A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The flood waters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
You may be thinking something like: How do I become more optimistic more effectively? Funny you should ask, because I have a number of suggestions that will help you develop more outstanding optimism.
1 Clean. Clean yourself, make your bed, fold laundry; get your hair done.No need to do everything, just get started and work on a little bit at a time. Making order out of chaos is very therapeutic.
2 Go for a walk or run. The subtle yet powerful benefits are hard to ignore. If you are worried about weather conditions go to the mall. Dozens of people actually do this before the stores open in the morning. It makes for a nice climate controlled track minus the hustle and bustle.
3 Remember to tell yourself the next time you are frustrated, “Ahhh" like you just stepped in a perfectly heated relaxing hot tub. Back in the day, to be funny, a friend of mine and I would say or do the opposite of what people expected us. For instance, have you ever been walking around barefoot and stubbed your naked toe on the corner of your bed or some furniture or a sharpened ax? When that would happen, just for effect, after saying "Oww! I mean, ahhh!” Guess what, that actually worked. It made others laugh and the pain was not nearly as bad. Try it next time you stub your naked toe.
4 Find a deal at the thrift store. Then when you are wearing those sweet gently used Volcom pants and someone gives you a compliment, proudly declare where you got them for $10. So Savvy!
5 Take action on a goal you have neglected, like repairing that curtain rod that is falling off the wall.
6 Write a real letter to someone. Express appreciation to them or ask them how they are for real; as cool as it is to get a text, a letter in the mail is even cooler.
7 Try a new recipe. Nothing says optimistic like learning to make homemade donuts, mmm.
8 Share this list with someone you know and discuss it on your walk with them, and you each can share with each other what action you will take. “I’m going to do #4 on Saturday, wanna come with me and go to a movie afterward?”
So there they are. I'm totally incomplete list for increasing real optimism. It's never too late, and hey if you have more suggestions there is definitely room for more. I'd love to hear about them!