Welcome to Positive Life Principles. I’m Karol Ladd, and I want this website to be a source of inspiration and strength to you as you serve and love the people around you. You will find resources to refresh you and help you use your gifts and talents to reach out and touch the lives of others. Sign up for my blog below in order to stay connected and receive an uplifting weekly message from me.
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|The Power of a Positive Mom, Revised and Updated|
Thankfulness is a game-changer! It’s one simple attitude that can make a monumental difference in your personal relationships, your work and your outlook on life. I know it may sound simplistic to say that being a thankful person can have such a powerful impact on our lives, but this one mind-shift has the potential to transform your actions and interactions with others. So how can a person develop an attitude of gratitude? Here are a few ways to redirect your thought-life and make positive difference in the world.
- Write it down. Start the habit of writing down your blessings in a thankfulness journal every morning as you enjoy your first cup of coffee. Write down at least five things that happened over the last 24 hours for which you can be thankful. You will begin to notice and pay attention to all the good things in your life, rather than being overwhelmed with the negative.
- Turn around challenges. When you face frustrations, mistakes, difficulties or challenges, instead of thinking that the world is against you, look for something good. Every challenge has a silver lining, but you must look (sometimes long and hard) to find it. Keep your focus on the benefits and what you can learn from your difficulties.
- See the best in others. There are no perfect people. Everyone has their own set of flaws, but thankful people choose to find something good in everyone. It’s easy to focus on people’s negative qualities, so it takes a deliberate effort to look for the good points in others. It’s a choice, but one that will turn your relationships around and open up your heart to the people around you.
- Stop grumbling. It’s time to get rid of the complaints and use your time and energy to do something positive. Negative talk only leads to discouragement, bitterness and anger. When you are tempted to grumble, save your words and find something productive you can do to make a difference. Turn grumbling into gratitude through loving actions.
- Step back and look at the bigger picture. Often we get worried and upset over circumstances and events, but if we step back and look at the bigger picture we can gain perspective. Often I ask myself, “In the big scheme of life, how much does this really matter?” When we look at things in light of eternity, it reduces our fears and opens our hearts to the opportunity to find blessings in the long run. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “Our light, momentary afflictions are producing in us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen.” Now that’s the perspective of someone with an attitude of gratitude!
Be a grateful person and you will become happy and content with life. It begins with simple habits formed over time to change your perspective. Most important, start each day thanking God for His unfailing love. Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year!
I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
…How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
…I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
As we prepare for the holidays, I asked my friend Sonja Samuel to write a blog to encourage us as we face the days ahead. Be sure to check out the info at the end of the blog about her seminar, “Get Through the Holidays Without Losing Your Mind!”
With so much uncertainty and division surrounding us, it appears everyone has become a commentator or critic as it relates to our national state of affairs. Regardless of what side you are on, the back and forth of ideologies and opinions have created an unusual high level of fear, worry and doubt. The negativity on social media has hit an all-time high (or low depending on your perspective), added to the tell-tell signs of many who seem to be overworked, burned out and overwhelmed. On top of it all, the holiday season is upon us which comes with its own set of apprehension and pensive attitudes. One could walk around feeling like ‘the hits just keep on coming.’
This is not the life we’ve been created to live. This type of thinking and behavior puts us in survival mode. We were created to thrive …not just survive! Therefore, we must change the dialogue and redirect our energy. In doing so, if the truth be told, a little anxiety can be a good thing if used wisely. Because of its levels of uneasiness and discomfort, it can push us to rise above the fray and seek out creative solutions. It can motivate us to pursue hope, and in some cases healing. With the proper thought process and desire, it can challenge us to be better, do differently. It can even bring out our greatest potential, and drive our relationships to a deeper level of authenticity, with the crowning achievement of commandeering our faith to new heights of trust and truth!
To help us get through these unprecedented times, including the holidays and the rest of the year without losing our minds, take some time to do 3 things:’
- Remember – Remember a time when you thought all hope was lost, all possibilities had been exhausted and/or you didn’t know how you were going to make it through. However, here you are today. You got through it and you will again.
- Reflect – Reflect on what is good, what is beautiful and what is positive. Bless the stress in your life and use it to propel you forward, not backward.
