Many years ago, I was involved with starting a financial services business. We had hundreds of independent agents who sold products through us. These were not our employees but rather a volunteer army who chose to align themselves under our company and use our products and systems. My business partner had much more patience dealing with these people and was an inspiring leader however there was always that one person who could never be satisfied. After dealing with one such problem agent, I said disgustedly, “I don’t know why you let him treat you that way.” I will never forget his response as it has changed the way I view the world. He laughed at my statement and said, “Paige, I don’t have any control over what people do to me. The only thing I can control is how I react.” He passed away almost 7 years ago but those words ring in my ears almost every day and they are perhaps the greatest gift he ever gave me.
I feel like I am writing a book report as I finish my blogs about the Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews,
I cannot help but share the valuable insights from this book. The final three Decisions shared in the book are all about choosing how we react to the circumstances of life:
- Today I choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.
- I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself.
- I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.
It’s hard sometimes to remember that we choose our attitude. During an extremely difficult time in my life, I made the decision to conquer grief and depression and instead focus only on positive things. I got rid of my cable subscription and made cd’s of only positive and uplifting music to listen to instead. I read books that were positive and every night before I went to bed, I would list the things that I had to be thankful for. The list got longer every day as I began to change my choices and LOOK for things to be thankful for. I began to let go of past hurts and grievances and instead choose to forgive others and myself for mistakes of the past.
Choosing to have a good attitude does NOT mean ignoring the reality and circumstances of your life but rather choosing to focus on what you can change instead of dwelling on what you can’t. There are a million excuses why something can’t be done but there are always at least a handful of reasons why it CAN at least be attempted. If I fail, I want it to be because I tried everything possible to succeed. Only then can I rest knowing that I did my best.
This is not to say that you don’t need to carefully consider an endeavor before starting it, it just means that one should weigh the costs and decide whether or not to go for it. We started our virtual tour business at the peak of the recession. We were broke and unemployed and in the middle of a terrible economy but we took advantage of an opportunity and have turned it into the business of our dreams. If we stop to look at the obstacles we face and the odds against us, then we might never have started on this journey and oh what a mistake that would have been!