Don’t give up emotional power to circumstances outside of your control; retain the ability to move into a mental state of your own choosing.
—Mike Hazell (Image Licensed)
I recall being at a professional football game several years back at which the home team—my team—blew a certain win and was handed an ugly defeat by a taunting opponent. As could be expected, the positive, energized emotions of some 70,000 screaming fans turned ugly seemingly on a dime.
After the game, as everyone was shuffling up the stands toward the concourse, I heard one guy about three steps behind me angrily shouting up to the herd of people in front of him: “C’mon people, get a (expletive) move on!” I looked back to see a guy in his mid-40s, dressed in a one-piece orange jumpsuit, so angry that his head was turning beat red. The sight of that red face atop that orange jumpsuit made my own mental state immediately shift from anger and disappointment over the loss to surprise and then levity. He looked like a cartoon caricature! I always remember that event as evidence of just how quickly we can change our own mental state, no matter what is going on around us.
It’s easy to be in an upbeat, sanguine mood when things around us are going great. Our true colors comes shining through, however, when the external environment is not of our liking. When we find ourselves in such a moment, instead of letting these figurative storm clouds take control of our states of mind, let us take a few seconds to thank God for the opportunity to sharpen our own prowess and move to a positive mental state of our own choosing.