Attitude is Independent of Your Circumstances

Yesterday was spent at my daughter’s 7th grade volleyball game. They had made it into the elite eight and were playing to get into the final four of our state.
Nothing magnifies mistakes like a bigger stage and this was no different. The game started out with both teams (and crowds) understandably nervous. That’s a lot of pressure for mere 12 and 13 year olds and watching their attitudes was educational. They are a very good team but as two minutes into the game the other team went ahead by 3 points.
The reaction? OH NO…. We are doomed. Faces were filled with fear and stress. Though they fought hard the first match ended in a loss.
The next game our girls went up by 3 points. The reaction this time? We are awesome! We got this! Faces were smiling and the play was loose and easy.
Inevitably the last game brought all these emotions and the game went back and forth before it sadly ended in a loss.
Here is the lesson. Were they really doomed when they went down 3 points? No way. They have scored many more than that in a row before.
But when you are in 7th grade it is easy to let circumstances control your attitude. And you know what? When you are thirty seven years old it can happen just the same.
What we need to learn and practice is that while we can’t always control the circumstances, we can control our attitude.
Our attitude is independent of our circumstances. But this does not happen passively. We have to actively choose to keep a positive attitude when our surroundings become negative. Developing a habit of this will lead to a much more productive and enjoyable life.

I think there are many ways to do this practically. Two come to mind right away.
The first for me is my faith in God. Knowing that now matter what I might be going through now, my story has an amazing ending.
The second way to keep a positive attitude is to make sure you are surrounded with positive people. Nothing can bring you down quicker than negative people. Your attitude will soon level down to their attitude if you’re not careful.
What other things can you do? Are you willing to let your attitude be independent of your circumstances?


  1. Great ideas, Hy. For me, I think remembering the big picture–like you said, 3 points aren’t that many, just like whatever happens in a tough day or week isn’t that long. Enjoying reading your thoughts here!