The frog that kept swimming
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2018 - 12:01am

During the early years of my speaking career, one of the many books I have read that was filed appropriately under my “Most Favorite Reads” shelf is a book entitled: “God’s Little Devotional Book.”  I had volumes 1 and 2 of that book.

People ask me why I am so optimistic, positive, and always like to look at the good side of things. Perhaps it is because the world is so full of negative things and messages, and I would like to do something different and present another perspective. Maybe it is because I have been through some pretty tough times, yet going through them and not getting away from them has made me wiser and tougher so that I can now face bigger challenges. But I guess the most important reason is that it gives me such a nice feeling whenever someone tells me they have been going through tough times and my stories, articles, or broadcast materials have helped them pull through.

Optimism is powerful and contagious. Allow me to share this material I got from the book I mentioned and then add some comments of my own.

Regarding optimism:

The pessimist will see a glass filled to the half-way mark with water as being half empty, the optimist as being half full, and the optimistically creative person will see it as a vase for a rosebud, while the optimistic pragmatist as a means of quenching thirst, whereas the optimistic priest as water to bless for baptism!

So it’s different strokes for different folks, with different perspectives that suit different eyes.

Consider the benefits of choosing the optimistic route as described in this poem:

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl,

One has an optimistic soul;

But the other took the gloomy view,

“I shall drown,” he cried, “and so will you.”

So with a last despairing cry,

He closed his eyes and said, “Good-bye.”

But the other frog, with a merry grin

Said, “I can’t get out, but I won’t give in!

I’ll swim around till my strength is spent.

For having tried, I’ll die content.”

Bravely he swam until it would seem

His struggles began to churn the cream.

On the top of the butter at last he stopped

And out of the bowl he happily hopped.

What is the moral? It’s easily found.

If you can’t get out - keep swimming around!

And here is some cream for thought:

Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns.

I have had businesses that did not do well.

I have had people I trusted betray me.

I have had my own dash of FB bashing, slander, and unfair criticism, and these things are not easy to handle.

But over the years, I have been extra careful of the moments when sadness, anger, regret, and depression would hit me and it’s usually when I am alone in a quiet place.

Those disconcerting thoughts would come and rob me of my joy.

This is what I focus on. I pray, and then I follow what the Scriptures say in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whosoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if thee be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (NIV version)

It’s not magic and it’s not superstition, but it is the filling up of the mind and heart with good things that would counter fear and anxiety, and provide me with the clarity of mind to think critically, and to make good and right decisions empowered by God’s grace and mercy.

My optimism is tempered by realism, but then I trust in God’s promise that as long as I do what is right, the results would be good for me.

Meanwhile, those who are constantly anxious and perplexed may just find themselves even more vulnerable and susceptible to harm.

This is why one wag says:

 “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist, while you guys were arguing about the glass of water, I drank it. 

Sincerely,

The opportunist.

So be careful!

(Francis Kong teams up with Luigi Mapa in a two-day seminar workshop “Leadership That Matters” this June 25-26 at Marqui Convention Center BGC. For registrations or further inquiries contact Inspire Leadership Consultancy and look for Pauline at 0998-841-7217 or 0917-561-4673)

GOD’S LITTLE DEVOTIONAL BOOK
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