Several years ago researcher Martin Seligman performed experiments showing that we could teach dogs to become helpless in various situations. Seligman then applied those same experiments to human beings. He discovered that during the course of our lives we all develop something called “learned helplessness.”

How do we change this? Seligman found that through “learned optimism” we could change our outlook so that we could begin to believe that we do have a role in altering our lives. While we can’t change other people and some circumstances, we can take control of our lives and take small steps toward transforming our outlook, and in turn, our health and well-being.

“We all procrastinate at one time or another. The most unfortunate procrastination of all is to put off
being happy.” – Maureen Mueller

Viktor Frankl wrote his book Man’s Search for Meaning after spending two years as a prisoner of war. During that time he concluded: “I have very little liberty from a physical standpoint.” But, he said, “I have all the freedom in the world to intellectually frame the experiences that come into my life . . . We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others and giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”


God has given us the power of choice — we don’t have to become victims. Outlook is not the consequence of what others do to me — I am in control of my outlook. So I can opt to see the good. I can choose to see the beautiful, to appreciate what surrounds me. My choices alter the way I view life, either improving or distorting my perspective.


Lord, thank you for all of the wonderful blessings You have placed into my life. Help me to stay focused on things that are true, noble, pure, lovely and of good report. Amen.