In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Charlie Brown was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit so Linus said, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.” Ouch!
Have you ever known a person who, like Charlie Brown, can take a festive event like Christmas and turn it upside down simply because of their attitude? I have and they are no fun to be around.
But the truth of the matter is this: 2020 has been a year like no other. And while most are not going to be sad to see this year come to a close, it’s important to remember that in many ways, our attitudes can make us or break us.
As we head down the stretch to close out this year, now might be a good time for an attitude inventory and make some adjustments where necessary. Here are three questions to reflect upon.
Am I thankful?
Despite the challenges that came your way in 2020, nothing will reflect on your attitude more than knowing and remembering what you are thankful for right now. During a pandemic, it’s easy to focus on the negative and find things to be upset about. I get it. But during the season we are now in, perhaps it’s time for some perspective that is greater than this snapshot in time.
Charles Dickens aptly put it this way, “Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” I believe this is a good reminder for us all. Be thankful.
Am I serving?
I have found over the years that the surest way to get my mind off of my troubles is by serving others. In leadership this one of the greatest lessons you will learn – it’s not about you. If you find your attitude waning this holiday season, let me encourage you to look outside yourself and renew your sense of purpose by serving those in need.
Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
The day your focus is on others more than it is on you is the day your attitude begins to shift for the better. Serve others.
Am I hopeful?
One of the underlying foundations of a positive attitude is hope. Hope sees beyond the present circumstances and holds to a greater sense of purpose and meaning that might temporarily be eluding you. Let me encourage you to press on anyway. Allow me to encourage you to believe that despite what your present circumstances look like to remember that your faith is not based upon what you see but on what God sees. If there’s ever been a time for hopeful leaders it’s now.
In his book “Unshakeable Hope,” Max Lucado writes, “The question is not, will God keep his promises, but, will we build our lives upon them?” And this is what will cause your attitude to be strong in the good times and the bad. Never lose hope.
Here’s what we know – life happens – the good, the bad, and the ugly. While we can’t always control everything that comes our way, we can control our attitude. When our focus is on being thankful, serving others, and being hopeful, it can help keep our attitude healthy and strong.