I heard once, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your hope."
My challenge for you today is to choose differently—don’t let the little things that are out of your control dominate you. I know, that's easier said than done.
When I was five years-old, my mother read to me The Little Engine That Could. This is a story that taught me the value of optimism and hard work. I'd say this children's book was no doubt the foundation of my determination to move forward in life, even when life appeared pretty dim.
Truth be told, in the heat of the moment the biggest difference between peace and stress is attitude. It’s all about how you look at a situation and what you decide to do with it. It’s remembering that there are no certainties in life—you don’t know exactly what the future will bring. So your best strategy for living is to make the best and most positive use of the present moment, even when it disappoints you.
Last week, I was so upset at what I saw was happening on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I felt sadness, anger and even disgust. I knew that I was in a place to where the events which were transpiring right before me could have a huge effect upon my mood and the work I was about to do...speak live to 30 school leaders throughout the state of Colorado. How could I encourage them and lead them when I was feeling pretty emotionally upset?
I quickly went for a walk to get some fresh air but to mostly work on my head...my mental state. I said to myself, "I can't speak to these leaders, I'm not in a good mental state..."Then, it came to me! "I think I can...I think I can...I think I can! I'm can change my attitude."
During my walk, I said to myself, "Michael, what's happening in D.C. right now is horrible but you CAN bring hope, peace and enthusiasm to the leaders of these schools which you are going to speak to." I began to realize that my life with all its ups and downs with all its unexpected twists and turns, has strengthened me and just like the little Engine that could, I too can get up the "hill" in the face of a difficult challenge!
If you have the courage to admit that you’re a little scared, the ability to smile even as you cry, the nerve to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need.