Sunday, July 06, 2008

attitude

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 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% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
-charles swindoll

27 comments:

Hudson said...

Profound.
The toughest thing about life, is finding that joy; not happiness. Happiness is short-lived, but joy, joy is something deep within that you feel even through the tough times in life.
For me, it's not so much my own attitude as it is dependency on the One who will provide that joy for me.

Latrina said...

Wow. So true. It's funny because I have never realized that I use the same technique. It's kind of cool to know that you DO have control of your life, in most aspects. A positive attitude in life will do wonders & it really has for me.

switchkosterice said...

thank you for this post. this i just realized this will help me greatly in a couple of the concerns i have at the moment. thank you so much.

toriviolin said...

I agree. So many people (including me, just about a year ago) shut off all connections with the "real world" because of an unfounded cynicism. Yes, we will always have the poor, the corrupt, and the evil, but I believe that there is a goodness in everyone. To quote the Manchester Orchestra, "we all deserve something".

I would equate your position on "attitude" with the relative importance of intent versus means or ends. The intent of a person or an action is more important that what actually happens.
Thank you, Stephen. You help me think.

Rach said...

Great quote, I completely agree

I've never really noticed how important my attitude is in relation to my life. I'm kinda going through a rough time right now and I always viewed it very negatively. I had someone recently inform me that that's wrong. The issue has not disappeared, but it has gotten to bear because I view it a little more positively.

thanks for the reminder

Book of James said...

Chuck is good man.

The Following is a email that illustates this quote and has been circulating around for many years now.

LET IT REALLY SINK IN - THEN CHOOSE.


John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!

You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood."

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after I found out about the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my
soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

He continued, "..the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

You have two choices now:

01. Delete this

02. Forward it to the people you care about.

You know the choice I made.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Confidentiality Notice

This e-mail and any attachment(s) are intended for the individual or entity to which this email is addressed and may contain information that could change your life. It is not confidential and should not be kept a secret. If you are not the intended recipient or an employee or agent responsible
for delivering this e-mail to the intended recipient, please be aware that it's OK. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly encouraged. If you have received this in error, please count your blessings. Please DO NOT delete or destroy this communication. Reread it as often as required to lift your spirits. Thank you!

phlp314 said...

been on my heart a lot recently.

also, i always do a little dance whenever you post a new entry :-).

David Malcolm said...

Hey, totally unrelated to your post, I just wanted to let you know that the Church that I pastor (we meet at a gay bar.) Tonight had someone I met recently who's in the sex trade come to one of our meetings, he met everyone, was honest about what he did, and hung out with us all night. I just thought you might like to know that, so I leave a comment :)

juju said...

hey, i just wanted you to know something that i've noticed about you. it has a little to do with your blog, but mostly it's about you.

i've seen you perform live 4 times now, and when you have seen someone at work--especially performers of any kind--you tend to notice things, one of them being the attitude they have towards everyone around them.

usually i find it hard to read little notes of encouragement or motivational quotations, much like example A, your blog. mostly because i don't feel like the person saying/writing it is being even slightly genuine about it. in many cases i've experienced, they are merely using another person's words to sound as if they even slightly care about that sort of thing. it's all a bit hypocritical is what i'm trying to say.

but today i read your blog and before i judged, i asked myself if you fit into the category of someone choosing to live with the right attitude. not that it's my place to judge you, but to be honest with you, i was.

the answer i came up with didn't surprise me. seeing you in person before, shaking your hand, even a mere "hello" from you has proved your difference from other men your age, other musicians, other "anybodys". you stand out, my friend. you have the blessed ability to choose the road your going to take and follow your dream. your attributes are true to your word. i'm seeing a real, true to life version of the man you write about, in yourself. i know you don't know me, and i know that i don't really know you other than a few nonchalant nods of the head and musical experiences like nothing else, but i have seen a difference in you. the kind of a difference that you can see even from a distance.

anyway, i just wanted you to know all of this about yourself. that it's noticeable in you, the person you are trying to be is evident in all you do. even the tiniest of things, like a handshake. just don't get a big head about it, okay? psh, i know you won't. but i had to say it just in case. : )

keep it real.

Darlene said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I have a daily reminder on my car that says Attitude is Everything. I got it a couple of years ago when I was at a student life camp. It's not just a daily reminder to me but to other people that see it. Sometimes when I get frustrated at work or other things aren't going the way I want I have to remember that.

Mich said...

such a timely reminder, Stephen. such a timely reminder. <3

Andrea said...

you are quite right. in fact, my favorite thing about you is your amazing attitude toward fans and new people and all that.

thanks for everything
- Andrea

Chris said...

so true. I wish I had read this earlier today...things might have gone much differently.

Thanks esteban!

Melanie said...

Smart dude. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are right!

dana said...

and yet you watch people, and they always seem to project blame on something else.
sometimes, yes, it isn't my fault, but i can make the most of anything, right? nothing is predestined to a millimeter--things happen, but they only fall into place depending on how you choose to respond.

Verity said...

