Posts Tagged ‘pain

26
Feb
13

burned out or fired up?

569908-moreton-island-fireThe lone survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none came.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But one day, after scavenging for food, he came home to find his hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.

The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.

“God, how could you do this to me?” he cried.

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers.

“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

Have you ever had something you’ve cared about or worked for stripped away from you? Our perception of what is good for us is often flawed. Many times it’s rooted in feelings of inferiority or fear, so much so that we may even cling to inhabiting an island that we know isn’t healthy for us. Human beings have acute short-sightedness when it comes to seeing the big picture.

Loss equates to great pain and, if you put your “vision lenses” on, great gain. Something or someone is being purged out of your life for a reason. We scream out in anger and frustration to God because we don’t understand why. Thank God that, despite the fact that we think we know what’s best for our lives, there are greater forces at work advocating for us whether we appreciate it or not.

Every time you go down in flames is a chance for you to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Thomas Edison said it best: “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

13
Feb
12

I will always love you. It’s me I hate.

This past weekend singer, actress, producer, and model Whitney Houston died at the young age of 48. Her career was defined by her beautiful persona and angelic voice as well as her drug use and erratic behavior. Once again we are faced with the confusion of how someone with so much going for them could leave us before their time. It’s hard for us to put conflicting parts of people together into one package but if we take a look in the mirror, we know it’s a part of the human condition for all of us.

The Cognitive Dissonance Theory was developed by Leon Festinger in 1957. As individuals we seek consistency among our cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions, actions). When there is an inconsistency between beliefs and behaviors (dissonance), it creates anxiety and something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In other words, something has to give. To alleviate the stress of living a double life, we can focus on the positive of the more important belief, reduce its importance, or change the conflicting belief so it is consistent with our other beliefs or behaviors.

I heard it explained in terms of pleasure or pain. Something gives you so much pleasure or causes you so much pain that you will eliminate the dissonance in order to preserve the pleasure or eliminate the pain. For example, a marriage may experience troubled times, but the recognition of the good it brings causes the couple to reconcile and mend the relationship. Or in the case of pain, a person is arrested and spends time incarcerated. Because of the pain induced they are “scared straight” and go on to live a life in compliance with society’s laws.

Sometimes, though, we don’t hit the high or low and our lives play out in a state of compromise and subtle self-loathing. Take for example a smoker who knows that the habit is detrimental to their health but continues by rationalizing that it keeps their weight in check. In this unfortunate case, the belief has changed to accommodate the unhealthy behavior, sometimes until it claims their life.

We all experience cognitive dissonance in our lives. In some cases, it’s a minor vice and in others its life threatening. In either case, the only thing that is capable of reconciling the discord is the individual themselves. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to enable the discord by altering what’s at the core of our identity. But when we do that, we kill a little bit of ourselves.

They say that the greatest battle is waged within the self. Don’t seek to change the behaviors of the world. Supporters of our vices, addictions and self pity are far and wide and always ready to oblige our demise. Seek to change yourself because there’s only one of you and the world needs to experience all of you it can!

 

05
Jan
12

crappy new year!!!

If you’re going to be a success you’re going to have to learn how to embrace your failures so you can grow. I guarantee you that failures are going to happen no matter how many tremendous New Year resolutions you’ve made. Want to be the sharpest knife in the drawer? That’s means you’re going to have to take relentless pounding and unbelievable heat. Want to be the most precious gem in the box? You’re going to have to go through years of pressure and high temperatures.

A young man asked an old-timer how he got so successful. The old man replied, “Good judgment.” The young man then asked, “Well, how do you get that?” To which the old man replied, “Experience.” The young man pressed on. “Well, how do you get that?” The old man replied, “Poor judgment.”

No one likes to fail but if you aren’t learning how to capitalize on your challenges, tribulations, and mistakes, you’ll never become all that you were meant to be. Life is tough and people hurt. No matter how rich, famous, or successful you become, there are certain painful inevitabilities in life that we all go through. That’s a fact.

I’ve had some great things happen in my life, but what defines me is my scars. The real purpose of pain is to make us better, not bitter. My mistakes and heartbreaks make me stronger, wiser, and more empathetic. Everything in life that happens to us contributes to making us who we are, especially the bad things. Problems are invaluable because in working through them you become something greater and stronger.

Whenever someone would call my father and tell him about a problem, he would exclaim “I’m going to pray your problem gets worse!” He joked that he was the only person in America people would call and say, “Mr. Jones, please stop praying for me!” But his point is clear. We are put through the fire so we can emerge sharper, stronger, more resilient and brilliant. So why would he deny anyone that opportunity?

So instead of wishing everyone a Happy New Year, let’s start wishing them a Crappy New Year! After all, that’s really the only way we’ll finish 2013 more tremendous than when we started.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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