If you’re into golfing, you may know the name Roberto De Vicenzo. He was a professional golfer from Argentina. He won more than 230 tournaments worldwide in his career including eight on the PGA Tour and most famously the 1967 Open Championship. He died in June 2017.
One day, Roberto De Vicenzo had just won a Pro-Am Tournament and had received the winning cheque. Walking to the parking lot, a woman said, “Mr De Vincenzo, I understand that you are a very compassionate man. I have a daughter who has cancer and I have no insurance, no money. Can you help me?” He ripped out the cheque, slapped it on the hood of his car, endorsed the cheque over to her and gave it to her. Later on his friends said, “We checked up on that woman, Roberto, and discovered there is no little girl with cancer.” He said, “No little girl with cancer?” “That’s right.” He then said, “That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”
I thought that was a remarkable and very generous statement. This much loved golfing champion had a unique and unselfish attitude. Sadly, most of us don’t think that much about our attitude. It doesn’t count as very important—but it does matter. It governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you. Actually, your attitude is the driving force of your life—believe it or not.
Ask any employer what they value most in their staff, and they’ll most likely say, A good healthy attitude. It seems more valuable than expertise. Our attitudes begin to develop in childhood and constantly evolve and change over the years through day-to-day interactions and experiences. You do have control over your attitude—what you think about something in life.
A Few Helpful Facts
Here are few facts I think may be helpful for you:
1. Your Attitude Reveals the Real You
How important is your attitude? Your attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past; we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way; we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I’ve heard people say that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it:
- Your attitude is much deeper than just a few thoughts you might think or not think.
- Your attitude comes out of the core of your being. It represents your disposition, your outlook, your very character. And it’s remarkable what the Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…” (NKJV)
2. Your Attitude Determines the Success and Failure of Every Relationship in Your Life
Your attitude affects every relationship in your life. Bad attitudes affect your
- marriage relationship
- relationship with your kids
- work relationships
Many times the things that we criticise and get all stirred up about are not really the problem at all. The problem is our own bad attitude.
3. Your Attitude is always Your Choice
The human mind is awesome:
- God has given us the ability to think, to reason, to choose whether we will focus on positive thoughts or negative thoughts. There is the positive and the negative in every one of our lives.
- The choice as to which one we will focus on and feed, nurture is up to us.
Norman Cousins tells of being hospitalised with a rare, crippling disease. When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true also. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old Candid Camera reruns.
It didn’t take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain-free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3,000 letters from appreciative physicians throughout the world.
You can’t choose what will happen to you today—it’s beyond your control—but you can choose your own attitude. We each have the power to decide how we will respond to what happens to us. No matter what you are facing, the choice of attitude is still yours.
Jesus Christ wants to help you choose and cultivate a positive attitude. People with that attitude, who keep loving no matter what, are whole people. We know life has its share of ups and downs—but God says, Trust me, put me first, and I will help you live with a healthy attitude each day. The Apostle Paul had a great attitude. He said:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:6-8 NLT)