One day, Marissa was strolling on the beach.
And that was when she stumbled upon a lovely Genie’s lamp.
With much excitement, she picked it up and rubbed it. True enough, POOF, a giant Genie appeared right in front of her!
The bald-headed fellow bowed low before Marissa and said, “Lady, your wish shall be my command. What do you want me to do for you?”
Startled by the phenomenal site in front of her, she could only think of one thing. She said, “World Peace”.
“Eh?” The Genie scratched his head. “Lady, this isn’t a Beauty Pageant. My goodness, you want me to give you World Peace? That’s impossible. I mean, think of the Middle East conflict that has been there for the past 3000 years. Or the tribal wars in Africa… C’mon Lady, give me a break. Can you think of something easier?”
Marissa began to think hard. Finally, she said, “I’m still single. And I want to meet a really drop-dead gorgeous guy who doesn’t smoke, drink, gamble, or womanize. He should be kind, thoughtful, responsible, and godly. He should also earn a lot of money. Finally, I want him to fall in love with me the moment he sees me.”
For a few moments, the Genie stared at Marissa.
Finally he said, “You know what? Let’s just work on World Peace…”
Friends, Marisa has to fire this Genie.
Let me tell you why…
The Story of Jessica Cox
Jessica Cox is a happy 25-year old Filipina-American woman.
But she was born with a rare birth defect.
She was born without arms.
Doctors cannot explain why. But her father, an American retired music teacher, and her mother, a nurse from Samar, gave her all the love she needed to overcome her disability.
And overcome, she did.
Today, Jessica is a licensed pilot, flying her airplane with her feet.
She also has 2 Black Belts from the American Tae Kwon-Do Federation and the International Tae Kwon-Do Association.
With her feet, she also plays the piano, drives a car, texts her friends on her cell phone, and puts on her contact lenses all by herself.
I read her story and realized anew the power of our dreams.
Almost anything is possible for those who believe.
We need a Genie that believes this.
But you have more than a Genie. You have a God within you who has given you all the resources you need to fulfill the dreams He has planted in your heart.
Focus Not On Your Disability,
Focus On Your Dreams
Jessica could have just moped at home, angry at God that she as born without arms. She could have sat and watched TV the whole day, wasting her life in misery. She could have just cried and cried, “I don’t have arms!”
Instead, she shouted with joy, “I have legs!”
All of us have disabilities.
Perhaps you don’t like how you look. Perhaps you come from a broken family. Perhaps you were born poor. Perhaps you were molested as a child. Perhaps your boyfriend dumped you. Perhaps you don’t have a job right now.
I’ve got good news for you. You can be happy. You can overcome!
Whatever your disability is, the key to overcome it is by not focusing on it.
Don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you have.
Don’t focus on your disabilities, focus on your possibilities!
Don’t Aim For Zero
Dan Baker in his great book, What Happy People Know, gives a mathematical explanation why focusing on our problems don’t work.
Imagine that because of your problem, you’re a negative ten.
In trying to fix your problem, you’re trying to move back to zero.
From my experience, this is slow. Fixing problems is tiring. Perhaps after a few months, you’d be able to raise yourself from a negative ten to a negative eight.
Here’s a better way: Don’t focus on your problem, focus on your dream.
When you do, you leapfrog from a negative ten to a positive ten. You bypass zero! Why? Because dreams excite. Big dreams attract more energy, more attention, and more resources.
We’re Trained To Focus on Problems
I asked my staff to get me a bunch of old newspapers and divide them into two piles. Based on their headlines, divide into Good News and Bad News.
You know what happened, right?
I got a tall pile of Bad News, and teensy weensy pile of Good News.
Media sells Bad News. We’ve been trained to focus on your Bad News.
The other day, I gave a seminar to 200 Store Managers of a clothing company. I told them to stop reading the newspaper (figuratively). Because all they read about is negative: the financial crisis, companies closing down, and people losing their jobs… It’s so depressing.
They’ll be opening their stores with this outlook in life. “Oh boy, no one will come in and buy our clothes…” And when someone does enter their store, they’ll say to themselves, “She’s just going to look. She won’t buy…”
But when you focus on your problems, you begin to have tunnel vision. Like a horse with blinders. You miss out on the fantastic opportunities for expansion and blessing outside your narrow vision.
Here’s a business tip for entrepreneurs: Don’t just solve problems. Focus on your dreams. Solving the problems becomes part of reaching for your dreams—but you did it with passion and excitement.
Why Focusing On Your Dream Is Important
To Your Happiness
The act of choosing is oxygen for your soul.
Choosing feels good!
I’ve met countless of people who can’t choose. They run their lives on fear. Because they fear others, and what other people say, they let other people run their lives. Their bosses. Their families. Their friends.
That is one miserable way to live.
Happy people create their future. It’s not created for them. They deliberately choose what they want to do and where they want to go.
I met a big executive who was so harassed at work, working 16 hours a day. His family was a mess, his health was a mess. I told him to take a month-long leave to pray and reach out to his wife and kids. He said he couldn’t do it. “My boss will kill me!” he says. He was afraid he’d lose his job, lose the lifestyle he was accustomed to having. He was afraid of what other people will say if he downgrades. This big, imposing, intimidating man was really a coward, a man run by many fears.
In my last blog, I wrote that the only antidote to fear is love.
God’s love for you. And your love for God. Love for others. Love for oneself. And love for life itself!
In my next blog, I’ll continue these thoughts on real happiness.
By the way, this is a short version of the talks I give at the Sunday FEAST at Valle Verde Country Club, Pasig. If you live in Metro Manila, join me each Sunday at the FEAST. It’s the happiest place on earth. For more information, call Tel. 7259999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May your dreams come true,
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