How quickly can your life change?

Can one transform oneself from a negative to a positive person rapidly?
By any chance, do others view you as negative?
Someone at your work is the most negative; would you rank amongst the candidates?
Do you help others see the good aspects of work or indeed of their lives? 

There are two types of change: revolution and evolution. Revolution occurs rapidly. Evolution not so much; evolution tends to wander and rarely in a linear fashion.

I write today about the prospect of revolution and the potential to rapidly transition from a negative Nelly to a personality which elevates the attitudes, approaches and relationships around you.

The first step is to realize there are plenty of people with big problems but you likely are not one of them. All your issues are first world problems, not unlike getting the middle seat on an airline flight.

You have diabetes? Check your blood regularly, take your insulin with gratitude that you have it, and move on. Every life has a bit of rain.

Next, consider this scene. Three men have just been nailed to crosses. The one in the middle was whipped and beaten; scourged. He is bleeding profusely and in great pain even notwithstanding the fact his body weight is supported by his arms which have those nails driven through them. His chest heaves, searching for air, as do the chests of the other two. They are on the edge of suffocation and in enormous pain.

Agony abounds.

Blood, torn flesh, and pitiful screaming would describe the scene.

Soldiers and passers-by jeer the guy in the middle, as does a criminal on the cross beside him.

Our tradition indeed suggests both criminals jeered, yet one of them changed. He had a revolutionary change. Something happened and his life in eternity changed as it has for no other man is history. He went from criminal to saint in a matter of moments. Whatever he saw from that agonizing vantage point changed him.

Tradition tells us the good thief was named Dismas. He said to the other thief “Dost not even thou fear God, seeing that thou art under the same sentence? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what our deeds deserved; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he spoke to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

Dismas was canonized by Christ Himself. The only person, including Mary, that we know from the Gospels, indeed from the mouth of Christ Himself, to be in heaven. The world had abandoned Jesus but Dismas did not and Jesus that moment made that thief a saint.

I use this to highlight my firm belief that only two moments matter in your life.  The first moment is now. The second moment is the hour of your death. 

Now is the time to make a change. If you are negative, change now. Do not concern yourself with what you’ve done in the past or the thought that others’ opinions cannot be changed. They can, though that matters little at the hour of your death.

Tombstone vocabulary is the goal: beloved, kind, friend, generous, faithful. These are the terms we hope for; we live for. A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter- a good goal for all of us.
Not too many tombstones describe the deceased as a great fertilizer salesman. Don’t live your life that way.

My articles and presentations are generally secular. I advocate positive, productive, fresh, and enthusiastic. Words to live by. Words describing a filter through which all behaviors are measured. Yet the story I related about Dismas is one I consider often. 

The centurions who crucified Jesus did so while mocking him, belittling him, adorning him with a crown of thorns. Then they too experienced something which changed their hearts. A biblical scholar I am not but the Gospels make clear this much. The dim-eyed, maybe blind, centurion Longinus speared Jesus (to ensure he had died and thus did not break his legs, as was the SOP, and thus fulfilled the scriptures that no bone would be broken). Longinus regained his sight and himself had an epiphany. His life changed radically.

History is replete with men and women who have turned their lives around, who have risen from depths to heights. Who among them would not encourage you? Encourage you to fulfill your potential, to be beloved, to love, to accomplish, and to be faithful. 

Act Now.

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