He became a preacher in the 1940’s, traveling across the United States and Europe, sharing about the love of God in stadiums filled with tens of thousands of people. He had influence upon hundreds of thousands of lives, and American Magazine said his leadership “set a new standard.” Towards the end of his life he walked away from everything he had ever known, proclaiming that he had lost his faith. Though Charles Templeton was once known for working alongside his friend Billy Graham, their paths in life took dramatic turns in the opposite direction. In a final interview before his death, Templeton bemoaned where his path had taken him.
Two hundred years before Christ, Romans would scare their children by telling them, “Hannibal is at the door.” The legendary conqueror rode elephants into the fabled city, terrifying the people and the Roman army. After conquering the city, he captured the gold and the government, leading from his throne in Carthage. Yet after all of his accomplishments, he felt desolate and alone and ended his own life by drinking poison
It is said that one of the greatest lies the devil tells is, “For you, personally, things will never change.” As one Cleveland area minister noted, this belief is especially crippling.
Recently I attended a seminar led by Anthony Robbins. He introduced what he called the “formula for happiness.” Simple but brilliant, it is made up of two sets of letters, LC and BP. When LC = BP, a person is fulfilled and happy. When LC doesn’t equal BP, and the person feels helpless to make a change, they are headed for unhappiness. LC stands for “life condition,” and BP stands for our “blueprint” or our expectation about how life should be. What if your life is not where you want it to be? You have two choices, you can change your blueprint, or you can change your life condition.
For example, if your current life condition means working a job that is far from your ideal career you have a couple of options. You can find a new job, or you can alter the meaning you give to the position you currently hold. Or even better, you can change both.
Remember, it is when a person feels that things can never be different that they suffer despair. It is important to realize we are always in control of the meaning we give to our experiences.
Consider for a moment the life of Nelson Mandela. Spending more than two decades suffering injustice as he was held in prison, there was little he could do to modify his circumstances. However, he was fully in command of the meaning he would give those years, in fact sharing that he saw them not as suffering but as preparation for the day he would lead South Africa out of apartheid. Unlike Templeton or Hannibal, he found an empowering meaning behind his experience, and thus lived a life of fulfillment in a place where many would have given up.
So take some time and consider areas of life where you feel the most fulfilled and I believe you will find that your LC = BP. And in the areas where you find the least fulfillment, realize that in a moment of decision you can find happiness by changing your life condition or your blueprint, and perhaps even both.