Your attitude is really everything

Your attitude is really everything

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” —Willie Nelson

When I was still living at home, my dad remodeled the kitchen. He hung plastic between the kitchen and the dining room so he and my brother could tear out the ceiling in the kitchen. Because the ceiling was plaster, it was a mess to say the least. The worst part was we had to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom.

In the end it looked great. The ceiling was new with a fan and some recessed lights. The lights were wired to a dimmer switch so we could turn them on low at night. It sure helped when I went to the bathroom at night because I could walk through the kitchen without going blind from the bright light. It was like a giant night light.

It took me back to the introduction to a Christian counseling class I took in college. We talked about how our attitude could be compared to a light switch or a dimmer switch. A light switch only turns light on and off, or to put it another way, all or nothing, while the dimmer switch is different attitudes we can have. For example, if you have the light switch attitude, you are either happy or sad; there is no middle ground. If you have a dimmer switch attitude, then how you feel can be a whole range of emotions.

Too many people are walking around with a light-switch mentally. Everything has to be good, or nothing is good. I’ve seen people whose day went from good to terrible in one minute. Everyone has 1,440 minutes today. What a shame it would be to let one minute ruin the other 1,439 minutes of the day. I understand if something major happens it will have an effect, but so many times we let little things ruin our day. Why? Because we can.

When looking back on our day, we might think it was a good day except for one unfortunate incident, or we had a bad day, but there was a bright spot in it. We make too many things black and white when many times they are really gray. I don’t think we can have our own truth on everything, but I think people can decide how they will handle everything. I’ve been wanting one of my favorite kinds of pop, but I can’t find it anywhere because of the supply shortage, so I just pick up something else. I know people who would tell everyone they know how awful it is they can’t get their favorite pop. It’s just pop.

A lot of people don’t see any reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving season. I believe we always have some reason to be thankful, even if they are just little things. When I don’t see the kind of pop I want, I can look at all the choices there are instead. Right now I am working at home. It’s cold out, but I am comfortable. I can focus on it being cold outside or on how warm my house is. It being cold outside is negative, but I am inside, which for me is very positive. Plus, the cold helps reduce the number of bugs in the spring and summertime.

Unfortunately, not everything is going to be positive in our life, but all of us are going to fall somewhere on the scale. I hope we are on the upper end. It might be helpful to write a list of everything we are thankful for. I know a woman who writes down one thing every day she is thankful for.

I don’t buy that some people have nothing to be thankful for. It may take a while to think of something, or we might try asking God to reveal good things to us, and then as they come, write them down. We like to have big things happen to us, but so much of the time it’s the little things that really add up. The little things are what matter the most in life. Put the list where you can see it often in a day. Read and reread it as many times as you need to — it will help us to not be as dim.