When Your Past Is Present

True or false? “You can’t change the past!”

This statement is made by many who have experienced painful things in their past. The pain may have been experienced in childhood, in a previous or current marriage, or in some other kind of relationship altogether. Analogous to the “Get-out-of-jail-free” card in Monopoly, this partly-true saying serves as a “Get-out-of-difficult-emotional-work” card for many walking wounded.

The statement is true in part, but not fully. That we cannot change the facts of the past is obvious. What happened – whatever happened – happened. We cannot undo what was done, no matter how desperately we might want to. The funds embezzled by the business partner and squandered on drugs are unrecoverable. The lover who left has not even looked back. The deceased loved one is gone. The fact that you were sexually violated is as irreversible as it is horrible. Indeed, we cannot change what happened.

We don’t live with the facts of damaging life-events alone. We carry away from those events some things that are not immutable. What do we carry away besides the facts? We walk away with our understanding or interpretation of the facts. We carry our conclusions about ourselves and others based on our – sometimes faulty – interpretation of our experiences. We also carry our decisions about how to live in light of our understanding of those facts. Recognizing this difference between the facts and our understanding of them and choices based on our misunderstanding of them is invaluable. The facts are immutable; but many things associated with the facts can be changed, and should be changed.

When we are unable to recognize the difference between the changeable and the unchangeable things, we are set up for one of two serious problems: unnecessary misery or unnecessary exhaustion. The famous Serenity Prayer addresses our situation eloquently: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Consider three essential issues in this prayer. First, we must find peace (serenity) regarding certain unchangeable things – things about which we desperately desire change. Indeed, we need God’s help (grace) to find that serene place of acceptance of what feels absolutely unacceptable. Second, we need courage (perhaps more accurately stated, God’s power released in us) to change even the changeable. Sometimes the “doable” is only done with the help of God and others. That which falls into the category of “changeable” is sometimes terribly difficult and/or frightening; thus, we need courage to do what must be done to effect the change desired. Finally, the prayer affirms our need for God’s wisdom to know the difference between these two – the changeable and the unchangeable. It is not obvious. Our minds can trick us; we can be deceived. We may imagine that we can change the “unchangeable” if only we try harder, manipulate more craftily, or beg more intensely. Of course, this results in our unnecessary exhaustion – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the other hand, when we file things in the “unchangeable” category which are in fact changeable, we can live many years in misery unnecessarily, and even with unnecessary levels of misery. If only we had realized that courage and effort would have paid off in time… This prayer for “wisdom to know the difference,” prayed until it is fully answered, can keep us from unnecessary misery or unnecessary exhaustion.

We can agree that the facts of the past cannot be changed. What then can be changed? Sandra Wilson, in her excellent book Hurt People Hurt People, identifies four things that can and must be changed, if I am to be changed. They are:

1. My perceptions of my experiences.
2. My conclusions about my experiences.
3. My choices in response to my experiences.
4. The life patterns I have formed as a result of my experiences.

All of these are indeed changeable, but not necessarily obviously changeable, nor easily changed, and rarely changed over-night.

Much of the family dysfunction in our culture is rooted in these very issues. Wounded people, instead of finding healing, pretend to be well. It may not be too difficult to keep up the pretense in public, but at home we are found out. We are not as well as we want people to think.

If you’ve had painful experiences in the past, and you’ve concluded, “nothing can be done about it,” please consider this “second opinion.” If an honest assessment of your life indicates that your past is showing up in the present, seek the help needed. If disproportionate anger, distrust, suspicion, or defensiveness is evident in present relationships, this may be a sign that your past is pathologically present.

You can “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is true Christianity. Jesus accepts us just as we are, but He never intended that we stay just as we are. He wants to transform us. And the “Good News” of His Gospel is that no one is so badly broken as to be beyond the power of His change; and conversely, no one is so good as to be beyond need of it. Not only will you benefit in this transformation Jesus will bring to you, but those closest to you will be blessed, too. You will probably need help in this transformation – help from books, lectures, and specific relationships. Seek until you find all the resources God has for you.

If you would consider a professional counseling relationship, you might provide a potential helper with a copy of this article. Request that he or she read it and tell you if they think they could help you sort out these issues and effect change in your life. Finally, don’t resist investing money in this process. Most of us readily invest money in education to make a better living; too few invest in counseling to make a better life. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Though it cost all you have, get wisdom, get understanding.” Even in this point – especially in this point, I would encourage prayerful wisdom in making such investments. Invite God to lead you to put the past in the past.

