How to Regain Your Perspective When You Lose It

It’s easy to lose perspective if you immerse yourself in the river of daily news. Things appear to be bad—and they are getting worse! The end of the world as we know it is right around the corner.

Storm Clouds Meet Sunshine - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/imagedepotpro, Image #15105128

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/imagedepotpro

But things are not always what they seem.

I have been intrigued by a new book called Abundance: Why the Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Acknowledging that we will experience bumps along the way to the future, the authors point out that progress is made even in the worst of times:

The twentieth century, for example, witnessed both incredible advancement and unspeakable tragedy. The 1918 in?uenza epidemic killed fifty million people, World War II killed another sixty million. There were tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, ?res, floods, even plagues of locust. Despite such unrest, this period also saw infant mortality decrease by 90 percent, maternal mortality decrease by 99 percent, and, overall, human lifespan increase by more than 100 percent. In the past two decades, the United States has experienced tremendous economic upheaval. Yet today, even the poorest Americans have access to a telephone, television, and a flush toilet—three luxuries that even the wealthiest couldn’t imagine at the turn of the last [19th] century. In fact, as will soon be clear, using almost any metric currently available, quality of life has improved more in the past century than ever before. So while there are likely to be plenty of rude, heartbreaking interruptions along the way, as this book will demonstrate, global living standards will continue to improve regardless of the horrors that dominate the headlines.

This is something important for us to remember as leaders. Even in the midst of setbacks and failures, we make progress—if we maintain perspective.

Certainly, we don’t want to stick our heads in the sand and act like bad things never happen. They do. But good things also happen.

As leaders, we must practice what Jim Collins in Good to Great calls “The Stockdale Paradox”: Great leaders acknowledge the current realities and don’t pull any punches. But at the same time, they have an unwavering belief that they will ultimately prevail.

When you experience a setback, perspective is often the first casualty. You can regain it by following these five steps:

  1. Acknowledge what happened. You can’t move past the setback if you don’t. This is the first step.
  2. Empathize with those who suffered. Failure hurts. No one enjoys it. It should be mourned.
  3. Put the setback in context. There is always more to the story. We can’t allow one setback—or even a series of setbacks—to define us. Failure is not the end unless you quit.
  4. Point out the positive. It sounds trite, but it’s true: every cloud has a silver lining. There is something to learn, something that even failure makes possible. Your job as a leader is to find it.
  5. Keep moving forward. The difference between winning and losing is not the number of setbacks you experience. Even winners experience failure. The difference is in whether or not you get up when you fall down and keep moving forward.

Setbacks are inevitable. They make us stronger and develop our character. But only if we maintain our perspective and use them to grow.

Question: What is a situation in which you need to help yourself or your team regain perspective? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    One thing I’ve learned about perspective is that I don’t need to concern myself with every tragedy that happened during the day. I used to watch the evening news. Every day there are murders, accidents, scandals, corruption, and maybe one positive story to tear my emotions apart at the end of a busy day. By leaving the TV and this collection of bad news off, I have a much better attitude at night now. I can now focus on things that are truly important. Things that I can actually do something about.

    I don’t miss the evening news at all…

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      I am with you, John.  I haven’t watched it in years!

      I have lunch every Monday with my father and two brothers.  They are all news hounds to a degree and they make fun of me for my ignorance.  Even so, I have no desire at all to return to consuming garbage every day.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        The only thing worse than the evening news is the negative political ads. With 2012 being an election year, I think I’ll just leave my TV off… or Tivo through everything!

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

           We chose to go without TV a long time ago.  We haven’t looked back.  We do have Netflix, so we can watch somethings, or DVDs, but we have to be more intentional about it.  We don’t regret it a bit.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I’m with you John. Unfortunately the news isn’t about trying to keep you informed. It is focused on giving you something to talk about so you’ll keep watching. Most stations seem to take the “shock factor” approach.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It’s amazing how they can blow up a news story. Heaven help us if there is a high speed car chase….or if the latest Hollywood star is seen in a new outfit…or if Michael Hyatt puts out a new podcast… (oh wait… he’s not quite that famous yet…)

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Add me to the list. After my sister’s family suffered a tragedy last summer, I saw first hand the insensitivity and downright offensive nature of the media, and that turned me off for life. They are more interested in having the story first, then having it right.

      In this world, we WILL have trouble, but Jesus overcame the world. I can’t imagine living without that hope.  

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Unfortunately the media will give you a guilty sentence without knowing all the facts. I can’t imagine running for local office or congress, not to mention running for President. No wonder we can’t get good people to run for office…

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

           It’s very true that there is a bias in the media.

      • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

        Our culture thrives on “sensationalism”. Work the most shocking and depressing angle on any story. It give people “better” stories to tell around the water cooler. Gross…

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      We used to watch the local news as well as one of the world news programs. I really saw it affecting both my wife and me. We have not watched it for almost 6 months and there has definitely been a difference!

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      John, you made a valid point when you said, ”
      I don’t need to concern myself with every tragedy that happened during the day”. How true! 

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Every day, my project team is working on more than 100 different projects.  Many of our projects are successful.  In fact, most of the projects are financially successful – they are completed as estimated or better than estimated.  But…we do have projects that don’t finish as planned – they cost more than was estimated.  When this happens, it’s important to gain a perspective on why this happened, so we can learn for the future.  It’s also important to keep moving forward – there will be other projects.

    • http://modernservantleader.com/ Ben Lichtenwalner

      Good point Jon. My response resonates – I’ve learned to create a rebuttal book when customers have misconceptions of the team from past experiences. Similarly, a lessons learned document is immensely helpful following all projects – especially “failures”. I’m sure you’ve used those before as well. Thanks for sharing Jon!

