How you view the good and bad that happens in your life will affect your response to the events of life.

And that ultimately changes your long-term results.

Let me show you what I mean by sharing with you a story that I came across…

We all know that Thomas Edison was a pretty amazing inventor.

He invented the phonograph, the microphone, the storage battery, the incandescent light, talking movies, and over 1000 other things.

But don’t be fooled. That doesn’t mean that all his inventions came to him easily.

By December 1914, he had worked for 10 years on a storage battery. And because of this fact, his finances were severely strained.

One evening the worst thing imaginable happened.

Spontaneous combustion broke out in the film room. In just minutes, all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and all the other flammable goods were up in flames.

Fire companies who came from eight surrounding towns showed up to try to save his possessions. But they were halted in doing so. Why? Because the heat was so intense and the water pressure so low. It made all their attempts to put out the flames useless.

Everything was destroyed.

With all his assets up in smoke what would his response to this tragedy be?

The inventor’s son Charles, who was 24 years old at the time, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him. But he was surprised at what he saw.

His Dad was calmly watching the fire, with his face glowing in the reflection and his white hair blowing in the wind.

Charles said, “My heart ached for him. He was 67–no longer a young man–and everything was going up in flames.”

When Edison saw his son he yelled, “Charles, where’s your mother?”
Charles told him he didn’t know where she was and Edison told him, “Go find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’”

If that wasn’t amazing enough, the next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

And what affect did his view of this tragedy have on his life? I can’t tell you all the ways it affected his life, but I can tell you this.

Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.

What Would Happen If?
We can all guess the effect that viewing some positive thing in our lives as a negative thing would have on us.

But what would happened if we began to view some negative things in our lives as positive?

(Or if you can’t get up the strength/courage to do that, how about viewing them, at least, as things that aren’t permanently debilitating?)

In what areas of your life can you change your view of things? What things would change in your life if you did?

The only way to really know is to try it out and see for yourself.

P.S. And if you are saying to yourself, “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. You probably haven’t been through any bad things.” … Have you read the story about the day I was kidnapped?