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Discouraged?

๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฒ โ€“ ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ?
Yet, sometimes life happens and it can be discouraging.
At times things we hope for and dream about just don’t turn out that way.
– the pay rise didn’t happen
– you didn’t get the expected exam grade
– the relationship you worked hard at didn’t work out
– you didn’t get the job
– the house purchase fell through
– redundancy became a reality
– ill health sets you back
– you just can’t understand that new language
– its just been a really tough day
When things don’t turn out the way you expected, then discouragement can settle into our minds and can make us feel sad.
None of us are immune from discouragement and especially in these difficult times, reality frequently does not conform to our wishes.
Discouragement does not have to mean defeat!
See it as it really is and donโ€™t blow things up out of proportion.
Overcoming discouragement is absolutely critical for all of us if we are to bounce back and move forward in life.

So, what can you do?

First and foremost – you can change your attitude. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do.
Secondly, find something that you are good at right away, get on with it and dispel any negative self-talk, feelings or emotions that may be impacting upon you.
Thirdly – don’t compare yourself with others, remember you are on your own unique path in life.
Fourthly – turn to a friend.
Fifthly – count your many blessings, name them one by one.
Finally โ€“ pray about it, to understand and find the lesson.
โ€œThen shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I amโ€ (Isaiah 58:9).
To receive comfort and guidance from our Father, we simply need to reach out to Him. I know He is always listening.
It is through the experience of disappointment and discouragement that great treasures and pearls of wisdom in life frequently appear.
What do you do when you feel discouraged?

N.O. Two simple letters – No

Do you ever say โ€œ๐˜๐ž๐ฌโ€ to someone, when you mean to say โ€œ๐๐จ?โ€
Its not a bad word.
Sometimes, we commit to do something because we donโ€™t want to appear rude, or we may be afraid to upset someone.
Do you know that feeling?
However, by always saying yes, we can make ourselves ill too.
Saying yes all too often, can and will have a direct impact upon our own wellbeing.
I know that self-care is really important, especially when you are tired!
It really is okay to set personal boundaries and say โ€œnoโ€ especially when you may already be juggling lots of different things and multiple projects at the same time.
That said, it can be tough to say no!
N.O.
Two simple letters – No.
One simple word and yet so many of us have a real problem with it.
It’s okay to say no!
If you are just learning to say no, then please be gentle with yourself and be kind too – it can take time.
It is also important to recognise when you have said yes to something, when you should have said, no instead!
On those occasions, I suggest that you make a mental note, and then let it go.
Learning to say no takes practice!
In fact, it’s absolutely essential if you want to simplify your life.
Setting some personal boundaries can help.
Boundaries can be defined as the limits we set with other people.
Our boundaries indicate what we find acceptable and unacceptable in others behaviour towards us.
Boundaries reflect what we value most deeply.
They are a form of empowerment, strength, and a way for us to align with our identity, our desires, where we stand and what we stand for in the world.
Having strong boundaries means knowing what you like, what you accept and equally, what you can tolerate.
Are yours discernible?
We need to recognise them and protect ourselves against hazards that will come in life.
One of those boundaries may be to recognise that it is okay to simply say no.
When you say ‘no’ to others you are making an important statement on boundaries, limits, and respect for your own time.
You also teach them about who you are as a person, and what’s important to you.
Finally, my top tips –
Saying no doesnโ€™t require a thesis length explanation!
For example, some ways to say no, could include the followingโ€ฆ
โ€œIโ€™d love to, but I canโ€™tโ€
โ€œThat doesnโ€™t work for meโ€
โ€œIโ€™m not comfortable with that, so no.โ€
Is today the day, you finally empower yourself and say no?
What helps you to say no?

Do you care?

Do you question your motives?
The crux of my personal philosophy in life, the nucleus of my personal motivation, is centred upon a core belief that โ€œnobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you careโ€ a phrase attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and crafted so purposely by him.
In thousands of coaching conversations, I have learned a little.
As youโ€ฆ.
๐‹๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐
๐€๐ฌ๐ค ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ
๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ
๐„๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž
๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž.
Showing interest in others is about being yourself,
being genuine
and sincere in your interest in another person.
๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ƒ๐จ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐’๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐Œ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐ž?

