In one of my all-time favorite Peanuts cartoons, Charlie Brown complains to Linus that every day his lunch is the same. When Linus asks Charlie Brown who makes his lunch, Charlie Brown looks down at the floor and says, “I do.”
When it comes to the activities of our lives, most of us make our own lunches. So while there may be some comfort in sameness, if you want different results, you must do something differently. If you’ve become a creature of habit, break some of your habits. Drive a different route to work, go to a new restaurant, visit a different church with your neighbors, donate your 2006 Christmas tie to Goodwill, read a book on a new subject. You may find you can break out of predictable patterns and discover new excitement and opportunities.
Are you stuck working in a job you hate? Who’s forcing you to get up every morning and go back there? Just like Charlie Brown, you’re making your own lunch for the day. If you’re tired of bologna, what are you doing to make a different lunch?
Don’t you get tired of hearing people looking for excuses for their circumstances? People are suing because their coffee is too hot, the floors are slippery after a rainstorm, and the road is full of potholes. A man who was fired (after repeated warnings) by IBM for visiting online pornography sites while he was at work sued the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal. We hear stories of people planting worms in soup and creating phony car accidents, hoping to find someone to pay for their “misfortunes.” Even following “acts of God” (tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes), people look for someone to blame. I don’t know of anything more crippling to the ability to see new opportunities than this lack of personal responsibility. If you believe you are being trapped, controlled by your present circumstances, or held back by the government, a spouse, a grandfather, an uncle, your company, or your church, you have already defined your limitations.
If you’re tired of having bologna every day:
- Stop blaming others or thinking circumstances are controlling you
- Recognize your obstacle or setback may be an opportunity in disguise
- Keep your dreams alive – even when others are shooting holes in them
- Swing by Whole Foods on your way home today and pick up a package of sliced turkey
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