I recall reading an article where Wayne Gretzky was asked what the most important attribute is for a professional hockey player. His response wasn’t speed, strength, or agility, but attitude. Attitude can have profound implications on health, quality of life, and the impact we make in this world. It is the set of beliefs we hold to help us make sense of the world and give direction to our decisions. This blog is about attitude and reflection because it is the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Canada.
Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and appreciation. Historically farmers harvested crops at this time of year here and there was a wide variety of food available. Today, things have changed and many of us in industrialized countries have access to this incredible bounty of food and food choices virtually year-round. But giving thanks and the spirit of Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be restricted to this weekend. Being grateful is really a way of being and a choice we can make any time.
One could argue that the choices we make, a by-product of our attitude, become our destiny and legacy. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bruce Pinel, a mental performance consultant with an impressive resume of working with professional athletes, Olympians, and sports teams for my podcast. The theme of the podcast was health and its by-products such as success and performance. When I asked Dr. Pinel what one of the key tools or strategies he teaches to improve mental health and performance with his clients, his answer was perspective.
We always have control over the choices we make. The perspective from which we view life or individual situations is a choice and it can have a massive effect on our health, happiness, and success. A good litmus test is to ask the well-known question: is the glass half full or half empty? The level of water in the glass has no meaning; it is all about how we choose to view it. Life can be challenging. We’ve all experienced moments of heartbreak, loss, failure, embarrassment, pain, fear, sadness, etc. Often it is moments like those that end up defining who we are, what we stand for, and what becomes of our short time on earth.
There are endless things to fret or worry over and complain about. For some reason, it seems that humans are hardwired to behave in that manner unless we make a conscious choice to hold a different perspective. One of the most remarkable things about people is the incredible power perspective has. It takes discipline and energy to view things in a positive light or to find a silver lining, but giving thanks during even the hard times and for all things seems to have magic to it. The late Wayne Dyer put it eloquently when he said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have much to be grateful for but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. May we all dig a little deeper and find the good in everything on a regular basis – not just this weekend.
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