Obstacles

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“Yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning.  Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure.  Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom.  It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.  When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems, just as in school we deliberately set problems for our children to solve.  It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.  As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Those things that hurt, instruct.’  It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

 

You are at the source of being fat, sick, tired, broke, angry, depressed, and lonely.  Stop blaming your boss, family, neighbor, lover, government, society, or God.  You are the one at the scene of the crime every time something goes wrong in your life.  Stop looking for a fall guy, a scapegoat, or an innocent bystander to pin your problems on.  Until you take ownership for your life, you will always be chasing happiness.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”

 

“In my years of traveling the world, I’ve heard hundreds of tear-filled stories.  I’ve hugged complete strangers as they’ve sobbed in my arms.  I always whisper the same thing to them: ‘Look for the gift in your pain.’  If you look for that gift, believe me, you will find it.  If you don’t look, it’s all too easy to become enslaved by your misery.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”

 

“All life is either moving forward and evolving or shrinking back and dying.  If you want to evolve in your own life, you have to push through the obstacles instead of running from them.  Obstacles and challenges are the agents of growth.  Nobody gets to be large and in charge without facing challenges and moving through them.  Birth is messy, painful, scary, uncertain, and freaky.  Birth is also a glorious miracle that leads to new life.  If you want the new life you say you want, you have to do the work instead of just studying and discussing and wishing and wanting.” ~ Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass

 

Borrowing Strength Builds Weakness – A Lesson From My 104 Year Old Great Grandmother.

Midge - My 104 Year Old Great Grandmother

The strongest people in life are the ones who have endured the most.

Whether by choice or through life circumstance, strength comes as a result of confronting and overcoming difficulties and challenges.

How does a person strengthen their body?  By challenging it through exercise.

How does a person strengthen their mind?  By challenging it through expansive thinking.

How does a person strengthen their spirit?  By challenging it through inward reflection.

These aren’t the only methods, of course.

Life is full of challenging opportunities through which you can become a stronger person… But I’m sure you already knew that (we have all faced our fair share of challenges).

The difference then, between those who are strong and those who are not is how they choose to respond to challenge. Continue reading

 

The Four Noble Truths

The Buddha offered many teachings to help people end their suffering, the first and most important being the Four Noble Truths.

The First Noble Truth is that all of us have suffering in our lives.  None of us can escape it.

The Second Noble Truth is that we can identify the causes of our suffering.

The Third Noble Truth is that we can put an end to our suffering and that healing is possible.

Finally, the Fourth Noble Truth is that there are paths to free us from suffering. We can cultivate our well-being by concretely applying mindfulness to our daily living.

A simple example from the field of medicine can help illustrate the Four Noble Truths.

Let’s say you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (First Noble Truth), which was likely brought on by eating a poor diet and becoming very overweight (Second Noble Truth).

Your doctor tells you the situation does not need to be like that and can be controlled 9confirming the Third Noble Truth).

You follow the doctor’s prescription – taking your medicine, eating better, and exercising more – which is your route to healing (Fourth Noble Truth).

These teachings of the Buddha originate from a time when suffering was more likely to be caused by a lack of food rather than too much, or by a body overburdened with physical labor rather than one grown ill from lack of use.  Yet they apply to all forms of suffering.

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Source: Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“Dealing with our overweight – or with any of our life’s difficulties, for that matter – is not a battle to be fought. Instead, we must learn how to make friends with our hardships and challenges. They are there to help us; they are natural opportunities for deeper understanding and transformation, brining us more joy and peace as we learn to work with them.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor

 

“Embrace the suck. Doing something hard sucks. It’s not easy, and often you’re confused about how to do it because you haven’t done it much before. So what? Hard things suck, but life isn’t always peaches with roses on top (and a sprinkle of cinnamon). It sucks sometimes, and that’s perfectly fine. Embrace all of life, thorns and pits and all. Life would be boring without the suck. So smile, embrace the suck, and get moving.” ~ Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

 
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