Choosing Happy

nick-beswick-462784-unsplash

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

  1. Thou shalt hold onto bitterness, hatred and anger.
  2. Thou shalt never get too close to anybody. Keep all of thy relationships on the surface level.
  3. Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times, and guard against laughter.
  4. Thou shalt inflict blame and condemnation on all who disagree with thee.
  5. Thou shalt complain about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
  6. Thou shalt think of thy own needs and focus on thyself rather than thinking of the needs of others.
  7. Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to join thee.
  8. Thou shalt not take a break, exercise or relax. Never allow thyself to be still, pray or meditate on truth.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

 

images

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)

Photo by nick beswick on Unsplash

Truly Positive

luca-upper-97759

Over the last three weeks, we have examined a variety of qualities which positive people exhibit in their lives. These are simple and genuine characteristics of people who tend to look at the brighter side of life and also bring joy into the lives of others.

It’s easy to assume that positive people are insincere or fake, but my hope is that after joining me on this True Positive journey, you will discover that anyone (even the cup-half-empty people) can become sincerely positive. I want to encourage you over the next few months to take each of these 21 qualities and examine them. Choose one or two that you recognize you need to apply to your life, and be deliberate about living it out each day. Below, you will find a list of all the qualities for quick reference. Let me know which ones have impacted you personally. Stay positive my friend!

  • Focus
  • Being Real
  • Hope
  • Health
  • Thankfulness
  • Faith
  • Prayer
  • Growth
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Purpose
  • Work
  • Stop complaining
  • Laughter
  • Happy List
  • Helping Others
  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Refreshing Relationships
  • Big Picture
  • Encouragement

 

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

Are You Critical or Constructive?

businesswoman with phone

When speaking to audiences, I often talk about the importance of being an encourager rather than a discourager. Granted, constructive criticism and wise concern have their place. I’m not saying we ought to be some sort of “Yes” people who always agree with everyone about everything with disingenuous flattery. A true encourager is not only uplifting, but she is also honest, sincere and specific with her comments. She uses her words to help build up and lead others in the direction of their best interest. An encourager is looking out for the good of the other individual and focusing on the possibilities instead of hunting and pecking at what could go wrong and zapping the hope right out of a person. A wise encourager looks with discernment for the solid stepping stones to help a person walk forward into the future, without giving false hope or unrealistic expectations.

Let’s use our opportunities to critique with a judicious sense of caution. How do you know when it is the right time to share a concern or a dissenting opinion? The best way to discern if your criticism is worth voicing is to ask yourself, “Will my comments essentially be helpful to the betterment of the individual and the situation?” Constructive criticism possesses at its very core a desire to create positive change, building others up rather than tearing them down. Bottom line, we must look at our motivation before we spill out a negative appraisals or derogatory comments. Jealousy, envy and rivalry are often the ugly, hidden motivations of a critical spirit. The queen of critique can harm hearts, reputations and opportunities when she spews her poisonous venom. May God help each one of us examine the deep and hidden motives in our hearts and take the log out of our own eye before trying to remove the splinter from someone else’s.
Worries, fears and focusing on the negative outcomes can also quickly turn us into Debbie Downers and Nancy Negatives. These women tend to cause defeat in someone’s life before the game even starts because they feel it is their duty to save people from making mistakes or going down difficult roads. But what if we let people follow their dreams and make a few mistakes in the process? Then haven’t they learned and grown in the process? Let’s not be a discouraging voice just because we are afraid of what may happen. Yes, there is a delicate balance between helping someone see the potholes and discouraging their dreams all together. There is no perfect answer to the dilemma. The most important piece of advice I can give you is to wait before you point out a negative. I have found for me personally, before I allow a negative comment (intended to help the other person see the problems of course), I wait. Often I wait several days in order to see if the situation has worked itself out, and most of the time I never need to say anything!
Criticizing people behind their back is never helpful and is a big red flag that our motivation is not pure. Discretion and discernment are the traits of a wise person who uses their ability to assess an individual, or situation or idea with guarded reproof. On the other hand, the constant dripping of condemnation from a faultfinding friend can cause disunity, generating a negative environment whether it is in a family, a neighborhood or at work.
If you must offer a critique, always do it in the spirit of helpfulness and strength. Begin by praising what you see that is right in the person or situation, then carefully open up a broader perspective. Words like, “Have you thought about it this way?” Or “Could it be possible to…?” These phrases help the recipient take in your idea without feeling ridiculed or discouraged. Whenever you must relay a negative evaluation, try to offer positive alternatives as well. Most important, determine in your heart that you will live a life of encouragement as you see the best in others.

This is an excerpt from Positive Leadership Principles for Women. Get your copy by clicking the info below.

950130: Positive Leadership Principles for Women: 8 Secrets to Inspire and Impact Everyone Around You Positive Leadership Principles for Women: 8 Secrets to Inspire and Impact Everyone Around You

By Karol Ladd / Harvest House Publishers

As a woman you have the chance to make a positive difference in your family, community, and society. In Positive Leadership for Women Karol Ladd uses examples from the lives of people in the Bible to highlight eight godly leadership principles and attitudes that will inspire you to grow in your role as a godly influencer.