A set back is a set up for a come back

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Motivational Speaker/Author/Life Coach

A sling shot is quite an interesting weapon.  In order for it to be effective it must be pulled back a considerable distance and released in order for the stone it propels to achieve its greatest thrust and trajectory. 

I find that to be a wonderful analogy to experiences in life.  There are times that with your best efforts and planning, things happen.  The vicissitudes  of life often bring so many things your way that life may appears in some strange way to be cruel and mean.  It was Thomas Hobbs who said that life is nasty, brutish and short.

The sudden and unexpected pains and disappointments of life have caused so many people to live lives of frustration, anxiety and fear.  More persons are victims of anxiety attacks, sleeplessness and other growing health issues.   A recent survey revealed that over 9 million American adults are consuming sleeping pills regularly.  This surveys says that the users are mostly educated older women.   Many users do so to cope with  the ravages of life.  

Life has many things that set us back from our dreams and aspirations.  The growing incidence and different varieties of cancer would not only set one back if one were to become its victim but it would also be a set back if a loved one suffers from this dreadful disease.   Certainly a serious illness would take ones life down unknown paths for an indefinite period of time with uncertain endings.  This could take its mental and physical roll on anyone regardless of how strong or motivated that person may be.

Yet, sickness is only one of life’s set backs.  There are so many others including a financial crisis that leaves a person unable to pay bills and to fund their dreams.  An emotional occurrence such as a broken love or family relationship could send a person’s life for a loop and leave many deep scars.

Whatever your set back in life, you could either be consumed with depression or you could  remember the sling shot.   As the sling shot, your seemingly unfortunate circumstances could be setting you up for a significant come back in your life.  The story is told of a young boy whose dream was to become a doctor.  He was doing well in his grades and everything was in place for his dreams to come through.  Then, tragedy struck.  His father , who worked extra hard to make enough money to send his son away to study medicine, succumbed to a massive heart attack.  His mother, an unemployed but dedicated wife and mother was devastated.  She went in search of employment.  She worked three low paying jobs per day.   At the end of each day she was extremely weak through exhausted.   The  stresses of life, work and caring for her  son began to take its toll on her health.  Less than one year of the passing of his father, his mother’s kidney failed causing her to go on dialysis and she could no longer work to help him achieve his dreams.

What a set back in life.  His dream of becoming a doctor faded each passing day.  This young man dropped out of school to care for his ailing mother.  He accepted what ever manual work he could get.  His many journeys to the hospital to see his mother and his tears at her bedside attracted the attention of the doctor who came each day to attend to his mother.  The doctor was young, married and successful but had no children.  The story goes on to say that the doctor too lost his father at a tender age.  Over time the boy and the doctor became close friends.  With a gleam in his eyes, he told the doctor of his dream to qualify as a doctor one day.  

One month later the boys mother died leaving him an orphan.  The doctor adopted him, and provided everything he needed to finish his education and attend one of the top medical institutions.  Today that boy is a successful medical specialist his earning is among the top of anyone in the field.  

Though he experienced the pain of losing both his parents, it was providential that he met his adopted parents who facilitated his dreams.  His set back was indeed a set up for a come back. Expect yours too.

To book Michael please go to his website at www.michaelatstewart.com or call 868-635-1801 

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Are there blessings in receiving

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Michael A.T. Stewart
Motivational Speaker/Author

 

 

We have been taught from very young by our parents that we should be good givers.  Our religious teachings promote freewill giving.  No one discounts therefore the virtue in giving, after all the bible itself quoted Jesus when Paul himself reminded us of His statement, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I wish to challenge your minds a bit however and focus on the blessings in receiving.

I admit that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.  The translationmeans  “It is happier (or richer) to give than to receive.”  The point I wish to make is that it did not say that there are no blessings or happiness in receiving. It is just that there are more blessings in giving than in receiving.

What is the blessing in receiving? Well for one thing, it is the receiver who blesses the giver.  It is receiver who brings happiness to the giver.  Yes, God is the one who blesses overall. That is a fact.  Consider for a moment, where does the happiness in giving come from? I wish to suggest that it comes from the gratitude of a receiver.

