The story is told of an American prisoner of war, caught along with a number of other Americans and held by the enemy, repeatedly abused and tortured for several years. Following his release and being awarded a national honour for devising a common sense method that helped his fellow POW’s (prisoners of war) survive the endless tortures by teaching them to put a scale on the pain they felt; which helped them to mentally expect greater pain and therefore keep their strength for the worse, rather than the current pain they were feeling at any point in time.
When he was asked about the POW’s that died during the years they were incarcerated, his response “it was only the optimists that died. They always believed they would be released by Christmas, and then by Easter and then by thanksgiving and then the next Christmas again; they died of broken hopes and hearts”. Asked whether it was wrong to have faith like the folks that died he said ” I never lost faith that I will return home therefore I needed to ensure that happened”.
Faith moves, optimism waits!….and waits…even till the point of death.
I am learning not to be a mere optimist but one possessing enough faith to take what God has in store for me. Check out these four points that should move you from being a mere optimist to gaining the faith to move forward.
1. Is your belief for a change in your circumstances dependent on a person other than God and the incredible abilities he has deposited in your person? If it is, mind not who it is you depend on; your are an optimist not a moving with faith to your desired goal. On your way forward, people will always be important to your progress and some will be key to it; but keep your belief centered not on them, but God and this amazing creation he has made called you.
2. Gain knowledge of the way forward– read the word of God, get mentors, research books, speak with folks who have been where you are before, talk to the people you respect. Everyday, gain a new insight into the way forward and remember that all the sources and people here defer to the above first point. Recently I read a times article that listed the 25 best business management books of all time and because I intend to be successful in business, I have set myself a target of reading all 25. I am on the fourth….but I will get there!
3. Develop your strategy for achieving your goals– these should be built on the knowledge you have gained in No 2 above. You must have a plan; that’s what separates the optimist. If you want to live up to 100 years for example you will not neglect your health at 40- you will develop the healthy lifestyle that will sustain your body through that target age. That’s an act of faith not sheer optimism.
4. Get exceedingly busy implementing your strategy and learning more about the way forward on your plans. Don’t look back!
You will find how SURPRISING it is that it’s only the folks who are moving tirelessly in the direction of the change they desire that become (in the sight of the optimist) “LUCKY”, “BLESSED” or have “AMAZING TESTIMONIES”.
I have chosen to be the ‘lucky’ guy, I have chosen to be the ‘blessed’ guy, I have chosen to be the one with an ‘amazing testimony’. I have a picture of the future and an unshaken faith that, rooted in God, I will not just achieve, I will surpass the dream.
God bless us, Everyone!