Sometimes, things just go wrong. And sometimes, a lot of things go wrong all at once. This is neither fun nor amusing when it happens, and quite frankly, it can be frustrating. But how do you handle it?
Over the last few weeks, several things have happened that have really tested my attitude. Primarily, my laptop has been playing this game where it turns on (only for a minute), wildly freaks out with flashing lights, and then shuts off. I know – how cool! At first, this was sporadic, and I wouldn’t let it get to me. But now, I can’t even use it because it’s so consistently uncooperative. In addition, my cell phone broke, and has deteriorated to the point where texting and calling is almost a complete guessing game. And I can’t get a new one for a month! But as they say, when it rains it pours, so in addition to both of these things, I was not selected for a position I was really hoping for, and even had some internal conflicts to deal with.
That’s not a pity party invitation (I hate those parties!). That’s just inspiration for a blog post! And some credibility, too, I suppose.
Anyone can have a positive attitude when the bank account has money, the relationships are good, the job is great, and life is easy. That’s when it’s easy to smile, be happy, and tell others to do the same.
But what about when life puts on a mischievous grin and sends a parking ticket your way…followed by losing your wallet…followed by someone hurting your feelings…followed by a pack of wild raccoons rummaging through your fridge? Okay, so that’s an odd example, but you get the point. Sometimes, crappy stuff happens to you. But does that bring about a crappy attitude in you?
Your attitude will be tested almost daily: by the people you work with, by the things that happen to you, and even by the things that you’re exposed to. These “attitude tests” will reveal how much positive you have within, and how well you can control it. Every opportunity in which we could get upset, we have an even greater opportunity to let our happiness shine. It might not be easy, but focusing on the positive makes any experience a lot easier to deal with. It allows us to think clearly, rationally, and creatively (we all remember a time when our “bad mood” kept us from thinking or communicating effectively).
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reminding myself of this. Despite having a positive attitude 99.99% of the time, sometimes the .01% gets to me. But only for a minute…like with my laptop, for example. My laptop is my life. It’s vital for my schoolwork, calendar, website, and basic connectivity with others. When it continuously malfunctions, I have to force my positive attitude not to malfunction with it.
Here’s a cool tip: Sometimes, I will literally “allow” myself five minutes to be sad, mad, angry, annoyed – whatever I want to be. For five minutes, I’ll mope, complain, and throw my exact (angry) thoughts into the air. “Yeah, take that!” I’ll say. But then, after five minutes, I go back to me. Positive, happy, and clear-minded me. Don’t bottle up your negative feelings if they will keep you from positive ones. Either change them or get them out and say goodbye to them Only for five minutes, though. No half-hour negativity!
One more tip that I’ve found helpful: Just remind yourself of all that you have going for you. I know this sounds corny – it is. But my laptop and phone are only big problems to me. Half of the world would say “What’s a laptop and phone?” See the difference in perspective? All of a sudden, I’m feeling pretty lucky. Not to mention, I’m fully clothed, in a heated house, with a fully stocked refrigerator. I have a full closet, running water, and an automobile outside if I ever want to go somewhere. Clearly, I have many more reasons to be positive and happy than negative and upset. And when you focus on the positive, awesome things in your life, how can you not be happy?
All that said, I will still be praying that my laptop can be resurrected (after all, tomorrow is Easter!) and that my phone survives one more month. But I will certainly not let either of those things ruin the precious days that I’m so blessed to be living. Problems are temporary, but my attitude and my happiness, those aren’t going anywhere! How about yours? How is your attitude doing, and how is that affecting your life?
“Positive attitude has nothing to do with what happens to you. It’s what you do with, and how you react to, what happens to you.” ~Jeffrey Gitomer
Photo by raichinger