Attitude will take you places others never thought you could go. Or, it will take you places you never want to go. Like the time I finally got mom to agree to let me rope in the high school rodeo. My bad attitude took me a step too far when I said, “But you know roping will lead to bull riding someday…” That statement tore to shreds my chances of ever rodeoing while I lived under my mom’s roof.
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Attitude is especially important when you realize that, even when you are not trying to influence others, your attitude will do the influencing for you. Attitude is an issue of ownership; either you own your attitude, or your attitude owns you.
Either you are intentionally influencing others, or unintentionally influencing others. You never get the results you want by going out there and just wishing for the best. So, to get the best results, you must plan to influence others for the best with a positive attitude.
Your attitude is infectious. Your children will see things as you see them. They’ll see themselves they way you see them. Your view will be their view.
This all sounds well and hokey. But the implications are huge. Ever complained about your job to your spouse? If you ever choose to complain about your job to your spouse, do not count on him or her to try to convince you not to complain about your job. In other words, as you see your job and talk about your job, is the way your spouse will view and talk about your job. If you can’t buoy yourself concerning your job and get through the rough patch you’re facing, then you can’t expect someone else to, even those closest to you.
Your spouse will likely be supportive and encouraging at first, because that person cares about you. But the seeds you sow will determine the harvest you reap in the long run. If you’re an adult then you likely spend a significant time at work. The worst thing for your relationship is for your spouse to always feel like you are under-appreciated and mistreated by those you work with, especially is that is not actually the case.
The way my wife paints what I do to my children is extremely important. I have a career that takes me away from home at odd times for long hours. I have suffered my share of legitimate issues and had gripes that were warranted, many if not all of which I have shared with my wife. I have had times when I was really down on my job and I made it known at home. Following times like that, it takes a long time and a lot of effort to get my family back in a good place with what I do.
When my oldest son was much younger, he could not understand what I did or why I was gone for hours at at time. This was especially true when I was working as a crisis counselor, studying for a msater’s degree, and completing an internship at the same time. But whenever I was gone, and he asked about me, my wife would tell him, “Daddy is gone to help a kid.” So if he had a chance to tell what I did, that’s what he would say. It meant the world to know she was painting me in the best light during the long hours away from my baby boy.
The people who care about you most, your family, feel for you if you’re having a tough time. So make sure that you are presenting everything appropriately, with the right attitude.
If you put down your pastor, don’t expect your kids to respect him.
If you tear down your spouse, don’t expect your kids to respect their mother or father.
Air your struggles and grievances in person or online, and see if the institutions you actually respect and hold dear, in spite of the present circumstances, will be respected or held dear by anyone else.
You own your attitude… or else, your attitude will own you. You’ll be freed by your attitude, or held captive by it. You will liberate others with it, or you’ll tie them down. You’ll get a boost of wind in your sails or you’ll seal your fate, based on your attitude and how it impacts those closest and most important to you.
For sure, each person owns his own attitude. But your spouse or children’s choice of attitude may be forming based on inaccuracies you present in your attitude. In other words, if your life doing the things you do does not truly stink, stop presenting everything as that way.
Decide to be an intentional influencer for the best by the attitude you choose to develop.