"Attitude is everything."
Coaches use this simple phrase when trying to teach their players the importance of having the proper mindset when practicing and competing. And without question, when it comes to sports, I believe having the right attitude is very important.
But since my brain injury, I understand this saying applies to so much more than that. In fact, I think it applies to nearly every aspect of our lives. The realization of how important it is led me to ask myself, "What determines attitude?" I suppose we could answer this question in a number of ways, and we would all be correct. But following my brain injury, I came to believe, above anything else, perspective determines attitude. I have also learned something else important in regards to perspective. It's our choice! We are responsible for how we perceive something!
My brain injury dramatically changed me. It changed me into a new person. In many ways, I felt like the old "me" had died. This "fictitious death" presented me with the opportunity to choose between two radically different perspectives. Would I perceive my situation as one of "death"? Or would I view it as the "birth" of a brand new life? I have made many choices regarding perspective since my TBI, and all of them had an affect on my attitude, but what I decided here would have the greatest impact!
I chose the latter of the two which I believe was the right choice! When I decided on the perspective of "a brand new life," it transformed my attitude! I started viewing my life as if I l was getting a "second chance." (At our house, every May 3rd, we celebrate "Second Chance Day") Not many people can say they get this! I CAN! I feel like I am getting the amazing opportunity to live again and a chance to do things differently.
I don't want to give the impression that I have this all figured out. Finding and keeping the right perspective when things are difficult isn't easy and I don't always get it right. I often lose focus and start viewing things the wrong way. But I am getting better because I have stopped trying to do it on my own and I am letting God help me! And He has been showing me how to be joyful even when times are tough.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
God uses trials to make us "mature and complete," and if you are in the midst of one of these storms, that's a perspective worth trying!