The Best Way to Approach a Problem

Have you ever wondered what the best way to solve a problem is? Well, glad to tell you, you’re in the right place.

We all have problems; yes! Really, no one is exempted from the shackles of a problem they’re trying to solve.

It may be financial, spiritual, physical, emotional and so on. I’ve discovered a problem-solving strategy that works every single time. There’s no false hope here, it really does.

Wrong Approach

Apparently, it’s pretty much opposite to what you think – the way you and I were trained to approach and look at problems is directly opposite to what we’re supposed to be taught.

While most of us were growing up, some way or another, we were so taught to see problems as an enemy; to face it like it is—a problem.

Well, this is really where the problem in solving the problem lies—the notion about the problem.

Most of us were never taught that a problem should be seen as an opportunity to get something done; to learn the art of self-discipline; to be creative and innovative. That’s not what was imbibed into our minds. Instead, we were taught to see problems as an enemy. To oppose it in every way possible. To curse, yell and sulk at it, and above all, just get rid of it anyhow.

Sadly, this approach never works. The reason is that if you see something as an enemy, that’s what it’s going to appear to be – an enemy. However, if you see something as a friend, that’s the way it’s going to be – friendly.

Embrace it!

You don’t want to approach life with such hostility and seek to get something out of it. It doesn’t work that way.

Let’s look at some practical case in point. If I had a problem, say, with getting an A in Math. A common approach from an average student will be to hate the subject, the teacher, the founding fathers of Math and everything associated with it. But, really, does that really make any sense.

You can tell such an approach will never work. If anything, it’ll only make things get worse.

The solution to this problem will be to improve your interest in the subject. Let it fascinate you so much that you’re engrosses in studying it more than any other subject. That way you’ll give it more time and focus, hence, making you become diligent.

Embracing the problem, approaching it with a mindset of openness, accepting it the way it is, seeing the good that could come out of it; all of these are ways to face a problem.

Some Other Case in points

There’s such paradox in the way things tend to go compared to how you approach problems: when you focus on the problem, trying to change it with stringent measures you fail. On the other hand, ignore the fact that it’s a problem—allow it to be, and embrace it as it is, only altering your thinking about and approach towards it, it goes in your desired direction.

Here are some paradoxical examples:

  • In Portugal, they don’t arrest or harass drug dealers, yet their drug consumption rate is pretty low.
  • In France, they advocate safe sex rather than abstinence, unlike other countries like the United States, yet, the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States is more than twice that of France. It’s also more than six times Germany’s rate and more than seven times the Swiss’ rate.
  • In Norway, the highest number of years for imprisonment is 23 years, yet the crime rate is pretty low In fact, only about 20 percent of prisoners are rearrested within 5 years, compared to USA’s 80 percent. They also have very beautiful setting for their prisoners to make them feel like they’re still in the outside world. They make them cook, make music, watch TV, take part in elections, and even give them their own apartment.
  • In Finland, they don’t burden their students with homework at all, no standardized test, in fact, they have very short school time—20 hours a week; yet, they have the best students in the world. 

You must have noticed the ‘bizarre’ ways these countries took to dealing with problems and the awesome results they got. That’s because they approached and handled the problems correctly.

Have you ever heard that a critic feeds on your anger? He feeds on your reactivity. Sure enough, you reactivity is like a fuel that gets him fired up the more, and he’s happy. That’s because you saw him as a problem and approached him wrongly. Conversely, have you ever noticed how stupid you make him look when you decide not to react? He’ll seldom disturb you when you do that.

In the Chinese language, there’s no word for crisis or problem, the closest word for problem or crisis–wēijī or wenti is denoted as ‘opportunity.’ Now, that’s a great way to look at it, and little wonder, they have the fastest growing economy in the whole world.

The Way of Depression

Do you want to be happy? How you handle problems will determine that. Do you want to be depressed? How you handle problems will determine that.

Renowned psychologist Albert Ellis, PhD, in his Book Feeling better, Getting Better, Staying better, advocates the use of thinking and philosophizing to change our feelings about problems and circumstances beyond our control so it won’t lead to further depression and frustration.

There’s something about problems – they’re inevitable. Those who’ve wisely observed this and learnt to approach, embrace and invent creative ways to solve them have become stupendously rich and happy, while others, with the same problem, have become poor and depressed. The difference is the mentality and approach toward problems.

Research has shown that when you say an uncompromising ‘yes’ to an event that you know is inevitable—thus accepting it—instead of trying to change it, you make yourself happier compared to when you seek an alternative.

To illustrate, there are thing that are simply not within your reach – you can’t control them. Those things aren’t what you want to fight, hate, and curse, you’ll only end up depressing yourself – remember, you can’t control them.

However, you can decide to work on the other side of things that you know is within your control – and that’s you. You might not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control you.

You can adjust yourself – your thinking and reaction to the present moment – to fit in well with the present circumstances in such a way that it favors you and derives your happiness – that’s how to approach a problem – you yield to the requirement of the present moment, don’t try to defy nature, nature wouldn’t deign for you, so you must condescend to its level.

Copy the Master

Whenever Jesus was faced with a problem, he never tried to change the problem per se, he change himself (his thinking and reaction to the problem) instead, he knew the problem was the way it is, and that it can’t alter itself, but he knew he could alter his thinking and reaction about the problem so as to produce his desired result.

