October 26, 2015

How can we "Sing in the Storm"?

We truly can be peaceful in the middle of tempests. Please don’t start throwing rotten tomatoes. I am not saying that we should all be able to be carefree in the midst of horrific natural and unnatural disasters similar to Hurricane Patricia. That would seem unworkable and heartless.

I am mainly talking about remaining peaceful in the inevitable setbacks that life brings—as far as possible. Really, it's possible. We can’t control many of our circumstances. But, we are in charge of our reactions to them.   

Okay. I know that keeping a positive mindset is anything but easy for most people. Like many people, I have plenty of ongoing trials. Many of them do not seem to be improving. Since I cannot control them, I have been struggling to change my outlook. The only other option is despair, which, of course, is not a viable alternative.

The Need to Have joy Amid Turbulence

Recently, I posted three articles about attitude here, here, and here. I’m going to continue that theme today.

Joel Osteen says that we create much of our own happiness. I would like to summarize two stories that he told:

The Amusement Park
 A lady and her family waited 45 minutes to ride a popular amusement-park ride. The long wait annoyed her. When the family finally boarded the ride, it was short and disappointing. She scowled and complained loudly as she exited the attraction. The people waiting in line stared. Her family, on the other hand, came out smiling and chatting happily.

The Hurricane

During a recent hurricane that hit Texas, a local TV reporter interviewed some of the victims. Understandably, 99% of the victims cried and told stories of various levels of devastation. However, one lady approached the news team smiling and seemingly happy. She said that her house had been totally washed away in the flood waters. She had nothing left. Literally. Yet, she had her Bible and her health. She planned to start her life over.

A good attitude is crucial. As Joel Osteen says, “Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.”

The Methods for Praising/Showing Thankfulness

There are numerous ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Each person must choose what works best for them. People may choose to write down, think, read, play, or sing selections that boost their mood.

The Bible

The scriptures are full of examples of the necessity to move beyond a rocky past or present. The future is the place to focus if we don’t want our lives to remain exactly as they are now.

My Conclusion

Every day, we have plenty of opportunities to think in either an optimistic or pessimistic manner. However, if we cultivate a negative mentality, we can’t expect to live in victory. That’s a kind of tunnel vision. We are more likely to find success when we expand our ability to see beyond present and past drawbacks.

Please see more about cultivating a good attitude in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.

How do you sing in your storms?

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