My granddaughter, Gail and I having a great "attitude" day

My granddaughter, Gail and I having a great "attitude" day

Years ago, when my granddaughter was very young, we rode the Merry-go-round in the park.  Today I enjoyed the pleasant memories of she and I choosing which of the very colorful horses to ride there.  Its like life.  Each day we get to choose which horse (attitude) to climb upon, and then, again, like life, you have to “manage” to stay on for the duration of that ride (your day).  Read on and see what I mean.

My day began with an e-mail from a close friend who shared the following challenging thought …
(and she led it with a comment to the effect that in reading this she thought of me – what a way to begin your day, huh?):

Manage your attitude daily
February 25, 2009
John C. Maxwell

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

One of the most significant discoveries of my life was realizing that we often place too much emphasis on making decisions and too little on managing the decisions we’ve already made. This discovery was so significant to me that I wrote a book about it called Today Matters. The thesis of the book is that successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. You can make a decision to have a good attitude, but if you don’t make plans to manage that decision every day, then you are likely to end up right back where you started. But here’s the good news: maintaining the right attitude is easier than regaining the right attitude.

How do you do that? A Chinese proverb I came across gives insight: “Assume a cheerfulness you do not feel, and shortly you feel the cheerfulness you assumed.” Or as editor and publisher Elbert Hubbard says, “Be pleasant until 10 a.m. and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” When you get up in the morning, you need to remind yourself of the decision you’ve made to have a positive attitude. You need to manage your thinking and direct your actions so that they are consistent with your decision.

If you take responsibility for your attitude—recognizing that it can change how you live, managing it every day, and cultivating and developing positive thoughts and habits—then you can make your attitude your greatest asset. It can become the difference maker in your life, opening doors and helping you overcome great obstacles. 
…which concludes with the challenge to:
Make the decision to have a good attitude today, then manage that decision the rest of the day.

…and many have seen this famous piece on:

Attitude is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success,
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 home. a relationship.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice, every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day.
We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that other people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90 % how I react to it.
– Charles Swindoll

In reading the second piece, I had it as written by “unknown” and Googled the opening line which returned many references to it and gave its author as Charles Swindoll.  What surprised me in that search was how controversial that piece was taken by many.  I never questioned it, and both of these speak to me in a very positive way.  Ok, I have a tendancy to fill my day with the positves and leave little room for the negatives of life, not denying they exist, just focusing on the positves throughout my day so there is no time left to get pulled down by that other side.  Yes, its my “Cookie Monster” approach to life (click on Cookie Monster to see what that is as explained in my book) and I like it!  I like the belief that I can determine the direction of my life despite what happens to me through my choice of attitude, and in believing that, for me it is true. 

So how about you? 
What do you choose and why?  Do you believe you have an option, or is life not under your control?  Can you choose to have a good day through your choice of attitude, and once chosen can you manage that decision each day, thus keeping that positive outlook?