Stan Andrew | 

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For anybody who is now or ever was in an ugly place in their life. They say the only sure thing in life is change. Religious people say making a plan is a sure fire way to make God laugh; as in, the best laid plans of mice and men. Don't sweat the small stuff, they say, and that it is all small stuff. We know it is not all small stuff; but whatever saying you want to drive your perseverance, the point is the same. That is, life is a fluid set of circumstances you can not and never could and never will control, and trying diligently to control every aspect of your life will only frustrate you and can in many cases just make things worse.

Sometimes problems are not really problems at all, just an affront to our perspective, an antithetical situation to the world we want or thought we had. The problem isn't a problem as much as it is a reality, a circumstance. The problems are only problems through the keyhole we choose to be peering through. In every existence there is catastrophe. In nature and in life catastrophe breeds opportunity. Fortune favors the bold, fortune favors the prepared, fortune favors those gifted and talented, and fortune favors the lucky. All of us are all of those things to varying degrees on many fronts throughout life. None of us are none of those things; we all have talents, interpersonal skills, hard skills, soft skills, experience and know how, and the ability to look ahead and to some degree break ties with what is behind. They say those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it, and this is true in an aggregate world view, as an organization, a nation and as a planet, but as an individual I say those who dwell are their own past do so at a cost to their future. Whether you dwell on your past for lost good times or the scars of a catastrophe or a trespass against you not living in the now is an opportunity lost. People will hurt you. People will let you down. People die. Institutions are made of people and the visions of people. Institutions die. Institutions change and rot. Learning new things is never bad and almost always good just for its own sake, not to mention the future advantages and joys new knowledge and skills afford. One man's traditional wisdom is another man's bad habit.

In all this it is easy to see a glass half empty but this is a choice. To dwell on the negative is as much a choice as any choice you will ever make and more of a choice that any other. You don't have to. No one will make you. No one expects you to and the people around you by and large would prefer you didn't.

There is a single aspect of your life, and it is in fact the very most important aspect of your life that you can control, a component of existence you do now, always have, and always will control. It can wreak havoc on your life. It can wreak havoc on other people's lives or it can save you. It can put things in perspective and can make people around you enemies or it can make them better people. The one ship you can and always will be at the helm of; the only kingdom you will ever have total dominion over is your attitude. The only person who can answer if your glass is half full or half empty is you. Whether you believe in a living personal God who waits for you in the afterlife or you are devout atheist destined for the worms. The only person who can truly make you happy in this world is you. The only person you truly have to answer to as long as you are breathing is yourself. YOU have complete and utter control over your attitude. You have a choice. Is it broken? Fix it.

...and lay off the caffeine; it's like 3:26 in the morning and I don't know why I wrote this.

---- Stan Andrew

October 14, 2012 3:16 a.m.