Continuing with my previous post, I’d like to continue sharing lessons that I’ve learned from my students.
Focusing on the negative sucks the joy out of life
Let me just say that this is a BIG lesson for me. I’ve been a pretty negative person most of my life. I’m always finding the mistakes. I have a hard time seeing the good I’ve actually accomplished, because of what I haven’t accomplished. I believe this comes from this unrealistic expectation of perfection. As a result, I’ve found myself being hyper critical of myself and others, and at times–joyless. I’ve seen the negative affects that it has on the people around me. My negativity tears down the very people that I want to build up. Instead of speaking life into my husband and children, my negativity sucks the life out of them, leaving them deflated. This should not be!
Students like this start the program depressed, angry and very negative. They have NO joy. None! There seems to be no point to life. No point in trying. I’ve had more than one student to tell me that they’ve given up trying. This truly breaks my heart.
When I have a student like this, I have to over-emphasize the positive and de-emphasize the negative. Often it looks like me not mentioning their mistakes. I really don’t need to, they naturally gravitate towards finding them anyway. My attitude towards their mistakes are very nonchalant, and I try to emphasize their effort–which is what’s most important anyway.
I’ve also tried doing something with my students that I’ve begun doing in my own life. Giving thanks. I start off every day listing at least 5 things I’m thankful for. Most of the time I end up listing more. Giving thanks for everything–no matter how hard, how small, how seemingly insignificant–keeps us aware of the millions of ways God reveals His presence in our lives. It’s amazing how much my perspective on life changes through the simple act of giving thanks.
Gratitude is the key to a life full of joy.
Here’s another think I’ve learned lately, negativity zaps your energy, creativity and productivity. Conversely, gratitude energizes. I’m far more productive when I’m thankful. Try it and let me know if it works for you!
Everybody needs help. That doesn’t diminish your value
If you’re human, you’ve valuable. You’ve been created by the supreme God of the universe, and He made you extremely valuable. You didn’t earn it. Your effort didn’t produce your value. Therefore, you cannot lose your value. But don’t we all try to prove to ourselves and others that we are important, worthy and valuable because of what we’re able to do?
Unfortunately, when our attempts to prove our worth fail, we deem ourselves to be worthless. And others may deem us worthless as well. But who cares what other people think, when the Supreme Creator of the Universe has already deemed you worthy. In fact, so valuable that His one and only son gave His life for you and on to top of that He gave us the gift of His very Spirit to live within us.
The King of the Universe as chosen us –mere, flawed humans– as his temple. And while He’s making himself at home within each of us, He empowers us to join Him in His magnificent work of transforming and redeeming all mankind.
What could be better than that?