You see you cannot get a giver without a receiver.  If a receiver rejects the gift of a giver there is no giving because you cannot force a receiver to receive.   It is therefore the open heart of a receiver to accept a gift and be grateful for it that makes a true giver happy.  The more thankful the receiver the more it brings joy and happiness to the giver, making the giver want to give more.  Even God calls for us to be thankful for things we receive and to praise Him for all he given to us. It is a good thing to give God thanks.  God is happy when we receiver in thankfulness and God is grieved when we are ungrateful.  God’s happiness is generated from those who receive properly.

How would you feel if you sacrificed and bought clothes for somebody who was in need and that person scoffed at you and threw away the new clothes you bought for them? How would you feel?  Of course the average person would feel that that person was ungrateful.  The happiness of the giver is tremendously reduced.  The receiver has taken that away.  You may continue to give because it is the right thing to do, but you do not have the same level of happiness as if the person werethankful.  

Same effect if you do something for your spouse and he/she does not receive it with gratitude.  Our happiness in giving comes from the gratitude of the person receiving.  The reason therefore it is MORE blessed to give than to receive is because not only would the giver feel happy by giving, but God blesses givers so you have a double portion of blessings.

The people who are often more grateful for your gifts are usually those who are more in need of them.  People who do not need are less grateful to receive. That is why giving to those who have does not carry the kind of blessings as giving to those who are in need.

If you have accepted the foregoing, then you must accept the fact that people must learn to be good receivers as well as givers.  Our training says give but do not receive. No one wants to be a burden to others or to feel they are needy so we refuse offers from people who really want the joys of giving to you. When you refuse a giver you have robbed him/her of the joys and blessings of giving. If we all give, who would receive and if we all received who would be the givers?  Some people reading this article need to learn to be gracious receivers and do not feel guilty about it. In fact it may even be selfish to give and not receive since the person who wishes to give to you seeks a blessing or happiness.  Do not rob them of that joy. There is blessing in receiving.  Be a good receiver and bless others with what you receive by giving. It is a continuous cycle of giving and receiving.

For private counselling and group sessions call 868-635-1801 or go to my websitewww.michaelatstewart.com or email me at michaelatstewarttlc@gmail.com

