Louis Zamperini and how our future resides in our daily thinking

Aaron McHugh

Louis Zamperini-WWII POW survivor

Our mind holds power for our future.

In our daily thinking reside our success, adventure, happiness, peace, innovation, and hope.

In tandem, our mind can perceive or conceive of loneliness, anger, boredom, apathy and victimization.

Louis Zamperini -age 96, WWII Prisoner of War survivor is an example to be studied.

His story is being featured in an upcoming movie Unbroken.

We must own what occurs within our thinking.  

Successful fruit-producing people in Life, Work, and Relationships own the responsibility of their conclusions, actions, and interpretations.

Whether we were born wealthy and were cared for by nannies or poor and ate free lunch at school.

We all have an equal beginning in the battle for our mind, our beliefs, and understandings.

Even if we are justified, we can still choose life.

Unbroken’s Louis Zamperini learned to skateboard at age 72.

Lou is a World War II prisoner-of-war survivor.

In Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand describes the unthinkable, unconscionable atrocities done to Lou while in captivity.

By any account he would be justified to be a bitter and cold old man.

And who could have blamed him?

Yet in spite of the pardon for bitterness we would be willing to grant him, he is instead full of joy and hope (age 96 today).

Some people choose to carve out an alternative interpretation of their present challenge.

Some people choose to wallow in their plight.

Each of us have a story that should be told and listened to.

It may be a story of business success or failure.

Maybe it is a story of relational redemption or unraveling.

I have learned that I must not allow my interpretation of my stories to hold me captive.

Here are a couple categories to consider reshaping our thinking

  1. A boss that is impossible
    Release him/her to be miserable, but don’t join them. Spending our lives being miserable because someone makes us so is no way to live. I’ve found in difficult relationships like a boss that it is better to reshape my thinking. Acknowledge that they are actually the one who is miserable. I choose not to be a victim and release them from the responsibility of making me “happy”.
  2. Financial hardship
    The biggest mental enemy of this category is the phrase “I deserve it”.  Who enjoys being broke?  No one?  Personally, I’ve had little and I’ve had much.  I love what Dave Ramsey says about this, “If you want to be rich, hang out with rich people.” His point is do what successful people do.
    My experience shows that without a plan nothing will change. Most plans force us to do things we really don’t initially want to do. We have to conclude that our current financial pain is greater than the behavior that needs to change. Once we reach that conclusion in our mind, we’ve got a shot for our circumstances to improve.
  3. Health & Fitness
    I meet a lot of people who “wish they had time to exercise.” I know that seems true. Usually, the greater reality is we simply choose other things instead of exercise. And that is o.k. if we own the fact that we would rather watch a movie or work too much or volunteer with our free time. Either way, once we make up our mind that we are tired of being tired or weary of our aches and pains, change will come. I’ve found that even fifteen minutes of something is monumentally better than nothing.
    (Feel free to email me and ask me more about this theory-15 Min).

Like Lou Zamperini, we have a choice about how we interpret our life.

Most of which is up to us.

What interpretations and conclusions can you choose today?