Going Round In Circles

by Lance Ekum on January 28, 2009 · 78 comments

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” ~ Charles Dickens,  A Tale of Two Cities

Going Round In Circles

Going round in circles.  What’s your first thought when hearing these words?  For me, it’s of being stuck.  Or being unable to break an endless loop.  How does your perception of this statement change, though, after watching the short video up above?  Going round in circles is a very joyful moment!  A completely opposite perception based upon how we look at these same words in a different context.


By definition:  Perception is a mental image, or to regard as being such.

We all make perceptions.  And how we perceive an event can mean the difference between it being stressful, or not, for us.  Thinking about the video again, if a child says:

“I’m going round and round in circles”

Our perception might easily be of something happy and fun (like in the video above).

However, if an adult says:

“I’m going round and round in circles”

Our perception is much more likely to be that this is a stressful situation that they are stuck in.

What Does All This Mean?

Our perception becomes our reality.  As we perceive things is how we see them.  So, when we’re perceiving something to be “bad”, or “negative”, or anything that might be creating extra stress in our lives – this is a good time to stop and evaluate what our perceptions are.  Are there perceptions we’re making that could be causing extra stress?  And if so, are there ways we can change our perceptions to also change our stress levels?

I’m reminded of a training session I attended recently on leadership.  My perception was that I would be taking this training session all day long, and that was way too long to be sitting in a classroom listening to someone explain leadership.  My perception of training sessions was that of a lecture style of instructing.  So, I went into the class in a defensive mood, thinking six to seven hours would be way too long to be lectured at.  In fact, the training session was very interactive, and involved lots of group work.  And only limited lecture style teaching.  I had created un-needed stress on myself because of how I thought, or perceived, all training sessions are taught.   It took a while to change these perceptions around.  And until I did adjust my perceptions, this was still my reality – even thought that wasn’t the case at all.  My mind still believed we would be switching to lectures.  I kept thinking – that the lecture style teaching would be starting any minute.  And this kept the stress levels up.  Until I finally accepted that my perception of this training class was incorrect – that the style being used was interactive.  Once I changed my perceptions, my stress levels dropped, and I felt more relaxed.

Perception.  The next time you find yourself getting some extra stress coming on because of how you’re perceiving at event, look for ways to change your perception.  Look for ways to put a more positive spin on it all.  And see if your stress levels don’t drop because of this.

Do you have certain situations in your life that seem to be more stressful?  Could changing your perception of these situations or events reduce the stress?

Note: This video was graciously provided today by John, who writes Stress Tips – a blog all about finding ways to restore balance and joy to our lives.  The little boy in the video is John’s grandson…going round and round in circles.  Thanks John!

Egypt faces, without words
Creative Commons License photo credit: Xavier Fargas

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Are These My Skinny Jeans?

by Lance Ekum on January 23, 2009


Creative Commons License photo credit: Cayusa

“A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly.” ~ Homer

I’m packing my bags, and heading over to Back In Skinny Jeans to hang out with Stephanie Quilao for the day.  Stephanie is a professional blogger, and is considered one of the top “healthy living” bloggers in the world.  This month, Stephanie is doing a series of posts focused on what she calls The Skinny Debt Diet – where she looks at becoming healthier both physically and fiscally.

Today, I’m over there sharing my view on these times we’re in right now and how I think we, individually, can use this as a springboard to a brighter future.  Stop by and check out Is The Sky Really Falling.

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As Real As It Gets

by Lance Ekum on January 21, 2009 · 1 comment


“The authentic self is the soul made visible” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today I’m teaming up with Jamie, from Blue Duck Copy.  Together, we’ve written a piece on being “real”.  This isn’t just any piece on being “real”.  This is all about being “real” in our life and the faith journeys we’re on.  What does that mean?  Curious?  Click here to read it.

Like I told Jamie, this is the most difficult writing I’ve done – it challenged me at many levels.

Jamie (that’s her up above!) is as real as anyone I know.  It’s what I love about her.  Real.  Honest.  True.

How am I displaying those qualities?  How are you displaying those qualities?

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Small Gestures of Love

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Automania “Love builds bridges where there are none.” ~ R. H. Delaney A smile. Brushing the snow off someone else’s car. Taking the time to really listen. Walking the dog. Small gestures of love… In the most recent Sunday Thought For The Day post, there was a comment by Natalia that really stuck […]

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Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: FotoRita [Allstar maniac] “Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.” ~ Bruce Barton

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This Is A Day Of Joy

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: sean-b “When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness… all the good things.” ~ Maya Angelou Joyful Days, yes, they surely are!  Today, I’m spending time with Daphne, who writes with real heart, over at Joyful Days.  She asks me questions that, once again, make me look deep within.  […]

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Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: bmooneyatwork “For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned […]

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And The Word Is…

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Arno & Louise “A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes One Word It’s the dawn of a new year.  […]

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Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: shoothead “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

48 comments Read the full article →