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Love the final piece – there will be other projects.  Always. 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         It’s so important to remember that!

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      You got a great team, Jon! Yes, moving forward is the key.

  • http://modernservantleader.com/ Ben Lichtenwalner

    Very timely, Michael:

    Sins of the Past: One area I struggle with, is dealing with “sins” of the past. In other words, when an individual or team continues to face resistance and false perceptions from previous failures. In Stephen Covey’s “Speed of Trust“, he calls this the ‘inheritance tax’. 

    Common Misconceptions: I combat these perspectives by creating what sales professionals refer to as a “rebuttal book”. In my case, this presentation deck lists the common misconceptions of the team, our program, products and services. Each section begins stating the misconception and follows with bullet-point facts on the reality – rebutting the perception with the more positive reality.

    Great advice as always, Michael. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Ben. Excellent comments and thoughts.  Misconceptions are huge and require us to really evaluate what is going on.  

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      That’s a good solution, Ben. Rebutting false perception with more positive reality!

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    I think this advice is good.  I think it is even more powerful when you choose to use an eternal perspective.  

    Recognizing failure in light of other successes is good.  Looking at that same failure in the context of being conformed to Christ’s likeness so that we are prepared for eternity with Him…this is even better!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Thinking about eternity is definitely a sure way to get perspective!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        True!

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Chris, brilliant reminder.  

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      I like that, Chris. Viewing the present issue through the lens of God’s promises really helps to refocus on the right perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Clevenger/714457904 Michael Clevenger

    As the leader of a team that has been producing for the past year a leadership course for volunteer officers of an  international fraternal organization, I can relate to the loss of perspective. This past week I have heard from two of my team members who expressed to me the thought that we have made the course too difficult and reminded me we are dealing with volunteers. I had to remind them of the reason this course is being developed; to increase the level of leadership effectiveness throughout the organization. They forgot why we are doing this to begin with. I am passing on your article to my team. Thanks.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Michael – I like when you say – “They forgot why we are doing this to begin with.” Going back to the “why” is huge.  

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Good thought, Michael. Having the right perspective strengthens us to take on challenges!

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Mostly it is during failure that we lose perspective. But I also believe it can happen during the height of success – not that we lose it, but we tend to lose its clarity because of the huge volume of success! In both cases, it is our responsibility as individuals and leaders to regain and maintain perspective rather than blaming somebody – be it government, church, team or spouse.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a really good point, Joe. Thanks.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Yes, I believe that. You are welcome, Michael.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    As Chairman of the Elder Board the challenges of leading other leaders often cause me to look for perspective:  Is this my will or the God’s will?

    As a consultant trying to grow my client base and seeing some perspective clients not engage I need this perspective on clients:  Do they really want to be better leaders, or are they just checking the box on leadership training for the year?

    Thought provoking stuff Michael.  That’s what blogging should make me do.  I hope my site maintains that standard when it launches next week.

    Thanks Michael

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Dave – Thanks for comments.  I like the question you led with – Is this my will or the will of God? Very good.  

    • Rachel Lance

      Great applications, Dave. Thanks for sharing & good luck with the launch of your site!

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Dave, I like the kind of questions you ask. These hopefully lead us to the right perspective.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    True Mike! I tend to lose my perspective when I fail to achieve my business goals as planned; when nothing goes my way and when it seems like I have been stuck up in a dead-end route. I regained my perspective when I read the book “The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective” by Andy Andrews. I used to re-read the important verses from that book whenever I feel depressed or gloomy. In that book, Andy rightly puts that — –
     
    “One way to define wisdom is the ability to see, into the future, the consequences of your choices in the present. That ability can give you a completely different perspective on what the future might look like.”
     
    “In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective. For perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking yields new ideas. And ideas produce the bloom…of an answer. Keep your head and heart clear. Perspective can just as easily be lost as it can be found.”
     
    “A grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.”
     
    It’s undeniable that our perspective will determine the way in which we react to a given situation of adversity/ affliction.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Andy is the best at perspective. He is better at offering this than anyone I know. I especially love The Noticer! Thanks.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Great book… Insightful author!

    • http://www.TestMyMessage.com Brian Schmitt

      Uma- I’ve never heard of that book, but I love the quotes you shared. Especially the first one on wisdom. 

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         Get it and read it.  It’s a quick and easy read, but it’s impact is huge!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Yes, Brian. #1 quote is a thought-provoking thought!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       Excellent book!  Highly recommended!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      The Noticer is one of my favorite books ever. Andy Andrews is really a gifted writer.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Wow Uma, thanks for sharing those excerpts from Andy’s book.

      Yesterday, one of our pastors said something similar to your first quote. He said “We make our choices, and then our choices make us.” I think that flows with what Andy was talking about.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        It’s my pleasure Joe!

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: How to Regain Your Perspective When You Lose It

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Thanks for sharing these inspiring quotes, Uma! The last one is quite true – our perspective determines our reaction!

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Joe!

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: How to Regain Your Perspective When You Lose It

  • http://twitter.com/thecreativepenn Joanna Penn

    I got rid of the TV 4 years ago and not only has my creativity and productivity improved but I am also more positive. I consume blogs like this that focus on the positives and actionable ways to improve life. I also love to read about the creative and artistic pursuits people are engaged in. If there is a serious world crisis, you hear about it anyway. There’s no need to consume depressing news every day and getting rid of the TV is liberating. I still watch some shows on iTunes and BBC iPlayer but I specifically choose them which makes all the difference.

