At some point (I can't quite remember when), my mother emailed me this quote by Charles Swindoll:
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It's more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that it is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...We are in charge of our attitudes.
When I was a kid and I was being bratty in that woe-is-me, I'm-not-getting-my-way-so-let's-make-everyone-else-miserable way I often chose to embrace (what a lovely child I was!), my mother would point to me and say, "Does someone need an AA?" AA, in our household, wasn't what it was to the rest of the world. AA was "Attitude Adjustment." Whenever me or my sister (or my father) was coping an attitude, my mother would bring out the term AA. I can remember feeling angry, thinking to myself, I don't need to adjust my attitude!But I did, and, a lot of the time, I still do. When my mother sent me Swindoll's quote, I was still in desperate need of an attitude adjustment and I was just on the verge of realizing how important attitude was.
For the most part, we could all benefit from adjusting our attitudes. Especially in situations where we are unhappy or bored or upset, we could really change things if we changed our attitudes. Sometimes people refer to change as this big, global act, as something that will affect the entire world. Attitude is like that. It's the kind of change you can make every single day that can change the world. Just think -- what if we all took the time, just a few moments a day, to change our attitudes? What if we woke up tired and stressed and unhappy and we said, "Nope, I'm not going to have a bad attitude. I'm going to be positive today!"?
It seems to me that attitude has a ripple effect. One person's good attitude can cause another's. Just think about it. If you choose to have a good attitude and it spreads to another person and another and another, you really are changing the world. Some might scoff at this idea and consider it trivial. They might read this and think, How can one person's attitude change the world? Before my quest for a positive, present life, I would have been one of those people. I can remember so vividly, standing there with my arms crossed and a sassy look on my face, rebelling against my mother's "attitude adjustment" idea. I thought I was above adjusting my attitude. But you know what? Now I know I'm not. I'm a lot better off with my attitude adjusted and, like with so many other things, I would have been better off back then if I'd just listened to my mother.
Don't wait too long to learn what I'm learning. Adjust your attitude right now. Change it this minute. You'd be surprised how much you really can change the world just by changing your attitude. Changing your attitude can change your life. Changing your life can change the lives of those around you. Changing the lives of those around you can, ultimately, change the world. When you hear about changing the world, don't sit back and say you can't do anything. There is one thing you can do every single day that will make the world a better place: change your attitude.