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DISCERNMENT

Discernment is a spiritual ability that profoundly impacts every area of our lives. Simply put, discernment is the intuitive capacity to decide between truth and error, right and wrong, or good and bad. It is probably one of the most powerful yet misunderstood tools in our arsenal of spiritual gifts.

The English dictionary defines discernment as follows:

“The ability to judge well. It is perception in the absence of judgement with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.” (Google, [Def.1], n.d.)

One of the reasons why discernment is so misunderstood is because jealous and insecure people often operate from suspicion, but call their paranoia discernment. They are consumed with looking for the negative and obsessing over it. However discernment is entirely different from suspicion. Discernment is produced from a place of wisdom and peace. Suspicion on the other hand springs from a place of fear and condemnation.

Here are three ways that discernment can impact your life:

1.       It acts as a means of protection, guarding us from deception by any who would seek to harm us. It protects us from being misled by information that is harmful or distracting to the life we intend to create.

2.       Discernment also acts as an instrument of healing and compassion when exercised correctly. People can use this ability to diagnose the spiritual and emotional needs of others, to strengthen relational connections, or to improve communication in a way that prevents conflict.

3.       Finally, discernment serves as a catalyst to spiritual development. Proverbs 14:6 says “The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning” (Holy Bible, New International Version). A true seeker of wisdom, growth and success is always hungry to learn, but without discernment, it is impossible to distinguish between useful and useless knowledge.

Develop Your Discernment:

Here is a simple exercise you can do to hone and master your spiritual gift of discernment. Set some time apart – at least 15 uninterrupted minutes. Once you are in this private space, start exercising your discernment by choosing one specific person to mediate on. Intentionally focus on that person until you have clearly identified what it is about them you desire to understand in your mind. Take your time and instead of generalizing, concentrate intently on one specific area about them that needs discernment. During this time, you should intentionally seek to discover what is hindering any growth and advancement in that one area, then, identify what can be done to bring life, growth, or change into that area. Once you can see a viable solution, ask yourself what specific things you are willing and able to do in order to help. Lastly, take action from what you discerned. As you do this more and more, you will! find that your accuracy and effectiveness keep growing.

References

Discernment [Def. 1]. (n.d.). In Dictionary. Google LLC. Retrieved Thursday, December 28, 2017.

Richard Martinez

Intl. Transformation Expert

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THE SPIRITUAL WORLD IS ANOTHER WORLD FULL OF UNSEEN TREASURES

There is more to the human body than our physical form. Each of us also possesses a spirit and soul.

Just as our bodies are in direct contact with the natural world, our spirits are in direct contact with the spiritual world at all times. This is to say that you exist in two worlds at the same time. In turn, this means that you also have spiritual senses that can be used and developed.

In the same way our physical senses of hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell perceive what occurs in the natural world, our spiritual senses discern phenomena that occur in the spiritual world. We can actually train our senses to discern spiritual things and these spiritual things can help us in our daily lives.

Learning to harness your spiritual capabilities is a necessary discipline because our natural human thought patterns are incapable of directly recognizing the spiritual. Communication of spiritual realities must take place on the level of the Spirit. We can receive solutions to problems, creative ideas and establish better connection with anyone through discernment of spiritual phenomena.

Understanding Spiritual Principles

Understanding things like visions, dreams and impressions can propel your life to another level of happiness and success. You will learn to recognize and utilize spiritual information, ideas, solutions, invention and more. You will learn to recognize and receive epiphanies. Mastering your spiritual sense will feel like having a divine download of insights, guidance, confidence, and more. Most people have a hard time distinguishing between their own imagination and their spiritual eyesight. However any person can learn to sense supernatural impressions upon our spirits through stirrings, nudges, words, spiritual pictures, burdens, and unction’s.

