Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one's attitude in any given
set of circumstances, to choose one's way.
Viktor Frankl, concentration camp
survivor. Philippians 2:12-18.
Joe Theismann enjoyed an illustrious 12-year career as quarterback of the Washington
Redskins. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances--winning in 1983 before losing
the following year. When a leg injury forced him out of football in 1985, he was entrenched
in the record books as Washington's all-time leading passer. Still, the tail end of
Theismann's career taught him a bitter lesson: I got stagnant. I thought the team revolved
around me. I should have known it was time to go when I didn't care whether a pass hit Art
Monk in the 8 or the 1 on his uniform. When we went back to the Super Bowl, my approach
had changed. I was griping about the weather, my shoes, practice times,
Today I wear my two rings--the winner's ring from Super Bowl XVII and the loser's ring
from Super Bowl XVIII. The difference in those two rings lies in applying oneself and not
accepting anything but the best.
Reader's Digest, January, 1992.
In The Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins tells of
being hospitalized with a rare, crippling disease. When he was diagnosed as incurable,
Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions
can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie
projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old
"Candid Camera" reruns. It didn't take long for him to discover that 10 minutes
of laughter provided two hours of pain free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was
eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal
of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3000 letters from appreciative physicians
throughout the world.
Today in the Word, MBI, December 18, 1991.
A person's mental attitude has an almost unbelievable effect on his powers, both
physical and psychological. The British psychiatrist, J.A. Hadfield, gives a striking
illustration of this fact in his booklet, The Psychology of Power. "I asked three
people," he wrote, "to submit themselves to test the effect of mental suggestion
on their strength, which was measured by gripping a dynamometer." They were to grip
the dynamometer with all their strength under three different sets of conditions. First he
tested them under normal conditions. The average grip was 101 pounds. Then he tested them
after he had hypnotized them and told them that they were very weak. Their average grip
this time was only 29 pounds! In the third test Dr. Hadfield told them under hypnosis that
they were very strong. The average grip jumped to 142 pounds.
Bits & Pieces, May, 1991,
Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation's deserts. All vultures see is
rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But
hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful
blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill
themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new
life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking
for. We all do.
Steve Goodier, Quote Magazine, in Reader's
Digest, May, 1990.
The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a
magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview
some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, "What are you
doing?" The first replied, "I'm cutting stone for 10 shillings a day." The
next answered, "I'm putting in 10 hours a day on this job." But the third said,
"I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London's greatest
A chaplain was speaking to a soldier on a cot in a hospital. "You have lost an arm
in the great cause," he said. "No," said the soldier with a smile. "I
didn't lose it--I gave it." In that same way, Jesus did not lose His life. He gave it