3 Actions You Can Take Now to Shift Your Emotional State

A few weeks ago, I had to speak five times in one day. I knew it would require a lot of me mentally and emotionally. My goal is always to give 110 percent. I want nothing left on the table when I finish.

Close Up of a Hand Down Shifting a Manual Transmission - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dtimiraos, Image #4801950

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/dtimiraos

But, for some reason, I woke up that morning in a funk. I don’t know why. It was one of those things I couldn’t explain. But I didn’t like it and knew I needed to get myself in a better place if I was going to deliver on my goal.

There was a time when I thought I couldn’t change my attitude. I viewed myself as the victim of mysterious forces that shaped my emotional state. It never occurred to me that I could shift it—almost instantly.

But as I have learned since, we have more control than we think. Moreover, Tony Robbins taught me how to apply this principle to my emotional state. Without question, it is the single most important life skill I have acquired.

Let me elaborate.

You can instantly shift your attitude by taking the following three actions:

  1. Shift your mental focus. This is where it starts. I can choose what I think about. For example, I can think, Argh, I have to speak five times today. Or, I can think, Wow, I get to speak five times today. This is so important, that I have literally written down a script that I recite before I speak. This is how I prime the pump:
    • I am not here by accident. God sent me. To these people. At exactly this time.
    • That’s because He has a purpose; therefore, I have a purpose in being here.
    • Through Christ, I can do all things. He has given me every resource I need to succeed.
    • I have the energy, the passion, and the message to make a huge impact—now and for eternity.
    • What I have to share today is vitally important. It matters. To them and to their loved ones.
    • Those that hear it will be changed forever. Years from now, they will look back on today and say, “It started here.”
    • By God’s grace, I am prepared. I am strong. I am energetic. I am outstanding. My heart is wide open. I will connect and make a difference!
  2. Change your posture. Do you know that every emotion has physical attributes? For example, if I say to you, “act like you are depressed,” you would likely slump your shoulders, tilt your head down, and rub your face. You would frown and your breathing might slow down.

    If I say to you, “act like you won the lottery,” you would likely jump up and down, thrust your arms up into the air, and scream with joy. You would smile and your breathing might speed up.

    Does the emotion cause the action or does the action cause the emotion? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you smile, for example, and hold it for several seconds, it will change your biochemistry.

    In an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a team of psychologists at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, showed that simply having people put their facial muscles in a configuration typical of a given emotion produced the feeling that the expressions represent. (See this article in the New York Times and this one in Scientific American.)

  3. Watch your language. Our words are more important than we think. They reflect our thinking. But they sometimes influence our thinking as well.

    Words have tremendous power. King Solomon reminds us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

    But rarely do we apply these words to the language we use in talking to ourselves. For example, you ask someone, “How are you doing?” They respond, “Well, I’m surviving.” Strangely, those words shape their reality—or at least their perception of it. They end up barely getting by.

    Conversely, I have another friend who always replies, “Outstanding!” This too shapes his reality. He always seems to be doing well. I know he has challenges, but his words empower him and give him the resources he needs to overcome them.

Honestly, this formula works for me every time—almost like a recipe. If I am deliberate about taking these three actions, my emotional state shifts.

The good news is that this puts me—and you—in control. And often this spells the difference between success and failure.

Have your doubts? Take the seven day challenge. Try this for seven days and see if it doesn’t make a difference. Report back with your results. I’d love to hear.

Question: What would being able to shift your emotional state at will make possible for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    I agree with all these three actions, Michael! All these start from the mind and overflow through the mouth with the posture as the central figure.

    I especially like your script! I like to add John 8:29 where Jesus provides us a glimpse of His ‘script’: “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him”. Isn’t that awesome!

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Great addition, Joe!  I will add that to the list.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        That’s great, Chris.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That is a great scripture to use in the times when we’re feeling low.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        That surely is an energizer, Joe!

    • http://leadershipandproductivity.com/ Kenneth Acha

      I agree with you Michael! Joe your addition is great! Something I have done that is very helpful to preemptively strike against some of these emotional downs is that I have declarations that I read aloud to myself every morning. John 8:29 is a good scripture to add to my list of declarations. Saying this every morning makes it easy for it to be something that enters our subconscious and helps us deal with things without even being aware of them.

      I like Michael’s discussion of the our words influencing our behavior. That is a pearl that has worked for me as well. The battlefield of everything that goes on in our lives is our mind. The place of the skull, Golgotha, where we must win our battles everyday is the brain. Jesus won the battle for us at Golgotha (the place of the skull), we must win our battles in our brains (that lives in our skull).

      Yes, I agree with Michael. I have seen this many times. There are two ways to change our feelings. 1) You can change your thinking, which then changes  your behavior, which then changes your feelings. 2) You can change your behavior and that alone will change your emotions. And if you understand the physiology of the nervous system, the generation of electical signals, the synapsis, the neurotransmitters and the general biochemical make up and physiology of the body, this pathways are not difficult to understand. The trouble is that we often don’t take time to do what is right. For example, I know what Michael just said and have taught it to many people. But this morning, I was feeling kind of down! All I need to do is take my own advice. It wasn’t until Michael’s post reminded me!

      So, knowledge is good. Understanding is even better. But application (which is wisdom) makes all the difference.

      I agree with Michael when he says that our thinking and our speech go together and modify one another. About a year ago, I had a Eureka moment when this dawned on me as I was journaling. I was so excited and shared with my wife “Thinking and Speaking are the same exact thing! They are two different phases of the same process.” You never stop thinking and then speak. No, it’s almost like a weird chemical reaction that is in equilibrium and the two half-arrows go in opposite directions (for those of you who remember high school chemistry). One is never completely done. No wonder why I seem to understand things better when I teach them to someone!

      When I understood the relationship between our words and our thoughts. I understood what the apostle John meant when he said. Jesus is “the Word of God”.
      Like Michael rightly alluded, I will say that our words are an audible, perceptible representation of our invisible thoughts. They are ONE and the Same thing, but just different expressions of it. You can’t separate your words from your thoughts. They are one and modify one another. That is how Jesus and God are. You can’t see God (he is spirit), but Jesus is a representation of God. You can’t separate the two. When I was meditating and came up with this, you can guess, I was excited. I had read the phrase Jesus is the word of God many times but never stopped to think!

      Thanks Michael for the great post!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks for building on my post, Kenneth. These are some excellent thoughts. I also agree that thoughts and words are really two halves of the same coin.

        • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

          Great post Michael.  Thanks

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Great thoughts, Kenneth. That’s a post inside a post! It was something wonderful what you mentioned about the connection between thoughts and words.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is REALLY awesome, Joe. I never thought of that as a script. But like most powerful scripts, it is just truth!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks, Michael. Yes, it is the truth that we recite which strengthens us.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Great attitude Joe. You can’t go wrong with claiming scripture!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        You are right Kelly! Thanks.

      • Stacy Harp

         Amen, that’s so true.  Proclaiming scripture is the awesome way to go! Life and death are in the tongue.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      This is right on point Joe! Since I have realized that I am in control of my thoughts, I have noticed a huge difference. I hope to say as Jesus did that I always do what pleases God!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        That’s true, Brandon. Realizing what we can releases boldness and freedom to achieve the goal.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Good thought Joe.  

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks, Tim.

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Amen, Joe – yes that scripture is awesome!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        I agree, Stacy!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Excellent, Joe! I’d never considered that Jesus also reminded himself verbally of the truth.

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks, Michele. We can learn powerful principles from the earthly life of our Lord!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Great thought!

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks, Daren.

    • http://dsargentblog.us/ Darin Sargent

      Excellent addition Joe.  Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I believe I can use my words to war against my negative emotions.  Having been born with what some would call a disability in my life has caused me to focus on how I think and as a result my words must reflect what I believe God has in store for me.  

      I often tell youth that you cannot live life by letting your circumstances define who you are – we need to look into the Word of God and see that God has already defined us and He has a great plan for us.  So circumstances cannot define me I must define them and put them in proper perspective.  

      • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

        Thanks Darin. It’s true that it’s not our circumstances that define our identity. Circumstances aren’t predictable but God’s Word is. And it defines our identity. As we speak in line with it, our true identity begin to manifest!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    Being able to control our emotions is one of the greatest gifts that come with walking with God. A long time ago, God ministered to me the importance of my words, and I changed the way I spoke by never speaking anything that reflects death and/or cursings (see Deuteronomy 30:15-20). My focus is life (the life more abundant than the loss, death, and destruction that evil is trying to consume us with)–this life is the reason Christ came in the first place (John 10:10). This past fall, when my husband was critically ill, God boosted me over fear and despair with the inner words–”You are equipped to handle this through Christ.” That became my mantra as I walked through those harrowing days and made important decisions. God sustained me through the power of what Christ accomplished on the cross and my husband has made great progress in his recovery. I am so grateful for God’s absolute love.  

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Patricia, I’m glad to hear that your husband has made progress in his recovery. I love it when God give us a word to us in our lives.

    • Rachel Lance

      Thanks for sharing about God’s work in your life, Patricia – so encouraging! I’m so glad for your husband’s recovery.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great example, Patricia. I love the passage from Deuteronomy too.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Glad to read about your wonderful story, Patricia!

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Amen, Patricia… your story is so inspiring!  I’m thankful your husband has made great progress.  Do you have a website?

      • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

        Yep and a book, too. Website: http://www.godsabsolutelove.com   Book: God’s Absolute Love: Perfect, Complete, and Real  (available everywhere).

        • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

           Cool, thank you. I’m going to visit the site today and look around.

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Thanks for the recipe!  I can tell you that this is timely for me.  I will take you up on your seven day challenge and report back.

    • Rachel Lance

      Way to jump in, Chris! Can’t wait to hear how the challenge goes – good luck!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Can’t wait to hear how it goes, Chris!

  • Anonymous

    My dad used to say to me, “Hey bud, attitudes are a choice.  Make a different choice.”  This was back when I was a teenager.  Now as a father of teenagers, I have turned into my dad.  Which I am thankful for.

    A bad attitude usually stems from self pity.  To me, self pity stems from thinking too much of my self.  It’s not that I need to think less of myself.  It’s that I need to think of myself less.

    I have eternity thanks to the grace of God.  Why should I have a bad attitude anyway.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Dave, that is a great story about your dad. He imparted one of the greatest truths that he could to you. If only more parents would let their children know this.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your dad was a wise man. Mine too. He taught me the same thing. I also like your insight about self-pity. I think you are right.

      • Anonymous

        Michael,

        I just left corporate life and am about to launch a with a blog focused on “Leadership My Dad’s Way.”  He was recently featured in Part 3 of The History Channel’s Vietnam in HD.  General Jim Anderson was the Master of the Sword (Department Head, Department of Physical Education) at West Point for 24 years.  He influence generations of our current military leadership. He taught me a lot

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I agree.  When I start feeling sorry for myself, I know that I need to do something for someone else.  That always helps change my perspective.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      My brother would often say “you made me!” After that my parents would respond with “No, you made the decision to…” It would always make him upset but he eventually got it. It is amazing what we can control and if we just realized that and put it into action things would change!

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        Maybe when I become a Dad, I’ll use the same phrase. I really like it.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Dave -
      That is a great thought from what it appears to be from a great dad. 

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Dave, that’s a great advice from your dad! Also I like the way you explained self pity – ”
      It’s not that I need to think less of myself.  It’s that I need to think of myself less.” Beautiful!

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Dave  – great reminder… I love the phrase… Make a different choice.  I may just make a graphic with that saying on it, to remind me all of the time.  And you’re right about self pity….

    • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

      Love that, Dave.  Great advice as my kids are starting to reach the age of reason (getting out of the toddler years).  I can already see their eyes rolling at this notion, but truer words couldn’t be said.

      I also really like the remark about thinking of self less vs. thinking less of self.  One to grow on, thank you!

    • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

      Love that. I will ask my kids: “What kind of day are you going have?” Trying to encourage, “A good one!” 

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        At the least, it helps them to see that how they answer the question at the end of the day was almost entirely up to them!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Michael, I’ve been working on a similar principal for quite some time. Shifting my focus from “I have to” to “I have a choice in what I’m doing” has made a great difference in my attitude. Whenever I’m in a slump, I start to think of it as an opportunity rather than a requirement. Amazingly, the attitude changes and I remove that cloud of despair.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      That’s a great principle, Joe! Really love it.

  • http://wordsofwilliams.com/ Eric Williams

    It’s all about perspective and the lens we look through isn’t it? I have found this to be true as well for the people we spend time with. Some people can be energy suckers and seem to bring you down with them. I’ve tried to be intentional by staying away from those people. Great post!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Perspective is huge, but very difficult. It is a discipline, not something that just happens on it’s own. Thanks, Eric.

    • http://leadershipandproductivity.com/ Kenneth Acha

      Eric,
      I agree with you. It is unfortunate that there a people like that. But I’ve also noticed that emotional state is more  contagious than yawning. So when I see people with poor emotional states who are resistant to help, unfortunately, I “run”.

      I have learned that if you are Elizabeth who is pregnant with a promised baby (John the Baptist), you want to hang around Mary’s who will Make your baby leap for joy in your womb and set you up to prophesy and praise God. There are others who make you depressed and can have an abortion and lose your baby out of stress.

      Of course, this doesn’t mean that we avoid people in need. It just means that we know that we ourselves are not invincible and so approach them with care, raising our protective guards so that we ourselves don’t fall into the same weakness.

      • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

         Boundaries are essential and the bible says bad company corrupts good morals, and I believe that applies to negative people.  If you don’t feed negativity, eventually it will go away.

        • Jim Martin

          Stacy, you make a great point.  I have learned that when I spend too much time with negative people, I can easily begin to think that way.

          • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

             Yup, and one of the most common places I’ve encountered it is the church worship team.  Be careful if you’re on a church worship team.

          • Sandra Mesa

            I think I need to respond… so true… Everytime I lead worship at church and this particular woman is singing alto part there seems to be calamity…  God is good… I’m not complaining… But, I’m always complimented on how great the worship was… God is still sovereign. Surround yourself around lifters and people that make you a better person.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I try to do this too. I am very careful about choosing my friends. I may reach out to others, but I only want energy multipliers in my inner circle. (That’s the kind of person I want to be too.)

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Eric in the house! Good seeing you here, as always!

  • http://www.helenaleite.tateauthor.com/ Helena Leite

    Hello Michael, this is my first time leaving a comment in your blog. I’ve been reading it for almost two months and I feel very blessed to have come across it.
    This post today was just what I needed to hear, I have my first Book Signing today, and I feel nervous to the point of actually feeling sick to my stomach. I am definitely going to put these attitude shifting tips to work.
    I specially want to say that your script has helped me a lot today; it was as God himself told me that this day is not an accident, but is part of His purpose for me. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I love hearing stories like this. I am especially glad the timing worked out!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Good luck on your book signing! With these tips in mind, you’ll do great. God bless.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Helena,
      Your first book signing? That’s FANTASTIC! It’s going to be a great event, and I hope you are encouraged by all the people that appreciate, and discover, your gift! Blessings on your day, and let us know how it goes, too.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Congrats on the book signing Helena! That is awesome. Just focus on the task and those that come to the book signing and you’ll do fantastic.

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Helena – welcome!  You’re going to love reading Michael’s blog every day.  If you haven’t subscribed to the rss feed to get the posts in your email, instantly…please do.  I do, and so I never miss a post.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks for your kind words, Stacy!

        • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

           You’re welcome.  I speak the truth and never miss a post, but now I’m making an effort to come by and comment.  :) 

    • Jim Martin

      Helena, I wish you the very best with your book signing today.  I am glad that in some way Michael’s post is helpful to you as you begin your day.  Please let us know about your experience with the book signing.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Several years ago a friend of mine noticed how nervous I got before speaking. She said to change one thing: instead of saying “I’m so nervous!,” say “I’m so excited!” That one change has made the world of difference for me. You CAN do this book signing, Helena. You’re going to be great!

