“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.”
This is the first line of the poem, “Attitude,” by Charles Swindoll which has been true in my life.
And with a chronic pain illness, I’ve found it can really be the difference in wasting the days away and finding real joy.
It’s also something I’ve really tried to teach to my children. That their attitude can help them rise above any circumstance they’re in.
And this week, I saw that my 17-year-old daughter has learned this vital life lesson.
We were attending the fall sports banquet at her high school where athletes are recognized for a variety of honors. She plays volleyball and was on the JV team this year, which was a bit of a disappointment to her at the beginning of the season when she found that out. I encouraged her to continue to work hard and always have a positive attitude, no matter what, and to be a good leader (she was one of two captains).
It was a bit of an up and down season, for both the JV and the Varsity teams. But I was impressed by her leadership and her example. She was consistently cheering on her teammates, even when they were down.
So back to the banquet … her coach began describing the player who earned the MVP award for the season and praising this young woman on several different levels. And then she said that Hannah (my daughter) was the most positive person she had ever met and that she had earned the MVP award.
I may or may not have teared up a bit, grateful for her example to me, her teammates, coaches and peers.
Swindoll’s poem continues: “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 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% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
We may not be able to change many things about our circumstances. But we can always change our attitude.
Gordon B. Hinckley said that, even though tragedy and problems may surround us, “do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you.”
I believe that. It’s been true for me.
So …“Be believing, be happy, don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.”