My toddler was tugging on my jeans. The pup was nudging my other leg because she needed to go outside. The oven beeped for the third time reminding me lunch was about to burn. I was trying to talk to my sweet mother on the phone while working online for my new business. I stopped for a moment and took it all in-the pleading eyes of my son and puppy, the aromas of lunch awaiting extraction, the kind voice of my mom, the amazing response online to my new business endeavor. I had a mental win-I chose to thank God for all these things instead of complaining about them. I don’t respond so well very often. I even surprised myself as I asked my mom to hold, gently picked up my precious son, let the dog outside, pulled lunch out of the oven to feed Zane, and stepped away from work for just a few minutes-all while smiling.
And you know what? It only took a few extra seconds to stop and choose which attitude I was going to use to approach these situations. I think we often psych ourselves out into thinking that choosing joy takes a ton of time and energy. I’m finding out this is a falsehood. If we consistently practice positive thinking in small things, it will become easier and quicker to choose joy in the bigger circumstances of life. It will come more naturally.
I’ve heard several people say that it usually takes at least 30 consistent days of doing an action to form it into a habit. I’m going to make myself a little challenge. Over the next 30 days, I am going to choose joy in joyless situations. It might be painful sometimes. I might fight to have selfish thoughts. But it might also be freeing and awesome.
Remember that timeless Disney classic, Peter Pan? When the Darling children are trying to learn how to fly Peter Pan says, “Now, think of the happiest things. It’s the same as having wings!”
Wendy: He can fly!
John: He can fly!
Michael: He flewed!
Peter Pan: Now you try.
Wendy: I’ll think of a mermaid lagoon, underneath a magic moon.
John: I’ll think I’m in a pirate’s cave.
Michael: I think I’ll be an Indian brave.
Peter Pan: Now everybody try!
All: One, two, three!
Wendy, John, Michael: We can fly! We can fly! We can fly!
The next time I am faced with a difficult or frustrating situation, I am going to say a “happy thought” out loud to get my heart and mind in the right place. When my boy needs extra attention I can say, “Remember that time we giggled so hard playing the tickle game? That was so priceless!” Or when the dishes and laundry pile up so high I don’t even know where to start I can say, “Wow. Look at how blessed we are! We have so many clothes to wear and utensils to use!” I’m going to say “happy thoughts” out loud daily the next 30 days. I’m curious to see how this will mold my attitude and actions into patterns that will better glorify the King. Want to take the “Thirty-Day Happy Thought” challenge with me? We can share victories and struggles with each other along the way. We can learn how to “fly” together 🙂