Case in point, when he was faced with the problem of raising the dead, he decided not to mention or speak about death or refer to the dead person as being dead because he knew no one could awake a dead person.

Instead, he always referred to them as being ‘asleep’; why, because he knew that he naturally couldn’t awake a dead person, but if the person was asleep, anyone could awake them.

Note that just because he said the dead person was asleep doesn’t mean that they’d were really asleep; his focus wasn’t on the problem but on himself. He was wise enough to let the problem be as it is while he kept on working on his thinking, perception and behavior about the problem.

Thus, his approach to a problem such as raising a person from the dead made him do it effortlessly. His thinking wasn’t contaminated with negativity; neither did he let the problem intimidate him.

You can tell he applied this same principle in others aspects of problem he was faced with—from feeding 5000 people without a dollar, to walking on water; from turning water into wine, to getting lots of fishes from an already troubled water.

Here’s the key, if you’re faced with a problem, don’t focus on the problem, that’s not within your control. Instead focus on making yourself to align properly with the requirements of the present moment. Focus on your behavior and thinking, and make sure they’re positive.

What About God?

The paradox continues here, the Bible documents in John 3:16 how God chose to solve the problem of sin on the earth. Through his love, he sent Jesus – his only begotten Son. He poured love into something he hated – sin.

In another scripture in Romans 2:4, we read that God’s solution to getting a sinner to repent is his kindness and goodness towards that sinner. He poured kindness into the problem.

It’s important we learn to pour positivity into negativity. That’s how you solve a problem.

Conclusion

No one has ever cured a head ache with a hammer. You cannot afford to be negative towards something you plan to change. For, example, if you have problems with relating to people, don’t focus on them, focus on yourself. You can’t control how they act towards you, but, sure enough, you can control your perception and reaction toward them, work on yourself instead and see how much impact it makes in your relationship. You can decide to do embrace the moment as it is, work on what’s within your control – you, and get desired results.

 

Don’t Rely On People! – 5 Reasons Why It’s a Bad Idea.

There are people who approach life with such naivety and you can’t but just wonder, ‘can’t you see?’ Well, in this case, what needs to be seen is that people are really not out there because of you. Can’t you see that it’s not all about you? People might love you but they’re not going to love you like you’re all there is on earth. Mind you, they’re also here and need attention, too.

There’s such mental blindness I notice in people who seek people: They’re oblivious of the fact that people are also seeking people and everyone cannot be a seeker. That’s the hallmark of contentious living; there’s no harmony.

I know how much we need and crave for attention but do you know that what you’re asking for, you can also give. And if you’re not giving it, you’re depriving the world of exactly the same thing you think they’re depriving you of.

Selfishness makes you believe you’re the only one who need attention and that you don’t have anything to give. As you will see in this article; that’s wrong.

In this article I want to show you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t rely on people.

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  1. You Tie Your Happiness To Them: When you look out for people to make you feel something about yourself, in the words of T L Osborn, “you’re the slaves of the last person you finished talking to.” You should learn to do without their commendations by feeling good about yourself. When God approves of you, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. You really begin to live when you take this burden off your neck.

The ways people act at various times, under various circumstances are based on their feelings. You know, you don’t feel same way all the time, and your action sometimes might even not be what you really want; yet you couldn’t help acting that way because you can’t act different than what your feelings are saying. Maybe when you’re done, you might apologize, but that action would repeat itself a million times if that what you’re feeling at that particular time.

Consequently, you wouldn’t want to tie your happiness to someone whose actions are not predictable. Someone might like you today and yell at you tomorrow, that doesn’t mean you should come to a conclusion about them. You must learn to not risk even your health by putting your emotions under the unstable winds of whimsical human feelings and emotions. You must be independent of people’s actions and opinion about you since it’s not under your control. It’s too risky depend on people.


They’re Incapable Of Meeting All Your Needs: Research has discovered that a man can at most only meet 80 percent of his spouses needs and that’s the same for a woman. If you’re expecting people, including your spouse, to give you what they don’t have, instead of appreciating what they’re able to give you. I’ll call that wickedness resulting from mental blindness.

There are people who cannot confront you or be intimate with you or even be friends with you because they’re emotionally inadequate in themselves and have a feeling of insecurity and yet you loathe them because you don’t know they aren’t trying to be wicked at you, they’re only expressing incapability.

Let me give a story to illustrate this, Josh is a young guy who isn’t really stable when it comes to socializing with people because he wasn’t brought up in that kind of sociable environment; because of this, he decided to shy away from some people in his sphere of contact whom he considers too high a standard for his poor social skills. Also, he selected a few other people whom he saw as convenient for him given his meager social skills.

Now, Bola is a girl who really likes Josh and tried to be friends with him but he always ignore and reject her because he consider her too far out of his comfort zone (even though he never told her that). Subsequently, she observed how, after ignoring her, he goes on straight away to associates himself with other guys and girls pretty nicely.

As a result of this, she began to feel angry towards him so much so that she hurls harsh words at him sometimes when they’re in close contact. However, Josh refuses to confront her because he doesn’t want anymore embarrassment considering his frail personality.

Looking at the illustration above, because Bola didn’t know that Josh was the problem, she thought it was her hence it stained herself image and she decides to revenge with insulting words. This is a simple case that shows how a whole people behave.

When something like this happens to you, you shouldn’t feel bad on yourself like Bola did; instead you succor the other person since you noticed his or her frail personality. However, selfishness might not make you want to do this automatically so you it needs to be a conscious effort on your part.

