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How to be Resilient, How to Recover from the Adversity? Step 2. Perspective.

How to be Resilient, How to Recover from the Adversity? Step 2. Perspective.

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Now that I look back and analyze myself what empowered me to recover my life after the devastating crash, I see there were several aspects that worked together intertwined. I talk about my faith a lot because the Lord has given me the strength, tenacity, opportunities, courage, endurance and a blessing in everything I aimed for. I would not have made it without the Lord. But then there are other aspects that I don’t talk much about – besides the Lord’s intervention and His blessing I work with myself a lot. There are several components that helped me to recover from my personal adversity:

  1. God’s blessing and unshakable faith
  2. Self-management
  3. Personal Action and relentless effort to do the best I can do under any circumstances.

Self-management plays a significant role and I want to elaborate on that aspect.  Overcoming deep depression, emerging from hopelessness, breaking through the impossible odds, achieving goals and positive mindset is not a coincidence, but it is a result. Or, in other words, it’s the fruit of my efforts that nobody sees. It’s the result of hard relentless work.

Have you thought about why some people give up and others overcome seemingly insurmountable situations which confront them? Why some people get depressed and give in to circumstances and others refuse to give in and find a way to improve their lives? Is it that some are stronger than others? I don’t think so. I believe that what sets those people apart is their ability to manage themselves.

What is self-management? It is the skill to master your perspective, your thought patterns, your thought focus and your feelings. It’s the ability to manage yourself. When you have the skills necessary to manage your inner state, you will be able to respond to life’s events in a way that empowers you. It is imperative to be able to manage your outlook and your inner state at all times because you make different choices and different decisions depending upon how you view a situation and how you feel at the time your decisions are made. Would you agree that you make different decisions when you feel hopeful, confident, tenacious, strong and determined, and make entirely different decisions when you feel hopeless and helpless, defeated, doubting and pessimistic?

There was a time in my life when I realized that in addition to God’s blessing, my experience greatly depended on how well I managed myself. My biggest eye opener and probably one of the most significant ones was when I realized that my experience about one or another event depended upon how I choose to look at it.

I learned and realized that thoughts and emotions don’t just “happen” to me, leaving me powerless against them. I choose what I think and what I focus on, what meaning I give to the events and what I am going to do about them. Nobody and no event has the power to make me feel in any particular way unless I allow it. I am the one who chooses my response, and that depends on my perspective and my interpretation of what it means to me.

We always in our mind communicate to ourselves what things mean to us, how we feel about occurred events and what we are going to do about it all. When we are doing well, we are excited and think about how thrilled we are that things are going well,  what it took for us to achieve success, and having an even stronger belief of what is possible for us, we move on to another venture. Likewise, in the event of various complex circumstances, we weigh our current situation, ask ourselves why it happened, and make conclusions and decisions for the future. While we are thinking about one or the other situation, we feel certain emotions. It’s easy to see the good side and feel positive emotions when the circumstances are in our favor. But it’s more challenging to feel positive if it’s a painful and difficult event for us.

One of the combining details that affect our inner state and our subsequent decisions is our how we interpret it and how we communicate it to ourselves. Depending on our perspective we will give the meaning to that particular event, and from there follows our emotions and decisions what we are going to do next.

Having the same event, we have a choice of how we will look at it and how we will interpret it.

  • Is this a punishment or is this a lesson for me?
  • Is this a crash or is it just the end of something that will be replaced by something that really needs to take place in my life?
  • Is this an unrecoverable tragedy or is it a test for me?
  • Is this a loss or an opened opportunity to have new and better?
  • Is this a dead end or is it a challenge for me to find a way because I know there must be the way?
  • Is this too much for me to handle or is this opportunity for me to overcome a new challenge and become stronger?
  • Is this a problem or is it a challenge for me to find a way, to improve and create what I want?

Let’s take a very simple example. Let’s say Dave come to work and finds out that he was let go. What is he going to do about it? It greatly depends on his perspective. He can see it as he’s not good enough and they are getting rid of him, it’s a big problem, it’s the end of his security and well-being. How will Dave feel? Most likely he will feel defeated, not needed, self-insecure, stressed, fearful for his future, not confident to look for another well-paid job. But what if this is an opportunity for him to get a better position? What if this door closes, so he would open another door to have a career that he really wants? Maybe this is an opportunity for him to apply for the position that he always dreamed about or maybe even create his own business? How will Dave feel having this perspective? Most likely he will feel having a new beginning, intrigued, excited about the change to a better, opportunity to learn new things and improve, eager to take action, curious, hopeful. Having this kind of perspective will make him feel in a whole different way and a very different behavior than in the first case. A person can have two different perspectives about the same situation and both of them will create totally different outcomes.

Let’s take a gambling game. It is just a game, nothing more.  But how we feel about it depends on how we look at it and what gambling game means to us. We can look at it as a fun time with friends, the excitement of a mystery of what’s going to happen next and a great opportunity to gain an unlimited amount of money with no effort and work.  Also, we can look at it as a waste of time, opening doors to something that can bring a great destruction into our lives and it is just throwing away our money that we can spend on something more meaningful.  It’s all how we look at it will make us feel about that object or any event.

What if we look at circumstances or occurred events as just the facts? The fact itself can’t make us feel in any particular way.  It is just a plain fact same way as an object. It’s how we look at the fact will shape our attitude and our feelings about it. Events, the same way as objects or activities are simply neutral matter and they have both likes and dislikes, depending on what it means to people. Our perspective is the foundation of what meaning we give to the event or any circumstance, and depending on that we will feel about it in a particular way and will choose what we are going to do about it.

 

Perspective depends greatly on our beliefs. We have a choice to believe that everything that happens in our lives is in God’s control and everything happens for the purpose and for the better. We also may believe that there is no God, life is whatever events happen to us, it’s all about luck and most often life’s not fair. We may believe that with our decisions we can shape our destiny, and we may believe that all life’s events and circumstances are out of our control; therefore, it is meaningless to work hard and make the effort. We may believe that we are not good enough and are not really worthy of love and strong family, and we may choose to believe that everybody is worthy and can have it, so we do as well and we will have it when the right time comes. We may have a belief that we will not succeed anyway because we are not worthy of success or we are simply not as lucky as others, and we can believe that success is not a mere luck but a result of our efforts and we will be blessed and will succeed in everything we aim for.

These are just several examples of general beliefs about God, life, love and us as people, which shape our perspective.  Belief is nothing more than what we are convinced about, which we can choose as well. I cannot stress enough how critical it is to pay attention and choose your belief and perspective.

In order to show it better and make it more real, I will take my own life. The car accident that I was involved in was something that I could have never expected nor was I ready for such drastic event. I was 22 years old, and this event was a major turning point in my life and my family members. The result of that crash was that I lost a person, who I was dating at the time (he was killed), and lost everything that made my life fulfilling.  In addition to losing it all, having multiple injuries and losing both of my legs and having my left arm fully paralyzed, made me totally helpless and not able to take care of myself at all.  From being active, joyous and having strong potential to be successful in life, suddenly I found myself helpless in bed not being able to move or do anything independently, except see, feel and speak a little bit.  My life was changed overnight.

There were many different opinions on why it happened, questions about my destiny and advice what I should do with my life at that point. I have heard people had ideas that God has punished me. Others said probably this was my destiny and I should just accept it. “Such is your fate…he broke your destiny” was a very common conclusion, implying that I needed to accept it and give in because there was nothing I could do to get it all back or make my life better. I also had to hear advice not to try so hard pursuing my dream, because what I wanted was unrealistic. I disagreed with them all and decided to fight for my life because I had a different belief.

Today, one of the things I am most grateful for to my Creator is that from the very beginning I had a positive perspective about what had happened and faith of what my future would be like. I had unshakable belief that my life’s under God’s control and therefore, I will not fear. There was a reason why I got into this crash and also there is a purpose why I survived, even though I was given 30% to live.  I believed there must be a serious reason why this had happened. Even though I didn’t understand many things, but I believed there’s a purpose in everything and Lord was going to restore my life. I didn’t believe that this event happened for me to spend the rest of my life being in regret and depression, watching how my life passes by in sadness and restricted lifestyle.

