If you are hopping over here from Glynnis Whitwers blog today, then welcome! If you havent visited Glynnis lately, be sure to do so over the next few weeks. She will be offering lots of tips about dealing with the every day things of life, with the tips being offered by members of our speaker team. So in the coming weeks, you can get 10 tips for many different subjects, so check it out!
My post on Glynniss blog today is 10 Tips For Having a Positive Attitude.
In keeping with that topic, lets talk about attitude for a moment.
I came across a startling statistic recently, stating that the average human has 30,000 thoughts per day. (Now how “they” came up with that statistic, I do not know… Im just repeating what I read.)
But 30,000 thoughts is a lot of thinking! Now consider this – if most of those thoughts were negative, self defeating, self condemning, guilt ridden, unforgiving, bitter, and filled with pessimism – what type of person do you think that we would be?
I will just take a wild guess and say – not a very nice one! How could someone possibly be pleasant on the outside, if they are filled with negativity on the inside? Our outward actions are usually the living out of our inward feelings, making it impossible to keep our negativity a secret – which proves how much power our thoughts have over our lives.
In my opinion, I believe that the biggest challenge to having a positive attitude is recognizing that there are just certain things that we cannot change, and accepting that we have to be positive, despite knowing that. If we allow the frustration of not having power or control to make change happen to overtake our hearts and minds, then we are sure to end up in a lonely existence, having driven everyone away as they grew weary of our pessimistic outlook on life.
For example, we dont have the power to change another person, change how another person behaves or treats us, change certain circumstances in our life, change our finances, change our children, erase the past, etc. Sometimes it is that lack of power to make changes happen, which results in frustration and resentment and anger, that causes us to become a pessimist.
I want to ask you to take a few minutes right now to jot down, or just think about, the circumstances/people/past mistakes/etc., that you simply cannot change.
Now think about how your attitude has been towards those things, and what types of thoughts you typically have about them. Are they primarily negative?
Now ask yourself, if you have done any of these things lately:
•Have you said any “could-have”, “would-have”, “should-have” statements today?
•Have you said “if onlys” about something today?
•Have you thought about that person who hurt you, and how angry you are about it, and how you simply cannot, and will not, forgive them?
•Have you replayed a conversation in your head about a situation that upset you? What you should or should not have said?
•Have you practiced a conversation that you intend to have with someone, that will not be a nice conversation?
•How many scenarios have you created about bad things might happen in the future?
•Have you been saying, “I wish I hadn’t”…..done something
•Are you forming a personal identity around for example, a disease? Do you speak about “my arthritis”, “my multiple sclerosis”, “my heart problem”? Is it always about the negative things?
•Do you ever make comments like “nothing ever goes right for me”; “everything I touch fails”; “I always mess up”?
A little self examination can sometimes be a huge eye opener. If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you may be in the habit of negative thinking, without even realizing it. This inadvertent habit not only causes us to be unpleasant on the outside, but can also pull us away from our walk with God, as we focus on our problems, instead of the Problem Solver.
Another important thing to keep in mind, is that negativity can be as contagious to other people as the flu. A sour attitude can sow seeds of pessimism in the hearts of others, and in turn, infect their hearts and minds with a bad attitude as well.
So ask yourself, “is my attitude worth catching?”. If the answer is no, or you are unsure, then you might be in need of a little attitude adjustment.
For those of you who are in need of one, here are a few tips to consider. (And if it makes you feel any better, I will be doing this little task right along with you! There is not a person alive who cant use a strong dose of optimism!)
So lets get started:
1. Examine your attitude. Having a conscious awareness of our thinking will help us to maintain a positive attitude, and rid of negative thoughts when they creep up. Read Acts 8:22
2. Submit your attitudes to Christ. Bring your attitudes into obedience to Gods Word, and apply discipline to your thought life. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5
3. Be accountable to yourself. Accept and realize that YOU are responsible for your own well being and happiness. You can’t depend on other people to make you happy, satisfied, or meet all of your needs. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16.
Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to it. (Chuck Swindoll)
4. Enjoy life. Try not to get so caught up in managing life, that you forget to enjoy life. There may be a piece of your life that is discouraging, but it is most likely not your entire life. Be sure to keep things in perspective and ask God to fill with you the joy and contentment that can only come from Him.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away (Author unknown)
Sometimes it might seem easier to climb Mount Everest than to make a lasting change within ourselves, but it is possible. In fact, all things are possible with God!
We just have to be willing to do it, and believe that we can, with Gods help. This is confirmed for us in Deuteronomy 30: 11, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” (NIV)
The absolute truth is that our attitudes can determine our destinies, and can actually become self fulfilling prophecies. Thoughts are powerful.