  • http://www.doris-socialworker.blogspot.com/ Doris Plaster

    I sure needed this message today-what a blessing! I woke up in such a disturbed state of mind. Reading my morning devotional helped very little. But after following these tips, I already feel better… and ready to face my work day!!!  I will complete the seven-day challenge. 

    Thank you for this wonderful post. 

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      Way to go getting in on the challenge! 

  • YourBlogAngel

    Hi Michael,

    This post is exactly what the doctor ordered this morning.  Thanks so much.  It reminds me once again that perception shapes reality every time.

    Blessings!
    Catherine

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      As a person thinketh, so is she! 

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        What about, “As a person smileth, so is he!”

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Glad it was perfect timing.  

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Shifting into high gear this morning and taking the challenge. I think I am that kind of positive person but going to start listening to my words more closely and see if what I think and what I do are the same. You have me wondering…

    After displaying that disposition especially when things look bad, have you like me,  had anyone say “get in reality” ?  How would you respond?

    I do believe what we speak out in our lives can manifest. Walk by faith, not by sight.

    Blessings to everyone today!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Lori, Great Question!
      I would respond (in love) by saying that, “I refuse to let the outside circumstances define my “reality” —God and I do!  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have people say something similar. But, honestly, those are the kind of friends that keep you stuck. Some people are addicted to their problems and don’t want anyone disrupting their dependency. I would intentionally surround yourself with no, more positive friends who are genuinely interested in growth.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Lori, for me when folks say “get into reality” I try to explain that while the world looks bad, I have the hope of something more. “In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus said, “but I have overcome the world.” Even in trouble we can focus on Jesus.

      Having said that, I do think when things are seriously bad it is okay to react. When my extended family suffered through the accidental death of an infant, there were real tears and pain. While I know that child is with God, the hurt here was very real. I think we have to balance having one foot on earth and one in heaven. We have to be empathetic with those who are suffering. But we can do that with hope and confidence in Jesus.

      Hope that helps. 

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Posture is a big thing for me.  At times, I could definitely do a better job wearing a positive attitude through my posture.  Sitting up straight, not slouching, and smiling are three places for me to start.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Jon,
      I am with you on the smiling thing. When I feel overwhelmed with my responsibilities I smile much less, and I don’t realize it!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      As I was reading this post I was slouched in my chair. I slowly started sitting up as I finished. I want to take control today.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Wonderful, Jon! Like you said, sitting up straight and smiling really change our mindset. I also do that intentionally, often.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    All right… Focus, Posture and Language. Got it. I have a video conference call at 8:00 this morning, and I’m going to make Focus, Posture and Language my goal in all I present. Will report back!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Chris,
      Keep us posted.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I can’t wait to hear about it.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      How did that call go? 

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      I had this article up on my screen as I worked with my boss long distance. A speaking tour isn’t filling up like we both had wanted, so we laid out a plan of action to get promotion in line for the tour to succeed. My boss was feeling pretty frustrated with himself (I’m sort of new at this), but this process helped…

      (1) I remained FOCUSED. I even said at one point, “Don’t feel too glum. This tour is awesome and we’re going to fill these venues!” He appreciated my enthusiasm.

      (2) I literally was sitting up more than usual, my POSTURE positive, ready to take on our challenges, make it work.

      (3) LANGUAGE was huge, relates to point 1 on FOCUS. We were both tempted to moan of our challenges. My boss is usually a pretty happy guy, but he was feeling the pressure. We both got off the phone with renewed enthusiasm and a task list to tackle today. “Let’s do this!” was my final words as I hung up.

      Now I’m off to take it on.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I love this. And I believe this kind of attitude makes other people WANT to work with you and help. Thanks for sharing a real-life example.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Succinctly said and easy to remember. Thanks, Chris!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Powerful words today, Michael. I like your script. I’ll have to create one and practice it. I am really bad about self language. I have a template that I use to print out positive motivators and keep them in my office and around the house. They work well to keep me focused on the positive. Your readers can download it here. http://goals4u.us/pkkcnz 

    I’ve learned a few things about myself that help in the tough times.For me, when I’m depressed or worried, I like to put my mind in fiction mode. As a fiction writer, I just start working on a new chapter in my mind. Since my pre-frontal cortex can only handle a limited amount of thought at one time, creating a story with characters in my mind, crowds out the bad and brings in the good. It has helped me through a lot of sleepless nights (and helped me get my book done sooner to boot!)When planning creative items, I like to leave my options open and not plan things too far in advance. For example, If I plan a 12 week blog series on social media, I may tire of the writing and want to pick a different topic. But since I committed to it, I am compelled to write on that subject. My writing becomes forced and difficult. Leaving my options open and organizing things after the fact, seems to work better for me. This way I can say… I get to blog today, instead of … I have to blog today. Your script idea may help here!!When all else fails, exercise seems to be a great pick-me-up. Walking or running around the block gets the blood flowing and brings on a better attitude.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Exercise is huge for me too. It radically changes my posture and gets my blood flowing to my brain—where I need it the most. Thanks.

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

    Every single morning while I’m the shower while shaving-no matter how I feel after rolling out of bed-I tell myself I’m going to have a good day. And I surprise myself sometimes at how that one action of telling myself and willing the truth into the beginning of day (into my mind) makes a difference. Self talk is really important and I believe more than we realize. Whether Christian or not, simply consider the price paid for our redemption. Then we can see the worth of us as children of God. How could we not smile and change the biochemistry? 

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Mike … I think you rightly summated what it means to have the “mind of Christ”. More than positive thinking, it’s adopting the mentality that our lives are qualitatively better because we can think like Jesus.

      My favorite prayer? “Lord, teach me about the reality you have created.” Wonderful!

      • Rachel Lance

        Great morning routine, Mike.
        I love that prayer, Justin! I need to have it posted in more places so I am reminded to dwell on it throughout the day. 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Mike – That is spot on.  Thanks!

  • Rosemary

    This one really resonated with me too.  The little detail of how you reply when someone asks “how are you doing?” is so important.  I ran into a man a few weeks ago who replied, “If I were any better I’d be twins!”  Not only was he beaming from ear to ear, but he spread that same feeling to me and the three other people who were walking with me.  I carried that thought with me the rest of the day, and still remember it when someone asks me how I am.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Rosemary,
      I love that! I am going to use that line in the future—even though I am not sure I 100% get it! Ha, I still love it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m totally stealing this!

    • http://www.activechristianmedia.com/ Stacy Harp

       Love it!  I’m writing that one down!  :)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I love that! Hilarious and inspiring at the same time!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    The heart is deceitful above all things. (Jer 17:9). Feelings lie. It’s our job to tell our feelings what the truth is. I live my life using the principals you outlined when I am having a “blue” day.  
    I feel extremely blessed having never had to battle depression, when so many people do (and my mom is bi-polar).  For those that do battle depression, keep fighting!  God bless you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You make an important point Kelly. This really is about truth and deciding if we are going to live our lives based on the truth of God’s word or let are feelings and circumstances rule us.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Very insightful Kelly. You are so right. Feelings can lie. We need to question them, as we would question anything or anyone that presents us with information or a suggested way of behaving, before we change direction or behave that way.  
      Enrique Fiallo

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Thank you Enrique.  Questioning our feelings is critical.  Thanks for sharing.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Not to go totally “hippie” here (that’s what my sister calls it!), but our emotional state is often so closely related to what we eat! I had no idea until my wife and I had a son with food allergies. We’ve changed out eating habits as a result and seen unbelievable changes in not only our bodies, but our minds!

      Great comment, Kelly.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        So true. I was amazed when we went on a juice fast recently. It had a profound impact on my mental focus. I need to write a post about this. Thanks.

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          Yep.  Food makes a huge difference.  Back in my youth ministry days I lived on nachos and pizza.  I changed everything.  Completely altered my thinking and emotional state.  

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        I believe in eating right and exercise, but not going all hippie. *smile* Hey, I see you are a Des Moines advocate.  My husband is an Iowa native, near Waterloo area. He grew up there before leaving to accept an appointment at the United States Military Academy, and from there the world. He never made it back to Iowa, but was always home because of his parents.

