Terry Paulson

“Living one day at a time,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,”
Will Rogers loved to say: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Avoid analysis paralysis by doing something to make progress every day. Investing in action allows you to earn the optimism that comes from overcoming the obstacles you will face along the way. Don’t run from hardships; face them! The harder the challenge, the stronger your character and the greater the satisfaction will be when you succeed.

Don’t expect the world to be fair, friendly or focused on your needs. Greed and evil exist and will continue to exist. Do your part to overcome evil with good and to be good stewards of the gifts you have been given. Start today to make a difference for yourself and others…one day at a time.

“Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Self-reliance is a powerful American value, but it has its limits. We need each other, and we need God. Though not politically correct in our secular age, there’s a reason “In God We Trust” has remained a centering principle in America’s unique history. We pray to God and claim His providential destiny, but we remain willing to be used by God in making a difference!

The paradoxical advice attributed by some to St. Augustine, St. Ignatius, Thomas Aquinas and Oprah Winfrey’s father remains insightful no matter who said it first-- “Pray as if everything depends on God. Act as if it depends upon you.” To believers, God remains active in the world. One of the ways God acts is to use the gifts of believers in working His will and making a difference where it counts.

Trusting in one’s ultimate salvation, although reassuring in difficult times, does not preclude the fact that we are to be transformed by our faith now. As John Wooden once said, “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me." Even if others are critical, let your faith show in your attitude and your actions.

As we move into 2009, join me in putting Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer into action—take time for acceptance, constructive action and a whole lot of faith.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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