Here is a personal example of how developing your spiritual awareness can benefit your life and those around you. One day I was with a client for a one-on-one session. This client has a business and has been successful for over 15 years. The client wanted to take their business to the next level of profit, which is why they came to RISE Programs. During our session I started getting images in my mind about their business. As my client answered my questions I started having visions of them growing their business through a specific strategy. It’s like I saw a movie in my mind about their future. Because I have trained my senses, I have an awareness and a confidence to know when it’s something important or not. I have learned spiritual language and how to use what I see and hear for the benefit all. After seeing these images and visions I began to share with my client the strategy I saw for their business. I di! dn’t tell them I was getting my ideas from a vision in the spiritual realm, I just shared the strategy and it amazed them to the point of tears. This idea and strategy was beyond me and how I normally think. It was so powerful and effective for their business and also did something very profound to them personally. I thank God for these revelations.

Application:

For the next few days I want you to journal the images, words, impressions, burdens, nudges that push you towards helping you or someone else. Even if you do not understand what the images mean, just keep a log of everything. For now I want you to begin to become more aware.

3 Steps to become more aware of the spiritual realm:

1.       Ask – Ask God to speak to you for the good of your decisions and of others. To speak to you through mental images, visions and dreams. Pray and personally commit to do the next step.

2.       Seek – Throughout the day when you have a need for solutions or ideas, expect to see visions. They could be in the form of words, images, numbers etc. but they will be in visual form projected on the mental screen in your mind.

3.       Write it down – As you receive images, write down what you saw in your mind, and what was happening to you when you received them. What were you doing? Who was around you? What were you talking about? Record all these things as soon as possible so you don’t forget anything.

Richard Martinez

Intl Transformation Expert

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HOW CAN YOU TELL WHETHER OR NOT SOMEONE WALKS WITH GOD

How can you tell whether or not someone walks with God?

Know them by their fruits

Spirituality can feel like a maze. There are millions of people in this world who practice a countless number of faiths. Even when people share the same religion, it’s often the case that they fragment into even more varied denominations or schools of thought within their mutual faith. Each person has their own spiritual perspective, and it’s informed by the unique way that they encounter the world over time. This is what makes finding the right belief system complicated. It is understandably difficult to identify the truth from such an assortment of viewpoints. So how exactly can we tell who, or what, is right? How can we weed through all the confusion to find substance?

I have personally worked alongside many different types of people and confronted a kaleidoscope of different beliefs. I have learned that whether I think they are wrong or right, people generally have their own legitimate reasons for believing what they believe. Everyone has a unique life story, and from this life story springs our individual belief systems which we rely on in life. I have also learned that there are many beliefs which others possess that I may not necessarily share. However these very beliefs ultimately produce good results when applied. Based on this understanding, I have learnt to judge what is true, not from which religion a person is in, but from the outcomes of their actions. I focus on what is right rather than who is right.

How do I know what is “right”? How do I know what is “true”? How do I know whose advice to give more weight to? That is where I apply this verse below.

Matthew 7:16-20

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

These simple words spoken by Jesus Christ contain one of the most universal philosophical principles whether or not you identify as Christian. If you ever experience confusion in matters of faith, the best way to figure out the truth, or to figure out what works, is to analyze the fruits of those who either practice or profess said faith. Religion that gives rise to bad fruit such as hatred, oppression, or ignorance is a lie. On the other hand religion that gives rise to good fruit such as love, community and empowerment is the truth. So many claim to have a relationship with God, but personifying this faith is the only way to have a genuine walk with God. Does their lifestyle actually show their faith? Do they live in a way that consistently produces desirable results? This is what Christ meant by bearing fruit. What does their belief system produce? If you can see ! that their fruit is good, it speaks something about their tree and the roots they have. When we see someone living a life that has morals, values, service, success, and more, this speaks to the validity and reliability of their beliefs.

Richard Martinez

Intl. Transformation Expert

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4 TIPS TO ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON

Happy Holidays! Or is it? As the holiday season heads to a climax, I can’t help but see, feel, and experience the intense swing of emotions that people around me are going through.

