The Perspective You Take

By: D. A. Slinkard

What do you do when you want to give up and throw in the towel? What do you do when you feel like the whole world is against you? Anything you touches immediately falls apart? What do you do when the struggle is real? I ask these questions because I was posed these very same questions recently, and the person wanted to know how I maintain such a positive attitude in dire situations.

My response – Attitude is everything. We cannot always control what happens in our lives, but we can ALWAYS control how we respond to events, whether it be negative or positive. I was speaking with someone else who seemed amazed that you can have two people face the exact same situation and you are going to get two different reactions from them. I was not taken off guard by this because I understand that many times our life is about the perspective we take.

If you have a winner’s mentality, then chances are you will be a winner more times than not. If you have a loser’s mentality, then chances are you will find yourself losing. We become who and what we think we are, and it is not a difficult subject to master. But the reality is that many people are walking around self-sabotaging their own lives, and they do not realize it. Yes, what you think and say does have an impact on the world around you and the perspective you have.

My question would be: Who are the top five people you hang around with, and what does their attitude say about them? It is much easier for us to answer logically and honestly about others than ourselves. Think about how much easier it is to give someone else advice; yet when we try to take our own advice, well, that becomes a pill we just cannot swallow. Those five people that you hang around the most are exactly the person you are. Yes, the five people you hang around the most are having more of an influence in your life than what you realize.

I have had some times in my life when I took a quick assessment of who I was hanging around, and I knew I needed to make some changes. I made the changes; those people are long gone, and who I am today is not the same person I was fifteen, ten, or even five years ago. It is crucial to make sure you are hanging around bucket fillers, those people who add value to others lives, and that you also are a bucket filler and not a bucket dipper.

I remember with our two girls, as we would be driving them to school and before we would drop them off, we would remind them to be bucket fillers and not bucket dippers. Great advice and it is something that has stuck with my girls. We as a society need to start focusing in on leaving people better than we found them; yet, too often people get greedy, and they want to know what is in it for them. Wrong mentality.

When it seems like your entire world is falling apart, it is time to set apart some time and really begin to look at what is happening in your life. Why? Sometimes things are not as bad as we realize, and other times things are not as good as we realize. We need to be prepared to evaluate our lives and ask the tough questions, but really be honest with ourselves. The hardest obstacle we all have is being totally honest with ourselves. Too many times we want to give ourselves the easy out and allow for excuses to come in. This is where those you are hanging out with come into play.

Those people closest to you need to be your support system. They do not need to be enablers in allowing you to throw pity-parties for yourself. If people are not bringing you up, they are tearing you down, and your actions towards others is doing the exact same thing. What impact are you having in the lives of others? Your perspective is what you make of it. If you think life is hard, do not expect it to be easy. You have the control over your thought process. And although you cannot predict every event in your life, you can influence more than you realize. Attitude is everything!
By: D. A. Slinkard
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