Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CHANGE: the attitude edition

I looked out the window this morning and saw snow. A few days ago, it was 70 degrees outside. We were wearing t-shirts and sandals. When I saw the snow, my mind started whirling with negative thoughts about how much I dislike winter, cold weather, driving in the snow, bundling up to go outside, wet snow puddles on my floor, etc.

Fast forward a few hours to the awakening of my 2-year old. The minute he looked out the window and saw snow, he saw beauty. He started running around the house saying, "It's winter outside!" He was THRILLED. He ran and got his new winter boots, put them on over his pajamas, and started pestering us to go play in the "winter." His enthusiasm was contagious. I couldn't help feeling a little giddy to go run in the snow. His optimistic outlook changed everything.

Since we're talking about change this month, I thought a change in attitude for many of us might just be what the doctor ordered.

I've read lots of anti-Obama blogs this morning filled with doom and gloom at the prospects of where this great nation is headed with our new Presidente. I have to admit that Obama wasn't my personal choice. But he is our newly elected President. And maybe it won't be such a bad thing. I'm all about optimism, and this is one area where I believe pessimism won't do us any good. We can all continue praying for our country with a hope for a bright future. Let's keep moving forward, people!

As for attitude, according to this study, your outlook on life may help you live longer, and also improves the quality of life.

In the Mayo Clinic study, Toshihiko Maruta, M.D. reports, "The wellness of being is not just physical, but attitudinal...How you perceive what goes on around you and how you interpret it may have an impact on your longevity, and it could affect the quality of your later years."

I'm not encouraging the "blissful ignorance" often associated with optimism if it leads to poor choices. However, an optimistic outlook is said to have a positive effect on the following:

Superior Health
Greater Achievement
Emotional Health
Increased Longevity
LESS STRESS (who doesn't need some of that medicine!)

Here are a few quotes to get you going...

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. ~Robert Brault

An optimist is the human personification of spring. ~Susan J. Bissonette

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. ~Irv Kupcinet

Optimists are nostalgic about the future. ~Chicago Tribune

If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!" ~Lemony Snicket

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. ~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923

Now go run in the snow, look to the future with hope, set some goals for this month, and keep plugging away as the positive influences you already are to so many!

My uber-excited-about-everything-life toddler helped me change my attitude this morning. How do you change your thinking when you're not feeling so positive?


Missy said...

I listen to great music and do the dishes and clean my house; that's on days like today when I can't ride my bike.

Erin said...

It's funny. Sadie did the same thing..."MOMMY!!!! IT'S SNOWING!!!! OH YAY!!!" Followed by several minutes of jumping and screaming. It did make my day!

I try staying motivated by hanging those skinny jeans in the front of the closet...yes...someday...those will fit!!!

P.S. Is there any question why the city of Honolulu has the lowest rate of heart attacks? Yup, pretty happy place to live! Wish I were there!

Melissa said...

I hope we find snow when we come out to visit next month or there are going to be a couple of sad kids. Nicky was so excited yesterday when it rained. We never get interesting weather in San Diego. There was always something exciting about being snowed in and the prospect of no school.

Evelyn and Art said...

Okay, okay... you're right... we should all be a little optimistic. I had a perfect storm of depression this morning though: snow, a president I'm not excited about and a looming Primary Program. After a good run on my hampster-wheel treadmill I did feel much better and I came to these conclusions: The snow was fun because when I heard Christmas music at the store I actually felt Christmas-y! (As opposed to hearing it when it was 70 degrees outside!); so what if he's not the president I wanted. Maybe he'll surprise me (us all) and be the best man for the job and Prop 8 passed which I'm happy about and in just 4 days I'll be done with that stinkin Primary Program and I'll get back to sleeping without nightmares! I mean really, isn't that some optimism for ya?? Haha! Thanks to a good, sweaty workout with the Black-eyed Peas this morning!

GrandmaCathy said...

I love this post. There's nothing like the enthusiasm of a 2 year old, is there? Here's a couple of my favorite "attitude" quotes:
"The more often I have a good attitude the more often I have a good day!" and . . .
"It is an attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which more than anything else determines it's success".
Thanks for some great "attitude" reminders ! ! !

Michael said...

Gracias, hermana. El entusiasmo de Parker es admirable, y todos nos beneficiariamos por implementar un actitud similar en nuestras vidas. El Presidente Hinckley siempre era optimista, y si el profeta puede ser optimista, ¿por que no yo?

Kimberly said...

I think a good dose of optimism can brighten anyones day! I really loved those quotes...the pencil one made me laugh. But, also, made me think about my kids and how they are alway so eager to draw, write, etc and never hesitate to change what they wrote or drew...they see beauty in everything!

Diane said...

After reading this post, I'm going to concentrate on looking at the cup as though it's half full. Thanks for the reminder.

Hiller Family said...

I love this post; kids are so fun and enjoy the simplest of situations. Oh to be a kid again... People who are positive radiant, I am definitely working on that, thanks!