I had forgotten how many squirrels are in the Midwest. Every time I walk into the backyard where I am staying, at least one squirrel is sitting and eating a nut. When my dogs come out with me, they are fascinated by the squirrel just sitting a few feet from them.
These particular squirrels are pretty smart because they don’t run when my dogs continually pull on the leash, lunging at the squirrel. Instead they taunt my dogs by sitting up with nut in hand, swishing their tail and making a chirping noise.
I envision that they are playfully saying, “You can’t catch me.” I keep thinking to myself how funny it would be to release one of my dogs to see how the squirrel would react. Instead of the squirrel chirping at us, I could be laughing at it.
Then I stopped to think about this. Why do I let the squirrel get to me? In reality, it may not be taunting my dogs at all; I may be giving the squirrel too much credit.
Yes, my dogs are pulling on their leashes to get to the squirrel, but I have the power to react however I want to react. I have chosen to take the dogs out in the front yard where less squirrels are present.
We face so many situations on a daily basis where we have a choice in how we react. Are we going to let a situation ruin our day or are we going to take a different path and make a positive impact on the world?
For example, certain people have the ability to push your buttons. When this situation arises for me, I have learned that it isn’t necessary to be right or get the last word in. I am much happier walking away because I recognize it is a no win situation.
I release the anger and frustration and move on; I react in alignment with my purpose and attitude.
What situations in your life can you change by reacting differently?
One of my favorite quotes is by Kahlil Gibran, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
When a situation happens, we often just react.
We say we weren’t thinking, but our mind takes in the information quickly and provides us with a reaction based on our past experiences. If we shift our attitude then our thoughts and therefore our reactions will also shift.
The other great quote about attitude that I love is by Charles Swindoll, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts…. 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 string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”
Today, I challenge you to pay attention to how you react to situations in your life. Do you react out of frustration, anger, and fear or out of happiness, love and courage? While I have learned to walk away from certain situations instead of reacting negatively, it is a constant challenge.
Each day, I am more and more aware of how I react and I make corrective actions that are in alignment with my attitude.
My intention is to live by my attitude in life which is to interact with people from a place of love, peace and contentment. What is your intention for life?
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Allison E. Turner