On one hand, many are excited about celebrating. They become child-like about all the Christmas lights and decorations; enthusiastic to see gleeful faces when gifts are opened; anticipating the fun of being with friends and family; and of course, they become hungry for all the great food! One the other hand however, there is a deep sadness, fear, anxiety, and anger that grips a lot of people too during the holiday season. So many are reminded of the loss of loved ones; the stress of the busy season; fear or anger of having to be around certain people at parties; or anxiety about buying gifts when there is already debt and weight-gained from all the good food. Some even have to share their kids because of divorce and so on.

Both good and bad emotions are experienced during the Holiday Season, and it can be very intense for many of us. Which begs the question, what can we do to set ourselves up to enjoy the season more?

Here are 4 Simple tips to help you during the Holiday Season:

1.       Forgive, and enjoy your time:

Forgiveness is healing for your body, soul and spirit. Our past can become a prison. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you agree with any injustices you may have suffered before. On the contrary, forgiveness is a decision to break beyond the pain of betrayal by letting go of the emotional ties that weigh us down with regret.

To start your path towards healing, write the names of the people you need to forgive today. Write down what they did or didn’t do. If it happens to be yourself whom you need to forgive, write down what you did or didn’t do. Now choose to whole-heartedly forgive and receive forgiveness. Speak it out loud, and allow yourself to internalize this confession. If you need to repeat it a few times in order to really get it out of your heart, then do so. Forgive so you can sincerely enjoy the Holiday Season.

2.       Don’t accumulate debt because of Gift Spending:

Expectations for holiday presents seem to grow every year, and that’s one more thing that makes the holidays expensive. Somehow in attempts to top last year’s exchange, you end up swiping your card more than usual. MagnifyMoney did a holiday debt survey and found that during last year’s holiday season, Americans took on an average of $1,003 in debt, and this amount has increased consistently from previous years.

Here are 3 tips to cut costs for your holiday shopping:

·         Set a spending limit for each person

·         Only spend what you have in your account

·         Don’t buy yourself anything

3.       Don’t make Alcohol the focal point

It’s party season! Whether it’s with family, workplace or among friends. With all these celebrations inevitably comes the opportunity to indulge in alcohol. This is all fun and good until someone gets out of hand and creates a problem that can’t be ignored. If you can’t have a good time without some liquid courage, you just might end up hurting yourself and those around you. Beware not to permanently attach enjoyment in life to alcohol. This is a sure way to rob yourself of the satisfaction of simple pleasures. After all, it’s the little things in life that count the most, and if you aren’t sober enough to enjoy them, life will pass you by.

If you are likely to drive at any point during your festivities, make sure not to drink. If you aren’t the designated driver, set a limit for yourself anyways. Be honest with yourself as well. If you know you need help keeping things under control, let someone else know your limit to keep yourself accountable. You don’t need to have a drink glued to your hand all night to have a good time. And above all, remember why you’re doing this.

4.       Exercise and Watch your diet more carefully during Holiday Season

So many gain weight during the holiday season because they think, “It’s the Holiday Season, I’ll diet after the New Year!” So many make the mistake of making Thanksgiving and Christmas a week of feasting instead of a one-day indulgence. We must change our perspective and instead of piling your plate with things that don’t really satisfy you, pick food that gives you true enjoyment. Another tip is to start with a broth-based soup or salad, then move on to lean protein so that by the time you reach all the sweets, all you will need is a few bites to feel satisfied. Another good idea is to “pre-eat” something with protein and vegetables so you don’t easily overindulge.

These are not laws or rules to be a killjoy. They are tips to help set you up for a great holiday and a strong start to the New Year. Be present, be healthy and nothing will stop you from being able to enjoy yourself.

Happy Holidays!

 

Richard Martinez

Intl. Transformation Expert

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HOW TO GET RID OF BAD LUCK

Luck
A force that brings good fortune, or adversity: the events or circumstances that operate for, or against, an individual

Good Luck
Favoring chance or outcome

Bad Luck
An unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes

Have you noticed there are some people who always seem to have good luck? Things just automatically go well for them constantly! They enjoy a ridiculous abundance of good fortune, they are successful in matters of love, successful in their careers, secure in their finances, and are just generally happy. Yet these people don’t seem to work particularly hard, nor do they possess extraordinary intelligence or other gifts.

