A study reported by the Washington Post finds that people with the highest optimism live between 11 and 15 percent longer than those with a less optimistic outlook.
Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, not smoking cigarettes, and learning to manage stress in a healthy way all contribute to a longer lifespan
Life is too short to see the cup half empty. Ask Chuck Cheeves, the self-proclaimed positivity purveyor who brings smiles and encouragement to everyone he meets. Chuck, 62, a 60-year-old resident of Milledgeville, Georgia who resigned from the Baldwin County government last November, experienced a life-changing moment a decade ago that profoundly changed his attitude.
“My friend Lester died unexpectedly in 2012 at the age of 53. His death had a profound impact on me and I did a little research. I realized that life is short and I wanted to use the remaining time to make a positive impact in life.
“From that point on, I decided that no one would ever see anything negative on my Facebook page again. By posting inspirational quotes, encouraging stories, and humor, I made this site a daily destination for many people who needed a boost. I went from 50 followers to over 450. I love to encourage.”
Chuck’s motto is “Life is Good!” He carries a 6″ x 30″ wooden sign with the inscription of that slogan. As he makes his way through Milledgeville and Middle Georgia, he snaps photos of people holding his sign and builds up on the person with his positive contribution. He estimates that he took over 800 pictures to promote Life is Good!
Chuck loves to drive around in his Chevy Trax, nicknamed the “Sparkle Wagon”. Chuck visits places like Camak, Bradley, Social Circle, Warthen, Mitchell, Homerville, Barnesville, Plains, Andersonville, Tallulah Falls and other railroad connected locations and posts beautiful pictures of small town businesses, homes, cemeteries and especially depots and everything rail related.
His Christian faith also influenced him. He loves Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Seek His will in everything you do, and He will show you which way to go” (NLT).
Chuck is thankful for his Christian home and for parents who apply Proverbs 22:6: “Lead your children in the right path, and when they grow older they will not forsake it” (NLT). Chuck is living proof of the truth of this verse.
“My parents set a good example by taking us to church even when my brother and I didn’t want to, and by serving in a variety of ways. My grandfather was also involved with First Baptist. I haven’t always stayed on the righteous path, but I am on the right path now and I appreciate my church family so much. The camaraderie, community and positive reinforcement help me a lot.”
Chuck’s nickname is “Mayor of Pendale,” named for the small neighborhood in north Milledgeville where Chuck lived for many years. A Milledgeville mayor stopped him in the courthouse one day and said, “I think more people think you’re the mayor than me.”
What advice does Chuck give for those who need a ride?
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone messes up. God forgives, so don’t stay in the past. The past is the past and there is no future in it. Forward!”
Life is good for Chuck because:
*Even though I let him down every day, God still loves me.
*My church family loves me.
* I am blessed that my mother and father are still alive and I continue to make memories with them.
*My brother and his family are happy, healthy and prosperous.
* I have many people who love and care for me.
*I was able to retire at 62 and am now living life to the fullest.
*I am healthy enough to enjoy every day and positively influence people.
*I’m happier than ever and still have the spirit of a teenager.
*I have everything I need to live a happy life, especially Jesus.
With such an optimistic attitude based on his beliefs, don’t be surprised if Chuck lives to be 115 years old. Why is life good for you?
David L. Chancey is pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. Join them for Sunday worship at 10:00 am and small group Bible study at 11:10 am. Visit www.mcdonoughroad.org for more information and online viewing options. To see more of Chancey’s writings, visit www.davidchancey.com and keep an eye out for his new book, Marvelous Faith: Pursuing the Faith that Makes Jesus Marvel, due out this fall.