Think of some of the great difficulties that you have experienced over the years - ones that you invited into your life on some level or another. This applies to financial dilemmas, dysfunctional relationships, speeding tickets, lawsuits, time- wasting arguments, health problems, and family feuds. For good measure, you can add any other predicament that you could have bypassed in some way or form. Wouldn't it have been easier to avoid these situations than trying to get out of them later?
For example, you may have gotten yourself in a financial quagmire. Your bills are coming in faster than you can rip them up, you are so broke you can't afford to go window- shopping, and your major creditors are skulking the bushes looking for you. Obviously, this situation is not simply an out- of- money experience that will dissipate on its own. Because you did not react early, you must now get out of serious financial trouble before the situation becomes even more critical.
The key to staying out of trouble- financial or otherwise- is to control your behavior that attracts trouble. We often invite trouble into our lives when we see something as terribly important not realizing that in fact it is rather insignificant in the higher order of life. Just as telling, we invite trouble into our lives when we see something as trivial, when, in fact, it is important for our well-being and peace of mind.
Clearly, vigilance is the best defense against trouble entering our lives. The person who does not have the presence of mind to identify potentially dangerous outcomes finds it virtually impossible to avoid trouble in the short term and the long term. People who stay out of trouble concentrate on the important matters and ignore the superficial ones. Their response to potential trouble involves strategies on how to avoid the situation totally. They admit to having made mistakes in the past by not taking appropriate action and won't let it happen again.
Clearly, you must recognize and react to the warning signs of trouble if you want to avoid major disruptions to your life. The key word is react. Be proactive and take absolute control of your life. To avoid having to get out of trouble, you must develop strategies to stay out of trouble.
There may be times, for instance, when you are tempted to indulge in a physical confrontation to settle some matter. If you get involved, you are sure to regret it later. Just think of the consequences. You may end up being beaten up. This doesn't sound like something for which you should strive.
The second thing that may happen is you get lucky and beat up your rival. Unless you get some perverted pleasure from beating up people, it doesn't sound like something that will bring you satisfaction. Of course, the third thing that can happen is both you and the other combatant get hurt, in which case, both of you lose.
The way to stay out of trouble- instead of being faced with getting out of trouble- is to choose your life's battles carefully. Indeed, you shouldn't fight a battle if there is nothing to win. Most of the physical confrontations in which people get involved offer no positive benefit to anyone.
When it comes to avoiding physical fights with tough guys, you are welcome to use my strategy. I can proudly report that I won all three of my last fights involving tough guys- by at least half a mile! In others words, I took appropriate action to avoid the dangerous outcomes that usually occur in physical confrontations.
Again, the key to staying out of any sort of trouble is to control the behavior that gets you in trouble. Cool is what you want. Calm, in fact, works even better. In case you still didn't get it, the overall lesson here is that it's always easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble.
The Day Bart Simpson Prayed
Lee Strobel, What would Jesus Say
Bart wasn't doing well in the fourth grade. When he flunked his book report on Treasure Island because he only knew what was on the cover, that was the last straw. His teacher called a meeting with Bart's parents and the school psychiatrist, whose conclusion was that Bart repeat the fourth grade.
Bart was horrified! "Look at my eyes, he said. "See the sincerity? See the conviction? See the fear? I swear, I'll do better!" After all, nothing's worse to a ten year old than being held back in school.
But Bart hatched a plan. He made a deal with brainy student name Martin. He'd teach Martin how to be cool if Martin will help him pass his next American History exam. That final test was monumentally important because if he passed it, Bart would be allowed to graduate.
Bart did teach Martin the fine points of being cool- how to burp on command, how to spray paint graffiti on garage doors, how to shoot a slingshot at unsuspecting girls. And sure enough, Martin became the most popular kid in school- so popular, in fact, that he didn't have time to help Bart study.
Now picture this: It was the night before the big test. Bart was sitting at the desk of his room, staring at an open book, trying to study, when he came to the chilling realization that it was too late. He couldn't cram enough into his head in one night to be able to pass the test. Finally, his mom peeked into the room and said, "Its past your bedtime, Bart."
Slowly, Bart closed his book. With the exams hours away, it seemed like all of his options had evaporated. That's when he got down on his knees next to his bed and prayed to God.
"This is hopeless!" he said. "Well, Old Timer, I guess this is the end of the road. I know I havent been a good kid, but if I have to go to school tomorrow, I'll fail the test and be held back. I just need one more day to study. Lord, I need your help! A teacher strike, a power failure, a blizzard- anything that will cancel school tomorrow. I know it's asking a lot, but if anyone can do it, you can. Thanking you in advance, your pal, Bart Simpson."
The scene switched to an outside view of Bart's house. The lights in his room went out. It was cold and dark. A few moments passed, and then a single snowflake gently fell to the ground. Then another. And another. Suddenly, there was a virtual avalanche of snow; in fact, it was the biggest blizzard in the city's history! The "Hallelujah Chorus" swelled in the background.
The next day, school was cancelled. Bart fought the temptation to go sledding with his friends, and instead studied hard. Then the following day, when the time finally came for the test, he gave it his best shot, but he came up one point short. It looked like he had failed- until at the last possible moment, he miraculously scored one more point and squeaked by with a D minus.
Bart was s happy that he kissed his teacher as he scampered out the door. Homer was so overwhelmed that he posted Bart's paper on the refrigerator and said, "I'm proud of you, boy."
To which Bart replied, "Thanks, Dad. But part of this D minus belongs to God."
Why are some people more successful in business? Why do some businesses flourish where others fail? Renowned business speaker and author, Brian Tracy has discovered the answers to these profoundly puzzling questions.
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
All the Good Things
Sister Helen Mrosla
He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All thirty four of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be- alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievous delightful.