It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you have to live with the turkeys.
In our early years, our attitudes are determined mainly by our conditions. Babies can’t choose their parents or their environment but as they grow up, so do their options.
Proverbs 22:6 NIV
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
A child’s formative years are the most import for instilling the right attitude and our attitude grows for every experience we had. Reinforcing our attitude, whether good or bad, makes them stronger (more solid). We need to constantly redefine our attitude for every change that comes into our lives so that we can become better.
One day a mule fell on a dry well. A farmer tried his best to rescue the mule but it was futile. Finally, he decided to just bury the mule. As he dumped dirt into the well, the mule began to stomp and snort. Inch by inch the mule goes upward for every dirt the farmer dropped until it rose to the ground. The mule survived because it kept on adjusting for every dirt that the farmer dumped.
Things that are affecting our attitudes
1. Personality – who am I
Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
No two persons are exactly the same. Even identical twins with identical chromosomes have personality differences. Each of us is unique – a masterpiece of God.
2. Environment – what’s around me
Romans 5:12 NIV
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.
Our belief systems were developed in the environment of our early childhood. What we believe, whether the truth or a lie, affects our attitudes.
1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
3. Word expression- What I hear
Romans 10:17 NIV
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Son: “Dad I think I flunked my arithmetic test. ”
Dad: “Son don’t say that; it’s negative. Be positive. ”
Son: “Dad I’m positive I flunked my arithmetic test. ”
4. Adult acceptance/affirmation – what I feel
Romans 5:8 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!
John’s favorite Sunday school teacher was Katie. When John was absent, she would visit him on Monday and tell him “Johnny, I always teach better when you are in the class. When you come next Sunday morning would you raise your hand so I can see you are in attendance? Then I will teach better.” John would definitely come the next Sunday and he would raise his hand.
5. Self-image – how I see myself
Proverbs 23:7 NIV
for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Self-image is the parameter to the construction our attitude. We act in response on how we see ourselves.
6. Exposure to new experiences – opportunities for growth.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Voltaire compared life to a game of cards. Each player must accept the cards dealtto him. Once those cards are in the hand, he alone decides how to play them to win the game. We always have a number opportunities in our hand. We must decide to take a risk and act on them because nothing in life more opportunity to grow than new experiences.
7. Association with peers- who influences me
Proverbs 18:24 NIV
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
8. Physical appearance- how we look to others
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
9. Marriage, family, and job – our security and status
Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
The costliest mistake we can make when constructing our attitudes is by consciously instilling life-limiting thoughts to ourselves and others. No one knows a person’s potential but God alone so don’t limit what you can do. Trained fleas jump up and down in a canister even though there is no lid. The flea trainer initially put a lid in the canister so the fleas bash their tiny brains to the lid. After a few hurtfuk jump, the fleas quit jumping high and enjoyed their new-found comfort. When the trainer removed the lid, the flea keep jumping inside the canister but never higher to get out of the canister.
- Stop putting lid to your own ability and stop discouraging others to reach their own potentials.
- Don’t let past failure from stopping you on living your dream.