attitude1Henry Ford has been quoted as saying, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”

There is so much truth in that.  If I think I can do something, I am likely to try, and more often than not, with enough time, practice, perseverence, I can do what I thought was possible.  Yet, on the contrary, if I think I can’t do something, I’m more likely to not even try, and in the lack of effort that results when I don’t try, I do not become better able to accomplish whatever the task was that I believed myself incapable from the start.

It amazes me how much our attitude affects our success, and how people view us.  I have lately been making a more deliberate and conscious effort to surround myself with positive people and to avoid those who lean toward negativity, because I can get wrapped up in their negativity and quickly become negative myself. Hence the saying, “Misery loves company.”

“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, the education, the 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.”  I don’t recall when I first came upon “The Attitude” poem by Charles R. Swindoll, but every time I read it, I am reminded of how I must deliberately choose that which is right, that which is positive.

This morning in Texas, it is stormy outside.  It has been raining, raining hard, for the vast majority of the past 12 hours and is predicted to continue for the next 12 hours.  It would be so easy for me to get irritable as a result: With our clay soil, the water has no place to go but to puddle above the ground’s surface, which meant that water leaked into my garage and is running the length of the garage. I got wet just trying to load my car this morning, I got drenched by the rain as I made my way from the car to the office door.  I sit here typing while my pant legs are drip drying and my socks turn cold. I slipped on the tile floor just after I entered the office.  My son’s cross-country meet, which I thoroughly enjoy, will be cancelled. Patients will likely be late because of the poor road conditions. Etc. Etc. Etc.  But I choose to be joyous and grateful for this rain.  We are in such a drought that grass is literally growing under people’s boats because the lakes are so low that for many, where there used to be water, it is nothing but sand and weeds.  And because of a couple of days of rain, I will appreciate the sunshine all the more when it returns!

In Philippians 4:8 (NIV), we are admonished to take steps to make sure our attitude is right: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Here’s to expecting positive things to happen!

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