We’ve talked before about the unavoidability of difficult times and how endurance and perseverance is important “so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4)
Last week, we spoke about the difference between joy and happiness and how joy is the ability to experience peace and contentment in spite of difficulties, circumstances, and criticisms. While happiness depends on things like the economy, weather, social status, and health, joy can always be found in God. It’s no wonder then that the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek word enthousiasmos, from enthous (en=“in” and theos=“God”).
Today, I want to talk to you about one specific thing you can do to win the battle over your mind and maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude throughout the day:
Shift your mindset and vocabulary from “I have to” to “I get to”.
The battle in our minds can be intense. Winning the battle, however, can mean the difference between sporadic happiness and complete peace and joy.
We often pray to God to change our circumstances, but what He is really interested in is changing our minds. If He could do that, our circumstances would change too since actions begin as thoughts. Bad thoughts lead to bad actions. Good thoughts lead to good actions.
You may not think you can control your thoughts, but you can! Remember that our beliefs dictate our reality. If you think you can’t control your mind, you won’t be able to. You have to think it first.
And thinking depends on the words you use. For example, most people use the phrase “I have to” rather than the enthusiastic, “I get to!” You may not realize how important this small shift in words and thoughts can be.
Every time you think “I get to share Jesus” or “I get to go to work” instead of “I have to,” your actions will begin to change and a whole new life will emerge.
“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).
Be careful how you think. Sometimes your thoughts are conscious, sometimes unconscious, but they are always powerful determinants for your life.
I’ve said before that “a lie that stays in our life long enough becomes a belief. And as soon as it becomes a belief, when it moves from head to heart, it begins to dictate our actions.”
Our thoughts determine our reality. If you don’t try to manage your mind, you’ll feel overwhelmed and stressed out because you are allowing lies and negative thoughts to control your life. It’s all about how you think, which depends on the subject matter and vocabulary of those thoughts.
Here’s my challenge:
Start thinking and saying, “I get to ________.” Fill in the blank with anything that you have the opportunity to do throughout the day, from going to work and doing homework to sharing Jesus and His message with others.
“I get to” and “I have to”—those words mean something. As silly as this sounds, this small shift in vocabulary can have a profound effect on your attitude.
Be careful of other thoughts you have throughout the day as well. Start choosing replacement words and phrases for the lies and negative talk going on in your brain. And start thinking about others, about Jesus, His example and His promise.
Until we see each other again, Live Passionately, Live Generously, and Impact this World for God.
Hey, this is Todd Phillips, your online pastor and high performance coach.
I want to talk today about how to have a positive attitude every day. I mean, that’s a good subject, right? We’d all want to have a positive attitude everyday if we could.
Well, I want to take you back to when I became a Christ-follower. This was actually back in 1994. I came to know who Jesus was as my personal Lord and Savior.
And one of the things I couldn’t believe (I was 24 years old at the time), I just couldn’t believe that no one else had shared that with me. I was just shocked that there were so many people around me that were followers of Jesus that never shared Christ with me, told me about Jesus or what he offered, the forgiveness that he offered and this abundant life that He promised in the Bible.
And I just, when I became a Christian, I wanted to share Jesus with everybody I met—in fact, I did, probably annoyingly so. I was just fired up and passionate about it.
And you know, the point is is that I saw sharing my faith as an opportunity. I felt like, “Wow man, I get to share Jesus with other people because I know Him. This is the coolest opportunity that I have as a Christian.”
And yet, I started going to church and just weeks into my church experience back in ’94, I started realizing that most people in the church—and this is I think still true today—that most people in the church didn’t see sharing their faith as an opportunity. They saw it as an obligation.
They didn’t see it the way I saw it where I get to share my faith. They were saying, “I have to share my faith because I’m a Christ-follower.” Or, “I have to share my faith because the Great Commission in Matthew 28 tells me to go do that. Jesus tells me to do it so I should do it.”
As an obligation rather than an opportunity. But I was living my life seeing it as an opportunity—I get to share my faith.
And I actually wrote an entire book. I just want to say this, it’s a bit of a side note, but it comes to the point. I wrote a whole book that in many ways is centered around this idea, this shift in thinking from “I have to” to “I get to.”
And the book is called Complete Joy: The Best Kept Secret of Sharing Your Faith. In fact, if you’ll go to toddphillips.com (the link will be below). If you just go to toddphillips.com and you sign up for my blog, you just put your name and email in there, I’ll send you a free copy of that ebook, Complete Joy: The Best Kept Secret of Sharing Your Faith.
I want to share that with you because it really will talk more in depth about what I’m talking about today especially as it relates to us as Christ-followers—freely giving out what we have freely received from God. Salvation, this relationship we’ll have with Him forever.
So, I hope you’ll do that—toddphillips.com—I hope you get that free ebook and sign up for our weekly video blogs. But, here’s how to have a positive attitude every day because it goes beyond just sharing our faith. It’s simply moving from have to to get to.
Now, as silly as this sounds, this small shift in thinking can have a profound influence on the way you see everything throughout the day. It can have a profound influence on your attitude every day toward even the more challenging things that you deal with, whether it’s traffic or standing in line at Starbuck’s or having a problem with a co-worker or a challenging situation at home. Whatever it is, moving from have to to get to.
For example, some people live their lives saying “I have to share Jesus,” right? But then others say, “I get to share Jesus.” And just that shift—did you see my eyes and my eyebrows?—I have to share Jesus, I get to share Jesus. It’s a shift in attitude because those words mean something in our minds. Our conscious mind responds that way.
How about this one: “I have to go to work” versus “I get to go to work.” Or: “I have to do my homework” versus “I get to do my homework.”
And as silly as it sounds, you’re going, “Well who would want to say, ‘I get to do my homework’?” but just the shift in vocabulary shifts our attitude.
I know this is short and to the point, short and sweet, but try it!
That’s my challenge to you today: just try it. The next time you’re in a line at Starbuck’s and there’s 11 people in front of you—this happened to me this morning. I’m in line and I know I’m coming here to do this video and hang out with you today and I was like, “Wow, I get to stand in line at Starbuck’s.”
And as crazy as it sounds, I started laughing to myself and it changed my whole attitude. Just try it. It’s just a slight shift that can have a profound impact.
Until we see each other again, Live Passionately, Live Generously, and Impact this World for God.[after video]
Hey, it’s Todd. Did you get something out the video you just watched? I really hope you did.
I mean, that’s my passion—to give you something that can be applied rightly to your life, right now.
Listen, if that happened, I want you to go right here, and just click on this subscription, this subscribe button, and it’ll take you straight to the page, and you can subscribe to my blog and get this content coming to your inbox every week.
I hope you’ll let me do that. I hope you’ll allow us to be on this journey together. See you soon!
Live Large for God!
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