For eighteen years I traveled a lot. If it hadn't been for the GPS navigation technology in my car, I'd still be looking for the off-ramp to St. Mary's in Peoria, IL.

You hear people say at times to "pay attention to the details" and "notice the small stuff." This is true. But I've also determined that there are generally two buckets into which you can put most of life's lessons. I have named these buckets GPS, or GRATITUDE plus SURRENDER.

Think about it... so much of what we experience each day is a gift. Just the fact that we awoke and our heart and lungs remembered to do their thing during the night. The morning coffee and our breakfast. The joy of an unexpected text or snail mail. Perhaps an exercise routine or meditation discipline. A Super Bowl victory. [I had to say that!] All of these fit nicely in the bucket called Gratitude.

But what happens when something outside our control affects us negatively?

What do you do with bad news, a small hiccup or major disaster? That's when we place it into the bucket, Surrender. Surrender does not mean "give up" or "give in." It merely serves as a way to name an experience before it can maim us mentally.

Remember: how you think is how you live. The way you regard something, someone, anything is the way you regard life! So yes, make time to enjoy the small stuff and all the beautiful details of daily life. But remember to take notes when the Big Lessons come your way.

We've all been there. It's a whirlwind of emotions and directions. Where to go? Whom to ask? What to do? How to behave?

The answers to these questions are your decisions, your choices. No one forces you to feel things or go a certain way. The more intentionally you respond to life's unpleasant surprises, the more you direct life to go the way you want it to. If you lose your way, use your GPS: gratitude plus surrender.


Hey, Alice and I just recorded our first podcast together in time for Valentine's Day. You can listen to "Love's Evolution" on any one of these platforms: