Chilly Challenges and Slushy Situations (Diet for Dreamers)


Dairy Queen serves a cold concoction guaranteed to create an addiction. It’s called a Mocha MooLatté, an icy blend of strong coffee, intense chocolate, and fat-saturated cream. NASA would be wise to jettison orange-flavored Tang in favor of this slushy drink. Having future astronauts consume a Mocha MooLatté right before liftoff could save taxpayers tons of money in rocket fuel. In fact, our astronauts might even be able to reach Mars without a spaceship!

When we bought our first Mocha MooLattés, the lady behind the counter at DQ warned us, “You’ll be soooorry!”

Really? How come? “Because,” she laughed, “you’ll be back tomorrow for another one! And the next day and the next.”

Visions of begging on a littered street corner suddenly filled our heads. We imagined ourselves pleading with passersby for spare change, all so we could buy just one more Mocha MooLatté. Oh please!

But the pusher at DQ — excuse us, the nice lady at DQ — was wrong. We had no intention of returning the next day. After we drank our slushy drinks, we got back in line immediately! Even she was surprised! Combining all that sugar, chocolate and caffeine can definitely create an addictive rush, but the real danger in consuming this rich, delicious concoction … this refreshing, invigorating … incredible, absolutely divine drink — gasp, we need help! — is the dreaded side effect that comes from careless and wanton consumption! Sigh! BrAiN fReEZe!!

Even Vulcans can get brain freeze!

Brain freeze is that sensation you get — that feels like your head is about to explode — when you drink something really cold really fast! However, as we previously discussed, there’s another kind of brain freeze, which makes you feel like your head is about to explode; and it can freeze you dead in your tracks while in the pursuit of your dreams and goals. It’s caused by the iciness of loss, disappointment, and despair; too many rejections, dead ends, closed doors, missed opportunities, setbacks, weaknesses and failures.

As we stated yesterday, the solution to brain freeze is to change one’s perspective on life, problems, and failures; and to foster a CAN-DO attitude. We need to look at our adversities as the perfect environment for personal growth; at setbacks as opportunities for comebacks; our problems as invitations for innovation; and a closed door as a sign to simply keep on knocking. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention.

Have you been frosted over by life’s frequent frustrations? Here’s an anecdote to help thaw your mind: In the late-1950s, Omar Knedlik, a WWII veteran who owned and operated a dilapidated Dairy Queen in Kansas City, created another iconic frozen drink by sheer accident. Knedlik’s restaurant equipment was always breaking down at the most inopportune times; and after his soda fountain finally gave up the ghost, Knedlik was faced with one of those potentially brain-freezing problems.

With customers to serve, each expecting a cold soda to wash down the burger and fries, Knedlik had to improvise: he loaded his freezer with bottled pop, which created a new problem. Knedlik couldn’t get the hang of knowing just when to take the sodas out, so usually the bottles of carbonated liquid were partially frozen. And yet, his customers seemed to like the slushiness of these icy soft drinks, and would typically ask Knedlik if they could have one of the “pops that were in a little bit longer.”

Knedlik immediately realized his troubles were blessings in disguise. Using the air conditioning unit from an old car, he built a machine in the back room which mixed and partially froze flavored waters and carbon dioxide, to create a slushy, fizzy drink he called Icee.

Most of us know Icee by another name: Slurpee. In fact, if you’re like us, you might imagine that Icee (with its polar bear mascot) is a copycat of the more famous drink sold by the 7-Eleven chain. Not so. Icee is the original, but when Knedlik licensed the product to the convenience store chain, he asked that the name be changed so as not to limit further marketing deals. Now that’s what we call fully thawed thinking!

Life is fraught with slushy situations and chilly challenges, but as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph….” (2 Corinthians 2:14 Jubilee Bible 2000)

Out of adversity come change, growth, and innovation. Understand this and you’ll start viewing any circumstance, any problem, any setback as a new opportunity. Dear dreamers and fellow creators, every experience, good or bad, provides a new opportunity to seek God, to ask for His wisdom and direction — and to press onward. And if you’re a writer or an artist (in drama, music, or graphics), these experiences are just more material for your work. If you’re an innovator, every new challenge is grist for the mill, because the Lord is able to turn every curse into a blessing! (Deuteronomy 23:5)

Yeah, I know this looks bad, but I gotta plan.
Yeah, I know this looks bad, but I got a plan.

So, if you want to avoid brain freeze, then drink plenty of Slurpees (and Mocha MooLattés in moderation), but keep this positive perspective. Train yourself to NOT allow your problems, weaknesses, failures, setbacks, disappointments, dead ends, closed doors, or rejection to freeze your personal growth or progress as you pursue your dreams. Always remember, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God….” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

Cultivate this positive, victorious mindset, as well as a CAN-DO attitude, and you’ll never have to worry about getting brain freeze.