Everything we hear about living a long and happy life seems to include the practice of maintaining a positive outlook. Much as I stay positive, I’m still occasionally challenged by life’s trials. Even then, I try my best not to keep entertaining it, stewing over it and making myself crazy. My goal is just to process what I need then move on with hope and right action. Well, it’s a start.
One thing I’ve learned is to watch my language because what I say is either reflecting my thoughts or instructing them. Frank Outlaw, the late supermarket chain founder, put it this way:
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
In the Service arena, attention to detail is a pervasive mantra. It leads me to think about how I service my brain. If we look at what Outlaw said, what level of detail would help prepare a mind for a healthy, positive destiny? Even if our memories do not endear us to the past, I have to ask myself how I would be servicing my mind for a happy future if I routinely refer to work as a rat race or a grind. At the end of the day, would I say I’ve worked like a dog? Would I ever describe my life as hum drum, the world as dog-eat-dog? A jungle? If I get a flat tire, would I let it define my entire day as terrible – “Welcome to my world?” We can almost feel the debris that keeps us from holding a bright image of the future…as well as the present.
Bill Klem, considered to be “the father of all baseball umpires,” said it best. One day, as he walked through an MLB clubhouse, he overheard two star pitchers bragging about their curve ball and fast ball and so on. Bill sat down and listened for a while, then he said, “Fellas, I just want you to remember one thing—it ain’t nothin’ till I call it.”
A life can be misery and hardship or it can be happy and hopeful—it ain’t nothin’ till we call it.