January 16


Today's quotation:

Our attitude tells the world what we expect in return.  If it's a cheerful, expectant attitude, it says to everyone with whom we come in contact that we expect the best in our dealings with the world.  You see, we tend to live up to our expectations.  And others give to us, as far as their attitudes are concerned, what we expect.  Our attitude is something we can control.  We can establish our attitude each morning when we start our day--in fact, we do just that, whether or not we realize it. And the people in our family--all the people in our world--will reflect back to us the attitude we present to them.  It is, then, our attitude toward life that determines life's attitude toward us.  Cause and effect.  Everything we say or do will cause a corresponding effect.  If we're cheerful, glad to be experiencing this miracle of life, others will reflect that good cheer back to us.  We are the kind of people others enjoy being around.

Earl Nightingale

Today's Meditation:

I believe that Bernie Siegel wrote one of my favorite passages about the effects of attitude.  He tells the story of a woman who didn't like her job at all because of the way her co-workers treated her.  She decided to quit, and on the day that was to be her last day, she woke up happy, looking forward to leaving the job.  She went to work feeling happy, and acting happy.

Amazingly enough, her co-workers responded to her new attitude by reflecting back to her a similar attitude, one that was very pleasant to her.  She had been miserable at work all that time because she had gone to work with a negative attitude, and her co-workers responded by treating her in the same way she was acting.  With this new perspective, though, she enjoyed her day at work, and she ended up staying there and working for a very long time.

I was brought up indirectly to be reactionary, to think that all of the conditions of my life were subject to the winds of chance.  If I was miserable, I was miserable because of the way someone else treated me.  If I was happy, I was so because something good had happened to me.  I had to learn later in life that I determine my own attitude.  If someone treats me badly, then I have the choice of letting their treatment affect my attitude or letting myself determine my own attitude.  If I let it get to me, then I truly am letting it get to me--I'm allowing the problem to happen.

I have a simple way of looking at other people's treatment now--a person did something unpleasant to me either because they wanted to hurt me or because they weren't aware that their action was hurtful.  In the first case, I don't want to allow someone who is low enough to want to hurt someone else affect my peace of mind.  In the second case, if it was unintentional then there's no need to feel bad about it.  In both cases, I can hold on to my own peace of mind simply because of my attitude concerning their actions.

We can control our attitudes, and if we do so well, we can be people that other people love to be around.  And if they love to be around us, we can teach them many important things about how wonderful they are as unique creations in this vast universe.  If we can teach them well, they can find the positive attitudes within themselves.  Our positive attitudes can grow beyond ourselves and affect the rest of the world in very positive ways.  And as we affect the world positively, that positive glow will reflect right back at us, and life will hold that shine that we know inside it should hold.

Questions to consider:

How much of your attitude is determined by other people's actions, and your reactions to what they do?

Do you form your attitude about life based on your expectations of what life should be like?  If you do, what's the probably outcome of those expectations?

If you'd like the world to treat you in a certain way, do you treat the world in that way?

For further thought:

The world has a way of giving what is demanded of it.  If you are frightened and look for failure and poverty, you will get them, no matter how hard you may try to succeed.  Lack of faith in yourself, in what life will do for you, cuts you off from the good things of the world.  Expect victory and you make victory.

Preston Bradley

more thoughts and ideas on attitude



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