Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Perspective - It's All the Way You Look At It

There is little difference in people, but that difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. ~W.Clement Stone

We might describe ourselves as an optimist, a pessimist, or somewhere in-between. But regardless who is right or wrong about a matter, it is the optimist that always tends to be the one who is more hopeful and happy. Join me as we experience a typical day in the life of an optimist and a pessimist. The following story is about perspective & how the same situation can be experienced so differently:

Early Saturday morning the optimist awakens with anticipation and gratitude for the new day. He looks forward to getting together with his friend for a stroll in the park. The pessimist awakens to another day expecting more of the same—the same problems, frustrations, and negativity. When they greet each other at the park, the optimist comments on what a beautiful, sunny day it is. The pessimist says, “You never know how long it will last. It could get cloudy and rain as far as we know.”

Along their way, the Optimist notices a group of teenagers playing ball and blaring a radio near by them. The Optimist says, “It’s so nice to see young people having so much fun together—playing sports and getting exercise.” “You can’t be serious,” retorts the Pessimist. “Teens are troublemakers. Listen to that horrible music. They’re all angry and rebellious. And, on top of that, they get so aggressive in sports, I’m surprised there are not more injuries.”

Next, they walk to the bridge and see a sign stating that the bridge is temporarily closed due to construction. The Optimist suggests, “Let’s go around another way. It’ll be just as nice and we can enjoy the scenery along the other side of the park. The Pessimist angrily replies, “Taxpayer dollars are being wasted again. The bridge was just fine. Now we have to take the long way around because of their incompetence.”

On the other side of the Park, the Optimist notices a couple playfully hugging and kissing. “That is so beautiful! It looks like they’re in love.” “Yeah, right,” exclaims the Pessimist. “They’re just putting on a show. If they want to be all affectionate and loving, they shouldn’t be in a public place.”

The stroll in the park continued along in the same predictable manner. And later that evening, when both the Optimist and Pessimist were asked by friends how their day went, The Optimist shared, “It was a great day. The park was filled with people having fun, and there was so much to see and enjoy.” The Pessimist described his day saying, “There is nothing good about this town. Annoying people are everywhere. The bridge was even down, and there really wasn’t much to like about it.”

Wow, What a difference in perspective! Is there any wonder why the Pessimist remains negative and oftentimes is unhappy? First, he doesn’t expect the nice weather to last. He is actually expressing the attitude that some people have—that nothing good ever lasts for very long, so don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed. Then, he generalizes that all teens are angry and rebellious. When the bridge is closed, instead of making the best of the situation, he complains and blames others. And later, he gets annoyed by displays of love and affection.

The Optimist, on the other hand, focuses on the good things—and spends his day appreciating and enjoying it. When obstacles arise, he copes in a healthy manner and doesn’t let it ruin his day or attitude.

Now, who would you rather be around? Or, I should ask, what perspective would you rather have? Most of us would like to be more like the Optimist. The Optimist has inner joy and peace. The Optimist is loving towards others. And, the Optimist has inner strength to cope with life’s challenges.

I’d like to encourage you that with practice, we can ALL become more optimistic in our outlook.

I hope you have a great week & see all the good in it!

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. ~William James

Copyright © 2008, written by Krystal Kuehn

This article is a transcript from the Perspective: It's All the Way You Look at It - audio podcast . To learn more about developing a positive attitude, go to

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Love Test

Love must be learned, and learned again; there is no end to it.
~Katherine Anne Porter

When people say “I love you,” what do they mean? Perhaps they are referring to their strong emotions, or to a physical love that is passionate and lustful. How often is it a deeper love—a love that is selfless, unconditional, and forgiving that is expressed? This kind of love is stronger than emotions and physical passions. It involves commitment and a decision to act in the best interest of others. This is a giving and sacrificial love. It is not dependent upon the attractiveness, agreeableness, or condition of the love object. It is love this is unconditional and free.

