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Problem Solving

Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Sound familiar? So , how do you begin to change so you will get a better end result? One thought at a time. Sounds silly, but is, nonetheless, true.

Every day, life presents us with situations/lessons in disguise. How you respond to them is entirely up to you, your thought processes, your emotions, and your choices. Sometimes, we feel that circumstances dictate our responses, which can be partially true. I am not referring to “exiting a burning building” or “danger–run!” I am discussing things like an escalating argument where one participates in that escalation. Nowhere is it written that one must respond in kind till a situation gets out of hand. One can always withdraw from the room, decide to keep silent, or even listen with a verbal acknowledgement of what the other person is stating (which is the best way to defuse it according to Anger Management techniques). My Golden Rule which I have used successfully for many years: It takes two to fight – if one is unwilling, it cannot happen.

I am not addressing abuse situations where a victim and an abuser, either through emotional or physical actions, fuse into a deadly dance. Professional help is needed in those cases.

There are situations where we choose our response because of exterior demands: Working with a person with Dementia, sickness, disability, etc. We modify our own words through training, caring, or loving response.

Problem solving can begin as a written exercise, where one sits down with pen and paper (or computer or other electronic device) with the intent of brain-storming ideas for solutions. Then you take each item and contemplate its positive and negative merits. It may take time to really think it through. It can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. It may take several tries to come up with something you are ready, willing, and able to do. Just remember, you need to know that a resolution exists and you can find it, use it, and release that problem through whatever action you deem appropriate.

Just endlessly talking about a problem with numerous people does not change it. In fact, it can magnify it. The more you think about it without any solution that you can believe in, the more it becomes a permanent resident. If that is what you want, keep talking. If not, begin to look for a way to resolve it.

Life is a precious thing. It is more than an endless conundrum of existence, like a hamster in a squirrel cage, going round and round endlessly. One must come up with a different idea if you want out of said cage.

How do you begin? Answer: One step at a time.

Most situations do not change overnight. Yet, persistent effort to accomplish a different outcome does not go unrewarded. Every little bit begins a new synergy, which in and of itself, can accomplish more than going around in that cage another time. It is worthy of your thoughts so that you might find a new way to live.

Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Small Steps

Small Steps

 

Are You Singing Your Song?

Maya Angelou said: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer — it sings because it has a song.”

The Carpenters sang:

“Sing”

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.
Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don’t worry that it’s not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

I personally think they got it exactly right, like the Little Bear’s chair, porridge, and bed in the Goldilocks tale.

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Robert Southey

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She  went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge.  Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.

So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

“This porridge is too cold,” she said

So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.

After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired.  So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs.  Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.

“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.

So she sat in the second chair.

“This chair is too big, too!”  she whined.

So she tried the last and smallest chair.

“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed.  But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom.  She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard.  Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft.  Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right.  Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too” said the Mama bear

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears.  She screamed, “Help!”  And she jumped up and ran out of the room.  Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest.  And she never returned to the home of the three bears.

THE END

I put in this story because I think that the stories I loved as a child are becoming lost and are not being told anymore.

We all have a song to sing, whether it is in tune or not, whether it sounds good or not, and whether anyone likes it or not. We each have something to contribute to this world. We are each made unique, with our own set of gifts that no one else possesses. We may not know what these gifts are and may never unwrap them in our lifetimes. Isn’t that a sad thought? I see it repeatedly in the lives of people I know.

“Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

This truth rings in my heart every day. It is why I put so much effort into both my blog and http://www.WFosterWelborn.com blog and his books. I want his song to be heard by as many as seek to know his works. The effort I have put forth has been blessed as the messages have reached out to others around the globe. I shall continue to sing my song.

How about you? Isn’t it time for you to unwrap your gifts and start singing as well?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

The old Classic

Perfectionism

Is there such a thing as a PERFECT WORLD? Somewhere, is there a UTOPIA? Or is it just an IMPOSSIBLE DREAM?

There are people who actually must believe that MISTAKES never happen. I do not think they know that erasers are still put on pencils because they do.

I have had to learn how to deal with my Perfectionism. I have had to modify it so I can live on this planet. I have had to come to peace in my mind that I need to soften my expectations.  In my mind’s eye, I have to aim at an area the size of a washtub instead of a little tiny hole, which is the absolutism of Perfectionism, like in playing golf. I have to give myself some “wiggle room.” If one is dealing with a child, one expects a child to wiggle and get off course a bit. Yet we deny ourselves that possibility. Why is that?

