Attitude Is Everything

by Stephanie Labbe

I think most of us have heard the quote “don’t judge someone else’s path until you have walked their journey.”  I love this quote for so many reasons, but the main reason being that we all have our own journey through life.  No two of us are the same; we have different pasts that have shaped who we are today, different struggles, different obstacles, and different responses to these.  What I believe defines our journey is our attitude towards what happens along the way.  I believe we need not only view our own journey as this but see others journeys as a unique path based on their specific experiences as well.  Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Who we are today is a result of our response to our experiences in the past.  This doesn’t always mean having a positive outlook during a difficult time, but also how we respond to chances we are given or opportunities that are placed before us.   We can choose to ride the wave we just caught, smile, take in the beautiful surroundings, and coast into shore with a sense of accomplishment, or we can ride the wave, smile, take in the surroundings all the while keeping a steady balance, and scoping out an even bigger wave which may take us to a totally different shore.  Neither action is right or wrong, and neither have a definite outcome.  The right attitude is what will give you a more positive journey and a more fulfilling experience.

On the other hand, you may be riding this wave, smiling, enjoying the beauty around you, and suddenly you glide off course sending you tumbling below the wave, struggling to determine which way is up.  It’s a scary place to be, feeling out of control, and feeling like no matter how hard you try the wave keeps pushing you further under.  Surprisingly, just by simply relaxing you will find yourself slowly heading towards the surface.  It’s the same in our daily struggles.  You can fight it as hard as you want, you can kick a free kick 100 times after training, trying to hit that top corner, only for it to get more and more frustrating. And then, you take a step back, grab some water, joke around with a teammate, then someone throws you a ball and tells you they will give you 50 bucks to hit the garbage can on the other side of the field.  You laugh, thinking how far away it is and you don’t stand a chance, but hey you have nothing to lose.  You roll out the ball step up and before you know it you ping the can on your first shot.  It’s that complete relaxation and putting aside the thoughts of where your plant foot should be, your approach angle to the ball, where to look, what part of your foot to use, that focus on the process and how to get there, instead of just focusing on the goal and allowing the process to take care of itself.

So much of our energy we invest is into our path, and what we need to do or who we need to be to attain a certain outcome or goal.  Of course this is not to be forgotten about or set aside, but rather focus on our attitude towards our daily challenges and opportunities, and let our path be something that is a result of this attitude.  Let our path be something that we create from our experiences, instead of allowing the path to shape the experiences we have.

“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche