What Do You See?

What Do You See?Two people can be together, at the same time, at the same place, and see two totally different worlds. Let’s think about that.

Do you know people who always see a bright hopeful world? On the other hand, do you know people who consistently see a world of failure and despair?

What’s the difference?

Picture two people standing together looking at and dealing with the same world going on around them. A difficult situation has presented itself to both at the same time.

One has a smile and is thinking of all the good things that are going to happen today; or she is clearly recognizing the issue and considering the ways she can deal with the issue and get beyond it. She sees a solution around every bend in the road.

The other is downcast and completely overcome by the issue as he sees it. There’s no hope. There’s no future. He might as well go back to bed or get a strong drink or something else to mask his painful prospects. He sees failure like a prison wall. There’s no way out of the sadness.

The former has developed the habit of hope. She knows that any problem can be solved. She believes that she already solved this problem and it’s just a matter of uncovering the solution. Her habit lets her approach every issue in life as just a bump in the road; certainly not a barrier..

The latter wallows in the habit of despair. He is convinced that the world is going to dump on him again just like it has so many times before. His habit is dwelling on all the negative things that have happened or that might happen. He may be caught up in reliving anger; or fear, or embarrassment, or guilt and shame; or victimhood.

His negative thinking completely blocks everything from his mind. He couldn’t see hope even if it were standing there right in front of him.

The irony of his pain is that it’s not usually happening right now. He’s ruminating on the pain of something that happened in the past; sometimes many years in the past.

He can’t get beyond the pain because he keeps recreating it by dwelling on it again and again.

It’s entirely possible that what he thinking about actually did happen. But chances are it’s not actually happening again today. But he’s thinking about it and feeling the pain just as if it were happening all over again.

What do You See?Dr. Ben Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who grew up in the poverty of Detroit, Michigan. He gives his mother credit for his success. What would have happened if his mother had seen only the despair of the Detroit slums instead of the hope that an education offered her sons. Click here to learn more about Dr. Carson.

What do You See?Helen Keller, at age seven, was a wild, undisciplined child who lived in a dark, silent world brought on by an illness as an infant. What would have happened if Anne Sullivan had not had the vision of hope that gave her patience to teach Keller how to communicate and to learn? What would the world have lost without Anne Sullivan’s hope? Learn more.

What do You See?For three years, Anne Frank kept a diary of life as she saw it while hidden in an Amsterdam attic with her Jewish family. She saw hope in the middle of despair and death and shared with the world.

More about Anne Frank

What do You See?

What would have happened to America if the millions and millions of immigrants had given in to the fear of the unknown and just hunkered down where they were, imprisoned by despair? Much of the richness, color, and texture of American society would have never been enjoyed. More on Ellis Island.

Given a few minutes, you could make quite a list of people past and present who have risen above circumstances because they could see hope.

In the same few minutes, you can probably make a list of people who never quite made it because they couldn’t see beyond their failure and faults.

Negative thinking has the capacity to make us blind to hope; to success; to peace;

People of faith often use a technique of counting their blessings to overcome times of difficulty. Counting blessings can become a habit that slams the door on negative thinking.

People of faith can also overcome circumstances by singing or speaking praise to their God. That too becomes a habit leading to peace and purpose.

But what if you’re not a person of faith?

All of us are made with a capacity to choose what we let ourselves think about. If a negative thought of a past hurt or shame pushes into our mind, we can simply and effectively dismiss that thought by saying something like, “I take that thought captive;” or “I will not think about that.” Do that and the thought always goes away.

It will probably come back and you can dismiss it again; and again; and again.

Dismiss it consistently and a part of your mind learns that you don’t want to think that thought and your mind dismisses it automatically.

When your mind is free of the thoughts that blind you, even for a few minutes, you have time to rationally consider your circumstances and make decisions that will lead you to a life of peace and hope.

Someone just thought, “That’s too simple. It won’t work for me.”

I suggest that you should immediately dismiss that thought and enjoy a moment of peace. Dismiss it again and enjoy a minute of peace.