- Respond – Respond with care, caution and most of all with grace to those you differ with. It is still true that more bees can be caught with honey that vinegar. Therefore, be gracious in your speech. In every conversation, let the goal be to bring out the best in others not put them down or cut them out.
To register: www.tinyurl.com/hbbacq4
For more information about Sonja, visit her website at www.LightTheWayInternational.org
Part of growing up is realizing that we all face discouragement, disappointments and sadness at times. The real question we must ask ourselves is, “When I face discouragement or dashed expectations, how will I handle it?” We have a choice. It is up to us to decide if we will use our gifts, talents and abilities in a constructive or destructive way. In our country right now we are seeing a display of emotions and reactions to the recent election results. Sadly, many people choose to use their time and energy in destructive ways. Now I’m not saying we can’t be sad when disappointments come our way. We should always make time to grieve the losses we face in life, but then we must take our frustrations and step in a positive direction. Here are five ways you can take the setbacks in life and turn them into something good.
- Find a cause you believe in and sign up to volunteer. If you feel deeply about an issue, do something about it in your own community. If the critics stopped using their mouths and started using their hands to effect change, our world would be a better place. Change happens from the ground up, so let’s put our actions where our mouth is and begin to take positive steps forward in our own communities.
- Change your focus. Instead of filling your mind with what makes you angry, concentrate on what is right about your life, your community and your country. There are plenty of good people and wonderful organizations that deserve our attention, rather than wasting precious time judging and criticizing.
- Develop a friendship with someone who is different than you. When is the last time you sat down with someone who has an opposing point of view, to listen and try and understand them? Step out of your comfort zone and get to know someone who lives, thinks and acts differently than you. You don’t have to agree with everything they believe, just seek to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do.
- Communicate with kindness. If you feel strongly about an issue, stop hurling insults and hateful comments. Instead, use your voice to reach out and communicate with thoughtful, wise and kind dialogue. If the protesters who are smashing cars and shouting profanities, used their energy to write out their ideas, concepts and concerns, they would be making giant leaps forward. Whether you are expressing your heart on social media or through a letter to the president, a kind discourse is much more effective than an angry vent.
- Let love rule your thoughts and actions. Love the person in front of you no matter what they believe or what kind of opinions they hold. Let us each examine our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus took it a step further and told us to love our enemies. Never underestimate the power of love to change a nation. What if today, we each chose to simply love each person we encounter with both our words and our actions? Take your anger, turn it around and move forward with forgiveness, love and respect toward every person. Love will change your heart and will change the world, one person at a time.
For more steps to handling disappointments, check out Karol’s book Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive
This past weekend, I saw the new Mel Gibson movie Hacksaw Ridge. It was a tough movie to watch (lots of blood and guts), but it was also one of the most powerful and positive movies I’ve seen in a long time. No one walks away from this movie unmoved.
This morning, I decided to make a list of a few of the many lessons that can be derived from the true story of Desmond T. Doss at the Battle of Okinawa.
- Stay True to What You Believe
- Be Willing to Be Different
- Be Strong and Courageous
- Live a Selfless Life
- Don’t Give Up – Persevere
- Always Look for Ways You Can Help (or Save) Others in Need
- Take Risks
- Be Humble and Kind
- Don’t Repay Evil for Evil
- Seek God’s Help in Everything You Do
- Read Your Bible for Direction and Strength
The List could go on and on – I’d love to hear what you would add.
One scene in the movie stands out to me, and it’s one that I think each believer can apply to his or her own life. In this particular scene, the Americans retreated off the ridge, but Desmond chose to remain on top of “Hacksaw Ridge” in order to save as many soldiers as possible. Tired and hungry, he worked through the night and all the next day risking his life to help his fallen friends (and enemies). He continued to pray, “Please Lord, help me get one more.” God gave him the energy and protection to save over 70 lives.
We may never see physical combat as Desmond Doss did, but the Bible says as believers we are in a spiritual battle. Are we willing to pray as Desmond did – Lord allow me to help save one more life? Are we willing to go the extra mile to share the gospel and serve others? Desmond Doss offers an example to us all to be strong and courageous, to love the Bible and to ask God for wisdom and strength in all we do.