Attitude & Perspective

Positive or Negative, your attitude is 100% contagious.  Just think about it:  Have you ever been around someone who had a really negative attitude?  And didn’t that person seem to just bring a bad vibe into every social circle they entered into?  Likewise, have you ever been around someone with a positive attitude?  Not an artificial, ignorance-is-bliss attitude, but a genuine, optimistic, hopeful attitude…  And what was your experience?  In general, I have found that society is so absolutely apathetic (nobody cares!) that when someone with passion and hope walks in, people will actually battle to stand next to them!  (If for nothing more, than to get some of those good vibes off of them through osmosis.)

Don’t believe me?  Love him or hate him, Barack Obama is exhibit “A”.  In 2004, though he was new to the political scene, he captured the attention of the nation with one word:  Hope.  And though I believe his platform of “Hope” was genuine, what really blows my mind is that he initially stood out from the crowd like a soar thumb simply because of his positive attitude…  What does that say about the attitude of our nation?  Why is it that everyone is so bummed out that they would flock to a new comer with this game changing idea of being “hopeful”?

“Why is it that everyone is so bummed out?”  No…  Nevermind…  That is the wrong question to ask.  I already know why everybody is depressed…  The economy, the job market, the oil spill, the war(s), the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the hurricanes, the floods, divorce, unemployment, etc.  I get it, there is all kinds of bad stuff happening in the world.  Very little of it actually on my doorstep, but the 24-hour news cycle helps me to feel that way.

The thing is, bad stuff has always happened.  When we were kids this kind of stuff was happening…  So what changed?  I know some will say we became more knowledgeable.  Others might say we became jaded.  Still others might say that our world view has grown.  And though I don’t disagree with any of these answers, I don’t think that these are the main cause of our problem.  Candidly, what happened was that our perspective changed from looking at what we had to looking at what we didn’t have.  And when our perspective changed, our attitude shifted.  And the cancer of negativity began spreading.

Rather than asking yourself (or others) “What’s going wrong today?”, why not ask “What’s going right?”  As opposed to listing your needs, why not list your blessings?  Why not stop griping and start praising?  No matter where you are in life, I am 100% convinced that your Attitude is based solely on your Perspective.  

As proof, I can cite some of the most successful people in the world being less happy than a poverty stricken man in the ghetto.  Why?  Because the successful man is focused on what he has yet to achieve or obtain, whereas the poor man is grateful for a full-belly and a dry place to sleep.  And while some may scoff at the poor man for having low aspirations, I’m not encouraging anyone to “aim low”.  On the contrary, I wish everyone all the success they desire, but I caution that without the proper Perspective, their efforts will have been futile.

Here are a couple quick examples to get you “glass-half-empty” folks into the rhythm:

Pessimist:  Economy sucks.  10% Unemployment.
Optimist:  Greatest country in the world!  90% of people have jobs!  Land of opportunity!

Pessimist:  Taxes suck.  Government sucks.  Socialists suck.
Optimist:   These freeways sure are nice!  So is having these Police / Firefighters / Teachers to serve our community!  And let’s not forget about this wonderful military, who will die for me to sleep and work under the cover of protection they provide and then watch me complain about how some of my money has to go to pay for their well being, and they don’t kick my ass up and down the street!

Pessimist:  Stupid car broke down.  It’s gonna cost me $500 bucks to fix.  Life sucks.
Optimist:  It sure is easy to walk around town and get on the bus with these legs!  I sure love being healthy!  Thanks God!

The fact is, it could always be worse.  And chances are, it could always be better too.  Thus, it is up to us to CHOOSE OUR PERSPECTIVE!  (That’s right, Perspective is a choice!)  And, depending on which perspective you choose, you could find something to be mad about and happy about in every single situation in your life, no matter how good or how bad that situation might be.  Knowing this, why would you ever choose to spend one more second of your life being pissed off about something?

I understand that men battle with anger.  Even so, Real Men use their anger as motivation and energy to make the situation better.   If not for themselves, then for the benefit of those around them.

The first part of being a Real Man has to do with “Inspiring Others”…  When was the last time you were “inspired” by somebody complaining about how slow the line at super market / airport / dmv was moving?  Does other people’s road rage inspire you?  How about when others are unappreciative and ungrateful?  It’s up to us to follow Jesus and lead by example.

For far too long Satan has twisted the perspective of Christianity, Religion, and God in general into one of condemnation (You’re all going hell!).  But the Truth, as is stated in John 3:17, is that Jesus came “not to condemn the world, but to save the world”…  See, even God Himself focuses on the positive!  :) 

Choose Your Perspective.  Your Attitude Will Follow.