“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, 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 everyday regarding the attitude we will 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 is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of events that happens to me and 90% of how I react to those times! Therefore, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes. Charles W. Swindoll
When I first read this quote, I passed right on by it. A few days later, I came upon it again, reread it, and finally realized what I should have seen before!
I stopped to think about my attitude and how my outlook for the day is formed and if it ever changes during the day, what either format means and if there was anything I should do about making sure I carried with me the best possible reaction to the events in my life.
Usually, I awaken in the morning very early. This is a hold over from when my Mother was alive, but now I treasure that time because it is my time to think, write or do whatever I like on the computer. It is a time that is always in the darkened room. It is always quiet and affords me the ability to write in privacy! While I am at the computer I have a small cup of coffee and if it is one of the days that sleep has eluded me then the coffee does no good, I still feel like sleeping, I nod often and soon realize the best thing to do is go lay down!
When I first awaken and during this private time, I am one of those that do not wake up to well. Two hours can pass and I will still be in a cloudy state. Yes, I can write and develop what I am writing, but if I need to really think, or function, I am not too good at it at this hour. I have always been like this in the morning, quiet and possibly, you would think I was in a dreamland, which I may be. Regardless, I feel I am innocent in premeditated actions because I just could not plan a thing until much later. When I worked, I always responded the same way when I got up. So often, then, I repeatedly told myself everything would be fine once I got in the car, because I knew I needed to face the day as soon as possible. After arriving at work I still needed my time…everyone knew that and usually, unless a crisis set in, everyone respected that time.
At home, during my state of reverie I may go about straightening things up a little. I may move a comb, a knife or a sheet of paper, all in grand innocence, yet those are the things that annoy M the most. If I do move them, I am chastised and there fore, at that moment, my Attitude is negatively forned for the day. Possibly, the phone may ring and the caller may also perturb me or even the cat can bring me from cloudy maze to arched eyebrow disdain. These ill-received words received may cause my attitude to be less than stellar for hours. I can, unintentionally, brood during that time.
When I finally read Swindoll’s quote I sheepishly thought, yes I do have a choice. I can allow a sarcastic question/statement to send me lurking about in dark moments or I can tell my self that it is not worth having them affect my attitude for the whole day. I think he makes sence wben he writes that events happen to you each day but they only comprise a small percentage of your life, as compared to how we react which can be a much higher percentage of getting it wrong. So if life (my happiness and good will) is 90% of how I react to the events in my life then I had better start making respond positively, rather then letting my attitude travel south into a not so happy place.