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An incident is not an issue

I’m convinced that most of us are not worn out by big issues. It’s just that we tend to squander our resources on the little things until we have nothing left in the tank when we attempt to address the big things.

It’s sorta like the guy who eats out a lot and spends $15-20 on food everyday. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to him in the moment. But when it’s time to pay a $200 bill two weeks later, he might wonder where his money went. In fact, he might not even think about that part at all. He might just blame the $200 bill for his stress and go on assuming that his life would be better if he didn’t have to pay that bill. In reality, his problem is not the bill. It’s money management. Had he more carefully budgeted his resources, he would have had little difficulty in handling the larger sized payments.

Just like we have bills to pay, we all have issues to deal with. 

Create an emotional budget

Two of the greatest assets we have in dealing with issues is time and energy.

Learning how to manage the amount of time we spend “sweating the small stuff”, will help us budget our energy in order to have more patience and creativity available for the big stuff.

Here’s a simple, yet practical, distinction that can reduce the amount of time we spend analyzing everyday problems or arguing over them with others.

An Incident is not an issue.

An “incident” is the occurrence of an unwanted event (ie. someone accidentally steps on your toe while you’re walking down the street).

An “issue” is a recurring problem (ie. the guy who stepped on your toe today is your co-worker and he somehow finds a way to do this to you everyday while you’re walking to your car after work).

If you don’t start a problem, there might not be a problem

When something unwanted happens, we tend to react in frustration by demanding lifestyle changes, long conversations, apologies, explanations, etc.

For example, when someone makes a mistake, it’s common for them to say something like “I need to be more careful.” While this judgement is possibly true, it isn’t necessarily the case.

Everybody makes mistakes. That’s simply a part of being human. Simply, acknowledging this fact is much more stress-free than turning every mishap into a judgement about your entire lifestyle or personality.

Maybe you don’t need to be more careful. Maybe you just forgot, or you were sleepy, or you had too much on your mind. Unless this is something you do 2-3 times a week and it’s starting to hurt your relationships, why not let it be the incident that it is?

Most of the unwanted things that happen on a daily basis are the result of encounters with people we’ll never see again (or at least not for a long time); common errors committed by individuals who normally get it right; simple mistakes that will naturally resolve themselves with time, and a host of factors that we’ll rarely have to address again if we let them slide.

Don’t turn a perfectly forgettable incident into a long drawn out issue. Conserve your energy. Youre gonna need it.

At least that’s the way I see it.

What about you?

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

Sometimes there’s no lesson to learn

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

Why I value being creative more than being positive

For many people, “being positive” amounts to trying really hard to be a good sport who laughs a lot and gets along with everyone.

But this image of optimism fails to account for all of the healthy, successful people who don’t seem to be friendly, upbeat, or outwardly cheerful at all.

While I freely embrace conventional terms like “positivity”, “optimism”, and “happiness”, in actual practice I tend to be very broad and flexible with how I apply so-called “principles of positive thinking” to my daily life.

I don’t believe success, happiness, and health are the result of “positive thinking” as much as they are the result of “empowered thinking.” For me, optimism isn’t about fitting any one person’s definition of what it means to be positive. Optimism is about finding whatever approach works for you in the quest to create the kind of life you truly love.

It’s far more important that you develop your own process for creating desired results (whether you desire happiness, wealth, or anything else), than striving to outdo the guy who walks around with a smile on his face 7 days a week.

If having a serious face helps you to focus more, then the smiles can wait for a later time.

If you’ve found a way to successfully channel the feeling of anger along creative lines, may the force be with you.

Forget about the positivity stereotypes. Trying to conform to them is a big pain in the tush.

After all, the value of your life isn’t determined by how positive others think you are, but by what works and feels right for you.

That’s my two cents. What do you think?

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Perkiness & positivity are two different things

2. What to do when being positive feels fake?

3. Must An Optimist Always Be Positive?

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

Is it difficult to be positive?

Is it difficult to be positive?

This is a question many would respond to with a resounding “yes”. In fact, some people accept it as axiomatic that being positive is more difficult than being negative. I don’t think the question is as cut & dry as it appears.

Difficulty is as difficulty does

Consider the following question:

Is it difficult to stay awake and have energy?

Well, it depends. Did you get any sleep the night before? Have you eaten anything? If so, did you eat foods that provide the body with energy?

Whether or not you find it difficult to stay awake and have energy varies with how you answer those questions.

If you slept for two hours, skipped out on breakfast, and ate only a candy bar for lunch, you will probably find it much easier to fall asleep than to stay awake. It has very little to do with will-power and much more to do with proper physical conditioning.

A similar principle is at work when it comes to being happy and thinking positive.

“Dig the well before you need the water”

Many people invest very little effort into their mental conditioning and are still surprised when the benefits of such conditioning are absent.

They allow themselves very little room for relaxation, spend almost no time reading or watching inspirational material, and frequently focus their attention around conversations, news reports, and television programs that generate fear and anxiety. This sort of mental diet makes it psychologically impossible to meet the challenges of daily life with any significant amount of inner resources.

How can there be water to draw in a time of need, when one has never taken the time to dig the well?

Last Thanksgiving’s dinner wont satisfy today’s hunger

Can you imagine someone saying the following:

I don’t need to eat this week because I ate a huge meal last Thanksgiving!

Sounds odd, right? Yet, that’s exactly how we treat our spiritual and psychological health when we neglect our soul’s need for daily nourishment.

Being healthy, happy, & positive everyday is not difficult. It’s just as feasible as staying awake throughout the day when you’re at work. It only requires that you take care of your soul with the same level of consistency that you take care of your body.

Your happiness and health is worth whatever investment it takes. I encourage you to regularly make room in your life for activities that feed your soul. Don’t wait for a crisis. Take charge of your life and get on a steady diet of mental and spiritual health as soon as possible.

That’s my two cents.

What are your thoughts?


T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. TK’s Two Cents “Your well-being is an emergency”

2. Perkiness & positivity are two different things

3. Peer Pressure Pessimism

Also, feel free to check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

Positive Thinking is not a consolation prize. It’s the gold medal!

In sports, a distinction is made between teams who “play not to lose” and teams who “play to win.”

The former doesn’t expect to win. They may have the desire, but they lack the conviction that they have what it takes to ultimately succeed. Instead, they settle for being competitive. Their primary goal is to put forth a respectable effort while ensuring that the other team works up a good sweat en route to inevitable victory.

Teams who “play to win” have an entirely different mentality. They have their eyes on the prize and are “in it to win it.” Their agenda is neither defensive nor neutral. They want nothing short of being crowned “the winner” at the match’s end.

Optimism is sometimes perceived and advanced from the perspective of those who approach the game of life with a play “not to lose” attitude. Positive thinking is often seen as a consolation prize for an unpleasant life. From this vantage point, life really does stink and the best we can hope to do is be a good sport about it. Positive thinking is simply a coping mechanism that allows us to get through the day after our circumstance have already been defined by a pessimistic perspective.

Here’s another way to see it;

Optimism is about playing to win.

Optimism isn’t just there to help you cope with negativity. It’s there to relentlessly challenge negativity. It doesn’t concede any negative interpretations of reality without first contesting it from all sides. Every negative assumption is called into question with the highest scrutiny. Optimism wants to be the perspective that gets to define what your life is like. It’s not going to sit back and let pessimism define what your life means while it passively reacts.

Positivity is not a defensive reaction to life’s challenges.

Positivity is a proactive mechanism for creating the life you were born to create.

There are no consolation prizes in life. You can either be a victim of circumstance or a champion of imagination.

You get to choose. Don’t play not to lose.  Today you can decide to play on the winning side.

That’s my two cents.


T.K. Coleman

You don’t have to be preachy to be positive?

When we discover a new or empowering insight, it’s usually our first instinct to share it with everyone we know. I’ve eased up on that approach. The purpose of an idea, in my evolving opinion, isn’t to convert others into it. The purpose is allow that idea to be fully absorbed and assimilated into my own consciousness. Personal development isn’t about global proselytization. It’s about personal transformation. Paradoxically, however, there is nothing that contributes more powerfully to global transformation than the transformation of the individual.

If you’re interested in being an optimist, then be an optimist for you and for the sake of its own value. That’s enough. You don’t have to convert your family and friends to positive thinking. If other people don’t want it, there’s nothing you can do to override their free will and make them want it. People will gravitate towards whatever it is they need in their own time.

Besides, attempting to change people’s minds about anything via argumentation is one of the fastest ways to work yourself up into a state of annoyance and agitation that is sure to work against the happy lifestyle you’re trying to create.

If somebody is a pessimist, I can assure you they didn’t get there overnight. Their pessimistic outlook on life, whether they are conscious of it or not, has been cultivated over time. The average pessimist is capable of demolishing any argument you offer for the bright side in a matter of minutes. No matter how many Henry Ford quotes you give them, they can decide that it doesn’t apply. No matter how many success stories you tell them, they can decide it doesn’t apply.

A pessimist can only transform himself by deciding, for himself, that his problems are not too special to be solved. He must decide to buy into the idea that happiness and success can be modeled. And he must do this in his own time. Perhaps you can contribute to his process of change, but only by maintaining a positive vibration in your own life. You can’t do that from a place of resisting and resenting their negativity.

So, be there for the people who need you and keep representing the positivity that you stand for. But, if someone disagrees with you, don’t consider it the end of the world. You don’t need anyone else to buy into your ideas in order to continue practicing what you’ve decided is best for you.

You don’t have to be preachy to be positive.

At least that’s my two cents.


T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Dealing with negative people

2. Peer Pressure Pessimism

3. Transcending the dimension of disagreement

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