- the act of self-control with your actions and your words
“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, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, 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 church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday 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% of how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.” – Chuck Swindoll
For the Parent::Battle Cry
The above quote is something I distinctively remember from my own childhood. Attached to the fridge just above my mediocre-yet-cherished 2nd grade artwork, was this profound quote. It is profound because it is relevant to every season of our lives and applicable in every situation imaginable. Exercising self-control over our attitude is absolutely critical because it allows us to be disciplined, to establish good habits, to be more productive, to achieve our goals, and to persevere when in dire circumstance. Above all, it speaks to the value of Temperance. In order to live like the Warrior Poet, our kids need to understand the value of maintaining the right mindset.
For Your Son::Call to Arms
None of us are in complete control of our lives - even though we all pretend that we are. Have you ever been bullied or mistreated for no apparent reason? Have you ever done your best and still lost? How about any instances where you made plans that just didn’t work out? You see, each of these examples represents something in your life that was outside of your ability to change. Instead of focusing on the things that we cannot control, how about we focus on something that we can control? That “something” is our attitude.
Attitude is something that you can control 100% of the time if you live your life with temperance. That’s because nobody but you has control of your attitude. Sure, sometimes things get tough. Sometimes the world does its best to tear you down, wear you down, and beat you down. But you mustn’t let it. Your life will be full of moments that will be defined by how you react to them. So next time you face a challenge, check your attitude!
Provide your Warrior Poet with some scenarios where you know he’d be tempted to have a strong emotional reaction. First discuss how he’d like to respond, and then contrast it with how the Warrior Poet would respond. Then compare the results. For example: your son’s team loses the big game. It’s understandable and normal to be disappointed, but dwelling on that disappointment can lead to a helpless, discouraged attitude. The Warrior Poet may be disappointed, but he chooses to have a resilient attitude and uses his past failures to fuel his efforts going forward.