I decided that I would not be a victim and wouldn’t spend my life continuously thinking about what had happened. I refused to be in self-pity or collect sympathy from others. The decision to restore my life no matter how much effort it would cost fueled me with unbreakable determination. I had a very clear understanding that my destiny was not going to be “broken” because of the event that had happened. I believed I could change my destiny the way I wanted and with God’s help that’s exactly what I was determined to do. I was going to live a full life in spite of my injuries. My understanding about it was so bright and clear, as if I were given a palette of paint, being told that I could draw only black or gray house, and I knew that I could use all the colors I wanted, and paint not only a house, but also blossoming gardens, green trees, colorful flowers, bright yellow sun, blue sky…

I did not know how my situation could possibly resolve to a better, but I knew that I would live well. I completely ignored people’s sayings “Such is your fate…” I did not listen to what anybody said about my position in life and their opinions about my goals that I wanted to achieve. I always had a vision of how I wanted my life to be, believed that it was possible to implement it and did everything I could do to make it become my reality.

I set the goals for myself, which step-by-step transformed my life from not being able to speak, move or do anything independently to traveling from Europe to the United States by myself and building my life all over again. I had a vision that I would live a fully active lifestyle in spite of my injuries, consistently worked toward my goal, and today I get to live my dream that seemed nearly impossible.

Now, after a while, I clearly see that if I also believed that God has punished me, I would have spent the rest of my life in misery, thinking that I would not have anything beautiful in my destiny. If I also had looked at my circumstances “realistically” as many did, I would not have even aimed for goals that I did. If I had agreed with people, who had their own beliefs about destiny and told me that I should just accept what had happened and let it be the way it was because such was my fate – probably I would still be spending my days being stuck at home having no access to a full life. If I believed that we can have only that, which circumstances allow, I still would be imprisoned by the walls of my home, watching how my youth pass by me and all I have is a dull existence.

My belief shaped the perspective that gave me hope and empowered me to take action to change my circumstances and create the life that I envisioned.  My perspective about this event and my future gave a birth to the attitude that I can’t and won’t give up on my life, but will take action to improve everything. My beliefs strengthened and encouraged me that I would succeed. I did not allow my loss to ruin my desire to live a full joyous life. Opposite, my loss gave a birth within to a burning desire to live and aspiration to achieve my dreams. I did not allow my desperate situation to destroy my faith. Opposite, my faith became stronger than it ever was. My adversity revealed to me the values that I never saw before. My belief and attitude made me strong, persistent and unstoppable.

 

As all of my above examples show, the same situation can have totally different outcomes, depending on which perspective we choose. Some beliefs are unconscious, and they come from people’s backgrounds, religious beliefs, experience, philosophy or other people’s opinions and their experience. We might be surprised how our beliefs are affected by other people’s beliefs or philosophy. Furthermore, based on that we make decisions that shape our lives. But the good thing is that we can change it at any time. If we are aware of our beliefs and our perspective, we can manage it and choose the response that will empower us.

If you believe that God does not give you more than you can cope with and there is a reason for everything, it will give you the confidence that you can manage it, and the solution is ahead of you. It will give you tenacity and encourage you to handle the adversity in the best possible way. After some time you might even see that particularly this difficult situation was for your good because it directed your life path toward your dream, it tested you, developed necessary character traits and gave you more wisdom. To be honest, I was shocked when I realized this in my own life. That’s why I am grateful today for all those hardships.

The quality of your life and your destiny is determined not by the events that take place in your life, but what you do afterward. While you do not have control over other people and a lot of times you do not have control over what happens in your life, you do have a choice of how you look at it all and what you are going to do about it. Depending on your perspective and decision what you are going to do next, you will have subsequent events and this way you shape your destiny.

Therefore, pay close attention to your beliefs and your mindset. What do you believe about the event that is going on right now in your life? What does this mean to you?

Choose wisely. And, Be Strong. Be Determined and Relentless. Be Unstoppable.

Blessings to you, until the next time.

Inga

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How to Be Resilient, How to Recover From the Destruction? Step 1. Know There is a Purpose Behind it All.

When the adversity hits us, the hopelessness brings enormous pain and feeling of devastation. But what if it’s not the end? What if there is hope? What if you know that there is a particular purpose behind this hardship and that it’s not more than you can handle? You are strong enough to take it. Take it and emerge with triumph.

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Lately, I’ve been surrounded by a lot of adversity in the lives of people who are dear to me. During the week of the firestorm in Sonoma and Napa Counties, California, many of us have been affected by it one or another way. Watching the devastation that the fires have brought into people’s lives was heart-wrenching. I was shocked and bewildered. My heart goes to each person and families, who lost your loved ones, lost your home and everything you held dear. How I wished I had my legs and my both arms functioning so I could be helpful to those, who were in need! Then, I began hearing that some of my friends have lost their homes and everything they had, someone got seriously ill, someone got their house foreclosed and were forced to leave their home while preparing for a heart surgery, someone got into the crash and got paralyzed… My heart was torn watching their pain. Their lives took a sudden turn that they could not anticipate nor could they possibly be ready for such adversities. I wish to be able to help, but there’s nothing much I could do. But, maybe there is a way I could reach my hand to those, whose lives were changed due to adversity, who goes through a hard time?

I haven’t lost anything at this time, but I know the taste of losing everything and anguish of grief. In my personal life journey, I have had to rebuild my life few times from devastating destruction, both tangible and emotional. The first time I came face to face with devastation was when I woke up in the ICU without my both legs, my left arm fully paralyzed and multiple severe injuries throughout my body. Losing nearly half of my body at the age of 22 and no longer able to function independently was devastating. My destiny seemed destroyed.

At that point, I faced the crossroads of my destiny – am I going to give in or am I going to fight for my life? Which way do I continue – left or right? Give up? Or fight? I had a choice.  I decided to reclaim my life no matter how much effort it would take.  Since then, my life turned into an incredible journey.  But then, after breaking through the insurmountable obstacles, and being only a step away from achieving the life that I relentlessly worked to attain, I faced the second crash, which brought more pain than losing my legs. Overnight everything was destroyed. Fruits of the hard work and continuous efforts to rebuild my life were ruined. The treachery, loss, and destruction of my new life broke me inside and nearly made me give up. I just did not have any more strength.

Realizing that it’s not events or other people’s choices that can break my destiny, but my choice to give up, with the Lord’s intervention, I picked myself up and resolved to attain my vision in spite of it all.

It’s been for over a decade that I live the life I desired to live, despite the devastation, the loss, the physical limitation and ongoing challenges. But I don’t want to enjoy my life for my selfish reasons. During the process of my recovery from adversity and other hardships, I have learned a lot and acquired experience and knowledge which I want to share with others. My passion has been to help others overcome difficulties, change/improve their lives, and share my testimony of God’s power to restore the broken and turn the impossible into possible.

My upcoming book “Unstoppable” contains my story and everything that empowered me to overcome the adversity and reclaim my life, but I don’t want to wait until it’s published. This fire disaster and hardships that so many people face, inspires me to begin sharing with you lessons I have learned, my source of endurance and everything that helped me to restore my life, so anyone could take it and use it in their lives. I am eager to share what will coach, ignite faith, inspire and equip you with knowledge of how to recover from adversity, break through hardships, overcome obstacles and achieve any goals, ultimately creating the life you desire.

 Since my faith in Jesus Christ has been the source of my strength and is the rock-solid foundation which I stand on, I will talk a lot about faith. I am not going to preach, but I will share how trusting in the Lord strengthened me, gave me the right perspective on events and hardships, gave me the courage, tenacity, and fortitude. I will also share what I call ‘self-management tools’ because, in addition to prayer and faith, our results will greatly depend on our mindset, attitude, personal character traits, discipline, personal standards, and actions. Just as my book contains both aspects, my posts will reflect the Unstoppable.

When the adversity hits us, the first stage is the shock. Have you felt that while you are in the state of a shock, you don’t feel anything? You are in a survival mode and there is not much pain or grief. I remember myself, I was feeling pretty well even though my both legs were severed. I felt fully determined to recover physically and rebuild my life.

