Changing Your Focus Changes Your Attitude
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
I don't know if it is your experience or not, but I have noted many times that if I start the day off on the wrong foot I'm usually out of step all day. It's usually a small thing. The lid comes off my coffee cup and I spill it all over my shirt. I forget something at home. It's always something small and insignificant that gets me rolling downhill and before very long I'm in a mood.
Once you get a mood, you ever notice you just can't see anything good. Somebody brings in donuts and you're annoyed because you're not supposed to eat donuts. Somebody says they like your shirt, and you think they either want something or they're being sarcastic.
I finally figured out a way to to stop that once it gets started. I just take a few minutes, I open up my bullet journal, turn to a clean page, and I make a list. I make a list of every good thing that happened to me over the last 24 hours--things I'm grateful for. Just things from the last day.
Now if you're in a mood, those first couple things will be hard to come up with--you'll have a tendency already being in a bad mood to remember all the negative things from the last 24 hours. But then if you really think about it, you'll think of that one thing. The lady that let you go first at the grocery store. Then there will be another thing. The phone call from a friend you hadn't talked to for a long time. The fact you found a parking space right in front of the door at the pharmacy. You're wife made your favorite dinner the night before. You found $5 in the dryer. Your favorite baseball team swept the series against your least favorite baseball team. You'll fill that page if you really think about it. Now read that list.
Now what are you in a mood about again? As you read through that list, you'll realize its not worth wrecking your day over a little spilled coffee, or the fact your phone is sitting on top of your dresser. Now pray. Maybe something like, "Father, thank you for reminding me of just how blessed I am, and never let me forget to thank you in prayer, and to share the gifts you've given me with others."
If you go through your day looking for things to be unhappy about, you'll not be disappointed. You'll find them. And you'll be tossing fuel on that unhappiness all day long. But you can do the exact opposite. Look for things to be happy about. Look for the blessings. Look for things to be grateful for.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above. We know that. Sometimes we don't see them, or we fail to appreciate the small things. When we go through our day with an attitude of gratitude, we will see those gifts. We'll see God at work in our lives, and in the lives of our friends, and in our communities. And we'll realize the abundance of gifts that our Father gives us each day--even when we've started off in a bad mood.
~Todd E. Creason