        Nice to meet you Justin. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      “It’s our job to tell our feelings what the truth is.” I’ve often made the mistake of giving my feelings too much throne space.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Scripture helped me battle my way out of Depression. I’ve been free for over a year now!

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Praise God, Daren! That is great news. Thank you for sharing.

  • Varada Sharma

    >>Conversely, I have another friend who always replies, “Outstanding!” This too shapes his reality.
    Happened to me. During my younger days whenever anyone asked me, “How’s life?”, my reply would be an instantaneous and smiling “Life’s great!”. It did wonders! Not only for me but also for people to whom I was replying. The enthusiasm for life was contagious. 
    Over the years I somewhere lost that line. It got replaced with “Life’s okay.. Going on…”. Guess what? That’s how life became – boring, grinding, not-exciting. When I read Paulo Coelho’s *Brida*, the power of words came back to me as if like a forgotten lesson. It’s like magic is back in my life since then.  Life, now, is surely great!

    I also loved your script! Thank you for sharing :)

    ~Varada

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carolyn-OConnor/100003383355053 Carolyn O’Connor

    It would change my whole day! To often, I feel down over the long day before me (especially if I have a lot of meetings, since I feel unproductive on those days). Or I feel overwhelmed at what has to get done to stay on track . . . the list could go on. The mood change would shift my perspective, which is really what you are saying to do . . . 

    Funny thing is that you didn’t say anything I didn’t know I should do, but you did tell me how to do it. When someone sees me down, I hear a pep talk with no application options (which in fact shifts my mood from depressed to irritated. . . not a vast improvement.). 

    Thanks you for the tools! Putting them into practice today . . . 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. That is my goal. I want to provide practical tools.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnHarris3 John Harris

    In 2009 and 2010, I had to learn this skill when battling cancer. I never thought of posture – that’s an interesting point. What I had to do was change my mental focus from victim to warrior, in a sense. But even then, I had to change to more of a “let go” attitude – some things were out of my control so I had to let them go or else I would worry and be fearful. A mental battle to say the least!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Thanks for sharing that John. It means a lot coming from someone who has been through cancer.

  • http://bevrogerssearchforgrace.wordpress.com/ Bev Rogers

    i have one additional mantra that always plays into my attitude – too many people waste time asking “why me” and then get stuck. I say, “why not me”, I accept that we live in a fallen world and there are bad things in it, while I have control over my actions and the ensuing consequences, some things I do not control; I trust God and get on with the things I CAN do. Our present struggles are creating an eternal perspective – paraphrase from Corinthians – but that I can work with.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Great perspective Bev.  

    • http://www.jennajeske.com Jenna Jeske

      I love that you say “why not me” instead of “why me”!  What a great perspective.  Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for another thought provoking post Michael. Your comments about the  “self-talk” script you use caused me to think again about the old debate of self-esteem. What would you highlight as the main differences between a psychological world-view of self-esteem and what Bible may have to say on the subject? I suppose it would mainly have to do with the content of the script. But your thoughts please.

  • http://twitter.com/peterwalters64 Peter Walters

    Thanks Michael,

    This is a theme that needs to be repeated on a regular basis.  I too find myself waking up under a cloud some mornings when all there is, is sunny sky in my life.  I have to be very careful to consciously bring myself out of it.  For me it’s the mental shift that makes it happen.  Also on days when I feel in a funk, I feel for others because  many people, often because of past challenges, live like this every day.  That is one reason why I determine to live a life of encouragement.  

  • Michael Mulligan

    Discovering your passion and acting on it sure makes it easier to have a killer attitude.  No acting involved when you’re doing what you love.  Yes, exercise helps too.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I was thinking about how I use exercise to help me take control!

  • Chris Manion

    A teacher passes on her/ his wisdom. It’s against our wiring not to do so. You are a master teacher and these steps are effective and efficient at eliciting a mental change, just as flipping a switch brings light and energy into a room.

    The discipline of our thoughts is more important than the training and strengthening of our bodies. I view neative thoughts like dirty shoes someone forgot to take off before walking through my mind. Years ago when I started growing my million dollar team, I swept up that dirt, deposited the shoes outside the door of my mind, and posted a sign to leave all shoes outside the door before coming in. Negative thoughts are not welcome in my temple of the Holy Spirit.

    I am only one person. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. That which I can do I ought to do, and by the grace of God, I will do it. Etienne paraphrased.

    • Jim Martin

      Good points Chris!  In particular, I like the word you used in the first sentence of the second paragraph.  You are right, our thinking really does require a kind of discipline.  I think the habits that Michael is suggesting in this post really do contribute to that discipline in a positive way.

  • Anonymous

    This is just what I needed to hear today, and I found myself buoyed just by reading your little script.  I often tell my boys that it is up to them how they respond to a situation, but too often I forget to do the same thing!  I am going to have a wonderful day today!

  • http://twitter.com/burlw Burl Walker

    To quote your friend, “Outstanding!”  Staying positive outwardly even when we feel like we are “in a funk” inwardly really does change our mood. Often, if I am fighting sickness, I will wear my best suit and make sure I look my best. It helps me through the day to at least feel that I look good even when I physically feel lousy.

    • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

      Burl –

      I do something similar. 

      When I feel like throwing myself a pity party (which is actually not much of a party: nobody brings gifts and the entertainment is terrible!), I dress in a favorite colorful outfit, one that elicits comments like, “You look so cheery today!”

      If nothing else, this guarantees that I will not be surrounded by people saying things like, “Are you okay?” which would only reinforce a downward spiral.

  • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

    My students and I just finished journeying through C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. I’m always struck by Screwtape’s instructions to keep “the patient” obsessing over the past or the future: anything to keep him from the present.

    Since my negative emotional states are typically focused on the past or future, the ability to change at will would make it possible for me to be fully present for each person God brings into my life in each moment.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I like the connection to “The Screwtape Letters.” Obsessing over things we can’t change (the past and future) definitely distracts us from our real circle of influence, our attitudes.

  • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

    I completely agree that we have much more control over our emotional states and attitudes than what we may believe. Perhaps some will read Michael’s 3  actions, and relate to them at an intellectual level or even casual level, and not really focus on using and integrating them into their daily regime. Try them, all of them. Try them for a week as Michael suggests. I saw the difference immediately. I was not feeling so great this morning. In fact, commenting on this post was the furthest thing from my mind when I started reading it. I just didn’t feel like it. But then I tried number 2. I sat up straight, I smiled and held it for 5 seconds. The change in the way I felt was really mind blowing! I’m up for the 7 day challenge. Are you? Thanks Michael!  Enrique Fiallo

      

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Enrique. Thanks for implementing it!

  • http://www.SeanMcCool.com/ Sean McCool

    Great stuff Michael. This is one of those life fundamentals that is easy to forget yet vital to success and significance.

    On #3 – words, I read a one page document I created from the Think and Grow Rich formula. It outlines my mission statement, the value I bring to the marketplace and the compensation I get in return. It covers the three big areas of my life: people, health and relationship with God. 

    But it’s the last paragraph that keeps me in the right emotional state: 

    “I
    owe all that I have and all that I am to God’s wisdom, grace and blessing which
    he supplies freely though his word and through his Son Jesus Christ. His wisdom
    is promised to be revealed through Proverbs which I read daily. And I daily
    recognize that it is God who has given me the ability to produce wealth
    (Deuteronomy 8:18). And if any of the above ever stopped being true, I believe
    God is enough.”

  • http://twitter.com/jerburroughs Jeremy Burroughs

    Love this post. I totally agree with it. As a psychologist, I teach others the importance of our focus, our words, and our actions. Our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all tied to each other and influence each other.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I have noticed this so much in the past year! I’m glad that I have been informed of this connection and the change it is having in my life.

  • http://www.suttonparks.com Sutton Parks

    Shifting my emotional state when I’m tired or just don’t want to do something would enable me to move closer to my goals and live a life of purpose and passion.  In short, it would improve my life.  I need to try this challenge.  Right now I listen to a lot of positive audio throughout the day and read to keep me optimistic.  

