Take Down the White Flag and Other Timeless Life Lessons

Hey sparklepeeps! Here’s a short & snappy guest post + giveaway for you from Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker. Read on to see how to win a copy of this book – especially if you KNOW your life needs to change or is already changing and you could do with some support through it ~ xo, Tia.

When Tia invited me to write a guest post, she asked me to focus on one life lesson found in my new book, Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change.

A little unfair if you ask me, because I love them all.

But she’s the boss here, right?

Just to share the difficulty of Tia’s assignment, here are all ten timeless life lessons:

  • One: Prepare Your Soul for Change (ready your mind and heart for the journey)
  • Two: Find Freedom from Pain (let go of the painful memories to find happiness)
  • Three: Listen to Your Inner Philosopher (stay confident when facing doubt)
  • Four: Recognize Your Beauty (accept and love your true self)
  • Five: Learn To Live Without Asterisks (place no limits on the life waiting for you)
  • Six: Be Inspired By Love (create and sustain loving, positive relationships)
  • Seven: Live Beyond Your Skin (learn new tools for dealing with negative people)
  • Eight: Find the Brighter Side of Failure (find value in everything that happens)
  • Nine: Take Down the White Flag (replace the lie with the truth)
  • Ten: Let Faith be Your Guide (learn to walk by faith)

After a little soul searching, I landed on the lesson that seems to lend its power to me whenever I need it most. This lesson inspires me, makes me feel strong on the days I feel weak and provides a stirring cheer.

It’s Lesson Nine: Take Down the White Flag.

I’m tempted to raise the white flag in defeat when I begin listening to the enemy of my soul.

The enemy waits patiently and then whispers the lie he knows will persuade me to give up: “You don’t deserve it. You can’t possibly achieve it. So, why bother?”

There have been plenty of times when I listened to the lie and raised the white flag.

I wish I didn’t quit the high school baseball team.
I wish I didn’t give up on going to medical school.
I wish I stood up for myself more often.

All times when I could hear the white flag flapping in the wind. But, today the lesson I’m learning is a simple one: Replace the lie with the truth.

My truth speaks the words that inspire me to never give up –

You are worthy to receive your heart’s desire. You can achieve it. Go be the person you were created to be. Take down the white flag. Raise hope for all to see. Listen to your new flag flapping in the wind and be nourished by its sound.

Check in with yourself – where are you letting lies stop you from doing what you desire? And what is possible when you take down that flag and fight on?

Along with this life lesson, I wanted to share a few more that don’t appear in my book, but have contributed to the positive change I’m finding and the happiness it brings:

  • Live right now
    You can’t change the past or control the future, but you can give your mind, heart and soul to what is happening right now.
  • Trust recovers slowly
    When temptation wins over common sense, trust will return, but cautiously. Be patient. Wait for it. And when trust recovers, put it in a safe place and away from what you know will challenge it again.
  • Ask to be carried
    When you feel weary, allow yourself to fall into the arms of someone stronger and asked to be carried.
  • You see what you create
    In misery you see the enemy; in grace you see the possibility.
  • Faith never lets go
    The next time you fell like giving up, extend your hand; the first thing you grab will be your faith. Hold on to it and know it will always hold on to you.
  • It’s not about where you’ve been; it’s about where you will be taken
    Your past doesn’t define who you can be in this moment. Use the present, this very second, to decide who you want to be and then start heading in that direction.
  • There is love or fear
    You have a choice: Live in love or live in fear. There is no in-between.

The choice is always yours.

Alex Blackwell is the Founder of The BridgeMaker. His first book, Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is now available on Amazon. You can also connect with Alex on Facebook.

