I remember driving around Dallas one summer, with temperatures well over 100 degrees, seeing a homeless man standing on the street corner at a busy intersection. Something was different about this guy. He didn’t have the traditional “down on my luck, please help” sympathy look but rather a glowing smile as if he was having the best day in the world. I drove by but couldn’t stop thinking about how happy he seemed. I turned around and came back. I asked him, “Want to get in and go get a burger?” He looked at me stunned and obliged. We went to Burger King. I told him to get whatever he wanted, thinking he’d load up on food.

He ordered the least expensive item on the menu. I looked at him puzzled and asked why he didn’t want to order more or get something for later. He smiled and said, “I never want to take advantage of a blessing.”

Over the course of our meal, he told me all about himself. He said he moved down here to take care of his mother until she passed, fell on some hard times, and a couple of things didn’t fall in his favor, so he ended up displaced. The whole time he had a genuine smile.

What he said and did next, I’ll never forget. He told me, “God is good. I have a good situation right now.” I asked how so. He said, “The guy that owns the shoe repair shop across the street lets me sleep under the back overhang at night. I can’t hang around during the day, but it’s a blessing to have somewhere to cover my head at night.”

I’m sitting here thinking to myself, “Twenty minutes earlier, I had been driving around in an air-conditioned Cadillac, thinking about how far away I was from my goals, feeling depressed over how things weren’t going my way.” And now, I’m sitting here with a man who’s homeless and chooses to see everything good in his life.

It changed my perspective. After lunch, I took him back to the shoe shop, and he told me to hold on a second. He went and got some brand-new jumper cables and some brand-new Armor All and gave them to me. He said, “You can use these more than me. Blessings should always go both ways.”

He smiled, thanked me again, and that was that. It wasn’t about what he gave me; it was the fact that, by the looks of things, he gave a complete stranger 80% of his “net worth” and did so with a smile.

Homeless. Middle of the Texas summer. Nothing on the horizon to suggest things would turn around for him. And a huge smile.

It’s all about perspective. Somewhere, someone in a much worse situation than you is smiling over how good they have it. Let’s spend the day thankful for our situation and what we do have.

Thank you for reading this edition of Shark Bites: Midweek Lessons for a Stronger Mindset! If you enjoyed these insights, be sure to listen to the Shark Theory Podcast, where Baylor Barbee dives deeper into the topics that matter most for your personal and professional growth. Tune in for powerful episodes designed to inspire and elevate your mindset.

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