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Joanna –

      I’m with you on the enhanced creativity, productivity, and positivity produced by a TV-free life!  

      I learned all I wanted/needed to know about Whitney Houston’s death from online sources. That weekend, I was traveling and had an hour wait before my flight. On the blaring TV “news,” that entire hour was consumed by speculative and sensational interviews. I was relieved to head home, where I control the on/off button.

      In social settings, when someone says, “Did you see…?” I’m not able to chime in with a, “Yes, wasn’t it….?” But that’s a minor loss compared to the major advantages of selective watching.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      I watch so little TV that I’m blown away with what is on the air when I see a show or newscast at a restaurant. With online sources, I’m able to get the news quicker and from a variety of viewpoints.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Joanna -

      Any practical thoughts on how to cut back on TV or leave behind all-together?  

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         I’m not sure what Joanna did, but we refused to purchase cable or dish, and intentionally left the antenna disconnected so we don’t get local channels.  We still use DVDs and Netflix, but that requires that we be more intentional about what we watch.

        Worst case scenario, sell your TV.

        Two of my kids asked for a TV in their room.  My wife and I both agree that isn’t a good idea.  We like to be informed and aware of what our kids watch, and help them see the difference between good and bad choices.  We couldn’t do that if we can’t monitor what they watch.

        And so, we have one TV in the house (gasp!  shocker!), in the family room, and without access to local, cable or satellite channels.

        Our kids don’t miss it, and neither do we.

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          Wow. Thanks Jeff. I think my heart skipped a beat when you said, “Worst case scenario, sell you TV.” We are taking steps to reduce the amount of TV consumption. At the end of the day, it is my love of sports that keeps us with cable.

      • Rachel Lance

        Tim, take incremental steps away from TV habits, Jeff and Joe have a couple good ideas as far as eliminating cable etc. You definitely won’t regret it. When we got married, I asked my husband if we could do just six months with no TVand then re-evaluate. He agreed and we’ve been TV-free for 15 years. It’s not the sacrifice it was years ago, what with the advent of Hulu et. al. but I’m so grateful we had those first few media-free years (curses on laptops and tablets!). We have so much to distract and pull us away from interactions that matter, TV just seems like noise in the grand scheme of things. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       While we’re not at the point of getting rid of our TV, my wife and I have been discussing the idea of cutting out cable. Instead we’d be using Hulu or an antenna to receive TV shows.

      Great to hear that there are others out there that are doing this.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Good decision and practise, Joanna. It’s better to feed our minds with good stuff than fill our minds with fear because what goes in affects our perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael, this was right on time for me. Timing is everything they say, they was right today. Thanks again, I really like your stuff!
    Scott
    Tuscaloosa, AL

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Scott – Glad the content was timely and helpful.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmcolwill Jonathan Michael Colwill

    I quite agree, this is a message that I have been trying to put across for six years. What we are experiencing are ‘birthing’ pains as we prepare to go into the fusion age, but in order for this to happen we need to see a big step change in attitude.

    Once the nature of gravity and electomagnetic forces were properly understood completing thw work that Einstien started, it becamee obvious how fusion can take place without the requirement of radioactive materials.

    What responsible scientist would publish this work into the world that exists today?

    People need motivation to change adn so now we have climate change, an economic crisis, and a very delicate globil socio-political situation forming a perfect storm.

    One big stick and one big carrot, surely these are levers sufficient to move the world?

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    I love the reference to the Stockdale Paradox. As I am working in the 10th poorest county in the nation, I’ve been referring to that a lot lately — we are in dire circumstances, but I believe things will get better.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Wow, Joey. Praying for you.  

      • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

        Thanks, Tim!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Tossing prayers your way Joey. The tide will change.

      • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

         Thanks for the encouragement.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Ditto. Praying! What is your biggest need at the moment?

      • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

         Thanks. I think the biggest need in terms of long term change is more people to be involved here. Since I started here a year ago, God impressed upon me this passage:  Matthew 9:37-38. 

        We need God to raise up more laborers for the harvest, both from within this community and from outside.

        You can also follow my blog to stay posted on what God is doing here and what we are experiencing.

  • http://twitter.com/lda88 Leslie Allebach

    So true!  I feel so honored to live with a husband who views failures as challenges.  How can we fix it?  How can we change it?  His outlook has not only shaped our family but has also changed me and I am thankful!  

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      I hope to be a father like that someday. Testimony stored in brain to be reused in 10 years time! Although I can definitely use that wisdom right now.

    • Jim Martin

      Leslie, thanks for sharing with us about your husband.  What a great perspective on failures.  It is far too easy to allow these failures to be debilitating.

    • Rachel Lance

      It’s great that you’re able to identify and affirm this quality in your husband now, rather than waiting and looking back on it at a later time in life. Your family is indeed blessed to be shaped by a champion of healthy perspective.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Great testimony about your husband, Leslie! Right perspective, good results!

  • Anonymous

    A situation I’ve faced and so many have in the past few years is being laid off. Perspective is needed to realize you truly only need 4 things to survive – food, air, water and shelter. Unemployment compensation isn’t great but it typically will provide those things if done properly. No steak dinners, but hey you do what you must to live. 

    • Rachel Lance

      Sounds like you’ll come through this season stronger in the end – you touched on a few of Michael’s points above. Unemployment is certainly no fun, but often a time for great reflection and setting perspective straight.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      That’s right perspective!

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    Great post. This definitely helped me. I am currently unemployed looking for a job as finance is getting more and more tight. It’s discouraging to get knock-backs but the bright side is I’m learning so much during this tough season of my life. 

