When one is seemingly stuck in circumstances, it can feel impossible to see how life can change simply by adjusting an attitude. For example, when financial strife hits us, when a relationship (or more than one) goes awry, when illness (mental or physical) strikes, or when fate throws us a curve ball that causes us to temporarily freeze – it can be daunting, and even more so when we meet people who tell us it’s all due to our “faulty” attitude.
While I agree that attitude is critical for a long term positive outlook (in the style of the motivational film “The Secret”), I’m of the staunch opinion that, in a time of crisis, positive attitude is only part of the solution – it takes friends! And if the friends you have aren’t there to support you – you need to also change your friends!
Once the crisis has passed, that’s when (IMHO) it makes sense to adjust your attitude so that resiliency can begin to develop before the next big wave hits. To anyone who purports that attitude adjustment has to wait for the perfect time, I say that time will time will march on anyways – whether or not we change our attitude today – or tomorrow.
One of my favorite Einstein quotes is akin to “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s logical when we can step back from the insanity of our current circumstances and alter something small, do something different, or update our attitude, — and then we can properly expect different results. But how can we handle things when, despite a positive attitude and outlook on life, crap happens regardless. Sure, a positive attitude allows us to ride the ebbs and tides of life, but when a big wave hits us squarely in the face, it is the positive influence and support of friends that can see us through still standing when the waves subside.
At this point in life (1/2 way through), it is not so easy to accumulate friends and make new ones – but the effort to do so can be worthwhile. And, taking stock of the friends you have who may not support your new positive outlook can also be a good idea. I had a friend whose attitude is to give unsolicited “realistic” (she called it) advice on everything in my life (she purported to be to be a former psychotherapist – I never verified this), and I finally realized that she didn’t support any outlook (especially positive) that contradicted her puritanical view of life. Even though it was difficult to “defriend” her in person, for my own sanity, I had to – her “support” was simply unhealthy for my growth and well-being.
Whether you are divorced, single, married, or otherwise – we all need more positive and supportive friends. While you change your attitude, Get involved, get out doing things. No one ever died saying – I wish I had fewer friends!
Have a good week!
Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.
Read Carol Dekkers’ other blog (Musings about Software Development) at http://musingsaboutsoftwaredevelopment.wordpress.com
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