She would say it while she was battling breast cancer.
She would say it at times when I was angry or frustrated about some situation at school.
She would say it when I was complaining about people or things that were out of my control.
"Attitude is everything."
The other night I was in the kitchen doing the dishes when a surprising idea came to mind. It was the title for an imaginary book called My Mom Was Right.
I chuckled at the idea, but got the feeling there were more ideas coming. So I dried my hands, walked over to my computer and opened a new note.
"What would some of the chapters be," I wondered, "in a book about the wisdom that a decade of personal development, spiritual seeking and professional coaching has led me to. Wisdom that I can only now see my parents were trying to share with me all along."
And that first chapter came immediately: "Attitude is everything."
You see, my mom has always had the ability to see the opportunity in every situation.
But "attitude is everything" wasn’t some kind of positive thinking trick. It wasn’t an affirmation. Or a way to avoid the reality of difficult situations.
My mom knows that we cannot control everything that happens to us and in the world around us. But we can choose our attitude towards our circumstances.
For her, a creative, optimistic attitude is key.
I sat there reflecting on this, and noticed more chapter titles coming through.
Seconds later I had written down a list of things my parents used to say to us growing up:
Each one of these phrases evoked powerful images in my mind. Stories I could tell from my childhood. Beautiful moments of discovery over the past decade. Discoveries I’ve made on my own, with loved ones and with my coaching clients.
Seconds later, one final chapter came to mind: "I love you"
I’m interested in exploring each of these "chapters" more deeply. I’m curious what memories from my childhood will emerge. I’m curious what links I will find with more recent life experiences of mine and coaching conversations I’ve had.
Why was I so resistant to a lot of what my parents said growing up?
How does what I heard growing up still shape my life today?
Is there more wisdom from my parents, other people, and from within myself that I could open up to right now in my life?
I’m also curious about your experience! What things did you hear growing up that have stuck with you?