What an Attitude!

“Boy, she’s got some attitude!” I think how you take that can be different depending on what you think of yourself to begin with. Could be positive or negative. The negative can often slide into first place if I’m not careful.

A refrain that still can echo in my mind is “You better change your attitude, young lady.” It’s definitely an oldie and meant I was speaking out of turn, being “fresh,” or breaking the “children should be seen and not heard” edict. Isn’t it interesting that years later, it still has some remnants of power?

My attitude is how I look at something, which in itself cannot be wrong. Perhaps how I express it may ruffle some feathers, step on toes, or just push some buttons. And I admit, bids for power led me to do just that for many years. I’d just let fly with whatever words came down past my non-operating frontal lobe. It sure got a rise out of folks. I think I have learned to be more diplomatic, and compassionate. Today remarks about my attitude in a way that may be an attempt at behavior control, invoke either a Mona Lisa smile or a simple “Thank you.”

Charles Swindoll’s writing about attitude came into my life at least twenty years ago, and has been a mainstay since then. Other quotes have bolstered what he said: “Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Thank you, Abe Lincoln. A paraphrase of Henry Ford: If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.

Swindoll’s piece is still one I take out and read when I’m unsure of myself. Reading it over, I can look beneath what’s bothering me about a situation– maybe it’s really some relationship tension, a too much to do perspective, or an “I’m too tired” feeling. I can stop and make a decision about what’s really bothering me. I can then step away from over-involvement with my self and choose a positive attitude. Sometimes it calls for an “I’ll get back to you on this.” But the decision comes lots easier.

I used this piece when I started seriously writing, not dabbling, and some naysayers asked, “What makes you think anyone would want to read/listen to you read what you write?” Ouch, huh?! But I knew if one person nodded their head in recognition, or laughed, or got teary-eyed, I had a valid message to share. That was enough for me.

Try it: and thank you, Charles Swindoll


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 circumstance, 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 thing 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

Charles Swindoll has been sharing his nuggets of Christian wisdom for decades, and is still going strong in Texas. https://www.insight.org

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.