“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

- Charles Swindoll

This quote comes from Christian pastor Charles Swindoll @ Insight for Living.  And at first glance, I thought that it’s about being happy regardless of what life throws our way.  But then I realized, it’s not true at all.  It’s too simple.  It’s not about suppressing suffering in the face of pain.  And it’s never as easy as snapping your fingers and changing how you feel about something.

I am not my emotions.  It’s important that I recognize my natural tendencies, my auto-pilot settings, my default behaviors as something that I have, and not something that I am.  It’s so easy to play the victim.  To indulge in feeling shitty and to succumb to self-destructive tendencies.  I have to take a step back, realize that my emotions do not control my actions, and that I have the freedom to choose how I frame and deal with these feelings.  And of course, I have to acknowledge that some ways of dealing with emotions are more constructive than others.

Attitude is not how you feel.  Attitude is 100% how you choose to react.

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