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      This time without a job has also given me the opportunity to practice piano for more then an hour a day. I’m learning valuable lessons on the ivories in this time that I may not have had if I had a job right now.

      • Jim Martin

        Daren, this must be such a difficult time for you.  Yet, you have managed to push again with piano practice.  Good for you!  Thanks for sharing how you have made the most of a difficult time.

        • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

          Thanks for the encouragement Jim. It’s really appreciated. As you know, it’s hard to keep the right perspective during difficult times so surrounding yourself with the right people helps immensely. It helps put everything into perspective.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Daren, you are in God’s precious hands. You have the right perspective. Surely doors will open up before you!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Keep going. One day I am going to say, “I knew Daren when…”

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        Thanks Barry. That’s a great encouragement to me with a 10-20 year perspective. Good news is I got a call back today!!! After a month of knock-backs this may be it. If not, praise God. But if so, Praise God!

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Daren,
          Call back! Yes! That’s awesome, man! You should celebrate that as a WIN! Let us know how that goes!

        • Rachel Lance

          So glad to hear about the call back! Praying for more doors to open.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I find the best perspective is after you’ve processed the pain. It is hard to see clearly through rejection, disappointment, failure, or whatever hurts. Maybe perspective is like the rainbow after the storm :) 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Lori, good thought.  Also, like your bio line – “Hope Coach”. Very nice. 

  • BG Allen

    Great!  I have been concerned by the fearful and “doomsday” talk of so many leaders.  I would also recommend reading “Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World” by Dr. Bradley Wright.  He also gives a more balanced view of what is going on in the world.  Some bad things have happened, but there is also a lot of wonderful things happening as well.

    • Jim Martin

      Thanks for recommending Bradley Wright’s book.  I have heard several people recommend this book in the last few months.  I just downloaded a sample on my Kindle after reading your comment.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         I did as well.  Thanks!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      BG, it’s like they say Bad news sells, good news doesn’t. So we get bombarded with the bad and we become fearful.

       Going to add the book to my reading list.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Perspective is so necessary in the busyness of life. There are so many people who are overwhelmed amd overloaded, and a dose of perspective – of what really matters for eternity – is often what they need. One of my goals is to help others gain that type of perspective and to simplify life in a way that makes them more fulfilled and focused. I am trying to take my own experiences in the pit of despair and help others find themselves again.

    • Jim Martin

      Kari, you make such a good point regarding the people who are overloaded and overwhelmed.  Then, so often, one more thing happens!   You are right, so many of us need perspective again, to see clearly again what really matters. 

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        My heart truly aches for those people because I have been there. I also have come out of where they are and want to help them out too. The trouble is that they often don’t see what I see… So many think that it’s just the nature of our culture today.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kari,
      This is exactly where my mind went.  Sometimes, because we are so busy, there are 4 or 5 things that are weighing on your mind—and it seems like no matter which way you turn life needs a perspective tweaking. I am looking to live more simply—but it’s a lot harder than it seems!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Yes, simplifying is a difficult and oftrn painful process. I didn’t pursue it; it pursued me. There’s no turning back now. I find that the more simplicity I integrate into my life, the more I want to simplify. It’s been my journey for the past two years. I am also just finish oi ng writing a Bible study on simplicity. Simplicity sure is simple but it’s definitely not easy.

  • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

    #5 on your list stands out.  It reminds of my daughter.  She was competing in front of a large crowd in a horse show.  The event involved jumping fences.  As she approached the second fence, a spectator peered out from the sidelines with a telephoto lens on his camera and the horse spooked.  Instead of jumping the fence, the horse bucked my daughter.  She landed flat on her back.  My daughter followed step #5, got back on her horse and finished the competition.  She walked away with several ribbons that day.

    In my own life, I find myself on the ground at this very moment and it’s time to get back up, dust myself off and complete the vision God has for my life.  It involves relocating to a new state without job offers in place.   Yes, it’s scary, however, everyone in my family has an unwavering belief we will ultimately prevail.  It’s as simple as following the five easy steps in your post.  Thanks for the pointers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love this story, Michael. I had a similar one growing up.

      • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

         Michael,  I’ve only been reading your blog for a short while and find your daily stories uplifting.  Will you be writing about your similar story in an upcoming blog?  I would like to know more about what you learned from your experience.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          It is definitely a candidate. However, I don’t have anything planned at this time. Thanks.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      No doubt your daughter is a “chip off the old block.”  I suspect she learned her get up and go attitude from her dad.  Great story.

      • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

        Thanks, Kelly.  My daughter taught me an important faith lesson on the day she was born, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.  When my wife discovered she was pregnant, we dreamed about a St. Patty’s Day child.  One week before her birth, the doctor said, “no way, you’re not even close.  Tell your husband it’s not happening.”

        I kept praying for a St. Patrick’s Day birth to bring honor to my father, Patrick, and to God.  And God DELIVERED…right on time, on St. Patrick’s Day, according to His perfect will.  And he delivered her from harm the day she got bucked from her horse.  God always delivers.  Just look at this team of bloggers on this site who keep encouraging others.  What an amazing group.

    • Rachel Lance

      Great illustration, Michael. Your daughter is blessed to have learned such an important life lesson so early. Thanks for sharing. 

      • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

         Thanks for your comment, Rachel.  I agree.  Isn’t it crazy how much our “falls” can help us to rise up stronger than ever?  Not only did my daughter learn an important life lesson, so did my wife and I.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patriciazell Patricia Hylton Zell

    I’ve been thinking a lot about context and perspective in recent days. Expanding beyond just leadership and business, I’ve realized that, as we’re born into this world and raised by parents/guardians, we don’t get to choose our contexts and perspectives. And, with a world full of deceptions, many of our contexts and perspectives are based on untruths. This is where walking with God and asking Him for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom can change our lives. (We could even say that the “baptism of fire” is God refining our contexts and perspectives so that we can make good choices.) Also, I suggest that we get rid of the word “failure”–all the promises of God are yea and amen, and He promised to make all things work together for our good. How can we lose?

