How Action Leads Emotion

By: Chaplain Doug Samples, SNU Professional and Graduate Studies

This is the second in a series of articles Chaplain Doug Samples has shared called 10 Decisions for a Positive Attitude. Decision #6 is, “Decide to Get Happy or Fake it!” You can view all 10 decisions here.

Back in my junior high school years growing up in West Virginia, my dad bought a three-acre plot of hillside that was overgrown with Honey Suckle and weeds and had at least 3,476,981 trees on it. On Saturdays and most summer days, my dad would get me up at 6 a.m., and we would drive to Knollwood and work really hard all day grubbing out trees and trying to get the land ready to build a house on it.

By the way…my dad did not believe in power tools. We did all that work by hand!

As a normal junior high kid, I was NOT happy getting up so early when all my friends were sleeping in. Almost every morning, as we got in the car to go work, I would start crying and complaining and making sure my dad realized what a terrible human being he was for making me get up that early and work that hard.

I guess I was hoping Dad would get hit with a bolt of mercy lightning and turn the car around and let me go back to bed! As we drove to Knollwood, I remember my dad looking over at me and saying, on a regular basis, “Son, you might as well dry it up because we are going to have a good day whether you like it or not!”

What in the world does that mean?How do you respond to that kind of crazy reasoning?

“We’re gonna have a good day whether you like it or not!”

Even before Pastor Bob taught me to see opportunities instead of problems, my dear father taught me that I have a choice about how I approach my day – even a long day of hard work!

Let me be clear: I don’t know your situation, so I can’t really tell you to “Get Happy or Fake It!” I’m just saying that this mantra is something I have to tell myself on a regular basis. 

There are lots of days when the heaviness of life is paralyzing and I don’t feel happy or blessed. But I have to go to work and be productive! If work has been exhausting, I need to go home and be a happy husband and father!

Every day, I have to choose my attitude!

Discipline is remembering who you are and who you want to be. I want to be positive.

Skip to content