To win a copy of Alex’s book, simply let us know a life lesson YOU have learned (not necessarily one of his) in the comments below and we’ll pick a winner next week, April 24th!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

** Want MORE BLISS and less stress in your life? Inner Sparkle: The 21 Day eCourse is made for you. Click here to get inspired. Happy. Sparkly. **


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Image source: google.com

About Tia & Your Life YOUR Way:

Life Coach / Awesomeness Inciter + Inner Sparkle Activator Tia Sparkles offers tips, advice, community hug-a-thons to ignite your Inner Sparkle — that shimmery part of your spirit that says YES to courage + connection, and NO WAY to ‘shoulds’ + restrictions.

She loves Nutella, New Zealand, Yoda, & Sparkles.

Facebook comments:



  1. Deborah says

    Thank you for sharing your insight & wisdom! This arrives at such an opportune moment, of coarse!!!!!!

    I intend to hear your book reached top seller list right away!!!

    Blessings & Joy,

  2. says

    The most important lesson I have learned is that “I don’t know everything”. Once I let go, a weight was lifted. I felt free, real and open to the World…..

  3. says

    Great post Alex! Thanks Tia!

    I have learned that my thoughts have true power. So I choose to think positively and ask for what I do want, not for what I don’t want.


  4. Cyndi Cartelli says

    I am a Multiple Sclerosis patient. While I was still working as an actor/director for a local show, I was fired. The reason I was given that I no longer had enough energy to teach the new students joining the show. I was never told – got to the day of auditions and one of my students from the previous year was in MY director’s chair. I was more than a little upset and hurt. The person that did this I had considered a friend. She showed her true colors. This happened in Dec. of 2008. For a very long time, I remained angry with everyone involved. As my wounded pride healed, I realized that I was wasting much too much energy on being angry. She is a lonely, sad soul and she really needs my prayers instead of my anger. I don’t believe I will ever trust her again, but I now direct that energy to my own healing and productivity. My MS will never go away, but she is not the last person that will do someting like this to me. I realize that they only treat me this way out of ignorance or something that is lacking in their own lives. I am a person worthy of love and compassion and avoid the negativity that surrounds people like her.

  5. puneet midha says

    Life’s experiences have taught me to find happiness in the ‘little things’. When someone asks me what my ambition is, I reply, “to be truly happy”.
    I’ve learnt to work hard, and if I fail, to work even harder.
    Be thankful for what I have, and not fret over what I don’t have.
    My favourite quote is, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw the man who had no feet!” Enjoy life as it’s the only one we have:)

  6. Sandra Rerecic says

    “Getting real with where you are” is a lesson I’ve learned, similar to #9 , here is what I’ve personally gotten from taking that on in my life recently….. :))

    1. So Get real with where you are and admit what you’ve been in denial about.
    Whatever it is, admitting will bring you relief.
    2. Believe that you are not your past. You are worthy of your own forgiveness
    3. Learn to manage your inner-critic. That voice in your head that tells you that
    you aren’t good enough, tell it to be quiet!! Your true self, your true inner-voice knows better. That voice or spirit wants you to be happy.

    • Catherine says

      There are people in my life that are going through some things, and I’m always sending them inspirational quotes and sayings to lift them to a better mind set – What you have written is so true for anyones situations and I will be forwarding them on to my special people who are in need of some inspiration. Thank you for posting – have a wonderful God filled day!

  7. Megan says

    Hmm, I’ve had lots of good ones lately, but I’ll say that I learned that when you are willing and open to change, suddenly your life starts flooding with the tools you need and suddenly what you need most is there.

  8. says

    To let go of fear competely. (Theres nothing to fear but not being able to LIVE)
    Keeping my mindset positive at all times. (You invite the energy you put out)
    … to stop the “what ifs”
    Its already a battle out there.. dont make it a battle in your own mind.

  9. Michael Powell says

    One of lifes most important lessons is to learn “that regardless of a person’s station in life, we all deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.”

    Wouldn’t you agree…

  10. Jennifer says

    I’ve learned that bad experiences are not an excuse for bad behavior, nor a reason to excuse bad behavior.