Stop Procrastinating

Many people procrastinate in their lives and give themselves a lower standard of living than they should enjoy and they lose out on many opportunities to take their circumstances to greater levels.
Procrastination could be defined as the art of putting things on hold; the avoidance of decision making or the fear of confronting what must be confronted. In other words when one procrastinates he/she is delaying the important while doing the unnecessary.
You could delay marriage to that certain person so long that you may lose him or her. You could delay your responsibilities at work, your group or home that people no longer can rely on you. You are no longer a candidate for promotion because you do not deliver or do not deliver on time. People become cynical when you talk about achieving stuff. Are you all talk and no action? Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby said that “Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.” Wayne Gretzky said “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” Stop procrastinating. Do what you must do, confront the things that you have been avoiding. They will not just disappear while you pretend they do not exist
If you are a procrastinator, why do you procrastinate so much? A possible answer is because you are operating under the pleasure principle. The pleasure principle is when you tend to pursue mainly the things that brings you pleasure but may not bring you betterment. Not everything you like to do is necessarily important to do. There are some things in life that you must do that you may not like. For some people studying for an exam is not pleasurable but may be necessary and important in order to give you a better life in the future. The discipline of eating healthy and exercising regularly takes some effort. Delay the start of your exercise regime and the change in your diet could just lead to the inevitable on-set of lifestyle disease. It is only when a doctor says to you that you are sick and that on you must make an adjustment or else. You can either voluntarily control your sweet tooth and salty foods now or do so by force later in life. So in effect you only procrastinated till you are at a point that you have no other recourse but to do what you tried to avoid doing. That is called procrastination but with a very high price.
Another area in your life that you may be procrastinating is in with your time. Time is precious. You must use the time in your day to accomplish something new and greater than yesterday. You should not use it unproductively. Use 80% of your day doing something that advances your life in some way. That is why God said in the Old Testament to work six days and to rest one. A six to one ratio is a good ratio to live by. Use more of your time producing and enough to rest, relax and recover to go again. Some people use the six to one ratio but they rest six days and work one.
Next time you are on a treadmill, look at the time you are on it and while you monitoring the time try to increase the speed you are running on the treadmill. Notice that it is possible to increase the distance you cover with increase in the speed but the time goes no faster. You can only increase the things you accomplish in a given period of time but never the amount of time you have. That is why you should not waste your time because once you spend time you do not get it back.
Another reason you may be procrastinating is because you are experiencing what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. That is the struggle of giving up what you want to do in order to do what you know is the right thing to do. The will to stop is weaker than the will to continue what is not helping you. Someone once said that you will only change when “The pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.”
Paul said in Romans 7:19 to 23 that the things he wants to do he does not do and the things he does not want to do that he does. He called himself wretched. In other words you will remain doing what you are doing unless you are convinced that to change what you are doing is easier than continuing down your old path. That is why a person who drinks excessively, or takes drugs has difficulty stopping. It is easier to continue even though he or she knows the ills of so doing. That state of indecision paralyses you from taking necessary action to improve your life significantly unless a crisis hits you hard to convince you to move. This crisis could be your secret life being exposed, an illness, accident or the hurt to others close to you.
Some people are chronic procrastinators. They miss job opportunities because they never did send off that job application, they did not put deadlines to activities, so they have been known not to complete work on time therefore clients do not trust to hire their services.
Stop the procrastination in your life now! It gets you nowhere, fast! Do what you should do today, set timelines to get them done, stop your negative self-talk and talk positively to yourself.
Email: michaelatstewarttlc@gmail.com or 868-635-1801

Release your powerful potential

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Most people live way below their real potential. Potential is massive power to accomplish something but you have not yet done so. It is your possibility waiting to be activated by you. If you understand and accept that you can achieve infinitely more than you do now then you will not waste time complaining of what you do not have and go seize your opportunities or create them yourself.
While people argue and bemoan their circumstances they allow themselves to be distracted from where they can reach. Dr. Miles Monroe in his book Understanding Your Potential explains that who you can become is not seen by looking at who you are now. Your true potential is invisible. Seed in the hand of a farmer produces acres of crop, but, only the seed is seen; the potential of a great harvest is built within the seed.
When you look at yourself do not get carried away by your circumstances and limitations that surround you. Look at what is deep within you. Examine what you can achieve even though you cannot see it, look at your potential.
For thirty years or so Abraham Lincoln experienced setbacks, failures, lost many elections, had a nervous breakdown and yet was able to land the job as the President of the United States. What he was going through did not destroy his potential.
I received a call from a woman, in tears, who shared with me her unhappy experiences of losing a relative she loved so much, soon after going through that she had to deal with the trauma of her daughter dying in her arms, then her son got a nervous breakdown and she is in an unfulfilling and fast failing relationship. It is from one thing to the next. Life is like that. But who said that life is fair?
Our family had the sad experience of burying my dear sister not too long ago. She died suddenly. It was a dark and gloomy time for us all. For me, it was even more emotional because she was buried on my birthday. Notwithstanding that, the question I ask myself in times like these is “Did she achieve all of her highest potential?” Life is too short not to get from life all that you possibly can. She had so much going for her; I wonder how much more God may have had in store and if she accomplished them all. Live the best life you can while you can. That’s why Saint Paul said, “I am ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, from here on there is preserved for me a crown of righteousness that awaits me, but not for me only but for all those who love his appearing.” II Timothy 4: 6-8.
No experience in your life is permanent, good times nor bad times. Therefore all things that happen to you are only temporary. When you reach to the point of considering suicide you are now applying a permanent solution to temporary problems.
I want this lady and all of my readers to know that you have greatness within you yet untapped. I want every young reader to understand that settling for less than you can achieve is selling yourself very short. Look past the seed and see the forest that is within the seed. Look past your circumstances and see your abilities, your possibilities, your dreams and your destiny.
At times this is hard because it is hard to see the invisible. What this calls for is a change of glasses. When an ordinary man sees a rock he sees a solid, rough and crude piece of material. When a sculptor sees a rock he sees a statue, a work of art, a design. The statue was always in the rock. It was invisible. One man can see it, the other cannot. The difference is the way each looks at the rock. One man can see its potential the other man can only see what is before him. The sculptor then goes about removing the hard unnecessary part of the rock to reveal the statue that was always there because he saw the potential of the rock. The other man may destroy the rock because he sees it as an impediment in his way.
This woman I spoke of earlier only sees the rocks of her life and wants them removed. Someone else going through this situation may see the opportunities and the growth it could bring about in the areas of patience, trust in God, preparation to help another person, appreciation of life and the challenge to overcome.
If life can get no worse for you and you feel that you have hit rock bottom then you can bounce back up when you hit solid. Your only way now is up.
Some people were on the road to their potential and a few successes along the way made them too comfortable and they no longer go after their greatness with any fervour. Some young men finish high school and lose the drive to go the next step of developing themselves academically. They have the potential but they stop short. Miles Monroe said that success is the enemy of potential. If you succeed then potential is gone for potential is that which you can achieve but yet have not. Every time you succeed you need to look for your next potential.
Once you have passed that examination, gotten that job, built that house you have succeeded and you must be contented but never be satisfied. To be satisfied is to give up trying harder. Contentment is appreciation of what you have while you go after achieving what else you can. Only one who is contented with what he/she has would get more and achieve more.
Do you know your potential or are you limited by what you see before you? Let go of your fears, inhibitions and self- imposed stop signs and move into your greatness. Go after what you can become. Don’t live your life looking back wishing it had been better. Live your life looking ahead thanking God for what you are about to accomplish.
You might not be who you used to be but you are certainly not who you can be.
Email me: mats4sure@hotmail.com or call 868-635-1801

