If You Don’t Like the Picture, Focus on the Backdrop

While this message might be better suited for a few weeks back before we started the new year, I believe it is still relevant, and perhaps even more so for right now. At the beginning of the year many of us, myself included plan, project, and attempt to do many things. That never gets finished, assuming they ever got started in the first place.

So as we begin to settle into 2021 and find our stride, I want to encourage you today to take a 360-degree view of yourself. For some of us, even looking at ourselves in the mirror is a struggle. But I really want you to open yourself up to introspective thinking and evaluation. And I want you to focus on more than just your physical appearance, but to take a look at your life holistically and determine in each role you have what needs to change and what doesn’t.

Why do I think this is important to do anytime during the year, although there is not a better time than now? And why do you need to look beyond the surface to really discover what needs to change? Because I think many of us never get beyond the surface. We look at what we can see and we don’t like the picture, and we turn away. Mistake.

Shortly, I want to talk about facts and problems. But before we dive into that, let’s establish what is true right now. Wherever you are right now, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, etc. is a result of the choices you have made up until now in your life. Whether you are exceedingly happy or completely disappointed in the picture of your life, your reality is your truth.

If this was the end of the story, that might be really bad news for some of you. But the good news is, nothing could be further from the truth. Eleanor Roosevelt’s prophetic quote still rings true. “Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.”

My friend, I want to encourage you to open that gift and get the most out of it that you possibly can. With all apologies to Mrs. Roosevelt, you can take the mystery out of tomorrow by making the right choices today. The physical person you see in the picture of your life cannot be changed, but there are a million ways you can change the backdrop to make the picture look much better. Today.

You see, my friend, we get stuck by facts that we cannot change. In fact not only stuck, we sometimes hurt ourselves by trying to change things that cannot be changed. You are who you are and where you are because of what has happened to you – up until now. Rather than wasting your time trying to change facts, find a problem to solve. And when you’ve solved it, solve another, and another.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that you spend your day(s) focusing on your problems. I AM suggesting that you acknowledge your problems and then creatively come up with solutions. That is some hard work that is worth investing your time in. The girl or guy in the picture cannot be changed. But the backdrop that they paint for their lives can be created in a million different ways. The more hope you have, the more creative you can be. I hope you’ll start today.

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