Here You Adapt–November 12, 2011

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If  you believe in your dream strongly enough, it will come true.

I’ve heard that for so many years. Of course, this statement is not factual. The reason we have stories on the news about people achieving their dreams is because it’s a rarety. It’s the same reason lottery winners end up with their picture in the paper. If everybody was fulfilling their dreams or winning the lottery, there wouldn’t be enough space in the media to cover the stories.

So is there a power to a positive attitude? I would have to ask you what you mean by a positive attitude. If you are referring to a tenacious presence in your thinking, causing you to pursue one particular line of success fervently, then I would have to say no. If by positive attitude you mean taking the benefits of thankful thinking and finding a place to begin with your abilities and make a start of things, knowing that any semblance of being able to do what you dream would be fantastic–then I would say yes.

It’s what Jesus meant by the mustard seed. Once we adopt thankful thinking, we have the clarity of mind to actually segment off our heart’s desire and begin to pursue it with an available avenue. It is the mustard seed. It is the tiniest of seeds, which does not necessarily represent the vision we have for our ultimate goal, but is the seedling of what we desire to be.

When I finally discovered that I wanted to be a writer, I didn’t contact Random House and ask them if they were interested. Why? Because Random House wants to make money, not promote unknown authors. I realized that the time and energy I would expend trying to impress them with my prowess with the pen would be wasted–because their bottom line would scream disapproval over taking on such a literal unknown quantity. Since I wanted to be a writer, what I did was to start writing–paragraphs, song lyrics (which turned into actual songs), little booklets which I passed along to people with some of my ideas–any chance I got to plant my mustard seed of passion about writing I pursued with great perseverance and energy.

Because my emotions were clean and I knew the rudiments of what I possessed, and was granted a thankful brain, I therefore was not afraid to begin small and plant my mustard seed in the ground–daily presenting evidence of what I ultimately wanted to accomplish.

If you think someone else is going to come along and make your dream come true because they possess the connections, money or vision for your project, you not only will end up disappointed, but very often duped by charlatans.

Thankful thinking promotes a positive attitude that causes us to be willing to plant our mustard seed of a dream into life and give it a chance to grow. Do I think it would be better for me to be on television than traveling to churches, sharing my heart? No–because this is my mustard seed. And if I do it well enough where I am, then very possibly I will be given chances to do it more.

If I had become famous at nineteen years of age when I finished writing my first book, my popularity would have lasted six months to a year and by age twenty-one I would have been a has-been. But because I had thankful thinking, I was able to plant my mustard seed, and now, forty-one years later, I have a flourishing work which journeys me all over the country, sharing and granting me tens of thousands of readers for my daily column. It has also given me four decades of blessing, rejoicing and being with beautiful people instead of being a flash in the pan. My mustard seed has grown.

It’s because I was not ashamed to take what I had and with a thankful mind, go out and do something that imitated the ultimate success I desired. If you’re waiting for life to afford you opportunity, you will never find the opportunity already afforded you by life.

Do you want to start a business? Plant your mustard seed. Go out and discover if your product actually sells, face-to-face, with the public. Do you want to be a singer? Go to a nursing home or to a homeless shelter and see if anyone is moved by your voice. Do you want to be a farmer? Start a small garden before you purchase twenty acres of land. Do you want to play sports? Toss the ball around with your neighbors until their abilities no longer challenge you and you’re ready to move to the next level.

I have a friend who wanted to start a business cleaning houses. He did not go out and line up twenty or thirty clients and then develop the ability to conduct his affairs in a professional manner. Instead, he started out by cleaning a couple of houses–including mine–to take in a little bit of money, finding out if he enjoyed it and could discover a way to do it in excellence. He now has more customers than he can handle. His mustard seed has grown.

When your emotions betray you because they are not clean, which causes you to take a poor inventory of what you’ve got, making you mentally ungrateful, you may end up thinking you’re better than what you are because you haven’t planted your mustard seed–you’ve just insisted on being recognized.

  • Clean your emotions. (Here you go)
  • Find out what you really possess. (Here you got)
  • Renew your mind with thankful thinking. (Here you adopt)
  • And begin doing what you desire to achieve–in a mustard seed way. (Here you adapt)

I am a blessed man because I did not sit around waiting for people to make me famous. I realized that the best way to be famous was to leave behind an audience which was impacted by my message. I do it every week.

You will not see me on network television, but by the grace of God, because I have planted my mustard seed, I am still everywhere. I wish the same for you. It is the definition of a positive attitude:

I will adapt my dreams by taking my mustard seed and planting it in the earth that surrounds me instead of demanding opportunities beyond me.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

 

Jonathan sings “Let”

 

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

 

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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