Coping with Life
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The First Steps To Being Successful

Many millions of people are striving to be successful; to improve their situations, provide better for their families, and to pull themselves out of poverty or debt. But to many people, it seems impossible. They don't have money to start a business, or they don't have skills, and they just feel like it's impossible. But it is possible!

To start working towards your dream may seem as daunting as eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant?
First you decide you are going eat it.
To eat an elephant, you take one bite at a time.
To eat an elephant, you have to realise you gonna be there awhile.
To eat an elephant, you need to live with the fact that you may get sick of eating elephant before you're half done!

THE BIG DECISION.
Deciding to go for your dream is actually the first and most important step. If you don't make a strong, definite decision you will take 3 bites of the elephant and then decide that you don't feel like elephant anymore, or you're "full!" Best practice is to write your decision down, along with reasons, rationale and motive for the decision. Put the date on it and sign it, and keep it handy so you can get it out and remind yourself what you are doing this for when things get rough.

ONE BITE AT A TIME
So to succeed, you have to tackle your goal one small step at a time. For example, if you want to write a book, first step is to write the first page. Then figure out a plot. Don't even think about publishing it yet - that's step 437!

YOU GOING TO BE THERE AWHILE
Most people take a long time to realise their dream. There is the odd exception where the person gets rich overnight, but that's not the norm. In fact, if you looked into the guys life, you would probably find that he's tried a hundred other things before he struck it rich with the one everybody sees. People seldom crow about their failures.

So we are talking about endurance. Don't let minor (or even major) failures discourage you. We all have them. You need to just get up and try again. You HAVE to get it right eventually! Edison, the famous inventor, tried to make a better working light bulb, and failed something like ten THOUSAND times (according to some sources) but he never gave up, and eventually was successful.

YOU WILL PROBABLY GET VERY SICK OF EATING ELEPHANT
On the way to achieving your dream, you will encounter times that are boring and tedious. You may have built an amazing invention, and now you have to do reams of paperwork for the patent office. But fight on through these times. They will come to an end eventually. And they are necessary to the success of your endeavours. Don't be like the joke about the marathon runner, who was 2 miles from the end when he said "Boy, I'm too tired to carry on! I'm going back...!"  When it seems like the boring work will never end, that's usually when you're on the brink of success. And of course, you will never know how close you are until success actually happens.

AFTER THE ELEPHANT COMES THE DESSERT!
We must keep our eyes on our goal and plough on through the mountainous seas, like a ship going through a storm, knowing the safe harbour is just over the horizon. Looking forward to that thrill of success can keep us going. Never give up - you HAVE to succeed sometime!

How To Get Out of Depression

Being depressed saps you of energy and even the desire to get out of your depression. But nobody really likes being depressed. Especially not if it drags on for weeks, months, and years. So is there a way to pull yourself out of depression?

Actually, there is a way.

First of all, as any general would say, you have to know your enemy. And yes, if you have an enemy to attack, it means you've got a fight on your hands.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Depression, once it gets going, actually causes chemical changes in the brain that perpetuate the depression; in other words, it feeds on itself. Depression is caused by you allowing bad circumstances to create negative thinking. This negative thinking, when you continue with it, causes the chemical changes in the brain that make you think more negative thoughts, until you reach a stage where everything looks grim and grey and hopeless, and you don't really care about anything or anybody. You start wrinkling up into a small self-absorbed ball.

DECIDE THAT YOU WANT TO ENGAGE THIS ENEMY

You have to make a definite, conscious, formal decision that you are going to attack your depression with the intention of defeating it. Write this decision on a piece of paper, with the date and your signature, and stick it up where you can see it, preferably at home and where you would see it when you wake up in the morning.

ATTACK THIS ENEMY AT IT'S ROOT!

The root of depression is negative thoughts. If you take these thoughts captive and annihilate them,  then you take away the fuel that is keeping your depression alive. So here's an example: You get the thought "I can never succeed." You recognise it as a negative thought because it doesn't make you feel better or happy. Chuck it out of your mind as trash. Then REPLACE it with the positive mirror of that thought, which is "I can succeed. There's no reason why I can't succeed at something. I just have to keep trying different things!"

Another example: "Nobody likes me." Is the thought a negative one? YES. So trash it. Replace with "There are thousands of people in this world that would like me if they got to know me. I will just make friends with other people that society has rejected because they are too slow, or ugly, or poor. They will appreciate my friendship!"

You can be creative. But even just trashing a negative thought and saying "Well, it's a lovely sunny day at least" is a step in the right direction. After awhile the chemical imbalance in the brain will start to shift back to normal, and the positive thoughts will begin to happen without any effort. It's kinda like learning to ride a bicycle.

DONT WORRY IF THE ENEMY GETS A PUNCH IN HERE OR THERE!

Sometimes you have a really bad day and you fall back into entertaining negative thoughts. Don't worry - just go read your decision paper again, and start fresh from that moment, like you are starting with a clean slate. Leave the past behind, because you can't change it anyway. Look forward, and fight on!

