Friday, November 12, 2010


The quote below is attributed to Charles Swindoll. It's well known; likely you've seen it before.

“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 failure, 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 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% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."

While I think all of it is true and worthwhile, I particulary like the last two sentences.

It seems that today most people would reverse those percentages, believing from their heart that life is controlled 90% (or even 100%) by external, outside factors. Their life is, to them, all about what happens TO them; what others do TO them; bad luck; bad karma; bad genes. It's not their fault, and it's all beyond their control.

Well, maybe so. We all know that "stuff" happens. Life throws us all kinds of curves.

Often I see others get angry and rail at God, or fate, or institutions, or just other people. Sometimes, it's tempting to join them. When I do join them, I usually wonder later what my problem was.

I guess an example of my philosophy is demonstrated in the posts just below, about the railroad crossing. At the time I was delayed, I was angry. But I asked myself how I should best respond or react to the frustration, and was soon able to put things in perspective. Sure, I wasted 35 minutes of time and was late for work. So what!? Hardly worth getting sour about. Besides, I had a chance to offer the railroad some suggestions which might make the situation better in the future.

'nuff said. As Mr. Swindoll writes, "WE are in charge of our attitudes." That means you can change yours!

Might make your life better. Think about it.


Jack K. said...

I couldn't agree more. I can only add that what we project to the world is what we get back. If you don't like what is happening to you do something different until you do. But begin with a positive attitude and all will turn out well. It is also important to find the blessing in everything that happens to you.

Thanks for sharing Swindoll's writing.

kenju said...

I couldn't agree more either. The ONLY thing we really have control over is our attitude!!

Karyn Lyndon said...

re: looking for the blessing...well, it got you out of your blogging slump for a few I'm glad UP doesn't care. lol Also, as I try to explain to my husband, children and the people I manage at work: Life isn't fair.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Karyn, Wait . . . It ISN'T!? Gee, and I always thought . . .

Nankin said...

John, it took me a long time to figure out that attitude is important. I've decided that I have a choice to make when I get up in the morning. I can have a great day or a lousy one. It really does work. When all the cosmic powers align to rain on my parade, I thank God for another day upon this beautiful Earth.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Amen! My challenge on some days is remembering those facts before I fall into the trap of letting the rain affect my attitude!

Just_because_today said...

why waste energy getting angry when nothing can be done about it?
Good point on your post. Found you by accident.. ;)