Yesterday, I spoke with a friend I hadn't spoken to in about 6 months.
"How's everything going Jeff?"
And at that moment I realized I could have him see how much my life stinks!
OR... I could share how awesome my life was! I could tell him...
- The terrible pain of the back injury I got while skiing
- How my house in Illinois hasn't sold yet
- The challenges my aging mother is facing
- How my son now living thousands of miles away and I don't see him very much
- How behind I feel on my latest book project
Or I could share
- How I've lost weight because of the back injury
- How I have incredible friends and brothers helping me sell the house.
- How cool it is I get to still share life with my mother now in her 90's.
- How my son is thriving and serving God in Mexico and my other sons live near me.
- How excited I am to be writing a book on coaching
I realize both lists were correct… at least not untrue. "Heck! My life stinks!" Or, "I'm the richest guy on the planet. I'm SO blessed!"
But, this morning I thought. What will I focus on in my own mindset? Stinks? or Awesome?
It's really a choice! Sure, there are tough times, setbacks and even catastrophes. And my friend wanted to know the real me. But for the most part, the important decision we PERSONALLY make each day is to focus on
"What makes me so cursed?"
"What makes me so blessed?"
I think of Jack in the movie Titanic. "I'm the king of the world!!"
Pssst… don't tell him that the woman he's about to fall in love with is engaged to another man. Pssst.. don't tell Jack he's destitute and stuck in the lowest class on deck. Pssst… don't tell him his unsinkable ship's about to strike an iceberg and he's about to drown in Arctic cold water.
But, Jack's attitude makes him great! It makes us admire him! And it makes Rose fall in love with him. (Let's face it, others are attracted to "My life is awesome" people.)
And the Bible backs this choice of courageous optimism. "My life's awesome!" faith. The choice to see ourselves as "blessed," not "cursed."
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8).
In other words, we have a choice of how we think our thoughts. Will we focus on the good? Or the not seemingly good?
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
How about you? How's it going today?
Life is awesome!?