Pause. Breathe. Reflect.

“In everyday struggle maintain your cool and emotion. To heal a wound you need to stop touching it. Keeping yourself calm in times of stress will not only have immediate smoothing effects; it can also, over time, help you lead a healthier, happier life.”

Dr Anil Kr Sinha

It is amazing how much you benefit when you simply pause and take a deep breath in a stressful situation. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a stressful situation to make the practice of pausing and taking a breath incredibly worthwhile.

Pause. Breath. Ask yourself this question, “Will how I react to this situation right now matter one year from today?” If the answer is no then why are you expending any emotional energy on it?

Struggle builds strength…

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Given the author of this quote the first thing that I thought of of course was the physical process of working out and strengthening your body through exercise.  In order for the muscles to be stronger they must be used and strained; only then will they grow back stronger.  Think of the ‘day after’ feeling when you have had a great workout and your body is sore.  That soreness is the body rebuilding after “hardship” and an indication that strength is building.  What a great feeling.

Why don’t we approach life the same way?  We want everything to be easy.  As a rule people desire no hardships, no challenges, no struggles.  In today’s Instagram world everything has to be staged and we envy those with “perfect” lives.  We never see the private struggles and when those struggles happen to us far too often there is a victim mentality vs. leaning in and embracing the suck knowing that you will emerge on the other side far far better.

You have to tear down the entrenched positions of the moment so you can be prepared for the future.  If you are struggling today with anything think of this reframing question.  Instead of “why me?”  Think, “what am I being prepared for?” Struggle builds the muscle of life.

 

Creating a better future takes perseverance…

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”

Queen Elizabeth II

When I look back on some of life’s hardest moments I realize by persevering those moments helped to create a far better future than I could have ever dreamed of at the time.  The future, even though I didn’t know exactly what is was going to be, was worth the struggle.  Understanding this now makes any struggle or challenge a little less daunting.  I know that God has a plan and that my role is to be faithful and work hard to overcome any challenge.  Giving up and choosing to show a lack of faith in Him and HIs plan is never an option.

What hard times in your life became the platform for your better future?  How does knowing this change your outlook today?

 

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