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Your Mindset Matters

This past Thanksgiving we had a great time watching an early season of "Holiday Baking Championship" while we cooked, and later lolled about in a turkey coma. The series made us drool and laugh. But it also taught us a good lesson. The winner was Erin Campbell, a perky elf of a baker, full of Christmas spirit and the perfect candidate for the program. The thing about Erin was that she always kept a positive mindset. Her pots de creme wouldn't gel, and instead of getting discouraged, she made them into something else. Her soaring optimism led her to attempt to build a whole tea party scene out of gingerbread, and she nailed it! We decided that Erin's mindset gave her a winning advantage.

Does your mindset give you a winning advantage? Martin Seligman, a father of positive psychology, found that pessimistic thinkers display three characteristics when they face a setback. They think that the situation will always be messed up, that it means that everything is messed up, and that their own failings led to the mess up. In contrast, positive thinkers think that the mess up is temporary, that it is only one instance of a mess up, and that other things contributed to the mess up.

Okay, it's easy to say, but hard to do! Life dishes up a lot of crises. But if we keep our perspective, we stand a better chance of coming out on top.

In the Bible, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Instead of giving into despondency, he stayed faithful, and ended up as one of the top officials in Egypt. When he finally faced his brothers, who were remorseful, Joseph told them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)

That thing we think is bad can work for good. Let's have the mindset to bring it about.

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