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Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.
Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills.
Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.

– Earl Shoaff

Market drops. 
Slowing economy.
Divisive, bombastic politics. 
Even the possibility of the Olympics being canceled.

Perhaps you’ve read these headlines from today’s news cycle?

Let me share a little perspective on how – regardless of headlines in the paper or in your life – you can take back the truth that the best is yet to come.

Three decades ago, my mom entered into an emergency department. She knew I’d been burned in an explosion. She didn’t really know what happened, didn’t really know how serious it was and wasn’t really prepared for what she’d see next.  

Mom pulled back a curtain in the ER, saw her little boy (her favorite of six kids!) lying on his back. My skin was completely burned off; I was in terrible pain. I was totally afraid and dying. 

She walked directly to me, took my hand in hers, patted my bald head and told me she loved me. I asked my mom if I was going to die. 

I wanted hope.

She gave me truth.

Rather than answering, she replied with a question. It was the only question worth asking and the only one worth answering. 

“John, do you want to die?” 

I was looking for someone to make me feel good. Mom was looking for me to become accountable and answer for myself. You see, motivation always comes from within. 

In my high-pitched, little boy voice I responded, “Mom, I don’t want to die. I want to live.”

She gently padded my forehead, kindly smiled and responded, “Then Baby, you need to fight like you’ve never fought before. You need to take the hand of God and you need to walk this journey with Him. But John, you listen to me: You are going to have to fight.”

I had no idea the journey ahead. No idea how difficult it would be. No idea it would include months in a hospital, years in therapy and a lifetime of some challenges. All I knew was the fight was on!

Adapting to 2020

So, what does this story have to do with challenges we face today?  

As a little boy, I had to answer the question: “Do you want to die?”

Today, let’s choose to actively and intentionally race toward hope, opportunity and life by asking very different questions:

Do you want to live? (regardless of the adversity in the day)
Do you want to thrive? (regardless of headlines created by people paid to make you afraid)
Do you want to succeed? (regardless of challenges in your work, health, relationships and finances?)

I was reminded of the importance of asking the right questions with the proper mindset during my most recent Live Inspired Podcast interview. Laura McKowen made just about every mistake imaginable as a young mother. As an addict, she finally made a dramatic, life-giving change when she looked down at another bottle of alcohol, then looked in the mirror, and asked, “Is THIS good enough for me to stay the same?

What an awesome question we should all be asking – whether we are on top of the world or feel buried by the weight of the world. Is this, whatever THIS is today, good enough for me to stay exactly as I am? [Click to tweet.]

This is your day. Live Inspired.

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