Your attitude is the foundation of your existence, and, if you live in fear, or any negative state of mind, you are essentially committing yourself to mental slavery. Additionally, if you are upset about an unfortunate event from the past you can can learn that you cannot cry over spilled milk and move forward or choose to marinate pointlessly in your own sorrow. In adverse circumstances you always have the option to be proactive. When I lost the ability to do everything I enjoy, after being shot, I always had the option to get better so I can back to the things I enjoy and have fun during the recovery process as well. Charles R. Swindoll said, “The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” You cannot change your past however, you can change your attitude and how you choose to react in a constructive manner. With that said, in times of adversity it is essential to be proactive, optimistic, and accept valuable help that is offered during the transformation journey.
George Washington Carver said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” There is a fine line between finding a valid reason not to do something and finding an excuse. For example, today I had to go to the gym to work out. I just had surgery done in my mouth the day before and I wanted to stay home and rest. What I have learned in the past is that when you do not want to take action, that is when you need to push yourself. So, I got myself up and worked hard. There are never any excuses to be made when it comes to making progress. I remember hearing a quote by Sun Yat-sen that said, “The key to success is action, and the essential in action is perseverance.” So, if you are entertaining an idea to act upon, the time to take action is now.
One of my high school teachers told me, “An optimists sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” It is not very difficult to live cheerfully if your life is colorful, your needs are met, and your heart is whole. If you’re sheltered, feel safe, loved, and experience positive self actualization as a result of high self esteem, maintaining a cheerful attitude is not very difficult. However, retaining a cheerful disposition through times of crisis and adversity is the true test of character. For example, if your life was plagued and burdened by inopportune circumstances, harrowed by grief, or afflicted by hardship, could you continue to preserve spiritual, emotional, and physical solitude? No matter what situations we are up against, optimism is always an option. Nicholas M. Butler said, “Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress”. The biggest thing that stops you from growing, is your attitude and your belief in your own abilities to improve yourself. Your goal in life should not be cheerful only when you are recognized for your accomplishments. Rather, you should recognize your own accomplishments, know you have potential for unlimited growth, and move forward without the need for praise or approval. I know from personal experience that you cannot go through life pleasing everybody. No matter what you do, somebody will always be offended, disagree, or unsatisfied with your actions and you must be courageous enough to follow both your vision and your heart. However, there is a fine line between being hard-headed and an independent thinker, and you must be flexible enough in thought to take sound advice from a mentor.
Awhile back my gym instructor told me, “Try transferring yourself into your wheelchair, I will teach you.” I had been praying for help in my recovery, and when supernatural aid arrived I had to admit to myself that I knew nothing. When the answer to my prayer spoke in front of me, the luxury of independent thought was no longer afforded as I had reached a dead end in my recovery, according to my knowledge at that time. Having no more ideas for breaking through to make my new milestone, I knew that I had to listen to someone besides myself. My gym instructor said, “Trust yourself, put weight on your feet, use your legs, and pivot into your wheelchair.” I was on an elevated exercise mat and I leaned over, put weight on my feet, and transferred straight into my wheelchair for the first time. I then got back on the mat and did the transfer a second time so I could regain my independence. What I learned from this is that when we undergo a transformation journey, something will cross our paths to aid the process. Whether it be a tool of a trade, a newly acquired skill, or in my case a mentor, whatever your journey requires the universe will provide so you can complete your transformation journey.