It’s 90% attitude

10 Sep

It’s all in the attitude.

My friend JL has a quote he loves to use with his students: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. That’s obviously not true for people starving or homeless in the middle of winter in Minnesota. But for those of us with everyday lives, it holds a lot of truth. Sucky things can and will happen, but it’s up to ME to decide how to react to it.

I’m Irish – almost 100%. It is in my gene pool to be depressed and slightly negative. (S’truth…my therapist told me that studies have shown that each nationality has certain traits, and so people of that nationality or descended from it share those traits.) It has been a constant struggle for me to react not in my instinctive way (negative) but in an upbeat way. Lately, with everything that’s been going in on my life, I have completely forgotten about it and have just gone with my emotions. Bad idea.

My friend GS says that she always decides to react positively (although I personally believe it’s partially just her nature) because she knows that even the bad things in her life have made her stronger and therefore have been great experiences for her. I think it’s a habit for her because she’s been choosing that reaction for so long now.

My dance teacher has pointed out to me that I tend to look at people who can do more than me and get disappointed in myself for not being as good whereas he looks at people who can do more than him and thinks “Wow what a journey I get to take to get to that spot!” I’ll lay money he doesn’t think that way all the time. But it proves a point about how I’ve been thinking about things lately.

My friend RM really brought this home to me a few days ago. I was having a terrible week the week before, and I had emailed her about it just to vent. She wrote me back last weekend (she’s super busy and it’s hard to get her on the phone) and said it sounds like I was on a roller coaster, I should know it’ll level off eventually, and then it’ll start up again.

I love RM’s honesty and directness. I need that – someone to just tell me how it is. The fact that she thinks it would start up again made me realize that in her world, I am someone who’s on a roller coaster a lot. That’s not who I want to be. I want to be more like GS, where I feel upbeat and happy most of the time (despite on what’s going on) and others see that. Not that I don’t want to feel emotions, but I want to not get consumed by them and have them bring me down. Yes life has been challenging lately, but I’m still healthy, employed and dancing…there’s a lot to be positive about.

So today I decided when I woke up that I would try to be a bright spot for anyone I interact with today. It was a conscious thought all day. And for the most part, it worked! I felt better than I have for a while. To a certain extent, it’s fake it to make it.

I hesitate to post this, because I feel like my blog is becoming a bit of a downer. But it’s ultimately about me and my journey through this part of my life, and that means getting through the crap in my head to figure out who I want to be. I want to be a positive person that brings light to others. So from now on, I choose awesome.

“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.” -Neil Patrick Harris

One Response to “It’s 90% attitude”


  1. Resolutions, I mean refocus « The Reinvented Lass - January 2, 2012

    […] I reread my second blog post ever which talked about what’s going well in my life, and I read the one about life being 90% attitude and 10% what happens to you. Both were great reminders of the […]

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