health, assets, the princess bride, scarcity, abundance, attitude

Why Didnít You List That Among Your Assets?

Why Didnít You List That Among Your Assets?

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. Iíve seen it enough times that I can quote most of the lines from memory, yet the dialog never gets old, I always find myself laughing, and I feel energized and unstoppable when itís over.

Iíve asked myself what it is about the movie that leaves me feeling that way and Iíve come up with a few answers. The first, of course, is that the movie is fun. It always makes me smile.

Itís impossible to feel down while smiling. If you arenít so sure about that hereís a little test you can do right now. Think about something that upsets you. Maybe it makes you feel angry, maybe it makes you feel sad, or maybe it simply makes you want to say, in the immortal words of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bah! Humbug!

Got that thought. Good. Now smile. Make it the biggest smile you can possibly produce, an ear-to-ear kind of smile. Hold it . . . hold it . . . O.K. How do you feel? If youíre like most people youíve found it impossible to maintain a negative outlook.

Use that to your advantage. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, the phone company makes an error on you monthly statement, or you hear an unkind word, smile. Just smile.

Another reason I feel good after watching The Princess Bride is that it has a happy ending. I insist upon happy endings. If Iím going to invest my time and my money in a book or a movie I want a happy ending. The happier the ending the better I like it. Anything less and I feel cheated.

I have the same outlook on life, by the way. I highly recommend it. Why invest your time and effort in living a life that has a sad ending?

The Apostle Paul had that outlook. ďAll things,Ē he wrote, ď work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Ē

Iím convinced, however, that the main reason I like the movie so much and feel so good after watching it is that it constantly sends the message that nothing is impossible. Even if the hero is dead - well, mostly dead, thereís a big difference between mostly dead and all dead Ė there is still hope. There is still the possibility of a miracle. There are times I need to be reminded that nothing is impossible, provided that I do the right things long enough, consistently enough and never give up. Itís a terrific message.

As the plot is approaching its climax the hero, Westley, and his two companions are faced with a seemingly impossible task. They must storm the castle where Westleyís true love is being forced to marry the villain, Prince Humperdinck. Westley is still so weak from his ordeal that he is unable to stand. The castle gate is locked and guarded by sixty armed men. Westley asks what they have to work with.

ďYour brain, my steel, and Fezzikís strength, replies Inigo.

ďIf only we had a wheelbarrow,Ē muses Westley.

When Inigo and Fezzik reply that they know where to find a wheelbarrow nearby Westley responds sharply, ďWhy didnít you list that among our assets in the first place?Ē

Nothing will destroy a personís health more quickly and more completely than a feeling of hopelessness. No food, no nutritional supplement, no wondrous herb or amazing drug will restore health if an individual lacks hope.

We tend to head in the direction we are looking. My driverís education instructor in high school taught that the most important step when approaching oncoming traffic is to look straight ahead in your own lane, because the car will have a tendency to travel in the same direction you are looking.

A pilot friend of mine reminded me of that principle recently. He was a flight instructor in the Air Force for many years. He told me that one of the first things he learned as a flight instructor was to look straight ahead in the cockpit, for if he turned his head to one side he would quickly feel the plane drifting that direction as the student followed the direction of his gaze.

I believe that one of the reasons many people do not view their future with optimism is that they fail to list all their assets. They view life from the vantage point of scarcity. They habitually list what they lack and rarely take an inventory of what they have. As a result their lives, like a plane in the hands of a student pilot, head in the direction they are looking: toward more scarcity, greater pain, and added sickness rather than toward an ever-increasing level of wellness.

What are your assets? Take an inventory today. List ten assets that are at your disposal. Your list might include such things as a sound mind, flexibility, a supportive spouse, a loving family, good food, creativity, a personal relationship with God, nutritional supplements, a strong work ethic, and a sense of humor, or it might be entirely different. List your assets. Do the same tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Make it a habit, and then apply them to whatever challenges come your way. Donít wait for someone to ask, ďWhy didnít you list that among your assets in the first place?Ē

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