Friday, June 03, 2005

Attitude

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you’re here. Otherwise, you’d be somewhere else. And that could be good or bad, or even neutral, depending on your outlook. But that line of thinking is going nowhere, so let’s move on.

(Ever notice how the word “nowhere” is constructed? It’s the combined form of “no” and “where,” and as we all know, means “not anywhere.” But it could be the combined form of “now” and “here,” meaning “right here, right now.” Curious.)

Moving on from either place (here and now, or not anywhere), today’s sermon is on the subject of attitude.

(Ahem.)

Ever notice how some people seem predisposed to a certain way of looking at situations and events—well, at life in general? They can be categorized as either positive or negative. (Yeah, some are always “charged up,” but that’s a different sermon.)

(Like the two hydrogen atoms: one says to the other, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other asks, “Are you sure?” The first one says, “Yeah, I’m positive.” Oh, you’ve heard that one? Sorry.)

A number of years ago I learned that, by a surprisingly small effort of will, I could change my attitude. No, I’m being serious now. I know, it’s hard to tell, but I am.

I learned I could CHOOSE to look at events or situations in a positive or a negative way.

Example: At work one day we had some VIP guests in for a visit and tour. We served them lunch (brought in food—we don’t have facilities to prepare food at our little plant), and everybody pitched in to serve and clean up afterwards.

I was carrying an armload of mostly empty Styrofoam food containers to the trash barrel after the meal. One of them began dripping greasy liquid down the front of my khaki pants. I didn’t notice right away, but an alert coworker did. She pointed out that I’d spilled grease on my pants, and they were ruined, and how horrible that I’d have to wear them with those awful spots and stains on them for the rest of the day, and wasn’t I terribly embarrassed?

I glanced down, saw the wet stains, and realized in a flash that there was NOTHING I could do about it. So I shrugged and said, “No big deal. They’ll wash.”

My coworker’s mouth flew open is disbelief. “How can you be so... so... unconcerned?”

I explained to her my philosophy about attitude. I could have chosen to focus on all those negative things she mentioned. But what good would that do?

Alternatively I could choose to ignore them and focus on other things. I couldn’t change the fact of the grease stains. I had no other pants there to change into. (And for those of you disposed to thoughts like this, NO, I couldn’t go without! I was at WORK, for Pete's sake!)

I hadn’t done anything wrong or bad, the stains were going to be there for the rest of the work day, and that was that.

So, I explained, I chose to go on about my business and ignore the pants. The key here is that we all have a choice to make.

This is nothing new. You’ve heard for years, “If life serves you lemon, make lemonade!” And that’s the essence of it.

Why am I rambling on about this obvious subject? Well, I guess it’s because a surprising number of people never seem to understand that they can choose how the react to things, and even how they feel about things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks say, “I can’t help the way I feel.”

SURE you can!

And guess what? Given a choice, most people would prefer to be around folks who have a positive outlook rather than a negative one.

SO, the next time you feel dumped on and just want to be sour and complain about it, go right ahead! Feel free. It’s your choice.

Just remember that: it’s your choice.

End of sermon. That was free, by the way.

No, no, don’t thank me. Just quit complaining and do something about the things you can change, instead of worrying or griping about the things you can’t.

Thank YOU!

7 comments:

Karyn Lyndon said...

My grandfather always said: when you're in hot water, take a bath...which is sorta the lemons into lemonade thing. Both quotes involve water...hmmm.

There is another thing you can do besides changing your attitude. You can set up a blog and complain about anything you want. You might even get some sympathy.

Don't you have an ice chest or snake-bite kit to pack? (See previous post.)

Hamel said...

Psychiatrist joke:

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? None, until the bulb wants to change.

We have the power within ourself to dojust about anything, even change our perspective.

Well said.

Christina said...

Reminds me of the "serenity prayer" - you know, we've all heard it: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and (most important) the wisdom to know the difference. Sometimes keeping things in perspective is the only way to keep your sanity. Very good post!

Jennifer said...

I have written so many posts about this very thing. Well said. And Amen, too! :-)

Michelle said...

Great post and well said!! I agree with you 100%.

Dana said...

Love the post. I have to tell myself that daily so I don't go around grumbling about not being in Alabama anymore. There's nothing I can do about it right now, so I try to have a positive outlook. It's hard. LOL

Nice to meetcha!

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hmmmm...Interesting.

I finally got over here from when you mentioned this the other day (I'm having issues lately...ugh.) And as you well know, I have attitude oozing out of me. I agree with Karyn, blog it. But at the same time, and as I noted on mine, I don't want it to be JUST about all-things-negative.

As much attitude as I have and as I dish out, lately, self-esteem seems to be my issue. No idea why though. Guess I should blog about it.

I really enjoyed this post. Thanks. :)