Friday, August 6, 2010

It's All About Attitude!

By Jeff Earlywine

When I was a fifteen year old kid a very large, and very drunk, cowboy made me an offer. He said, “Son, if you will ride a bull I will give you my cowboy hat.” Well, I really wanted his hat, but I certainly was not drunk and knew better than to agree to this deal. Bulls have a way of “horning in” on your business if you know what I mean?

In fact, bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. People from all walks of life attend rodeos to see cowboys strap themselves to the back of an animal that has the power to not only buck them off, but to inflict major harm and injury. The cowboy only has to stay on the bull’s back for a short eight seconds. But that eights seconds seems to turn into minutes when the gate is opened and the fury of the bull is unleashed with powerful jumps, kicks, and convulsion-like moves; all meant to sling the cowboy into to the ground.

It is often said that rodeo bulls have “bad attitudes.” This usually means that a particular bull is mean and nasty, and a rider will have a difficult time making his ride last the eight seconds. Bulls with the worst attitude seem to be given names to match (or to reveal the bull’s personality); Mudslinger, Yellow Jacket, Hammer, Hurricane, and Ugly, just to name a few.

It seems to me that many times during our regularly programmed day we symbolically strap ourselves to the back of a bad attitude. We hold on to that attitude with all our strength not willing to let go. We seem to think that if we hold on long enough we will conquer it and win a big prize. However, the people we care about and love are standing on the sidelines watching and wondering when will the eight seconds be over?

I recently interviewed a person that has had many bumps and bruises in life. Such a tough life that anyone would agree she definitely has the right to have a bad attitude. The amazing thing is her outlook on each day; it is one of power and success. She knows that she is someone special and has a lot to offer her employer, her family, and herself. So, what does she have that causes her attitude to be so positive each day?

In interviewing her I found five ideas that you can apply in just eight seconds. It has been said that attitude determines our altitude. By daily applying these five tips you will find that your life will climb to exciting new highs.

Smile. It has been proven that smiling and laughing results in chemicals being released in the body resulting in increased health and energy.

Speak something positive about yourself. Each day we hear all kinds of negative remarks about ourselves. From heart-piercing jokes told by our friends to television advertisements telling us that we must be in perfect physical shape to reach our goals in life. Creating a habit of positive self-talk will build your self-esteem with long lasting benefits.

Count your blessings. Your family members, occupation, material things, health are all blessings. You are so blessed. Stopping to count your blessings will cause you to be satisfied with who you are and what you have. Having goals to achieve greatness is important, but not being satisfied with what God has blessed you with will only cause you to become frustrated and desiring the proverbial “greener grass on the other side of the fence.”

Treat someone you care about or work with as if they are the most important person in the world. I once heard a story about some monks living at a convent. They were getting discouraged because the hope of a coming Savior was becoming more a memory than a dream. One monk shared this morale problem with the head monk. The head monk’s response was classic. He said, “My dear brother, Christ the Savior has already come, and He is living among us now.” The monk quickly went to all the others and began to spread the news. But then a question, who is He? Since they didn’t know, they began to treat each other as if they were the Savior of the world. The hopelessness of the convent was replaced with dreams of a greater tomorrow because everyone was treated as if he were the Christ.

Don’t take yourself so serious – learn to laugh, especially at yourself. We all make mistakes, but not all of us laugh at them. Learning to do this will not only help you smile, but will create an attitude of joy and happiness.

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