<written April 2009>
Once upon a time (almost no-one who knows me now will even be able to believe this), I was a pessimist (& cynic). I was inclined to hang out in sloughs of despond & suppose it was my “fate” to be an unhappy person. Even when I stopped being so down all the time, I was still very, very cynical for a few years there (the job I was doing at the time didn’t help at all…).
Life is complex – I would never pretend otherwise, & we all have life histories that are rather stubborn & sticky with, in lots of cases, plenty of unpleasant experiences and/or even outright nastiness.
I’m not stupid. I do choose to be a “Pollyanna” & do my best to focus on positive things, because one of my key life lessons in the past five years or so has been that “What we focus on expands.”
Life is too short & too precious to focus on doom & gloom, violence & chaos &…well, you get my drift.
I came across this wonderful saying on attitude some years ago now: “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, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, or say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it." (Charles Swindoll)
And I think it’s pretty darn bang on.
I know I’ve changed my attitude plenty over the years, & if I can do it, I’m sure others can too.
We can turn our head around on our own, or we can read wise writers like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie & get our spirits all tuned up (both these writers/teachers have suffered from horrendous depressions & challenging times, btw; they have been there…).
I’m a passionate environmental activist, & have been for 20 years. Even if we all turn overnight into passionate activists, & start treating our Earth with much greater care & respect (& I certainly hope we do, of course!), the fact is, challenging times are heading our way.
We’re going to need to be tough, resilient, resourceful, independent & smart.
We’re going to need to be people with a “can do” spirit – who can be much more cooperative than we’re used to having to be. (1)
We can choose to do this.
Attitude really is everything, hmmm?
'Quote of the day' w. this post: “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” – Victor Frankl
(1) At least, that’s what I think! No crystal ball, of course…