You must learn that if someone doesn’t give you something when under normal circumstances they should have, it’s because their capacity to give at that point is shortened. Except in cases where it’s because of previous personal differences.

Hence, they’re the problem, not you. So you succor them, and not taunt them instead.

“The anointing on your life increases when you quit relying on people.”

–Joel Osteen

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  1. They’re Waiting On You, Too: Imagine a world where everyone wants something and nobody wants to supply it. Imagine a world where everyone is a follower and no one leads. Imagine a world where everyone is waiting on everyone to make them feel important, to give them attention, to do this or that. That’s a horrible way to live yet many people do it. You must make a conscious decision to be the helper, the giver, the one who blesses others, and if you do, the universe will come to your aid and things will work in your favor.

Come to think of it, the most successful entertainers, trainers, preachers, and so on are successful not because they’re self-centered, but because they tried to cater for people’s various needs according to their the gifting in them, thus the universe worked in such a way that their needs were provided, too.

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  1. They’re Certainly Going To Shock You: If you think it’s safe to rely on people, think again, many people get frustrated because they finally found out that what they thought about certain people was not really what they came to find out. I got an awakening this past week, it’s what the Japanese call sa tori, and I strongly believe it: If you don’t want to get a heart attack, quit relying on people. I don’t’ mean a real heart attack, I just mean a sudden shock you get when something didn’t go as you expected.

Believe me when I say all men are selfish. If you see them that way (and you have to because that’s the way they are), you won’t be shocked when they act as such, furthermore, you’d be appreciative and extremely pleased when they go out of their way sometimes to show selfless act towards you. Don’t expect selflessness; that’s not human nature—expect selfishness.

This goes to show why people might fight over free food even when they still have much in their various homes; it shouldn’t surprise you. Although I don’t like it, yet it doesn’t really bother me because that’s just human nature.

If you understand the human nature of selfishness, there’s no telling how much that understanding will help improve your relationship with people.

  1. When You Give You Get: Dale Carnegie said: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” This famous quote by one of the relationship experts of all time really needs to be applied by pretty much everyone who seeks for people’s attention.

Quite unquestionably, everyone desires the attention of another person. Equally, everyone should try to give it more, instead of seeking to get without any giving on their part. Outflow is what determines inflow, not the other way round.

The Bible documents in Proverbs 18:24: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” This is very similar to Dale Carnegie’s quote above, if you have friends, then you must be friendly because your reaping many friends require that you give friendliness and genuine interest in people as a seed. 

Conclusion

I believe the best way to set yourself up for disappointment is to not expect it. Conversely, the best way to deal with disappointment is to expect it. As a matter of fact, research has shown that unhappiness is fostered when you don’t accept what is but try to seek an alternative. Human nature is selfish and that’s just the way it is. Hence, quit trying to rely on people; there’s no guarantee there. Would you want to put your hope where there’s no security?

What You Really Mean When You Say ‘I Love You’

The idea of expressing love verbally by saying the words ‘I love you’ has taken its toll in today’s society. It has pretty much become a cliché now, that it’s no more applied for its appropriate use. Yes; the words ‘I love You’ has an appropriate use, and the lack of understanding of this fact has distorted its perception and usage among both sexes. On the female counterpart, because of their emotional need for such words and how much they’re emotionally moved when they hear them, they almost always believe it when it’s said. And the male, because of their lack of understanding of what they’re implying, just pick it up out of their head and spill it out of their lips arbitrarily.

I’m not against the use of the word. In fact, I think it should be used constantly and frequently among spouses and loved ones, however, in the causal relationship between unmarried folk trying to date each other, it should be refrained and wisely applied, unless understood reasonably. Because this is what many girls believe about their partners and they end up regretting because they don’t even know what was really said to them when they heard the words ‘I love you.’

You might want to argue that you know what you are saying when you utter those words and what it means exactly, but I bet you, the gravity and implication of those words are deeper than what you think about it. Yet many girls are lured into believing it and it all ends up with regret because they don’t even know what they believed in the first place.

As a matter of fact, whenever you say ‘I love You,’ to your girlfriend, you’re literally saying I am attracted to the whole of you—both your good side and bad side, your beautiful side and ugly side. You’re really saying, no matter what may happen with you or to you, my love is like a monolith; it’ll never change.

I-love-you-on-heart-couples-hand-picture

Conditional Love?

There are people who  go a step further in expressing their love for their significant other by saying ‘I love you unconditionally.’ However, that statement begs the question: ‘Are there conditional and unconditional love?’

You see, the idea of love being conditional is in itself a misconception; In fact, it changes its meaning altogether. Yet, this is what most people who do—conditional love—yet they say it like it’s not and somehow try to make their partner believe it where in fact they’re only being lured to believe a lie, and it all ends up with regret on both sides.

Love in itself is pure; it’s naturally without conditions. The word unconditional doesn’t have to with it. Hence, when someone says ‘I Love you,’ but attaches conditions to it, that’s not love; that’s want.

Usually, you’re only attracted to the person not because of what you’re going to give, but because of what you’re going to get from the person. Hence, the moment you attach conditions to you love; it’s become contaminated and really, you can as well say ‘I want you;’ instead of saying ‘I love you.’ Because that’s what conditional love imply—selfishness.

