As a teenager I was chastised for my attitude. My father would often say, “Get the chip off your shoulder.” Or, he would use this air-tight logic, “you better stop complaining or I’ll give you something to complain about.”
As an adult, I occasionally chastise myself for my attitude. I will hear myself say, “Why are you acting that way towards your wife? Stop that Mike.” Or, in the middle of a bad mood I will ask myself, “What is wrong with you?!”
During different times of my life I have wrestled with adjusting my attitude. I imagine that to some degree I will struggle for the rest of my life with my attitude. There is always a person to be negative about. There is always a circumstance to complain about. There is always an injustice to not only meditate on but also murmur about.
We will always have an opportunity to have a bad attitude. If you and I choose it, then we can keep the chip on the shoulder for the rest of our days. Ironically, choosing the chip will cause us to color the world through ‘chip’ colored glasses, leading us to feel like we have actually have something to complain about. What a sorry existence.
Here I am writing and then reflecting on my own choices. There are days when I have chosen a sorry existence. What a waste of time! Other days I have shone brightly with an aura of optimism. That was a glorious day.
Our attitude is our choice.
There are choices where the options are all good: raspberry sorbet or mocha ice cream. Great set of options! I can choose either and will love both.
Choosing which attitude should be obvious but it is drastically different in regards to the ease of making the choice. There are so many factors in that decision making process. And the outcome is of much greater significance. Yet, choosing we must.
One anonymous quote floating in the ether, muses, “a bad attitude is like a flat tire, you either change it or you won’t be going anywhere.” A bad attitude is a heavy baggage that keeps you from running towards your desired destination. A negative outlook is a nagging weight that will keep you from climbing ladders in life. A chipped shoulder will wound your soul and pierce the people around you.
We know this. A bad attitude contains nothing good. It is simply… bad. For everyone.
Still, it is hard to get rid of. An option of ice cream? Both good. Fairly easy. An option of outlooks? Only one good. At times… extremely hard.
Perhaps you read this and you say, “It is not a choice. My attitude is who I am.” I will argue that is not true. If you persist in the path believing it is true… then I’m sorry for the misery that awaits you and the people around you. Yes, it is miserable to be around people with bad attitudes. I don’t want to be part of your miserable company.
Attitude is a choice. What will you choose?
Charles Swindoll famously wrote, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
The attitude you carry today is the luggage of YOUR choice.
The attitude your wear on your shoulder is the outfit of your selection.
What will your attitude be today?
After reading this do you realize that you are stuck. Let’s book a coaching session. Choose to take your next step away from negativity and towards a positive future.
Taking steps with you,
– Mike Acker