  • Darladtp

    Find new employment that I LOVE

  • http://www.doublehockeysticks.com/ Susie Battle

    This is great!  I love using Philippians 4:8 to help shift my mental focus.  I try to think of several things that are true, then things that are noble, then things that are right, then pure, then lovely, then admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.  It’s been helpful for me in shifting my mental focus.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s one of my favorite verses. Love it.

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      One of my life verses, I love it too.

    • http://www.inhisseason.com/ Teresita Glasgow

      I’ve been meditating on this scripture a lot lately Philippians 4:8, it help me to shift my focus immediately.

  • Anonymous

    Here are some affirmations from the Bible we could use in our script at the outset of each day:
     
    I am God’s child (John 1:12)I have been bought with a price: I belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:17)I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18)I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)I can be confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected. (Philippians 1:6)I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)I have been chosen and appointed by God to bear fruit. (John 15:16)I can do all things (the context being coping with riches or poverty) through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
     
    These should lift our spirits and motivate us to do all to the glory of God!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I need these kinds of daily reminders. Thanks.

  • Steve

    Hey Mike.  It is awesome to read all of the various responses to this post.  So many people have offered various thoughts and scriptural references.  At the risk of redunda ncy, I want to offer a passage as well.  Seems to me that the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers us a methodolgy similar to what you have offered.  “Be anxious for nothing and instead with Thanksgiving offer prayer and your heart will be protected etc….”  That is Philippians 4:6-7.  Then the 8th verse quite litterally tells us how to do this:  Think about things that are True, Noble, Pure, Excellent or Praiseworthy.  If we can discipline ourselves to do this, I am certain that we can kill any funk that comes our way.  Thanks for the reminder.  This is a fallen, broken world and funks happen.  It is good to know that we have such powerful weaponry against them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Steve. I love this verse too. We integrated this passage into our “Content Standards” at Thomas Nelson. We want to make sure all our books conform to the standards set forth in that verse.

  • Robbie Iobst

    LOVE this Michael. Thank you! I find walking helps me. If I just leash up the dogs and breathe some fresh air from anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes my outlook has totally changed. This fits under Change your Posture. Amazing how God made our bodies to help us, not just physically, but emotionally!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Sounds like a great way to start the day.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    There are days where everything seems to go bad before work.  I could go in and take it out on everyone.  Or I can say to myself, “Alright, choose your attitude.  Have fun today.”  I smile and might be like your friend who replies, “Outstanding.”  You choose what your day will be like.

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      Exactly! Great point.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Larry,
      Do you remember those “choose your own adventure” books? Kind of like that! 

      To yell at your co-worker turn to page 3. To but them a cup of coffee go to page 6.
      Ha.

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Aw, I remember those books. Good stuff.

        • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

          I read a lot of them when I was younger. They were fun while they lasted.

  • Michele L Schwien Daniels

    My standard reply to “how are you?” is peachy. One day a co-worker let me know that several Spanish-speakers were asking around about what type of person I was. They had heard me give the reply several times during conversations with other people. Apparrently when I say “peachy” is sounds similar to “pinche” and they were avoiding me.  

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    It’s amazing how a simple shift in attitude will change your perspective on what you’re facing.  One of my co-workers was in a negative mood yesterday, and I was able to help them turn their views to a more positive slant, by focusing on the positive outcomes of their work, and not the current roadblocks.

    We’ve all faced roadblocks in our lives.  If you look back at those roadblocks, please know this:  You’re here now.  You’ve overcome those roadblocks.  You’ll overcome the roadblocks you face now.

    • Jim Martin

      I love the point you make in your comment.  It is so easy to get totally focused on the obstacles that we face.  I’ve notices that the more I focus on them, the bigger they seem to get.  (Or, at least if feels that way.)  Thanks.  

      • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

        Thanks Jim!

  • Joy Collins-Brodt

    Thanks for writing this! I woke up this morning feeling funky. God has his timing just right when I delve into my morning reading and this is the first thing I read. I think I am going to do the seven day challenge, let’s see if it works!

    • Jim Martin

      Good for you, Joy.  Please let us know your experience with this.

  • http://claygirlsings.wordpress.com/ Claygirlsings

    I’ll take the challenge! It’s something I’ve been wanting to work on after being lovingly told that I tend toward the negative.
    I’m curious if any women can report seeing this help them with womanly hormonal changes. There’s certain weeks where it’s a huge struggle. I’ve gotten to the point in life where I recognize the cause but haven’t found a way to change my frame of mind.

  • http://heathermarsten.wordpress.com/ Heather Marsten

    Neil Anderson, in his book the Bondage Breaker has a list of Bible verses entitled “Who am I in Christ  - in one of my blogs I posted the entire list using many Bible translations. This is the link:  http://www.xanga.com/wondering04,  on the left side, click on the entry that is entitled Who Am I in Christ for the list.

    There is a law called the law of substitution – you cannot speak or think two thoughts simultaneously.  When you have negative thoughts, substitute a positive one for it.

    I hope this helps.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Thanks, Heather. The negative and positive mix like oil and water. They definitely don’t like each other.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I have days where I let my emotions run me instead of the other way around. I can see how it greatly changes the way I work. When I do not intentionally tell myself it is a privilege to have this job, then I act like it is a chore and I wade through the day’s tasks like I’m walking through waist high jello (only not nearly as delicious). 

    However, days where I intentionally control my thoughts, I breeze through tasks, even the difficult ones or ones I am not crazy about doing. I am so much more diligent and enjoy doing my job. It really does make noticeable difference. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       …like I’m walking through waist high jello (only not nearly as delicious).

      love this!

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        Thanks! I’m not sure why but that was the first image to come to mind. I probably should have made some last night.

  • J. Chad Barrett

    This is so true Michael. I have a daughter with a rare cancer, Clear Cell Sarcoma. She’s 9-yrs-old. A few years ago I battled clinical depression. Then I learned the power of thinking on truth. A great book on that is Telling Yourself the Truth by Backus and Chapian. My daughter, Kristina, has 9 tumors in her lungs. Right now, they’re too small to cause any problems, and they haven’t grown in 17 months! Her prognosis is listed as “very poor.”

    But, Michael, I’ve experienced more joy these days than I have my whole life. I’m proof that God’s grace is sufficient. I could wake up each morning and ask myself, “What will happen today that will be painful?” Or, “Will her tumors begin growing today?” But instead, I tell God, “I’m trusting You for whatever You allow because You are good.”

    I’m learning to think on truth. Positive thinking leads to positive feeling.

    It’s positive, inspiring, and truthful thinking. Just like in Philippians 4:8-9. We can’t control our emotions, but we can control our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5.

    Thanks so much for your post today, brother! I love you daily blogs.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      J.
      Thank you so much for sharing this! Sometimes I loose perspective about small things that can get me down and your message, and your daughters courage,  are a great testimony. I will certainly say a prayer for you all today and it’s great to hear that the tumors have remained small over the last 17 months!

      Blessings and thanks!

      • Anonymous

        I understand what you mean by “small things.” These last few months–God has taught me (and I’m still learning) to trust Him with everything. Whether small or great. If He can handle my daughter (and He can!), then He can handle the other things in life that used to get me down. Thanks so much for your reply and prayers, brother!

    • Jim Martin

      Chad,
      You are dealing with so much as you attempt to be a father to a 9 year old with cancer.  It sounds like Kristina is blessed to have you as a father.  As the father of two daughters (adults), I tried to imagine how this situation must feel as I read your post.  Wow.

      Nevertheless, your words here are so helpful and encouraging.  I love the way you reframe your mornings by the questions you choose to ponder.

      Thanks for this comment.  You’ve blessed me today and I’m certain others who will your words.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Jim. I have a lot to learn, but one thing I know…God’s grace is definitely sufficient! So glad you have been blessed.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for this story. Really touching. May God bless you and your daughter!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Michael!

  • Daniel Burns

    Michael, 
    Thank you for this post today! I have had a rough few days, I realize it and am trying to pull out of it.  Thank you.  This will be a great help today, the day that I get back on track.   

