Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Say Cheeeeese

When you smile, the whole world smiles back at you.

It's true.

And even if you don't think so, at least you'll be smiling back at yourself.

Your attitude is what determines your mood. Nothing else. And nobody else.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...[a Synagogue]...a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."
-Charles Swindoll


  1. Rabbi Yisroel Reisman said this in a recent shiur. It is all about how one chooses to look at things.

  2. So true! I just listened to a great clip about smiling...

  3. I'd like to change it to: Life is 100% of how I react to it. Let us remind ourselves that G-d is completely in control in our lives, and there is NO OTHER controlling force besides Him. Once we internalize this, we will comprehend that no one can help or harm us. So while we do not choose our struggles, since they are from G-d, we can choose how we react to them. BUT, because we know that our struggles are from G-d, our loving Father, then we can respond happily, because we know that all what G-d does is completely and only for our best. So, embrace life!

  4. I agree, it's all about how we choose to respond to it.

    Hakol Biyday Shamayim Chutz M'yir'at Shamayim.

    In essence, all we have control over is our attitude. I believe this is the essence of what Victor Frankl's writing.

  5. Princess Lea - absolutely. I heard a great idea once. (If I recall correctly, I heard this from Rabbi Jonathan Rietti.) The mind is like a canvas. If we choose to paint a morbid-looking picture with dark colors, bare trees, rain, etc., then we will feel melancholy. However, if we paint a painting with bright colors, sunlight, flowers, etc., then we'll be more jolly. Yipee! :)

    SternGrad - interesting. If Charles Darwin can note the importance of smiling, how much more so can a person who KNOWS (s)he has a neshama and is created "b'tzelem Elokim" should realize and feel the importance!

    Tika4eva - beautiful! One has to be on an extremely high level of emunah to think like that. It's definitely something to strive for. For me, even the 10% and 90% combination is a challenge.

    Ish Yehudi - Victor Frankl?

  6. @ Sefardi Gal:

    Viktor Frankl (apologies for the misspelling); for the wikipedia article, see here:

    In "Man's Search for Meaning" one of the themes that runs through the book is choice, particularly the idea that one always has the choice -even when all rights are stripped from him -to chose his own attitude, his thoughts and feelings and find meaning in every experience.

    That choice -which is a responsibility individuals must take on to draw meaning from their life experiences -is the basis of logotherapy (an existential approach to therapy), which he developed after his experiences in Auschwitz.

  7. That is so true. It's amazing how your mood/attitude can really change your day!

    Don't let the weather or any outside factor influence the way you react to things - that's definitely one of those things that are easier said than done and take lots of work!!