Attitude is Everything

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend Conifer’s High School Graduation Ceremony. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and listen to students and guest speakers reflect on their days; both past and present. It was refreshing to hear young people speak of things like “Attitude … Legacy … and New Beginnings.”

Do you remember your high school graduation? I don’t remember all of the details (it was quite some time ago) but I do remember the feelings of excitement and nervousness. I was excited to be done with a chapter in life and yet nervous for the next one to start … after all, I was young and carefree, not much in the way of worries or cares or major “adult” responsibility and we could do anything!!

As I’ve pondered and procrastinated over writing this, several thoughts and themes have come and gone but the one word that remains over and over again is “Attitude.”

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Attitude?” Do you think of yourself? Friends? Surroundings & Circumstances? For me it brings up two words – “Positive” or “Negative.”

One of the graduation speakers spoke of “Attitude is Everything.” How with a positive attitude things can be overcome and life is for the most part, a happy and good one. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be cloudy and rainy days but its how you look at it. Yes, multiple rainy days can be discouraging or depressing but rainy days also bring a sense of freshness; it washes away the ugly brown muck and brings fresh new beginnings.

Back to our younger days … wasn’t it easy to be positive and upbeat, after all, we didn’t have all of the “adult” responsibility we have as we get older. And no one named “Bill” took our hard earned money. We laughed and played like there was no tomorrow. As we got older, life changed. Did we change with it and move into growth or did we stay in a comfortable spot as a victim? Or are we like most people and ride the Attitude Rollercoaster? When does your attitude change??

One of my favorite books, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. came to mind as I reflected on my life, my attitudes, and the changes I’ve made or didn’t make. If you haven’t read this book, I encourage you to put it on your “must read list” and if you have read this book, you know that “cheese” doesn’t refer to the cheese we eat (although it’s a must have in any refrigerator) but it is a metaphor for what we want to achieve and have in life. The four characters, Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw travel thru the cheese maze in search of cheese … of what they do to help themselves when it runs out or changes are made beyond their control. It’s a story of how attitudes can make a difference.

What weighs down your attitude? Is it fear? Is it someone or something negative in your life? What I’ve come to understand it that we have already been given a guide in Philippians 2:5 – “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

Attitude IS everything. Jesus could have played the victim as he traveled thru a maze of persecution and ridicule only to be crucified on the cross. Yet he chose to have an attitude of caring and compassion, leaving signs and examples along the way for us to follow. See, life isn’t always easy, but with a positive attitude we attract more positive people. I don’t know about you but I think it is more fun to laugh and travel thru the tough times with positive and supportive people than to be pulled further down and unhappy.

I believe that life is about choices – we can choose to find the good or choose to be the victim. I’m a Celebrity Apprentice Fan and as I watched the Season Finale, I found myself in awe and had tears in my eyes as I watched deaf children receive hearing aids thru Marlee Matlin's charity Starkey Hearing Foundation or the children at St. Jude, John Rich’s charity, smile as he sang for them. Laughter and smiles on the faces of children who face pain and adversity on a daily basis.

The news has been filled lately of the devastating tornadoes that have ripped thru our country the last few months. People helping people in a time when loss has occurred; to see a church where the building was completely destroyed, yet the members walked the streets, offering help and handing out financial aid to its neighbors.

And to bring it even closer to home - friends who have lost jobs, the loss of loved ones, friends and family with health problems, to see them all so up beat, and positive when they could be negative instead. Seeing and having people like this in my life makes me want to be like them and to attract more and more “positivity” in my life; to know that adversity happens but can be overcome; that a positive attitude will bring new life from rubble and despair.

While we think about our trials and tribulations and the things that makes us negative, remember, “Attitude IS everything” and that “I can do everything thru him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13.)

Getting back to the graduation ceremony … it was refreshing to hear of such positive attitudes. It was a reminder by those younger than me that life is good amongst destruction and routine daily obstacles and that it is how we look at it. I would encourage you to find that “positivity” in your life and be like Christ (Philippians 2:5) for it was the best example we could have.

Dear Lord, Please be with us “attitudes” and all. May we find the positive amongst the negatives in our lives and be a light to those who struggle. Amen

April Schauer

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