I frequently draw from the wisdom of the Peanuts comic strip. In one episode, Lucy announces, “Boy, do I feel crabby!”
Her little brother Linus, is quick to try to rescue his sister. “Maybe I can be of help. Why don’t you just take my place here in front of the TV while I go and fix you a nice snack? Sometimes we all need a little pampering to help us feel better.” Then Linus brings her a sandwich, a few chocolate chip cookies, and some milk.
“Now is there anything else I can get you?” he asks. “Is there anything I haven’t thought of?”
“Yes there’s one thing you haven’t thought of,” Lucy responds. And then she screams in his direction, “I don’t want to feel better!”
Lucy exemplifies a characteristic I see in a lot of people. They don’t really want to change. Bad attitudes, bad decisions, bad habits and bad results just seem to be too comfortable to risk any substantial change. I hear from people who describe in great detail the misery of their work – but given a plan to change, they do nothing. They continue in what I call “comfortable misery.” Things are bad but it gives them something to complain about and it becomes part of their identity. Poor Paul gets beat up by his boss, is underpaid and overworked – and boy, would he like to tell you all about it.
We all have things in our histories that we cannot change. We can’t change our nationality, our parents or the health we had yesterday — But we all have the ability to change our thinking, attitudes and actions today. And those will impact our results tomorrow.
In “Today Matters” John Maxwell tells the story of a 92-yr-old lady who was moving into a nursing home. As she was being wheeled down the corridor to her new room, the attendant began to describe the room. “I love it,” the old women enthused. “But you haven’t even seen the room yet,” the attendant reminded her. “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind.”