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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Oh My, It Can't Be Done

 Do you often think about difficulties, failure and disasters?

Do you keep thinking about the negative news you have seen on the TV or read in the newspapers?

Do you see yourself stuck and unable to improve your life or your health?

Do you frequently think that you do not deserve happiness or money, or that it is too difficult to get them?

When we close our minds to the possibility of new opportunities, we behave in manners that repel people and cause opportunities to die. Negative thinking, unfortunately, is more prevalent than positive thinking. Why? Positive thinking definitely requires more action than being cynical, so many of us choose to pattern our thoughts after the most negative views because these views are so prevalent and, therefore, easy to accept through our passive minds.

The media is one powerful source of negative information. Usually, the most miserable stories makes headlines. All the bad news, scandals, and other negativity flow from the media and easily sink into our subconscious minds. Later, this mind set manifests as a habitual manner of thinking. We have become bleating sheep of pessimism as our main influence, the media, stokes the fires of gloom and agony with tragedy after tragedy.

Stephanie Staples ("The Pursuit of Happiness," Nurse Together LLC, 2009) relates the frustration and waste of spending too much time on rehashing old problems. Stephanie believes the pursuit of happiness occurs the very moment we decide to stop waiting for better times and accept some simple principles at hand. Happiness is within  our control and not solely dependent upon others. She says a lesson from the King of Bhutan, a tiny country in the Eastern Himalayas, is very enlightening. The King coined “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) to connect with the Buddhist notion that the ultimate purpose of life is inner happiness. Here is the key to GNH:

· take and hoard less; give and share more 
· complain and criticize less; accept and praise more 
· work and frown less; smile, laugh and play more

Staples says, "I have long been fascinated by the stories of people who have overcome tremendous odds and come out on top. You’ve seen these people too, haven’t you? They have been your patients, your colleagues, your friends. I have always wondered what makes some people succumb to adversity, whether it is illness or misfortune, and what makes other people overcome it. Working with hundreds of inspiring people has taught me many things, not the least of which is the answer to my own question. Happy people, successful people, fulfilled people and people who overcome adversity have simply decided to do so."

Tony Price (a Boston-based sports reporter, collegiate athletics administrator, and head basketball coach) laments about the problems of marketing his book, An Unsung Coach: Lessons on Coaching and Life (2009). He finds getting his message of "showing black athletes there is more to life than just sports" to the masses is exceedingly difficult. Price contends the following:

"Maybe it’s because I’m not a celebrity, maybe it’s because no one wants to admit there is a problem, borderline epidemic that thousands of young people are pinning their futures on becoming pro-athletes or entertainers to no avail without a back up plan.  

"Maybe if I spread gossip, or slandered someone’s name, talked about all of the stuff we now call news, I’d become the next great literary sensation with a calendar filled with events and appearances.  I just don’t get it at times I feel like scrapping the whole mission and jumping on the “Give the people what they want” bandwagon.

But, in the end, Price accepts his lot, promotes his stand, and fights the odds. Along the way, he accepts small victories and enjoys his small steps of positivity. He remains hopeful that the message he has to share will eventually flower. Price concludes: "I leave you with this thought; the results you seek when trying to fulfill your purpose may be slow to come and at times will cause you to question if you are in fact walking in the right direction, but don’t give up, if God gave you the vision press on, an keep your eyes and ears open as the rewards may come in small packages!"

About Tony Price

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