Why?

Then of course there are those who experience the opposite. Some people repeatedly fail despite their efforts and talents. No matter how much they have, or what they own, they never really enjoy life. They are never satisfied. Lack seems to hound them, even though they work hard. It’s as if they exist under a dark cloud or a curse. They feel helpless and really don’t know what to do differently to gain control.
Why?

Luck is…
“A force that brings good fortune or adversity”

What is this “force?”
It’s what you choose to feed your mind…
It’s called your mindset!

What we chose to put into our minds, and what we think about has a huge impact on how effectively we live our lives. Our thoughts are much more powerful than most people seem to understand. We each have a choice as to what to internalize mentally. Some people choose to focus on the poisonous thoughts of pressure, intimidation and expectations. Others however choose to focus on the empowering thoughts of potential, possibilities and success. What we choose to establish in our minds will manifest as actions and determine what we begin to experience in our lives.

Think about solutions, think about capability, think about positivity, think about what you want to become and where you want to go. Many people spend their entire lives reacting to what they don’t want to be, instead of responding to their individual callings. Fix your eyes on the prize rather than the problems and obstacles.

It is more accurate to think of “BAD LUCK” as a negative attitude. “BAD LUCK” comes from a bad attitude, and a bad attitude comes from bad thoughts. A “bad luck” mentality may overcome a person because of certain attitudes they developed during childhood. It may be the result of living in an environment of lack and defeat, negative self-images and low self-esteem.

GOOD LUCK vs. BAD LUCK
This really is about the contrast between two attitudes:

BAD LUCK: One of fear, anxiety, worry, and greed.
GOOD LUCK: One of confidence, hope, peace, and trust.

BAD LUCK —————  GOOD LUCK
Worry                                       Peace
Anxiety                                     Relaxation
Greed                                        Trust
Panic                                         Joy
Out of control                    Sense of dominion
Fear                                           Confidence

Mindsets and tools to set you up for consistent GOOD LUCK

  • Expect Good – HOPE
  • Dream Big and have Purpose
  • Reject Superstitions and False beliefs about self
  • Maximize Opportunities and Work Hard
  • Stay Grateful
  •  Relax
  • Deal with bad luck – Power of Focus
  • Be a Giver
  • Visualization
  • Affirmations
  • Increasing Luck Through Spirituality and Prayer

Richard Martinez
Transformation Expert

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5 SIMPLE WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR SPIRIT

  1. Be a Giver

There is a spiritual principle that I call, “you get by giving”. Give your time, self and wealth and watch how it opens up your life to good things!

When we hoard and dam the blessings in our lives we are in danger of becoming spiritually stagnant, emotionally detached, and intellectually cynical. Resolve to break up the dam and let blessings flow like a river. The freshness is in the flow.

  1. Be Thankful

Seek, identify and be grateful for the good that is in your life and in the life of those you love. Too often we go through life oblivious to the good that comes flowing into our lives.

  1. Use Your Words to Build

I understand that life isn’t always positive, fair or peaceful. I am not saying that we should be in denial about the negative things in our lives. What I am challenging and encouraging you do is to confront and overcome the problems with a positive victorious mindset. Learn to respond with things that will edify and bring life rather than to react with words that destroy and divide. The lifestyle of grumbling, complaining, judging and criticizing will stunt and destroy your happiness and growth. The lifestyles that speak words that encourage, exhort, and are positivity produce, peace, passion and power. Speak words that edify, encourage and comfort!

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace

(Numbers 6:24-26).

  1. Meditate

I myself often mediate on the bible because it’s loaded with verses of comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. Find something that builds, inspires, strengthens, and challenges you and mediate on it until it because a part of your mindset. Whether in the morning when you wake up, during your lunch break, or before you go to sleep, take five to 10 minutes to meditate each day.