But then, after the shock goes away, we come face to face with consequences of the destruction. That’s when the reality hits. The grief and anguish is enormous. And then there is a question – and now what? How am I supposed to live further?

At that point, you are at crossroads. This is a crucial moment, which can determine what’s next.  It’s important to understand that it is critical to not get panic or anxious, but be strong during hardships because your future circumstances will greatly depend on how you are going to handle the adversity.

One way of the crossroads – give in and indulge in self-pity; begin to think and act as a victim, blaming the disaster or other people for your brokenness.  Another way – resolve to reclaim that which was lost.

  1. Accept the new reality;
  2. Focus on the solution, what must be done to emerge from destruction;
  3. Do everything you can, do whatever it takes to improve your circumstances.

You are standing at the crossroads of a Choice. Remember, you have a choice. It’s going to be up to you which way you will continue. You have a choice to have unshakable faith or dive in into hopelessness. You have a choice to surrender to the hardship and go with the flow, and at the same time you have a choice to resist the destruction, be resilient and relentlessly aim toward your goal.

How to be resilient, how to recover after the destruction?

The first step – check your beliefs. Your belief system will lay a foundation for your mindset. The reason I begin with the mindset is because it will determine further decisions and actions, which ultimately will determine how you will handle the situation you are in. Since my beliefs are based on Christian faith, I will talk from a perspective of Biblical values and teachings.

My first advice for this time will be – trust that God doesn’t make mistakes; If He allowed that to happen in your life, then there is a purpose in it. According to the book of Job in the Bible, without God’s permission the enemy cannot do any harm to those who love the Lord and live according to His commandments. The enemy can do only as much as Creator allows him to. Moreover, in the story of Job, we see that God allowed Satan to bring calamities into Job’s life for a certain purpose.

 So, by faith, relying on the Bible, we know that what had happens in our life is not more than how much the Lord allows. So, knowing that, it brings a question- what for God has allowed this in your life? What purpose the Lord has through this trouble in your life?  Maybe you need to start looking sincerely for the Lord? Perhaps God stopped you, and you need to re-evaluate your values and who / what is the center of your life? Or, maybe there is something that you need to see and learn? Maybe you need to grow in faith? Can the Lord test you as He tested Job? Whatever that is, trust that the loving Creator is not going to allow his child to go through destruction with no reason. And, if this was allowed in your life, with the Lord’s help you will overcome.

 What helped me tremendously to recover after the shock of losing my independence and everything that I held dear was my faith that if my Heavenly Father allowed this car accident to happen in such a cruel way, that means there had to be a serious reason for it. Here is the excerpt from “Unstoppable” about the moment when I realized something that made me feel strong to accept the tragedy and conquer it:

“One day, as my friend Martynas was visiting, our light conversation turned into a discussion about my major questions – why it had to be so cruel. I knew I could be open with him and I shared with him my thoughts and how I felt.

After listening, he looked at me and said, “Inga, I don’t know why it happened the way it did. But what I do know is that God did not leave you then, and He is not going to leave you alone now. He would not have allowed you to appear in this position if you would not have been able to take it. With God you will handle it.”

              It felt like someone enlightened my mind and suddenly I got a very clear awareness: God is love. His purpose was not to torture me. He knows what I can and cannot endure. He never abandoned me and He showed me that He was with me the entire time. If He saved my life, even though I was not supposed to survive, and used His power to heal me so rapidly, there must be the purpose behind everything.

              Martynas reinforced my belief that there was a divine purpose in everything that had happened, that the Lord was with me. I was strong enough to take it. In fact, I wasn’t only going to live through it, but with the Lord’s help, I was going to have a victory.

              It felt like someone gave me a drink from the spring of life and suddenly, I felt alive. This was the first time I felt strong enough to accept the consequences of the crash. But I felt strong not just to cope with it, but to emerge from the tragedy and triumph over it. Since then, my life became an amazing journey.”

Since then, my life took an extraordinary path. It’s incredible what the Lord has done over the years. After some time, I did see why the Lord allowed this car accident and why this ended so cruel. Seeing what purpose my Creator had behind this tragedy, I sincerely thanked Him for it. Today, even if I could go back to change it all, I wouldn’t.    

It is natural that we react negatively to problems and adversities. But if we focus on what had happened and constantly think how bad things are, we make it only worse for ourselves. What we focus on expands. We need to have discipline over our mind, and not allow ourselves to drown in the negativity and fear, and direct our thinking into a different direction. In my life, a lot has changed, when instead of the question “Why did this happen to me? ” I began wondering “What is this for? What’s the purpose behind it?” Instead of feeling hopelessness or a victim of other people’s choices, I began feeling strong and confident. I began seeing troubles from a whole different perspective, which empowered me to change those destructive circumstances and, see the benefit in it all.  

Knowing that this is allowed for some purpose and this is not more than you can take, how do you feel? What thoughts come to you?

You are strong enough to accept what happens in your life. With God’s help, you will go through this. What does not break us makes us stronger, right? 🙂

Moreover, we believe that everything works together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So, even problems somehow work out for the good. (Romans 8:28) This is a great mystery to me how it works out that way, but I noticed it in my life time and time again. I will share about this some other time.

In the meantime, – What is the purpose of this adversity in your life? What is behind this?

 

On this note, I will end my message to you.

You are strong enough to take this. With God’s help you will recover.

Inga

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Your Life a Masterpiece

Now, as my major event is over (one of my duties at work is organize annual fundraiser), I am happy to be able to focus again on editing and improving my book “Unstoppable”. As I was editing my last chapter of the book, which summarizes many experiences and lessons about choices, I was inspired to share a part of it with you. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it. Please leave me your feedback, it is truly very valuable to me.

 

…I don’t understand many things. But what I do know that it’s not what happens to us and not really what people do to us what determines the quality of our lives, but how we respond to it and what we choose to do about it. Sure, we don’t have a choice of what happens to us or what other people’s choices are, but we always have a choice what we are going to do afterward. We always have a choice to complain, blame and spend our lives in misery and regret. But we also have a choice to get up and shake off the dust, accept the responsibility and relentlessly move on creating the life we desire. And that will make us either a victim who blames someone else for the unhappiness, or it will make us the unbreakable fighter, who gets to fulfill our intention in spite of all because we never stopped and never gave up.

I do know that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, if we truly desire it, do whatever it takes to achieve it and have unshakable faith that we are going to succeed. I do know that all things are possible with God if we believe. I don’t understand how it works out that way, but I’ve experienced this countless times and now I do know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are chosen according to His purpose, just as it’s written in the Bible. This has taught me a great lesson not to be stressed or terrified when things don’t go my way; all works together for good – even problems.

I also know that our own daily choices and decisions create subsequent events and ultimately direct our destiny one or another way. Sometimes, our one choice – ONE Single Decision – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Painful ad even devastating mistakes have taught me to be very careful with decisions I make. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compounded deliver their results as well.  They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. And, those little choices repeated on a continuous basis over time soon will deliver its fruit.  Every time we decide to do something or not is a choice. We stand at those crossroads many times in life. They might not even feel like crossroads; yet, they are.  And the choice of which path we take literally directs our destiny.

 

You may make numerous mistakes yet and will fall down, but it’s not your mistakes what show who you are. It’ s whether you choose to get up each and every time and learn from your mistakes that show who you are. It’s what you choose to do with all that happens in your life that will make your life worth living or miserable.

Don’t waste your precious time for things that don’t matter. This way you will only create the life that doesn’t really matter. Use the given time to design a purposeful and fulfilling life. Make your life count.

Lay a firm foundation for yourself that you will always make a choice that will align with your purpose. You will always make a choice to overcome and do the best you can under any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step.

 

Remember, it’s all about the choices you make. We all have choices, and we are going to have what we choose.

 

I have learned that our destiny will greatly depend on whether we choose life according to the Lord’s will or life according to our own ways. What I do know is that living in a righteous way before the Lord God and trusting Him wholeheartedly at all times is going to bring a much more secure, fulfilling and purposeful life. And after all, we will have a joyous life that will last the eternity for our soul’s existence does not end the journey here on the earth. By bringing you my experience, I want to inspire you to choose wisely. Our Father God has His will for us and yet He has given us a freedom of a choice.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

 

So, I invite you to take a deep breath with me. Let’s you and I choose life. Let’s continue on creating the lives that the Lord has called us to live.

