change your attitude, change the world
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.
I agree 100% with you. I read in a book (by that Chicken Soup for the Soul guy)that there are the circumstances, and then there is our REACTION to those circumstances...and our reactions are really the most important factor. I call upon this wisdom sometimes when I'm in particularly crumby circumstances. Sometimes it helps, and sometimes I'm too far in my pity-party to care.
I really like what you said about it changing the world. I've never thought of it that way, but it's true. Often, a stranger's kind smile or kind gesture can have a huge affect on my own mood. What if I made it a goal, every day, to make some sort of impact on another person? Thank you...I really, really like this! My mind is whirling, thinking that this would be such a wonderful daily project.
Posted by: kirwin | April 13, 2009 at 09:52 AM
I really needed to read this today! Your mother would definitely be asking "Does someone need an AA?" if she had spent the weekend with me.
Yes - attitude is EVERYTHING!!! Mine stunk over the weekend and now, with an AA - attitude adjustment - in place, everything looks much different now than it did 24 hours ago.
Posted by: Kathy | Virtual Impax | April 13, 2009 at 10:56 AM
This is sooo true. As people have often said to me, what happens isn't nearly so important as how you react to what happens. A positive attitude can carry you over a great deal of troubled water.
Posted by: Jay Schryer | April 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM
I like this quote too. I even posted it on my blog awhile back. I'm enjoying reading your blog. Thank you for putting something positive out into the world. Take care, Anita
Posted by: Anita | April 13, 2009 at 02:49 PM
I just love it! Your mom and Lauren gave me your card so of course I had to check out your blog, and like I said, I love it! I'm feeling very inspired and motivated. Thanks for the uplifting words. Keep it up girlie! Hope to see you soon.
Posted by: Andrea | April 13, 2009 at 02:55 PM
Anita - I'm glad you like the quote too. It's a great one!
Jay - Reactions are SO important, but it's so easy to forget that sometimes. I agree -- a positive attitude can get you very far.
Kathy - Hahaha. I think we all need AAs from time to time. Good work on adjusting your attitude. Hopefully it's making a big difference!
Kirwin - I know what you mean about being too far away to care. The key is not to let yourself get that far into pity mode (which is pretty hard to do sometimes). Attitude really makes a difference, and I think it would be a GREAT idea to try to use a positive attitude to impact someone else every day. Just think about what the world would be like if everyone took on that challenge!
Posted by: positively present | April 13, 2009 at 04:17 PM
Andrea - Thanks so much for checking it out. Feel free to pass along the link to any friends/family. :)
Posted by: positively present | April 13, 2009 at 05:26 PM
On my worst days I have to change my a few times and by noon I'm good. It's also important to change our attitudes because we get back what we give. If we give the world our best the world gives the best back.
Posted by: Tess The Bold Life | April 13, 2009 at 05:51 PM
This is so, so true. Attitude is EVERYTHING! I am on the phone for 40% of my day talking with clients, and not always real nice clients, however, I have found that if you keep a positive attitude and they can hear the smile in your voice on the other end of the phone, it generally guarantees a positive outcome. It seems to be a quirk of human nature, that when someone treats us well, we return the behavior in kind. All good things...
Posted by: Lo | April 13, 2009 at 06:06 PM
Tess - Good point. You definitely get back what you give (at least that's what I've found so far in life). If you put out a positive attitude, you'll find that positive attitudes come right back at ya.
Lo - Smiling definitely works wonders, even if you're on the phone. I've read that about phone interviews -- that it's important to smile and, if you can, look at yourself in the mirror when you do it. People (even the not-so-nice ones) can sense the positivity and often (though not always) respond in kind. That's great advice. Keep smiling!
Posted by: positively present | April 13, 2009 at 08:38 PM
If we want happiness in our life, we need a positive attitude. If we want a loving world, we need a loving attitude...
I agree "Attitude has a ripple effect." It all start within us.
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
Posted by: giovanna garcia | April 14, 2009 at 02:21 AM
Love the quote - it's sooooo true! And great blog ...
Posted by: Caroline | April 14, 2009 at 08:51 AM
Caroline - Thanks for stopping by! :) I'm glad you like the blog.
Giovanna - Attitude definitely has a ripple effect, and, you're right, it starts within us. We have the power to start the ripple!
Posted by: positively present | April 14, 2009 at 09:06 AM