  11. says

    Accept people for who they are. Don’t try to change or mold them to meet your needs. If you find yourself constantly struggling with a relationship, it’s time to release that person and move on. Before long, you’ll start attracting the right people and circumstances into your life which flow beautifully with you and your goals.

    • b sudra says

      Very correct to say dnt try To change or molde ppl to ur way..evy 1 doest match as we r also one of them who can’t match wid others..

  12. says

    Dear Tia,this is indeed marvelous write up by you.Now,I hope so,I would come to grip your messages,but for any difficulty in following links,I shall bother you.I hope you shall co-operate.Thanks & regards: Bharat Sharma

  13. says

    It’s difficult to pick just one life lesson, especially since I’m still working to ingrain a few in me. One lesson I learned about my relationships with other people is to really appreciate them for what they are RIGHT NOW, but also know that they may change. The relationships, the people. Life is dynamic, just because you’ve known them forever doesn’t mean your best friend, husband or mother won’t change. So while you need to appreciate them constantly in the moment, you also need to be supportive when they do make changes to themselves and their life. (I’m talking mostly positive changes here).

  14. B.Sudra says

    Nevr argue with your love ones for small thing, one has to understand other with faith, if doest there is no point of aruge.

  15. Rachel G. says

    Two of the biggest lessons I have learned (so far) are:
    1. If it will not matter in 2 weeks- LET IT GO!!
    2. I went thru a divorce about a year & a half ago. Everyone had their opinions on what was going on and what I should do… There is only so much of that a person can take! So I finally set individual goals for myself (I didn’t discuss these with anyone!- Mainly because I didn’t want the feedback (it reminded me of the laughing and such background for older TV shows!!) ) and goal or what I called markers for the ex. If A doesn’t happen then you have to do (baby step). Because every action has a consequence! Until I felt I was comfortable enough to live with the decision that I made- it helped me get to where I needed to be. I use this quite often now with bigger decisions… Mainly because there will always be a crowd and even louder will be their opinions- You have to make you happy and not have any regrets. Life is too short to not enjoy the people who enjoy you!

  16. Keithaniel says

    One life lesson that i’ve learnt is that “It’ll get better”. Life can be very stressing and demanding especially if you are an Asian. However i realize that no matter how hard life could be at times, i always manage to get by or get through. I’ve ever left in a foreign country with less that USD 1 and still manage to find way back to my country unharmed just be having the faith that thing will get better. Thats a life lesson i’ve learned inspite if being bullied for being gay and from a minority race. Have faith, Life will reward you with any honest effort to make ur life better.


  17. Esther says

    to just stop where I am and experience the world around me with as many senses as I can involve at that moment, even if just for a couple of minutes
    it gives a breathing space and stops my thoughts running around in circles for that space because I have to concentrate on what I’m sensing

  18. Chantel says

    I’ve learnt that you have to reach up for the new and let go of the old,what lies behind you is not nearly as important as what’s infront of you and what you’ve been through is preperation for where you are right now….

  19. says

    I have learned so many life lessons this past year. I have given birth, gotten married, moved across the country, and surprised myself with my resiliency. I have been diagnosed with some pretty sever back issues and some days I have given in to depression and just let myself be down and lay in bed. But what I have really learned through all of this is the old saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Through all of this, there have been some big issues that need to be resolved, worked on, put into action, etc. And with all of that the small bumps and cracks and hurdles will pop up, yes. But learning to not stress over them will help IMMENSELY. The “small stuff” is always there – that guy cutting you off in traffic, the barista messing up your coffee order, your toddler spilling his drink all over himself and the carseat. But honestly, how does this matter in the long run? You can either get upset and be stressed out, letting it all add up; or, you can take a breath, choose to not be stressed and frantic, and just take care of it in order to move on to and/or enjoy bigger things. Love your life and let go of the icky sweaty small things!! 😀

    • says

      Congrats Rachel! You win a copy of Alex’s new book! Thank you for your smiles, inspiration, and for being so determined to follow your North Star and do what moves your soul. You rock, woman! Stay true to yourself always. xo, Tia.

      ps: Send me an email at tia at coachtia dot come with your mailing address so we can send you a copy. Cheers! T

  20. Kim F. says

    “There is love or fear
    You have a choice: Live in love or live in fear. There is no in-between.”

