Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates ‘Extraordinary results’.
The root meaning of the word “Enthusiasm” is “God in us”. When I was in high school, the principal told his wife, “That Jack is going to be a big influence on humanity – the trouble is, at this point I just don’t know which way”. He could see in my life the enthusiasm I put in every task. It speaks of the saying, “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle”. Paul puts it this way, “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily (with enthusiasm) as to the Lord and not unto men . . . For I can do all things through Christ who is my strength” (Colossians 2:23; Philippians 4:13). In this world, there is always room for a worker with good attitude and enthusiasm.
Here’s a story that bears repeating. A newly required salesman wrote out his sales report to the home office. It stunned the brass in the sales department. Obviously, the new ‘hope’ was a blithering illiterate. Here’s the report verbatim.
“I seen this outfit which they haven’t never bought a dimes worth of nothing from us and I sould them a couple hundred thousand of guds. I am now going to Chcawgo to see if I dun good there.”
Before the sales manager could give him the heave ho, along came another letter. Fearful if he did and fearful if he didn’t fire the illiterate peddler, the sales manager decided to dump the problem in the lap of the president.
The following morning the members of the ivory tower were flabbergasted to see the two reports on the bulletin board and this note from the president tacked above it.
“We ben spending 2 much time tryin to spel instead of tryin to sel. Let watch those sails. I want that everybody should read this cus I think that each one of yous should go our and DO AS HE DUN. HE DUN GOOD AND YOU CAN DUN GOOD 2“.
In this case attitude was the vital thing. We often confuse IQ with wisdom, brilliance with common sense, and enthusiasm with immaturity. We tend to become intellectual snobs rather than people of wisdom and understanding.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans (who were very intellectual) about this very thing. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Work happily together. Don’t try to act big. Don’t try to get into the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folks, and don’t think you know it all. (Romans 12:15-18). “Go do as he dun!”
I was going though some old papers the other day and found this piece left by my grandfather. It speaks of attitude, outlook, and a happy grace for all.
“Guard against sensitiveness: Resist forever the ever present desire to become a religious detective. Give others room to be wrong. Refuse to consider yourself slighted. You’re really not that important.
Do as much for your appearance as you can. When an old barn is painted it looks better, at least on the outside. Well kept antiques are considered valuable and beautiful.
Morals never really change, but customs and habits do. Cheerfully scrape a bushel of your old customs to conform to the present. Customs, mind you, not morals. Keep pure. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (spiritual worship)” (Romans 12:1).
Remember you were once young. Stay young in heart and make room for all the young ones now. No one is ever useless as long as they maintain their mental vigor, though they may be physically handicapped.
Learn to be independent and self sufficient. You may be in the poor house some day. Try not to live in the past. Memories are precious to you, but unless they are solicited, keep them mostly to yourself.
Be cheerful as sunshine and as willing to change as the weather. This kind of attitude will add to human happiness and others will want to be around you.
Read often from Psalms 37. “Worry not yourself because of evil doers . . . Trust in the Lord and do good . . . Delight thyself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. . . Commit thy way unto the Lord . . . rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him. . . Cease from anger and forsake wrath, worry not thyself to do evil.”
It’s really not what life brings to you, but what attitude you bring to life.