While checking out at the grocery store a few months back, I asked the cashier how his day was going. “Well, this morning I woke up and decided it was going to be a great day…so I’m great!” he replied.
What a refreshing presence this man was. It wasn’t so much what he said as how he said it that showed me he wasn’t just being polite. His broad smile, ready laugh, and helpful personality all reflected his state of well-being. Was he facing fewer challenges that day than you or I? Probably not. But his decision to have a great day made it happen.
As an optimist, I understand the power of a positive attitude. Seeing the glass as half-full paves the way for new opportunities. Perceiving the best in others creates interpersonal harmony. Being solution-oriented inspires hope born of action.
At the same time, suffering exists all over the world. Pain has a home in nearly every human heart. So how do you balance a positive outlook with this hard reality? Read more…
For most of my life, Iâ€™ve struggled with perfectionism. One definition of perfectionism, offered by Dictionary.com, is â€śA propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.â€ť There is nothing wrong with having high standards. They cause us to be conscientious, hard-working, and reliable. They inspire us to reach for bigger heights and can lead to great personal and professional success.
The line that crosses into perfectionism is the â€śpropensity for being displeasedâ€ť when these high standards are not met. The need for things to go exactly according to plan causes suffering when they donâ€™t. Perfectionism can trigger self-criticism, judgment of others, and controlling behavior. For many, it’s a defense against anxiety, an attempt to avoid feeling vulnerable or out of control. If youâ€™re like me, it may show up in some areas of your life but not in others. Read more…
While I was waist-deep in writing my book on finding your calling, the economy crashed. Unlike so many news stories, there has been nothing distant and impersonal about this one. The impact is everywhere. People of all ages have been affected by everything from pay cuts to a crippled housing market, a broken health insurance system, high debts, and unemployment. I even watched a New York Times video recently that stated that the unemployment rate for college graduates under twenty-seven is the highest itâ€™s ever been reported.
I began to wonder: In a time full of ground level crises, is finding your calling too lofty a goal? I flipped this question upside down and inside out. And I concluded that the answer is no. The greater the challenges in the world, the more urgently our gifts are needed. There is so much to be done on every level, and we each play a valuable part.
Even if youâ€™ve fallen on tough financial times, here are five cost-free tips for finding and following your calling: Read more…