Tag Archives: Attitude

The Twin Study

There have been studies on twins as children and how their environment reflects who they become as adults. There were twin brothers who grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. One grew up to become an alcoholic like his father. The other one grew up sober and very successful in his community. The alcoholic twin was asked why are you the way you are? His response was I grew up with an alcoholic father, so that’s the reason I am the way I am. The other twin was asked why he was so successful. He responded with “my father was an alcoholic, so I promised myself I would never become like my father.” It all comes down to attitude.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact attitude has on our life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, and what other people think, or say, or do. It is more important than appearance, our talents or skills. It will make or break a company, a church, or a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is focus our attitude toward the positive.

True Happiness

Boy playing in wheatYou can be as happy as you make up your mind to be. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections in life.

Being happy is an attitude. The people that are the happiest are happy under every circumstance, regardless of their social status, their age, religion or race. They are the bright light when they enter a room.

Have you ever been so happy that you lose track of time? You are so engaged in what you are doing, two hours seems like only five minutes has gone by. This is bliss. You are in the happiness zone.

I remember as a child, my brother Mel and myself asked our parents if we could go play. We couldn’t have been older than nine or ten at the time. We went to Steve’s house for a while. Then we decided to all go over to our house. On the way over to our house, we cut through a field where we noticed an old barn door was open.

So we went inside. We found a barn full of wheat. This was a barn that used to have many animals, but now it was just used for storage. We started jumping in the wheat. It must have been 6-8 feet deep.

We started diving and swimming in the stuff. We even buried ourselves. We found a way to climb into the rafters of this old barn, and jump into the wheat. Before we knew it, we were pulling wheat out of our shoes, hair, our pants pockets, and our underwear.

We decided to take off all of our clothes, and jump in the wheat nude. It made it easier to shake the wheat from our clothes.

We were gone for hours. By the time we got home, we knew we were in trouble. It was way past dinner. It had been so much fun that even going to bed without dinner didn’t matter.

I still remember thinking it was not possible that we had been gone for hours. Those hours seemed like minutes, I was truly happy.

The Dolly Folly

Dolly-FollyWhen I was in third grade I was in a resource class for struggling students. One day I walked into class and I saw a table covered with many different coloring book pages. All the pictures were random pictures of a bear, doll, house, a tree, and many other different pictures. I asked Mrs. Foster what we were doing that day in class. She said we are going to color pictures.

I said I didn’t want to be the one that colors the picture of the doll. Why do you have a picture of a doll? Dolls are dumb. You guessed it I got the doll picture. My teacher said “I had no intention of giving you the doll picture until you made a big deal about it.” I was not happy while I was doing this assignment.

Mrs. Foster was teaching me a lesson. If you make a big deal out of things, you only make it worse. If I would have walked into the classroom, sat down, waited for instructions, I probably would have had a much different outcome.

This also brings to mind as a kid that it was my brother Mel and myself’s job to clean out the barn where our goats would eat, and sleep. When we were asked to “scatter sunshine”, we knew it was our job to shovel out all the goat manure, and hay mixture from the barn, and dump it on our garden.

When we made a big deal out of this task it took all day to shovel out the manure. When we did it with a good attitude it seemed like we finished the assignment a lot quicker. The lesson that has come from these situations is, your altitude determines your level of joy. When I am having a bad day, I like to emphasize the importance of a positive attitude by sharing a smile, with an encouraging word. This makes all the difference. You can change lives as well. Try it!

Remembering the Alamo and Beyond

Remembering the Alamo and beyond
A year ago my son Nathan got married, then moved to Texas. A couple of weeks ago I was able to travel to San Antonio with my wife to visit with family. We have never been to this part of Texas before. Nathan picked us up at the airport and took us to visit with some of our family that live near by. We spent the night which was great, and very enjoyable reconnecting with loved ones.

The next day Nathan took my wife, and myself to see the Alamo. I have never seen so many different types of plants from tropical palm trees to desert cactus plants.We also took the river walk tour on a boat. We had a fun tour guide with a dry wit that pointed out interesting points of interest along the river. He said “everyone get ready to take a picture of a beautiful man made water fall on your right.” When we got to the spot on the river he said “sorry they forgot to turn it on.” You could tell if it was working it would be beautiful. He was making the best of the situation. As we went around the river bend our boat brushed up against some tropical plants. Our tour guide said “don’t worry about the plants they are tropical poison ivy”. Everything he said sounded serious with a slight smile. One of the tourists on the boat totally believed every thing our tour guide was saying. He said “I can’t believe the waterfall wasn’t working” and “Tropical poison ivy how dangerous.”

I got to thinking how often we take life too seriously like the tourist on the boat that choose to look at life half empty. Our tour guide chose to make the best of his situation, and looks at life with a positive twist. Unlike the unhappy tourist, I enjoyed the tour just like it was. Around every twist and turn of the river, I was enjoying the way our tour guide was turning negative situations into a very entertaining river tour.

On our way back to our car we forgot where Nathan parked. We looked all over. It was hot and we were getting exhausted from going from parking lot to parking lot. Then my wife remembered a landmark by our parking place. Everything became more clear where we parked. Within minutes we were sitting in our air conditioned car headed towards Whataburger for lunch. It didn’t matter that just a few minutes before we were lost and hot. The important thing was we were with our son making memories. Everyday we experience challenges. How we face each situation determines our attitude. Our attitude determines altitude. I choose to fly high with a positive happy life. You can, too.