. Leaving everything to chance.
It’s not what you do every once in a while, but what you dedicate yourself to on a daily basis that makes a difference in the end. Having a plan, even a flawed one at first, is better than no plan at all.
Don’t trap yourself, endlessly, in a state where you are unable to ask for directions,
even though you’re terribly lost , simply because you don’t know your destination. Figure out what you want. When you get real about the true feelings you crave, you end up surprising yourself with an abundance of new opportunities and possibilities.
Bottom line: One day your life will flash before your eyes. Do your best every day to make sure it’s worth watching. Work towards something that brings meaning to your moments.
4. Following the crowd.
Allen Ginsberg once said, “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” In other words, in this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to be your incredible self.
Never let what other people expect from you dictate what you expect from yourself. Clarity about your true desires is so liberating because you get to stop proving yourself to everyone, including yourself.
We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own way, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life. So stop being ashamed of how you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that comes to you, and to follow a path that makes you happy. Don’t compare yourself to others, or get discouraged by the success of others. Follow your intuition, never give up on yourself, and stop expecting others to understand your journey, especially if they have not walked your same path. (Read
The Road Less Traveled .)
5. Putting things off.
Be frank with yourself. The things you say you will deal with later rarely get done. It’s time to get up and make an immediate difference in your life. You know all those things you’ve been meaning to get done for the past month, year, etc.? Pick one right now and start doing it. Get your hands dirty, challenge your mind, and get sweaty if you have to. Break out of your comforting lull and get involved. If you feel crummy, it’ll make you feel better. If you already feel good, it will make you feel great.
Ultimately, you will not be judged by what you say; you will be judged by what you do. Wake up each morning determined, so you can go to bed satisfied. Have the courage and discipline today to do what is needed instead of simply what is convenient. Or as Pablo Picasso once said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
6. Ignoring people instead of forgiving them.
Forgetting people who hurt you is your gift to them; forgiving people who hurt you is your gift to yourself. Always forgive others, not because they necessarily deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace of mind. We are all one, so when we forgive others we forgive ourselves, which is the first step in the healing process. Without forgiveness, the potential for true happiness in your life is limited.
In addition, we often tell ourselves that we’re better off without some people in our lives, and while this can be true, you should also build forgiveness into your character. Keep in mind that some relationships will temporarily split, only to come back together twice as strong as before. Forgiveness alone makes this possible. (Read The Mastery of Love .)
7. Cutting too many corners with your important relationships.
It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what hurts even more is to love someone and never find the time to let them know how you feel. There is no greater sadness than holding on to the loving words and deeds you never delivered to those you love.
The people you take for granted today may turn out to be the only ones you need tomorrow. So make plenty of time for those who truly matter . The best gift you can give them is the purity of your full attention. Just be present with them and pay attention to the little things, because when you really miss someone, you miss the little things the most, like just laughing together.
Afterthoughts
The journey begins when we are born. The destination is death. So the journey is far superior to the destination. Don’t sell yourself short! Make your journey worthwhile every single day, because the distance we each get to travel is a mystery.
Getting where you want to go in life is not about finding a shortcut, it’s about putting in the required time and effort. You have to set goals and fulfill your commitments, even when no one would notice but you, and know in your heart why doing so matters.

Your turn…
What would you add to this post? When have you cut yourself short by trying to take a shortcut in life?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

BROKEN WINGS (Life of purpose)

without_love__we_are_birds_with_broken_wings_iii_by_soccerstar57-d58vfstDon’t break a bird’s wings and then tell it to fly.
Don’t break a heart and then tell it to love.
Don’t break a soul and then tell it to be happy.
Don’t see the worst in a person and expect them to see the best in you.
Don’t judge people and expect them to stand by your side.
Don’t play with fire and expect to stay perfectly safe.
Life is about giving and taking. You cannot expect to give bad and receive good. You cannot expect to give hate and receive love.
So if you’re willing to see positive change in your life, you must be willing to be that change itself.

Faithful C. C 👤

Billy Graham ’ s Answers on Abortion. Life of purpose• February 8, 2017.

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Topic:  Abortion
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of.           his.pasture.
Psalm 100:3 (ESV)
All throughout the Bible, it’s clear that human life is precious to God. More than ever, we need biblical answers to questions about abortion and the sanctity of life. Here are a few My Answers from Billy Graham.

Q: Why is abortion such a big issue for Christians?

A: Life is sacred, and we must seek to protect all human life.
>> Read the entire answer

Q: I’m single, pregnant, and don’t know what to do.

A: I know it’s common to think of abortion as a simple answer to an inconvenient problem, but it’s a far more serious issue.

>> Read Billy Graham’s entire answer

Q: Would it be wrong for me to pray that my girlfriend will be open to getting an abortion?

A: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”—and it’s true, especially in this case.
>> Read Billy Graham’s entire answer

Q: Our teenage daughter is pregnant. What advice should we give her?

A: May you and your daughter carefully and prayerfully consider your options.
>> Read Billy Graham’s entire answer

Q: I got an abortion. I can’t forgive myself, and I know God won’t forgive me either.

A: You are wrong when you say God can never forgive you.

> Read Billy Graham’s entire answer

God cares about all lives, including yours. Find peace with Him today.

 

Still your friend,

Faithful C. Chukwubuotam  😁