Unfortunately in junior high, it was a frequent occurence for me. The teacher would zero in on me asking what a word meant, one that I had just used. I could feel my face grow in heat and intensity with the assurance that it was beginning to glow red. But, I could not find the words. I did not know how to articulate with my mouth what I knew in my brain. It was so frustrating…and embarrassing.
In attempts to avoid that with you and me, let’s establish what an attitude really is. To be honest with you, I had a bit of deer-in-the-headlight look fumbling to make sense of what I knew in my head. My confusion always leads me to the dictionary.
at·ti·tude noun \ˈa-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior
synonym: a viewpoint
Hmmm. Interesting. So, an attitude is a point of view, one way of looking at something. It’s an opinion, one with hefty importance because it has the power to affect my behavior, my decisions, my life! Whew.
Listen. Listen. Held within the definition of this ONE WORD is the release of the “ugly attitude power hold.” ATTITUDE. An attitude is not an uncontrollable response. No, an attitude is simply a way of looking at something.
We have a way out.
If an attitude is a point of view, by changing the viewpoint, the attitude can be changed. Uh, seriously? I think we’ve stumbled across something. It may just be the key that unlocks and gives power to a massive attitude adjustment (and ongoing adjustments) in each of our hearts.
What I am viewing doesn’t need to change, but how I see it does.
For example, I’m stuck in traffic. Anger, irritation, crankiness is bubbling up in me. But, the traffic isn’t the source of anger, irritation, crankiness. It only exposes what’s in my heart and reveals my point of view. Probably, my perspective rests in selfishness or pride which says,
“I don’t deserve this. How can other people be so stupid and not know how to drive?”
The effect could be grumbling all the way to work and beyond, imprinting my entire day with an ugly attitude!
But, if I would change my viewpoint, I bet my attitude would change. It may sound like,
“Ok. This traffic stinks. I’m going to be late. But, my attitude resides in the way I choose to look at it. How can I see this differently? Well…I have more time to pray or think through my day or sing with this song on the radio or sip my coffee.”
The effect could be arriving at work calm and steady, igniting a beautiful attitude inside me.
A change in how you view the situation changes your attitude which changes your day!
What opportunities will you have within your day?
with your 2-year-old starting to potty train, oh there are no words of solace…
with a fast food drive-thru experience
with your out-of-date wardrobe
with a husband heavy with stress from work
a flat tire
This weekend, will you try this out? Whenever you feel an ugly attitude all over you,
2. Say, “An attitude is a point of view. Change the viewpoint and I’ll change my attitude.”
3. Reposition your point of view to open up and see it differently.
I’d love love love to know what you experience! If you can, please share in comments. May we encourage each other with the authenticity of real life and the reality of this truth.
Ugly no more!