The Authority of Attitude

Emily - USA
Entered on December 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

An attitude is revolutionary. I’ve encountered many situations where I couldn’t control the external factors, but the one, most important, internal factor, my attitude.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve tripped over a rock on the sidewalk. I recall a while ago, when I was younger, I would pick up the rock and throw it across the nearby grass. Later I realized it didn’t do much for me, and I stopped.

But the reason I stopped wasn’t because I could never get the rock in that one pond. My frustration didn’t come from the rock. Throwing the rock is the way I vented my frustration, only to realize that it really did nothing to affect my day.

The deciding factor of what I would do next time I came across a rock which someone “intentionally put there just to throw me” was my attitude.

I believe in the power of an attitude to change a day. In fact, I believe in the power of attitude to change a life. Now, of course tripping over a rock isn’t much, but a sequence of unfortunate events plus tripping over a rock was getting a little tedious. I continued throughout my day complaining and complaining, “things aren’t going right, this has been such a terrible day, I…” I’m sure I annoyed the people around me as much as I did myself, because I can’t even remember some of the mundane stuff I said after that. But, later on in the day, I realized by letting all of those things affect me, I was letting them affect my attitude. But, life was simply “bad” because I was making it bad. By continuously and monotonously complaining I didn’t get anywhere, and by letting frivolous sequences of events bother me, my mood didn’t improve much, the one thing I had control of. That was the moment when I realized an attitude can change everything. I wasn’t in charge of the external factors that affected me, sure, but I was responsible for how I reacted to them. And it’s true, and attitude is everything in life. Its impact is huge. As I recall Chuck Swindol saying, “I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you”. An attitude? Well, it can change everything.