“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.”
~Amy Tan

There is so much going on these days in the world, it’s near unfathomable. I heard a “joke” today that in the 2050s, history students will write theses on one day in 2020. Just one day.

There is so much going on, and – I do believe – we do need to hold ourselves accountable and do whatever we can to bring about changes that need to happen to make the world (or our company or team or family) a better place. That said, there are times when “what is” simply is, and there isn’t anything we can do in the moment (or the near future) to change that. To change our fate.

That is the moment to consider changing your attitude instead.

I was talking this through with a client last week. “I hate when people say, ‘happiness is a choice,’” she said to me. “It can’t be a choice. If it was a choice, I would just be happy.”

That’s when we started talking about our overall powerlessness in the world – there are many things that we can’t, in this moment, do anything about – as well as where our power does lie. IMHO, our power always lies in what we think and what we do.

When something happens to or around me, I often can’t control my first emotional response. It hurts. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. (Or I’m thrilled or happy.) These emotions kick in almost without a moment’s pause. However, as soon as I’ve registered the feeling – or sometimes even before I’ve fully registered the feeling – I have the ability to catch and change my thoughts if I want to. If they’re more negative emotions I change my thoughts to something that brings about a better thought or response. If they’re more positive, I can lean into them and thoroughly enjoy them.

I have the ability to change my attitude.

And my attitude can influence – and change – so much.

If I view a situation with frustration, my unsettled emotions can limit my creativity and ability to envision solutions. If I am only angry, even if my anger is justified, I can choose to use the power of my anger to simply blast those around me…or to find a solution or change behavior patterns. If I am feeling hopeless, I have the opportunity to find something to be hopeful about. Or to do something that can bring me, or others, hope.

I can, at some point, change my attitude. And I can use my attitude to bring about change.

How do you change your attitude when it’s getting in your way?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in finding attitudes that move you forward, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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