Losing Faith

See if you can guess who said this:

“I call, I cling, I want – and there is no One to answer – no One on whom I can cling – no, No One.  – Alone … where is my faith – even deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness and darkness – My God, how painful is thus unknown pain – I have no faith”.

In researching my book I was surprised to discover that these words were said by Mother Teresa who is now being considered for sainthood for her work with the poor lepers of Calcutta.

If that great woman could question her faith in a higher power, what are the rest of us to do?

Finding your higher power is not an exercise of religion.  It’s a necessary means for transforming into a life well lived.

It matters not whether we have an official religion or any religion at all.

But we must have faith.

And questioning it is a good thing.  It means we take faith seriously.

For as Sir William Osler said:  

“Without faith a man can do nothing, with it all things are possible.”

And Scott Peck said,

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

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  • Actually, Sir William Osler’s comment concerning faith is paraphrased from Christ in Matt. 21:21, “Truly I say to you, if only you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what I did to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, “Be lifted up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.  And all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”
     
    Also, in James 2:17:  Thus, too, faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.”
     
    Sir Osler must have been a Bible student.

  • Diane Cartwright

The Advantages of Attention Deficit

A recent Wall Street Journal article on the power of concentration raises the issue of the importance of focused concentration.

The article says, “The world’s greatest fictional detective (Sherlock Holmes) is someone who knows the value of concentration of ‘throwing his brain out of action’ as Dr. Watson puts it.  He is the quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.”

I had a freshmen student in one of my USC music class who visited my office one day and announced, “I have four different kinds of ADD”.   When I said, “Well, you’ll be able to overcome them, I’m sure”, he put me in my place by saying, “It’s not a disadvantage.  It’s an advantage.”

And so it was for that “A” student.

We’re becoming too obsessed with meditation, concentration and the ability to focus.  Not that these things are bad.  Meditation, for example, has many benefits.

My A.D.D. students were very bright.  They just approached things differently.

There is no one way to think, to decide, to learn.  I know that I became a better speaker when I learned new ways to teach students with attention deficit or what we should probably call Attention Positive.

After all, we all have it in some way in the digital age.

That’s why we advance our TiVos past commercials and click off of our iPods before the song has ended.

What really matters is to judge people by what they are, who they are and what they accomplish – not the method by which their minds work.

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6 Ways To Get Real Happy, Real Fast

Sometimes you don’t need meds, shrinks or even friends to jumpstart a better mood.

Life is full of ups and downs.

I know from my television and radio career that sometimes you don’t feel like being happy.  You just want to be left alone until you snap out of it.  That’s a luxury we don’t have in that business.

Before I speak, I try physical activity and nine times out of ten, my emotions rise to the occasion.

But I found these great ideas to get real happy, real fast.  I hope you like them and if you do pass them on to others:

  1. Pump up your activity level.  Increase exercise or even take a walk.  It helps.
     
  2. Contact someone who makes you happy to be in their company.  Even a text or an email will do.
     
  3. Get rid of things that bother you in your space.  Set a timer and see how you feel after 10 minutes.
     
  4. Do a good deed for another – even if you don’t know them.  Practice random acts of kindness (this always works for me).
     
  5. Paste a smile on your face.  My friend Jay Cook was a disc jockey at WFIL, Philadelphia. Before he opened his mike to talk, he broke into a big smile.  Try it.  It works.
     
  6. Do something new.  Anything.  Discovery leads to happiness.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t get down from time to time.

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Things That Say Love

I accept you the way you are.

Actually, psychologists say that try as we may, we can only change 10% of a person – if that!  Mister Rogers was right when he said, “I like you just the way you are.”

It’s all about you, not me.

Try that one in this era of self-absorption.  You’ll feel the love in return.

Forgive me.  I forgive you.

No words can be more powerful that these in a living relationship.

I’m focusing on just you. 

Whatever time can be devoted to giving undivided attention is time well spent.

I will make you laugh.

Laughter heals tears. 

Here’s a hug.

I know no one who doesn’t feel better after a hug.

I will listen.

Open your heart when you open your ears.

See hundreds of other ways on Tumblr.

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Living in the Now

I’m really bad at this.

My entire life I have ascribed any success I might have had to the fact that I see the future.  In fact my music media website is all about the future.

But it’s a bad prescription for happiness.

It didn’t take a psychologist, just Ralph Waldo Emerson to remind me that “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

I discovered this great game plan in Psychology Today:

  1. Loosen up – no one is watching you.  Be less self-conscious.
     
  2. Avoid worrying about the future by savoring the present — Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about a friend who, whenever she sees a beautiful place, exclaims in a near panic, “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!” “It takes all my persuasive powers,” writes Gilbert, “to try to convince her that she is already here.”
     
  3. If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present.
     
  4. To make the most of time, lose track of it.
     
  5. If something is bothering you, move toward it and not away from it (acceptance).
     
  6. Know that you don’t know.  Harvard’s Ellen Langer says, “Develop the habit of always noticing new things in whatever situation you’re in. That process creates engagement with the present moment and releases a cascade of other benefits.”
     
  7. Don’t just do something, sit there.  As the article points out, “If you’re aware of that feeling right now, as you’re reading this, you’re living in the moment. Nothing happens next.  It’s not a destination.  This is it.  You’re already there.”

Does this help you like it helps me?  Share this positive energy with your friends and loved ones. 

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