Life is not a rehearsal. You get to do it only once.

Life is like an art.  Your decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art.

Make your life a masterpiece!

Inga

IngaMIV_1

 

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My Interview on the Radio Show “Magnificent Mind” with Steven Campbell

Happy New Year to you! I hope and wish that this year has started well for you.

As the new year just stepped in into my life, today I had a pleasure to be the guest speaker on the Radio show with Steven Campbell on KOWS 107.3 FM (Sonoma County, California)

A lot of times I get asked “What helped you overcome your tragedy?”, “Where do you get the strength and tenacity?”In this interview I answer those questions and share some practical tools, which will empower you to break through difficult times.

Here is the link to the audio of the interview.

Enjoy it, I hope you will find something that you can apply in your life.

Make 2016 to be your outstanding year!

Be strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable.

Till next time 🙂

Inga

 

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How To Keep on Going?

How To Keep on Going?

Do you have a hardship that it makes you feel like you are reaching your limit and you just can’t take it anymore? Are you facing obstacle that is like unmovable rock and after your continuous, but unavailing efforts you are contemplating on letting it go?
As we go through our life journey, every one of us experience heat and cold, sun and rain, valleys and hills covered with green and flowers, and also the dessert with no water or liveliness. Difficulties are just the same part of life as everything else that we consider good and we are not going to avoid them as much as we would like to. Even if we were absolutely perfect and did not make any mistakes, then there would be an impact from the outside that would cause us problems, right? Some are easier to deal with, and some of them sometimes bring us to the point when we feel like we just can’t take it anymore and we are very close to say “Forget it, I am done with this”. Does that sound familiar to you?

Quite often I am asked “How do you keep on going, Inga? You are so strong, where do you get the strength?” And since it is one of the most frequent questions I am asked, I decided to analyze myself, collect my observations and share it with others.

As I was on my journey of returning back to life by becoming independent and leading a dynamic life again after losing both of my legs and the use of my left arm, I had continuous battles with some serious obstacles, challenges and pain. Losing nearly half of my body at the age of 22 brought an enormous challenge just to function daily, in addition to the enormous emotional and physical pain. Then, life threw at me such challenges that at times it was simply unbearable to live another day. On my way I kept meeting obstacles that ironically smiled at me conveying the message that I won’t be able to move beyond them. Before I successfully achieved my Impossibles (it’s not a mistake; I just made up that word from adjective to a noun in a plural form ), for quite some time my strenuous efforts seemed absolutely meaningless as I did not see the fruit of my labor after countless hours, months and even years of work. The loss, wordless betrayals and disappointments appeared over and over and over…. How do you get up, how do you break through and keep moving on? Sometimes I even asked myself How much more can I take? But then, I would pull myself together and continue my journey toward my ultimate vision.

As I was analyzing what makes me get out of bed in the morning, break through those barrier walls and keep on going, I realized that all these years I was unconsciously applying the same strategies of how I deal with challenges and obstacles that try to prevent me from taking another step. It’s not that I am stronger than you. I just know my source of strength that is my Rock solid foundation and I know strategies to deal with challenges and tools to overcome obstacles. And I applied it. That’s all. I truly sincerely believe that anyone can successfully handle their difficulties. It’s just a matter of knowing and applying. I want to share this with you and others, so you can take it and apply it in your own life.

I will start with the first key, which may seem very invisible at first, but plays incredibly significant role in our lives. When I look back, I see that there was always a very fine line between continuing my life in misery blaming unfortunate events or other people, and me attaining a fully engaged and meaningful life. There is a fine line between some entrepreneurs, like for instance the publisher of Success magazine Darren Hardy, who became highly productive and successful and those who cannot see results that they dream about in their own businesses. There is a fine line between the Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic , who leads an extraordinary life even though he was born without his legs and without arms and those who are miserable even though they have everything they need to lead a fulfilling life. What was that fine line that made such a big difference in my personal experience and in the lives of many over-comers and high achievers? What can determine which direction our lives will take after some adversity strike us or when just simple daily difficulties take place in our lives?

It’s a Choice.

It was my choice what I decided to do when I was hit by those difficulties. I didn’t think about the power of the choice at the time, I was just totally committed to my ultimate outcome and I was doing everything possible to continue on my journey to implement that outcome. But after certain personal experiences, and observing other successful people, I clearly see that our choices how we handle those challenging times determine what’s next.

All of us have difficulties in our lives, and each of us handle them differently. While we are going through some hardships, we don’t always think about what’s far ahead, because we are focused on the moment and how we feel at that time. Often we make unconscious decisions in order to get away from pain as soon as possible regardless of its subsequent affect later on. But the fact is that our decision during the difficult time of how we are going to look at the situation (choosing the perspective) and what we are going to do about it, will determine what’s next for us. It is our choice during the difficult time whether we are going to allow that hardship to sweep away our decision to pursuit our aim or we are going to push through and continue our pursuit. So it is very important to keep in mind what is our current goal in the progress and what is our ultimate vision, and respond to the hardship in such a way that will support and not jeopardize our desired ultimate outcome.

There is always a choice to step into the victim’s role and blame somebody else for our broken destiny or failure to achieve our goal. At the same time, there is a choice to accept the responsibility for our current circumstances, be determined to make a change and take action to improve our situation. There is always a choice to take an easier route that does not require our efforts and discipline. There is also a choice to make an effort to change our life’s direction and relentlessly work to implement the outcome that we decide to have in our life. There is always a choice to use the given time to entertain ourselves, and a choice to use the same time to do something for the attainment of our goal and fulfilling our purpose. There is a choice to adopt the belief that nothing can be changed and go along with whatever circumstances show up in life, justifying it by “that’s just life” or another very famous one “I guess that’s just my destiny”. Right beside us, there is another choice to believe that there must be a way. With God’s help we will be able to make a change and improve our circumstances, regardless of how bad it is at the time. It’s not occurred events that determine how our lives are supposed to be, but God’s will for us and our decision what we are going to do in each situation. 

At the door of each difficult situation, there are always two choices that are waiting for our pick. These two choices are going to take us on different paths, and each of those choices will deliver totally different results.

“Sure, I would like to make the right choice. But how can I make it, how do I make that step forward, when I just feel tired, frustrated, disappointed, and at times I just don’t want to get out of my bed and do anything…How do I keep going on?”, – you may ask.
Yes, I know. It is very hard to think about things that you need to do when you don’t want another morning to come. This feeling is so familiar to me. But there is a way. I am going to share it with you as we move along.

Today, think about the power of the choice, because the determining factor whether you are going to live your dream or you will remain where you are now is your choices and decisions compound. Know that “I am done with this” or “I don’t feel like doing any of it today” is just simply an emotion, affected by certain events. Today you feel depressed and don’t feel like doing anything, so you decide to stay in bed and watch TV. Tomorrow you feel like you can’t take it anymore and you drop the ball. Another day you feel you need to take it easy, because it has been stressful lately, so you decide to entertain yourself. Time will go by very quickly, and those emotions will pass as well. And where will you be if you make your decision based on your emotions? You will have to live where your choices have brought you.
Is it worth it?
Is it easier to put it off to another day? Yes it is. But again, is it worth it?
Sometimes, our one choice – One Single Choice – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compound deliver their results as well. They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. Every time we decide to do something or not to do is a choice.

Just simply know that while you are going through a hardship, it is best to not allow your emotions to determine your decision what you are going to do with that situation and what you are going to do about your ultimate goal, because if you do – most chances are you will regret about it later. Have a rule to yourself that you are going to move forward relentlessly regardless of obstacles and any hardships that you will meet on your way.

