Attitude — Choose to Be a Victor

Stress Less Winston Churhill

No matter what your circumstances in life, you have a choice about your attitude toward them.

Whether it’s the changing economy, difficult relationships, or a life-changing accident or illness, we possess the strongest mechanism there is to create a breakthrough: the power of attitude.

We choose how we react, what we think about, and what we become — no matter what our surroundings or circumstances. We also choose how we want others to perceive us, acting and speaking accordingly.

In the fall of 2001, I awakened early one morning to get ready to spend the day at an industry trade show. While shaving, I noticed a lump on the side of my neck. It hadn’t been there the day before. I was not feeling ill and, in fact, had just gotten a physical thirty days earlier and received a clean bill of health.

As soon as I got back into town a few days later, I called my family doctor. After explaining my situation, I got an appointment right away. My doctor took immediate action and sent me to a specialist.

After a series of many tests, the diagnosis came back — lymphoma. That profoundly confrontational word — cancer — had just come to define my life.

It was a few weeks before the Christmas holidays, and the oncologist asked if I would like to wait to begin treatments until after the New Year. In my typical fashion of attacking a problem head-on, I said, Let’s get to work beating this thing right now. To be quite frank, I was scared to death. After living a very fast-paced life and conquering many challenges, nothing compares to the blatant nature of the c-word and the fact that your life may soon be over.

Questions begin reeling through your mind: Will I be here to see my grandchildren be born? Graduate? Get married?

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

Attitudes determine our actions, for good or bad. — D. L. Moody

My treatment was set to begin with several months of chemo, followed by a month of radiation. Much to my surprise, while I was sitting in that chemo chair for the very first time, my best friend, Fred, walked into the room. He had come to be there with me. How do you quantify friendship like this?

During my treatment process, I encountered many folks with far worse diagnoses and much graver prognoses than my own. Life and all its intricacies was quickly put into proper perspective — so much so that when people would come into my office at work to tell me they had a problem, my first thought was, No, you don’t know what a real problem is.

These folks I met in treatment became my heroes and offered me true inspiration. Their attitudes demonstrated they had chosen to live life victoriously, even if their life’s duration might be a matter of weeks or months. As a friend once told me, “Every day’s a holiday and every meal’s a picnic.”

If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. — Mary Engelbreit

With early detection, the wisdom of great doctors, loving support from my family and friends, and overwhelming strength that can be found only in God in times like this, I was very fortunate to beat that cancer. I am pleased to report that I’ve been cancer-free ever since the end of those first chemo treatments.

When circumstances, people, or an illness threaten to get you down, remember that you always have a choice in how you react to and deal with the situation. Choose to confront challenges head-on, no matter how serious they are. And choose your friends wisely along the way. They’ll be there for you when you need them, supporting and encouraging you to choose to lead a powerful life — one of a victor!

For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory! —Deuteronomy 20:4

Your Turn

What challenges are you facing today? Is your attitude a powerful match for them? Read Philippians 2. What was Jesus’ attitude through all that He endured? How does your attitude compare to His?

Come join the conversation on our blog! What struggles are you facing that could use an attitude adjustment? We’d love to hear from you!~ Devotionals Daily

David Zerfoss

A leader with an innate talent to touch, move, and inspire others, David Zerfoss lives his purpose of "empowering others to create powerful futures." He leads the Zerfoss Group, which consults with think tanks, major corporations, and entrepreneurs. As an executive-in-residence at Queens University McColl School of Business in Charlotte, North Carolina, he enjoys sharing transformational thinking and leadership insights with aspiring MBA and executive MBA students.

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