Truly Positive

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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

True Positive: Day 21 – Encourage Others

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Are you an encourager or a discourager? The word “encourage” means to give strength to another person. The root word, “cor” is the Latin word for heart. When we use our words or actions to sincerely encourage others, we offer strength for their heart. Let’s be honest, this world is full of sadness and hurt, and most people are hungry for an uplifting word or a kind acknowledgement.

James M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan wrote, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.” It’s true! When we take the time to honestly and specifically build up another person, we ourselves are strengthened and uplifted. Yet, if we use our mouths to grumble and criticize, our personal joy is diminished. Let’s be builders, not destroyers!

Solomon said, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” How will you use your words today to make a positive difference in the life of another person?

How Deep is Your Faith?

Tree by creek

When the Robersons moved into a house not too far from ours, we were thrilled.  It’s always fun to have dear friends living close by, and especially if they give you their trees. Let me explain. You see, they didn’t like the landscaping around their house and wanted to get rid of a few Savannah holly trees. Being the kind and thoughtful friends that we are, we volunteered to take the trees off their hands and plant them in our own yard.  Wow, what a deal!  Free trees!  We found just the right spot for them.  Our house backs up to a pleasant little creek, and so we planted them near the creek to enhance the beauty of the area. Five lovely Savannah hollies lining our creek! We were so proud of ourselves.

The water in our creek tends to rise when we have a rainstorm, and boy did we have a gulley washer one night right after we planted those hollies. On the morning after the storm, we woke up and looked out our window toward the creek. Hmmm, we wondered, what were those large holes in the ground? Wait a minute, and where were our hollies? Three of them were completely gone! Yes, swept away! We had another storm soon after that, and guess what. The other two were swept downstream too. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

Now if the hollies had been given the time to take root in the ground they may have stayed around, but since they were newly planted there was nothing to hold them in the ground as the water rose and the current flowed. If you have ever watched flood waters rise, then you know the strength and power of the water’s current.  It will sweep away anything and everything that is not deeply rooted or firmly founded in the ground. In a moment, large objects can be swept away and carried for miles downstream. The same is true with the flow of life and the current of our culture.  If we are not deeply rooted in the truth of Christ and the assurance of His love, we can easily be carried away by the latest philosophies or our own whims and feelings.

There is a constant flow of ideas that “sound right,” and “seem good” in our culture today. But we must know The truth – God’s truth.  Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:31,32).” As we hold to God’s teaching and are rooted and built up in Him, then we will be free from the pull and drag of man-made rules and fine sounding philosophies. Here is Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians:

 

Colossians 2:6-8

 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

 

No more shallow Christianity! Let’s be intentional about letting our roots grow down deep into Christ as we study His word and get to know Him. We don’t want to be guided by the latest fads or our finicky feelings. When we get to know what the Bible has to say about Christ, our faith is made strong to weather the storms of life and discern the philosophies of our culture. Take some time to read God’s Word for yourself each day.

 

A portion of this blog is an excerpt from Karol’s book A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living.

Check out this month’s $5 special, Karol’s DVD on the topic.

https://positivewomanconnection.com/books/#monthlyspecial

colossians video

What Makes a Great Leader?

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Over the years, I’ve become fairly perceptive at recognizing qualities that make a poor leader. It’s probably because I’ve placed one too many people in leadership positions, and realized they were doing more harm than good. Thankfully we can learn and grow from our mistakes. Here’s my short list of characteristics of a not-so-great leader.
Generally speaking it’s not a good idea to choose a person for leadership who:
• Tends to gossip or look down on others.
• Complains rather than finds solutions.
• Has no initiative and can’t make decisions.
• Doesn’t work well with people.
• Is a discourager rather than an encourager.
• Is self-centered – in it for themselves.
• Is constantly wondering what people think about them.
• Has an aversion to hard work and serving others.
• Lacks determination and drive.

What would you add to the list? It’s easy to think up a list of negative qualities born out of our own experiences, but it takes a little more thought and insight to come up with a list of positive leadership qualities. One characteristic that seems to surface in great leaders is their ability to motivate others. For some, this intangible ability to inspire and influence seems to come naturally, while other leaders discover their ability to impassion people through the School of Hard Knocks. How can we unleash our inner influence and ability to inspire?

In his book, Visioneering, Andy Stanley described a great leader in the Bible, Nehemiah: “He was just a regular guy who caught a divine glimpse of what could and should be. And then went after it with all his heart.” In reading the story of Nehemiah, there are several themes that continue to surface again and again. These seem to be the key to Nehemiah’s inspiring leadership abilities. I would encourage you as a leader to read the story of Nehemiah yourself and discover the powerful lessons of his life. Here’s the principles I glean from his example:
• He possessed a personal and heart-felt passion for the project.
• He was committed to the mission and determined to see it through.
• He was persistent despite the challenges.
• He sincerely cared about the protection and well-being of the people.
• He appealed to people’s hearts and core motivation, not just the external.
• He put the right people in the right positions, utilizing their gifts and talents.
• He wasn’t swayed by the opposition or people’s opinions.
• He empowered the people to do their jobs well.
• He prayed for God’s direction throughout every twist and turn.

We can all use an example to inspire and teach us when it comes to leadership. Nehemiah is one of my heroes. Who inspires and teaches 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.

Perspective – The Key to Connection

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Have you ever had one of those awkward times when you felt misunderstood? Recently, while visiting with a colleague, I made a simple suggestion that would typically be warmly received – but not in this case. She snapped back and accused me of judging her, yet condemnation was the farthest thing from my mind. It was then that I had to step back and look at the bigger picture. What made her react in such a protective manner? What nerve did I hit? Why did my simple words rattle her?

When I considered things from her perspective and thought about her current situation, and the little I knew about her childhood, my heart softened and I understood why she responded the way she did. Initially I felt misunderstood, but the resolution came when I attempted to understand the issue from her point of view. Perhaps the greatest need that we as humans have is not only be loved, but to be understood. Choosing to see things from another person’s perspective can not only build connection, but can also reconcile our own feelings of being misunderstood.

This is especially true when it comes to client relations or customer service. When an unkind customer comes to you with an angry complaint, instead of taking it personally, choose to see things from their perspective. Ask yourself:

• Why is this so important to them?
• What could have happened during their day today to make them this angry?
• What’s going on in their personal life that is affecting their attitude right now?
• Are they like this all of the time? Are they a negative person by nature?

Sometimes, I even take it a step further and think about what their childhood may have been like and what kind of hurt or abuse they endured in their life. When we go the extra mile to see past the exterior anger, we can often find an opportunity to open the door of communication. When encountering conflict of any sort whether personal or in business, it helps to selflessly begin the conversation with statements such as:

• Help me understand what you are saying.
• Tell me why you feel this way.
• Let me make sure I hear what you are saying.
• What is it that is making you frustrated?
• In what way can I help resolve this?

Let’s push forward this week to build understanding with the people we encounter. Step into the other person’s perspective and be a thoughtful listener rather than a reactive participant. Ask God to give you His patience, kindness and self-control as you interact with the people around you. Most important, remember that you are loved and understood by the God who sees all and knows your heart.

thrive Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive: Passionately Living the Life You Didn’t Plan