    • Jim Martin

      Daniel,
      I wish you the best in trying to get back on track today.  I have found that reading a post like this is often very helpful in prompting me to move in the right direction.  

  • Bill

    This is a very powerful lesson. Thanks. The power of our mind and attitude can and does set the vision of our journey. An old friend, Charlie Tremendous Jones, would always reply to the question of his mental and emotional state as “life is tremendous and getting better”.  He lived a fruitful, meaningful,purposeful life and left a great legacy to us. A great example for having a great outlook. 
    Thanks again, I really appreciate your wisdom.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Bill,
      I have been thinking about that a lot, recently. How do I respond to, well meaning, mundane, repetitive questions that are expecting a banal response like, How are you? Fine. How can I respond to questions like that that would inspire others and not seem cheesy or cliche’? …life is tremendous and getting better!

  • Linda

    Thanks Michael – I truly needed to hear those words today!  I can now do what I planned with confidence!

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelpaddy Michael Paddy

    Bravo on being able to speak five times in one day…LOL that alone would put me into a funk. Reminds me of a ten day ministry in Cuba where I was speaking at least twice a day for eight days. Even though there were overlapping messages, themes and discussions, I found myself tired,,,very tired. I have learned from what Howard Hendricks once said “Keep the well filled if you expect to give away a lot of water.”  A well that needs filling constantly is my mental and emotional state.
    Isn’t it interesting that some from the Christian and church community can lay aside the mind, the thoughts that roam intentionally and at random through our brains not realizing that it is those thoughts that can infect, affect, and inject into us our emotional responses throughout the day!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Michael P.
      Yeah, I love the imagery of keeping the well filled! All of have been in the place of trying to refresh others on a dry well—no fun! Great reminder, Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/MuchClearer Sean Sankey

    Ahhh the Triad. Classic, enduring, solid wisdom. Your whole day functions out of a foundation of state; but how often do I forget this and allow my state to drift, with predictable consequences for my day…?!? 

    OK, 7 days to (re)install a habit I used to have and am the poorer for letting slip. You’re on…

    • Jim Martin

      Sean, good point regarding the possibility of allowing “my state to drift with predictable consequences for the day.”  Can I relate to that!  Part of the value of this post for me is the intentionality of these suggestions.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Wow. What a practical (convicting!) post. I especially connected with #2, Change Your Posture. It’s amazing how changing the physical impacts the emotional. I’m wondering … with all the emphasis on being “authentic,” have we inadvertently given to much attention to negative emotions/thoughts?

  • Stacy Harp

    Another excellent post. Sometimes it’s hard to just be obedient to God’s word and focus on what is true, lovely etc, but the good news is that when we do, we benefit greatly.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    We are just finishing a series on attitude in our adult class on Sunday mornings, and I’m going to share this article with them. It confirms nicely what I taught on last Sunday and will help us finish up the series well this Sunday.

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    It does help quite a bit. It definitely takes a lot of discipline to not react to the world the way you feel at the moment. It can take work to catch and correct your feelings, and to train yourself to do it every time.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Eric,
      You are right—a lot of discipline! I wonder if an attitude like this is developed over time like a muscle? I wonder if you can get “attitude muscle memory” where you don’t have to think about it as much—you are just in the “attitude groove.”

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com/ Eric S. Mueller

        Barry, I think so. Remember in the 80′s and 90′s when society’s message was “If you’re angry, you have to get it out. Otherwise you’ll just blow up later”. But then it was discovered all you were doing was training yourself to blow up in smaller chunks. 

        Obviously, we have to face our issues, but handling anger (and other feelings) takes training to do well. That’s where it becomes discipline. We don’t do it naturally. We have to work hard to achieve it.

  • Jean :)

    Michael great article I agree wholeheartedly!  My Honey (Husband) calls me Polly Anna on occasion so I get the positive stuff.  Sometimes though as we humans do the negative tries to win and that is when what you wrote about becomes important…what it opens up for me is the opportunities are endless and we can especially when God directs us…we can!  Thanks for the encouragement :)

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    What a timely post! In March, I’ll be delivering 3 workshops back to back at a regional ministry conference, and my husband and I are leaving the country the next morning. I have been thinking of tricks to prime myself even now.

    Truly our physical posture and the words we say to ourselves and others make all the difference. The brain is a very goal-oriented organ. If we focus on “dreading it,” we’ll use our energy and brain power on resisting and dreading. I proved myself right last Thursday when I was preparing to leave town the next day. I accomplished everything on my dream list. The day before I didn’t think I could get all this done, but when I consciously wrote off my limiting belief, I proved I could.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • Jim Martin

      Theresa, you make a great point about using our energy and brain power on resisting and dreading something.  Thanks for this reminder.

  • Tamara

    I’m in total agreement with you! My mental and emotional state are critical to
    making daily progress towards my goals. It helps me to start my day, often before dawn, with my face on the floor in total submission and dependance on God. Here I ask Him to help me do and be what He wants today. Then I spend about 30 minutes doing various yoga poses as I meditate on the Lord’s goodness and scriptures that come to mind. When I’m faithful to do this routine it does wonders for my attitude, posture, emotions and productivity. Thank you Michael for all you do! Blessings…

  • Dphock

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today.  I’ve been struggling to cope with some difficult things and have been having a hard time getting myself out of a funky mood.  I was meant to read this today and you’ve given me just the push I needed to remember that I can control how I am feeling.  Thanks so much!

    • Jim Martin

      Dphock, so glad that Michael’s post spoke to you so powerfully.  From the number of comments on this post, it seems to have encouraged many of us today.  (I was certainly encouraged by it.)

  • http://www.jennajeske.com Jenna Jeske

    Barry, that is awesome!  I think you should start writing “choose your own attitude” books!  lol  It could really help people see the consequences of their attitude and actions ahead of time.

  • http://twitter.com/asparagusguy Neal Ely

    Thank You for this excellent post Michael.  It is so true that we must shif our mental focus. I am going to print this out, and put it up in my office, so that I will be reminded of this each and every day. 

  • http://www.jennajeske.com Jenna Jeske

    I love that – “life is tremendous and getting better!”  Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.jennajeske.com Jenna Jeske

    I think we have given too much attention to negative thoughts with the emphasis on being “authentic.”  For years, I tried to be “real” when people asked how I was doing.  In reality, it just ended up being negative.  Now I respond with positivity, knowing that I can change my attitude.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing, Jenna!

    • Jim Martin

      Jenna, what a great point!  You are so right!

  • Brian Stewart

    Thank you for this post. It is beneficial; mso much so I will share it with others.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great idea, Brian!  I’m going to share it to…

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    Thanks for the encouragement, Michael. I’m still a bit disappointed you did not work in the word “hogwash” to your personal recitation.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    Excellent advice Michael.  Our self-talk can really influence our emotions.  You give us great insight in to how to overcome to the funks we get ourselves in to.

  • Alwyn

    Each morning, as I put my feet on the floor I say loudly “This is the day that the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it”.. Works for me!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I love your way of getting out of bed Alwyn. It reminds me of the way Zig Ziglar encourages people to wake up –

      Start with two hand claps (Clap, Clap) and say “Oh, boy, what a GREAT
      day to wake up and get going! I believe something wonderful is going to
      happen to me today!”

  • http://twitter.com/sherrylwriter sherrylwriter

    Michael, sometimes when a friend asks me how I am, I find I reply, “OK” or “Surviving” or similar, because I know they are going through bad times and I think if I show how great things are for me or how I’m feeling great today, I’ll make them feel worse! I’m not sure what the answer is to this one.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s a tough situation Sherryl. But I think by saying “I’m ok” or “Surviving” doesn’t really do your friends any favors. It might reinforce that a better life isn’t a reality.

      As an alternative, you could possibly encourage them with the things you see going right in their life. Let them know that they have things that they do well and that it’s appreciated.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Sherryl, I like Joe’s comments … there can only be good that happens when you have a positive attitude.  

