This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Power of Positive Perception: Part 3

Continued excerpts from the great little book "Beyond Illusions: The Magic of Positive Perceptions" by Brad Barton:

(for more excerpts, see below)

"Know ye not that they which run in a race, run all; but one receiveth the prize - so run that ye may obtain." - 1 Corinthians 9:24

"Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." - Charles Swindoll

When we focus on the 10% (what happens to us) and just sit in, bemoaning our fate and not move into the 90% (what we can do about it), we give what happens to us much more weight than it deserves.

When Viktor Frankl wrote of his experience in surviving the holocaust, he said that instead of focusing on the horror of every day events, we have the power to choose our response, and "in our response, lies our growth and freedom." (See Excerpts from Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl)

(From Brad's brother Will who experienced a tragic, life changing accident): "I lay there in real pain, struggling for breath.  Then something within me awakened.  I saw it all clearly.  The pain, the trial, the discipline were all part of a greater purpose, a refining process meant for growth and self-mastery.  This was my defining moment."

"Life is supposed to be hard.  That's why we are here - to experience and grow and learn and appreciate how wonderful it all is." - Will Barton

There is evil in the world.  There are flat tires and nasty neighbors.  There is trauma and tragedy, like falling out of a tree on a cold snowy day and landing on your head.  That's a fact.  But facts make up only 10% of reality.  Perception - and the way we apply our perception - is the other 90%.  It is in the 90s, this place of power, we gain the prize - freedom!

"Life is a bit like school, except that God gives us the test first; we study for them afterwards.  Truly from treasures disguised as infirmities come our greatest strengths." - Vance Anderson

My brother Will was aptly named.  He refused to walk away from his experience empty handed.  He and his family have paid a bitter price, but they did not leave their purchase on the counter.  His purchase, paid for in pain, is worth every penny.  By choosing not to focus on the grim circumstances, he used his will to alter his perspective.  He cashes in on what is ultimately worth many times the price of experience.  Just like us, Will strives daily to run his race, and win the prize - freedom!

"He who learns must suffer.  And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart.  And in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful* grace of God." - Aeschylus

* the word "awful" used to mean "awe-inspiring".

Having someone believe in me did not make my path easy.  It made it possible.

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us.  What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pine

"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out." - Ronald Reagan

       "Basketball is like life; it is a series of interrelated events or 'plays'.  We move the ball forward from one play to the next in a never-ending march toward the final buzzer.  Along the way, opinions, judgments, and decisions that effect us significantly are made by people other than us - decisions that we have little or no control over.  Conclusions are drawn, judgments are made, verdicts are reached and sentences passed that seem to alter the course of our lives.
        It is all too easy to become focused on the call and thereby lose sight of the game.  Rather than wasting time and energy concentrating on the call - something over which we have little control - we should be anxiously engaged in the playing of the game." - Weber State University Coach Chick Hislop

Sometimes we do carry a heavier burden because of someone else's mistake.  That is a hard reality.  However, carrying the additional burden of anger and self pity adds needlessly to the heavy load we already bear.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference."
- Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Nieburh

The way we play the game is the only thing we have control over - it is the only thing that matters.

As long as we focus on the poor call we are diverted from our game.  Don't get me wrong, wrongful accusations; accidents; misjudgments; poor decisions by others that affect us do cost us.  Sometimes they cost us dearly.  But, in life, they never cost the game - as long as we stay focused on the game and our attention and energy are not misdirected by the call.

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." - Stephen Covey

The treasure is not so much in the winning, but in the pursuit.

To be unfettered by poor habit, weak constitution, and lack of responsibility, is to know true freedom.  Getting beyond illusions of circumstances, bad luck, and disadvantage - that is freedom.

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president.  You realize that you control your own destiny." - Albert Ellis


To see more excerpts from Brad Barton's  book, see:

The Power of Positive Perception: Part 1
The Power of Positive Perception: Part 2

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