Do we have an Authority Figure between our ears who dictates to us and beats us up inside if PERFECTION is not accomplished? Every single time? In every instance?

Yes, Perfect can be a possibility some of the time. But I need to remind myself that my goals need to be adjusted according to the requirements. If one is programming the course of a rocket or a space module, PERFECT is absolutely required with no room for error. However, for most things on this planet, CLOSE can work rather well.

For one thing, PERFECT takes a lot of time and effort. I have to ask myself if the goal is worth it. Sometimes, it is. However, most of the time, it really isn’t. I always try to do the best job I can, using as much effort as I can to do something right the first time. I don’t intentionally make mistakes that require something to be redone. However, as with all humans, sometimes it does happen to all of us.

The question is, do we want to become paranoid because we are less than perfect and may make a mistake?

That translates into fear, which incapacitates the mind and disables the functioning capability which is part of our innate system.

Life is like archery: one learns how to shoot the arrow the best one can, one takes aim, and then one releases the arrow towards the target, win, lose or draw. Once released, its trajectory cannot be altered unless it hits an obstruction, like a branch. The end results tell the tale. Once one releases the arrow, angst about where it will hit will not change the arrow’s trajectory.

Yet, in real life, we add the angst every single moment over every little detail. This angst is bad for our physical health, our mind, and our body. It registers as higher blood pressure, a sense of nervousness, the “fight or flight” message to our adrenal glands, etc. It can cause us to make poor choices of food and other behaviors, eating or smoking to calm ourselves down.

Are you willing to give yourself some “wiggle room?” Can you adjust your expectations so that you can opt for PERFECT or CLOSE, as needed? Can you forgive yourself for MISTAKES and move on?

Just a note in passing: Procrastination ALWAYS has an element of PERFECTIONISM in it, causing you to delay acting at all. That is worth thinking about.

You are the only one who is at the helm of your ship. How will you sail it? Where will you sail it? What is your destination? Are you enjoying your journey? Only you can decide these things.

God’s blessing be upon you!

Daily Resolutions vs. New Year’s Resolutions

Newspapers and magazines are filled with articles this time of year about New Year’s Resolutions. Many people make magnificent resolutions that, if carried out, would make a big difference in their lives. Some even take action to make those resolutions come true: They buy a gym membership to be more healthy; they buy a book on “How To…” with the express intent of achieving their goal; they buy exercise equipment; they buy Stop Smoking patches or remedies. Then daily life takes over. Time crunches arrive. Decision time: “Do I take the effort to keep my resolution or do I not?” “I’m tired.”  “It’s late.”  “I’ve had a hard day.” “I’m so stressed out that I need a cigarette to calm me down.” Almost any excuse becomes a reason to delay working on the resolution. What seemed marvelous as an ideal soon loses its glamour when faced with the price tag attached…and there is always a price tag attached, whether it can be seen or not. Perhaps we like to create mountains that we think we can climb, imagining ourselves overcoming obstacles and ending up victorious. Then, when the energy ebbs away from the initial resolution, disillusionment settles in, accompanied by a feeling of some degree of failure most of the time.

What if, in lieu of sweeping, substantial resolutions, you begin by making a bargain with yourself: Make a simple Daily Resolution that would, if carried out consistently, begin to make a change you can live with and actually achieve? Small steps represent choices you can make. Taken collectively and over time, you can, indeed, create possibilities in your life that could bring you gifts of all kinds…intangibles including joy, peace, laughter, wisdom, understanding, as well as tangible results that are measurable such as the loss of a pound or two, or you actually cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoked that day, or you exercised by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or you signed up for a yoga class and really enjoyed doing it so you kept at it. No choice is too small to matter. Begin with where you are today and look for a possible step that will take you in the right direction.

It has been asked, How do you eat an elephant? Answer, one bite at a time. So, are you willing to make the effort to make a simple Daily Resolution? Your future is in your capable hands, today.

Whatever this New Year holds for you, may you be blessed with your highest good and an abundance of Life expressing through you as you.

Colorado Mountain

Colorado Mountain

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