 

 

Life is a Story You Write Michael A.T. Stewart

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                                              Life is a story you write

Do you like writing stories? Whether or not you do, you write stories everyday of your life. You see, the life you have is the manifestation of the story you have been writing from as far back as you can remember.
Every decision you make, every person you allow into your life, every thought you entertain are all used to author this great book called life and each day is a page of that book.
For some people when they read their own story they do not like the story line, for others, well they are quite excited with the reading. When you read your own story you should give yourself the credit or take the blame for it. No one else writes your story.
Let me share with you two interesting facts; first, no one can write in your book except you allow them and secondly, no chapter of your life can be written without your input.
Is it true that one should not judge a book by its cover? The cover of a book is what people see at a glance; that is the obvious of what you see without stopping to view the inside and without examining the details. Some book covers are attractive while others lack appeal.
The book of your life has a cover. That is what others perceive without getting to know you. People make judgements about you based on the limited information they gather about you. That is normal and natural with everyone. You cannot stop that. We make judgements on strangers who look as bandits and in many cases it preserves our life and affords us a measure of safety.
People tend to conclude on who you are based on a number of surface factors. Their conclusions may or may not be correct but it does not negate the fact that people do judge who you are based on their first perception. Just as sometimes we look at the cover of a book and have no interest in it but realise afterwards that it was a valuable book, similarly we see books with attractive covers only to realise that the cover was more interesting that the contents.
You and I are judged everyday by how we look, what we say, how we behave and ultimately by the decisions we make. That is the cover of our book.
What we do know is that people would have their own perception of your life based first of all by the cover you choose to expose. Should you not therefore take some time to work diligently on the cover of your book? No it’s not to impress people but to give yourself the best opportunity to make your cover and contents be in congruence. Often what people see in some people may not be what they get out of them. The cover and the book contents are different and misleading.

