There are two things hanging in my cubicle at work that have followed me since I left college.
One is a picture of a beach in Hawaii overlooking the ocean that I tore out of Oprah’s O Magazine. I thought it would help me remain calm during stressful times on the job. Jury’s still out on its effectiveness. The other is a quote I printed out by Charles R. Swindoll. This tattered piece of paper has followed me as I changed jobs and changed cubicles because it is such a great reminder:
This is true for any phase in your life.
You cannot control if someone is mean to you at school; you cannot control if someone doesn’t like you; you cannot control whether or not you make a sports team or a play; you cannot control whether or not you get accepted to a certain college or you get hired for a certain job. There are no guarantees in life. The one thing you have complete control over is your attitude. How you choose to react to situations in your life is all on you.
It’s a lesson that I’m still learning and one that I definitely do not have perfected each and every day. Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that you walk around with a smile plastered on your face looking for ways to spin every negative to a positive. You are entitled to bad days and a bad attitude now and again. You’re human. No one is immune to negative thoughts lurking here and there.
But as a general rule, own your attitude. And realize the power of your mind and the critical role that your thoughts play in your outlook on life and your day-to-day disposition. It’s not always easy, but I truly believe that by simply changing the way you think, you can change the way you feel.