I look forward to your posts because unlike so many other people in your profession, who lead similar lives, you always have something valuable to say. This post made me realise just how much control I actually have over my life, in a time when I really needed to believe in something. Thank you for always being such an inspiration when I need it most.

Anonymous said...

Wow..when I read things like this on your blog, I wonder....Does he ever have a "bad" day? And then that makes me think...is the reason that a person has a bad day because of their attitude towards certain situations? Do we create a bad day for ourselves, based on how we react to something? If our attitude were different, would we not suffer as much? Thanks Stephen.

guard my dreams said...

as many times as ive heard this it never loses its way of making me think about my attitude and how i can change it. think about how much happier people would be if they didnt get mad over unimportant things or just decided to not let the world get them down. something to think about.
oh, and its nice to hear from you, its been a while

Chris said...

Attitude...
It is the "advance man" of our true selves.
Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward.
It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
It is an outward look based on past experiences.
It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
It is never content until it is expressed.
It is the librarian of our past.
It is the speaker of our present.
It is the prophet of our future.
-John C. Maxwell

Jenny said...

I've never read this before. Thanks for posting this! It would have helped much more a few years ago but I figured that out for myself. Maybe that was more important. This blog is a nice reminder though.

Circumstance can create victims. Response can create survivors.

Jpxxx

Shanrocks777 said...

Have you ever noticed how one bad thing seems to follow another? Some bad things are beyond our control (like the office fridge being out of milk for your coffee--well I guess you could have brought it in yourself, but still you didn't know there was none there. "We cannot change the inevitable". But there ARE bad things which contribute to an overall 'bad day' that are completely in our control which we consciously aren't aware of, unless we learn to exercise awareness. Say you're late for work, then you can let that determine the tone of the rest of your day. And if your tone is low, that's going to affect every other action you take...Before you know it, EVERYTHING'S going wrong. You send out a negative signal to your day in general. Negativity breeds more of the same. People can blame it on waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but that puts you in a victim mode, and we have so much more authority over our own lives than that.

Awareness is a powerful tool.

It can break cycles of misfortune. Luck is something that can be harnessed and woven into our selves through attitude.

The reason I use the example of being late is because I've conquered the tardiness 'habit' through shifting my own awareness and attitude. Last year, it was brought to my attention by my boss that I was late no less than ten times for work in a 3 month period. I was given one last chance to change or else I would be fired. I couldn't be late AT ALL in the next three months. The ball was in my court. The only thing that changed my outcome was my willingness to do it through a shift in attitude and perception. So I was only 1 or 2 minutes late each time…I used to think pfft, that's not fair! But technically I was late and that was a fact I can't argue. I accepted responsibility and the right to my own choice in attitude.

It's a year later and I'm still there, not fired. :)

Now I know it's a hard skill to ingrain into our lives on a daily basis. It doesn't seem to come naturally. It's something we have to constantly remind ourselves of in order to make it work. But it can, and that's such a blessing when we realize it.

~~

Charles R. Swindoll is one of my favourite authors. A friend bought me his book 'Wisom For The Way (Wise Words For Busy People)' maybe 6 years ago when I was still a baby Christian eating Pablum so to speak, and it easily became an amazing inspirational and encouraging read. I recommend it to anyone as a refresher if you’re a Christian or as learning tool if you're a new Christian or not a Christian at all. Though the basis of the book is to demonstrate bible passages, there's some good food for thought regardless of your faith. Check it out for more along the subject matter Stephen has mentioned.

~Shannon

gina said...

you're idea that one's attitude has a huge impact on one's life is something that i am begining to realize as well, though i havent thought of it in terms of attitude, but more in terms of will and faith (secular faith).
unfortunately, i ultimately came to this realization through some unfortunate situations. when my grandma was admited to the hospital, she survived a type of stroke that nearly everyone dies instantly from. i realized that her survival continual survival through everything she continued to face after that was a result of her will to live. someone that had no desire to live would not have fought their way through everything she was faced with, there was some sort of strength within her, greater than whatever kept hitting her.
it was then that i came to believe that the mind is extremely powerful and that though some things will happen one way or another, there is a lot of ambiguity in life and one can use the power of his/her mind to fight in almost every situation.
this idea was again reminded to me i my speech class my freshman year of college when my teacher told us to smile and pretend to be enjoying ourselves, that we can trick our minds into thinking we are having a good time.

Janelle said...

I've always been a huge believer that attitude plays a significant part in all things - a "life is what you make it" sort of idea. I think it's why my friends & I have so much fun with so little, & why I seem to be so satisfied with life in general.

Anonymous said...

"Growth is change, but not all change is growth."
-Mr. Swindoll.

flrt-311 said...

Attitude definitely affects lives more than any of the things you listed. It's funny I came across your blog at this time. I plan on writing something similar to this, inspired by the St. Pete Warped show and some intensely rude people.

Unfortunately, poor attitudes are the ones that seem to affect us most. It's rare that we remember decent attitudes.

muziklvr101 said...

Hmmm. Yeah, I think I could definately work on my attitude a bit. I think we all can. It's a choice.....how we react.