As I write this, it’s -40 degrees on the thermometer outside our kitchen window.
That’s what most of the Canadian Prairies have been dealing with this weekend. When I hear about cities running buses for homeless people to sleep in, I am filled with gratitude for having a warm home.
When I went to unplug and start my Jeep this morning, I forgot about the homeless people and found myself being cranky about the weather. And then I reminded myself that the weather doesn’t care about how angry I am that it’s cold.
And at that moment I reminded myself of something I learned years ago: there is a difference between a firm mind and an infirm mind – between being mentally strong and being mentally weak.
A firm, strong mind is about living aligned with your vision and the principles that guide your life. It’s about having an attitude toward life where your actions aren’t swayed by your external environment (like cold weather).
Steven Covey used to say that having a strong mind is ensuring that you have a private victory in the morning to set yourself up for a public victory later in the day. Getting into the gym on cold, dark Canadian mornings and on the yoga mat when I just want to crawl back into bed, is a strength to get me through this cold weather – and the challenges of life.
There is a reservoir of capacity that lies within us all. When I do something difficult each morning it helps me tap into this inner potential and provides a small private victory that enables me to serve and hopefully make the world just a little better by my actions throughout the day.