Choose Your Attitude Don’t Let It Choose You

Written by Dr. Perry, PhD
Image Credit: Pixabay


“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” ~Maya Angelou

Last summer I was able to take some time off work and fly to Paris. On one particular day while on vacation, I bravely chose to wander the crowded hallways of The Palace of Versailles along with hundreds of others. Click here to see some photos. While shuffling along the cordoned-off walkway there was a person who kept bumping into me. This unwanted contact culminated in him stepping on the back of my shoe which caused it to come off. So there I was bent down blocking the narrow pathway as I tried to put on my shoe. At that moment I had a choice to make. I could either accept my fellow tourist’s apology, put on my shoe and shuffle along or I could become upset and let this small interaction ruin my day.

Our attitude about the obstacles that we encounter has a profound impact on our lives. Whether it is a major life event or a minor event such as my shoe incident, every interaction is loaded with infinite potential. What you choose to actualize is solely up to you. You either give life to a positive emotion or you leave it on the vine to fade away. Much too often we read about a minor traffic violation that led to disproportionate violence. It is unfathomable to think that something that may have occurred by accident can result in someone possibly losing their life. It is so common in fact that there is a name for this particular type of violence, road rage. I often think of my beloved grandfather. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he chose to live his remaining days with utmost dignity and grace. The little negativity that was in him vanished overnight. In its place, there blossomed endless love for his family and for his remaining life. His attitude was that of a man at peace with his fate. He was an inspiration to all of his friends and family until the day he passed.

That summer day I accepted my fellow tourist’s apology. I quickly moved out of the way and fixed my shoe. As I stood to the side of the shuffling hoard I was able to pause and be thankful. In my haste to outrun the hot sea of tourists, I had been mindlessly moving along with the wave and not truly taking in the splendor of the palace. Engulfed by the beauty of The Hall of Mirrors, I was able to reflect and realize that by being mindful of my response, I exercised the freedom of choosing my attitude.

I choose to not sweat the small stuff in my life. I live by the example of my grandfather who faced death with such dignity. I realize how I react to any situation is under my control and is my responsibility. You have the power to either have a bad day or a meaningful day. The choice is yours.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed this post. I write about mental health because it is my passion and profession. The opinions expressed on my blog are solely my own. My posts are meant to educate as well as motivate, inspire and uplift.

If you would like to schedule a free 20-minute initial consultation to see if we would be a good fit to work together on your mental health please click here.

Kindly,
Dr. Perry


Educational Credentials:
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Clinical Psychology
B.A. in Psychology


www.MakeItUltraPsychology.com
“We specialize in a solution-focused approach to psychotherapy, specifically treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and narcissistic abuse.”
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120 responses to Choose Your Attitude Don’t Let It Choose You

  1. Shoran ilaa says:

    Thank you for this post Dr. Perry. It’s so true that our attitude makes a huge different for our experience. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. I’m going to re-read this post with my coffee tomorrow. It will be a great refresher to start my week.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Emily says:

    Another great post. You are one of my favorite bloggers because you are so positive and consistent! I can tell by your writing that you are a very kind soul. Thank you ❤️

    Liked by 6 people

  3. enitsirk24 says:

    I appreciate the reminder on how important our attitude is in every situation in life. I practiced this yesterday and took the high road thanking God that I was able to take care of something that could either make me bitter and angry or at peace as I had chosen.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Laura says:

    I love this. I often let my attitude choose me which – unsurprisingly – brings a lot of negativity in my life. Sometimes to choose the better way is a challenge because we are prideful (I speak for myself here, definitely!) But it’s always good to remember we have a choice. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hello Laura, I am happy this resonated with you. Indeed it is a challenge but with practice it gets easier. Thank you for your comment✨

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful post! And so true. There are times I want to admonish my pessimistic friends and family members, but I just smile, choosing to stay in peace. This choice is empowering. Thanks for being a respite in the storm of negativity we are surrounded by!
    Merri

