How many times, if you are a parent, have you heard your children say “But, I don’t want to!”? Or maybe you have employees that work under you and they haven’t come right out and said those words exactly when you have given them a task to complete but everything about their tone and body language just screams it? Or how many times have you yourself said that? Or at the very least thought it? I mean, let’s be honest, don’t we all have thoughts about doing something like losing weight or finally cleaning out the closet or garage? And in our minds we are soooo motivated and think “Yeah- I’m gonna get it done!” But, when it comes time to actually do the thing, we scream, “But, I don’t want to!” and our positive mind-set quickly becomes negative.
Isn’t that the bulk of our life? Doing stuff we don’t want to? From small things like doing dishes to even greater and more serious issues of managing an illness or grieving over a lost loved one.
So, how do we combat the “But I don’t want to”, the negative syndrome within each of us? Can we? Is it even possible for us to have a positive attitude while doing all the things we have to do rather than what we want? In order for us to change our mind there has to be a benefit, right? Ok, well according to *The Mayo Clinic, maintaining a positive attitude has many health benefits!
- Increased life span.
- Lower rates of depression.
- Lower levels of distress.
- Greater resistance to the common cold.
- Better psychological and physical well-being.
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.
Sound good? Who wouldn’t like any one of these benefits if not all? However, maintaining a positive attitude is so very hard when faced with stressful or dire situations. Yet, I wonder how much stress we can reduce simply by changing our minds from “But I don’t want to” to “I may not want to do this but I am going to stay positive while doing it.” A lofty goal? Maybe. Worth the effort? Yes.
Now, this begs the question; how? How do we attempt to maintain a positive attitude when faced with the harsh realities of life? First let me say that being positive doesn’t mean you are always happy. Second, being positive may not change your circumstance. Thirdly, I believe to find a positive attitude, we need hope. Hope in a greater purpose.
In moments of frustration, desperation or just plain irritation, what do you put your hope in? Where do you find your strength to do the thing when you are screaming, “But I don’t want to!”? Where is the treasure in the “I don’t want to” times of our lives?
For me personally, I turn to the Word of God. There I find hope, strength and purpose.
May this encourage you as it does me!
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6 NIV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 28:8 NIV)
Maybe the treasure in the “But I don’t want to!” moments is learning to stay positive and putting our hope in something greater than ourselves.
Photo Credit of Pouting Girl: Holly Chaffin