Thursday, March 17, 2005


Have you ever noticed that some people laugh, smile and fill the room with cheer and others grunt, frown and drag their feet around. Does everything go right for those who are happy? Has life dealt the down-trodden an unfair, disadvantaged hand? Neither of these is true, for some people rise above the disappointments and heartaches with an attitude of gratitude, while others let feelings of anger and jealousy drain them of life.

These attitudes are the result of a lifelong process. As we teach our children that their choices have consequences, so do ours. Our choices affect our attitudes and consequently, our character, personality and relationships.

For example, discontentment with one item grows into discontentment with more; contentment with one thing leads to contentment with others. One little white lie leads to another, and one act of kindness encourages another. We need to choose which direction we want to take.

To set that direction we need to have a picture in mind of where we want to go and cultivate the habits to accomplish that end. The whole process is a matter of reaping what we sow. Our childhood development has an effect on where we are, but our choices today will determine our tomorrow. Bad habits are hard to break, but we can start with one step and begin the process of reprogramming our minds.

Thomas a Kempes had an understanding of this principle when he said, “Habit is overcome by habit.” His words can encourage any of us who desire to make some positive changes in our lives. So, just as gossip breeds gossip, and boasting promotes boasting, so one smile encourages another, and friendliness builds friendship.

All is not lost if we are not where we want to be. Take a step – the first step. Then, take another, and soon we find those steps easier with a changed person emerging. John Dryden summed it up nicely when he said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” The choice is ours.


As a writer, I recognize that sometimes that first step may be that first word on that blank page. Go for it all you writers!


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