Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Every challenge that we face is the opportunity to become more than we’ve been before. Lyena Strlkoff

This morning when the alarm rang at 6:00 I didn’t dare put my head back on the pillow, it’s really 5:00 to me. Does it make sense to go through this time change every spring and fall? Of course, it isn’t the biggest thing we are thinking about this year. It has never been the biggest thing except for those places that have said we aren’t changing anymore. The rest of us have continued to go along with the program because unless someone else doesn’t change it doesn’t make sense for us not to change too.

Sometimes we make big decisions in our lives because we are sick of waiting for other people to tell us if we can do something. Many people start their own businesses because no one wants to give them a job, or the kind of job they know they are capable of doing. Many business owners are not as educated as the people they hire are. It’s one of the reasons they are a business owner. It was the only way to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish in life.

Self-publishing is like that. Some people self-publish after years of rejection. Some of us decide we’ll skip the gatekeeper altogether. I didn’t even send my book out to a publisher or try to find an agent. I went straight to Amazon and published my book for free. I started writing the next one instead of wasting years flogging the first one to agents and publishers.

I’ve wondered if facing adversity isn’t a blessing many times? We overcome challenges and build better lives. Where is the point where too much adversity and too much challenge are a detriment? When is it just enough to push people to be masters of their own fate? What is the difference? A big part of the difference has to be the environment we live in. Does our environment reward the risk-takers?

Being our own boss is tough because if we aren’t a tough enough boss we won’t achieve anything. If we have all day to do something but we don’t push ourselves, nothing gets done. If we are not self-motivated meaning we don’t get up and get to whatever it is we need to do then being our own boss might not work for us.

Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before. Shelby Steele

Mindset is a big deal. It isn’t new even if the term “growth mindset” was coined by Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset” in 2007. How we think, and what we think has always been important. This is what many of the proverbs, cultural sayings, and religious texts from all cultures have been telling us. “Our thinking makes it so.” What else are we but the thoughts we think and the actions we take? That’s it, that’s all there is and we build our lives thinking and doing, doing and thinking. What is the difference between those who really master life and those who don’t? Is it just thinking better thoughts and doing better deeds?

We can look at anyone we see as a role model and find out what books they read and who has been an influence in their lives. We have access to the greatest books that have impacted the most people. It is one thing that gives me pause. Should anyone spend time with my book when there are so many truly great books to read that will make a difference in their lives? It isn’t just books of wisdom that impact people’s lives. Novels where we get to know characters, their motivations their challenges, and the way they struggle and overcome adversity affect us and may help us look at our struggles and adversity in new ways.

We learn a lot from other people’s stories. Often we get these stories from TV and movies instead of books. They impact us when we see them on screen, but not as much as when we read about them. We connect with characters in books at a deeper level than on screen. In a book, we can know their thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges that are harder to depict on screen. We are transported to another time and place in a book more so than in a movie. We also spend more time with the characters in a book. We often think about the characters as we go about our daily business waiting for a chance to immerse ourselves in the book again for a few stolen moments.

I don’t have the book club pick read for our meeting tomorrow night. It’s been a busy month of preparing speeches. I will give my regrets for not reading the book but I will show up on zoom for our meeting. The books bring up themes we end up talking about. If we haven’t read the book we missed out on the book but usually, the discussion is about themes that affect us all.

Jordan Peterson’s new book “Beyond Order” is out and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve never figured out what the controversy he stirs up is all about. Isn’t getting our own life in order what we are supposed to do? Why would anyone encouraging people to clean their own house before complaining about someone else’s be a problem? I might be missing something. The power we have is to make our lives the best they can be regardless of the circumstances we are in. When we do this we may find we have more opportunities than we originally thought. When we make order out of chaos, challenge ourselves to be better people instead of just expecting everyone else to be better we become masters of our own fate. When we become better we may make it better for everyone around us.

Jordan Peterson’s message of taking charge of our own life is a message resonating with young people. I find it hard to believe how anyone following his advice would find it negative when they look back at the changes they made in their lives. He doesn’t support wallowing in victimhood and that might be scary for those who prey on those who see themselves as victims. It is empowering for those who thought they were victims, to take back their power, turn their lives around, and start seeing the opportunities instead of only problems.

Have you read a good book lately? Has it impacted your life?

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. Sun Tzu

Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life. Joni Eareckson Tada

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C.S. Lewis

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you read my book Secrets and Silence I hope you will leave a review on Amazon. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life Hardcover – March 2 2021

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

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