The Best Is Yet to Be

By James C. Lewis
The Best Is Yet to Be

A young man applying for a job was asked by the personnel director, "How old are you?" He replied, "Twenty-seven." He was then asked by the director, "And what do you expect to be in three years?" With all seriousness of thought he said, "Thirty."

Some people are Iike this young man, without any expectations. They drift along in life not knowing where they are going or whether it is possible to have any personal determination over their lives. Some even think that after a certain age life is a downhill journey. They think that the early years held the great opportunities of life and, since they did not take advantage of them, it is now too late. They believe the best things in life come early if they come at all.

You might stop right now and ask yourself: What are my expectations? What do you expect to give to life, and what do you expect life to return to you? Do you feel that the best years of your life are behind you? Do you think that the greatest and most enjoyable and rewarding experiences have already taken place? If you have thought this way or think this way now, take heart, for the truth is that, no matter how good life may have been to you already, no matter how great certain experiences have been, the best is yet to be!

It may seem impossible to surpass some of the things you have experienced, but this is not so. John Oxenham wrote a little verse that is very appropriate: To every man there openeth a high way and a low/And every man decideth the way his soul shall go. The power of decision is yours. Your life, here and now, can be a hundred times better than the best you have already experienced. That may seem an overstatement, but even that is conservative.

If you want to improve your life, now is the time to begin. Do the odds seem to be against you? That makes no difference. Does your situation seem hopeless? It is not.

The first step you must take is on the inner level. You must realize and believe that you have the power to determine what you will experience. You do not have to leave your life to chance. You can plan for the good you desire. You do not have to remain sick, inefficient, poor, miserable, or in bondage. You do not have to fight the world and give in to fits of depression and discouragement.

You have probably heard the words of Henley many times: It matters not how strait the gate,/How charged with punishments the scroll,/I am the master of my fate;/I am the Captain of my soul. You are the captain, but have you acted with the authority of a captain, or have you let other people and events control your life? You have reserves of power and ability that far exceed your present comprehension; however, you must know it in order to use it. You must believe in this power if it is to do you any good. What good would a million dollars in your name in the bank be to you if you did not know it was there? When you know your potential, you can use it.

It makes no difference who you are or what your present age and circumstances may be. It is never too late except for those who think it is. A winner never thinks it is too late. If he did, he would in that instant become a loser. All that is necessary is for you to know that within you is the potential to accomplish anything you set your mind to accomplish. Even the most impossible ailment can be healed if we believe it can be. Many have come back from the dregs of poverty to financial independence.

If there is one thing we need today, it is men and women with the courage to think big and to expect big things to happen. There are needs that urgently demand fulfillment. ...

Much has been written about how powerful the mind is and how much can be accomplished. There has been more writing than doing. We now need doers, winners. In times of great challenge, men and women who will be channels for ideas come to the forefront. There will be new discoveries in cleansing our environment and new methods of personal mobility. We were not created to live and move in masses like schools of fish. We are individuals and should have individual freedom of expression.

In times of crisis it is easy to get more involved in semantic arguments about the problems than in believing there are solutions. By this I mean we can get more "problem" conscious than "solution" conscious. A winner does not think in terms of problems, he thinks in terms of solutions. He does not argue over what is wrong and fret about the difficulties, he keeps his vision high and his expectations optimistic. Sure, he has his battles with negative thoughts and emotions, but he meets these with determination. He refuses to let negative thinking get and keep him down. In fact, this tendency often urges him on with even greater determination.

Our minds must be free of the shackles of limited thought if we are to accomplish the great things that are possible. If you want to begin to receive and enjoy the best that is yet to be, you must think and expect greater things for yourself and your life. Cease complaining about your present lot; you can change it with God's help. Cease complaining about others holding you back; no one but yourself can hold you back.

Vision leads to accomplishment, and our vision should always be far ahead of our present, developed ability. Work to the best of your ability where you are, and keep your sights high. This is the way to move up in life.

Your expectations are the visions of what you one day will be. You can never ask for nor expect too much, but your asking should not be simply to have but to be, for being leads to having. Your asking should be sincere, your faith strong, and your determination to achieve persistent. When the way before you seems uncertain, when you have those moments of doubt, turn within to God and let Him renew a right spirit of joyous expectation within you. If you look down, you will go down; but if you will look up, things will change, and you will realize more fully how true it is that the best is yet to be!

Excerpted from How to Think Like a Winner by James C. Lewis.  The book is no longer in print but is available at the Unity Library and Archives.