Last week at church our pastor started off his message with five things that are constant in life. Unfortunately, I think you will agree with him on these five things. 1. Life’s unfair. 2. People will hurt you. 3. Yesterday is gone. 4. You are not in control. 5. You will die someday. Well, there you go! That was good news.
Let me adjust these five things a bit for those of you who are Christians or considering Christianity. 1. Life’s Unfair BUT God is fair. 2. People will hurt you BUT God can heal you, not hurt you. 3. Yesterday is one BUT God says today is here and tomorrow is coming. 4. You are not in Control BUT God is in control, not the weirdo’s who think they run the world and your world. 5. You will die someday BUT God says someday you will live eternally.
Here’s the takeaway from this. This is good Biblical medicine for the soul. It’s a life lifting Aha for today and tomorrow. We, as humans, need to be more committed to being free from ‘life stuff’ (what has happened to us in life) than placing blame, being negative, taking no ownership in our part of the problem and living like a limping loser. I didn’t say you were a loser. I said that many are living like a loser. Ten percent of life is determined by what happens to us. Ninety percent of life is determined by how we deal with what happened to us.
We were born to win but can choose to be conditioned to lose if we like. The only thing worse than the life stuff that happened to us is being ensnared in the trap of life stuff. Productive and happy people are those who know how to avoid the traps of unforgiveness, victim mentality, and running life’s race looking backwards. They have committed themselves to being free. Dealing with your past is one thing. Dwelling in your past is another. Deal with your past but don’t dwell in your past. Your past refines you…not defines you.
Here the second Life Lifting Aha. I saw it the Olympics this week. It was in the two hundred meter relay race. The two top contenders where Michael Phelps who had won the gold medal several times before in this event. The other contender was the 2012 Olympics gold medal winner in this event, South African Chad le Clos. He won the gold medal in 2012 by besting Michael Phelps in the last second of the race.
Did you see how many times le Clos looked at Phelps during the race? Did you see how le Clos kept trying to play mind games with Phelps? I kept thinking to myself…”Be careful my South African friend. Phelps prepared four years to get that medal back. You are provoking him. Just race the race and don’t put on a show. Pride comes before the fall.”
Well, you know the story. Phelps won the race by a large margin and le Clos didn’t even medal. Ouch! Phelps sent out a twitter about the race afterwards. It said, “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.” Double Ouch!
Here’s what I wrote in my Facebook page about the race. “Wow…that was a lesson learned the hard way for both guys. Phelps lost the gold medal four years ago because he didn’t prepare enough for the 2012 London Olympics and le Clos, who took preparation seriously, won. Now Phelps took preparation seriously and le Clos tried to make it personal and do a mind job on Phelps…probably because he didn’t take preparation seriously. Look at Phelps look forward to the finish. Look at the le Clos looking at Phelps. What you focus on is what you become. Phelps owned him the moment le Clos looked at him and lost his focus. That’s not a capacity issue. It’s a competency issue. Takeaway: When life gets blurry, adjust your focus. Both swimmers will be better for learning this lesson.”
Both of these Aha’s have to do with focus for today and tomorrow. There’s no hocus pokus to letting focus poke us.
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