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.
Sometimes life hits hard. Circumstances can take a downturn. Frustrations may seem overwhelming. People may be cruel and hurtful. How do we handle the disappointments and devastations? Is it possible to birth something hopeful, when all we can see is our pain?
Being positive doesn’t mean we ignore the pain, but it does mean after we grieve the loss, we ask the question, “How can I grow or learn or make something good come out of this?”
Helen Keller showed us what it looks like to overcome the negatives. Born in 1880, a severe illness left her unable to see or hear. Yet through the patient and persistent instruction of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Helen learned to read, write and speak. She didn’t stop there! She went on to study French and Greek at Radcliffe College. At the age of 26, she published her life story and became a well-known public figure and humanitarian, speaking in over twenty-five countries throughout the world. Her life and story has inspired countless millions to turn life’s challenges into possibilities.
She wrote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Certainly her incredible accomplishments epitomize human potential in the face of adversity.
It’s not what happens to us that define us, it’s what we do with it that matters. Let’s be willing to change our focus. Let’s be creative and look for ways to make the best out of the worst. May each of us find hope in unlikely places.
Read more in The Power of a Positive Woman.
God has a unique plan for women in this world. He designed us with a distinct purpose in mind, using our unique feminine strengths, as well as some of our personal weaknesses. Throughout history we read about women who played a role in shaping culture and defining new standards.
For the next few weeks, I will be highlight women who used their God-given strengths to make a positive difference in their culture. Today, let’s look at a strong and courageous woman named Deborah whose story is found in the book of Judges in the Bible.
According to Edith Deen’s book, All the Women of the Bible, Deborah was the “only woman in the Bible who was placed at the height of political power by the common consent of the people.” Deborah’s courage, like that of Joan of Arc 27 centuries later, was based on her faith in the Lord. She was a counselor, a judge, and a brave advisor in time of war. When other leaders were afraid, she led the nation of Israel into battle and on to victory with these words; “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera (the enemy) into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?”*
The victory was won because of the leadership of one brave woman who didn’t let obstacles or fears confine her. Her faith guided her and gave her the courage to move forward. Where do you need to step out in faith and courage? What fears do you need to overcome? Where do you find your guidance for your next steps?
Read more in The Power of a Positive Woman. Click here for more info.
How would you describe a truly positive person? My personal definition includes someone who is both realistic and optimistic – a person who is an encourager rather than a discourager. Positive people don’t ignore the frustrations and the downsides of life, they just choose to look at them in light of the possibilities, not the problems.
The question is, can anyone become a more optimistic thinker, even the cup-half-empty sort? Recent studies in neuroscience tell us yes, people can change the way they think. Often when we get in a rut of negative thinking, we continue to play the same patterns of thought over and over again, but it is possible to start new patterns. When we change our thinking habits and focus on what is good and hopeful, our brains create new neuropathways. We can develop a new pattern of looking toward the opportunities, rather than dwelling on the obstacles.
Generally speaking, there are a few common characteristics I have observed in those people who live with a sunny disposition. Positive people tend to:
- Focus on the potential in both people and circumstances.
- Consider the needs of others, looking for ways to bring joy into someone else’s life.
- Practice daily gratitude to God and to others.
- Let go of past hurts and bitterness, and live with a forgiving heart.
- Choose to learn from their mistakes and mishaps.
- Grieve when they need to.
- Smile and laugh often.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle, recognizing the benefit of exercise and eating well.
- Speak with love and kindness to everyone, no matter the position or role they play.
- Pray daily, giving cares and worries to God.
What about you? Are there any new habits you want to start forming?
Have you ever considered the ingredients that tend to make people live with a negative and grumbly attitude? Not too long ago I discovered a humorous list of “The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life.” It serves as a reminder of the choices we face every single day: Will we embrace both the gifts and the challenges life brings, or will we complain and be miserable through the process? Will we be people with a purposeful and positive mindset or people with a “poor me” mentality? Here’s the list:
10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life
- Thou shalt hold onto bitterness, hatred and anger.
- Thou shalt never get too close to anybody. Keep all of thy relationships on the surface level.
- Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times, and guard against laughter.
- Thou shalt inflict blame and condemnation on all who disagree with thee.
- Thou shalt complain about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
- Thou shalt think of thy own needs and focus on thyself rather than thinking of the needs of others.
- Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to join thee.
- Thou shalt not take a break, exercise or relax. Never allow thyself to be still, pray or meditate on truth.
- Thou shalt expect the worst in all situations, shame those around you and dwell on the feebleness, faults and fears of others, while never seeing thine own.
- Thou shalt attempt to control every situation without flexibility. *
I don’t know about you, but in the great adventure of life, I want to experience joy in the journey – not misery in the muck! I want my life to move in a positive direction and bless others, and I think you do too. Let’s be honest, no matter what our circumstances or background look like, we can choose our attitude and outlook in life.
In the next few weeks on this blog, I plan to examine the principles of a positive person. Even if you are the “cup half empty” sort of person, you can begin to change your attitude and thought-life today. Let’s take some time to look over the “10 Commandments of an Unhappy Life” and consider any of the qualities that may apply to our own attitudes. Let’s also make a conscious decision to reverse our thinking and start a new pattern.
If you were to write, “10 Commandments for a Happy Life,” what would you include on the list? I’ll show you my list next week.
The positive message from this blogpost can be found in The Power of a Positive Woman. To learn more about Karol’s encouraging books Click Here
*The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life” was adapted from Edward Rowell & Bonnie Steffen, Humor for Preaching and Teaching (1996)
Being a grandparent is a blast! In the last few weeks, I’ve played with puppets, run through mazes, slid down slides and experienced the awe and wonder of observing elephants at the zoo all over again. I love the simple joy of a child’s heart.
Interestingly, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children. Think about the attributes of little children. They tend to:
- Live with faith.
- Love generously.
- Depend on their mommy and daddy.
- Be filled with wonder.
- Laugh freely.
- Cry when they are hurt.
- Require grace.
- Ask for what they want.
- Believe, hope, dream.
Jesus’ words had a bit of a shock-value to the religious leaders of the day. The pompous, rule-following Pharisees prided themselves on their own self-righteousness and personal perfection, while children were considered undeserving and lowly. Perhaps that’s exactly why Jesus chose a humble child as His example of what a follower of Christ really looks like.
Reflect for a moment on the simple and pure faith of a child. Isn’t it wonderful to think that it is this kind of faith that brings us into a relationship with God and transforms our lives?
What about you? In what ways do you reflect a childlike faith as you come to your loving Heavenly Father? Take a look at the list above and consider what qualities you want to develop as you trust in Jesus and walk your journey of faith.