How many of us dread the alarm ringing early on Monday morning? That feeling of dread as you slowly open your eyes and realize it is the start of a new week? You begin to think of the numerous calls you need to make, the tower of paperwork in your in-tray, having to deal with your critical boss for another week or being at home alone with the children doing the mountain of washing that has built up.
Is this really what life should be like? That feeling of dread, knowing you have 5 long days to go before you get 2 glorious days respite called a week-end. Then again, maybe that respite doesn’t even come on the week-ends, and each day merges into the next dreary, long existence? Should our lives be this sad? Or have we made it that way through our own thoughts?
On the other side, do you know people who enjoy working, whatever that work may be? I bet they also enjoy other aspects of their lives as well; the weekly shop, walking the dog, playing with the kids, or even visiting the in-laws. Think about it. These people can come up against the same issues as you do.
So what is the difference? What makes them jump out of bed every morning looking forward to another day rather than wishing for a future date “when things will be better”.
Could it be they are just lucky not to have the same problems you do? Or could it be that no matter what the circumstances in life, some people are never happy?
“If only” becomes the catch cry. “If only I had more money” “If only my boss realized my potential” “If only I was married to some-one who understands me” Do you know some-one like this – perhaps very well?
What is the difference? We have all heard stories of human endurance when life brings horrendous circumstances. People lifting a car to save some-one’s life, people managing to travel many kilometres with a broken leg or surviving an unimaginable event like the holocaust. From his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, it states that “every circumstance conspires to make a prisoner lose his hold. All the familiar goals in life are snatched away. What alone remains is “the last of human freedoms” – the ability to “choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”
What attitude have you chosen given your circumstances?
Reverend Norman Neaves gave a sermon in Nov 21 1976 at the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, about a railway employee who was mistakenly locked inside a refrigerator rail car, and couldn’t get out. He tried to get anyone’s attention, and began banging on the inside of the car, but no-one heard him.
The man realized that if he had to spend the night in this car, he would freeze to death. As the hours went by, the man decided he wanted to record his last moments alive. He wrote on the inside of the car notes to his loved ones. “I’m slowly freezing to death” “I’m half asleep,” “I can hardly write” and finally he wrote “These may be my last words”…….which in fact they were. When the railway car was opened the following day, the man was dead.
The amazing thing about this story was that the freezing apparatus on the rail car was malfunctioning and had not been freezing properly. In fact, the car had not got below 9.4C (49F). In other words this man died because of an illusion in his mind. He believed he was going to freeze to death, and his life was over, when in fact there was no real reason to make this presumption at all. Even though the temperature had not fallen below 9.4C (49 F), this man died.
There are many of us doing this with our lives, aren’t there? We misread the signs of our predicaments, we presume things are far worse than they really are. This man let what he thought were his circumstances control his thinking, and the result was his death. He believed death was the only possible outcome from the time he was locked inside the car.
We all have the ability to look at ANY circumstance in our lives and make it the way we want it. Have you been in a situation when something occurred and you thought it was a tragedy, only to find some-one else looked at the opportunity of the event?
Unfortunately many people have a well worn track in their minds which they travel on a regular basis. This well worn track is traveled without thought, similar to driving a manual car. Remember starting to drive and the concentration it took? Now your hands and feet move automatically when gears are to be changed.
The ease of movement is a blessing here, but think of examples in your own life when you have automatically done something without conscious thought and afterwards wondered why you took the actions you did. Thinking about it further, you might see a familiar pattern in many aspects of your life.
If you want circumstances in your life to change then you must change. Become aware of your actions (or inactions) and thoughts. Results happen all around you.
Do you want to play a major role in your life, or be a passenger, and then complain about the outcome? The Choice is Yours!