A Change of Heart

Today was one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.

When I told this to my mom, I had a hard time explaining just what made it so great, but as I thought about it, I quickly figured it out.

Perspective.

You see, when I get up on a workday morning, I pretty instantaneously don’t want to get up. Why? Because customer service is hard. Being on your feet for six hours is hard. Generally, adulting is hard. In light of that, it can be really easy for me to slip into a bad mood first thing in the morning.

But lately I’ve really been working to change that, because I’ve noticed something: attitude really is everything.

When I repeatedly feed the narrative in my mind of “work is awful, people are awful, life is awful,” I truly start to believe it and furthermore, live it.

So, I’ve started a little challenge with myself: flip the script.

Whenever the negative thoughts creep in, I choose not to listen to them. Instead, I run through a new narrative in my mind of “how can I serve someone better today? how can I love someone better today? how can I make someone smile today?”

And that has made all the difference.

It’s so simple, but it’s so effective. When I get the focus off of me and my troubles and shift it to how I can make someone else’s day, it ends up making my day.

One of my biggest complaints about working with people is that no one treats anyone like a human. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own agendas that everyone else just becomes a roadblock to them.

And I’ve noticed, we can all slip into this if we’re not careful. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and just want everyone to get out of your way.

But as Christians, can we really say we’re being like Christ if all we’re focused on are our own lives? Beyond that, how many ministering opportunities are we missing out on in our rampage to the top? Are we truly seeing the hurting, broken, and desperate, or are we only seeing annoyances?

I never want my life to be the reason someone doesn’t know Jesus. I never want to turn a blind eye to someone just because of their attitude, or rather, my own.

So, now as part of my morning prayers, I always include this: “Lord, let me truly see people today. Not as annoyances, grievances, or problems. But as souls. As people You created and love. Let me see past the rough exterior to the hurt beneath. Let me love as You love – with humility, patience, and grace. Let my life be a lighthouse of mercy rather than another swift sword to an already wounded heart. Let my attitude, words, and actions show You to the people around me. Help me remember that all that I do (no matter how menial or tedious) is ultimately to bring glory to You.”

And I am not here to say that I am perfect. I’m not even attempting to toot my own horn – because I am nowhere near where I want to be with this. But I’ve seen a difference in my own life – and honestly in those around me (it’s crazy how fast people can mellow when they’re met with unwavering gentleness) – and if I can share something that might make your world a better place, then you better believe I will.

This is also not a secret recipe to a perfect life (although I really wish it was). It’s simply the reminder that a little bit of kindness can go a long way, it’s absolutely free, and it can change your whole life for the better if you let it.

I know this is nothing new – if you read your Bible it’s definitely not new for you – but I know for a fact that I can use the reminder, so I figured someone else might too.

Attitude really, truly is everything.

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