Sure, there are times when some troubles can hit us very hard, and our well-being becomes a priority. (Our physical health, spiritual and emotional well-being is the #1 care, since we won’t be able to have any productivity if we are not doing well, right?) But with that, we need to be honest with ourselves, if this is a really serious issue that must get our care and attention, or is just a simple “feeling down” because we are not in a mood, the weather change or another routine disappointment. I believe the difference can make a person’s understanding that Procrastinating to get things done to “another time” or “when I feel better” is just a simple, invisible and yet dangerous time waster, which delivers an instant relief, but after a period of time brings us the irreversible result – we lose the time that we had to bring our vision to fruition. The longer we wait – the more time we waste, while our projects remain to be not completed. And what’s even worse, by waiting until we feel better we might miss our greatest opportunity. Again, there must be a balance in everything, but it is always good to have that awareness of what is really happening behind our decision “to do it another day.”
During my personal journey, I simply knew that the only way for me to get out of the pit was to be relentless and in spite of it all do everything possible to implement the outcome that I decided to attain. I was always aware that my daily consistent action is a step closer to the realization of my dream, whether it was to walk again or establishing my independent living in the United States. I knew that by canceling my daily work for whatever reason meant I was putting off reaching my ultimate goal to a later as well. In my mind I had a very simple math – doing the work meant getting closer to my goal’s achievement, and procrastinating in my action pushed my goal further away from me. I wanted to reach my goal as soon as possible, so I was committed to do exercises, work hard and just do what I had to do regardless of whether I felt like it or not. When I was facing betrayals and people’s acts that directly and destructively impacted my life, I knew that I could not allow myself to give up on my life only because of another person’s certain act toward me. My life was way too precious for me to allow anybody or anything to stop me from making it blossom again. I moved on because I clearly realized that it’s not other person’s act toward me that could destroy my future, but my choice to give up after that.
Other people and outside events can impact your life and they may even stop you temporarily. However, the ultimate outcome will be determined by you. Are you going to allow your emotions to put your project aside, or are you going to push through and make an effort to do at least something to bring yourself closer to your ultimate aim? Are you going to remain in the pit and wallow in your misery blaming the person or the event, or are you going to shake it off, learn your lessons and move on toward your vision in spite of it all? Are you going to give up when challenges show up, or are you going to break through and reach your destination anyway?
It’s your choice.
Lay a firm foundation for yourself that you will always make a choice that will align with your purpose. You will always make a choice to overcome and do the best you can in any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step. So when you face some tough situation, don’t rush to do anything out automatic reaction. A lot of times we just react, making unconscious choices based on our habitual mental patterns. Stop. Make a conscious decision. Think about the situation in a big picture. Where are you going? Try to see those two choices, and ask yourself “The choice that I am going to make now, where will it bring me ultimately?”

What is that beautiful place in your life where you are headed? Look how far you have made it! I am sure you have had some obstacles on your way before you got here. And today, one of the combining reasons why you are successful or have not reach your desired outcome is how you dealt with those hardships and stumbling blocks, would you agree?

Today is your opportunity of many choices. Tomorrow is a new day, which is a new opportunity to use your given time and make choices that will get you closer to your vision, or away from it. Your own choice will determine it.
Life is like an art piece. Our decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art. Make your life a masterpiece.

I hope this add some value to you. I cannot stress enough how important it is. If you would like to share with me and other readers your thoughts, feedback and your experiences by posting right below, I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you! Also, please pass this on to others, if you know someone who might benefit from it.

I will continue sharing with you How to break through and keep on going. Until then, use what you just read. It will make a difference.

Here are few questions that you may ask yourself to help you:

  • Choices that I am making during difficult times – do they work for me or against me? Are they bringing me closer to my goal? If not, what different choices do I need to make in order to start consistently moving forward?
  • The choice that I will make now – is it going to bring me closer to my ultimate vision or pull me away from it?

If you would like to have some support through the coaching process, I am just an email away. Please email me inga.lizdenyte@gmail.com

And like always, I wish you to Be Strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable! 

~ Yours, Inga

http://www.ingalizdenyte.com/Coaching.html

 

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No circumstance is your final destination. It can be changed, even if it seems impossible

Dear my Blog UNSTOPPABLE Followers,

 I don’t know your names, but I address this message to each of you. I want to say my sincere thank you for subscribing to receive my messages. Especially I want to welcome you, who just joined me in a month of June. What a nice surprise it was for me to see that from 360 followers in one month it grew to 390! Thank you for joining me.  I hope you will get  some value from what I am going to share in my blogs. I know I haven’t posted anything since then, but I will continue on writing. If you felt that my English is not “proper”, it is because  English is my 3rd language. But, I hope you will not mind. 🙂  I believe the important thing is that you understand what I am trying to say, and the language will be improved with time, right? 🙂

  After overcoming personal tragedy and successfully building a new  life after  losing both of my legs and the use of my left arm in a car accident, I have a passion to help others implement their goals and change/improve their lives.  I want to share with you what empowered me to change my life and achieve goals that truly seemed impossible, so you and anyone can do it too, no matter what situation is in your life. My tough, but incredible life journey shows that it’s not what happens to us what determines our destiny, but how we respond to it and what we choose to do about it. At the same time, it is a living testimony of God’s power to restore the broken and turn the impossible into possible. My faith became stronger than ever before.  I am eager to share it with the world, so anyone can experience God’s incredible power, and be an over-comer, leading a victorious life. Since my passion is to touch many people’s lives by sharing my message to inspire, empower and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ, I want to ask you: If you know someone, who you think may benefit from my blogs, would you please share it with them. Sometimes our simple act or a good word might change somebody’s life..

Today I have a message to share that illustrates God’s restorative power and that It’s not what happens to us determines our destiny, but what we choose to do afterwards. Also I want to extend my invitation to you to attend the event, where I was invited to be the guest speaker. I know it’s nearly the last minute announcement, but see if you live in the area and would like and be available to come. Hosted by Love Your Life Ministries,  this event is dedicated to empower women to overcome and thrive, and it will be held on Saturday August 23rd 10:30 am – 2:30 pm  at Hampton Inn hotel, Ukiah, CA. Please see the details below or visit http://www.loveyourlifeministries.org/

As you may know, originally I am from Lithuania, EU. I was born in Vilnius, gorgeous capital of the country. I have been living in the United States since 2005. This June I had a very special event in my life, which made me realize again that no circumstance is your final destination, and that’s what  I want to share with you in this message.

This beautiful event was my Mom’s visit – she came to visit  me from Lithuania for the very first time. She came for a month (5 weeks) and we had a quality time together after 4 years of not seeing each other. Due to various reasons I was not able to go back to Europe, so this was quite a long time not to see my family. God made a beautiful and the best Birthday surprise for me – Mom told me that she had saved up money for the airline tickets and finally she felt confident that she could manage travelling alone across the globe to visit me. Out of my excitement, I nearly fell out of my “BMW” (my electric wheelchair) after hearing her news!  For many years I have tried to have her come, but she would respond to me very firmly “It’s too expensive and besides, having no English language skills, I will not be able to make this trip by myself” So now, when she told me that she’s ready to come, I immediately started making arrangements for her trip, being totally astonished by a surprise. I had a secret dream – to give my Mom the best vacation she has ever had, and finally my opportunity to make that happen showed up! It was just incredible to watch how all the details started coming together as if some invisible hand was putting it all together: the airline round trip tickets during the summer season had the least price I have ever seen in all my 10 year travel EU – USA, we quickly received a permission for her to cross the border (Lithuanian citizens do not need visas) and all the necessary arrangements fell into place just perfectly. My Mom was a little anxious to travel alone across the globe though, since she has never traveled out of the country alone. First, I  prayed for her for the Lord to watch over her and make her trip easy and smooth.  And then, I  encouraged her to push away all her doubts and “What Ifs” , and replace it with Faith and Confidence, saying to herself  “yes, I can and I will make it happen”, allowing absolutely no doubt. This situation brought me back 10 years ago, when I made the decision to go to California and establish myself in the land of sunshine. It was a little intimidating to leave my family and absolutely everything behind and  go all the way across the globe alone, having no resources or guarantees to implement my new vision. I had no place to live, not a lot of money, no work  and not even clear idea how I was going to take make it happen. I did not even have the right to live and work in America, and quite frankly, I had no idea how I was going to move around in the city in my manual wheelchair, cook and do all the daily tasks having no legs and only one arm.  But I had my dream. I had a strong faith. I knew several American people. whom I met during my first visit in the USA.  And I was ready to work hard to make my desire come true. All my doubts and the unknown I replaced it with faith, and I got on the journey, putting my trust on the Lord. That single  step that I made in faith was life changing – it completely transformed my life into a living dream. Now, I saw my Mom was facing very similar doubts and I knew that she  would have the best vacation she has ever had, if she would just make that one step forward….And she did!  Very soon I  hugged my Mom in San Francisco Int’l Airport with tears of joy and smiles. Knowing how fearful my Mom was to travel alone having no English skills, I knew it took an enormous amount of courage for her to do this. I was so proud of her… Just recently it seemed totally impossible for her to make that step. I watched my Mom having this indescribable sense of victory over her fear and enjoying the sweet fruit of it – she made it happen. She arrived to the gorgeous land of sunshine and finally re-united with her daughter. Her flight turned out to be very smooth. She did not even feel that her second flight lasted 11,5 hours! She very much enjoyed her trip and arrived well. In fact, after over 20 hour trip she had more energy than I did! 🙂

