Indifference:  The mild approach to life.  Don't let this rob you of the good life.

Indecision :  The greatest thief of opportunity.  A life of adventure is a life filled with many decisions--good ones and bad ones.

Doubt:  One of the worst is self-doubt.  Turn the coin over.  Belief is a better gamble than doubt.

Worry:  The real killer.  Worry in its final stages can reduce you to begging.  It causes health problems and financial problems.

Overcaution:  Some people will never have much.  They're just too cautious.  Let the record book show you won, or let it show you lost, but don't let it show you failed to play the game.

The Cures

Indifference:  The most effective cure for this "mild approach to life" is to get excited about something.  Point yourself in one direction and move toward it.  It could be anything from being the best gardener on the block to running an effective organization.  But you will never know the thrill of the hunt until you get yourself worked up about something.  Today, start putting everything you've got into everything you do.  It's the perfect cure for this killer disease.

Indecision:  The antidote for indecision is simple:  Don't just stand something!  Get off the dime and get a move on.  You don't have to discover the cure for some rare disease.  Your decision may simply be to read a book on how to further your career, or it may be patching up a relationship that is significant to you.

Doubt:  This is the greatest killer of all.  Especially self-doubt.  The Scriptures tell us not to think overly impressive thoughts of ourselves.  But they also encourage us to think realistically about our strengths, abilities, gifts, and talents.  The cure for self-doubt is belief-not a blind allegiance toward doing the improbable, but a healthy belief in ourselves and in the gifts God has so generously given to each of us.  That includes you.  Everyone has God--give gifts.  What are yours?

Worry:  The Word of God is such comfort if we will choose to believe what is tells us.  First Peter 5:7 reads, "Casting all your care on him, for he cares for you."  I can think of no greater assault on the problem of worry than to quietly take our pain and frustration and place them at the feet of the Savior.  Among the most visible benefits may even be a reduction in your lower back pain and fewer attacks of peptic ulcers.

Overcaution:  This is the "what if" syndrome.  You've been there.  "What if" I speak up and declare my own point of view on this issue?  I might lose some friends in the process.  "What if" I decide to do something nice for myself, like buy a car or take a long trip?  "They" might think I'm selfish.  "What if" I buy a new home, get saddled with high payments, and then lose my job?  I can't prove it statistically, but I would be willing to wager that 95% of our worries never ever come to pass.

The opposite side of timidity and overcaution is adventure--taking risks and accepting challenges that are beyond your immediate ability to deliver.  This is what a life of excellence is all about.

But these diseases of attitude are always lurking, always ready to infest and infect the garden of your mind.  So be on guard.  Keep sowing attitudes that are constructive, that will bring you a step closer each day to the goals you have set for yourself.  It's part of the pursuit of excellence.  And it will help keep you from being afflicted with that most dread of all diseases--the status quo (which someone has said is Latin for "the mess we're in"!).

Ted W. Engstrom, The Pursuit of Excellence, (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1982)

Diseases of Attitude

Symptoms of Stinking Thinking

Diseases / Cures
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Diseases / Cures
Don't Quit
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