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hello Merri, indeed it is powerful to be able to say no to a negative reaction! Have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Anita Bowden says:

    This is such an important message, Dr. Perry, and something we need to be reminded of often in this chaotic, noisy world that often pushes buttons for us so easily! I know that I struggle with this constantly! Your story about your shoe was so perfect, as it revealed how something that could have been seen as a problem, was actually a hidden gift because it enabled you to see what you had been missing. Your story about your grandfather was beautiful! Thank you for sharing this post! ❤️ ~Anita

    Liked by 3 people

  7. lifewithmrst says:

    I am trying not to get caught up in the little negative things and move on. It can be hard at times but it has helped me appreciate what is important. This affirms I’m on the right path

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      While difficult, being aware that you have control over your response is empowering. Stay focused and follow your heart✨

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Leah Able says:

    A very timely read for me. I am dealing with a lot of both minor and major anger inducing issues at the moment. I am still angry but I’m reminded to be solution oriented and not let it live in my mind. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I am happy this resonated with you. Take the challenges you are facing one at a time and a day at a time. Wishing you well✨

      Liked by 3 people

  9. This is a great post. “Every interaction is loaded with infinite potential” – I love this. As you say, it’s up to us to make it positive or negative. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. thelongview says:

    “You either give life to a positive emotion, or you leave it on the vine to fade away.” I do this a lot. How does one overcome the dread of stepping out and undertaking something large and probably beyond one’s capability?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You try your best and aim to succeed. If you fail, choose to see it as a victory because you didn’t give up. Wishing you the best✨

      Liked by 1 person

  11. believe4147 says:

    Great post. So often we allow our situations to control us forgetting we have the choice to to be controlled or not. I liked your initial quote. I hadn’t heard that one before.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. First of all, I love Maya Angelou – her wisdom is totally awesome. And second of all I enjoy your blog – it is inspiring and uplifting and I appreciate your generous sharing of what you have learned and experienced. So – thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Amartya says:

    I’ve never realised it before, as I have always preferred to go with my instinct. But what you said really compels me to think, that perhaps the bad days I faced was by choice rather than fate which I like to blame more than often.

    Thank You for this insight. So beautifully written.🌸

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I was tested today with this topic. My attitude did get the best of me, due to one thing after another. But I took some quiet time with myself to shift the negative thoughts and say to myself, “What could go right.” It really did help 🙂 Your grandfathers love lives in you. Thank you for your great daily messages!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience from today. It is always motivating to hear when others have shifted their attitude through thoughtful reflection. It reminds us all that it is possible. I appreciate the kind words about my grandfather. I am sure a similar kind of love lives in you as well✨ Thank you again for commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. lillian.tove says:

    I really appreciate your perception and am grateful you stumbled upon my blog. Had you not, I wouldn’t be enjoying how well you spread positivity around like confetti. Lots of great reads. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. “You have the power to either have a bad day or a meaningful day. The choice is yours” ~ I liked that very much. You sure do educate, motivate, inspire and uplift Dr. Perry. Thank you very much for this very educative post 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Jay says:

    Great post! And it’s interesting how an incident that one could have seen as something to be upset about has actually led to you stopping to look at the beauty around you. Maybe life is our Versailles and we’re all just moving along until someone steps on our shoe. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Love this! Too often people think they let go of something but in reality, they haven’t and it adds on to a slew of other “beefs” and voila “road rage”. Stopping to take note of what’s really going on, and perceive your possible reactions makes such a difference to your entire day. Choices. Indeed life is about choices. Go left or right? and having made that decision, work through the results and not lament over not having taken the other path. Whichever path you choose, commit to it, then go on.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I teach a course called, MORE THAN CONQUERORS, and my inmate students need to hear what you wrote in your blog. Do you mind if I share it with them?
    I’m always telling them that it’s the little things that make the big things happen, and it’s very easy for a small incident of disrespect to turn into a lifetime of incarceration.
    My program is Bible-based, and geared towards giving Offenders productive coping skills to equip them to resolve conflict in a positive way. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that I found your article to be impactful, as I’m quite sure my students would too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Yes you may! I would be honored if what I wrote inspired your students in any way. Thank you for the help and insight you provide your inmate students✨

