Today I am sharing a quote about attitude attributed to Charles R. Swindoll. I really cannot add much to it. So, I won’t. May it positively charge your day.
“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 circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, 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 the past. We cannot change that people act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10 % what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with all of us.
This weekend I went to see the new movie Revolutionary Road. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Frank and April Wheeler – a young couple driven to unhappiness when they abandon their dreams in pursuit of a safe life in the suburbs.
The movie is set in the 1950s and eerily captures the era. The level of set detail is amazing. Winslet and DiCaprio are both due whatever accoldades come their way for these performances. I love good facial acting – acting that tells the story without words – and they were both amazing.
This is a multilayered movie and everyone is sure to take away their own meaning from it. I’m certain everyone in the audience could identify and recognize part of himself or herself in the characters.
For me, the central message of this movie revolves around dreams and the “gravity” of our current situation. Without giving away the story, the Wheelers identify a remedy for their unhappiness.
The “gravity” of circumstances comes when inner and outer forces start to work on their dream.
Their friends react and detract from their dream; all the while wishing it they had the courage to pursue their dreams. The movie does an amazing job of manifesting the kind of reaction we often get when we express the desire to do something different and move away from the herd.
Events, loyalties, and conditioning also collude to create that “gravity” pulling them back into the grasp of “reality” and away from their dreams.
I became mindful of the duel “temptation” stories of the Buddha and Jesus. Regardless of your spiritual perspective, the fact that we still remember these two teachers from so long ago is a testament to the greatness of what they achieved.
In both instances, as they approached fulfillment of their goals they were assailed by “the devil” to steer away from their goal and return to “reality”.
There is a mythological message in these stories and in Revolutionary Road. When you are really dreaming big dreams – dreams that threaten your status quo or that of those around you – and you are just about to achieve them that’s when the toughest resistance sometimes appears.
That’s when all the “gravity” starts pulling on you to stay who you are rather than who you could be. You are often spared resistance when others are not taking you seriously. But the moment you really go for it, The Universe and other people are going to test you to see if you are worthy and serious about what you are doing – count on it!
You have to be aware of this and be ready for it. Who knows how many great dreams went unfulfilled right on the brink of accomplishment because of this phenomenon?
An interesting twist in Revolutionary Road is that the truth teller in the movie is a man certified as “crazy”. He alone sees through masks being worn by all the other characters and calls them on their unwillingness to step outside the box.
The subtle – or not so subtle – message is that it takes a crazy person to see the insanity in what we do to ourselves wehn we deny the desire to live according the dictates of our hearts.
To find out what becomes of the Wheeler’s dream, you’ll have to go see the movie. I highly recommend it.
The real question what will happen to your dreams when you encounter the choppy waters that must be crossed just before you pierce the veil to reach the life of your dreams?
I ask this day that I might be an instrument of peace in the world. May I take care to think only thoughts that lead to a positive world for myself and others. Help me to bear in mind the effect my thoughts have on the world I come to experience.
May I join with other compassionate beings to lend my thoughts and efforts to creating a better tomorrow for us all. I am taking action to make the world a better place in every way I affect it today. May I find peace and healing for myself as I work to be part of the solution in the world.
Grant me the strength within to love all living things and to make a positive impact on all I encounter today. May I attract positive people and circumstances to me that I may be more effective in my undertakings. May no one be too important nor too unimportant to greet with a kind word.
I seek the strength to live completely in love, as I release all my fears. I grant forgiveness for all I hold against myself and for all I hold against another. May I be a tool for healing in the world. I ask for the fortitude to be the embodiment of selfless harmony to the extent I am able today.
I will generous with my time, my resources, and myself to the best of my ability without resentment or reluctance. For I know that what I give others I give to myself as well.
I seek happiness, peace, and freedom from suffering today. As such I wish it for all other beings as well. I am thankful for all that I have been given. I am especially grateful for the beauty and harmony that exists all around me, if only I am willing to see it.
Finally, I see a patient acceptance as events unfold in my life. Help me to see the big picture and not get bogged down by unimportant details. I understand that all my experiences are chosen by me at some level for my benefit. Thus, I seek to understand, to learn, and to open myself to every wonderful possibility.
It is a beautiful day, a day of hope for the future; a day of limitless beginnings. For your life is like a garden, you must plant it and tend it before the harvest comes. You must nurture the garden of your life as you go; weeding it of old destructive patterns of thought and action. Making sure it receives the love and care necessary for its growth and ultimately its blossoming.
As with any garden, there must come times of sunshine and times of rain. Both must be if the garden is to succeed and flourish. Conventional wisdom claims that joy is easier to find in the proverbial sunshine than in the proverbial rain.
I have found, however, that when I accept the necessity of the rain, stand in it willingly, and understand its nature and purpose; it can be even sweeter than the sunshine.
The sunshine is the provider of life, doing its work over long hours, days, and weeks. Without it, there is no life. The rain, by contrast, is an occasional visitor. It appears in short increments, but is the source of rapid growth. It brings newness to all it touches.
So keep in mind that if today brings a little rain into your life, it’s OK. The sun will return soon enough. It is right behind the clouds. For today, stand strong, give yourself to the rain, and grow grow grow!
Today I am recognizing the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. As has become tradition on this blog, I am doing so by posting the video of Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech delivered August 28, 1963.
This week – regardless of your political point of view – an historic step towards Dr. King’s dream becomes a reality with the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of The United States. It’s unlikely that even Dr. King anticipated such a big step so soon.
While Dr. King’s speech was aimed at the specific circumstances in The United State in the early 1960s, it’s message is timeless and transcendent. It is a message that needs to be heard in Israel and Gaza, Pakistan and India, Iraq and Afghanistan, and, yes, in the halls of power in Washington, London, Moscow, and elsewhere.
In too many places, man’s inhumanity to man is the rule of the day. Let us – all six billion of us – heed Dr. King’s wise words. Let us create a new dream where Israeli and Palestinian children walk arm in arm. Let us create a world where we work together to bring about justice.
Then, we too, can say, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty. We’re fee at last.”
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