From 1970 to 1984, “Dandy” Don Meredith was a key announcer on ABC’s Monday Night Football. He is best known for singing, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” when the game’s outcome was sealed. If your team was winning, you loved hearing that tune. If your team was losing, then you hated that song because there was nothing you could do to change the outcome. Your team was going to lose.
Are you currently dealing with a difficult relationship? Do you find yourself in that same helpless place where it seems as if all hope is lost” You may think “It’s too late to turn this around…there is nothing left to do but turn out the lights.” If that describes you, then I encourage you to resist that feeling. There is a way to change the outcome. You do not have to lose! There is a powerful tool you can use to “turn on the lights” in this relationship once again.
Life is lived between your ears. Your thoughts control your decisions and your decisions control your outcome. When you fall into the trap of being critical of others, only focusing on their faults, it darkens your ability to see any good in them or the relationship. The more critical you become, the more darkness you feel in your relationship. With a critical frame of mind, your thoughts become obsessed with the faults of others, blinding you to your own faults. When this occurs, you start believing that all of the negative issues in your life, marriage, family or business are the direct result of the faults of others. You start believing a dangerous relationship lie…“It’s not my fault!”
So how do you turn this around? Reverse the process. Start looking for the good qualities in others. Start praising them for all they do to make your life good. Make lists of their contributions to the team. As you do, two things will occur. First, because you are focusing on what is good, instead of what is negative, it will open your eyes to more things for which you are truly thankful. Second, because you are noticing the good in others and verbalizing that – giving the honor that belongs to them – you create in others a desire to do even more for you. Your thankfulness changes both of you in a positive way, turning you back from the darkness that tried to overtake your relationship.
So when darkness tries to steal your relationships, don’t sing, “Turn out the lights.” Instead, turn the lights back on through a deliberate heart of thankfulness.