A traveller came to a city gate and asked the gatekeeper “What’s it like to live in this city?” “What’s it like where you come from?” answered the gatekeeper. “Pretty horrible actually. Not much fun and too much work”. “Pretty much like that here” replied the gatekeeper. So the traveller turned away to seek somewhere else to live. Another traveller arrived at the city gate and asked the gatekeeper “What’s it like to live in this city?” “What’s it like where you come from?” answered the gatekeeper again. “Pretty wonderful. Lots of joy, creativity, co-operation, care and love”. “Pretty much like that here” replied the gatekeeper. So the traveller walked in.
What’s your world like for you? However you find it here is going to be pretty much the same as anywhere else you go.
Because there’s no escape from you.
Our attitude is the most important factor in determining what our world is like, because it’s our experience of the world and the meaning we give to that experience that is even more important than what it’s like physically.
I am all for facing problems head on and solving them. I think sitting back and suffering when you can make a change is ridiculous.
Take where I live in Queenstown as an example. I am 100% on the team that thinks we need a clearer longer-term vision and leadership to execute on the plan to make it real. However, I don’t let the current reality detract from my enjoyment of the fact we live in the best place in the world (I am not at all biased).
My drive to work, that takes six minutes without traffic, now takes 20 minutes in the morning because of the ongoing road works. Early on I decided to give this a meaning that makes me feel better, not worse. I see it as a great uninterrupted time to spend with my daughters taking them to pre-school; we play eye-spy, sing silly songs and I dish out a lot of horse bites. It’s a wonderful time that I cherish.
So I get to work feeling great and that sets me up for a great day.
I could be angry about the traffic and sit there getting grumpy and set myself up for a terrible day, only looking forward to getting on the Weekly Whinge to vent my anger to ensure others feel as bad as I do.
The other weekend I was skiing with my (then) four-year-old daughter Zara and we rode on the T-bar for the first time for her.
On the way back to the car Zara was pumped. “This morning I didn’t even know what a T-bar was” she exclaimed, “And this afternoon I rode on one!”
For Zara the world is one of wonder and excitement, so that’s what everything is like. And that’s an exciting world to live in. (Happy birthday sweetheart, she’s just turned five)
Pick your attitude because that’s the biggest determinant of what world you live in.
(My other daughter Flossie picked ‘Happy rainbow bear’ as an attitude this morning… pretty sure she’s having a great day too!)