Staying Positive When Life Hands You a Flat

The family bike ride to the park was something that the girls had been excited about all week.  “When are we going to go?” was a frequently asked question that day.  After lunch we packed snacks and pedaled off toward the park.  About a mile and half into the ride Amy’s bike began making a hissing sound.  Soon all the air was out of her back tire.  Smiling and staying positive is easy when things are going well; the challenge is staying positive when life hands you a flat tire.  Let’s look at three keys to staying positive even during trying times.

Sometimes life hands you a flat

Amy walking her bike after the back tire went flat.

Goal Focused

Have you ever watched a competitive foot race?  Have you noticed how the runners that are serious about winning always keep their focus on what is ahead?  They’re not looking around, or looking behind.  They are focused on the finish line – their goal.

Goals serve to motivate us.  They remind us not only of why we’re doing what we’re doing, but they also motivate and inspire us to press forward to reach our goal.  Focusing on your goal when things go wrong is a key to not letting difficulty derail your progress.  When problems come along you have a choice – focus on the problem, or focus on your goal.  The one that you focus on will grow larger in your life.

Positive People

A kind and encouraging word can make all the difference in the world when your faith needs bolstering.  When you surround yourself with positive people, it becomes much easier to receive the support and encouragement that you need in order to stay positive and focused on where you’re going.  This is an important aspect of the power of associating with the right people.

Attitudes are contagious.  That is why it’s so important to surround yourself with people whose attitude and outlook on life is one that will serve you well.  The attitude and life-outlook of those you surround yourself with will rub off on you.


The largest challenge during trying times is that of staying centered and balanced.  It is so easy to get caught off-guard and allow that difficulty to steal your focus, your energy, your time, and your peace of mind.  Staying centered even when life hands you a flat is largely about raising your consciousness and awareness.  On the physical level, it is about taking time to reflect and to think.  It is about making sure that you’re not missing the forest for the trees.  It is about being proactive and not reactive.

Exercise is an excellent tool that can help you stay centered – particularly if you skip the iPod.  You’ll be amazed at how much more centered you’ll feel after a long quiet walk.

Staying positive isn’t about burying your head in the sand and pretending there really aren’t any problems.  That’s not productive.  Staying positive is about focusing on where you are going, surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you, and staying centered.

When Amy’s tire went flat we focused on the goal – getting to the park.  We simply walked our bikes the rest of the way.  As it turned out this family bike trip to the park was a bit more of an adventure than previous trips, but no less enjoyable.  When life hands you lemons, you’ve gotta make lemonade.

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