Choosing a Positive Attitude

Daniel - Duluth, Minnesota
Entered on February 20, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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.

In life, there are many challenges to face every day. In the worst of times, it can be very stressful and simply overwhelming. I believe that in times like those, by choosing to have a positive attitude, I empowered myself to look at these challenges in a different light, which opened up new avenues and solutions which were previously unseen. By choosing to embrace the concept of positive thinking, I was now able to deal with life’s stressors much more effectively, and succeed more often than not. Now, in my own life, I have grappled with many of the same issues and challenges that are familiar to most of us. They can be either small choices to make, such as deciding what to eat for dinner that night, or they can be huge, like what to do if we lose a job, or are involved in a car accident or lose someone dear to us. For myself, I found that by choosing to have a positive attitude, it enabled me to turn a negative into a positive, simply by having a healthy outlook on life.

Now, at the age of fifty-one, I decided that I wanted to go back to college. I had not attended college for over thirty-three years and much had changed in that time. I knew that it would be a complex and daunting endeavor for me. For one thing, back then, there were no such things as computers in the classrooms. The nearest piece of equipment we had that was comparable to a computer was a calculator. So, imagine my surprise and discomfort to find out that not only were computer skills desired, but mandatory. This is how I found out that the world had passed me by, that instead of pencil and paper it was now bits and bytes! What in the world was I getting myself into?

That being said, in order for me to be successful at what I had chosen to undertake, I would have to squelch any negative thinking and not let my fears and doubts derail me from achieving my goals. To that end, I utilized all the tutorial and instructional help that was available to me so I could try and get up to speed in my classes, multi-tasking at the same time. From filling out all the forms that had to be processed[I had not ever filled out so many forms in my life!] to getting the books needed, to meeting my teachers and getting the syllabus for each class, my mind was just spinning around and around trying to make sense of it all. But because I had chosen to be positive about it all, I found out to my great satisfaction that as I accomplished each goal, I was able to look forward without that fear and trepidation that is inherent in attempting new and difficult challenges. So instead of being paralyzed into inaction by seemingly impossible tasks to be done in short order, I found out that by choosing to have a positive attitude, this whole experience was becoming one of personal achievement and success.

So, in reflection, I found that by choosing to have a positive attitude and outlook on life’s trials and tribulations, and by implementing that mind-set with perseverance and due diligence, I could face the world with its problems with a new perspective, one of which that it seemed possible to reach goals that previously seemed out of reach, one which promised me that with the right attitude and focus, I could reach my full potential, that with this attitude, it was a win-win situation for me. You too, can choose to have a positive attitude and thereby reap those rewards of a job well done by simply making it so!