When life gets hard, our attitude and outlook on life typically take a nose dive. As you look around and see all the pain and suffering, you sometimes lose hope. You don’t have to look far to see the pain in others either.
I’m sure we would all like to be a little more positive. But at times we wonder if it’s possible.
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was in jail. And the theme of that letter is joy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think joy would cross my mind.
Joy in a prison cell is not what you would expect. While I do not want to dig into that particular book today, I would like to share a few practical things that have helped me over the years.
These are simple, but it will take discipline to practice them every day until they become a habit.
The 5 Habits
1. Start the day with gratitude. What better way to start the day than being thankful. I don’t care what’s going on, there has to be at least a half dozen positive things you can identify.
2. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Every day marketers try to make us unhappy and wanting more stuff. Then when you realize you cannot afford what they are selling, you start feeling down.
3. Be generous. Most people think only of monetary giving when it comes to generosity. And that’s important. But you also may have an opportunity, perhaps today, to be generous with your time or your talents.
4. Exercise. You will feel better and be happier.
5. Eat healthier. I am amazed at the shopping carts in the grocery store filled with soda, ice cream, desserts, and frozen processed food. We treat our cars better. Don’t underestimate the impact of a healthy diet on your energy, attitude, and overall sense of well-being.
So what habits are you starting your day with?
Carol and I recently were out of town for a meeting so we decided to grab a bite to eat. Following dinner Carol suggested we look for some dessert. Not wanting to disappoint, I pulled up a bakery on the Yelp app.
Three-tenths of a mile away. Perfect. I got the brownie and she got a cream filled puff of some sort.
Since we had just eaten dinner we decided to wait and eat our dessert when we got home. After arriving home rather than eat the whole brownie I opted to eat half and save the other half for the next day.
Actually I wanted the whole thing, but felt like that was overeating.
That’s not the only time I struggle with overdoing. I try to read too many books, watch too many football games, and take on too many projects.
To be honest I have never eaten too many carrots or apples. Desserts, low quality food, is what I struggle with. I do try to read only very good books. I clearly don’t have time to read books of little value.
The same applies to football. As the season kicks off I have to be selective. There is no way I can consume seven or eight football games in just one week. Actually three to four are about all I can watch. That is healthy number for me. Often while watching I like to read a book between plays and during commercials.
Football is like food. I can’t just indiscriminately consume it just because it is available. Diet affects us. Whether it’s food, football, or just plain fun excess is not healthy.
So let me ask you. How’s your diet?