Develop the habit of peace; it’s part of your nature if you let yourself see it.

These thoughts were prompted after reading a piece in The Upper Room by Sue McCoulough of Great Britain. http://devotional.upperroom.org/devotionals/2014-01-02.

Resources you can use.

The author has developed an online course, Finding Personal Peace, that simply and effectively shows you how to develop a habit of peace and then how to apply what you’ve learned to making better life choices and in dealing with pesky life habits.

You can learn more about and enroll in this free course at http://findingpersonalpeace.com.

What do you see? If you see hope and victory, that’s great. If you see despair and failure, that doesn’t have to be your future. Find and enjoy peace starting today.

I hope Finding Personal Peace helps you with your sadness as much as it helped me with my anger.

What do You See?

Rod Peeks

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!

P.S. We’ve written several short stories with some good life lessons. You can check them out by searching by category at the right. My son told me that Ben’s Story gave him something think about in his life. Thanks.


Relationships – COP AN ATTITUDE!

Your attitude toward your relationship is far more important than you may think.

Relationships - COP AN ATTITUDE!

“Cop a Bad Attitude; Lose a Relationship”

If you value a relationship; if there is love; if there is the joy of good fellowship; if there is any affection or compassion toward another person, I encourage you to cop an attitude.

Let me explain what I mean.

I’ve gotten some funny looks at times when I’ve tried to encourage someone, especially a young person, by telling them I like their attitude.

In street vernacular, to cop an attitude means to “take a negative or opposite attitude about something.” It’s also known as “tude.” I would certainly never suggest that I like a negative attitude that I see in someone.

An attitude is “a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards (together called stimuli).”

So when I tell someone I like their attitude, I’m saying I like the way the present themselves or respond to the situations around them.

The origin of the word “cop” as used here is a slang term used to mean “pick, to take hold of, to catch.

So, in the sense I use “to Cop an Attitude” I saying you need to take hold of or to catch a predisposition to respond positively toward your relationship.

So what attitudes should you cop if you want a healthy relationship?

  • You can show love toward the relationship
  • You can be united in spirit with your partner
  • You can be intent on shared purposes
  • You can show humility.
  • You can avoid promoting yourself ahead of your partner
  • You can be unselfish
  • You can regard your partner as more important than yourself
  • You can look out for your spouse’s, child’s, friend’s interests before your own
  • You can speak the truth judiciously
  • You can respect the space of your partner
  • You can encourage and lift up at every opportunity
  • You can be quick to forgive and diligent to forget offenses

Do you have a problem here?

Do any of these attitudes that I say you should “cop” give you a little heartburn?

Do you find yourself thinking “I can’t do that” or “That’s not fair?”

Before you walk away from a casual relationship or create a lot of stress in a permanent relationship (like marriage and parenthood), I encourage you to examine your thinking about why you resist copping one of these attitudes.

Have your brought some baggage into the relationship from your past experiences that is making things difficult in this relationship? You can get rid of that baggage?

Are you judging your relationship partner based on criteria formed in earlier situations? You can dump those criteria.

Are you expecting your relationship partner to conform to a pattern from your past that may be based on faulty suppositions? You can break that pattern.

Do you find yourself copping a negative attitude in your relationship in response to hurts from the past? You can soften or remove that pain.

Finding Personal Peace will show you how to get rid of the baggage, dump the criteria, break the patterns, or deal with the pain that is causing you trouble in relationships today.

Check it out.

Relationships - COP AN ATTITUDE!


P.S. If you’re wondering where I got this list of attitudes you need to cop; I got them from the Bible in Philippians 2:1-5.

Thanks for reading our blog today. I invite you to respond in several ways: (1) Comment in the space below if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said. A dialogue could be interesting for all; (2) Share the post with your friends using the buttons below; and (3) sign up to get an email with each new post. There’s a place to do that on the right. Then you won’t have to remember to look for our subsequent posts. Thanks again!