Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sunday, April 9, 2006 - Attitude

Many years ago I finally figured out that it doesn't do a bit of good to dwell on the bad things in life. It doesn't change anything when you worry about something you have no control over. When bad things happen, allowing them to make you miserable doesn't make them "less bad."

Way back when, I went through a bad spell where it seemed everything that could go wrong went wrong. I was miserable. Then somehow, and I'm not even sure what triggered the lightening bolt, I realized that I got through every situation. Zap. Sooner or later I woke up one day and the negative was behind me. It dawned on me that I always got through whatever it was that happened. And, double zap, it hit me that going through it might have been a little easier if I took to heart that I would someday be looking back, if I stopped letting the situation permeate every aspect of my psyche.

I also discovered that in each bad situation I encountered I learned some valuable lesson or lessons. (In case it crossed anyone's mind, yes, I'm the type person who seems to generally learn things the hard way!)

I worked at controlling my own attitude (sometimes I still have to work at it!). I decided I could choose to wake up each morning and think about all the horrible or tiresome things I had to face, or I could take a moment to think about how lucky I was, find something good in the upcoming day to dwell on.

There are some physical afflictions that definitely cause depression. Lack of exercise and sunshine can affect moods. Luckily there are usually (not always) remedies of some sort if you look.

However, aside from the physical, I have become a firm believer that you can control your own attitude. If you always look for the bad, you're always going to find the bad. If you dwell on the nasty things life throws at you at times then you'll spiral downward emotionally and at some point, physically.

Sure, you have to deal with situations and act to make them better. Looking for the good in people and circumstances doesn't mean ignoring reality. But attitude is mine to control.

I think it is possible to decide to be happy, to see the good. I believe it's possible to make the decision to have a better outlook on life. We all learn our lessons in different ways at different times. For me generally bits and pieces sift into my brain over a period of time and one day a little light turns on and, wham, I'm there. For others they need a life coach, a mentor, a minister, or a good friend to steer them or flick then in the head. Some of us occasionally need major eye-opening occurrences to shock us into seeing things differently.

I heard some years back that only about 5% of the adult population were actually consciously working to improve themselves emotionally and/or mentally. I doubted the figure then and I doubt it now. The majority of us try in some way to improve ourselves. Some of us weren't given the tools and have to fight harder to make those improvements. Believing and having a positive attitude is a large part of winning any battle we face in life. I challenge you to challenge your own way of looking at life.

Life is good.

No comments: