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Four Ways to Convert Struggle into Positive Energy

Four Ways to Convert Struggle into Positive Energy

What is positive energy? When does energy become positive? There are a million different interpretations to this question. My own definition is that positive energy is the harnessing of good attributes such as cheerfulness, enthusiasm, focus and empathy and exploiting said energy for favorable results. In Christ, we have the means to employ His power for our joy and to live as more than conquerors.

Is it possible then to use struggle as a conduit for positive energy? I say yes! Here are four ways to achieve this end:


See Struggle as Your Assignment

Frederick Douglass’ immortal words are relevant today: Without struggle there is no progress. To the unobservant eye, though, struggle rarely unmasks opportunity. It requires us to rewire our brain as it relates to the meaning of change and challenge. Peter writes to the scattered saints in Asia Minor and says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials presently engulfing you…” (1 Peter 4:12) In other words, struggle is your assignment!

I hear people say “I’m going through”. I always interject, “stop ‘going through’ and begin ‘growing through’”! It is only when we tweak our perspective that we appreciate the profound difference between the two. That’s when we begin to see struggle as more assignment than anything else. There is a blessing in every lesson.


Put Yourself into Scoring Position

In football: the goal is to move the ball downfield as efficiently and effectively as possible. But there’s a little more to it. In order to score, you must put yourself into scoring position. For the winning team, this involves mixing pass plays, running plays and what’s called ‘play action’ – which is designed to keep the opposing team off balance. In life, it’s no different: we must put ourselves into scoring position with a game plan of ambition, goals, effective strategies and an ability to get up after we have suffered lost yardage and get right back at it!

As our forty-fourth president, Barack Obama, put it: If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.

As we move down the field, we must keep our eyes on the prize. The end-zone is the prize. We can only do this with the mindset that Paul advises: “….so I run straight toward the goal of the high mark in Christ…” (Philippians 3:14)


Surround Yourself with Positive

Who are the five closest people to you and what is their collective impact on your progress? Do the mental math on that intriguing question and you’ll sum up your advancement – or lack thereof – very quickly.

Take inventory of your friends. Who’s keeping you down? Who’s moving forward with you? Are they really a friend - or a ‘frienemy’? Diogenes was on point when he opined: As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task. Or, as Paul put it, “Bad company corrupts morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

You cannot move forward in life with negative influences!


Silence the Inner Critic

The most formidable of our enemies is not external; it’s the enemy within, also called our Inner Heckler. At its pit, it is a state of non-peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace, Eckhart Tolle writes.

Learn to use the inner critic as a foundation for heightened self-awareness and self-actualization.

The inner critic will say things like, ‘You’ll never be as successful such and such”, ‘You’ll never make it if you leave that bad relationship’, or ‘You’ll never lose the weight’ or ‘You’ll never find the mate of your dreams’. How many dreams have gone the way of obscurity due to the inner critic? No person can hold you back except the person on the inside. Learn to put down the inner critic and move toward your goals.

At times, take the advice of the Psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)

Struggle can – indeed must - be used as a conduit for positive energy!

Download my newest E-Line book, Watch Your Life: The Believer’s Guide to Thinking, Speaking and Acting Confidently in a Belief-Challenged World.

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