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For the past thirty days, you have been “PERSISTING” in lifting your thoughts. Have you noticed a difference? Has anything become “easier” for you to do than when you first started? Where do you go from here?

My hope for you is that this challenge is just the beginning of your journey, not the end. My hope is that it has inspired you to dig down deep, to look for the best that is inside of you & others, and to have the desire to learn more. I have found in my own personal journey that: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. The more I seek, study, learn, & then APPLY the things that I am learning….the more power I have to BECOME my best self. I have also found that when you put your relationship with your Heavenly Father first, everything else will fall into place.

I know that I used these quotes at the beginning of our challenge, but I think it is fitting to end with them as well…

“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He can deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls & pour out peace…Give God your best & His best will come back to you.” – Ezra Taft Benson

“Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him. What a marvelous and wonderful thing is prayer. Think of it. We can actually speak with our Father in Heaven. He will hear and respond, but we need to listen to that response. Nothing is too serious and nothing too unimportant to share with Him.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Starting on November 1st, I will be doing my “Thirty Day GRATITUDE Challenge” again here on my blog.  This is a great way for you to continue to work on your THOUGHTS as gratitude is one of the best things you can do to raise your thoughts to a higher level!  I hope you’ll join me for another thirty days & help spread the word!

I would also love to hear how this challenge has helped you in your life! Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

*NOTE:  I am working on turning this challenge into a printable format that you can purchase & print out at home.  I don’t have an exact date when that will be ready.  All I know is that it will be available some time before the end of the year.  As long as you are signed up for my newsletter, you will be sure to know when it becomes available!

DAYS: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30

 

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Working on your thoughts is one of the most valuable things you can do for your life.  It’s not always an easy journey, as the quote above says…“It requires climbing out of the deep valleys of your life & scaling your own Mount Everests.” But think about how beautiful this world would be if more of us developed self-mastery.  And while we can’t change the world, we can change ourselves & have a more positive influence on the world around us.

But how do we lift our thoughts when life isn’t going the way we planned?  One of my favorite talks on staying positive, even when life may not be so pleasant is called  “Come What May & Love It” by Joseph B. Wirthlin.  He teaches that “the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.”  He gives four points to follow when we are faced with adversity…

1. LEARN TO LAUGH

“Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?  There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh….The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.”

2. SEEK FOR THE ETERNAL

“Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.  Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering. He understands our grief. We experience hard things so that we too may have increased compassion and understanding for others.”

3. UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPENSATION

“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude”.

4. PUT YOUR TRUST IN YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER & HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16).  The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in.  He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong.”

As we near the end of the challenge, reflect on what you have learned so far & where you want to go from here. I’m sure you’ve had both triumphs & setbacks. Let the triumphs be the fuel to move you forward & recognize that set-backs are a part of the journey. Don’t let them hold you back, but choose to learn from them & move forward….remember: “Come What May & Love It.”

 

DAYS: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30

 

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The following points were taken from a talk by Brad Wilcox. When I read this, it changed my views about journal writing & I hope it will do the same for you.

How a Personal Journal Helps You to Think, Feel, Discover, Expand, Remember, & Dream…

1. THINK: I once asked a college professor what he thought about a particular issue. He said: “I don’t know. I’ve never written anything about it.”  His response puzzled me at the time, but not anymore.

“Thoughts are created in the act of writing. It is a myth that you must have something to say in order to write. Reality: You often need to write in order to have anything to say. Thought comes with writing, and writing may never come if it is postponed until we are satisfied that we have something to say. The assertion of write first, see what you had to say later applies to all manifestations of written language, to letters… as well as to diaries and journals” – Frank Smith

2. FEEL: You are better when you require yourself to verbalize your innermost feelings. Journal writing puts you in the valuable position of finding words for hard-to-express feelings.

3. DISCOVER: Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, once said: “I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”

Often, simply by writing about ourselves we begin to see life from a new perspective.  One young woman put it this way: “My journal gives me a chance to discover things about myself I didn’t even know were there. As I write, I can figure out who I really am.”

4. EXPAND: Spencer W. Kimball counseled, “Write … your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies”.

It follows naturally that if we are expected to write such experiences, we will become more aware of them in our lives.

“Writing, like other arts, is a representation of life. Thus, the writer is compelled to live life more consciously. Journal writing will not make passive people miraculously more active. However, regular writing does make it harder for us to remain passive.” – Brad Wilcox

5. REMEMBER: Modern memory experts agree that writing down experiences can help us remember them longer and with greater accuracy. Journals make it easy for you to look back over your life and see the progress you are—or are not—making. They can motivate you to stay on course or make positive changes.

6. DREAM: “Journal writing provides a place for self-expression where one can afford to take a risk, experiment with ideas and materials, and even make a mistake” – M. Joan Lickteig.

Many professionals agree that because a journal is less structured, many find it instantly inviting—it’s a protected place, an invitation to open up. They are a safe place for your most personal goals and deepest dreams.

On Saturday, 20 June 1942, Anne Frank wrote the following in her personal journal: “I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I—nor for that matter anyone else—will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”

 

DAYS: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30

 

Thoughts_Title_Day27Thoughts_Quote_Day27Thoughts_Day27_01Yesterday we talked about freewriting & today we’re going into more detail about how to make it more powerful. One way to do this is through using journaling prompts.  Jiri Novotny said, “Prompts are open-ended phrases to warm you up & to send your mind into unanticipated directions. They allow you to find many hidden jewels that you would not otherwise discover.”

One way to come up with a powerful journaling prompt is to ask yourself a question about something. We’ve already discussed the power of questions in this challenge, so you should be able to come up with some good ones. One suggestion is to take a quote that really moves you & to ask yourself a question about it. This can get your mind thinking & give you plenty to write about.

Also, remember to keep your prompts “open-ended”. You don’t want to go into it with the “answer” already in your mind. That would defeat the purpose of having you think about something more deeply. The idea is to generate thoughts & ideas that have never occurred to you before…this is what leads to those “ah-ha” moments.

TRY THIS: Write down a journaling prompt & set your timer for 10 minutes. Review what I wrote yesterday about freewriting & then go for it! Write as fast as you can without stopping & without worrying about what is coming to your mind. Just write & see what you come up with!  Remember, the idea here is not to write an essay that you would publish…so don’t “edit” what you write. This is an exercise to help you begin to think deeper, so have fun with it!