Mindset is everything when creating the life of our dreams
Last week, a long-time reader wrote to me about the power of positive thinking. “One of my favorite sayings is, “Think empowered, not devoured,” he suggested. A negative mindset can make it impossible to appreciate all the blessings around us. While a positive mindset allows us to see the gifts hope, faith, and a silver lining, even when our situation is less than ideal.
This reader’s letter reminds me of a story I heard year ago about two 5-year-old twin boys. The boys were very different; actually, radically different.
One little boy was so pessimistic. Nothing was ever right for him. He’d find fault and complain all the time, and he never laughed. And even on a warm, sunny day, the boy would look up and spot the smallest cloud. Then, he would complain about it. “This is not right,” he’d criticize. Negative, the boy would get upset and nit-pick at the smallest issue.
However, the other twin boy was the complete opposite. He was always smiling and happy. Like a sponge, he soaked up everything that was joyful and positive in life. The boy was grateful and spoke positive, hopeful words. He saw the best in everything. Nothing would dim the boy’s spirit. Even, on a rainy, gloomy day, his attitude was, “I’m grateful that the flowers are getting watered.”
The parents were worried. They struggled to find a way to let the pessimistic son see some glimmers of hope and light in life. And they were concerned that maybe their optimistic was too positive.
Then, inspiration struck to help both of their sons at the same time. The concerned parents had an idea and within a few days they got everything ready.
Before long, the parents called both boys into the kitchen and said, “Boys, let’s do an experiment.” The boys were both wide-eyed and curious.
Next, the father said, “Come with me.” And he led the boys down the hallway and uttered, “Each of you will be going into two separate rooms.” Then, the mother spoke, “Sons, we love you and want the best for you. Behind each of these doors is a lesson. It’s a gift that will serve you in the years to come. You must stay in the room I assign to you for 30 minutes. After that, we will come in and check on you.” The twin boys each agreed. First, the boy who always complained opened the door and went into the first room. All set up, the parents filled the room with the best toys, amazing sports gear, and art projects. Anything that could make a boy’s heart happy was put in that room. “These toys will surely make my son joyful,’ the father pondered.
Thereafter, the lighthearted boy walked into the next room. But the smell was awful. The parents had ordered a pile of horse manure be dumped into the room. Yet, in agreement, the boy stayed in the room for the allotted time.
After 30 minutes, the parents excitedly opened the door to the room their first son was in. “I can’t wait to see the joy in our son’s eyes,” the parents thought. Rushing in, they almost stumbled over the boy who was slumped dejectedly on the floor. Toys were strewn around in disarray. “Son, what happened? Didn’t you like the toys?” the father asked. The son slowly said, “Dad, these toys are cheap and the projects are boring. Nothing in here was good.”
Sadly, his son hadn’t changed.
In a bit of a stunned daze, the parents walked across the hall to the room of their other son. Opening the door, the parents couldn’t believe their eyes. A head popped up from the pile and the boy was digging through it with his bare hands. “What are you doing?” asked the puzzled parents.
Instead of holding his nose in disgust, the totally optimistic boy shouted with delight and said, “There must be a pony in here somewhere.”
This fictional story represents that power of a positive mindset.
How important is your attitude? Attitude plays a large role in life. It can make or break us. Attitude can allow us to rise above challenges or magnify them. Our attitude can be louder than the words we speak. And can reveal to others our character. Attitude is what governs our entire day.
But you can’t wait until everything is perfect or gets better before you choose to have a good attitude. Rather than talking yourself into being discouraged, you must be thankful for all the blessings you possess and decide to be the very best that you can be ‘right here’ and ‘right where you are’ today. I like what Helen Keller once wrote, “Resolve to keep happy and joyful and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
Thus, take the good from life’s experiences and recharge your thoughts to grasp the positive from each situation. The more optimistic and thankful you are, the more joy, peace, and blessings will come back around to you.
A reader emailed, “Behind every successful person there are many struggles, some failures, too. But right around the corner is success if you never give up on your dreams or goals. Most importantly, you must lean, not to your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge God and He will direct your path. Just trust Him.”
So, remind yourself daily: “Thank you, God for the gift of this day,” “I’m not going to quit,” and “I will prevail over temporary troubles.” Like a letter we address, stamp, and then bring to the post office to send out to a friend, send out your words in the direction you want your life to go. Positively declare, “Step by step, God is guiding me to victory,” “I will conquer this challenge,” and “Opportunities are coming my way.”
Remember, God loves you, treasures you and is guiding you. And I believe He is going to use you in a miraculous capacity this year, and will help you to make a difference in the lives of others.
Smile, laugh, summon your sense of humor and use your special gifts to help others. Fix your mind on good things; be happy where you are; and appreciate the extraordinary person that God created you to be. God bless you, as you continue to create the life of your dreams.