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Good thoughts, Patricia. Failure used to be a “bad word,” the worst of all possible scenarios in my mind. I still don’t enjoy it, but it can be the very thing needed to propel me into something new and rich.

  • Tim Stoll

    Good article and very timely. One additional step to regain perspective is to go back to core values. Spiritually that might look like knowing that God has created each of us and has a purpose for each of us. How does the setback fit into God’s purpose for us?

    Another approach, following the admonition of Simon Sinek, is to start with a re-examination of our WHY. Why do we get up in the morning? Why do we do what we do? Why should anyone care?

    Keeping or regaining our perspective in the face of adversity is dependent on our anchor points – our grounding.

    • Jim Martin

      Tim, I like the emphasis in your comment.  You make a great point.  Going back to one’s core values and examining the eternal purpose of it all, could be very helpful in maintaining perspective.  Thanks.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Great point, Tim. Biblically, I think of Joseph, sold into slavery, then jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, yet he came out on top and said, “What man meant for evil, God meant for good.” We can’t control mankind, but we can have faith that God can use it…whatever IT is!

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    For some leaders it is almost impossible to acknowledge the current reality honestly.  But it you can’t acknowledge the situation frankly, how is it possible to plot the path ahead?

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Good question. I’ve seen that played out, and it’s painful to watch. It would have been much better for everyone involved if the leader could’ve simply said, “This isn’t working. Let’s try something else.”

  • Nancy

    Lately to remain focused on the right things I review what I spent time on during the day. This seems to be working well for me. After reading this post I am thinking it would be good to reflect on a list of what went well in my day, or to review this at the end of the week. This may assist me in balancing out my tendency to be too hard on my self for what did not go well during the week.

    • Jim Martin

      Nancy, I like your idea about the practice of keeping a list of what went well each day and reviewing it at the end of the week.  That seems like it would be so helpful in keeping life in perspective.

    • Rachel Lance

      Good idea, Nancy, it’s definitely good to focus on the stronger points. There is also some value, when thinking back on your day and those moments that didn’t go so well, in re-imagining the story as you wish it would have gone. Think of it as rehearsing for a better outcome for next time. 

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and to continually compare yourself (and your business) to others. This is when the perspective and focus are totally lost.

    We need to take a step back and realize that success is found in only being ourselves. When all we do is in alignment with our God given talents and our passion, failure is never an option or thought. It is only when we compare ourselves to others, negating our self-worth as an individual human being with huge gifts, do we lose sight of that horizon and the abundance that we can find if we remain focused and steadfast in all we do.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve been thinking along the same lines the past several days, Shannon. The pressure to be our “best” selves is often overwhelming, especially if we slip into comparison. Instead I believe we need to be ruthless in being our true selves, including our perspective–and response to–personal failures. It adds texture to life, even if it’s not enjoyable at the time.

      • Rachel Lance

        Great point. It seems to me that our “best self” is determined by outside voices and influences, but our “true self” is only discovered through self reflection on who God made us to be. I love your line about adding texture to life. 

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          I agree. Ironically, I just read the following this morning: “… So we learn to offer only those parts of us that are approved ,living out a carefully crafted performance to gain acceptance from those who represent life to us.” (The Sacred Romance, by Curtis & Eldridge)

          Somehow we get confused, thinking our “best self” is life to us. When, in fact, we run the risk of death to the true self.

  • http://www.NexTwelve.com Jer Monson

    I love this post Michael – Thanks for the great reminder! As John Maxwell says, one of a leader’s jobs is to define reality for his people, and you can’t do that very well if you have a poor perspective! Accordingly, I too found the Stockdale Paradox extremely compelling when I first read ‘Good to Great’ several years back. In fact, it’s one of the post-its that adorn my computer screen! I think that concept alone is worth investing in that book! 

    • Jim Martin

      Jer, thanks for the John Maxwell reminder about the leader’s job being to define reality for people.  You are right.  You certainly can’t do this very well if you have a poor perspective.  This is such a good reminder that our perspective may impact many other people.

  • http://www.SiaKnight.com/ Sia Knight

    This is a appropriate and timely post, Michael.  One way that I have managed to keeep perspective is by learning how to empathize without taking on the problems and issues of others.  I used to spend too much energy on problems that I can not solve and issues that I am unable to address.  Now I try to do my best to figure out ways that I can help and if I can’t, I acknowledge and embrace that fact.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      That’s a difficult balance, isn’t it Sia? Being a person of empathy without feeling responsible to solve every problem. Too far to one side and we end up weighed down by despair. Too far to the other, and we risk callousness.

  • Your Blog Angel

    Thank you so much for this article.  I needed it today.   Blessings…..

  • http://www.TestMyMessage.com Brian Schmitt

    After reading this post talking about Abundance, and reading Tim Ferris’ guest post by Peter regarding this book I have to read this book. Peter’s guest post was about how we are just beginning to tap the power of crowd-sourcing. Comparing the jump in available knowledge to the jump in communication over the last 200 years.

    As Keith Ferrazzi has been saying for a while it really is time to adopt a mindset of abundance over a mindset of scarcity.

