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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thriving During Tough Times - Keeping the Faith

By Jon L Iveson

When we are in the midst of the storm, it is
sometimes hard to maintain high levels of faith in the ultimate outcome
of our situation.  But this is precisely the time to cultivate our
faith and persist.  Faith will allow us to find peace in the storm and
find the next right action for our situation. 

Courage is often
defined as action in the face of fear and doubt.  We must have the
courage during the storm to cultivate our faith even when it seems
lacking.  This cultivated faith will then allow us to take positive
action when we are in the middle of the storm.  This faith will not
only serve us well during these prolonged tough times but it will also
serve us well at all times in the future.

When you lack faith
during the challenges of these tough times, consider the following
examples and then take the three specific actions below to cultivate
your faith to overcome any of your challenges!

Examples:

  • When
    Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it took over 2,000 experiments
    to get it right.  When a reporter asked how it felt to fail so many
    times, he said "I never failed once.  I invented the light bulb.  It
    just happened to be a 2,000 step process."
  • Richard Bach
    completed just one year of college, spent just twenty months as an Air
    Force jet fighter pilot before resigning, and worked as an editor of an
    aviation magazine as it went bankrupt.  Life simply became one failure
    after another.  When he wrote Jonathon Livingston Seagull, he couldn't
    think of an ending.  The manuscript went unfinished for eight years
    before he finally came up with an ending.  It was then rejected by 18
    publishers.  When it was finally published, it sold more than 7 million
    copies and made Richard Bach an internationally known and respected
    author.
  • A young Canadian named Terry Fox had his cancer
    ridden leg amputated yet vowed to run on one leg from coast to coast
    through Canada to raise $1 million for cancer research.  Although he
    was forced to quit halfway through the attempt because the cancer had
    spread to his lungs, he did raise the funds and his foundation has gone
    on to raise ten of millions of dollars for cancer research.
  • Victor
    Frankl survived a longtime capture in Nazi concentration camps even
    after suffering the loss of his father, mother, brother, and wife in
    those same concentration camps. He lost his loved ones, every
    possession and suffered from hunger, cold, and brutality.  Yet, he kept
    his faith, survived, and made a significant impact in this world.
  • Admiral
    Jim Stockdale survived an eight-year imprisonment during the Vietnam
    War in which he was tortured over twenty times.  He went on to say
    about the experience, "I never lost faith in the end of the story.  I
    never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would
    prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of
    my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."  Jim Collins coined
    the Stockdale Paradox on the basis of Admiral Jim Stockdale's
    experience.  The Stockdale Paradox is to "Retain faith that you will
    prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties AND, at the same
    time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, wherever
    they might be."

Cultivating Your Faith:

1. Remember that the only people who don't have any problems are dead
Consider that to give your situation perspective and begin creating an
attitude and mindset to address all problems with true appreciation for
the life you have been given to live (to its fullest).

2. All problems are just misdirected energy. 
The problems of a down economy are just different than the problems of
a booming economy.  They are all problems of misdirected energy.  We
are all suffering from the general misdirected energy of greed and
entitlement right now but these problems can be overcome.  Ask yourself
how can I re-direct the energy of my situation to create solutions,
peace, and abundance?  Then, take action to move the energy around you
in that direction.

3. Become an inverse paranoid! 
This is Principle #6 of Jack Canfield's Success Principles and it means
to believe that the universe is working to enrich, empower, and advance
your causes.  If you need help thinking like an inverse paranoid,
consider the following biblical verse:

"IF GOD BE FOR US WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?"  ROMANS 8:31

Ask
yourself if you are aligning your thoughts and actions with your higher
power.  If you are, you should immediately find peace and be motivated
by right action.  If not, re-align your thoughts and deeds to gain
peace during your storm and begin looking for the ways that the
universe is conspiring in your favor! 

Ask yourself, how can I
use this experience to my advantage?  Then, take action.  If that
action does not lead to your expected outcomes, learn from it and know
that God has something better in store for you.

About the Author:

Jon
L. Iveson, Ph.D., The Champion's Coach, is a Gazelles Certified Coach
who helps individuals and companies produce champion results and build
champion relationships. Access Jon's FREE 21-page e-Book on "The 8
Steps to Thriving during Tough Times" and other valuable resources at http://www.ThrivingduringToughTimesToday.com


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