Your Attitude is Your Choice

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like your life is out of control.  Between the stresses of family, work, financial problems, and health issues, a person may find it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning.  What is the best way to deal with all of these challenges?  First off, you need to realize that you’re not the only one dealing with “stuff”.  Every one of us has our own challenges that we’re dealing with.  Why is one person able to deal with things more effectively than someone else?  There is a simple answer, and it is attitude.  Studies show that people with great attitudes just handle things better than people who don’t have a good attitude.   It seems pretty simple doesn’t it?


No matter what is going on in our lives, the one thing I know we have control over is our attitude.  You can choose to live your life feeling sorry for yourself, angry, frustrated, irritated at every little thing, down in the dumps, etc… Or, you can choose to live your life happy, excited, optimistic, cheerful, and thankful for all the blessings you have in your life.  It truly is your choice.  Now, which attitude do you think will make you feel better?  There is an added bonus to having a great attitude.  Research tells us that positive, happy people are tremendously healthier than their unhappy counterparts.  It’s true, the quickest way to get sick is to let yourself get stressed out over something.  Over the long haul, it leads to heart disease and even cancer.  It just doesn’t seem worth it to me since it really is our choice.


So put a smile on your face and tackle all of the challenges ahead of you today.  A simple change in attitude can have an amazing effect on yourself and those around you.  A positive attitude is contagious.  You tend to get back what you give out.  If you’re positive and happy, you’ll be amazed how the people you come into contact with will also be positive and happy. Even if they’re not, you won’t care because you’re not going to let them drag you down.  Try it and you’ll see.  Life is too short to have bad days!

I’ll Be Happy When…

“Prosperity doesn’t guarantee happiness, and poverty doesn’t deny it.”                          –Unknown—

I remember a few years back when I used to attend a training in Arizona every month. The training focused on building a practice, but it was also about the way we live our lives. The seminar was given by a friend of mine who is from South Africa named Fred. Fred used to love to show slides. In fact, every Saturday night after the training he would give a slide show for everyone. One night he was showing some slides from a recent trip he had taken to Africa. He came to a slide of a young black boy standing by himself in the middle of a dirt road. Fred explained that he had taken this slide while traveling through Zimbabwe. The boy was very thin and had on some tattered jean shorts and a light button up shirt. He was holding onto a well-used soccer ball. The striking thing about this photo though was the smile that was on this young boy’s face. He was grinning ear to ear with a smile that was infectious.

Fred went on to explain that he was amazed at how happy all of the children were that he ran into along his travels. This boy however was special. Let me tell you what that incredible smile didn’t show. That smile didn’t show how he lived with ten others in an 8 x 10 foot shack with dirt floors and a thatch roof. That smile didn’t show that the clothes on his back were the only clothes he owned. That smile didn’t show that his father was shot to death and his mother had died of a disease four years prior. That smile didn’t show that the soccer ball he was holding was the only material possession he owned. That smile didn’t show that he was lucky to get a slice of bread and some rice to eat for the entire day every day. Yet, he was as genuinely happy as any kid Fred had ever met.

In our lives, it’s really easy to fall into the “I’ll be happy when…” trap. You know what I’m talking about. I’ll be happy when I get a new job. I’ll be happy when I find a better mate. I’ll be happy when I make a million dollars. I’ll be happy when I get that big house. I’ll be happy when I’m driving that BMW. I’ll be happy when I retire. I could go on and on. Don’t get me wrong. I like nice things as much as the next guy, but I also realize that those things don’t make you happy. I’ve known a lot of miserable rich people in my life, but I’ve also know a bunch of extremely happy rich people. What’s the difference? Happiness comes from the inside. If you’re miserable without money, you’ll be even more miserable when you have it. If you’re happy, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got.

I now understand what Fred was trying to teach us with that particular picture. Don’t look on the outside for things to make you happy. Work on yourself to be happy on the inside. Take a look at all of the blessings you already have and be thankful for them. Sometimes the things we seek out the most are right in front of our face. Serve others and give of yourself every chance you get. Spend the majority of your time with the people you love and the people who love you. You’ll find in your life that there will be very few who meet that criteria. Don’t take life so seriously…take time to smell the roses. Finally, smile like the boy from Zimbabwe. It’s amazing how good that will make you feel.