Use The “What?” Glasses; Ask “What?” Not “Why?”

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

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Ever heard of “stinkin’ thinkin'” before? I have… a lot. Way too often I heard the phrase, “Stop that stinkin’ thinkin’!” The sad reality is, I heard that phrase often because people directed it toward me. I didn’t realize it was something I could stop. Stop complaining? Stop arguing? Stop worrying? That’s just a part of life, right? WRONG! It doesn’t have to be.

My attitude today is nothing like the attitude I had a year ago. I’m sure you’ve heard Jim Rohn’s quote that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If not, then I’m telling you right now that it’s not just a quote. It’s TRUTH. The attitude of the five people you spend the most time with will become yours as well; however, only you are responsible for your own attitude. Your attitude is not the fault of anyone else’s actions, words, etc., BUT others’ attitudes will certainly rub off on you. So if you’re in need of an attitude adjustment, you need to take responsibility for your own attitude AND your first order of responsibility is to check who those five people are.

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” – John C. Maxwell

Philippians 2:14-15When things aren’t right in your life, there’s always one place you can point to that is guaranteed to help you get on track – The Bible. Paul wrote to the Philippians: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”  Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)

I don’t know about you, but I’m not one to read the Word of God and say, “No.” We aren’t supposed to complain. Complaining breeds more complaining. Sulking breeds more sulking. Misery breeds more misery. Arguing breeds more arguing. You getting this yet? If you want to get anywhere worth going in life, you have to have a positive attitude.

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

It’s not that some people just have it and some people don’t. It’s a choice. That’s right, a choice. You can either choose to complain about circumstances and ask, “Why?” and “Why me?” or you can ask “What?” As in, “What can I learn from this experience?” and “What is God trying to teach me?”

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” – Khalil Gibran

Guess what happens when you have a positive attitude and view life through the “What?” glasses? You attract other people who are positive as well. I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand being around negative people and those that complain all the time. I know you all know someone like that. How often have you hung around them and when you left them you were in a sour mood? Probably every time.

Take an inventory of the five people you spend the most time with and of your circumstances. Get an accountability partner; someone that’ll keep you in check if you start complaining. The #1 person I spend time with is Mariah and she’s the most positive person I’ve ever met. She’s also not afraid of keeping me in check either and somehow she always does it in the sweetest manner.

Are you ready to move up in this life or do you want to continue on your same path? “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

“Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.” – Ice Cube

“If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans”

colorboxphoto_22This is a story all about how my life got flip-turned upside down, and I liked to take a minute and sit right there and tell you how I’m glad God didn’t answer my prayer.

Yes, that was dorky, but every time I sit down to tell a story, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song pops in my head. Oh, and if you’re like me, that’s one theme song that you can’t get out of your head the rest of the day. You’re welcome.

Since our engagement, the most frequent question people ask Mariah and me is, “how did y’all meet?” Well, this is how:

It all started with a prayer a little over a year ago when I asked that The Lord not put anyone in my life that I would be attracted to because I didn’t want anything or anyone to become a distraction for the plans I had for myself and my business (my independent distributorship with AdvoCare). I told God my plans and what I wanted to do and where I planned on being in the next year. I was very content on living the single life. I was devoted to my business and my personal growth to the nth degree. The word focused doesn’t even begin to describe it. Well, some of you may have heard this before, but I think there’s a lot of truth to it: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I told Him, and He laughed.

Throughout my AdvoCare journey, I have met some amazing people and some that I consider family. One of them is Danielle Butler. Yes, THE Danielle Butler! Danielle is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met and to label her and her husband Jonathan as my friends would downplay the relationship we have with each other. I view them as family. Danielle has this amazing blog that has gone viral and it turns out it had reached a certain individual that The Lord worked through to create the Mariah-James connection. That person is Michelle Kopecky, Mariah’s former roommate.

Michelle found Danielle through her blog and reached out to hear regarding AdvoCare. It wasn’t long before Michelle began building her own AdvoCare business and Mariah was one of the first people she spoke with. After having great results with the products, Mariah began doing the same and her communications with Danielle became frequent.

A week before Thanksgiving 2013, Danielle asked Mariah what her plans for the Thanksgiving holiday were. She initially planned to have a Thanksgiving dinner with her friend Kathleen in her Baton Rouge apartment. That didn’t sit well with Danielle. Mariah had recent car problems and resulted in her not being able make it home to Chicago. So knowing I’m from New Orleans, an hour away from Baton Rouge, Danielle reached out to me and asked if my family would take Mariah and Kathleen in for Thanksgiving dinner. I told her we would love to have them and we routinely have guests over for the holidays; however, I didn’t realize Danielle thought I was going home to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t… I was spending Thanksgiving with my parents in Alabama, four hours away from Baton Rouge.

Danielle introduced Mariah and I through texts and everything was set until Kathleen booked a flight home and Mariah no longer had transportation to my parents’ house. When I learned of that information and that it appeared Mariah would be stuck in her apartment… alone… on Thanksgiving, that’s when it hit me. Many of my family and friends know my past financial struggles due to student loan debt, but most people don’t know how bad it was. My student loan payments were so high that a few years ago I couldn’t even afford gas to get myself home for Thanksgiving. By the way, that was the worst Thanksgiving of my life. Now I had the opportunity to help someone else, someone I had never met, from experiencing the same thing I did years ago.

I offered to pay for a rental car and the gas if Mariah would still make the drive to Alabama. She accepted. Mariah arrived at my parents’s house the night before Thanksgiving, stepped out of the car, and said, “Hi! I’m Mariah.”

That one decision to help someone in need reshaped my life. The relationship that I have had with Danielle and Jonathan lead to Danielle trusting me to take care of her friend and changed my future. Because I said “YES” to AdvoCare, both of those things were possible. Now I’m going to be marrying an amazing God fearing Christian, an amazing cook, a hilarious woman with a beautiful smile, the most incredible woman I have ever met, and my best friend. God can laugh all He wants… He sure put a smile on my face too. Thank You Lord for NOT answering my prayer.