Originally published November 2, 2017
I’m taking a class right now through my district's Staff Development Center on “Emotional Intelligence, Reflective Practice, and the Theory of Self First.” I’m taking this course because I want to respond better to the emotional needs of my family members, to be honest. Unfortunately, like most people, I am more likely to be impatient towards those who I’m closest to, which means my kids and my husband don’t always get my best-self. I also sometimes struggle to understand the needs of others at work, even when I have my game face on. You may be like me in these struggles too.
The facilitator of the course, Cecile Wren, sent us the following passage that I thought might be something that you’d appreciate.
Attitude - Author Unknown
Attitude is the one thing that can never be given to you or taken away from you. Nothing affects your attitude—not people, not circumstances—unless you allow it. That doesn’t mean you don’t have ups and down times. It just means that your overall outlook on life is controlled by you alone. Attitude is always your choice.
Just think about that - having a choice. Think about the fact that attitude is the one thing that you can never be without. What is attitude? Why does everyone say we should have a good one? And if we should have a good attitude- where do we get it? Nothing can bring you down, nothing can change who you are without your letting it happen. That gives you power over all your anxieties and fears, over all harsh words and names, even over the circumstances you can’t control.
You might be saying, “OK, attitude is important- but why and how do we get a good one?” We should have a good attitude if we want to accomplish good things. Research has proven that people who have a good attitude- who are positive, who laugh and smile a lot – are healthier, live longer and achieve more than those with a negative attitude.
As with all truly important things (like love, compassion, or doing the right thing) there’s only one way to attain a good attitude- you have to choose it. There’s no secret recipe or magic potion. It has to be something you want to do. It takes the decision followed with practice, practice, practice. The following is a quote that says very clearly and succinctly all that I am trying to explain:
“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, righteousness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is you have a choice everyday regarding the attitude you 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 the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” Charles Swindoll