If you can’t change the facts, try changing your attitude.

Throughout the years, I’ve collected a few thoughts that for some strange reason, have stuck in my mind permanently. Thoughts or concepts that feel like they release energy make problem-solving easier and allow for shortcuts to solutions. They are not original and won’t make mountains move, but each of them have helped to make my life easier, happier and more productive. In the next several blog entries, I will try to bring to life a few of my own experiences to share with you. So here is the first one.
I hope you will find them useful too.

1. If you can’t change the facts, try changing your attitude.

I remember my first job at Six Flags over Mid-America in the spring of 1973. I started out like many of you. First I had to go through a tough selection process (my cheeks hurt from smiling.) Trying to figure out the Federal and State tax forms, going to my first orientation (not knowing a soul, but my older sister who led me around with her friends,) and finally to my first stand. I was going to make pretzels at Miss Kitty’s Theater. I was ready. Had my hair cut, clean tennis shoes, went through training, the next day at 10:00 am, the park was open!

I never worked so hard in my life. I burned pretzels, spilled sodas, slipped on salt and I didn’t get a break. But there was one person – my assistant manager – who was always cheerful, always good-humored, always smiling. I watched her that day, thousands in the park, everyone wanting to be served first and the coke machine on the blink. She was whistling like a lark. “Pardon me,” I said to her sourly, “How can you whistle in a mess like this?”

She gave me a small grin. “Gary,” she said, “when the facts won’t budge, you have to bend your attitude to fit them, that’s all.”

You’ll see it in everything you do. Faced with a given set of problems, one man may tackle them with intelligence, grace and courage; another may react with resentment and bitterness; a third my run away altogether. In any life, facts tend to remain unyielding. But attitudes are a matter of choice – and that choice is largely up to you.

Published by LeadersTips

What does it take to be a leader? How can you gain practical experience and knowledge in developing your leadership style and attitude? You do this one experience at a time, one spoonful at a time. Gary J. Vien has over 40 years of deep leadership experience living and working in seven states, from coast to coast. Over the years he has written many life quotes, leadership maxims and stories in a 6 by 9 inch brown, blank journal his father gave him. Now he opens his journal and begins to share the wisdom and writings of the times. Read, practice and enjoy these LeadersTips from the little brown journal...

7 thoughts on “If you can’t change the facts, try changing your attitude.

  1. Gary, I really enjoyed reading this blog!! I have heard this saying before but, it is always good to be reminded and I loved your personal story that highlighted your point. Last paragraph was awesome! Looking forward to more from the brown journal!!

  2. Excellent blog, Gary! I can’t wait to read more of what you have to offer! I’m going to post the link to my Facebook, I think a lot of my friends would be interested in what you’re posting.

  3. I want to read more about your ways of showing leadership. In my new career I am working more on myself than on the career. Reading 10 pages of a good book each day (usually more) and listening to encouraging CDs in my car instead of “Honky Tonk Women” by Rolling Stones! Think and Grow Rich. I want to be a leader and I am trying to find out how that will get my life in proper order. GEE, turning 60 has hit me hard!

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