      I would also add that the best thing you can do for a person going through tough times is to stop what you’re doing, ask them about how they are doing and really listen.   You may actually turn their attitude just by giving them a patient ear.   Of course, there are also people who insist on consistently focusing on the negative in their lives no matter what.  If anyone consistently feels worse because you feel great, that is a person that you don’t want to give open access to your life.  You need people around you that fill you up, not people that empty you out.  

      Thanks for sharing your concerns on this topic!

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I will really use this most mornings when I get up at 2 am to deliver bread! Thanks for the tips.

    • Jim Martin

      Wow – 2 am to deliver bread!  Good for you in deciding to use this so early in the morning.

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        I got no choice…. yet

        • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

          It’s time to make the doughnuts!  ;-)  Keep up the good attitude.

          • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

            thanks kelly, will do!

  • Lucy

    I have always had a tiny lingering doubt about myself that I am not good and can’t get good, whether it be work or home or church. No matter how much praise I receive. 

    I will certainly try this. Sometimes I am scared  to be happy for too long as it means something bad will happen soon to take it away. I also have a bad habit of visualizing  victim scenarios rather than victory ones. Thank you for this suggestion, I will be sure to post back. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Lucy, that is something we all face. It’s also something we must confront in order to overcome it. Focus on the things you have done right, the areas you shine the most. The more you do it, the smaller that doubt will get.

  • http://www.forest-jones.net/ Ian Forest-Jones

    You are absolutely right, Michael, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Although, I have tried to say exactly this very thing in many of my own sermons and writings. 

    I have found that people too easily adopt the attitude of victim in life.  They don’t want to put the effort into being proactive, to taking charge of their life.  “In this life there will be trouble…”  No one doubts that, but as the Serendipity Prayer encourages, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

    Do what you can, people, to take advantage of the circumstances that come your way and let God take care of the rest!

    Thanks for the post, Mr Hyatt.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great thoughts, Ian.  You remind me of one of my favorite Mark Batterson quotes:  “Work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God”.

  • Zachary Sigmon

    Great post! The list on the first action was especially awesome.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    It would make my mornings much more enjoyable!

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I had a lack of sleep last night and now I’m sitting at a cafe doing my work. I took some time out to read this blog. I just made a conscious decision to smile and say, “Thank you God that I get the opportunity to work on my music at a cafe”. Smiling was the catalyst for my entire emotional shift which happened in approximately 3.45 seconds :P

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s awesome Daren!  What a great example of mental shift!

    • Jim Martin

      Daren, I’m glad you shared this experience.  This is the kind of everyday experience that so many of us find ourselves dealing with.  Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of the day and know that we need to make a conscious choice about what we will do.

  • http://www.wcwpartners.com/ Rick Conlow

    Hi Michael
    Our mental state is a choice and the three actions you describe help us make more positive choices. It takes an intentional effort but we can redirect our behavior with what you describe.  We aren’t at the mercy of our environment, physical condition or variable emotional state. We can change for the beter, fast. Excellent!

    I enjoyed that you relate to God and scripture. Reading the word has a positive impact on our mental attitudes as well. Thanks for the great reminders.

    Positively,
    Rick Conlow
    http://www.wcwpartners.com

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great points, Rick!  Especially that reading scripture has a positive impact on us.  Of course, many of Michael’s lines in #1 come from scripture.  I also love praying the Psalms in first person.  That will instantly change my attitude!

  • http://marclougee.com/ Marc Lougee

    Wonderful post, Sir! 

    I appreciate your sharing an experience of your own; despit ethe opportunity to make huge imapct in amny people’s day, you still somehow woke up in a funk. It’s a mystery, but as you so kindly shared with us, that funky feeling is totally reversible, and in our control to do so. Brillaint.

    Thank you for the reminder of how much God has indeed given us in respect to our inner resources, and His, of course.
    -Marc

    • Jim Martin

      Marc, I too appreciated this reminder of how God blessed us with inner resources like this.

  • Karen

    good advice! thanks

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com/ Anne Marie Gazzolo

    Great ideas and actions! There is someone at work who is such a pleasure to be around because he is almost always so very up. I agree with words having power and I love your words about priming the pump. Thank you!

    God bless, Anne Marie Gazzolo

  • Sherry Lynn Leonard

    “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!”

  • http://twitter.com/DannaDemetre Danna Demetre

    This is one of my favorite topics – “being transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rms 12:2). While there are some immediate actions we can take to transform our attitudes and emotions in the moment, transforming our mind (and the emotions that follow) is a habit worth pursuing. Tony Robbins would call it NLP – neuro linquistic programming. God calls it “renewing or setting our minds”. When we combine the principles of how God designed our brains (you are what you think) with the power of His Word (the Word is living and active and shaper than a two-edge sword – able to cut out the lies and replace them with truth) – we have the power in Christ to handle negative emotions both practically and supernaturally!! I know this from personal experience overcoming five years of unrelenting panic attacks and 16 years of bulimia!

  • Meg Davis ~ MegDance.org

    WOW! I am printing your self talk and know I will be using it frequently ! Thank you!

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    I’ve certainly heard many of those before (like the one about facial expressions–it’s really interesting how we can actually change our moods just by smiling instead of frowning). I know even when I’m feeling down, if I tell people that I’m doing great and I keep repeating that I’m wonderful, I start to almost instantly feel better. It’s completely up to you to decide how you want to feel–if you dwell on the negative you’ll most certainly continue to feel poorly. If you force yourself to think positively and are determined to have a good day no matter what, chances are you’ll manage just that!

  • http://tangoleadership.wordpress.com/ PoulAndreassen

    The article you have
    presented has riddled out intricate structure of Management  into a simple structure. It is amazing to know
    that there are articles like this on web which actually takes the meaning of life
    in new aspect. “By God’s grace, I am prepared. I am strong. I am energetic. I
    am outstanding. My heart is wide open. I will connect and make a
    difference!”.

  • http://www.thementoringleader.com/ Aaron Drake

    Excellent points Michael!  I have heard Tony Robbins say, “Change your physiology and you will change the way you feel.”  It’s very true.  I’ve found that when my thoughts take me to a bad emotional state (worry, stress, sadness) It’s usually when I am stationary.  If I get up and engage in an activity that requires movement, I notice an emotional boost almost immediately.  My wife kind of likes it when I get stressed because I get a lot done around the house! 

  • Trugliaf

    I tried it while I was reading it. I started reading the article a few minutes ago, with my 6 a.m. cup of coffee still hot in my hands, eyes open half way, shoulders slumped and sleepy eyes. I’m now straight as a lighthouse, smiling and energised (and not thanks to the coffee, as I didn’t even tried it). IT WORKS!!! I’ll keep practicing during the week. Thanks Michael

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Love it! Who needs coffee?!

  • http://www.clintarcher.com/ Clint

    Thanks for this; it’s really astonishing how exhilarating one can feel in the midst of a funk. It resonates with preachers, as in “Bless You! – Why I like Preaching with a Cold” at http://www.clintarcher.com/?p=695

  • Guillermo Rosas

    Thanks, Michael:
    Everytime I read your blog, it always provides me with powerful insights for wise and productive living! May God continue to bless you and use you! Guillermo Rosas

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    “Where the mind goes, the body follows.”

    I’ve lived this phrase for many years after spending more than half of my life playing the victim role. Today, I look back on my dysfunctional childhood and use certain examples of painful times to be “what not to keep” in my current life. I’ve always said that God placed me with that specific family to teach me how to be strong, self-reliant and to overcome all obstacles that cross my path. In other words – the family was there to teach me what *not* to do in my life.

    Once you release your past and change your mind (using steps like you listed above), you find the wonder and amazement in the world. You begin to see the power you have in yourself. And, those goals that you once felt were not for you (because you are *not* good enough) become a reality. 

    You are the power. Change your perspective and watch the gifts flow.

  • Travis Cole

    Wanna change your attitude, simply read the comments section.  Holy buckets, talk about being surrounded by positive people even though it is via cyberspace.  Livin the Dream!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am definitely blessed!

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  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    Micheal this is a great post. I especially like number 1. I created a
    script like you did that I recite to encourage and empower me. I carry
    it in my wallet and recite it often just to keep my mind in tune to
    God’s direction for my life. When things get crazy I read from
    affirmations and it shifts my mental focus. Instead of focusing on the
    negative it refocuses me to think on who I am and what I am called to
    do.

