The Power of Positive and Resilient Thinking

How you think has the power to unlock your future. In fact, reaching your full potential begins first in your mind. You must Think to Your Full Potential before you see your potential fully realized. While there are numerous approaches to embrace in our thinking, I believe positive and resilient thinking are crucial. Consider two passages of Scripture:

Peter 3:1 – Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.  

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

These two passages demonstrate the power of positive and resilient thinking. Being positive and resilient go hand in hand. Why? Because the need for positive thinking is most evident when we face setbacks in our lives. When we are positive, we’re able to be resilient…to bounce back from the setback.

In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell illustrates the power of positive and resilient thinking in “The Law of Pain.” The Law of Pain says, “Good management of bad experiences leads to great growth.” Maxwell shares the story of Cheryl McGuinness to illustrate this law.

Cheryl lived through the horrific terrorist acts of 9/11…but her husband Tom did not. Tom was a pilot for American Airlines, and on September 11, 2001, Tom was the co-pilot of Flight #11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center.

Very quickly Cheryl discovered what it was like to be a single mom and a widow, but she coped the best that she could. As you reflect on her response, you quickly see that she chose a path of positive and resilient thinking. In her book, Beauty Beyond the Ashes, Cheryl says:

“I am learning more each day. The circumstances of 9/11 have forced me to examine who I am, to face myself in ways that I never had to before, to ask, ‘What does God want for me? What can I do in him, by his power within me? How will he use me to touch others?’ I am learning more about myself and about God. And I am learning it on my own, not through Tom’s filter.”

Because she chose a positive and resilient attitude, Cheryl has grown into a person she otherwise would not have become, despite the terrible acts of 9/11. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 she said, “It’s a terrible, terrible day that I don’t think anybody can ever forget…Out of the ashes of September 11, out of the rubble that day, I can emerge to say that I am stronger today than 10 years ago.”

Cheryl’s good management of a bad experience has truly led to her growth. Positive and resilient thinking keeps our potential from dying with our pain. And if you’re going to reach your full potential, you must think positively and choose resilience even when your circumstances dictate otherwise.

Question: How has positive and resilient thinking changed your life and shaped your circumstances?