The Secret of Joyful Living: Focusing on the Positive
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Have you ever been in a situation in which you know what you should do but do not feel like doing it? You put it off until the deadline approaches or the problem becomes so big that you cannot ignore it? You wish you had done it earlier. You ask yourself, what shall I do?
I have been wrestling with this question for a long time. I have found that focusing on the positive is one of the effective ways to tackle this problem. I like to share my story with you about how focusing on the positive helped me, and I hope it can stir your hearts and bless you.
I like to start by sharing with you a quote from the Proverb.
Proverbs 4:23 Above everything else, guard your heart. Everything you do comes from it.
In August 2019, I lost my job. It was a defining moment in my life. I struggled mightily: the loss of income, the betrayal of a friend, the humiliation of appearing stupid, and the difficulty of finding a new job. My heart was bleeding, and I felt sorry for myself and wanted to give up and hide.
Fortunately for me, I saw the need to heal the wound in my heart and to hope again. With my wife's and some friends' help, I decided to focus on things working in my life: my marriage was strong, we were financially stable, we had friends who supported us, and we had much to give and share. Most importantly, I realized that I was still the same person who had many things going well in life. As I became grateful, my heart got healthier, and I became happier. I saw being laid off as a blessing, opening the doors for many new opportunities. It gave me time to reflect and explore, grow spiritually, learn new skills, and serve our community. I began to reinvent myself.
Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the Lord will prevail.
While I was making good progress on my journey, reinventing myself, continually looking for jobs, networking, and serving our community, all of a sudden, the covid-19 pandemic hit, and everything appeared to be standing still. Because my heart was at a better place, instead of panicking, being discouraged, or stubborn with my plans, I acknowledged that I was not in control. Knowing God is in control, and I am in His loving hand, is a big relief. It allowed me to adapt and to look for new opportunities. As I evaluated the situation, I saw a huge need to help our low-income community and for people to connect. Not having a job gave me a unique opportunity to use my skills to organize volunteers to serve our neighbors who were in need and connect people through technologies. 2020 turned out to be one of the best years in my life. In the process of helping others, I have made many new friends from all over the world.
Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Protecting our hearts is also critical, if not more so, in our everyday life. How do we handle rejection? What should we do in a heated argument, facing oppositions or even failures? Focusing on giving in difficult situations allowed me to learn the heart of Jesus and be proactive about sharing God's love. It protected my own heart and my well-being because it usually improved a bad situation or kept it from getting worse. When facing rejection or criticism, I reframed it in my mind as an opportunity to love. When facing failure or my deficiencies, I saw the potential to receive mercy, experience personal growth, and witness miracles.
In summary, what is my secret to a joyful living: One, protect my heart by focusing on the positive; Two, enjoy the process of doing things because God is in control; Three, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
I hope that my story prompts you to think about your own heart and how you can protect your heart by focusing on the positive!