  1. Forgive

Forgive yourself and others. Whether real or perceived it’s real to you, therefore if someone has hurt or wronged you in any way cleanse yourself through the power of forgiveness. If you have done wrong and feel bad about it, know that guilt, shame and self condemnation will not help you in any way that is good. Understand that every stage of inner growth is good and is nurtured by God, but when it’s time to move on, don’t hesitate to forgive yourself.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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CALLING AND CHARACTER GO HAND IN HAND

Biblical Understanding of Calling and Character

We each have a specific calling and purpose ordained by God.  In order to be successful at our calling in life, we must first determine exactly what it is and develop the character to maintain it. Calling and character go hand in hand. God not only gives us calling and purpose, but He also gives us the grace and ability to fulfill it.

Many believers have good character, but they have no purpose for that character. They are good people, yet they are not really making any difference in the world around them. If you want to change the world, you must be more than “good.” You must have a calling and a purpose to focus that “good” onto. There are also other believers who don’t have character but have a calling and purpose. They begin to do amazing things and can even affect thousands of people, but after a while, their character lacks so the enemy begins to use that vulnerability,  causing the most powerful leaders to fall.

Ephesians chapter 4 is an amazing chapter that connects both Calling and Character.

Eph 4:1 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” In this first verse, the Apostle Paul is making it very clear that calling and character go hand in hand. He says, walk in a manner that is “worthy” of your call. But what is the call? We continue on in the passage to find out!

Eph 4:2-6 “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” To live with lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, bearing with one another in love – this is all about character, but what is the call? In verse 3, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Then it goes into saying there is only one body, one Spirit etc. What is Paul asking us to be diligent about? To be diligent and preserve the unity of faith. What does this mean? Preservation denotes conserving something that is already established. To preserve something implies that it is already there. As the body of Christ (1Cor 12), as a believer and member of the church,  you’re not fighting and using energy to create unity, you’re not trying to create something, you’re trying to preserve it. The bible says that there is only one body, one Lord, one God, and one Jesus Christ who died for our sins. As we go into Him, we are all in Him. There’s one body, there is a unity. You cannot separate Christ, and you can’t divide Him. We are not fighting to create unity, we are being diligent to preserve it. There already is a unity; do not fall for the attacks and the lies of the enemy that try to get you to work and fight for something that you already have.

What does it mean to preserve the unity? It connects well with the ministry we’ve been given according to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 18-19, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. ”

He gave us the ministry of reconciliation. He came not to count your trespasses against you, but to remove them, so we may be reconciled back to God. He brought forgiveness, healing, and empowerment. Our call is the same. We are called not to judge people and focus on their sin. We are to look past their problems and sin into their potential and into who God has really called them to be. We’re always showing the truth in love so that you can reconcile them to God.

This ties perfectly into what the gift of prophecy is about. 1 Corinthians chapter 14 says, “desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” He speaks of spiritual  gifts but says there’s one gift you need to  strive for especially, “that you may prophesy.”  Verse 3 of chapter 14 in Corinthians says, “he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” These are all things that build a person up, and again, bring about reconciliation.

In conclusion, we all have a calling in our lives. A purpose so to speak.  We must walk worthily in this call so as to persevere  and succeed at all of our endeavors. . We have been called to preserve unity, and to build the body of Christ through the ministry of reconciliation. We are to disciple people, teach them, baptize them, and we are to do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to us to spread the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons thereby freeing those who have been enslaved by the devil. We are called to equip. This is our calling and how it manifests will look different according to the gifts we each have.  We must, therefore, learn to walk worthy of it. Each day we must put on our new self (Eph 4:24), which is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4).

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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2016 ENDING WITH SUICIDE HOTLINES RINGING OFF THE HOOK

Phones have been ringing off the hook at suicide hotlines since Donald Trump was named president-elect. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is seeing calls “unmatched in the hotline’s history” with a response unlike that of 2008 or 2012. People were so afraid for their lives that they wanted to take their own. The heartbreaking reality of this is that it reveals a lack of faith, vision and purpose in people’s lives. These absences have led to confusion and anxiety so strong that we have reached the point would rather take their own lives than face this reality.

