Choosing Our Best Attitudes

I have Charles Swindoll’s “Attitude” hanging at my desk at work.  It hangs above my certifications because it is more important than any degree or certification could be.  I am not even sure where I got it from; it has just always hung in my cubicle.

People with a bad attitude tend to look at everything through a self-defeatist lens.  They just know they are going to fail, or be criticized or be unhappy, so no matter what happens, that is what happens. 

We all have bad days, and we all have people that dislike us and we all suffer some type of pain, disappointment or loss.  But it is how we respond to these things that make a difference.  I am sure we can all think of someone we know who, no matter when times of adversity hit, they react to it with a positive attitude.

They always say that athletes or public speakers or anyone about to give a performance practice visualizing themselves succeeding at whatever it is that they are attempting to do.  This is used because it boosts attitude to a level where success in that area becomes more attainable. 

Positive thinking and self-coaching do similar things.  They program your head to think about things positively, which in turn boosts attitude, which in turn can help produce better outcomes. 

I can remember a time in my early twenties when I was just in a rut.  Mentally and emotionally and even physically, I was beaten down and fatigued and even sick and tired of myself.  It was true, I was working hard to make money for school and then putting in long hours at school working on my studies, but I realized that other people around me were doing the exact same thing, only they were more cheerful.  I realized I was in a rut, but it was mostly of my own making.  Sometimes it’s hard to admit that it is our own fault.  But I plucked myself up, and I noticed that once I started looking at life more optimistically (and not sulking and whining to myself) that I felt more productive and things just seemed easier.

I have always believed, as Swindoll says, that we cannot change events, only our reactions to them.  We cannot change how people perceive us, or the fact that bad things are going to happen.  But the way we choose to react to them changes everything for us. 

The best part about that is that while we cannot control anything else, we can control our attitudes.  And if that makes a difference, then I am glad it is within our reach to do it!


  1. "The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day" when life is beating me down I still start each day with as positive and peaceful of an attitude as I can muster - because then even if the things I can't control beat me down over the course of the day, I know I started out okay, and I'll start out okay again tomorrow, and hopefully one day the whole day will be okay!


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