Saturday, March 29, 2008


The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. Viktor E. Frankle

It is true that we cannot control what happens to us. We cannot control what other people think say or do. We cannot always control if some bad situation occurs. We can be stricken with ill health, our financial situations can change very quickly, our jobs can be changed or lost, long time friends or even loved ones can change their feelings for us. We cannot always control what happens, but, as Dr.Frankle states, we can control how we respond to what happens.

Bad things happen all the time. However, some people seem to be able to handle bad situations better than other people. Why is this? The only logical answer is the ability to choose a response. We all have this ability to choose. I am not the greatest at this. I often fail to choose the best response, but as I am learning that I can choose how I respond, I am learning to control the after effects of a situation. More importantly, I am learning that I can control my attitude well before an events happens. I can actually choose to control my response by controlling my attitude.

People can allow themselves to fall into a negative pattern of thinking that can generate a negative response to just about any situation or circumstance. They can just as easily develop a positive outlook. I guess it comes down to the old saying of seeing the glass as half full or half empty. The fascinating thing is that it is all a war of the mind. We have the ability to choose our thoughts and ultimately how we respond to any given circumstance. The more I learn this the more I realize that this is a major success principle.

It is so simple and yet so hard. We can often be hard wired to have negative thoughts. Changing our way of thinking can be difficult. However, the payoff can be well worth it. It can take courage and hard work to change the way we think. Maya Angelou says that "Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage." If we have the courage to change the way we think about our circumstances we can have the courage to change our lives. We often use the example of famous people and use quotes from the famous. But we can find inspiration to change or to develop our courage by watching those close to us. We all know people who seem to handle bad things with great courage and conviction.

We can all change our outlook and attitude. we can learn to control our response to our circumstances. It comes from controlling the way we allow ourselves to think. We can learn from the examples of others. We can learn from our associations. The important thing is that we learn to control the way we view our circumstances. We can learn that failure is not an event or a set of circumstances. Failure is not determined by what other people think, say, or do. The only failure is in our thinking and in our response. In other words, only we can determine if we have failed in a given situation and Only we can determine how we will respond.

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