The Spanish language is the most honest in regard to conventional notions of love: Te quiero means ‘I want you’ as well as ‘I love you.’ The other expression for ‘I love you,’ tea amo, which does not have this ambiguity, is rarely used—perhaps because true love is as rear.

Self-Love

 When you are in a relationship with someone that you’re physically attracted to, normally, you would want to find words to express how much attracted you are to such a person so he can know that you mean something to him or her. However, you are usually not aware of who is saying those words and why he is saying it.

Man has a nature of selfishness; he has the natural tendency and inclination to be self-centered even before someone he considers likable. Hence, whenever there is an attraction, really, that attraction isn’t usually to help or give something, it’s an attraction towards something that he wants. This is the natural state of every man.

You might be wondering, ‘are you saying that a man cannot love genuinely?’ Of course, he can, however, the capacity to love that a man possesses or can have for another person is directly proportional to the degree to which he loves himself. In other words, self-love is the determinant of other-love or how much he can love any other person.

If a self-centered man says he loves you as you’d see later, he’s only expressing his wanting you; not loving you. Therefore, if a man says ‘I love you,’ the best thing to tell him in return isn’t ‘do you really love me?’; no! Rather you say, ‘do you love you?

“Singleness [which is self-love] is the foundation of all relationships.”

– Myles Munroe

Egoic Love – Egoic Want

When a man doesn’t love himself, it’s revealed in his estimation of himself. If a man has a low self-esteem, it’s proof of self hatred. Self-esteem is the emotional component of your self-concept and represents the real core of your human personality. It comes from your awareness of your sense o value and significance to the world. It hence, involves adding value and giving helping people, not wanting or needing something from them – it’s not self-centered.

Do not confuse self-love with self-centeredness. All men are self-centered, but very few people are self-loving. Otherwise, everyone will have high self-esteem. And you know that’s not the way it is.

Remember Ammon, in 2 Samuel 13, who raped his half sister Tamar, also expressed love for her by telling his friend ‘I’m in love with Tamar my half sister’ he could’ve as well said ‘I want Tamar my half sister,’ because you can’t rape someone you love; never!

A self-loving man is more concerned with giving that with getting. He practically doesn’t need anybody to make him feel important; he feel important all by himself. The craving to get commendation from people before one can feel important is a sign of ego. And such egoic people are not genuine lovers.

Eckhart Tolle, in his powerful spiritual book A New Earth enunciates some characteristics of egoic people with regards to their ability to love:

What is commonly called “falling in love” is in most cases an intensification of egoic wanting and needing. You become addicted to another person. It has nothing to do with true love which contains no wanting whatsoever.

This shows that when egoic self-centered people fall in love, he’s really only having an intensification to satisfy his own wants and needs. And that is far from true love. This should be a criterion for you to know if you really mean what you’re saying when you utter those words ‘I love you.’ You need to be true to yourself and your partner.

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The Most Important Question

I have a word for the ladies, whenever a man tries to show or tell you how much he loves you, you need to be sure he’s not just speaking from the egoic standpoint, knowing fully well that he cannot give what he doesn’t have, hence, the most important question to ask a guy you’re dating isn’t ‘do you love me?’ That’s a wrong and unreasonable question.

Instead of finding out how much he loves you, ask him ‘do you love God?’ Why, because God is love, he doesn’t have love but is love, and he’s the only one who can supply us with love with which to love our neighbor or anybody else. That’s why Jesus said, ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ If you look closely, you’ll notice Jesus wasn’t saying we should love our neighbors first before we love ourselves. Conversely, he was saying we should love our neighbor according to the same measure that we first loved ourselves.

He knew you can’t love someone when you have no sense of self-love. That’s why he said start with yourself; love yourself first, and then you can love your neighbor.

“Only God can supply joy, peace and divine love for others to a man.”

—Mike Murdock.

Love for God

Loving God simply means going after him with an insatiable hunger. If your fiancée doesn’t want to go to church or study his Bible or pray to God and is not interested in amending things. I don’t care how choleric or phlegmatic he is, if he doesn’t, and is not willing to, love God, he’s a dangerous man that really cannot love at all.

If a man pursues God, he will discover both God and himself. Man is really a fraction of God poured out into a human body. And if you want to discover yourself you have to reconnect to your source—God. If a man reconnects to his source he will discover his sense of value and significance to the world and that empowers him to love others. Man is in the god-class, not the animal kingdom.

“The greatest impact of our disconnect with our creator is the ‘mental damage’ or ‘mental illness.’ The mental illness is this confusion we all face with regard to discovering our identity, self-worth, self-esteem, and sense of destiny.”

—Dr .Myles Munroe

Conclusion

Knowing what true love is will help you to be aware of what it’s not; it’ll also help you know what to expect from your significant other because true isn’t a common as egoic wanting. When love is the auhtentic love, it’s always unconditional never conditional, hence, it’s not self-seeking but self-giving. In essence, it doesn’t want anything. That’s the meaning of true love. Sure enough, man needs sex but if that’s the purpose or motivation behind the words ‘I love you’ the marriage really doesn’t stand a chance. Because after the sex, the love can easily turn into hatred (see, 2 Samuel 13:1-19).

 

 

Everything Require Diligence

From driving through 5,000 kilometers to getting an A in Geography; from preparing for a 1-hour sermon to preparing for a football game as a professional; from being a successful musician to being a successful soccer player. Everything requires diligence. If you want to be successful in anything, diligence is required. If you don’t accept this truth you might short-change yourself into believing otherwise and thus taking actions that lead to nothing.

