Ups and Downs

1stqtr07 555The volatility that describes how our life oscillates from good to bad, happy to sad, enthusiasm to apathy, motivation to unmotivated, and many others opposites and variations

It doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction.  Stephen Covey

The future depends on what we do in the present. Mahatma Gandhi

The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.   John Milton

  Volatility is a word describing the variations associated with highs and lows or ups and downs. Our lives as humans is comprised of many if not countless such contrasts. We have innate abilities and acquired skills, or are lacking such skills and abilities to live with and adapt to the “ups and downs” of life. Our ability to live well-balanced and mentally healthy lives is dependent upon how well we learn to go with or adjust to the ups and downs that are a daily part of our lives.

Words that apply to us are challenges, difficulties, experiences, troubles, trials and tribulations. There are many similar concepts. There are such words as joy, excitement, enthusiasm, elation, happiness, satisfaction and many more. It is safe to say all of us have our “ups and downs”, our good and bad, peaks and valleys and so forth. Some might say as long as we have more ups than downs life is not so bad. If life is mostly bad, then our life might be described as more miserable and depressing than good and joyful. It is just not that simple to describe life as good or bad in such a manner. The most critical factor is how we arrive at looking at our life as either good or bad, or as up or down. It is our life’s overall attitude we have chosen or acquired that dictates how we respond to life’s events and experiences. Having a “good attitude” or a “bad attitude”, high expectations or low expectations, optimism or pessimism, half full or half empty, are different ways of saying the same thing.

Depending upon our overall attitude toward life, our highs can be higher and lows not as low or in contrast our highs not as high and lows even lower. Such things as “look for the good”, the “bright side”, “I can”, and even “what does not kill me makes me stronger’ are aspects of how our overall attitude can make a big difference.

To a large degree we cannot control the variables of life that causes things to happen. We are not responsible for many things. However, we are responsible and in charge of how we choose to react to the things that happen to us. When it is all said and done, it is our overall attitude toward our reactions to life that makes the difference.

Challenge: Your attitude is something you can control. If you do not, you are only reacting to what happens rather than choosing how to act. Do not be a puppet. You can either act or react to life’s circumstances. The nature of your ups and downs are dependent on your attitude before and during the things that happen. A proactive attitude implies you are in control and can affect how high are the highs and how lows the lows.

Wisdom: If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Charlotte Bronte  

Spiritual: (NIV)

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Life does not come with a guarantee that it will be all joy and bliss. It is quite the opposite. It can be comprised of more misery, misfortune and difficulty than we can imagine. The degree or severity of such things is very much affected by how we react to and handle the things that happen. The Bible tells us God is and will be there for us. He will enable and equip us to have what it takes to fully handle and prosper in all circumstances.

Prayer: Help me to increasingly look to You for the abilities and skills that it takes to handle this life.

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