Have you watched the news lately? Read the news paper? Scoured an online news site?
If so, think about this question: What makes “news” headlines?
It doesn’t take much to realize how we are assaulted with “news” that is negative, sad, depressing and often more about the evil in this world, than the good. The purist will argue, “well, that’s what’s happening in the world [country, city, neighborhood] around me, so I want to be informed.” No doubt, being informed is important.
But it’s also important to realize that this bombardment of negativity has a profound impact on people. Numerous studies of have been done showing that people who fill their minds with the news are more negative, less optimistic and less hopeful about life. And I understand why. Look at this collection of news headlines from this morning, collected from several online news sources:
“Scramble for vaccine as flue spreads”
“Was she assaulted: new look at Natalie Wood’s death”
“Smog fills Beijing”
“Looming defense cuts have contractors fleeing industry”
“The worst way to live”
“Indian gang rape”
“What to do during a shooting”
I didn’t have to search for these headlines, they were the first ones to pop up on these popular sites. What do you see? Fear. Fear of the flu. Fear of a cover up by authorities. Fear of environmental disaster. Fear of more job losses and military cuts. Fear that you might be living badly. Fear of gangs. Fear of another shooting.
Please, don’t hear me downplaying any of these things. I’m not suggesting there is no flu epidemic this year. I’m not minimizing someone’s death, or ignoring cultural concerns (smog, shootings etc…) What I’m suggesting is that filling our minds with these issues produces one primary thought or emotion: fear. But living the Overboard life means choosing our thoughts carefully, choosing not to be people who live and make decisions based on fear.
My suggestion: Make some new headlines in your life!
If we are going to rise above the fear-creating headlines of the world around us, we are going to have to generate some new headlines. We are going to have to live a life worth talking about, worth thinking about. We are going to have to live, not in the comfort of the boat (which by the way, is usually comfortable because we’re afraid of what’s outside the boat), but out on the water where Jesus is building His Kingdom.
To do that, I believe we must be goal-setting and goal-achieving people. In Tommy Newberry’s latest book, 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life, he writes this about goals: “With clear goals, you make important decisions in advance -- thus avoiding the natural human tendency to drift into the world’s agenda” (34). Without goals, you and I are most likely going to live in response to the fears that are plastered in today’s headlines.
What are you doing to create and achieve goals in your life? How are you making headlines worth talking about? Take some time today to think about the headlines you would like to read about. How can you be a part of creating those with your life? Part of the answer is in prayerful goal setting and achieving, living a remarkable life for God! What headlines would you like people to be talking about? Leave a “headline” in the comments that you would love to be a part of creating (mine would be: “Father starts new Friday night tradition: Family game night was full of big laughs, great memories and family fun!”
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!
P.S. Today, January 14th, is the last day to join me, Traci, dozens of our friends and thousands of people world wide, in the 100 Day challenge to kick off 2013. People from around the world are choosing to make better headlines in the first 100 days of 2013, will you join us? Through THIS LINK we can show you a short video about the program, and offer you a $50 discount, so that the cost is less than $1 per day. This program is awesome, and I highly recommend you use it if you want to make better headlines with your life.