Mary Kay Ash said it best when she said, “If you think you can’t, you’re right!” Dale Carnegie said, “Remember happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have: it depends solely upon what you think.” And Shakespeare said it this way, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
There is no such thing as a bad day. If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one. You might label your job as boring. Sixty percent of the people in America today don’t like going to work according to the radio show I was listening to. You might label something demeaning, ugly, bad, or a problem. Remember Shakespeare? Stuff isn’t good or bad – it’s our thinking that determines the assignment.
The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to grow mentally every day, who love good conversation, listen to good music, read good books, focus on beauty, and have amazing friends. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others. Why? Shakespeare?
So in a world where ninety-five percent of what you see, hear, and read is negative, maybe it’s time to remodel our thinking. Maybe it’s time to stop assigning the “negative” to the situation.
The following parable offers a good example of why it’s important to remodel our thinking:
A wise old farmer was considered rich by the villagers because he owned a horse. One day the horse ran away and the villagers said to the farmer, “How unfortunate, your horse ran away.” He responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”
The next day the horse returned bringing with it a wild horse, thereby increasing the farmer’s wealth. The villagers exclaimed, “How fortunate!” Which, in turn, prompted the farmer to again respond, “How do you know it’s fortunate?”
The following day the farmer’s son, while trying to break in the wild horse, was thrown and broke his leg. The villagers again commented, “How unfortunate!” Once again the farmer responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”
The next day, the king’s men rode through the village conscripting all the young men for service in the army. They didn’t take the farmer’s son because of his broken leg.
The lesson of this parable is best explained by its author, Paul Jacobs, M.D., who said, “Things are not always as they appear to be. Life presents us with situations and conditions that, in themselves, are neither good nor bad. We assign meaning to these conditions, thereby creating our own fortunes and misfortunes.”
According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less than one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into about sixty billion tiny droplets. Yet when those minute particles steal over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from your sight.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we “remodeled” our thinking? Think of the meaning we would get out of life and our situations. Think of the fog that would be lifted.
Stay tuned for some “blueprints” for those who are serious about remodeling.
And these are just my thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon.
The People Builder,
Steve Siemens, CSP