March 25, 2009
The Value of a Positive Attitude
by Charles R. Swindoll
Several years ago I determined to deal with my attitude. I found myself getting pretty testy, even argumentative at times. Our children were young and often had needs that required my time and attention. More often than I'd like to admit, that irritated me---to the point where my wife said I needed to think about how negative I was becoming, and then I needed to do something about it!
At first, like most husbands would, I resisted her words, but after giving them further thought, I realized that what she was observing was painfully true. To use a popular expression, I was in need of a serious attitude adjustment! I knew that if some of my emotional outbursts didn't stop, I'd not only alienate all four of my children, I would become a lonely, bitter, and crotchety old man. The realization of all that led me to come to terms with my negative attitude.
I am so grateful I did! Among other things, it led me to sit down and write out a carefully worded statement on the importance of choosing the right attitude every single day. I had no idea how God would use it in the lives of people around the world. I've come across it in the most amazing places---and I've had friends tell me of their seeing it in such places as restaurant menus and hanging on walls in machine shops and hearing it quoted in sales conferences, memorized by cadets preparing to be highway patrolmen, and learned by students in school. Here it is:
Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there's no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
I share this with you in hopes that it will help you as much as it has helped so many others, including me. Thankfully, I'm a different man today because I came to terms with my attitude a number of years ago. And because I did, as I grow older, I've became a lot easier to live with. Just ask my wife . . . and our kids . . . and their kids!
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.