Is the Election to Blame? 

This isn’t happening to people because of the election but rather it’s a combination of things already going on in their lives. Many are already overwhelmed, stressed out, and broken and the stress of the election added to all of that. The election signifies dramatic change, which can increase the current state of distress and take people to a dark place. However, not everyone had this type of reaction to the news. Others have been affected in a positive way, even if they didn’t vote for Trump. The question is, why did the election produce anxiety for some and hope for others? The answer is perspective.

Have you ever noticed how some people attract problems in their lives while others have good things constantly flowing their way? Why is this?

There is power in perspective! 

The way we look at things will impact our entire being. What people feast their thoughts on will end up being reproduced in their lives.

The perspective that a person’s life takes is a reference to the orientation of one’s affections, desire, faith, and heart. There is power in focus and perspective. Where your thoughts go, your power and energy flow.

Emotions come and go, thought patterns change, but a person who is focused will benefit from having his heart focused on one direction. Someone with focus is more stable, happy, and productive in life. Remember, where your attention goes, power flows. Depending on their focus, they will be filled with spiritual light or darkness. Focusing on the things you are thankful for, having a mindset that seeks solution, and seeing potential is what will influence the world around you.

How do we deal with unhealthy perspectives and focus? 

Do you find yourself grumbling and complaining often? Do you focus on the struggles in life more than the beauty and blessings? If so what does it produce in your life? Do you have your best ideas and actions when you are afraid and stressed? This is not the most effective emotional state to produce the results we want to see in our lives.

Try to experience the benefits by going on a two-day negativity fast. No grumbling and complaining. No talking down to others. You will realize how much negativity you have wasted your energy on.

Realize that your emotions can be changed, though it’s not always easy. Your feelings are not your boss! You must change your perspective. Do something to disrupt the negativity and do it quickly. Is sadness rising up within you? Make yourself laugh, enjoy some comedy. Are you starting to eat something unhealthy? Put it down and choose a better alternative. Take control of your life. Are you bitter or angry with someone? Don’t allow anyone to destroy your peace. Forgive that person and move on for your own sake.

“I’m not negative, I’m realistic”

People are often concerned that by “acting” happy when they’re depressed, they’re being fake and lying to themselves and to others.

 

Remember, those are feelings – not who you are. You DO NOT need to allow them to have control and run your life. Why compromise your peace when you can counteract the negative emotions? You have the power and potential to do it. Don’t let feelings keep you from your destiny. Many spend their entire lives reacting to what they don’t want to be instead of responding to their life’s purpose. This is why having a clear vision for your life is so important.

Vision and purpose create a life worth living and a life worth living is one that makes a difference!

To anyone who is feeling afraid, angry, or confused about the election: regain your power. Don’t spend your life reacting to others or to your circumstances. When you blame others, you give up your power to make a change. You’re saying they control your thoughts, emotions, and subsequent words and actions. You are giving them the power of your own happiness and peace. Nobody likes the sound of giving control of their lives to someone else. There will always be situations that are out of our hands, but we can always control our reactions to them.

Whether it’s the election or day-to-day issues, remember the following: If you don’t like it, change it! If you can’t change it, change your perspective on it.

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BELIEFS AND VALUES

Beliefs systems are the key to your success or failure

From beliefs come behaviors. So a wrong belief can lead to wrong behaviors & decisions.

Personal example. I had (and it can still come up) a belief that I could never do enough or be good enough. This false belief would drive me to burn myself out, neglect important people, my life and to carry guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. At first, I thought it was because I wasn’t disciplined enough (false belief) so I would add more on myself to fix this issue. But it wouldn’t last or it would add to my belief that I wasn’t doing enough. It was a vicious cycle. Now I have gained freedom in that area by changing my belief. I work from love and not for it. I operate from victory, not for it. My belief has changed, therefore my behavior changed. Just trying to change your behavior won’t usually last unless the root reason or wrong belief is dealt with.

Beliefs are assumptions that we have made about ourselves, others & the world around us. Beliefs become our rules – our expectations. Beliefs are also are things that we need in order for us to feel a certain way, whether it’s loved, happy, successful etc.  Let’s say there is a mother that has a belief that if she’s a good mother then her children will always behave a certain way. But the reality is, kids are not always going to behave that certain way. These beliefs are usually not based on reality but rather our past experience, or something we learned when we were growing up. You can imagine how this false belief can affect the mother and even her children.

Beliefs are rules, but values are emotional states that you think are important to either experience or avoid. They are states that we either want to move towards or away from. If I ask you “what do you value?” You my might say your spouse, your children, your house, or your car but actually, what you value are the feelings that those things bring you.

For example, if you value your family, it’s really the feeling of security and love. If you value your car it’s the feeling of adventure, freedom, protection, or status.

The things we value are actually behind these objects or people.

When values & beliefs don’t agree it will cause unrest in your life.

If you value the connection with your family when you get home from work but you have a belief that you must work 60 hours in order to be successful, this will cause a conflict either way.

Don’t just think your beliefs & values are right, you must be brutally honest with yourself. Oprah for example.. She is a very successful woman who helps a lot of people in the process. Yet in an interview she said that she won’t “feel” successful until she is totally comfortable with who she is. Oprah was abandoned by her parents when she was younger and was sexually assaulted so this belief she has is setting her up for unrest. If those beliefs and values are not changed, she could go her whole life never feeling “okay” with herself.

Questions:

What are beliefs?
How do beliefs affect our lives? (good and bad)

Application:

Beliefs and values affect our quality of life and they can be changed. Write down at least two areas in which your values and beliefs are not in agreement.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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CRITICISM THROUGH LOVE

Definition of Criticism:

  1. To find fault with: criticized the decision as unrealistic.
  2. To judge the merits and faults of; analyze and evaluate.

We don’t need a special gift or powerful discernment to see our faults and weaknesses in people. Whether it’s with our appearance or abilities, we know we have faults and weaknesses. We are all somewhat aware of what we lack. We know we sometimes do wrong and fall short. When I ask people, “What are your weaknesses?”, 95% of the time they will quickly give me a list. The sad thing is that when I say, “okay, now what are your strengths?” Most of the time they have a lot of trouble giving me this list. Many times they will ask me to help because they can’t think of any, so I quickly give them a list. After doing this, they realize how difficult it was to think of their strengths and it’s at that time that I ask, “Why is it so easy for you to give me a list of your weaknesses yet so hard for you to share your strengths?”

What is Self-Criticism?

Self-criticism is something that can rob and kill your life. I’m not talking about self-examination, which is what I want to encourage you to do.

Self-examination is self-criticism through love. Speaking the truth in love. It’s truth that empowers.

Self-Examination is necessary to keep us advancing in every area of our lives.

Self-Examination is looking at yourself and being honest about who you are and who you are not (true humility).

Self-examination is to clearly look at yourself and life in order to be most effective in your stewarding your life in a way that has direction & purpose.

Self-examination isn’t fault-finding but rather potential finding.

I believe that the level of self-criticism I see in a person is an indicator of how capable that person is to love those around them. I have noticed that the people who are hard on themselves are usually hard on those around them. How they feel about themselves is a main ingredient in how they will treat others.

If you can see your faults and weaknesses, great! This means you are not in denial. The key is, DO NOT dwell on them. Look past the problem into the potential. Anyone can see the problem. You don’t need to be gifted to do that. To be able to see past the problem and into the potential means being intentional. This also applies when looking at others. Instead of reacting or getting annoyed with others’ faults and weaknesses, see past those problems and into their potential.

Applying this principle will change your life. It gets you to live in a constantly renewed mind that sees good. What you behold, you will become. If you focus on good, you become better but if you focus on the negatives, they will hold you back and take you down.

Richard Martinez
Transformational Expert

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