How to Make Your Blog Presentable

Today blogs have become an effective source of communication. Whether you want to convey your ideas or to sell your products, the blog is a productive way to do it. However, the main work is to get the attention of a large number of people to your website and when they visit your site, convince them to buy.

The main requirement is to invite enough traffic and then maintain them on your site. Sustaining people on the site is important because otherwise they will go away and then you will have to find new traffic which can be really time consuming.

Make your blog presentable – an attractive and organized place to keep your traffic coming again. The writings on the blog should be simple yet interesting for people to go through it.

Keep your self updated with the new things and techniques, read the blogs of the other people and organizing it can make your subscribers coming back again and again.

Some times people just search and come in to your blog to have some information and when they get the desired data of their requirement, they leave the blog and never come back. However there is a way to draw back the people by attractive content added to your blog.

To sustain the subscribers confirms that your blog is going successful. To attract the attention of he new people can a really difficult task as well as it may take alloy of time therefore make sure that your already subscribes visit you back.

The best way to gain the attention of the already subscribers is to win their trust and once they have a trust on you and you product they will not only visit the blog again but also decide to buy your product.

There are many ways to attract your buyers. Having a quality products and offers can make you some confirmed clients and also you can offer incentives to your already members. This method will definitely attract people to your blog.

Presentation Show and Tell – Presentation Skills For Senior Executives

The “show” in ‘show and tell’ presentations, is slowly making a comeback in corporate America. It’s a development that is long overdue. Long, dense, dry text projected on conference room screens around the country has too long passed for the “show” criteria of executive presentations. The more text and the fewer the graphics in presentations it seemed, the more the presenter was congratulated for having prepared well.

To the long-suffering audience who had to endure these presentations, there was little reward in the effort, except getting to the end of them, where it was hoped, a few signs of life might still be found in the unscripted question and answer session.

So why are we coaches beginning to see some signs of progress? Why is it increasingly acceptable to deliver shorter presentations with more graphics and less text? Why is it now becoming acceptable to present ideas using a few simple visuals or props, or even, on their own merit with no slides at all?

Call it the rise of presentation personality or simply the maturation of that long-derided but necessary business tool: PowerPoint. Maybe it simply has to do with the groans emanating forth from every executive suite when word filters out of another request to put together, or to sit through, one of these dated presentations.

Whatever the cause, there is increasing recognition of another, more successful communication method available to executives; one best illustrated by the energy-infused performance style presentations of dynamos like Apple’s Steve Jobs.

These new wave of presentation skills share some common attributes:

1) The audience takes center stage.

Good presenters ask themselves what their audience needs and wants from each presentation. Great presenters center their presentations on those needs and wants and make the audience integral to the presentation. Start with what you know about the audience’s perceptions and assumptions of the issues you’re presenting. What will it take for them to invest in something new?

2.) No passion, no presentation.

Every presentation is an opportunity for the presenter to share a passion. If yours are about something else, a mere transfer of data for instance, find another way to get it to the people who need it (like hitting the send button). This is the difference between in person presentations and other ways of sharing ideas. If people are going to invest their time and energy to come and listen to you, you won’t be successful if you merely “tell”. You must show them your ideas through the passion with which you present them.

3.) Get visual.

Written text projected on a screen is not a “visual”. If you use slides, find a way of representing your ideas that have real and instant impact. Never use text to “say” what a visual can “show”.

4.) Presentation is performance.

Don’t present what you haven’t practiced or don’t believe in. This isn’t acting. To present well, be wholly engaged in your material and ideas before trying to communicate these well to an audience. Take your preparation seriously. And for heaven’s sake, come out from behind that lectern.

5.) Show leadership.

Your reputation for leadership is enhanced or reduced with every presentation. Seek to hit a home run then, every time you’re “on stage”, no matter your perception of what’s at stake. It may seem unfair, but the leadership skills you display during your presentation are the ones that will be used to judge the whole of your work. Even if you don’t yet have a leadership title, your moment in front of people is pivotal in determining if and when you’ll be given one. Think about what leadership looks and sounds like to you-and infuse your presentations with nothing less.