The book of your life is written a page a day, a chapter a year. Each time your birthday comes around you enter a new chapter. Each day wake up, you begin a new page. What happens if you wrote a chapter you do not like? Well, you cannot erase any page or chapter of your life as life has no going backward. You can however immediately turn a new page and write a different story.
You would be amazed to know that some people repeat the same stories in many chapters of their life. They themselves get bored and frustrated reflecting on their own life’s story yet they continue to write in the same way.
What does one do if they want to change their story line? Well stop writing and turn a new page of your life. That begins with changing the way you think, for the mind-set that caused your problem cannot be the mind-set that you use to solve it. Once you change your mind-set it influences a change in your behaviour and the decisions you make in life. You cannot continue doing the same old things and get a new result out of life.
Many persons have written some bad stories in their book of life and realise that they did not like the stories they wrote and decided to write new stories on new pages and new chapters. These people now share their stories with many to read and enjoy and you can do the same also.
If your life story reads like a sad movie, or a horror episode, then don’t keep writing the same old frustrated story of your life. If you write great stories then keep on writing. Whatever you do, keep writing. We are about to enter a new year in less than 30 days. That means that you need to get ready to write a new and better chapter of your life for 2013. Remember only you write your story on your pages and determine how the chapters read. Be proud of your book.
For private counselling 868-635-1801 or email michaelatstewart@gmail.com

 

ImageJunk in the Trunk

Have you ever seen a slick vehicle with an attractive paint job, good tires, clean and expensive interior but when you go to the trunk it is full of discarded stuff, used parts and just plain junk? It was hard to tell from the exterior. Or maybe you have your house and the living room smells good, clean furniture but when you lift the mat or rug below it is full of dust, dirt and grime?
You often meet people who are in similar situations. From their exterior when you meet them you cannot detect what lies deep down inside them. You judge them by the in-style they wear, the expensive car they drive and the well-paying job that they hold down.
Do not be too hasty to get into relationships with people. Be acquaintances, then be friends before you become their partner. It is hard to tell what is underneath the façade and pretense. The old people used to say, “See me and come to live with me is two different things.”
It is easy to get carried away with the cover of the book. If you don’t look over the inside you could end up with a very boring book. Take time to know the person with whom you are eyeing to getting into a relationship. What you see may not be what you get. Someone who does not look the part may indeed be a better option when you get to know them.
We are so visual and external that people judge others based on so many external factors. A man looking for a good woman looks at her body or some other physical characteristics in order to determine that they like that person or not. A girl looks at a boy and he has to match up to this imaginary male she has in her head in order for her to even give him a second look. These are limited view-points to determine the compatibility or not in relationships.
Physical beauty in women and good looks in men change with the passing of years; a woman, after bearing children often would not carry the gorgeous figure she once had and as she ages her skin sags and her face wrinkles. In men, midlife brings the bulge and slow waste of muscle mass. He has to work harder to keep in shape than when he was a boy. What do you do when the physical things you were attracted to, suddenly disappears?
If the relationship existed because of possessions such as a big house, luxury cars or a job that carried status in society, then if/when any of these is taken away, the relationship goes into crises.

Some people therefore dangle their body and possessions in order to capture a lover. You really have no idea whether that person is genuinely in love with your, your body or your toys. Many people defined themselves by what they own or possess. The bible says that a man’s life does not consist of the things he possesses.
If however you put the emphasis on who you really are as a person, then you have the making of a lasting relationship. Your belief and thoughts better define you and it last for an infinitely longer time than temporary things.
There are people with junk in their trunk but they appear ok on the outside. They may be possessive and abusive but they do not portray that image when you just meet them. In fact abusive persons are often extremely nice in the beginning but tyrants in the long run. Take time to look in the trunk. Do not underestimate the importance of getting to know people first before you get into them. You will save yourself so much regret. Ask those who move from one relationship after the next. It is likely that they go into the relationship first then after get to know the person. Big mistake!! If the person is a friend before then you can find out many of the junk they are carrying in time to prevent your friendship from going further. You at least will be left with a friend. If you go into the relationship and then find out how much junk the person has, you may not have a friend after the hurt.

For private counselling email michaelatstewarttlc@gmail.com or go to my website to make an appointment at http://www.michaelatstewart.com or call 868-635-1801
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