It depends on how we look at things

On The Way
by Olivia Fowler

Years ago my minister wrote a piece on the importance of attitude that included the following quote by Charles Swindoll., an evangelical Christian minister.

“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 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 string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

This made such a deep impression on me that I clipped it and posted it on the refrigerator door. I took a copy to work and kept it on my desk.

It is as helpful to me now as it was then.

There are some wonderful people in the world that are admirable in the way they handle adversity. They clearly demonstrate the advantages of choosing to have a positive attitude.

We all have that choice. What we do is totally up to us. Have I achieved this state of mind? No, not completely. But I’m still working on it.

If you want to find out which category family members fall into, those who are positive or those who are negative, try this little experiment. Wait until there are only just enough slices of bread left to for breakfast to toast one slice per person. Burn the toast and record the range of responses.

They can go from, “That’s ok. I’ll scrape it” to “Throw it away. I don’t want anything else to eat. I can’t eat without toast.”

The toast is equally burnt for each person. But the reactions are vastly different.

Another great quote from Swindoll is, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Don’t you just love this?

Admittedly, this is not the first thing thought of when adversity strikes. But maybe it could be the third thing thought of.
So smile, even if you don’t feel like it. It’s surprising how the simple act of smiling will lift your own spirits, not just those of others.