  • http://nochnoch.com/ Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    just stumbled across here. thanks for the great blog. its true. it’s such a difference if we can stand back up or not!
    thanks for the reminder
    Noch Noch

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Appreciated reading your blog post on “10 Things Not to Say…” You offer insight into a world I have visited, depression, but I know mine tends to be seasonal (winter blues in Wisconsin) and manageable (usually).

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    “There is something to learn, something that even failure makes possible.” And, in some instances, failure is the only way to learn it.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       I don’t know if you would call loss of a job “failure,” but a number of people lost their jobs in our community a few years ago when a local factory cut back its workforce. My wife and I were numbered among them. She’s now working as a freelance editor and a children’s librarian (two jobs she enjoys as much as any she’s had). I’m writing (something I would have just kept dreaming about but not doing). Another friend entered med school. Another an accounting course. I have yet to meet a person who lost his or her job that hasn’t entered into a greater, more enjoyable opportunity.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        I LOVE THIS. What a beautiful example of how our worst-case-scenarios can end up being better than we ever imagined. Difficult, yes. But hope-full.

      • Rachel Lance

        Great reflections. I’ve witnessed several layoffs in my area as well, and can’t count the number of times people have come full circle to tell about the fulfillment and refreshment found through the journey of unemployment. 

  • Wyn

    Thanks for this blog. I was  similarly intrigued when I read the book  “The rational optimist” by M Ridley. Appreciate your communications via your blog.

    Wyn
    wyn@pedalion.co.uk
     @hywelwyn:twitter 
    http://www.pedalion.co.uk

  • Lady Whitmore

    This what I needed! I have had some things to cause me to lose focus. I am getting my priorities back on track.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    With some of the challenges I am facing right now, this is exactly whet I needed to hear.   Life has thrown me a few curve balls over the past few months, but as it turns out, a couple of them have turned out to be nothing than a fastball in disguise.  In fact, after taking the time to look over things more closely, I can see that silver lining that mentioned more clearly. 

    Perspective is key.  I have a tag in Evernote called perspective that has more items associated with it than almost anything else.  And this article adds one more.  Thanks!

    • Jim Martin

      Jeff, thank you for affirming the value of perspective even when you are in the middle of a difficult chapter in your life.  Also, I really like your practice regarding Evernote and the perspective tag.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Thanks, Jim!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I’m in the front third of Billy Graham’s “Nearing Home.” He addresses the issue of retirement and our need to prepare for that day. If you live long enough, it’s inevitable. He doesn’t hide the fact that aging is tough–loss of strength, loss of friends, etc. But he tempers aging’s sometimes harsh reality with the hope found in Scripture. The Bible puts the tough times–as Paul said, “these light and momentary afflictions”– into proper perspective.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I have often struggled with being a people pleaser. A couple months ago a lady in the church came to me and basically accused me of not doing my job. I had to take a couple deep breaths and then I answered them calmly. She was satisfied, but for the remainder of the day I felt like I had failed (even though I didn’t). To me it felt like a setback. I had to mentally work through some of these steps so I did not lose perspective for long and I could get back to doing what needed to be done.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I have been there! It sounds like you handled it great!

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    Admittedly, I’m a Pollyanna of sorts so I like to play the “glad game.” I like to count my blessings during life’s adversities. It’s not always easy, but a positive mindset influences the distance we travel. And I try to remember, as I’m knee-deep in revisions, that this, too, shall pass…

    What excellent advice today, as always!

    Blessings!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    This might seem silly to some, but I actually have a “yay me” file. It’s filled with the cards of thanks or encouragement I have received through the years from folks whom I have impacted.  It has the “good job” notes from former employers too.  When I am experiencing a failure, or loss of good perspective, I can pull out my file and say, “I may not be perfect, but I’ve done some really good stuff.” Then I shake off the blues and (#5) keep moving forward.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       I like the “yay me” file idea. It never hurts to remind ourselves of the triumphs we’ve experienced.

    • Jim Martin

      Kelly, this certainly doesn’t sound silly to me.  I have something similar.  Occasionally I will receive an encouraging note, e-mail, card, etc.  For years, I have saved these in a particular file.  A few years ago, I reread some of these.  They provided great encouragement.

  • Lisa

    I am 50, a woman, and got laid off. I am having a big challenge keeping good perspective. I want to start my own business.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I can imagine, Lisa. Keeping perspective is especially difficult when facing the reality of providing for basic needs, etc. What’s keeping you from starting that business? We started our own business about 7-8 years ago, and I can tell you it is possible. It was very tight for a time, and I definitely struggled with keeping my positive outlook during the transition. But, speaking with hindsight, it was the best decision we could’ve made!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       It’s a tough spot to be in Lisa but it is one that you can grow from.

      If you’re wanting to start your own business and need a kickstart, I suggest you check out Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love and/or No More Mondays. Full of inspiration and knowledge to get you moving on the right track.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Lisa, I agree with Joe and Michele.  If you start a good business and make it work, you’ll never go back to working a job!  

      If you haven’t already, review this article about launching your next big project that Michael posted last week.  It will help you with launching a business.

      Best wishes and keep us updated on your progress!

  • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

    Sometimes I wonder if a larger part of society’s negativity is just general discontentment. I battle with this daily. I have lived in two third-world countries, and I still find myself longing to return there despite the comfort and freedom I enjoy in the US.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I think you make an excellent point. Prosperity does not automatically equate to happiness.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Rob,
      Can you put a finger on exactly why? Simplicity? commercialism? calling? Sincerity? Would love to hear your thoughts as to why.

      • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

        I think it really comes down to human’s desire to be comfortable. It doesn’t matter if the issue is your job, your church, your family, or the government, I think it all stems from each individual’s desire to be comfortable and lashing out against the things in their life that cause discomfort.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    Perspective sure is important. I thought of Andy Andrews’ “The Noticer” throughout my reading of this post. I loved that line “sometimes all a person needs is a little perspective”.

