Populie: Always Be Positive … April 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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black eye smiley faceTo review: a POPULIE is an idea which is popular but is laced with a lie.

It is something we agree to when we’re around large groups of people, but privately either question or dismiss as irrelevant when applying it to our own lives.

One of these is the contention that it is important in all of our dealings to “always be positive.”

Politics loves it because promises get votes. Reality often scares people away.

Entertainment favors this particular populie of “always be positive” because it gives them an ending to a movie that the audience members can predict, making them feel smart and preferably, happy.

And religion touts this precept because we have this imbalanced notion that faith is about believing that good things will always happen because God is in control. (Of course, on the flip side, spiritually it makes us believe that when bad things happen, we’re being punished.)

I think the most important question we can ask is what kind of people does this create and what kind of society does it evolve?

If you’re going to live a life where you’re always trying to be positive, you will view trials, tribulations and hassles as deterrents to your cause instead of little friends–pesky as they are–who come along to warn you of fallacies in your plans.

So if you’ll allow me to offer an alternative to this populie:

THE CORE OF FOUR

Yes, let me introduce you to the Core of Four.

We need to determine what our outlook should be in any given situation. To get this information, simply ask four quick questions:

1. What do I see?

Faith is not about poking your eyes out until you become blind. Faith is about accepting what you see, but then also being able to see beyond it, to further possibilities. You will never be successful if you’re not able to deal with reality. Matter of fact, one of the signs of mental illness is the insistence that reality should “go away.”

2. What do I believe?

Sometimes the things you want to accomplish are not yet seen, but the need for them is still in existence. Belief is a wonderful combination of what we see, what we desire and what we’re willing to endure.

3. What will I do?

A positive attitude is quickly killed off by an unwillingness to participate. I won’t tell people I think a plan will work if I cannot commit to them how I will be involved. For after all, nice words and encouraging prayers are not very helpful in the heat of the struggle.

4. And finally, what are the prospects?

As I take a look at what I see, what I believe and what I’m willing to do, it pretty quickly becomes obvious what the logical prospects are for the adventure.

After this evaluation, I can choose my profile.

  • Often I can be passionately positive, because my “see, believe, do and conclusions” are very encouraging.
  • On other occasions, it’s important to be realistic. That which I see, believe, and am willing to do show my prospects to be within the realm of possibility–but maybe not quite as fruitful as I once thought.
  • And finally, there are times when it is required for us to be needfully negative. What we see, believe, and are willing to do has brought forth prospects which show that this particular endeavor is doomed.

A fruitful process. It is the absence of the populie which tells us that we should walk around with a smirk on our face, saying that everything will be fine, when secretly we’re dying inside.

Don’t forget your Core of Four. This will help you to choose the right attitude to approach each and every opportunity.

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Doorways… March 12, 2013

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doorToday my left knee hurts. I had plans for it, including a lovely walk in the park. Yet my knee is reluctant, if not rebellious to the concept, and truthfully, will  become very sore with me if I pursue present plans.

So now what?

I have outlined to you is the whole quandary of life.

We have ideas. We make plans. We probably even become enthusiastic about the prospects. Often we purchase things to enhance these desires.

Then the whole thing falls apart. We universally refer to this malady as “problems.”

For instance, I could tell you that I was planning to go for a walk in the park, but a “problem” has arisen because my knee hurts. Most of you would nod your heads in agreement, sympathetically aware that such trials and ttribulations are just a part of our existence and that we patiently need to trust talent, life, God or whatever comes to our minds, to pull us through these hassles and hindrances.

But let me ask a question. What if it isn’t that way at all? What if the only real “problem” with human life is complacency? What if God–who is much smarter than us, by the way–knows that the only way to progress the human spirit, is by digressing our tendency to settle in on one thing, determined to remain.

For if God and life were to leave us to our own devices, we would find the most comfortable corner of the room with a pillowy chair, and cozy up to the least challenging possibility surrounding us.

What’s wrong with that?

The second most dangerous condition in human beings, after complacency, is boredom. All sin is born out of some form of boredom.

