Change Your Outlook, Change Your Life

Change Your Outlook, Change Your Life

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill

Change your outlook, change your life. I have always been a positive person, the one to look on the bright side, see the glass half full. Growing up, I was always smiling and happy; I rarely let negativity affect me.

Hanging in Florida.

But, as I got older, and life got more difficult, I let negativity win over occasionally. Still, I always tried my best to stay positive, at the time, not realizing how much of an effect that attitude had on my life.

My first realization of this happened back in college, in one of my favorite professor’s classes. Brother Ray was one of the most inspirational people I knew, always trying to get us to make the most of our lives and stretch ourselves beyond our limits. I took two of his classes, and continued to learn more and more about myself with each one.

Graduation day: Me. Brother Ray. Deanna (my best friend/roommate).

But, one of the most memorable lessons was the day Brother Ray taught us the meaning of MOOMBA: My Only Obstacle Must Be Attitude. We learned it, chanted it, and wore a yellow piece of yarn around our wrists as a daily reminder not to let our attitudes get in the way of our capabilities.

At the tender age of twenty, I ate this up. I always tried to keep my head high and my attitude positive, but of course, there were ups and downs along the way. However, I never let it fully get to me.

Until the time I did. At 25, I hit a rough patch, and I had a hard time getting through it. This was nothing I couldn’t handle, but I slipped into some sadness I couldn’t shake, until the lessons I learned in Brother Ray’s class came rushing back to me.

I was in the middle of getting my Master’s of Education and was taking a graduate class, one quite similar to the classes I took with Brother Ray. It was here, that my professor introduced me to The Secret. All of a sudden, everything came full circle. Attitude was the key to everything and that attitude needed to be one that was positive.

From here, I turned my life around. I added positivity and gratitude to each day. I began to travel more, which added to my overall happiness. I even started this blog, and began to, overall, live and lead a happier, healthier, more positive life.

Happiness around the world

Of course, it hasn’t been free from troubles; there have been ups and downs along the way, but overall, I keep actively working on my attitude and staying positive. It’s as Elizabeth Gilbert says in Eat, Pray, Love,

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

And, I truly do believe this, however, there is one area that has needed help for as long as I can remember, my complete and utter detestation of winter. Yes, yes, I know, how can someone so open to the world hate one entire season? Honestly, I can’t tell you, but I did, for years.

Until 2013 rolled along, and I realized all the opportunities that were waiting for me during these cold and snowy months. Which is why, I set out to fall in love with winter, and fall I did. Hard.

Winter 2013 has been one of the best of my life, and I have to admit, that as much as I love spring, I’m not exactly ready to say good-bye to winter. Yes, I’ve had wonderful experiences: skiing, winter hiking, an ice hotel, and ice fishing, but there’s still so much I want to do. I know that I’ll have other winters to snowboard, dog sled, cross country ski, and snowshoe, but I feel like I want to do it all this very moment.

change your outlook, change your life

Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll be able to do it all this year, but the good news is, I’ve fallen completely in love with winter, which I thought would never happen. It was as simple as looking for the bright side and finding the positives in the season that completely changed my outlook on my life.

Now, I’m ready to see what else the next few weeks have in store, including some possibly opportunities to get some last minute winter activities in, and I am keeping that positive attitude no matter what the weather brings. Along the way, I will be keeping in mind what I learned that Spring Semester in Brother Ray’s class; I refuse to let my attitude get in the way of my life.

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Comments (14)

  1. Eileen

    Love this! So true.
    BTW – Happy Spring!

  2. Anita Mac

    Well done Erin! Love your attitude! You have certainly embraced winter…one would not be able to guess that this was not the case a year ago based on your photos! You’ll have to come back up to Canada next winter and give dog sledding a try! Another crazy winter activity that will have you loving the white stuff all over again!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Anita! Yup, I hated winter in the past, but not anymore. 🙂 I will definitely come up to Canada again for winter.

  3. D.J. - The World of Deej

    First…good for you being so open and honest here. Second, I need to add MOOMBA to my vocabulary. Third…cheers to many more awesome winters ahead:)

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Deej! Yes, MOOMBA is the best, I need to add it to my vocabulary more frequently than I do. 🙂

  4. lola

    Its great you opened up here and its nice to hear the positive impact Brother Ray had on you, and I’m sure many others. winter is over, but now onto spring 2013! cant wait to hear about it!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes, he was the best! I cannot wait for spring! Loving the warmer weather already. 🙂

  5. Traveling Ted

    I learned a similar lesson in college about controlling attitude. Many think it is something you cannot control, but no matter what happens to you, you can control attitude. Sometimes it is not easy when everything is going wrong, but if you let yourself get down, then it is harder to get back up off the ground.

    Glad to see you have embraced the best season this year. I have to say that I am ready for spring and summer. I got plenty of skiing in this year, so I am now ready for hiking and canoeing.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I completely agree, Ted! Sometimes it’s easier said then done.

      I am ready for spring and summer too, so many other activities to try!

  6. Ping

    Great post and despite the humidity is very high now in Bangkok, I’ll still go out and go somewhere instead of hiding in the A/C room all the time. Thanks for the positivity. It hits home:)

  7. Sarah

    Love this post! I hate the winter too and often get the case of the winter blues. But this year I will be in australia during our winter! Positivity is the key to life! I totally agree. Change your mentality and you can achieve anything!
    Don’t let negative people bring you down either!

  8. Eli

    Happy for you but changing your out look on life is hard, when negativity becomes second nature and you nerver fell good enough, that what you are doing isn’t cutting it your job sucks your mates where just there for the good times, I want to change be the best I can be but find it hard to find how I can do this

    1. The World Wanderer

      I completely agree, it isn’t easy, and unfortunately it’s a constant road to keep a positive outlook. Even once you reach it, you have to keep reminding yourself to stay there and stick it out. It’s work, each and every day, which isn’t always easy when you’re life isn’t where you want it to be. I was in a job for years that I was unhappy in, and I was finally able to switch careers. Even so, I still have to remind myself to stay positive. You can do it, just keep on believing! 🙂

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