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much, Dr. Perry! Without question, my students will be inspired by your wisdom. And the story about your shoe being stepped on will especially resonate with them. In prison, such a small violation can end up exploding in violence so easily. My goal is to give them options. An ill-equipped man will resort to old behaviors if not given new skills for which to resolve conflict. And to a man incarcerated for a decade or more, ANY situation can become a conflict. In prison they only know how to deal with conflict negatively. I’m trying to teach them a better way so that when they do eventually experience freedom, they won’t surrender it because of their inability to resolve stressful situations. Sorry for rambling. Thanks again, Dr!

        Liked by 3 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      Hello Parikhit, thank you so much for such a nice comment! I enjoy your beautiful writing as well. Have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 2 people

  20. So true – one thing we can control is how we react to something or someone. I used to sweat the small stuff and have learned to let go and let God. I lean on him a lot. Thank you for your posts. I truly enjoy them.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. “You either give life to a positive emotion or you leave it on the vine to fade away.”

    This could not have been said better! Thanks for the reminder to stay in driver seat of our attitudes, in spite of the roadblocks!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Once again such timing of reading this post…I know our attitude can effect others around us as well … or not . But sadly other people’s moods can effect mine . Not fun trying to change this …a work in progress.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A bad day or a meaningful day…I like your choice of word here…not good but meaningful! So true! It’s so nice you had an inspiring grandfather. My great grandfather was also an inspiration to me. A true blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Very true! Living with a non-curable illness, I often find myself feeling ‘on edge’ all the time. But when I am present in the today, I find myself grateful and thankful for the moments I’d otherwise wouldn’t have.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. chicoinematt says:

    Last week I struggled mightily with negativity at work. It even affected my job performance. This is a new week and I am able to start anew! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. amoralegria says:

    This post demonstrates the rewards we can obtain when we don’t let the little stuff get to us. If you had gotten upset, you would not have appreciated your surroundings. It’s so important to be mindful! Thank you for this post with an important lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I didn’t learn this until I lost my dad at a young age of 25, however, it was just in time to to practice intentionality. Great post. “Don’t sweat the small stuff!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Rhodenia says:

    You’re right, Dr. Perry. We are not in control of some circumstances that we may come across with but we are in control of our own reactions. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Ginganocchio says:

    This is good. Im always checking my attitude with every circumstance in life… and good posts like this remind me to check myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Madhavi says:

    you are so right Dr Perry. Most of the time our problems are created in our own mind. This post is very helpful.Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I agree. I fight that battle every day with Celiac Disease. It tries to beat me down every day without fail right when I open my eyes in the morning and it doesn’t stop trying all day. I must admit, sometimes I don’t have the best attitude about it, but like you said, the good news is we can choose and we can have power over the problem. Amen sir, God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. laronda65 says:

    I’m 53 and am finally getting to where I can step back from situations and TRY to intentionally choose to NOT label something as “good” or “bad”. Part of it is that as a Christian, I should trust that all good things come from God and that if something is meant for evil for me, God can turn to good, so…. But I’m learning that even if something first appears to be horrible – like the life sentence of cancer – we don’t know right away if it’s ultimately going to benefit us or not. I’m working on my latest post right now about something like this. My daughter failed her driving test for the third time in a row and is really frustrated and disappointed. As I thought about her yesterday, I remembered performance painters like David Garibaldi – especially the ones who would paint a portrait upside down. The thing is that we don’t really know how beautiful something will be while it’s being created if all we see are splashes and smears of paint until we see the final picture. And another thing I try to remember is how grateful I am to people who are gracious and forgiving to me when I make mistakes. It’s an amazing feeling! Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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