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Lord blessed every single day of her stay here in California. She finally got to see how I live independently, which was the biggest gift to her. I have been sharing with her stories and photos of my work, meetings with friends, travel times and various exciting experiences I had, but she could not picture how this was possible. What she personally saw were those continuous obstacles for me to function independently, and she could not even imagine how this could possibly be different. Due to the inaccessible apartment, for quite some time  I was not able to get out of my room, and she did basically everything for me.  For a long time I just could not take care of myself independently and especially do any household activities. Therefore, she could not imagine how I was able to take care of myself and handle household on my own, having no legs and only one functioning arm. Our apartment house did not have wheelchair accessible entrance, and the only way for me to get out of the house was for someone to carry me out on their arms. I hated it with all my essence, and for that reason I spent 3 years rarely leaving my home. After watching me being imprisoned by my home for several years, she could not picture how I was able to get out of my apartment independently. In my home city public transportation was not wheelchair accessible, and now Mom could not imagine how I was able to get on the bus and go to work or any place I wanted to go. Mom still had very dark memories of those first 3 years since the accident that were filled with never ending agony and hopelessness. I knew that just from seeing me living fully and being totally independent would make her trip worthwhile.

 The vacation turned out to be absolutely outstanding. Every day was beautiful and there were no unpleasant situations at all. Not even one. Every single day was like God’s  gift to both of us. One of the first things Mom got to see was how I function independently, which made her feel speechless  at times and relieved. She saw how accessible California was for the wheelchair users, and now she understood why I was so eager to leave everything behind and move to this country – here I can live just as independent and as fast pace lifestyle as everyone else, regardless of my physical condition. She saw me independently  taking care of myself, cleaning the apartment, cooking, doing the laundry and taking care of any household task or whatever I needed to do. She saw me going out with absolutely no obstacles, using public transportation and  going to any place I wanted to go. Now she saw it all. I was handling daily tasks with no obstacles and she even had a hard time getting used to the fact that I did not need help, as it used to be. She experienced that, which seemed absolutely impossible – I live as independently and fully as if I didn’t have any physical limitation.  That was a confirmation for her that it was the right decision for her and my Dad  to let me go when I told them that I had decided to move to California, across  the globe from our home,  to establish my independent living. Being astonished by what she saw and experienced, Mom kept repeating to me that California was the perfect place for me to live. I saw how stress, worry and pain slowly were leaving her. Instead, daily I saw a smile and her joyous eyes, which I was so longing for…  In addition to the gift of her being able to see that I live fully despite my physical challenges, she got to enjoy Californian sun and  see the breathtaking beauty of California, which absolutely fascinated her. She also got to meet many wonderful people, which showed to her that I was not alone here in America.

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 There were countless moments that will remain as a beautiful unforgettable memories to both of us.  Among them, there was something that struck me and made me realize once again that no circumstance is our final destination. It all can be changed, even if it seems impossible at the time.

As we were driving around visiting places, in my mind I would stop and think to myself  – What a difference from the time when I started my tough but incredible journey! It was hard to believe this was really a true story, even though I myself am the main character in that story.:) After the car crash I was involved in Feb of 2000, my Mom was right there with me just as she was now, but everything was so different.. Due to the traumatic injuries I suffered, I was unable to eat or move independently for a while.  Mom was feeding me through the straw the half-liquid meal that she would prepare at home and bring me to the hospital.  She would help me to sit up from a lying position and  transfer me into the wheelchair. She would help me to dress up and  would roll me in a wheelchair outside in a rehab center’s area to give me the opportunity to have some fresh air…. We were in the unbearable anguish and shock, wondering how could I possibly continue my life being in such severe physical condition. The circumstances at the time were absolutely hopeless and the future did not promise anything better. There were so many sleepless nights and tears out of despair and fear of unknown…  And now, we were again together, but what a different reality! We were across the globe  from our home in the beautiful land of sunshine California! We were driving along the majestic Pacific ocean and seeing breathtaking views of the coast. We were walking in the beautiful city of San Francisco, crossing famous magnificent Golden Gate bridge and visiting worldwide known places! We were enjoying the stunning views of San Francisco and surrounding islands while we were cruising on the ship in the Bay area!  We were visiting gorgeous vineyards and spending time with wonderful people. Our days were filled with laughter and sheer joy and experiences that will remain unforgettable beautiful memories! We both had the best vacation we’ve ever had! What a dramatic incredible change! 

This is exactly what I decided to implement  14 years ago right after my accident – to live fully despite mLedson2_1y physical limitation. There were many suggestions for me to accept my “new reality” of me being “disabled”, because it looked like that’s my fate. I heard that God punished me and should just live with it. I also heard numerous times that my goals were beyond my reach and I would face a big disappointment if I would try to implement them.  At the time I didn’t know that my dream would bring me all the way to California 🙂, but I knew that my life must be different than me spending time in some rehab center or watching how my most beautiful days of my life are imprisoned among the four walls of my room. While I kept hearing “you are out of your mind, it’s impossible, you will never be able to make this happen”, I took action to turn my dream into my reality. I had a different belief and I was determined to make it happen regardless of what other people thought or said. I always had my sight on my vision, not on the obstacles. And I consistently moved forward, putting my trust on the Lord. I knew that with God’s help I would be able to make it happen, because with God all things are possible. And now, as my Mom and I were driving along the Pacific ocean, we agreed that the accident was not the end, but only the beginning of my life story…incredible story that the Lord has orchestrated. Where would I be today, if I had decided that my life has no future and would have given up..?

 

By writing this message to you, I want to ignite faith in you that you can make your vision become your reality. I am saying this not just to say it, but I myself have lived it and I know it can happen in your life as well. Your current circumstances can be changed if you are not happy with what you have today. I  encourage you to take that step, which may be even life changing.  

If you are experiencing joy and success in your life – it’s very exciting and I smile with you. 🙂 Enjoy it and know that you can go even further; the sky is the limit to all that you can do. Better yet, your success will taste even sweeter to you if you reach your hand to those, who need your help to achieve their success. It will make you fulfilled beyond what you can ever experience by making yourself successful, trust me.  

If you have a vision that you would like to turn into your reality – go for it. Your dreams and desired goals don’t have to remain your wish. You can bring it all to life. I learned that we can achieve even what seems impossible, if we truly desire it, are ready to pay the price of our work and persistent efforts, and have unshakable faith. Having a clear vision, empowering perspective and consistent action you will arrive to your desired destination.

 If you are experiencing difficult circumstances – know that  you can change it. You do not need to settle for whatever life brings along. You can change it. No circumstance is your final destination. Your further life does  not really depend on the event that had happened, but it depends on what you are going to do about it. And if today you are where you are in your life because of your earlier made choices – by making different choices today you can turn your life into different direction.

You can make incredible changes in your life if you make a decision to accept the responsibility, and do whatever it takes to implement your vision, while putting your trust on the Lord. Look at it this way – you are the author of your life story. You can pick up the pen and change your further story. You can change it at any time. Even today. Even this moment can be fateful to you, if you make a decision to open a new page and start writing in it what you want. This is your life. This is your story, and nobody is going to create it for you, except you. Realize that it depends only on you and the Lord God how you are going to continue your life. If you feel stuck and don’t know where to start, answer these  questions:

What needs to be different, what would make you  feel happy and satisfied with your life conditions?