So problems come along to move us through the path of life so we don’t have to deal with nearly as many disasters. They are similar to the little earthquakes that occur to release the pressure on the fault lines, inhibiting a larger, more destructive shaking.

So let’s stop calling them problems. They are doorways.

My knee hurts today because for the past forty-eight hours I have given it a real workout. Without the pain, I might overdo it and create more permanent damage instead of temporary discomfort which can be alleviated through a day of rest.

In other words, without pain, there is no healing. Without healing, there is no improvement in health. And without improvement in health, there is no sense of enthrallment with the continuation of life.

What if everything that happens to us is a doorway to get us from our bedroom and  into a more expansive living space? Is there any basis for this idea?

“All things work together to the good … ”

You ever hear those words? “All things work together to the good…”

Really? Does that mean my aggravated knee, if viewed as a doorway instead of a problem, is going to take me on a journey today, which if I do not resist, will generate a new goodness unforeseen?

My answer is yes. And if you don’t believe that, you might have a tendency to live a life of a ping-pong ball, struck by divine inspiration, only to be propelled across the table to a paddle of evil, which smacks you back down to earth.

I will not be pinged and I will not be ponged.

I will not fight my pain. My pain is necessary; my pain is revelatory. My pain is divine information that there is something good out there waiting for me if I will just refuse to become depressed by the change of plans and instead, propel myself through the doorway.

For after all, there are many adventures yet to be experienced, where we discover that life is more than just a walk through the park.

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The Trouble With Trouble … January 15, 2013

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boat in high windThe same breeze that fills our sails also blows down our fences. Is it an angelic blessing or a demonic curse? Actually, the wind is just rapid air movement, which we can either harness to use for power or has the seeming ability to place us in the harness.

Here’s what I know: everything that has happened in my life has brought me to where I am, which generally speaking is good. And the only thing that will ever be totally detrimental is whatever kills me.

So how can we remember that in the midst of facing the hassles and nastiness that come our way–to somehow retain the objectivity that all things work together to the good?

I have a four-step process that I follow whenever the storm starts blowing my way and I am not sure whether it’s just trouble, or an opportunity to correct my direction:

1. I grab five minutes. I don’t care if people are hurrying me to make a decision. I am not interested in being pressured. If I don’t have five minutes to set aside to calm down my blood pressure, allowing my heart, spirit and mind to create a working team of solution, then I have already admitted failure and have given into the worst possible scenario coming my way. You would be amazed at how much better you feel after five minutes of non-reaction. After all, the brain shuts down from seeking new solutions because the spirit is not seeking new ideas. And the spirit is not sending new ideas because the emotions are not seeking counsel, but are rather trying to take over the show. Five minutes.

2. I start looking for God‘s sense of humor. I think we fail to realize what a card and a comic our heavenly Father is. It’s not that He’s laughing AT us, it’s just that He knows we are better people when we laugh with Him and consider chuckling about ourselves. If you’re looking to buy a new car and you can’t make the decision, what better way for God to point you in the right direction than to let your old car break down? That’s just a giggle fest. But it takes five minutes of clear thinking to find God’s sense of humor.

3. After that, I always find–at least ninety per cent of the time–that it is better to adjust to the wind than it is to push into it. Some people call this compromise and consider it distasteful. They are also the folks who appear determined–as they crash their boat on the  rocks. Human life is much more about evolution than creation. Don’t forget that. The times I have pushed on ahead, I have found myself in a desert place, very alone, absent wisdom, devoid answers and seemingly without God. Adjust, don’t push.

4. And finally, celebrate the breather. Some of us never get the chance to enjoy our lives, consider the lily or hug our families if something doesn’t stop us–which appears to be troublesome but actually is just a command to enjoy. I have had a broken down vehicle alongside the road and turned it into a family picnic, a conversation about life or a great card game with my children, and was actually sad when the repairman told me we were ready to go.

You see, the trouble with trouble is that it’s not always trouble. Blessing and cursing look the same until you take five minutes to trace their source.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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