It’s a Law

Life is not a game. There’re definite principles and law that if applied accurately will yield specific results. Diligence needs to be understood as the law of getting results. If you don’t sow seeds but wish to get fruits, you won’t; you’ll have to be defying the universal principle of cause and effect or illegally tweak things in your favor to get anything from where you put nothing. But if you sow seeds you can be expectant of getting something out of it. You might wish you had this or that but without diligence, you’ll never get anything.

Diligence is such that the results you get might not be in direct proportion to the amount of effort you put into it, however, you’ll either get the same or more, but never less. You’ll never perform lower than your capacity. You’ll never get lower than what you deserve; you either get more or less. Your results are a direct manifestation of your input.

That’s Stealing!

When a man decides to get money where he didn’t invest anything, you can tell it’s stealing. When a student wants to pass a test he didn’t prepare for, you can tell chances are slim, or he’s planning to cheat. When a man tries to make claims to something he doesn’t own, you can tell he’s going to be cursed by the owner for trying to take what belongs to him.

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Things Being Enjoyed, Too.

Even, when a child is playing video games for long hours, you can tell he’s enjoying it, but it’s true that he’s also being diligent. You don’t have to be observed doing something difficult like earning your living by the sweat of your brow before you can be considered as a diligent person. This is because diligence isn’t about the struggles and difficulty; diligence is about focus. You can either be diligent doing what you enjoy or doing what you hate, but, since diligence is about focus, you stand a chance to be more diligent with what you like than with what you don’t like; diligence can be applied on the wrong or right thing, either ways it’s still diligence.

Now, I’m not advocating that you do what won’t produce results just because you like it. You can develop an interest in what you know you need to do especially when you discover what it entails or yields in the long run. For example, if you know some diamond substance is under the ground you’re standing on, you’d be interested in and motivated to dig.

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill;

great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”

—Samuel Johnson

 

Do You Believe In the Value of Hard Work

Do you believe in the value of hard work? If you do you have a higher chance of becoming successful that one who doesn’t. Your education might not get you success; even your talent without diligence will not give you the edge over someone who values hard work.

Nothing else makes you a success like hard work; even school doesn’t come close. I’m not trying to belittle the importance of going to school, but I want to make it clear that your education doesn’t decide your success as much as diligence does.

According to an article in Fortune Magazine on learning disabilities in business, many presidents and senior executives of Fortune 500 corporations today were diagnosed in school as being not particularly bright or capable. But by virtue of hard work, they went on to achieve great success in their industries.

In an analysis of the members of the Forbes 400, the 400 richest men and women in America, conducted a couple of years ago, they found that a person who dropped out of high school and who made it into the Forbes 400 was worth, on average, $333 million dollars more than those who had completed college or university.

Brian Tracy, in his book on Maximum Achievement, wrote: “Even though I had been a poor student, I was a voracious reader, and I wasn’t afraid of hard work. While other people around me were dating and dancing, I was studying, making up for lost time.” You see, being a poor student didn’t stop him from being a successful man; later in life; why? He embraced Hard Work.

“Virtually anything you could ever want to be, have or do is amenable to learning and hard work.”

—Brian Tracy

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Attain Your Potential

Laziness causes people to do less than what there are normally capable of. It makes people to cut corners, slack-off, procrastinate, waste time and contribute less. It robs the potential of the individual who practices it. It undermines his possibilities in the present and undermines his hope for the future.

In many cases, your great opportunity will simply look like or be clothed in hard work. Your success will be clothed in this intimidating work clothes called opportunity. But that doesn’t mean you should be intimidating by hard work. What should intimidate you should be the fear of not attaining your potential and getting maximum achievement as a result of excessive laziness.

Excellent people that you envy aren’t any more human than you are, they’re aren’t anymore smarter than you are, they just discovered than there’s value in hard work and they began to work hard, which in turn, naturally and expectedly produced success for them. Success is predictable. And the best way to predict the future is to plan for it; and then working out your plan. You decide your success the actions you take; diligence is too relevant in the matter of success. You need it all the time.

The Motivation to Work Hard

Thomas Edison said: success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. But what inspires people to work hard? The source of inspiration is passion, and the source of passion is discovery of purpose and that purpose produces a vision of what can be done or what can happen. Without discovery of purpose, there’s no inspiration and no motivation. It’s like a footballer who is ready to receive the hardest tackle just because he sees a goal post and he knows he could get to score. He’s motivated because there is a goal post.

diligenceWhen you discover your purpose you become fired up. You become persistent in the pursuit of purpose overwhelms you. Persistence is a product of faith that you can achieve something and that faith is generated by a purpose. So what do you need to do to discover your purpose in life? You need a self-examination. You need to know what the creator put in you—your gifts, desires, and the talent he placed in you. Your gifts are a clue to your purpose. When you discover, hone and harness the power of your gifts, you are on your way to being a person of diligence, and therefore, a person of influence.

Since diligence is about focus, if you find your focus, you’ll become focused. To succeed you need to focus on your purpose. And when you know the attainment of your goal isn’t optional you’ll never give up.

In my article on design reveals function, I highlighted some of the keys to discovering your purpose. Click here to view ‘em.