    I have learned it is very important to encourage ourselves daily and
    frequently. We are bombarded by soooooooo much negativity that it can
    easily influence us to have the same mindset. That is why I focus on
    what God’s Word say we can be and do. I read encouraging blogs like
    yours and others. I have developed an inner circle of mentors and close
    friends that offers support and accountability.

    I also love the third point to speak life. The example I love to use is
    when David challenged Goliath. Instead of accepting what others were
    saying, David said that he could defeat the giant. He spoke what he
    believed and walked in it. I believe that our words have power. We can
    change our perspective on a situation by speaking words of life. Not
    saying that we are not going to be met with challenges, but our words
    can empower us to walk through it with confidence that there is eventual
    victory in the end.

    Michael, keep writing material that encourages. We need it.

    Thanks,

    Bernard Haynes

    http://www.leadtoimpact.com

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    The language issue is one I’ve begun to address recently.  I’m starting to see a positive change because I tell people I’m doing awesome rather than saying “I’m still alive” like I used to.  Small change, big results.

  • http://twitter.com/JessBlogSchmog Jessie Gunderson

    The mom version of your pep talk. ;)

    God sent me to help with this accident made by these little people. At exactly this time.
    That’s because He has a purpose; therefore, I have been purposed to be these specific children’s parent.
    Through Christ, I can do all things. Even if it means another load of laundry.
    I have the energy, the passion, and after it’s all over I’ll get a massage (not really :)) to make a huge impact—now and for eternity.
    Learning to share is vitally important. It matters. To them and for their future spouses sake.
    I will be changed forever. Years from now, I will look back on today and say, “It started here.”
    By God’s grace, I am prepared. I am strong. I am energetic. I am outstanding. My heart is wide open. I will connect and make a difference because God has trusted me with the future!I’m smiling and sweeping up a spilled box of cornstarch. The future is in my hands. Great post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is awesome. Thanks!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Timely. That funk you had hit me yesterday (must have headed north). I’m at least sitting up in my chair as I type this.

  • Constance Buckley

    I know what it feels like. I took a course with a manual written by Pastor Jack Hayford. The prayer I prayed from his book was, “Lord, I line up my body under my soul, my soul under my spirit, my spirit under the Holy Spirit.” I may be paraphrasing. The effect was and is incredible. From feeling completely distraught, I’ve gone to hopeful. To God be the glory.

  • Celia Cawthon

    Incredibly and embarrassingly on target for me Michael.  God has certainly sent you to me for such a time as this.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wonderful. I am so glad.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Changing the posture has really worked wonders for me. Our body language conveys message faster than anything else to others. I take care that I do not wrong signal to my team through my negative posturing.

  • Sandi

    Just wanted to say,  thanks I needed this reminder today!

  • K. L. Bell

    I believe those ‘three actions’ would make it possible for me to tap more deeply into the power of God.  I often allow what is going on around me to determine how much or how little I will believe God’s clearly communicated promises to never leave or forsake me and of life more abundantly. 

    I realized while reading your post that often when people ask me how I am doing, I respond by saying with a smile, “I’m living”.  And it dawned on me that so are cacti and people with no hope, dreams or goals for their future.  I am determined to do more than just live.  I will have abundant life!  My new response to that daily question will be, “Abundantly blessed!”

    I will take the 7 day challenge!  I just started this morning.  And already I can sense the peace and presence of God’s promises! 

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Awesome! I hope it is a pivotal 7 days.

  • http://twitter.com/hirstmusic Mike Hirst

    I needed this desperately this morning. Going through a terribly tough time and decided to try the “pretend you won the lottery” tactic and I was laughing like a lunatic while jumping around like an idiot. :) Thanks again Michael.

  • http://www.gailsangle.com Gail

    I’ve been using this technique for years and it really makes a difference! I also add another element – Breathing. Breathing the way you would in the desired emotional state helps move your biology fast e.g. quick breathing to get excited, slow breathing to overcome nerves.

    Most often I use it on a Friday night when I’m exhausted from the week and am about to walk into 3-4 hours of leading kids ministry. I stand tall at the door, tell myself it’s going to be the best, most fun night ever, take a few quick, excited breathes and go for it! It takes about twenty seconds but totally changes my attittude for the evening and coincidentally makes the night more fun for everyone :)

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Great idea Gail! Focusing on your breathing helps you to take a break from the external to look inside and collect yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  • Steward Elaine

    you simply find greatfullness  for every little thing around you and say thank you Jesus  even if its as little as hot water in a shower or a nice bed to sleep in at night and a warm safe place you call home,  Not every one has that?  Be greatfull and you will have a new look on life, Bless your day every day and you will find a blessing in that day,  May God bless you today and every day, You can not be funcky when your thankfull

  • Diane Bryant

    I am really going to focus on not saying or thinking, “I can’t because…”  and   “I don’t have…”.  I am not going to limit what God can do in my life with my words.  Why because I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.  If I don’t think about I won’t say it!

    Diane

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  • http://ThisMomsDelight.com Tami @ ThisMomsDelight.com

    My emotional state is negative and in discouragement mode.  I know that’s not where God wants me.  I need to change the things you’ve suggested.  Sounds like it’d help.

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  • Pam

    I love what you’ve said here. Very powerful stuff! Thank you. I’ve been experimenting with the power of a smile to change our lives in significant ways, so I’m sharing here two recent posts from my blog about “choosing” to smile…I hope they are a blessing.

    Secret Sleep Aid. Found here:
    http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/blog/?p=447 

    World’s Cheapest Facelift. Found here:
    http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/blog/?p=440

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t wait to read these articles. Thanks for sharing these resources.

  • Joann ♥

    inner peace :)

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  • Tinaleeluvsmusic

    It would help me reach my daily goals, improve leadership, & improve relationships.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AbundantMichael Michael Smith

    Focus, posture and language – what great ways to change how I feel. I also find taking action (any action however small) can help. Even taking a walk can help. I think it is both the forward movement and the fresh air and breathing. Meditating has also helped me change even the most depressed emotions, letting light into them so that they can disolve.  Finally I have found EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has helped me both shift stuck emotions and old patterns like phobias.

    Emotion is just “energy in motion” and if we can let those emotions shift they will change as easily as water flowing in a stream.

  • 1955klaudia

    I notice I have become tired and somewhat disappointed in my life – as if I have failed at realizing my purpose for my life. Or maybe, I have just failed in what I feel is my purpose. I have been a single mother for most of my adult life, my children I love with all my heart. I have a job sufficient for our life, I feel God has watched over us in all ways, large and small. I guess I feel I’ve become disappointing and annoying. I used to be more patient, but now I feel overwhelmed. I have been seeing someone for eight years that I knew years ago. When he makes remarks at times I feel he is minimizing my efforts or mocking me in subtle ways. Sadly, I feel I can do no better than this, which solidifies my feelings of under-achievement. Even in love. Many times I do feel we will be together for ever, but then I feel buffeted with coarse sexual remarks which are his overtures/ complaints about not enough sex. So this is one reason I don’t feel the spiritual/sexual connection. I feel I deserve less, because I see myself this way – a way childhood forged on my brain, parentaly. I love Jesus, I pray for others and everything. I love people, but I am a bit impatient with those who may be offensive or rude with me. In other words, my feelings get hurt. I don’t understand meanness. I really feel hurts. Any comment would be appreciated.

  • Zandra

    Everytime it’s a battle. The worst opposing force is ourselves. The ones who are winning are those who didnt just overcome themselves, they are those who have put themselves in subject to commitment, discipline and purpose. Turning your emotions at will makes us in charge of ourselves, this put us in the best disposition that we are created to be; stewards, overcomers, lover of good, lover of people, sincere, love by God, beautful, respectable and more than capable in our call and mandate.

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  • Lyn

    Great post, Michael! Just because we feel bad doesn’t mean that we need to obey those feelings! God is greater than our feelings! Thank you for the encouragement!