We all live different lives inside our heads. Who or what we listen to, see, touch, or otherwise experience has a major influence on our thoughts and actions. Those things actually play a role in shaping our lives.

Years ago, when I began my personal development activities in earnest, I learned to filter out the negative and welcome the positive. The result was a changed mindset. I was no longer a victim of circumstance but rather, I was aware that I was responsible for most of what happened in my life. My reaction to whatever happens is key. If someone insults me, I have a choice to be offended or to assume that something bad must have happened in his or her life to prompt this action.

An example of something that I didn’t handle well happened on my way to the office this morning. Usually, when someone cuts me off in traffic, I assume that they are on their way to visit a loved one in the hospital or some other acceptable activity. Today, I was impatient. The road was clear, but the driver ahead of me seemed to be in a whole other place while driving under 20 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. I couldn’t pass, and I didn’t understand why this person was punishing me this way. I didn’t honk my horn, but in the privacy of my own car, I blurted out a number of “less than complimentary” phrases. As it turned out, when we finally made it to a stop light and I was able to pull alongside of this traffic menace, I learned that the old man driving had a temporary disability card hanging on his rear view mirror. He was probably in his eighties and almost certainly driving somewhere out of necessity and not for pleasure. Maybe he should not be driving today, or maybe he had no choice, but it was not right for me to get angry about losing a couple of minutes on my way to the office. He was doing his best and he is probably a good guy with lots of life experience. I smiled at him as we went our separate ways and with a sheepish grin, he returned the gesture. I hope that he gets wherever he is going safely.

Moral of the story: It’s not always easy to respond positively to negative stimulus, but it is usually the best way to handle a situation. It is a choice. We never know all the facts ahead of time.
Just like waking up in the morning and choosing a good attitude, we should respond positively to situations whenever humanly possible. If you are not used to doing this, try it for thirty days and see how your life changes. We would love to hear about it too.

Blessings to You!

Lee (and the LifeSuccess.com team)

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