Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” And, he was right! He might have even understated it. Maybe life is closer to 100% how he reacts to it. Have you ever thought about how two people can come out of the same experience with completely different results? Once, when I was single, I went to a fireside with a guy friend. I found the speaker to be inspired, and his message really resonated with me. I was so glad I had gone because I really needed to hear what he had to say. I asked my friend what he thought of the fireside. He said, “He was wearing an ugly tie and he had a monotone voice. It put me to sleep. I didn’t really like it.” I was so shocked! How was it that I got so much out of the fireside, but he found it extremely boring?
You could argue that it was because I needed to hear the message, and my friend didn’t, but I think the real reason I had a better experience was what was going on in our individual heads. My thoughts were very different from his thoughts. My focus was very different from his focus. It made all the difference.
So, how can we have more positive reactions to our experiences? It starts with our thoughts. We have over 6,000 thoughts a day, and many of them go completely unnoticed by us. Our brains operate on auto-pilot much of the time, and thoughts we’ve repeatedly had over the years will come without us even realizing it. For example, when you look in the mirror, what do you think? Do you think negative thoughts about your appearance? Why? Why don’t you think something like, “I am one of God’s beautiful creations, just the way I am?” Probably the reason is because you’ve developed a pattern of negative self-talk when you look in the mirror. You thought those negative thoughts so much they have become like truth to you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have the power to choose your thoughts, which means you have the power to change your results. Give it a try!