Sometimes, it’s hard to understand what is happening to us. Circumstances may knock you down and you wonder “why me?” When life hits us hard below the belt, we cry, we weep, we wail and we crumple.

We become bitter and sour with our faces cast down rather down looking the world in the face. Because we are bitter, we tend to focus only the negatives and neglect the positives. We forget or rather refuse to acknowledge that every event in life is like the coin with two sides- the head and the tail.

Whatever that situation is, if you look critically well, there must be something to celebrate about it. Most often than not, all things work together for our good or for the good of others.

A young lady lost her husband and to her, her world had suddenly crumbled before her face. Five years after, she had reasons for her hubby’s demise. Listen to her…

“This morning, nearly five years after my husband’s passing, a beautiful couple and their three kids knocked on my front door. The man smiled and said, “Your husband was my heart donor. He saved my life. Not a single day has gone by that I don’t pray for him and think of you. Thank you!”

Narrating her experience, she confessed she couldn’t see any positive sides of her husband’s death, until she was staring at them on her door step.

“It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it certainly changed the way I think. I feel like a small piece of my broken heart has healed.”

And the truth is, it happens just like that. Although this lady’s experience is unique, and somewhat extreme, at some point life slaps all of us with a good reminder that shifts our perspective. Personally, I have been slapped with several of these reminders over the years. And today, I want to pass a few of them along to you…

1. Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now. – Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time. Sometimes these circumstances knock you down, hard. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.

When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best. Because our most significant opportunities are often found in times of great difficulty. Thus, you will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.

2. The way you feel about people and situations will shift, and that’s OK. – Things will seem totally different to you at some point in the future, just as you feel different now than you did in the past. So remember, just because you liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean you’ll always like it, or that you have to go on liking it at all points in the future as an act of loyalty to who you are as a person, based solely on who you once were as a person.

To be loyal to yourself is to allow yourself to grow and change, and challenge who you once were and what you once thought. The only thing you ever have to be for sure is unsure, and this means you’re growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.

3. There will always be more tough changes to make. – Growth is painful. Change is painful. But in the end, nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you do not belong.

Again, you’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. You’re always growing. Experiences don’t stop. That’s life.

It takes a great deal of courage to admit that something needs to change, and a lot more courage still, to accept the responsibility for making the change happen. But doing so is worth every bit of effort you can muster.

4. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least
. – It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future.

Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true healing begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

Rather than complaining about the half-empty cup, why not show gratitude for the half-filled cup? Life may throw things at you but how you are able to interpret it is key to your healing and happiness.

5. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. – The mind is your battleground. It’s the place where the greatest conflict resides.

It’s where half of the things you thought were going to happen, never did happen. But if you allow these thoughts to dwell in your mind, they will succeed in robbing you of peace, joy, and ultimately your life. You will think yourself into a nervous breakdown, into depression, and into defeat.

You are what you think. You can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking. A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. Breathe onto the bathroom mirror, just to see how amazing your breath looks. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one.

In March of 2004, 28-year-old Sgt. Camilo Mejia turned himself in to the U.S. military and filed an application for conscientious objector status. On May 21st, he was sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to return to fight in Iraq. He was released from prison on Feb. 15, 2005.

Listen to his stories…

I was deployed to Iraq in April 2003 and returned home for a two-week leave in October. Going home gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts in order and to listen to what my conscience had to say. People would ask me about my war experiences and answering them took me back to all the horrors – the firefights, the ambushes, the time I saw … an innocent man decapitated by our machine-gun fire. The time I saw a soldier broken down inside because he killed a child, or an old man on his knees, crying with his arms raised to the sky, perhaps asking God why we had taken the lifeless body of his son.

I thought of the suffering of a people whose country was in ruins and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying army.

And I realized that none of the reasons we were told about why we were in Iraq turned out to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. We weren’t helping the Iraqi people and the Iraqi people didn’t want us there. We weren’t preventing terrorism or making Americans safer.

Coming home gave me the clarity to see the line between military duty and moral obligation. I realized that I was part of a war that I believed was immoral and criminal. I realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military, and I decided that I could not return to Iraq.

By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being. I have not deserted the military nor been disloyal to the men and women of the military. I have not been disloyal to a country. I have only been loyal to my principles.

When I turned myself in, with all my fears and doubts, I did it not only for myself. I did it for the people of Iraq, even for those who fired upon me – they were just on the other side of a battleground where war itself was the only enemy. I did it for the Iraqi children, who are victims of mines and depleted uranium. I did it for the thousands of unknown civilians killed. My time in prison is a small price compared to the price Iraqis and Americans have paid with their lives. Mine is a small price compared to the price humanity has paid for war.

