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Stir Up Your Enthusiasm
By Joel Osteen - Mar 31, 2010
I read an interesting article a while back that talked about how most children are born with great enthusiasm. Overall, they're excited, happy and have a real zeal for life. But this study showed that by the time the average child reaches ten years of age, their enthusiasm starts to fade, and they begin to take on a negative bent toward life.

I believe God put that enthusiasm on the inside of each one of us for a purpose; but if we're going to keep it, we have to stir it up on a daily basis. Otherwise, before long, the pressures and stress of life will drag us down and cause us to look at the wrong things.

It's like this man I heard about one time. He was very down and discouraged so he went to see his minister. He said, "Nothing's going right in my life. I don't have any reason to be excited." The minister replied, "All right, let's just do a little exercise." He pulled out a legal pad and drew a line down the center of it. He said, "On this left side, we're going to list all of the good things in your life, everything that's going right. On the right side, we're going to list all of your problems and the things that are bothering you." The man kind of chuckled and said, "Well, I'm not going to have anything to put on the asset side." The minister said, "Fine, let's just go through the exercise." The man just put his head down and the minister said, "I'm so sorry to hear that your wife passed away." The man jumped back and said, "What are you talking about? My wife didn't pass away. She's alive and healthy." The minister said, "Oh." And he wrote down on the asset side "Has a wife alive and healthy." Then the minister said, "I'm so sorry to hear that your house burned down." The man replied, "My house didn't burn down. I've got a beautiful house." The minister said, "Oh." And he wrote down "Has a beautiful house." Then the minister said, "I'm really sad to hear that you lost your job." The man said, "Where are you getting all this nonsense? I've got a great job." He wrote down "Has a great job." About that time, the man caught on. He said, "Give me that list." And he took it and wrote down a couple of dozen more good things in his life. By the time he was finished, he went out of there with a completely different attitude. All he had to do to regain his enthusiasm was to simply change his perspective.

Today, if you are struggling to stay excited about your life, if you struggle with staying passionate, why don't you do what this man did and make a list of all the things that you have to be grateful for. If you have your health, write it down. If you can see, write it down. If you've got a job, write "I've got a job." "I've got family." "I've got friends." "I've got children." Make that list and then every day before you leave the house, go over it two or three times and get your mind going in the right direction. Remember, your life is going to follow your thoughts, so get your thoughts going in the right direction so you can live with passion and enthusiasm the way God intends!
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