GET BACKUP

If possible, get someone to help and encourage you. Tell them what you are intending to do, and explain the method to them, so that they can also contribute positive input. Explain to them that negative talking is banned!  They can help by coming up with ideas on how to reinforce your positive thoughts. One lady stuck little sticky notes all over her house with positive statements, and Bible promises, and happy thoughts written on them. She came out of major depression, stopped all her medication and has been OK for about 12 years now. She still has to guard against negative thinking, but is now able to do so a lot easier.

AND THEN THE SUN CAME OUT AGAIN...

So you see, you can make it. It's a fight, make no mistake, but it really is a winnable fight.
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Am I Really So Useless?

The short answer? NO! NO, you're NOT useless.

Everyone has talents and gifts. Everyone can make a difference in this world. Everyone.

Every person has the same amount of gifting, or talents. But everyone is different. Albert Einstein was useless at school, especially at Math. Yet he went on to become one of the greatest scientists of all time. It was just that his manner of thinking didn't fit in with the school system he was a part of. He thought out of the box, so he appeared unintelligent, but he was not.

Some people are able to do amazing things with their hands, but are useless at math or accounting. Their talents do not lie in the academic field; but they are extremely clever people, able to visualise objects in 3D and conceptualise a project without ever lifting a pencil.

Other people just have an amazing talent for being kind to people, and caring for the unlovely, the old and the crippled. This is a gift, and you'd better believe it.

The world has skewed the perception of what makes a person valuable, and what makes a person clever or useful to society. People measure success by the size of your house or the price of your car; but this is a flawed value system, as they give low values to people that are vital to the continued existence of society. For example, if there was no sewerage system, how long do you think cities would be pleasant to live in? If no building had toilets, how would we survive? It's a thing we think is unimportant, when in fact it is vital. And so it is with what we class as "unimportant people."  There is no such thing as an unimportant person.

Everyone is important. Everyone is useful. Often the simplest, poorest person is the wisest. Remember the chicken farmer with a back to front cap that won  America's got Talent? Did you notice how people misjudged him? Sometimes we have to really look closely to see talents and gifts in people. But it's always there somewhere. People often hide these gifts because they worry about what other people will think of them, but with encouragement from a friend or two, their talents blossom, and we find that they are absolutely awesome at what they do.

So don't ever think you are useless, or unintelligent. It may just be that you have not discovered where your gift lies, or you haven't been encouraged enough to get out there and do what you know you are good at.

You are vital to society. You can make a difference. You are needed.
What To Do If Your Parents Are Divorcing


A pain in your heart, like a weight pushing in on it, is something kids in a divorce feel a lot. It's a cruel, hard thing to happen to any young person, and it should never, ever happen. But it does, and so this article is especially for you: the son or daughter of the parents who are getting a divorce.

Firstly: you are OK. Sure, you may have done some bad things; you may have made life a little difficult for your parents at times. But this is NO EXCUSE for them to get divorced. Their divorce is NOT your fault. So don't feel guilty, but rather clear your mind of guilt so that you can better handle the challenges ahead. Now remember - you are special, and wonderful, and God loves you! So keep your chin up and lets see what you can do about this problem!

Your parents will also be feeling tremendous pain at this time, even if they don't show it. So try and feel pity for them, and not bitterness or anger. They are actually just confused, bewildered people who have lost sight of what they had - what made them fall in love with each other in the first place.

What you can do is try to remind them of those things. You may not have been there at the time :-) but you could ask your parents (maybe one at a time) about where they met for the first time, why they liked each other, where they went on dates, funny things that happened to them, their first kiss... It's possible to get your folks back together, even after they have divorced. (The author knows of two couples who remarried each other after being divorced for a few years!!)  So don't give up.

Try to love both your parents with all your strength, with all your heart and all your mind. The love you need to have for them is a "I want nothing back" kind of love. A giving love. Now this is a hard thing for a young kid to do; in fact it's hard for adults too - but it's worth it. By loving them like this you will be breaking the cycle of bitterness and selfishness that often characterizes a marriage breakup. And although it's hard, imagine if you succeed ! That means that you will then reap a reward of having a family again, and that love will be returned to you!

Remember that you are not alone. There are a lot of other kids that are going through the same thing. If you've got access to a computer and the internet, maybe you could start a blog (You can do it for free) where you and other kids can talk about their experiences - sort of like a support group - just so you don't feel alone. "A problem shared is a problem halved."

Last but not least: If you want to read the handbook on marriage by the person that designed it in the first place, get yourself a Bible and read Corinthians and Ephesians. Then you will see what a marriage is really supposed to be like.

And when you get married (because you are definitely going to get through this bad time) make sure that you marry for Life! Scratch the word 'divorce' out of your dictionary!





Hi,
I really feel for you in this situation. My daughter is dating a guy who's parents are separated and his dad doesn't like him, his Mom lives far away and has remarried, and I can see his heart is so sore. So to all you others who are in this situation: I hope this article helps a little bit. I'll be rooting for you to succeed!

I have a relationships page on my website at www.infoguru.co.za where I will be posting this article and others like it. There are other topics there too, including a humor page which might cheer you up!

All the best. Hang in there! Remember you are SPECIAL!!!

Duncan Kelly