By Bob Haynes

Becoming A Possibilitarian


The older I get, the more convinced I am that Charles Swindoll was correct when he wrote about having only one string to pull as we approach each new day. That string is “attitude” and I have the choice to choose which attitude I will embrace.

Swindoll said: Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.

We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.

Understanding how our attitude can affect our life is vastly important to all of us today in these challenging times. Because of round-the-clock news, we all are aware of how much our world is impacted today by negativism…

So it’s important for us to find some common focus that will allow us to approach each day with optimism. I loved what Norman Vincent Peale said… Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they’re always there. Peale was talking about making positive decisions in the face of adversity because we often grow best when we are tested.

I also think that he, like Swindoll, was talking about controlling our attitude which will, in turn, allow us to raise our sights and see those possibilities. Many times when we do that we find whole new experiences out there just waiting to be explored.

We all know the consequence of not responding to our realities. Sometimes it is much easier to just sit back and be a critic, but that’s not how we can be a part of the change that is necessary for our well-being. We must choose to be doers. As Wayne Dyer once said, A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It’s easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change. All life is composed of some sort of change and we can choose how we adapt to that change.

C.S. Lewis probably put it in the best perspective when he said: The fact is that the future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

There’s a great quote that I’d like to share with you in closing that might make this column a bit more understandable. The author was Vivian Greene and she wrote: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it’s about learning to dance in the rain!” Shalom!

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