    Could you call me up every 10 mins and remind me of this? 🙂


  21. HGL says

    Everyone has a story. What people do may seem outrageous at times but listen to their story before you judge. There are usually reasons why people are the way they are.

  22. says

    Great post!
    One lesson I have learned over time is that you have to look out for yourself. It’s great to help others when the time is right, but in the end look out for yourself and what you want to get you there. 🙂

  23. Monique says

    When I make a mistake, saying, “I’m sorry” goes a long way and often diminishes the influence of the mistake v. when an excuse is made.

  24. Sheryl C says

    Always be cautious of overly friendly people. There is something called intuition that we each have. I’ve learned it’s one of the best gifts to give to yourself. When something seems too good to be true, or it will alter the direction on which u feel you should be going in, listen to ur intution and trust urself more than anyone else. For only you and you alone knows what is best for you at this stage of your life.

  25. Karen says

    Simple 3-step process to succeed in anything: Step 1: Simply figure out the best thing you could be doing RIGHT NOW to work toward that success. Step 2: DO THAT. Step 3: Go back to step 1 and repeat.

    • says

      Well put, Karen! Thank you! Where most of us get stuck is at # 1 so I’d say – even if you don’t know what you want, just think of one thing that could get you closer to it and do it!

  26. Dannie Brandon says

    I like the Eight one: Find the Brighter Side of Failure because not everyone has the high tolerance for failure. There are people who easily give up like me. What’s the best way to cope with failure? Thanks for sharing these timeless life lessons.


    • says

      Hey Dannie! Not sure there’s any one best way to cope with failure – it’s more of an attitude shift and seeing failure as a part of life. I always say “if everything is an experiment, nothing is a failure”.

      Having said that, there are times we WILL fall and fail at what we are trying to do but as long as you learn something from it, it simply isn’t a failure any more, it’s a learning opportunity.

      Think of it this way – a baby can’t walk without first crawling, standing, teetering, falling down, getting up, trying again. We don’t call THAt failure right? Imagine saying “oh you stupid baby I can’t believe you failed to walk on your first try!” If the baby refused to ever try again, would it ever walk?

      That baby is you. Me. Everyone in the world. We’ve been used to “failing” since childhood, but that was seen as working towards something. So look at your failures as a natural part of success and – voila!!

      Need I remind of you that every inventor in history waded thru countless failures before bringing us an airplane (Wright brothers), light bulbs (Thomas Edison), etc? 🙂

  27. Rose says

    “Clap! Clap!” Those life lessons are really heartwarming and are composed of genuine words. I like what he said about Faith. I’m a great believer of holding on to faith because I truly believe that it is what sends you to the brighter understanding of life. 🙂

  28. Mike says

    There are a lot of people who will agree about Find the Brighter Side of Failure. The technique here is not to question yourself at the onset of failure. You will know about the lesson sometime later.

  29. Mike Rob says

    Good point in “Ask to be carried”. Your post is very helpful to every reader. Thanks for sharing !!!

  30. Karen says

    I really liked reading this post and the life lessons are inspiring. Glad I found your blog.I needed the inspiration.

  31. says

    This post made me think about when is the appropriate time in life to quit and when is the appropriate time to stick with soemthing. It can be a tricky question. Growing up I kind of fell for the idea that winners never quit. Now, I belive it is the complete opposite. People who are willing to step back, critically assess their lives, and figure out when and what to quit are the most successful.

    this has been hard for me to follow throuhg with. A lot of the time I just want to do everything. But I know this is a recipe for mediocrity. I fear mediocrity.

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