Our attitude affects how we see things. If we turn clean-up time into a game and do it cheerfully, the time goes more quickly and we can even have fun. If we start by complaining, though, adn focus on not being able to play, it takes longer and we end up feeling grouchy.
Having a positive attitude allows us to be happy even when things don't go the way we want them to. Disappointments are a part of life. We won't always get to do what we want, we won't always get to finish our game before coming in for dinner, we won't always get the answer that we were hoping for. That's the reality--life is not always fair and life is not always fun, but through those realities, we have a chance to learn and become better.
When something doesn't go our way, we can stop and think, "is this a problem or a reality?" If it is a problem, we can focus on how we can fix or change the situation. If it's a reality (something we can't change), we can decide how we're going to deal with the situation. We always have a choice of how we want to deal with things.
(Our 8 year old wrote up the following as he helped prepare this lesson.)
"Having a positive attitude is very important. If we don't have a positive attidtude, how would we feel? (mad, sad, frustrated)
How do we feel when we have a positive attitude? (happy, have a fun time)
Our attitude affects people around us. Having a positive attitude allows us to be happy even when we don't get what we want. If we don't have a positive attitude, we are grouchy and it is not fun. On the other hand, when we have a positive attitude, we are happy and we have fun."
Show a magnifying glass and take turns looking at a few things through it to see how it works. When we use it to focus on something, what happens? It makes the object bigger.
The same is true for us. When we choose to focus our time or thoughts on somethinbg, it becomes bigger and more important in our minds.
This can be a good thing when we focus on learning from the scriptures, studying for a test in school, etc., but it can be a bad thing when we focus on the problems and the negative things that we see.
For example, if you're playing a game outside and someone does something you don't like, you have a few choices. You can:
- A. Get upset and think about how unfair it is. Pretty soon, you're frustrated that it's not going the way you want and it leads to yelling about how no one ever listens to you and how there's nothing fun to do and before long, you and everyone around you feels yucky and grouchy.
- B. Ignore the problem and focus on having fun. (If you focus on having fun, you probably will, even if others do things differently than you do.)
- C. Try to solve the problem in a kind way (no yelling, hurting, threatening, or controlling) and talk about how you can make the game more fun for everyone or find something else to do.
Share this story from the November 2012 Friend about having a positive attitude in a challenging situation. http://www.lds.org/friend/2012/11/a-positive-attitude?lang=eng
-importance of having a positive attitude
-with every situation we face, we have the opportunity to choose what we will focus on
-we invite the Spirit as we choose to look for the good instead of focusing on the negative