I was listening to the radio one morning and heard someone describing his 84-year-old mother. She lives on her own, by herself, in a small town in Vermont. All three of her kids (including the one speaking on the radio) live in the same town. At least once a day, at least one of the kids checks in on her. One day in the late fall she was walking down her long gravel driveway to her mailbox. On her way back to the house, she stumbled, fell into the ditch and broke her hip. She lay there for four and a half hours before her son stopped by on his way home from work and found her. He called 911 and got her to the hospital.
The next morning he was visiting her in the hospital and this is the conversation he described. He said to his mother, “Mom, weren’t you scared laying there with a broken hip for four and a half hours?" She said, “Not at all. I knew one of you kids would be by. " Then he said, “Well, you must have been in an awful lot of pain!" His mom said, “Son, when I fell, I landed right in this pile of leaves, and they smelled sooooo good!" Finally he said, “Well, you must have been freezing because all you had on was a light sweater!" She responded, “You know, every once in awhile the sun would come out from behind a cloud and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated sunshine as much as I did yesterday. " There was nothing he could say that would bring her down. Do you think that is because she ‘felt’ that way? Or do you think that is because that is the way she decided to live her life? It’s all about the choices we make every day of our lives.
Most people decide how they are based upon the circumstances – based upon their feelings at the time. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is that the feelings follow the behavior, not the other way around. Every day we get to choose our attitude by how we choose to behave. It’s very difficult to behave one way and feel another. So choose a positive attitude, regardless of the circumstances.
If you wait for everything in your life to line up perfectly so you can have a positive attitude – your job, your business, your spouse, your teenage kids - you will never have a positive attitude. What do you think is more attractive in life, business or relationships – a positive attitude or a negative attitude? Which do you think will attract more success in your life? Which do you think will attract more abundance? Which do you think will attract more people that you want to be around and want to be around you?
The next time you hear someone say, “I’m doing pretty well under the circumstances. " why don’t you ask them, “Well, what are you doing under there anyway?"
I know some of you are thinking, “Well, if you had everything going on in your life that I have going on in mine, you wouldn’t be enthusiastic and positive either. " Then you miss the point. Attitude is a choice. It is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you choose to respond.
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