 

 

 

How to Deal With Your Parents’ Separation

If your parents separate, it can seem like the end of the world. It might even lead to emotional and behavioral alteration in you. Frankly, children are the always the losers in divorce. When parents separate, it can lead to anxiety, depression, delinquent behavior, and even their teenage daughter is at risk of pregnancy.

These victimized children sometimes end up with self-destructive behaviors all thanks to their parents’ lack of discretion. Some end indulging in taking illicit drug substances just to get a sort of ‘relief’, other cast off restraints and refuse to focus in school. Some end up as troublers of society because of their experiences while growing. And this they do with the mentality that they want to ‘punish’ their parents or it might be as a result of the parent’s slackened monitoring eye over them.

As a child, now that you’ve been deprived of the daily presence of a parent, one you may have deeply love, it’s time to move forward and not let a single event alter the course of your life negatively; you have to move on with life.

parents-fighting

Why Do Parents Break Up

Often times, a split-up comes as a shock to the child because parents have kept their problems well hidden. A study on the major reason why parents separate produced a list of 10, here they are:

  1. Poor Communication
  2. Incompatibility
  3. Financial Difficulty
  4. Personal Problems
  5. Lack of Attentiveness
  6. Growing Apart
  7. Intimacy Issues
  8. Addiction
  9. Infidelity
  10. Selfishness

If you probably enquired your parents for the reason for their separation and you aren’t able to get a specific answer, whatever the case, the fact that your parents may have chosen to be silent or to give you only vague answers does not mean that don’t love you. You parents may simply find it hard to talk about the divorce or they might find it awkward or embarrassing to admit to their own failures.

What You Can Do

  • Identify your fears: Because divorce can turn your world upside down, you may find yourself worrying about things you normally took for granted. However, you’d be able to shrink your fears to a manageable size by first identifying them. You can take a sheet of paper and list your fears on it.

Examples of what children whose parents separate are mostly afraid of are:

  1. Fears of abandonment
  2. Fear of financial difficulty in new family
  3. Fear of the fact that the separation might just be his fault
  4. Fear of having a similarly dysfunctional marriage
  • Discuss your concerns: Having listed your fears, it’ll be wise to discuss them with your parent (the one who’s still with you). As a matter of fact, a problem shared is half solved. You need to discuss with your parent and let them know how confused you are. Maybe they will be able to tell you what’s happening and thus lessen your tension.

However, if your parent is not able to help you at the moment, you can try confiding in a mature friend. Take the initiative to seek out such a person. Just having someone who will listen to you can be a tremendous relief.  In fact, it’s called ‘unburdening’ when you pour out your pains to a sympathetic. And that in itself might be a great relief.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t hold a grudge: If you identify your parent’s fault, say, selfishness, and they’re not ready to admit it, don’t go mad at them or decide to hold a grudge against them. Although it might be difficult, it’ll be wise to forgive your parent and admit to the fact that no one is really perfect; hence, you should give your parent a reasonable chance for imperfections.

In case You’re Not Sure Whether to Forgive, Here are 5 Reasons to Do So:

  1. Holding onto anger could hurt your physical heart
  2. It messes your mental health
  3. It can cause stress
  4. It’ll disturb your sleep
  5. It’ll weaken your social bonds

What to Expect in the Future

A literal injury, say, a broken bone could take time to heal; it could take months to heal completely. This is exactly the case with the healing of emotional injury. Some experts say that the worst of a divorce is over within three years. Remember, it takes time for things like this to stabilize. And as your life regains some semblance of regularity, you will begin to feel normal again.

 

 

Jesus Loves Sinners – How to Love People When It’s Hard

Jesus had such a beautiful nature of love and compassion. He was said to have never condemned a sinner. He only reproved hypocritical and self-righteous religious folks. He was a quite loving person. Now, although he wasn’t always this way with everyone all the time he, however, was a man of a character of love. For instance, if he reprimands you, he does it in love. Love and justice was his watch word.

Believe me; since Jesus was this way, it is certainly the best way to live. That’s because we were made to function by love and also to follow Jesus’ example of love. One of his disciples, Peter, remarks—1 Peter 2:21:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

Again, Jesus was like this with sinners, not just because he decided he didn’t want to make trouble with them (he made a lot of trouble with them), he did it because it was the most befitting way to act at towards people like that. Now, if you apply the same thinking he had in your life you will be amazed at how you’re able to get along with tough and troubling folks. Although this is the way to follow, we need to understand his thinking and social cognition before we can do the same. Let’s observe his thinking.

love of Jesus

Why Did He Choose to?

Jesus being someone who, unlike all others, had a sin-free nature, didn’t decide he was going to avoid being in the midst of sinners. He communed and ate with them. He was the only one on earth during his time who wasn’t with the sin-prone Adamic nature. He was perfect, holy and pure; He pleased God well. However, you would expect that someone who was like that would alienate and segregate himself from the others who were sinners at the core of their being. In fact, the one who looked holiest among them was only being hypocritical. Yet he didn’t practice segregation and separatism like some religious folks would.

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He Understood Their Nature

So why would he move with them? He understood their state of inadequacy. He was aware of their dire state. He was cognizant of the fact that hating them wouldn’t do any good but to worsen the situation. To illustrate, in my article on How Does Quarrel Begin?, I gave an analogy of an 8-months-old boy pooping in his pants. Without a doubt, you wouldn’t be surprised at that 8-months-old boy if he poops in his pants, and as a result of you not being surprised, you might not get so mad at him even if he were your son, why?