What are the possible ways to bring it to fruition?

What action can you take to turn your vision into a reality?  What action are you going to take?

Where do you have to start, what will be your first step?

And when are you going to make that first step?

I asked these questions myself years ago, and they began my beautiful journey. 🙂

 Be determined and persistent. You may meet obstacles that will prevent you from moving forward, but don’t stop. Work toward your goal until you achieve it. The only one who can stop you is You.  

Do not be afraid of unknown, but make the first step forward in faith. My Mom made that  step and she had the best vacation she has ever had… 🙂 And finally, after 14 years of ongoing agony from that devastating event and the fear of unknown, she was able to take a deep breath out of joy and easiness. Now, her tears were from her sincere joy. She told me that now, after this visit and experiencing my current life, she will go back to Europe feeling at peace. She feels like she has broken through the chains of pain and sorrow, leaving it all behind. It’s a new life now for her. She saw what a significant role has played her decision and determination to break through her fear and step forward. Where would she be today if she had decided to listen to her fears and not travel? She would still be in pain and the unknown. 

I personally made that first step in faith and it literally changed my life.

 Make the step forward. Change your circumstances. Change your life.  

  

Please join me at the event, Empowering Women to Overcome and Thrive!​ It’s a great opportunity to meet new women, and make new contacts for your businesses. In addition, you will be Inspired and Empowered to be the best you can be! For your inspiration,  I will share my true story of how I was able to transform my life after the tragedy and then, I will share practical tips and strategies that empowered me to stay strong, overcome obstacles and systematically achieve goals that seemed just impossible. It’s $27, and if you bring a guest, it makes it only $13 per person. (No one is making money at this event, the cost is to help organizers to cover the expenses of putting on this event/lunch ) RSVP is required for planning purposes. Thank you, and I look forward to meeting you there!

Check-out the flyer, and you can reserve a spot by visiting http://www.loveyourlifeministries.org/

 

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Self-Management. How Perspective affects our inner state and decisions.

It greatly empowered me when I understood what a difference it makes when you are aware and consciously choose the perspective that strengthens. I wrote an article about it to bring the value to others. Of course it will be included in  my upcoming book “Unstoppable”. 🙂 For now, I encourage you to read about it here in my blog. It will empower you and will give you a tool which you can use when you face some difficulty.

 

Have you thought why some people give up and others overcome? Why some get depressed and give in to circumstances and others refuse to give in and find a way to improve those circumstances? I thought about it a lot. Is it really that some are stronger than the other ones? I believe, what sets those people apart is their ability to manage themselves. That’s all. What is self-management? It is the ability to control your response to life’s events, manage your thoughts and feelings/emotions. Or, in other words it is the ability to control your inner state. It is critical for us to be able to manage our inner state at all times, because we make different choices and different decisions, depending on our inner state. Would you agree, that you make different decisions and choose different actions when you feel hopeful, strong and determined and when you feel helpless, dis-empowered and doubting?

Our inner state depends on our Thought focus and Perspective.

What causes excitement and depression? Both inner states are the result of our thought focus. Nobody gets into a depression by focusing on exciting opportunities, or how grateful he is for everything good that he has. Depression sneaks in when a person pays close attention to what he is not happy about and constantly thinks about it. Same way, the more a person will focus on positive events,  new opportunities and compelling goals, there  will be no room for sadness, but the excitement and desire to implement his desired change. Our feelings always follow our thought focus.

I learned and realized that thoughts and emotions don’t just “happen” to me, leaving me powerless against them. I choose what I think and what I focus on, what meaning I give to the events and what I am going to do about it. Nobody and no event have the power to make me feel in any particular way, unless I allow it. I am the one who chooses my response, and that depends on my perspective and my interpretation of what it means to me.  

We always in our mind communicate to ourselves what things mean to us, how we feel about occurred events and what we are going to do about it all. When we are doing well, we are excited and think about how thrilled we are that things are going well,  what it took for us to achieve success, and having even stronger belief of what is possible for us, we move on to another venture. Likewise, in the event of various complex circumstances, we weigh our current situation, ask ourselves why it happened, and make conclusions and decisions for the future. While we are thinking about one or the other situation, we feel certain emotions. It’s easy to see the good side and feel positive emotions when the circumstances are in our favor. But it’s more challenging to feel positive if it’s a painful and difficult event for us.  The way we will feel about the event greatly depends on how we interpret it and how we communicate it to ourselves.

               One of the combining details that affects our inner state and our subsequent decisions is our perspective about the situation. Depending on our perspective we will give the meaning to that particular event, and from there follows our emotions and decisions what we are going to do next.

 I am sure we all have experienced situation, when we, after hearing some news or having some particular experience, automatically reacted to what happened accepting the event as a bad thing. Being overwhelmed with negative feelings, we got so fearful, frustrated or disappointed that we offended someone, hung up the phone or broke our relationship with someone, dropped pursuing our goal, gave up on a project we intended to work on, broke our commitments and similar.  After some time, when everything calmed down, we asked ourselves “Why did I do that…?”, then realizing that we acted that way because we were driven by the emotions that we had at that time. Unfortunately, our words and actions most often are irreversible.  But if we learn how to stop ourselves from the negative reaction and allow our empowering perspective to shape our response to a situation, it is much easier to accept and handle occurred problems, and we can save ourselves from unpleasant further situations that we might put ourselves into as a result of our reactive response.

Our perspective shapes our response. Having the same event, we have a choice of how we will look at it and how we will interpret it.

Is this a punishment or is this a lesson for me?

Is this a loss or an opened opportunity to have new and better?

Does this situation show me that I am not good enough or does this situation show there is an area where I can improve myself, so I can do better next time?

Is this a dead end or is it a challenge for me to find a way because I know there must be a way?

Is this a failure or is it an experience with the lesson of what I can do better and where I should improve? Is this a crash or is it just the end of something that will be replaced by something that really needs to take place in my life?  

Is this too much for me to handle or is this opportunity for me to overcome a new challenge and become stronger? 

Is this a problem or is it a challenge for me to find a way, to improve and create what I want?

 Let’s take a simple example. Ken, after a break-up with the woman he loves due to her lies and cheating, can look at it in various ways. Ken can come up with ideas that he is not good enough, something’s wrong with him, he has been lied to because there is something better than him and probably this woman only wanted to use him. What is he going to do next? Very likely, this kind of perspective will lead him into a belief that will lower his self-confidence and will greatly impact his decision what love and relationship means to him. He might start believing that he is not good enough to be loved, women are deceptive cheaters, it doesn’t work out for him because he is not worthy of a good strong relationship and similar.  From that belief and new perspective about himself and relationships, he might make a decision that close connection and love hurt, and he doesn’t even want to get into a new relationship, because he doesn’t want to be hurt and disappointed again.  

 Having the same situation there is a choice to look at it differently. Ken can look at the break-up as a good thing, because if his second half chose to lie to him and be dishonest, then this was not really his second half. He knows what kind of woman he wants to tie his life with, and this is definitely not what he wants. In fact, it would have been worse if he wasted more time with her and especially if he had made a life commitment with that person. Now he has a new opportunity to meet his true life partner, who will love him unconditionally, who will not hurt him and will be faithful to him. Actually, he is truly thankful for this break-up, because now he is free to meet his true woman for him and is ready for that special connection and relationship. How will this perspective make Ken feel and what kind of decision he will make? Much different, right? The same situation, two different perspectives and totally different results.

Another simple example in a different situation: let’s say I come to work and find out that I was let go. What am I going to do about it? It greatly depends on my perspective. I  can see it as I  am not good enough and they are getting rid of me, it’s a big  problem, it’s the end of my security and well being. But what if this is an opportunity for me to get a better position? What if this door closes, so I would open another door to have a career that I really want? Maybe this is an opportunity for me to apply for the position that I dream about or maybe even create my own business? Again, two different perspectives and both of them will create totally different outcomes for a person. 

