A is for Attitude

Attitude is about our state of mind. There are a million meaningful quotes to be found, because attitude permeates everything in our lives—our thoughts, our beliefs, and hence our actions.

Still participating in Joan’s The Eight Days of New Year BALANCE experience, the prompt for Day 4 is Attitude. (Past posts are about Belonging, Abode, and Learning.)

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

Lou Holtz

I’ll forego a trip through memory lane on this topic, because what seems to matter most right now, as I undergo this year-long sucky preventative anti-cancer treatment program of surgery, paclitaxel, herceptin, radiation, and more, is my outlook right now.

And when I think of it, my attitude now reflects my lifelong attitude towards challenges: it’s grounded in trust and self-confidence.

Today my attitude remains….

  • “can do”—meaning I have the strength, supported by the many who show they care, to handle whatever life throws at me
  • I can trust the process, that the universe has my back, while also not neglecting to pay close attention to my own care regimen
  • it’s up to no one but me to define my happiness, to find the joys, to be grateful for the delights and comforts I do have

Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.

John N. Mitchell

Does my largely positive attitude mean that I can’t say the treatment regimen is sucky? No, it doesn’t mean that. I consider it would be pollyannaish for me to deny that at various times I feel discomfort, frustration, impatience, sadness, even anger. I’m not a fan of toxic positivity, meaning to take a “be cheerful at all costs” stance and lying to myself (or you) about my more difficult emotions. Feeling, and learning to listen to them, is an important part of my heroine’s journey.

How has my attitude supported me?

To start with, my attitude allowed me to swiftly adopt the view that it was okay not to be okay for a while. I was able to reprioritize my plans, putting marketing my consulting business firmly on the back burner. I made myself free to focus on healing, on getting through this year the best way possible.

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

Brian Tracy

I was able to accept that I must suffer through the physical discomfort, moment by moment.

Yet I was able to choose my mental attitude, with a trust that because “I can,” I will get through this period, and ultimately that it’s designed to (and will!) keep me safe from further body damage, from cancer cell proliferation in my brain, bones, liver, or lungs.

I get through this mentally by recognizing, moment by moment, that I am safe now, right now, and I am making progress towards a healthier, stronger me. (After today’s, only one paclitaxel infusion to go! Yay!!)

I know from 60+ years of experience that life is not a straight path of increasing bliss. Low points, setbacks, losses, and challenges (big and small) are as important to our personal growth, if not more, than progress and successes. My chosen attitude supports me to overcome and gain wisdom from them in order to achieve even more progress and success.

I trust that I made the right decision to embark on this sucky treatment process. It was, in any event, a life-affirming decision, even as I do not fear death (while dying a slow painful death I’m not so keen on).

I see my decision to take this preventative treatment as my expression of an attitude of hope.

And yes, ultimately, que sera, sera.

I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.

Leonard Nimoy

Have you checked in on your attitudes recently? Are they serving you well?

PS. I’d be grateful if you shared my online journal or any of my posts with anyone you feel might benefit. Thank you!


  • You could just as easily have said “why me? why me when I take such good care of my body, when I have not abused it willfully, and instead respect and nurture it as best I could?” It is indeed a matter of attitude that you say okay, this sucks, but I’ll be better after this. It is a matter of attitude when you say this situation is sucky, and you are fatigued, frustrated, sad, sometimes angry – it is a matter of attitude when you recognize and respect what you feel and not say otherwise.

    It is Attitude with a Capital A and a least 3 pluses – A+++
    that will hold you up. Beautifully.
    I can only stand in awe.

    • Thank you, dear friend. I so agree attitude is the decisive factor between a miserable life and a life lived well. 🌸🙏🌸

  • Is attitude solely a matter of free will? Can it be turned on and off with a simple switch? If one feels trapped in an attitude because of past experiences and cultural training , as well as current environmental factors, what steps do you suggest they take towards a new attitude?

    • You raise an important question, Lable, about whether one can–and how to–change one’s attitude. I have always believed that our attitude IS one thing over which can, if we want, have control. To change starts with the recognition that one’s current attitude is not serving one’s life well, a deep willingness to change, and to move from there. I’m not the expert to give the tools to accomplish this, and I found this 9-minute video an excellent overview on cognitive reframing and a good starting point: http://bit.ly/changeattitudechangelife 🌸🙏🌸

  • ⭐️ You put together – and navigate – the lessons that life throws in your lane so beautifully! Such grace. Gold stars for you today. ⭐️

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