  1. You understand he’s a baby, (and it’ll help you with the second point)
  2. You know how you’re supposed to relate to him.

You see, if I know where you’re at and your level of immaturity, I wouldn’t be so mad if you did something ridiculous because I know you can’t help it—it’s your nature.

love

Quite frankly, if you truly understood people you’ll never hate them.  How do you explain Jesus’ statement at the cross, “Father, forgive them because they know not what they are doing” was it because he didn’t feel any pain, emotionally or physically; no! He certainly did feel pain so much so that he died. Then what was it? He was aware of who they were. He knew them so much that he understood that if they were a little mature in their thinking, after all, they wouldn’t be acting so foolishly (1 Corinth. 2:8).

He was ‘consoled’ by the fact that they didn’t know what they were doing (Luke 23:24); that is, they were merely controlled by their base level of thinking which was literally controlling them even when their common sense doesn’t think it’s right to act that way. Psychology has revealed that when angry, you lose a bit of your rationale at the expense of fulfilling your self-centered desires. Sigmund Freud’s work asserts this:

Freud gave the name “id” to unconscious drives. The id knows nothing of morality or reality. It seeks only to gratify the instinctual drives, and it operates solely according to the pleasure principle [which is the tendency of man to seek pleasure and avoid pain]. Conflict disappears on the conscious level as unfulfilled impulses are repressed into the unconscious mind.

Freud’s work essentially explains that a man’s ability to act reasonably or consciously is being clouded by his wrong mindset which thus gives him an irrational thinking of which he is literally enslaved to. Hence, no need to be mad at them; after all, they can’t do any better.

This actually brings to light the already obvious fact that anger only makes you act stupidly.

 Anger has overpowered him, and driven him to a revenge which was rather a stupid one, I must acknowledge, but anger makes us all stupid.

Johanna Spyri   (1827 – 1901)

Swiss writer.

 

Get Your Thinking Straight—You’re Not Being Overridden

A point I want to establish in this article is this: your thinking decides your emotions, and you’re enslaved to that thinking whether or not you want to. Hence you act out what’s in your thinking. Your thinking is most important. Now, there’s a way of thinking that’s one of the main reasons why people get mad at others. This way of thinking is as a result of lack of understanding of the other person’s position in relation to theirs. The first step in getting out of anger is to understand the other person’s position and your own, too.

To illustrate, if I hire a 27-year-old guy to come and work for me as a servant.  And I’m just a 10-year-old boy. It’s pretty much clear that I’m the boss and he’s the servant even though he’s several years older than I am. Therefore, if I tell him to go wash the dishes. He isn’t expected to get mad, why? Because he understand my position relative to his, and he understands why I told him to do what he did (because I’m the boss and I have authority). This understanding is very crucial in our relationship with one other; otherwise, there’ll be a quarrel. In fact, the 27-year-old man will think he’s being disrespected and overridden by a young fellow.

This illustration states one of the reasons why Jesus was calm in the face of the wickedest acts of men towards him. He understood he was a servant to the people, he knew he was on earth to sacrifice his life for the people (Matthew 20:28). He had the mentality of a servant leader. That was his position in relation to us, the people.

Read his words: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (NIV, Matt 20:28).

Having an understanding of the other person’s position in relation to yours makes you know how to accurately respond to people, instead of getting mad at them.

Jesus himself taught this principle to his disciples:

 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”  (Luke 17:7-10, NIV)

Things Learnt From Jesus’ Example

  1. He understood their state
  2. His understanding controlled how he saw their actions
  3. He acted like a father that’s in control not as a child overridden
  4. He didn’t condemn them
  5. He didn’t treat them with contempt
  6. He wasn’t self-seeking
  7. He was after their salvation or safety
  8. He understood his position, his duty, in relation to man.

Conclusion

Jesus wants us to follow his example of love towards our neighbor. He wants us to show forth his nature of love on the earth, hence, we have to adjust our thinking about people and get a new social cognition—the one Jesus had, as seen in this article—so we could think like him and find it easier to love people even when it seems tough.

Hard Work Is About Focus

Hard work has been misunderstood by many. It’s as a result of this misconception that you find out that the average young person wouldn’t be so much interested in it. For instance, they say hard work is all you need to make you successful and achieve your goals. Hard work certainly helps you to get your goals accomplished. However, you could be very diligent doing something but still won’t get much accomplishment. Why is that? More specifically put, it’s because hard work is about focusing on an assigned task or a given purpose. It’s about doing the right thing.

Hard work, many people think, has to be really hard and full of struggles, but that’s really a misconception. The people who work the hardest aren’t necessarily the most successful ones. For many, all they do all day is to press certain buttons on a computer and they end up with thousands of dollars per month, however, there are many who drench their clothes with their own sweat every day and still are just able to make a few dollar per month. This is the reality of hard work—it’s more of smartness than hardness.

Hard Work Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Hard work or diligence doesn’t necessarily have to be more difficult than the normal work you do every day. Diligence is according to Mike Murdock is, “giving immediate attention to an assigned task.” According to another source, it’s called ‘persistent effort.’

Many people talk themselves into believing that hard work is about sweating like a mad dog and working your ass out, and at the end of it all, this perspective about hard work only encourage people to shy away from it and end up doing nothing.

If they had looked at it another way, they wouldn’t have been repelled from indulging in it. They would have been interested in doing it because according to the pleasure principle postulated by Sigmund Freud, human nature always wants to do what it desires, not what it dreads.

