Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is attitude important? Does positive thinking make any difference?

Attitude can make all the difference in most peoples lives. Positive people tend to make positive choices.

Many people suffer from various forms of depression and anxiety disorders. Some are more severe than others and I don't want to minimize that reality for those sufferers with my thoughts on the subject. For them it is very real and scary. They are medicated for a reason and in no way am I suggesting that I'm some sort of expert on that subject but I do have some advice about positive living from my own life that I wish to share.

Your thought life can become your reality. If you label yourself a loser or call yourself dumb all the time eventually your subconscience will accept that analogy. If you believe in yourself and affirm you are bright, intelligent and articulate(which you are) then you will start to experience positive change in your life. The power of positive thinking in various forms has sold millions of books and will continue to do so. There is always another hardball selling type hawking a book and holding seminars. A lot of what they have to say is hocus pocus but there is a truth deep down in there too. Not everyone is going to be rich but you can be happy and prosperous but not necessarily in material means.

Christianity has had its share of snake oil salesmen too with the health and wealth gospel(AKA prosperity Gospel). As a Christ follower I believe God will give me what I need but his works are eternal and far exceed anything our minds can comprehend in this present age. Jesus does say in the gospels that God will provide for those that put their faith in him. John 15:16 is pretty clear...whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. That doesn't mean you will definitely be rich(not that that is precluded) monetarily unless you want to contort it but it does mean you will provided for. God knows what is in your heart. I believe in that promise.

So now that I've got that off my chest back to the task at hand. Can positive thinking make a difference in your life? I will give an example of a man who rose to a position of great power and prominence by always having a positive attitude. A man of great principle who overcame many obstacles along the way.

His father was a lord in the house of lords. A man of great power and influence but also a man who didn't really have the means to provide for his sons education and vocation because of a lavish lifestyle. This young man was determined to be an officer in the calvary and in those days officers got little or no wages since most were from the upper class and even had to pay out of pocket for their horses keep. He, when off duty(which they were about 6 months of the year), went off to serve as a mercenary in Cuba to raise sufficient funds. He also wrote news articles during these conquests which he sold to London papers.

He went on to write books about his escapades and after leaving the military became a full time war correspondent during the Boer War. He was captured during a heroic effort which kept many others from being captured. After a short time in captivity he escaped and managed to evade recapture for quite some time with the help of locals. Soon after his return to Brittain he entered into politics. The first time he stood he lost but was undetered and persevered. Why? Because he believed in his abilities and would not be defeated by defeat.

Once he entered the house he found that he was not a great ad lib speaker and would endeavor to write all his speaches he was to give in the house and commit them to memory. It turned out he was one of the great orators of all time but you would never have known that from his humble beginings. After several years in office he was ousted when his party was swept from power and stood again elsewhere when the opportunity presented itself. He rose to be a prominent cabinet member much like his father had been before him then he did the unthinkable.

He crossed the floor and joined the opposition party because he had reached irreconcilable philosophical differences (that came straight from his core principles) with the then PM. Eventually he was a cabinet member with his new party when he then crossed back over after the leadership of his original party was changed and their priorities back in line with his. He stood for leadership of his party and failed several times before finally as the second world war was fast approaching the then PM stood down because of health reasons. He took his rightful place and once war was declared, the man, Sir Winston Churchill gave one of the all time great rally cries when he delivered the speech which includes this famous section....

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender

So you can see how he overcame a lot with a positive attitude and led his country through dark times into glorious victory(at a very heavy human cost). You too can overcome the obstacles life throws in your way. I know I will and I believe in you too!!! Start with setting small goals and don't be defeated by defeat. You never fail if you learn something in the process. Take the lessons learned, dust yourself off and get back up. Stretch yourself but be sensible about it. Start small and dream big. Your thought life and your self talk is important. Smile and be thankful for what you do have. There is not time for regrets. They do you no good. So have a great day and I really mean that!!

I'll leave you now with some of my favorite Churchill quotes....

-Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

-A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

 -Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

 -Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.

 -History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

-I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.
Many blessings, James

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