This is the kind of love that is loyal and would not betray the one it loves. This is the kind of love that never gives up, but continues to want and believe the best of the other person. This love is patient, kind, and respectful. It does not harbor resentment, nor is it arrogant, rude, and selfish.

So the next time we tell someone we love them, do we love them with this kind of love? We might have good intentions and a true desire to love others unconditionally and with our whole hearts, but most of us could use some practice and greater understanding of love. We can check our understanding of love by this simple exercise. Using The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships replace the word love with your name or with the words I am. For the first one only, use I have instead of I am. That is, I have esteem for self and others. Then continue with I am patient, I am kind, and so forth.

1. Love is Esteem for Self & Others
2. Love is Patient
3. Love is Kind
4. Love is Considerate
5. Love is not Jealous or Envious
6. Love is Humble
7. Love is not Demanding
8. Love is not Easily Angered
9. Love is Forgiving
10. Love is Sincere

How many of those statements do you believe to be true with your name in place of love? Don’t be disheartened if you feel you need work in any or all of these areas. Most of us probably have plenty of room to grow in our understanding and practice of love. This exercise has hopefully been helpful in identifying key areas in which you might want to improve your experience of love and all the benefits that come with it. For more information, activities, and affirmations about love go to The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships.

C2008 Kuehn

The Power of Love is amazing and never-ending.
Love can motivate, energize, inspire, and strengthen.
Love can do in a person what nothing else can do.
Love has the power to revive and change lives,
restore relationships, and bring healing.
All else may fail, but Love never fails.
~Krystal Kuehn

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Real Secret Behind True Happiness

If you have it [Love], you don't need to have anything else, and if you don't have it, it doesn't matter much what else you have. ~Sir James M. Barrie

Aristotle once said that happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Ultimately, what we want is to be happy. We believe that when we pursue a goal or dream, its hope and fulfillment will make us happy. We invest in relationships, not just out of duty, but because they make us happy. We want to make a difference and help others and we become fulfilled and happy as a result. We work and produce because we must, but also because it fills us with purpose and leads to joy. We create and express our true selves. We pursue things and do what we do because it makes us happy and gives life meaning.

Sometimes, however, something is missing along the way. The joy is not there. Something seems to be blocking it. Whenever that occurs, we must ask ourselves this question: Is love missing in some area of my life? It might be that we have been holding on to anger toward someone or something. Maybe we have been cynical or judgmental lately. Or, we might have developed an attitude or become rebellious in our hearts for some reason. Not only will we experience less joy, but we oftentimes will lose our peace of mind and heart when love is not first in our life.

Without love, there is no true happiness. Without love, we lose our peace, our health suffers, success lacks meaning, and we miss the true joy of experiencing God’s love and presence. When we put love first, however, true happiness naturally results. We don’t have to look for it or try to make it happen. It just does. Love is the foundation and source of all that is good. Leo Buscaglia said that Love is life, and if you miss love, you miss life. We need love to enjoy life.

We are always changing in our experience of love. Sometimes we express our love so generously, and other times we impose conditions on it. However, true love, God’s love is never changing. It is unconditional and forever. Nothing can destroy it, make it fade or separate us from it. It is only eclipsed. Everything that love is can be summed up in three words: God is love.

If we want to be truly happy, if we want to break through the barriers that block our joy, we must put love first. How do we put love first? We put love first when we put God first and walk in the 10 keys attributes of love. If we put love first, we will have peace of mind and heart; we will have successful relationships, fulfilling careers and goals, and we will truly be happy4life!

The power of love is amazing and never-ending. It can motivate, energize, inspire, and strengthen. Love can do in a person what nothing else can do. Love has the power to revive and change lives, restore relationships, and bring healing. All else may fail, but love never fails. ~Krystal Kuehn

C 2008
article by Krystal Kuehn

Put love first & discover the real secret to true happiness with free online workshop: The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships

Find out what happy people know with The 9 Habits of Happy People