Saturday, July 11, 2015

Positive Positioning - Right Place, Right Time.

Positive Thinking Technique
It's nice to be in the right place at the right time.
The day I got this pic was one of those times in my life.

By the time I turned twenty I was making a living and renting a place of my own. After finishing my first two years of college, I didn’t have the resources or the time to continue. There were bills to be paid. I started a small business moving and repairing waterbeds. The  money was OK, but the work was tough on my back.

After a few years, I began taking classes part-time at the University of North Florida. Fellow students joked that U.N.F. stood for, "You never finish," and it did seem like it would take forever. One day I got a call from a customer in a gated community who needed my services. It was Adam Herbert, the new President at U.N.F.

While I worked, I told him I was working towards a degree one class at a time. He encouraged me to stick with it. As I was wrapping up, he told me to let him know if there was anything he could do to help me in my educational pursuits.

I had already thought through what I would ask for if the opportunity arose. I said, “Mr. Herbert, if you have any scholarship money laying around, I could use some.”

He asked me what my GPA was. I had about a 3.5. He told me who to talk to in Financial Aid. Within a month I had enough scholarship money to go full-time. It only took a few semesters to finish.

At least three important elements came into play for getting that scholarship.
  • I had a respectable GPA which qualified me for the kind of scholarship Mr. Herbert could nudge forward.
  • I did a good job for my customer. Otherwise he certainly wouldn’t have offered to be helpful.
  • I was in a positive frame of mind, ready to ask for something when the opportunity to do so arose.
Occasionally, when you ask for something, you might actually receive it. However, the groundwork has to be in place and you have to be ready. Faithfulness in small things can put you into position to ask and receive.

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What are some of the small things in life that people can do to position themselves for positive opportunities? What has worked in your life? If you have a tip or a suggestion, leave it in the comments.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

One drip away from insanity. Nip that leak in the bud!

A dripping faucet in a tub can be surprisingly destructive. I left a dripping faucet alone long enough for the water to wear through the enamel and then the cast iron. Since the drip was in the kids’ end of the house, it didn’t bother me much. I periodically applied new enamel but I was treating a symptom rather than the cause.

Eventually, I replaced some parts and the dripping stopped. Before long it came back. There was a tiny part called a “seat” one step beyond what I had fixed. It had deteriorated and it was the cause of the leak. One tiny notch in a small bit of plumbing, like that seat, is enough to produce the type of drip that leads to nervous breakdowns. 

I had to buy a special wrench to get the seat out! After I screwed the new seat in and reassembled the faucet, there was no more drip. Unfortunately, by that time there was lots of corrosion around the drain. I called in an expert. The hidden damage was five times worse than what I could see. It was amazing!

A small problem like a dripping faucet can be very annoying. As I found out, that small problem was very destructive over time. Also, the hidden damage was far worse than what I could see. Spiritual problems can be like that. Although they might seem like small annoyances, they can cause serious damage over time. Beneath the surface they can be more like a spreading cancer.

For example, greed can lead to miserly behavior and criminal acts. Gluttony can lead to obesity and poor health. And a properly nurtured resentment can lead to an obsessive desire for revenge culminating in murder.

As Barney Fife might say, “Nip the drip. Nip it in the bud.”

Can you think of spiritual issues that seem small but which are in fact serious problems? What have you found to be effective as remedies for things like that? 

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If you liked this tip about positive thinking, you might also like Murphy's Law Breaker: Positive Thinking for Pessimists. Check it out.