Picture this: a beautiful painting is hanging on a wall. The colors are just right and the scene is idyllic. It’s an eye-catcher as soon as you walk into the room. But the frame is all wrong. It’s too bulky and cumbersome. It weighs the painting down and overshadows its beauty. In order to maximize the full beauty of the painting, it needs a new frame.
If our lives are the paintings and our mindsets the frames, it’s easy to see how this metaphor can apply to us. If our mindsets are off, it throws off the potential beauty of our lives that’s already right there.
We all need a refresher sometimes, and lately, I’ve needed one big time. So instead of putting it off until tomorrow, I’m being intentional about it. As many of you know, I’m an avid reader. I enjoy reading most things and most genres, including most texts I read for school (perhaps that just increases my nerdiness, but I don’t mind ;). However, many problems arise when I start to read into situations and internalize them without knowing all of the information. Hence when reading becomes bad. Maybe you’ve had this type of non-literary reading experience.
It happens more often than I’d like to admit; I jump to conclusions and make assumptions because I thought too much about a situation that probably wasn’t very important. I let it take over my mind for way too long, sometimes even hours, and let the anxiety that it brings fester until I lash out. Not a good situation, my friends. So, I’m changing my approach altogether, because it all stems from the source: our mindset.
New picture: something happens. I don’t like it. My initial reaction is integral to how the rest of the situation is going to play out. The most important perspective? Stay objective. Will this situation matter in a year? Or furthermore, will it matter in a week? Is it worth my time in this moment to obsess over, or would it be more productive to focus on something else? Questions, questions, questions. Don’t read into the situation immediately; stay on the outside of it to remain as objective as possible. Big picture. Question yourself. This is going to be my constant reminder. What is really important within that scenario? Is it “winning” an argument in the moment, for example, or is it the path you are set on by God in this life? Breathe instead of read.
Along such a path, taking a step back, and asking ourselves some questions, there is another piece of this mentality that I’m personally trying to adopt all the time. It’s is what I call ProsPer mentality. I first thought about this concept this summer and ever since have been trying to implement it into my day to day. Let’s break it down: Prospective + Perspective = ProsPer mentality. A prospective perspective. Dictionary.com defines prospective as “of or in the future”, “potential, likely, or expected”. The way I view this word is quite simple: what’s coming that’s meant for me. What is to come in my future is perfectly designed for me by God. Therefore, when I focus on what is meant for me and best for me instead of what may have passed me by, I prosper. I need to read into the Word of God and into what’s to come for me, not into things that have no positive effect on me and that I cannot change.
With these two tools in mind and used in unison, I am now able to temporarily remove myself from a situation before I react, and then bring it back to the ultimate importance of my purpose in the present and future. I simply cannot continue to internalize things that don’t have a lasting impact on my life. In the moment, things can seem so incredibly massive, but with some time and a deep breath, their ultimate unimportance eventually comes to light. I want to concentrate my energy and time on productive and fulfilling things instead. Let’s stick to the good reading… trust me, I’ve got quite the reading list both on my bookshelf and on my Kindle (hint: plenty of book reviews to come in 2019!). No room for negativity here.
Now, I bring us back to the picture in the frame: the new frame is sleek and shiny. It complements the picture perfectly, highlighted each aspect of it’s beautiful design. It’s the same painting, but by simply changing the frame to something that fits better, it’s full potential and beauty are able to shine through. Let the same thing be said about our mindsets and our lives.