The Marines trudged into the room, filthy and exhausted after two days and nights of fighting on the Pacific Island of Eniwetok against the Japanese. Lowering themselves onto benches at tables worn smooth with thousands of previous hands and elbows. The corporal stares into space when a chipped porcelain cup appears before him from a quick, unseen hand. Cupping it, he sniffs the burnt grinds swirling at the cup's bottom. The joe is too hot and watery. He takes a large gulp, no matter how hot, and lets it burn its way to his stomach. For the first time since reaching base, his shoulders sink and he begins to let himself relax while his hands cling to the warmth from the cup.
This foul cup of joe is the best coffee he will ever have.
Have you ever experienced something in your life which had profound impact, and yet to everyone else, or even yourself on a different day, it seemed unimportant and dismissable?
Life is not an objective experience -- everything about it subjective. Everything depends on how you perceive the world, and your perception is founded on what's happening in your head and heart. How you feel, what you've recently experienced and what you place your hope upon will change how you perceive the world around you.
Finding $20 when life is good is a convenience.
Finding $20 when you're at rock bottom and trying to feed your kids is a miracle.
Your entire life has been a shifting landscape of perception. Looking back to reassess your life's experiences can be an important and healthy way to change how you see today's unfolding events. What may have been life shattering when a youth (i.e. your first breakup, getting fired from your job) now may be difficult but otherwise surmountable. The differences of anxiety over your first child and your third are miles apart.
What changed most? The world around you? No. You changed. You became stronger, wiser, wilier. What before threatened your identity and inner stability now are merely things to be managed and left behind.
As you move into tomorrow, understand that what might seem insurmountable today will, tomorrow, be manageable. Difficulties may never be easy, but they can be easier.
First, dealing with difficulties starts with attitude. Are you full of fear and looking for what may hurt you most? Or do you begin preparing yourself to find what can be managed, first, and then from there finding the next piece to handle? A brick wall by itself is too big for anyone to take down, but each brick in that wall can be removed, one at a time. Our attitudes determine where we set our eyes and prepare our energies.
Encountering our world is known as experience. Experience is defined by perception. Perception is defined by attitude. Managing our attitude changes our entire world.
Do you want a better life experience? Do you want to feel more content and satisfied? Do you want to make more friends, better manage your problems and otherwise enjoy a better life?
Learn to manage your attitude.
Attitude is the foundation to interaction -- the only way we can improve our worlds and the quintessential joystick to our inner lives. Will we choose to be content where others are jealous? Patient when others riot? Loving when others disdain? Merciful when others rage? That's a choice of attitude. If you think attitude depends on what happens to you, you will always be ruled by your circumstances. While you will never master your circumstances, you can change your reaction to them and, thus, how quickly you may move out of bad situations and into better.
No one can make you have a better attitude. No fresh amount of money, better job, better relationships or ease of life will suddenly change who you are. We all know rich people who are mean and poor people who are kind. Circumstances will define you if you let them, but if you want better, change your attitude.
When you get a hold on that, you're on your way to a better world.