Who is your wise guide?

๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐๐ž?
Harry Potter had Dumbledore and Hagridโ€ฆ
Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yodaโ€ฆ
Froda Baggins had Gandalfโ€ฆ
Mowgli had Bagheeraโ€ฆ
With the development of each fictional character, a wise guide arrives in each of their lifeโ€™s.
As they place their faith in their wise guide, ultimately, he supports them toward their destiny.
Unlike many fictional movie characters however, real life is another matter altogether.

The Wisest Guide of All

Personally, my faith is not founded upon imaginary characters and their guides, but upon the wisest guide of all, even Jesus Christ.
Wise guides are not only wise, but they are also guides.
Guides direct, instruct, lead, shepherd and show us the way.
In the scriptures, the admonition to โ€œCome, follow meโ€ is repeated several times.
Similar phrases such as, โ€œWalk with me,โ€ โ€œFollow me,โ€ โ€œCome unto me,โ€ are also used regularly.
It is a very simple, direct, and powerful invitation.
The decision to follow Him, is a very personal one, that many of us choose to make.
I love these words from Hymn 116.
โ€œCome, follow me,โ€ the Savior said.
Then let us in his footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With Godโ€™s own loved, begotten Son.
I am so grateful for the two missionaries who introduced the restored Gospel to my parents in 1961, and for the inspired choice they made to follow the wisest guide of all and in his footsteps tread.
In the chorus of โ€œI Am a Child of Godโ€ (Hymn 301) we find the words โ€œLead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.โ€
It is through our daily prayers, that I know He will guide us, lead us, and walk beside us.
Are you searching for a wise guide in your life?
If so, may I respectively suggest that you consider listening to a powerful message that our missionaries have to share about the wisest guide of all.
How can a ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐๐ž help you find your way?

Feeling Forgotten?

๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ž?
I am comforted by Matthew 10:29, their the Lord said that not even a sparrow falls unnoticed by the Father.
If not one sparrow is forgotten before God (Luke 12:6), how much more will our Heavenly Father remember and want desperately to sustain you and me, for โ€œye are of more value than many sparrowsโ€ (Luke 12:7)
Sometimes I wonder if anyone really knows what we are going through, or for that matter if anyone really cares.
Occasionally that thought crosses my mind, but then I remember the story of Zacchรฆus from Luke 19:1-4, who simply wanted to see the Saviour.
You will recall that the crowd was large, so he decided to climb a sycamore tree, hoping that he’d see Jesus. โ€œAnd when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchรฆus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy houseโ€ (Luke 19:5)
The Saviour knew not only his name, but also knew his heart as well, see – Luke 19:6โ€“9.
Zacchรฆus was a man who was reviled, rejected, and cast out by many. But the Saviour knew him. He knew his heart, and He loved him.
Jesus Christ came into the house of Zacchรฆus and into his heart.
I know and believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is just as aware of you and me, remembering our individual needs, just as He was of Zacchรฆus, or for that matter a tiny sparrow.
I believe He even knows us more personally and intimately than we know ourselves.
His eyes are not only on the sparrows, but on you and me – always.
I know that and know that you can know that too.
Jesus Christ does love us.
You are not alone.

Straight and Tall

Walking along the Vliet (our local canal), into town this week, we remarked to each other โ€œOh look โ€“ theyโ€™ve planted some young trees!โ€
Our attention was drawn to the new soil, the intricate support structures, including the heavy banding, the strong poles, all put in place to help the tree grow straight and tall.
Each of these simple anchors will provide the tree with strength to withstand the winds and storms, that in time will surely come.
My mind started to make some connections.
Monic and I have spent the last two days in Utrecht and Antwerp.ย  We met with 90 young missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, currently under our care and watchful eye.
In a like manner the young trees are very much like our young missionaries.
Our two days of nurturing, instruction, and tender care were all designed to provide support for each one of them, just like the young trees, to grow straight and tall.
Like the missionaries, each of us may struggle to grow straight and tall through the storms of life.