Many have called me a coward; others have called me a hero. I believe I can be found somewhere in the middle. To those who have called me a hero, I say that I don’t believe in heroes, but I believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

To those who have called me a coward I say that they are wrong, and that without knowing it, they are also right. They are wrong when they think that I left the war for fear of being killed. I admit that fear was there, but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of putting myself in a position where to survive means to kill. There was the fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid of waking up one morning to realize my humanity had abandoned me.

I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission. But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier. All because I was afraid, I was terrified; I did not want to stand up to the government and the army – I was afraid of punishment and humiliation. I went to war because at the moment I was a coward, and for that I apologize to my soldiers for not being the type of leader I should have been.

I also apologize to the Iraqi people. To them I say I am sorry for the curfews, for the raids, for the killings. May they find a place in their hearts to forgive me!

One of the reasons I did not refuse the war from the beginning was that I was afraid of losing my freedom. Today, as I sit behind bars I realize that there are many types of freedom, and that in spite of my confinement I remain free in many important ways. What good is freedom if we are afraid to follow our consciences? What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions? I am confined to a prison but I feel, today more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience.

Friends, when life gives you lemon, try and make lemonade. When life turns bitter, unkind and things seem unfair, know that God is but you can make the best of the times. Don’t ever try to figure it out, enjoy it. That you can’t see the way out of the situation doesn’t means there is no way out. You don’t need to see he way. It’s not your job. Your job is to see the positive side of it.

Within the first two months of pregnancy, the woman feels the same. But few more months, her body chemistry begins to change, she begins to gain more weight occasioned by the extra weight of the baby. Her feet begin to swell up. Her back begins to hurt and she may have nauseating, some morning sickness. She gets uncomfortable and at times her heart is turned to her husband. Everything the husband does is offensive to her for putting her this the hard times. She might become restless and develops appetite for many foods.

It’s a matter of life and death. But when the water breaks through, she goes into labour and then her greatest joy for a small her has been born.

Remember, the boat is to row and not to be stuck to the ground. You may find yourself in a situation where you feel stuck, stranded and robbed. Things may not be going the way you plan. You might have lost your energy and enthusiasm.

That’s still ok.

But hear this, the tide is coming back soon and your stranded and stuck boat will roll back to the high seas. Every setback offers an opportunity for a comeback. In the middle of the challenge, in the middle of the tough time, start making a list of people you will invite to your victory celebrations if you focus on the positives.

Nick Vujicic was born without hands and legs. He endured taunts, teasing and cruelty from other children and adults. He even attempted to take his own life. He considered his birth an accident. Yet despite all his pains and struggles, Nick eventually began to look away from the handicapped to positives of what he can do.

Today, Nick travels round the world inspiring and uplifting people with his messages of hope and faith.  “If God does not give you a miracle, be a miracle to someone else” he said.

Everyone goes through adversity sometimes. We all have hard times, at which time it is easier to become negative and bitter and lose your enthusiasm for life.

So many people live in the past and focus on who hurt them. They have a victim mentality, always blaming someone else but themselves.

But as for you, you are more than a conqueror. You are not defined by your past. You are rather prepared by your past.

Do you ever find yourself avoiding a difficult situation? Many people today run when things get hard. They run from their problems. They run from responsibility. They run from people they don’t like. They run from the past. They run from anything that makes them uncomfortable. Instead of facing the issue and dealing with it, they look for the path of least resistance, which isn’t the path to victory.

If you are struggling with any of these, remember you are not alone. We are all in it together working hard to help you heal.

  • The world is turmoil;
  • The world is in crisis;
  • The world is sick;
  • The world is dis-eased
  • The world is in search of answers;
  • The world needs healing;
  • Together we can heal the world.

For me I will keep talking and I will keep writing. Friends:

  • I will keep encouraging you,
  • I will keep motivating you,
  • I will keep supporting you,
  • I will keep standing by you and
  • I will keep telling you the truth that:
  • you can make it,
  • you can become whatever you want to become in life,
  • you can achieve whatever you want to achieve,
  • you can have whatever you want to have and
  • you can go wherever you want to go.

All I ask of you is to keep dreaming the dreams, keep having the visions, keep believing in yourself and keep moving and keep acting on those visions and dreams.

 This is why I wrote an internationally acclaimed book “Putting Your Talent to Work” published by Authorhouse, UK and available on kindle-ebooks, google, amazon.co.uk and authorhouse.oc.uk. The book is also in about seven international languages including English, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, French and Portuguese.

For counseling, appointment and invite or to order for “Putting You Talent to Work” call 07064334855, 08117848934 or email: idokolord@yahoo.com, twitter: @odelord; Facebook: Ode Idoko and LinkedIn: Ode Idoko; skype: ode.idoko