Thursday, August 4, 2011

Habits-Good and Bad

Zig Ziglar remarked, "People often say to me that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing...that's why we recommend it daily."

A Boy In the Bath - Royalty Free Clipart Picture

I had lunch today with a group of women.  Let me just say that there were two of us in the room younger than 60.  The majority of the room was closer to seventy-five or eighty years old.  The two honorees were twins who will be one hundred on Sunday.  These were two of the cutest people I've ever met!  One of the sisters does most of the speaking--only because the other can't get started quickly enough.  When asked if they lived together, the quiet sister quickly said, "No." 

I hope, when I get to be their age, I am just as spry and quick-witted as these gals.  They are an inspiration to us all.  As the other girls around the table were asking their secrets to a long life, we were surprised that there really weren't any.  They eat whatever they want to eat.  They don't necessarily exercise a lot.  They each have been married and have children.  They each have lost children and their spouses. 

What impressed me more than anything was their attitude.  They just take each day as it comes.  There isn't worry about what might be or what was.  They make the choice, every day, to accept the world as it comes to them, good or bad.  It is what it is, you deal with it and then you move on.  No big secret here, they said in various ways.  Every day is a new day, a do-over, a fresh start.  Use it!

These ladies have developed the habit of a positive attitude.  Habits are made of knowledge, attitude and skill.  They are learned over time.  Negative attitudes are just as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes and overeating because complaining, criticizing, comparing, competing and contending only lead to misery.  These are just symptoms of something much deeper happening.  People need to feel understood.  When they feel understood they don't have to be judge and critic, of themselves or anyone else.

These women understand that life is going to have its ups and downs.  Days like today are the times to relish and feel the joy.  They know that times will come when they will need to draw on these memories to get past the pain.  And they have chosen to view their world as more good than bad. 

One of the women at the luncheon asked me if I always had a smile on my face.  She said she'd never seen me without one.  I told her that I tried to.  I'm only a little over half the birthday girls' age but I have learned in that time that the smile is my choice.  Certainly there are days when the world is just too hard.  There are the days when it takes every ounce of energy I have to paste that smile on my face and head out, but I have made it a habit to put it on, along with my makeup, every morning.  And what I've discovered is that when I do this, my day is better.  It forces me to set aside whatever is not 'right' about my day, and focus on others.  I don't need to share my worries or fears with anyone else.  They have enough of their own.  So when I go out my door, the smile is in place and my goal is to make everyone's day a little brighter, even if it's just with a smile.

Attitude, positive or negative, is a habit that you develop.  Some of us have developed a habit of looking for the bad things and they will surely come, if that's what you're looking for.  Others have developed a habit of looking for, reaching for, the good things and we pull them to us like life vests.  These two beautiful women are such wonderful examples for all of us.  When I grow up, I want to be just like them!

Happy Birthday, Girls!

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