Storms

None of us are immune from storms.
Said the writer of Proverbs, โ€œTrain up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from itโ€ Proverbs 22:6.
Our young missionaries are sending their roots deep into the soil of the gospel.ย  There they are nurtured with love, and the enabling power of the atonement of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
I know that these young men and women with our prayers, love and support will accomplish wonders.
Jesus Christ strengthens us to do and be good, and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.
He is my anchor.
A few simple anchors will provide the strength to withstand the storms that will pass your way.
When the storms of life approach, what anchors you?

Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.

โ€œYou can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – โ€œGenerosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.

We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

Friendships

I love this picture!ย  Look at our huge smiles. I can still remember, as if it were today, something subtle happening, that we were scarcely aware of โ€“ we all became friends, each of whom who have subsequently touched my life for good.

That day, the six of us made some powerful professional breakthroughs and connections in our own community of practice.ย  But above all, the part I cherish most of all, was the power of true friendship.

Friendship

Listening, laughing, understanding, being a little silly together and empathy were in all in evidence as we embarked upon a new journey in our work on extra-dependent teams.

โ€œA friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who is willing to take us the way we are but is able to leave us better than he found us. We are poor when we lose friends because generally they are willing to reprove, admonish, love, encourage, and guide for our best good. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. As friends we will make ourselves available without delay to those who need us.โ€ โ€“ Marvin J. Ashton

The photo was taken in Zurich, in December 2019, just a few weeks before the pandemic and lockdown.ย  Subsequently, the six of us have met by Zoom on several occasions.ย  Our conversations have been moments I hold dear, through what has been a challenging year.

Somehow these special moments of friendship seem to have a long shelf life, which I am so grateful for. They can sustain you even long after the moment has passed.

Good friends are a little like stars, you may not always see them, but you know they are there!

My conclusion – the only way to really have friends, is to be one yourself.

Go on, reconnect today.

Touched

The energy in the room was high. Then in a reflective moment one participant shared “I can relate to that” and tears started to flow freely.

The atmosphere changed.

We had already created a safe environment for sharing that day, but the authenticity in the room soared to a different level. Attentively, everyone focused on the personal story being shared. It was a moment of high emotion and an intimate turning point in the workshop. In opening up in such a manner the participant had taken a great risk in approaching a vulnerable area in their life by sharing it so deeply. The silence was palpable.

Unwittingly, by speaking so candidly and tenderly, the participant had completely engaged everyone in the room.

Then it happened.

I watched, as those on either side felt impressed to reach out in a compassionate and reassuring way by physically touching our storyteller.

The whole experience had a profound effect on all of us in the room. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a fleeting moment in time.

Deep and meaningful learning moments come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.

Can you reach out and touch someone today?

Support

Who supports you?

As a 4 year old, I set off with family and friends to climb this hill near Dunning, Perthshire. Since 1969, I have climbed this hill on many occasions, with my own children, family and friends. In fact it’s become one of my favourite spots on earth, to seek some peace, solitude and to reflect on life.

Just prior to my father’s death, I recall that we were talking about this photo. As we spoke about it, he asked if I could remember anything about the climb up the hill. I said “No”. He laughed and then responded “You can’t remember anything?” Once again..”No”. He then shared the story of our ascent. He told me that as we were about half way up the hill, I started to complain about sore legs and that I couldn’t make it to the top.

As we carried on, dad encouraged me and told me that I could make it. So, seemingly I persevered for a little longer, but then after a while, I told him once again – “I can’t do it”. As a loving parent, he picked me up, put me on his shoulders and carried me the last little distance to the top of the hill. Resulting with this photo taken a few minutes later – of a very happy child atop the stone for the very first time!

There are so many principles in this story about getting tired, taking my eyes off the goal etc … But most of all I want to make the point that in our conversations together, lets be ever mindful of supporting each other to achieve our goals!

Who can you support?