I believe that attitude is everything, and no matter what may be going on, it could always be improved with a different attitude. A personal example of mine is about two years ago. There was a period of time in my life when I just kept doing things wrong and making stupid choices. To my extremely strict parents, that meant that I needed to be grounded from all privileges for about three months because to someone on the outside looking in, it probably seemed like every chance I got, I made the worst choice possible. I just didn’t seem to care about myself or my future, and I needed a reality check. The grounding did not seem too bad for the first week or so, but the following week I was starting school and to a 14-year-old girl, that is pretty hard. People would make comments because I wasn’t wearing any make-up or my hair wasn’t “perfect”. I tried not to let it, but the peer pressure really started to get to me.
I began noticing this deep passionate hate towards my parents and everyone else that I was associated with growing inside me and it really started to scare me. My self-esteem lowered tremendously and I started feeling a little depressed. After much thought and prayer about the situation, I came to the realization that this was really selfish behavior and that I needed to be thankful for the few things that I did have left in my room (and the fact that I had a room). It became evident to me that this hatred wasn’t toward everyone else, but it was towards me. I was mad at myself for the things I had done. I needed to forgive myself before I could do anything. I also came to realize that my attitude was a big part of my problem. I knew that I needed to change it if I wanted my life to change because , going down the road I was on was not going to get me anywhere that I wanted or needed to be. Therefore, from that point on, I just kept smiling at everything and everyone and I presented a positive attitude about everything even if that wasn’t how I felt and it helped me a lot. My friends and some of my teachers started noticing the changes that were taking place in my life and with my attitude. Even my parents noticed and they ungrounded me two weeks early. That is one of the reasons I believe that attitude is everything.
This experience really opened my eyes to a lot of things and helped me grow as a person. Still today, I try to apply my belief to my life every day. When I don’t feel well or I am just having a bad day, then I try to make it a point to smile and have a better attitude. I think it is a productive way to influence people that I might need to in my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.