Hi, Doug Andrew here.
Recently, on The Mission on www.medium.com, they published an article where I was talking about the surprisingly simple secret to overcoming life’s challenges. And to me, this was an epiphany that my wife, Sharee, and I got when we were up in La Conner, Washington.
That’s a little town on the Puget Sound about an hour north of Seattle. And we were at Pransky & Associates—George Pransky and his wife Linda have this nice little Victorian style house with wisteria outside and Chihuly glass in the skylight.
And we were up there to check out Pransky & Associates, because he turned his psychiatric/psychological approach: It was a mining expedition to get healing out of them, instead of trying to manufacture new behavior out of people.
CHANGE YOUR APPROACH—INSTANTLY
Now, the thing I learned from George that first day: He was talking about, in life, we all go through difference experiences, and we experience stress, turmoil, anxiety, anger, frustration when we have crises….He was talking about how fast you can change your mind instantly.
When we were raising our six children and when my sweet wife, who’s actually very soft-spoken and a great mother, she would sometimes lose her patience with our second daughter Adria who would go to school without hanging up her clothes or making the bed or whatever.
“Adria, if you go to junior high one more day without making your bed or hanging up your clothes, I’m going to march down to that junior high, and I’m going to pull you out of class and you’re going to come home…” Just then, the phone would ring. It would be somebody in our church or a neighbor or her mother, and Sharee would go, “Hellooo? Oh, fine…”
And the kids would go, “Wait a minute, that’s not the woman she was a second ago.”
What is it that allows us to go from frustrated to “Oh, hello…fine…”?
It’s instantaneous. And so what George was teaching us that day is how we can look at things different, a crisis or a deadline or an insult or an offense. I have arranged it in the order of Crisis, Deadlines and Insults or Offenses. Here’s why.
I looked at my wife, and I said, “I just had the biggest epiphany. For years I’ve been studying in the Good Book these three traits, and it’s never become clear until right now.”
CONQUERING CRISIS WITH FAITH
When you experience a crisis in life, usually you get fearful; we get anxious; and I’ve noticed that fear and faith cannot occupy the human heart simultaneously.
If I’m fearful, that signals that I’m not exercising enough faith. When I exercise faith that things will work out, the fear is dispelled. So, the way you deal with a crisis in life is with faith. Then, things usually work out and you are grateful and you go through a process and so faith conquers the crisis and you get through it.
CONQUERING DEADLINES WITH HOPE
Whenever I have a looming deadline … I’ve changed any deadline into a lifeline. When I had a million-dollar advance from my publisher Time-Warner to write my third book, “The Last Chance Millionaire,” it was due the day after Labor Day. I realized that I could choose to be uptight and ruin that holiday, or I could look at it with hope as a lifeline. “Oh, I can’t wait ‘til that date! Because then, it’s going to become a New York Times Financial Best Seller.”
Which it did. Because I set myself up, and I began to look at deadlines as lifelines with hope.
So, faith conquers crisis. Hope conquers any deadline.
CONQUERING OFFENSES WITH CHARITY
The last is offenses, and I learned this: 90% of people don’t mean to offend; we take offense when no offense was intended.
I went to a lady’s funeral one day and the program said she was never offended because she never took offense. I thought, “Whoa!”
Mark Twain said, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds upon the heel that has crushed it.” So I began to realize, you know what, I’m just going to say, with charity in my heart, “Bless their heart. If they understood what I’ve been going through, they never would have said that or whatever. They just didn’t understand, so I forgive them.”
And the 10% of the time, if they meant to offend you, if you don’t take offense, that’s the best way to get back. Because if you don’t forgive them, it’s only hurting you.
But if you don’t take offense, then you’re not going to get hurt, and they might think, “Oh, I meant to hurt you.” Well sorry, but nobody can offend you without your permission.
So, the way you deal with crisis, deadlines and insults is simply with faith, hope and charity.
ABUNDANT LIVING HIGHLIGHTS
– INSTANT CHANGE – As George Pransky teaches, we can change our approach to crises or setbacks instantaneously.
– THE POWER OF FAITH – We can face crises in life with faith, which causes us to set aside fear and create solutions to our challenges.
– THE POWER OF HOPE – We can turn our dread over deadlines to hope as we focus on the positive outcomes from meeting those deadlines.
– THE POWER OF CHARITY – We can avoid unnecessary heartache and frustration by using charity to understand those who may inadvertently offend us (or ignore those who purposely try to offend us).