There Are A Lot Of Things In Life You Can't Change, But You Can Absolutely Change Your Attitude Marcie Lyons


I have a motto in my life and it is: THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS IN LIFE THAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE, BUT YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE. I have had to change my attitude many times and I have really learned I can do this. It takes practice- sometimes every day.

What if each morning when you woke up you decided that no matter what happened that day, you would be happy and have a good attitude? I know each day that many things are going to go differently than I have planned. I notice it more when I am well organized. Some days it makes me think I shouldn’t plan anything and just go where I need to put out the fires?! No, what’s the fun in that?

The other night I had the next morning planned out perfectly so I could get everything done before 8:45 when I would leave for work. I got up at 6:45 so I could make sure everyone was awake. Turned on some music, made lunches, got on my spin bike and oh-oh! Of course one of them missed the bus? Now what- I can either grab everything for work and forget the things I had planned for the next hour or drive all the way back home which takes about 20 minutes…

In my head, I am thinking, “This is not the way I planned this morning would go!” But does any day? No. So, now I had a choice. I could let this ruin my entire morning or an entire day or fix it and forget it. I had already made up my mind that today was going to be a great day. Grabbing what I needed for work, I decided to move everything else I had planned for that special morning hour to the afternoon and rushed out the door so she wouldn’t be late. I thought about telling my daughter how she had messed up my morning and she needs to be more responsible, etc but decided to just let it go- it only happens to her a couple of times a year. I’m late more than that. I used that extra hour to go to the store and buy things that were on a different to-do list.

I have heard it said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond. Some people are frustrated daily because they are trying to control the 10% and that is the stuff you can’t control. If you think everything is going to go your way, everyone is going to be nice, every project is going to go exactly as planned, the traffic will be great, you are setting yourself up for failure and who wants that?! All you can control is your response and your attitude.

The important thing is to decide ahead of time. When things don’t go your way, you’ve already determined you are going to be happy. Don’t wait until you are in the moment or it will be too late. It really does help on the stress level to make up your mind before that you are not going to sweat the small stuff.

I know people who think, “When something changes I will be happy. As soon as the kids go to kindergarten, as soon as it’s warm, as soon as I go to college, as soon as I’m married, THEN I WILL BE HAPPY”. Well, what’s wrong with right now? Make that choice to be happy today. The way I do this is to think of all the many things I am grateful for. Simply fresh water, a car, an awesome husband, a computer, a cell phone. There is so much to be happy about if we can turn our attitudes around and look at it from a different point of view.

Maybe you are used to thinking of things negatively? That’s ok because we are here to learn and become better and the way we do this is to practice. Each day wake up and try it- “I will be happy today.” Then when someone offends you, takes your parking place, etc you can practice not getting mad. It’s hard, but with practice, you will get better. You may even pass your good attitude on to others?!

One thing is negativity from others will never go away. It is part of life and everyone gets to deal with it. So you might as well figure out how to respond to it now. There are so many things in this life that are not worth worrying about; little things that next week you won’t even remember.

A few years ago I decided to try to change my attitude about January. Yes it is my least favorite month- it’s cold, icy, there’s not a fun holiday, it gets dark early, oh and did I say it was freezing? Every fall I dreaded January coming. I never looked forward to winter because of January. So how could I possibly change my attitude about January? Well, I started looking for the good and I found it. January is the first month of the year and is filled with NEW GOALS. I love January because everyone is excited to change, to become a better person and I love that. The gym is always packed in January and I love their energy. Oh I also get to wear cute boots 🙂 Tadah! I did it! January is not that bad anymore if I concentrate on the good things about it.

The serenity prayer goes along perfectly with this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

So I challenge you to try changing your attitude, life is too short to live upset, sad, and offended. Decide today that you are just going to let it go. You are going to respond positively to what happens. Remember there are a lot of things in life you can’t change, but you can absolutely change your attitude.


First published in 2016