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Have you ever asked someone how they were doing only to have them reply, “I’m having such a bad day! I stubbed my toe getting out of bed, missed my train, got splashed by a bus while I was walking here, spilled coffee on my white shirt . . . ?” Have you ever been the person being asked? If your own responses tend to resemble the one above more often than not, you’re in need of a major outlook overhaul.
“When life’s problems, complications, and setbacks threaten to engulf us, we feel as if we are swimming in the dark. It is easy to forget all the things we should be grateful for,” writes Anita Bunkley in her book, Steppin’ Out With Attitude: Sister, Sell Your Dream! (Harperperennial, $12.50). She encourages us to remember that “whether good or bad, happy or sad, all of our experiences provide lessons in living.”
The fact of the matter is that we are each allotted only a certain amount of days on this earth. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on your outlook), we don’t know exactly how many. So it would be to our benefit to make every moment that we have breath count-in a positive way. You can waste time pouting over all of the negative things life throws at you. Or you can make up your mind never to have a bad day.
Before you crinkle your brow in disbelief, try the following suggestions. They’ll help you change the way you view your time-so you can make the best of it.
- Treat every day as if it were your last. If you had 24 hours to live, how would you spend them? At the start of each day, make a ranked list of what matters to you most, and the attitudes necessary to accomplish them. Then, let that list dictate how you will behave for that day.
- Conserve energy. It takes considerably more energy to be mad and upset than it does to be happy. If you find that you’re always dragging around, consider checking your attitude first.
- Get some soul. Most religious faiths promote a focus on the good and the positive. Maintain high spirits by connecting with the power higher than yourself.
Attitude is a choice
John C Maxwell, author of The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader (Nelson, $14.99), believes that attitude is a choice. “No matter what happened to you yesterday, your attitude is your choice today.” He suggests the following to sweeten your attitude:
- “Eat” well. Indulge in a regular diet of motivational material, such as books, tapes, and live lectures.
- Do write. Compose positive notes and post them in places you frequent.
- Go for the goal. Set small daily goals and meet them. A pattern of positivity will set in.