They say that attitude is everything. I’ve heard that over and over again my whole life. As a teenager I heard “You had better get your attitude straight” or “You have a bad attitude” (because I did) or “That attitude will get you nowhere.” Everybody seemed to be telling me that I needed an attitude adjustment. That my attitude needed to change. At that time I was all like “You’re the one with the attitude, I’m just doing my thing right now. I’m outta here.” How funny, looking back now. My very attitude then blocked me completely from what they were trying to tell me about my shitty attitude in the first place.
Back then I was just a stupid teenager, trying to figure out my life while at the same time trying to keep cool, while at the same time not knowing anything but expressing that I knew everything to anyone who would listen. Totally confused, entirely neurotic, without any idea what I was doing but acting like I was completely in control. Who was anybody to tell me anything about my attitude? Nobody, that’s who. My attitude was mine, man, and no one could tell me a thing about how I had a bad attitude. Don’t tell me about attitude. I had attitude.
Many years later I’ve had countless experiences showing me how my attitude has gotten me into trouble, down the wrong path, into situations that slapped my attitude straight in the face, and gradually I have learned to temper my attitude. To take a solid look at what I am experiencing in life with regard to my attitude.
I also noticed that whenever I have a good attitude, when I am expecting good things to happen, when I feel good about myself and when I generally have a selfless, giving attitude instead of an “I have attitude” attitude, then good things began to happen in my life.
A common example is often when I’m running late. If I’m running out the door late to an appointment and I’m either: Beating myself up over it, stressing out about what people will think about me arriving late, cursing the situation or people that “made me late”, running through scenarios in my head about what being late will mean for me, those I am meeting and how horrible it will appear that I am late, desperately running yellow lights or even red lights, gripping the steering wheel and gritting my teeth, yelling at traffic or being despondent that there just isn’t enough time, then something interesting tends to happen. I will hit nearly every red light between me and my destination. I’ll end up behind every Sunday driver, traffic jam, inexplicable construction zones that weren’t there the day before. I’ll tend to make simple mistakes that waste my time in getting there such as forgetting my keys when leaving the house, inadvertently taking a wrong turn, taking alternate routes that end up costing me more time than if I had just driven the normal route, etc. As a result I usually end up being much later than I originally thought I would be.
In the same situation of running late, and thankfully this version of the event is more common than the last, I have an attitude that it’s okay and not something to stress over. I’ll get there soon enough, I’ll probably be only a couple of minutes late and it won’t be a big deal, but it is still important that I arrive at least within a couple of minutes, things go quite differently. I tend to cruise through many more green lights. Traffic seems to just get out of my way. Because I’m far less stressed out I am more focused, and so I make more reasonable decisions regarding my route. I remember the construction zones from the other day and avoid them. Oddly enough I usually arrive early, not late at all. Because I can often be a scatterbrain and let time slip past me, running late happens fairly often for me. Neither this nor the preceding example are a coincidence. It’s all about attitude.
Your attitude is about choice in how you see things every day, moment to moment. Your attitude is your choice in every moment. Choose wisely.