 

What if we look at circumstances or occurred events as just the facts. The fact itself can’t make us feel in any particular way.  It is just a plain fact same way as any object. It’s how we look at the fact will shape our attitude and our feelings about it. Events, same way as objects or activities are simply neutral matter and they have both likes and dislikes, depending on what it means to people. Let’s take a gamble game. It is just a game, nothing more.  But how we feel about it depends on how we look at it and what gambling game means to us. We can look at it as a fun time with friends, excitement of a mystery of what’s going to happen next and a great opportunity to gain unlimited amount of money with no effort and work.  Also, we can look at it as a waste of time, opening doors to something that can bring a great destruction into our lives and it is just throwing away our money that we can spend on something more meaningful.  It’s all how we look at it will make us feel about that object or any event.  

Our perspective is the foundation of what meaning we give to the event or any circumstance, and depending on that we will feel about it in a particular way and will choose what we are going to do about it.

               Perspective depends greatly on our beliefs.

We have a choice to believe that we are capable and will improve in the learning process or we may believe that  we are just not good enough and will never be. We have a choice to believe that everything that happens in our lives is in God’s control and everything happens for the purpose and for the better. We also may believe that there is no God, life is whatever events happens to us, it’s all about luck and most often life’s not fair. We may believe that with our decisions we can shape our destiny, and we may believe that all life’s events and circumstances are out of our control; therefore, it is meaningless to work hard and make the effort. We may believe that we are not good enough and are not really worthy of love and strong family, and we may choose to believe that everybody is worthy and can have it, so we do as well and we will have it when the right time comes. We may have a belief that we will not succeed anyway, because we are not worthy of success or we are simply not as lucky as others, and we can believe that we will be blessed and will succeed wherever we go. These are just several examples of general beliefs about God, life, love and us as people, which shape our perspective about the events and our connection with people.  Belief is nothing more than what we are convinced about, which we can choose as well.

We can take another example to show how belief shapes our perspective and the perspective leads to certain decisions, followed by actions. To make it more real, I will take my own life. The car accident that I was involved in was something that neither I nor anybody else in my life could have ever expected. I was 22 years old, and this event was a major turning point in my life and lives of my family members. The result of that event was that I lost a person, who I was dating at the time (he was killed), and lost basically everything that made my life fulfilling and joyous with no way to restore it back.  In addition to losing it all, having multiple injuries and losing both of my legs and having my left arm fully paralyzed, made me totally helpless and not able to take care of myself at all.  From being active, joyous and having strong potential to be successful in life, suddenly I found myself helpless in bed not being able to move or do anything independently, except see, feel and speak a little bit.  Losing half of my body completely changed my life. There were many different opinions of why it happened, questions about my destiny and advice what I should do with my life at that point. I have heard people had ideas that God punished me; others said this was my destiny and I should just accept it. “Such is your fate…he broke your destiny” was a very common conclusion, implying that I needed to just accept it and give in, because there was nothing I could do to get it all back or make it better. I also had to hear advice not to try so hard pursuing my dream, because it was unrealistic. I disagreed with them all and decided to fight for my life, because I had a different belief.

Today, one of the things I am most grateful for to my Creator is that from the very beginning I had a positive perspective about what had happened and faith of what my future would be like. I had unshakable belief that my life’s in God’s control and therefore, I will not fear. There was a reason why I got into this crash and also there is a purpose why I survived, even though I was given 30% to live.  Since the Scriptures say that everything works for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28), that means there must be a serious reason why this had happened, and I believed somehow this was for my good. Even though now I didn’t understand many things, but I believed there’s a purpose in everything and Lord was going to restore my life. In spite of suggestions to give in, I firmly decided that I would not sit around for the rest of my life being a victim of drunk driving. I didn’t believe that this event happened for me to spend the rest of my life being in regret and depression, watching how my life passes by in sadness and restricted life style. I decided that I would not cry and wouldn’t spend my life thinking about what had happened being in self pity or collecting sympathy from others. I kept saying to myself that what I was experiencing at the time was only temporary. I would live a full life in spite of my injuries. I had a very clear understanding that my destiny was not going to be “broken” because of the event that had happened. I could change my destiny the way I wanted to and with God’s help that’s exactly what I was going to do. My understanding about it was so bright and clear, as if I were given a palette of paint, being told that I  could draw only black or gray house, and I knew that I could use all the colors I wanted, and paint not only a house, but also blossoming gardens, green trees, colorful flowers, bright yellow sun, blue sky… I did not know how my situation could possibly resolve to a better, but I knew that I would live well. I completely ignored people’s sayings “Such is your fate…” As soon as I heard such opinions, feelings of rebellion would instantly stir up inside of me and my response was “No. That is NOT my destiny. I will create the destiny that I want.”  I did not listen to what anybody said about my position in life and their opinions about my goals that I wanted to achieve. I always had a vision of how I wanted my life to be, believed that it was possible to implement it and did everything I could do to make it become my reality. My helplessness created a burning desire to do whatever it takes to lead joyous, active and independent life again.  I set the goals for myself, which step-by-step transformed my life from not being able to speak, move or do anything independently to travelling from Europe to the United States by myself and building my live all over again.   I had a vision that I would live a full active lifestyle in spite of my injuries, consistently worked toward my goal, and today I live my dream that seemed nearly impossible. In fact, today I feel happier than before the car accident.

Now, after a while, I clearly see that if I had looked at my circumstances “realistically” as many did, and would have agreed with people, who told me that I should just accept what had happened and let it be the way it was, because such was my fate – probably I would still be spending my days being stuck at home having no access to a full life. My belief shaped the perspective that gave me hope and empowered me to take action to change my circumstances and create the life that I envisioned.  My perspective about this event and my future gave a birth to the attitude that I can’t and won’t give up on my life, but will take action to improve everything, and had unshakable belief that I would succeed. I did not allow my loss to ruin my desire to live a full joyous life. Opposite, my loss gave a birth within to a burning desire to live and aspiration to achieve my dreams. I did not allow my desperate situation to destroy my faith. Opposite, my faith became stronger than it ever was. My adversity revealed to me the values that I never saw before. My belief and attitude made me strong, persistent and unstoppable.

 

As all of my above examples show, the same situation can have totally different outcomes, depending on which perspective we choose. Some beliefs are unconscious, and they come from people’s backgrounds, religious beliefs, experience, philosophy or other people’s opinions and their experience. If we are aware of our beliefs and our perspective, we can manage and choose the response that will empower us.

For instance, difficult situations is something that everyone avoids. However, they will be there whether we like it or not. Every single person has faced difficulty at some point in their lives, and the way they handled it greatly depends on their perspective about it and what they decided to do about it. In any case, naturally everyone has negative feelings about difficult situations. What if we take a different point of view at the difficulty? Opportunity. It’s an opportunity  to learn what better choices I can do next time;  opportunity to develop certain character traits;  opportunity to learn to trust more the Higher Power;  opportunity to test myself how I can handle challenges. In each situation it is possible to learn something. If we value learning and growth, we can look at every situation as a lesson and ask ourselves what we can learn from this experience.

If we believe that God does not give us more than we can cope with and there is a reason for everything, we will just know that our current situation is not more difficult than we can handle, and it is in our life for the reason. Our job is to handle it the best possible way and see the reason. After some time we might  see that actually particularly this difficult situation was for our good, because it directed our life path toward our dream, it tested us, developed necessary character traits and gave us more wisdom. After seeing that, our belief will get even more grounded, and when next time we will face difficulty – we will be even more steady in our  empowering perspective and we will handle the situation in a different way.   If we see that a certain challenge was given to us as a lesson or opportunity for our self-improvement, our mind will be focused on what we can learn from that and how we can improve ourselves, instead of how bad and difficult situation is, and naturally, we will handle the challenge differently.

We do not have control over other people and a lot of times we do not have control over what happens in our lives. But we have a choice of how we look at it all and what we are going to do about it. Depending on our decisions what we are going to do next, we will have subsequent events and this way we shape our destiny.  If we carefully and deliberately choose our beliefs and perspective, we will always have control over our response to various life’s events, challenges in our relationships or any situation in  life.

It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.” Anthony Robbins

Be Strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable! 🙂

 Inga Lizdenyte

http://www.ingalizdenyte.com/

 

 

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