Passionate Pursuit of Purpose

How you can change the weather.

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Character Development, Finding Destiny, Leadership | 1 comment

It is the first week of spring and this morning the snow was coming down.  My daughter climbed up on a stool to look out window at the falling snow.  “It is so pretty!” she exclaimed.  “Can I wear my boots?”

While most adults seem to complain about winter’s persistence, my daughter is excited by the beauty and opportunity the snow provides.  Think about the energy and emotion wasted by complaining about something that we have no control over.  Can you change the weather?

“It is so pretty!”

Enjoying the snow.

Enjoying the snow.

“Can I wear my boots?”

Maybe we can’t change the weather. We can change our attitude about it.

My wife and I own several rental properties. Over the last 6 years, we have been the victim of break-ins, had tenants who purposely damaged our property, and stole from us.  At one house we had the furnace stolen, hot water heater, even the kitchen sink.  I had a tenant who punched holes in the walls, and called the building inspector on us. Then she stole our appliances when she moved out.  How should I respond?

I could get mad at the injustice of it.  I could curse the thieves. What good does either of those do?  I am angry, blood pressure is through the roof, and I still have to deal with the problems.  If I don’t forgive those people, every time I go about fixing the damage they caused I will just get mad all over again. 

Expressing our Anger doesn’t solve the problem!

I focus on what I need to learn from the experience, such as exterior security doors, and a better tenant screening procedure.  Then I go to work getting the home ready for the next person who needs it.  Laughing about “they took everything including the kitchen sink.”

Why let snow ruin your week? Why let other people’s selfish actions ruin your day?  As Steven Covey writes in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, focus on your circle of influence instead of your circle of concern.  In other words… focus on things that you can change.

If you focus on things you can change, the weather won’t bother you and the past will be a history lesson. As Dan Miller says “I carry my sunshine on the inside.”

What impact will focusing on things you can change have in your life today?