  • http://marktdutton.com Mark T. Dutton

    Great post! I have to say I just walked through many of these steps with a recent launch about a month ago. There was a problem found day 1, and it was crushing to my momentum. I wanted to find a whole and crawl into it. Once I accepted it and owned up and apologized to those who it affected, The solution worked out for the better in many ways, and most everyone who was affected was very understanding and respectful about the situation when I just admitted the problem and went straight to work on a solution.  I didn’t do this perfectly by any means, and it took a lot of resisting the temptation to hide from the problem, but in the end, the 5 things you stated are spot on! Thanks for writing this post as it helped bring clarity to my recent situation and helped me learn even more from the experience!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Sounds like you handled the situation well Mark. Glad you were able to see better things come from admitting the error.

  • Larry Galley – brdgbldr72

    Michael – I am confident that you, being a golfer, can empathize with my situation.  I am an amateur golfer—by every definition—my game is fraught with “setbacks.”  Whether its a shot that has exited the premisses—stage left or right—dribbled off the front of the tee box, gone for a swim or just plain wouldn’t cooperate with my plan, it’s a “setback”!  How I approach these setbacks has a significant impact on the rest of my game.

    In order to keep from moving from a poorly executed  or ill advised shot to an irrevocably tarnished round—when my body and mind have betrayed me—I find  it very helpful go through the 3G’s—BEFORE stepping into position for my next swing.  These 3G’s include:

    1.  Grieve – Give myself a moment to lament the error of my ways and the incumbent misfortune that has occurred and “forgive myself” (I’m not a worthless piece of slime.  Stuff happens.  My swing does not define me)

    2.  Grow -  Sift through the remnants of the damage for clues of what happened—what can I learn?  What do I need to do differently next time?

    3.  Go – Go through my pre-shot routine of what I need to do right—notice I said “what needs to go right “NOT” what do I need to keep from doing”—and then pull the trigger.

    This routine has made my golf game AND my LIFE GAME much more enjoyable.

    Warm Regards,

    Larry

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like your outline. This would make a great blog post!

      • Larry Galley – brdgbldr72

         Michael – Thanks for the encouragement.  I posted this piece just 5 min. ago at golfwisdomlife.com

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      The intersections between life and Golf are limitless! :)

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    For years I let a tragic event when I was a teen hold me back. It wasn’t until I changed my entire thought process about it that I began encountering the successes I wanted. I may not have verbalized them, but many of these ideas are what I used.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Congrats on moving forward, Larry!  Many people never do…

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Perspective is everything. I found this story, which I shared on my blog today:

    Three men are in a quarry, crushing rocks. Someone asks them what
    they’re doing. One says, “Breaking these boulders into little rocks.”
    Another says, “Earning a living to feed my family.” The last one says,
    “Building a cathedral.”

    Like I said, perspective is everything.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       I’ve always loved that story Jeff. I bet the guy “building a cathedral” had the best work ethic and created the best work.

    • Jim Martin

      Jeff,  I love that story.  It is one of those stories that does me good each time I hear it.  Such a reminder that perspective is everything.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Ditto. Love that story.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I can’t get discouraged when I share the Gospel with someone and they choose not to accept Jesus Christ. It hurts because they just don’t understand what an amazing life they can have with Jesus in it! 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Kimanzi— Good point. I have to remember that it’s not me they are rejecting.right? Sometimes you can take that personally, and to a degree that’s OK… But ultimately it’s not our job to convince.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        You said exactly what I was thinking! All we can do at this point is pray they see the truth!

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          True that!

  • Mark

    Okay. After serving 2.5 years in an unhealthy church, the equally unhealthy senior leadership decided someone must pay for the dis-function…the new guy, me, was elected.  I am still working thru the pain, looking for the positive and trying to move forward. Great plan and very pragmatic….but the heart does not often move as quickly as the head. I’m also reminded of one of the truths about battles; the winner gets to name the battle. Interestingly the people who inflict pain feel little. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s easy to get bogged down in the everyday details of life.  I have to remind my team all the time to not get frustrated because one person is making bad decisions or not being a good team player. It’s easy to let the actions of one or two bring the morale of the whole team down.

  • http://twitter.com/LisaColonDelay Lisa Colón DeLay

    Wars and rumors of wars. We’ve always had them, whether they be internal or in the wild world.

    Much of this idea about perspective has so much to do with taming fear.

    I’m not an optimist like me husband, but I do know that when I’m getting too fatalistic, cynical, or worried about the future, an injection of hope based on what we know about a benevolent deity and the undeniable goodness that is part of human interactions across cultures goes a long way. Plus, more sunlight helps in the winter months, I should add!

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    Such an awesome post, on how to deal with the challenges and setbacks we all encounter.  I’m helping facilitate a 6-week course on Loss, and one of the common issues on dealing with loss, is that people do not allow enough time for the grieving process.    The 5 steps listed above will be an awesome tool for all of us.

    Blessings!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Great post! Comes at the perfect time as the more I grow in leadership, the bigger the target gets on my back. Loved this comment, “something important for us to remember as leaders. Even in the midst of setbacks and failures, we make progress—if we maintain perspective.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jaylen-Watkins/100003217686270 Jaylen Watkins

    Thanks  for this inspiring post. It is superb!

    http://www.foodprocessingjobs.org

  • http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeDGregory George Gregory

    Awesome post, Michael - 
    Instead of just wringing our hands over the mess the world is in, why not go out and make a difference? One thing sure to help your perspective is to go and find someone who could use a hand themselves – getting our eyes of ourselves is one of the best ways to get back to get out of our own emotional ruts. It’s easy to get busy in my own little corner and forget about the important people in my life. Thanks for a valuable reminder.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Oftentimes when things aren’t going my way, I say to myself, “In this life, there is no lasting peace, no hope, and no victory.” ‘ Lasting’…is the key word. We thank God for all our temporal victories. Realizing that they won’t last.

