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Paul Hayden

Life’s Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

May 8, 2023

Here’s a thought for you. God loves you just the way you are, but God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. So let's go onwards and upwards.

Today, I'd like to bring awareness on managing weapons of mass distraction such as discouragement, stress, trouble, or criticism which impede our quality of life. I will use powerful quotes by many people, accessing their potent wisdom in effecting change for the better. All quoted statements are in the public domain. I hope this article releases inspiration and application, giving a road map to those ready to step forward and upward.

Does life stress you out right now? If so, here's something to remember. "A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well." God says this about striving. "See those mountains you are carrying; you were supposed to climb them." Remember, "Don't despair when you see what is happening around you; even Moses started as a basket case." “Sometimes when you're in a dark place, you think you're buried, but actually, you’ve been planted.”

Adjusting your focus, "If you don't like something, and it's not essential or significant, just take away its only power: your attention." "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." The solution? "When life shuts a door...open it again. It's a door. That's how doors work." However, if the door stays closed after multiple attempts, it may be someone else’s door. Don’t quit. Find your door. 

Are you distracted or troubled about your age catching up with you? Consider this: “Wrinkles mean you laughed, grey hair means you cared, and scars mean you lived." "So far, you have survived 100% of your worst days." And remember, "There are people on this earth who would love to have your bad days." Another thought, "One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can't change." More wisdom, "No one is going to stand and say at your funeral, 'She had an expensive couch and great shoes.' Don't make life about stuff." 

Are you distracted by others judging you? Even if you made the biggest mistake ever, you need to say to them and yourself, “Do not judge my life by the chapter you walked in on.” Do you realize, “You had a purpose before others had an opinion?” Remember, “An offense is an event. Being offended is a choice. Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it.” 

A general truth about those who judge harshly is, "Those least qualified to condemn you will. And those most qualified to condemn you won't." So chew up the meat and spit out the bones when others criticize you. "Life is a camera: Focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, when you take a bad photo, take another shot." Finally, "Consider the turtle. It only makes progress when it sticks its neck out."

Are you distracted by your associates or friends' constant drama? Be wise. "You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully." In other words, if you hang around with five drama kings and queens, you are about to become the sixth drama king or queen. Be discerning. "Some talk to you in their free time, and some free their time to talk to you. Learn the difference." "When you finally learn how much you are worth, you will stop giving discounts." Know your value, then add tax. Hello?

Here are some ‘equipping you for life’ quotes. “The world is filled with nice people. If you can't find one, be one.” “Let your smile change the world but don't let the world change your smile.” “Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.” “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” “Before you assume, get the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think.”

How’s this for living large? “Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. How you leave others feeling after transacting is your trademark.” 

Please have confidence in God supplying you with the power to apply this wisdom. “Faith is like a toothbrush. Every person should have one and use it regularly, but they shouldn't try to use someone else's.”

I love this final thought about life's ups, downs, and all around, written by an unknown author.        

“Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a gift – accept it. Life is an adventure – dare it. Life is a sorrow – overcome it. Life is a tragedy – face it. Life is a duty – perform it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a mystery – unfold it. Life is a song – sing it. Life is an opportunity – take it. Life is a journey – complete it. Life is a promise – fulfill it. Life is a beauty – praise it. Life is a struggle – fight it. Life is a goal – achieve it. Life is a puzzle – solve it. Life is eternal – believe it.”

Never stop learning because ‘God-life’ never stops teaching.

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com