The degree of truth in our beliefs

I would not die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.”

None of our beliefs are quite true, all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error. The methods of increasing the degree of truth in our beliefs are well known; they consist of hearing all sides, trying to ascertain all the relevant facts, controlling our own bias by discussing with people who have the opposite bias, and cultivating a readiness to discard any hypothesis which has proved inadequate. These methods are practiced in science, and have built up the body of scientific knowledge.” –  Bertrand Russell, British philosopher.

Louis May Alcott said,” He who believes is strong, he who doubt is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand _Russell

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The Gift of Obstacles

An obstacle is not a barrier that prevents us from moving forward in life, it is a gift. It is a blessing. In today’s society, an obstacle is seen as an obstruction to growth, it is seen as a restriction that prevents us from moving forward. The REAL question is, “Is an obstacle a barrier or a gift?”

In Dennis Merriott Jones’ book, The Art of Being: 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life, writes: “As a matter of fact, my observation is that often those who appear to have the greatest challenges in life, with obstacles far larger than my own, seem to see their challenges not as obstacles at all but rather as growth opportunities for forward movement.”

In the same book, Thomas Carlyle wrote, “The block of granite, which is an obstacle in the way of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the stone.

Let an obstacle be your stepping-stone to the next level in your life, and in your career.

When it comes to an obstacle, the question is, ” How do you see obstacles?”

Do you see an obstacle as a barrier? 

How do you see yourself? Are you a “victor” or a “victim“?

It is your decision to make.

Life is the sum of all your choices.”- Albert Camus

It is up to you whether you want to call yourself a “victor” or a “victim.”

Earl Nightingale said, “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” If you call yourself a “victim”, you will be one. If you call yourself a “victor”, you will be one. Be careful what you ask for.

Let’s see what other thinkers are saying, or have said about “circumstances/obstacles”:

Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Zig Ziglar said, “It’s not what happens to you that matters. It’s how you respond to what happens to you that makes a difference.

Dr. M. Scott Peck writes, “It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.” “Everything that happens in life is there to aid our spiritual growth.

Are these thinkers right or wrong?

The Practice Of Forgiveness

There is no life without forgiveness. Why do we forgive people? Why do we forgive those that wronged us? We have been betrayed by our loved ones, friends, bosses, co-workers, even by our elected officials.

How do we forgive those that have wronged us?

According to Marianne Williamson, “The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.” 

Are we ready to forgive? Maybe, maybe not.

But when we are ready to forgive people that hurt us, the following could happen, according Philip Yancey, in his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace,:

  • Forgiveness -undeserved, unearned- can cut the cords and let the oppressive burden of guilt roll away;
  • Forgiveness can loosen the stranglehold of guilt in the perpetrator;
  • Forgiveness alone can halt the cycle of blame and pain, breaking the chain of ungrace;
  • Forgiveness offers a way out. It does not settle all questions of blame and fairness- often it pointedly evades those questions- but it does allow a relationship to start over, to begin anew;
  • Lewis Smedes points out, “The first and often the ONLY person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who forgives……When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

Further, in the same process of forgiving people and ourselves, Lewis Smedes details this process of “spiritual surgery”: When you forgive someone, you slice away the wrong from the person who did it. You disengage that person from their hurtful act. You recreate them. At one moment you identify them ineradicably as the person who did you wrong. The next moment you change that identity. They are remade in our memory. You think of them now not as the person who hurt you, but a person who needs you. You feel them now not as the person who alienated you, but as the person who belongs to you. Once you branded him as a person powerful in evil, but now you see him as person weak in his needs. You recreated your past by recreating the person whose wrong made your past painful.”

If we refuse to forgive people who hurt us, we are in a self-created prison, and we can never freely move forward. We cannot change. We will live in the past forever.

Questions for you:

  1. Do you want to do that to yourself?
  2. Do you want to destroy the “beautiful” life that God has created for you?
  3. Do you want to live in a permanent darkness?
  4. Do you want to live in prison for the rest of your life?

If yes to these questions listed above, good for you.

If no to these questions listed above, do it now!

50 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed in Life

Success means different things to different people. But there are so many reasons people don’t succeed in life. Here are just a few:

  1. They believe they can’t succeed.
  2. They lack self-confidence
  3. They have low-self esteem
  4. They have a fixed-mindset
  5. They don’t think creatively
  6. They surround themselves with small thinkers
  7. They cannot manage their environment
  8. They are not happy
  9. They lack social connections
  10. They don’t take initiatives
  11. They don’t get things done. They are procrastinators
  12. They don’t invest in themselves
  13. They set unrealistic goals
  14. They surround themselves with the wrong people
  15. They don’t follow-through
  16. They think failure all the time
  17. They stop learning anything new.
  18. They don’t think/act big.
  19. They are in the wrong profession
  20. They embrace mind-defeating strategies to problem-solving
  21. They give up too soon
  22. They underestimate their brainpower
  23. They don’t learn from their mistakes
  24. They are wishful thinkers
  25. They engage in self-destructive behaviors
  26. They don’t smile
  27. They don’t know themselves
  28. They wait for people to approve their actions
  29. They compete with small-minded people
  30. They live in the past
  31. They don’t live in the moment
  32. They live in the future
  33. They don’t stretch their minds
  34. They believe it cannot be done
  35. They focus on talking, instead of listening
  36. They don’t write things down
  37. They hate feedback
  38. They can’t control their thoughts
  39. They don’t dress right
  40. They are masters of unethical behaviors
  41. They hate their jobs
  42. They don’t manage their relationships well
  43. They spread common talks about anything
  44. They are poor time managers
  45. They don’t think they are important
  46. They talk, but no actions
  47.  They focus on results
  48. They don’t understand that ideas alone won’t bring success
  49. They are great manipulators
  50. They are financially irresponsible

And many more…..