attitudeThe pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

~~ Winston Churchill

One of the best books every written is, The Power of Positive Thinking, by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.  Positive thinking and attitude create happiness and success. Here are seven ways you can totally change your life:

  1. Expect good things to happen!
  2. Disregard and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  3. Stop hanging out with negative people.
  4. Before starting on any new project or activity, visualize the positive outcome you want to come from what you are doing.
  5. Do things that make you happy!
  6. No more saying I can’t, only I can.
  7. Walk and sit with a straight spine and shoulders back.

When I read last year’s Power of Attitude blog in preparation for writing this year’s blog, I saw that I dedicated it to someone I could not mention by name. I never did share who it was, and now I’m prepared to do so. The reason for keeping the secret is because at the time I wrote the blog, her mother was unaware of what was going on in her life.  With the power of social media, chances were good that her mother might have found out, and the knowledge at that time would have been devastating to that precious woman in her mid-90’s.

The person I refer to is my sister, Jeanne Teisher of Portland, OR, and the precious woman is OUR mother. Jeanne had a rare cancerous tumor on the left side of her face. She required extensive surgery, both for removal of the cancer and then the restructuring of her face.  She finally went to see Mom on Mother’s Day weekend last year to tell her about the journey she’d been on.

How did Jeanne get through everything she had to go through?  She had a positive attitude. She made sure she stayed in good health for recuperation and she refused to let this awful experience get the best of her. Though Jeanne still has to undergo additional reconstructive surgery, she’s as vibrantly active as she was before the setback.

Why do I go into Jeanne’s situation at such length?  Because none of us are immune from setbacks or misfortunes in life. They are usually out of our control, but the one thing we do have total control over when it comes to dealing with those issues is our ATTITUDE. Short of miracles, it is what will get us through the tough times.  Your attitude will either make you or it will break you.

In this year’s blog I will honor a man who is my hero – Joe Meador. I’ve known Joe joe1and his wife, Bonnie, for several years. We go to the same church. Joe has always been the epitome of good health. Unfortunately, about a year ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It’s been a tough battle for him, but you sure wouldn’t know it by his attitude. Joe probably weighs half of what he did before the cancer and there seems to be one setback after another in his prognosis. He doesn’t let the setbacks get the best of him. He continues to remain positive through it all.  We’re able to follow Joe’s progress on Caring Bridge where Joe’s daughter, Lisa, very eloquently keeps us abreast of Joe’s condition. She recently wrote, “If there is a champion for a patient with a good attitude, my Dad wins first place. He’s happy, he’s concerned about others, he’s content and he’s positive. This is truly a gift from God. Thank you, God, for making my dad an optimist. The glass is always half full.”  Isn’t that beautiful?  Joe has a very strong faith and he fears nothing. His positive attitude is what sustains him through it all.

facelessJane Doe’s month four report

It’s difficult when you constantly beat yourself up for all of your failings, but then you do something great and you think, “Hey – I’ve got this!”  The tough part is REMEMBERING that!  It is what helps me to get through day by day.  I just spent the night with a friend who was struggling.  I knew I just needed to be there.  It took up a lot of my time and I hardly slept worrying about her, but I was right there if she needed me.  It is crazy how, in our failings, we learn to support others.