    But in our Lord, Jesus Christ, we do have authentic life which will bring us lasting and forever victory.

    Great post!  Thank you!

  • http://coffeehousepilgrim.wordpress.com/ Cody Alley

    This is a great post!  It seems to me that we are conditioned to be negative by the culture around us.  I sometimes get strange looks from my colleagues when I point out the positive side of what’s otherwise seen as a negative challenge. 

    And this is extremely applicable to my family right now, too.  Thank you!

  • http://iampart.wordpress.com/ Travis Rieth

    Last summer I set out into Denver to live with the homeless in order to “become their neighbor”. The first night, just a couple hours after walking downtown, I was sitting on a bench worrying because my plans on finding a place to sleep were falling through. My confidence was deteriorating as all the other ideas of how I could fail were going through my mind. I was questioning how I was ever going to help others.

    I knew times like this would come (I didn’t expect them to come so fast) and remembered that even though there would be discomfort and problems to overcome answers were out there. I would still be around the next day and week and by then my problems would be solved.It was about putting the setback in context, not freaking out and trusting in the ability to move on rather than quitting because it was hard. That night I found  a place to sleep, got food and met a few (of many) people that I would get to know and love on for the next couple months.

    All just because I managed not to quit in the beginning.

  • Lew Boore

    As a hi-tech executive specializing in VC-funded start-ups, a proper positive perspective is key to success as set-backs occur regularly.  I/ we also point out about the how we can learn about  the set-back/ failure, and it’s place in the  “eternal scheme of things” (i.e. God).  Leadership is also key- during a layoff we were forced to have a few years ago, I actually laid myself off, as it was only the “right thing” to do to ensure that the overall leadership of the company retained legitimacy in the eyes of the employees and investors.  And my decision resulted in being able to witness to others.

  • Paul Sidwell

    It is incredibly important to maintain perspective, and that’s really hard to do without a written plan of what you were trying to do in the first place.  Take time to create this, and refer to it often, and more often as setbacks occur.  Make sure your efforts are still guiding you toward your goals.  If needed, change your goals to something actually attainable. Maybe you set them too high? Long term, that’s good, but if you’re like me, the tendency to remain focused on the long term is practically debilitating- it causes me to lose sight of what I must do *now* to make it to the goal as planned. Reviewing my written plan helps me stay in touch with my goals and keep a proper perspective.

  • Ingrid

    In Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina, Our Blessed Mother has been appearing to visionaries for nearly 31 years.  Out of an inspiration by the Holy Spirit, I travelled there, all expenses paid by others and unusual circumstances.  It took my breath away to see all the people praying, confessing their sins and the conversions.  We are being called by heaven to unity to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We really must listen to how God is speaking to us in these times.  The television, I can’t stand to watch.  I pray, pray, pray.  I have also learned that Jesus sends specific prayers for us to pray as he did in the gospel (the Our Father).  I have learned to pray the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet.  These are powerful prayers for our time. Thank you for allowing me to share with you and God Bless your endeavors.

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  • Ken

    Mike, As usual you direct us toward the positive.  This was an extremely helpful post for me.  Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    We must never lose sight of the big picture. I was laid off from a career of 24 years, and with a family of 6 to provide for, I’m doing my best to get to normal. What helps me?
    -Take time to remember and give thanks for the good things. When you take stock you’ll realize there has been plenty of blessing as well-Read your Bible regularly and think about what you’re reading. It’s never been all peaches and cream even for some of the most devout; stuff happens. God’s promise is that He’ll use it if we give it to Him.-Conscious dependence on God.-Take time to love and serve others; get your eyes off yourself. Like physical exercise, this often takes a conscious effort, and like exercise, it energizes rather than wears you out.I’m living in the same turbulence many others are, but I’ve never been more aware of God’s hand and His faithfulness. We must turn to face our problems with that awareness.

  • Jan Macy

    Thanks for this positive post.  It’s so easy to just see the bad.  

    I started a Joy Journal a couple years ago when I was overwhelmed by the negative.  The Bible tells us to think on the good and the noble.  I found if I truly looked for the positive every day.  It was there.  We find what we are looking for.  

  • Bmwbear129

    Regaining perspective for me took some time.  I am a mother of two separated from my husband of 18 years because of his drug addictions.  I stayed in the relationship because I feared that I could not handle things on my own only to discover I already was!  Putting reality back into focus was as easy as regaining my self-confidence and I only found that in God.  I no longer struggle with the “what to dos”  I have learned to look up the “how to dos” instead!

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  • Jessica Zirbes

    I am an optimist, so I am on the same page with you. Well said!
    I also believe that test and trial make us stronger. I get excited about opportunities for my character to grow. (Yikes, did God here that?)

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  • Donovankitkat

    If success was the result of every attempt there  would be no improvement, no adjusting and no leaders. Failure makes us better and allows for efficiency.

  • http://www.goalguru.com/blog goal setting

    Every challenge I have ever experienced has led me to something greater than anything I could have ever predicted or expected. Just keep looking for the lessons and you will find them. The moment you play the victim, you lose all hope of finding the lesson. The people who triumph over adversity seem to have an acceptance that there is a reason for everything.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill Koenig

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