This explains why a 10-year-old boy would prefer playing video games for 5 hours than reading a book for 5 hours, not knowing that it doesn’t take any more ‘hard work’ for him to read a book than for him to play games. All that’s necessary in both cases is focus.

Enjoyed Work Is Hard Work

Do you know anyone who has an interest in writing? It’s usually evidenced in his collection of writings or books he’s written. Do you know anyone who loves to sing, you can bet he or she would be a better singer than one who doesn’t. Do you know of anyone who is really fascinated by the anatomical structure of the human body, don’t be surprised if he or she ends up being a Medical Doctor.

You see, when you participate in what interests you, you automatically are inspired to work and focus on that particular thing. It’s what catches your interest that also draws your attention, and what draws your attention has your focus. This is another thing about hard work; it’s embedded in love for something.

If you read the book of proverbs you’d notice it talks about wisdom being the principal thing (Prov. 4:7). Now, the context of the book of proverbs also advocates love for wisdom. Why is that? It’s because loves birth desire and desire reveals hunger. Without a doubt, you’ll give attention to whatever you’re hungry for. This is why the book of proverbs also advocates love for wisdom; it’s because love leads you to focus, and if you focus on wisdom it’ll become part of you.

Love connotes focus because you focus on what you love.  It’s the same with passion and purpose. It’s you’re passionate about fulfilling your purpose; you are most likely going to fulfill it. Hard work is for men of purpose—people with a specific assignment—and men of purpose work hard. Similarly, focus is for men of purpose and men of purpose are focused. Hence, all it takes to fulfill your purpose is: don’t be distracted from your purpose.

“Is This Really Hard Work?”

If you know someone who loves to play football so much that he’ll pay to play it. You probably won’t tell him he’s suffering when he’s given the opportunity to play for 5 hours a day every day. You might view it as suffering, but to him it’s enjoyment.

Do you know of someone who loves to teach people? If he or she gets an opportunity to teach for 8 hours every day, he’ll certainly see it as a blessing, while you might think it’s punishment.

It’s recorded in the Bible that God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son to come to die for the sinful world (John 3:16). You might think God would be happier if his Son wasn’t given as a sin offering. But in reality, he’s much happier that he did it because he loved us. How do I know? It’s recorded in scripture that there’s joy in heaven over just one sinner that comes to repentance (Luke 15:10). Imagine that joy multiplied by 7 billion. Since there are about 7 billion people on earth.

Look at Paul’s account of the necessity of Jesus dying compared to not dying for the sins of the world:

Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Heb. 2:17, ASV).

His love for man made it necessary, and at the same time easy to decides to do it; even though it was a difficult task, his love for man was enough impetus towards doing it.

My love for books, for example, could make me want to read so much that I’m forced to stop. Love birthed my focus on books. This is what hard work entails—Love that births focus!

Productive Laziness

8020

The book The 80/20 principle by Richard Koch brings out the truth about hard work in a way that counters our conventional thinking. He explains that “the 80/20 principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually leads to a majority of results, output, or reward.  For example, 80 percent of what you achieve in your job comes from 20 percent of the time spent.” This principle counters our conventional thinking that results gotten ought to always be in synchrony with the amount effort put in.

This is a natural law that shows the blatant possibility of achieving more with less effort. It teaches you that you can enhance your achievement while escaping the tyranny of overwork.

Hard work, after all, isn’t always productive, but innovative thinking and deducing ways by which things can be done faster and more efficiently is a way of being lazy, however, it makes you creative and productive. This ‘laziness’ is the motive force behind all advancement in human civilization. It is the driving forces behind all technological advancement. All of these is as a result of productive laziness.

You aren’t likely to win when you work your ass out as much as when you rig the odds in your favor (legitimately and fairly). And that means taking advantage of what gives you the advantage i.e., your likes, your gifts, doing what you’re good at and so on. All of these bring out the best in you.

A very good way to waste your time is to keep doing what you don’t like; you’ll never succeed doing that. However, when you focus your energy where there is passion, you can really get much done. That’s the principle of hard work: doing what motivates you to want to work.

less work

Focus on Less

Richard Koch remarks, “Few people take objectives really seriously. They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thoughts and effort into a few important things. People who achieve more are selective as well as determined.” Just imagine a college student, for example, who decides to focus 20 percent of his time on 80 percent of the material to be covered; compared to another fellow who focuses 80 percent of his time on 20 percent of the same material. You can tell the latter will do better compared to the former.

80-20_rule

You might be skeptical about this idea but the author did it ended up with a First Class degree. “Somehow, without working hard, I ended up with a congratulatory First Class degree,” He comments, “I discovered that 80 percent (sometimes 100 percent) of an examination paper could be well answered with knowledge from 20 percent or fewer that the exam was meant to cover.”

Certainly, you can relate to the author’s statement. Most exams only cover the key areas of the subject matter, not all. And the examiners would certainly be much better impressed by a student who knew an awful lot about relatively little, rather than a fair amount about a great deal.

I fear not a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but one who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

—Bruce Lee

Conclusion

Hard work is about focusing on an assigned task. It’s not about trying to do everything. Hard work is about being smart about work; it’s not about being mad about work. Warren Buffet didn’t become a billionaire by working but by investing. That’s focus and smartness. You can achieve more by focusing on an area of heightened ability than with excessive work on something that yields less productivity.