The birds’ songs ring through the morning air, little plant sprouts have shot up seemingly overnight, and the sun has finally made an appearance through the break in the clouds. The warmer air and tree buds give us a sense of renewal and we can’t help but feel good. Welcome to Spring.
By now, we have likely given up on our New Year’s resolutions, but there is just something about spring that lights us up with possibilities. It’s our second chance. We’ve still got ¾ of the year left and we’re determined to make it great. Yes, springtime is a perfect time for resolutions – take 2. But before you choose to renew your resolution, or make a new one, may I make a suggestion?
Let’s change our frame of mind. That’s it. That’s my suggestion. Let’s work on thinking differently.
Like the rebirth of spring, each day is a do-over. We have the opportunity to start anew, or hold on to the pain of yesterday. We can choose to view the day as a gift with a new attitude and outlook, or continue to cling to the negative attitudes we tend to have. You can take two people in the same situation, and they could say two very different things about the situation based solely on their frames of mind.
It’s easy to complain about the rush hour traffic, and get angry when our workload is overwhelming. When our kids don’t do what we want them to, we lose our tempers. And the worst thing is we allow these things to ruin our entire day! We let these feelings and frame of mind to turn us into pessimists. Before we know it, we view every interaction and experience through the skewed vision of our negative frame of mind. We start to question people’s intentions – we’re sure they aren’t just being nice, they must want something. We complain about imperfections in everything. But since when has anything been perfect? Why is that suddenly an expectation? Everything we experience is filtered through our destructive mind, forcing even great things to look terrible.
I went on vacation to a beautiful resort in Mexico a couple years ago. This vacation was long overdue and I just couldn’t wait to arrive! I was greeted with cool, damp towels and shown to my luxurious room. But my heart was on the beach, so I wasted no time! As I stood taking in the waves, breathing in the salty air, I heard someone say to their spouse, “This is the ugliest beach I’ve ever been to! Look at all the seaweed!”
To me, the beach was pretty darn close to Heaven. I’d come from a long Kansas City winter, so the sun, sand, and water were exactly what I needed. Sure, there was seaweed and I, too, had been to beaches with prettier sand and water. But I didn’t care. I found it beautiful, because I wanted to.
We often forget how much is affected by our frame of mind. We forget to appreciate our children when they’re trying our patience. We forget that our job is a blessing. We forget that the long drive to work is an opportunity to be alone with God. One day, when our lives look different, we will wish we could go back. We’ll give almost anything to experience our kids at this age again. We won’t remember the work we do, but we’ll remember the people we worked with fondly, and wish we could talk to them again. Think about this for a moment: One day, years from now, you will miss the very thing you’re complaining about. One day, you will wish you would have lived it happily instead of just existing in it.
We also tend to hold on to our mistakes and guilt. We drown in our pain when we’ve been hurt and refuse to forgive. We hold on to our misery until it’s the “right day” or “right season” to let it go; to start over. But that isn’t God’s plan for us. We should be spending time in prayer, asking God to help us let go of all these negative things daily, allowing the next morning be a brand new start. By doing this, you will find it easier to set, and achieve goals instead of resolutions.
A few friends of mine and I are reading “Your Best Year Ever” by, Michael Hyatt. This has been eye opening for us. He talks about setting and actually achieving goals – and mindset can make or break you! I highly recommend this book to everyone! You can change everything about your life by simply changing how you think.
Don’t limit self-evaluation, and resetting your mindset to only once or twice per year. Do it daily. Allow God to show you who you are in Him. Allow God to show you that you don’t need more things, or certain circumstances to be happy. You only need to choose happiness to have it.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19