“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, 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 every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…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% how I react to it. And so it is with you…We are in charge of our attitudes.” (Charles Swindoll)
During the night, in those quiet hours when most of the world sleeps, you lie awake and things in the night become distorted and amplified. The faucet that drips drips drops during the day goes unnoticed – but in the quiet of the night it can become a disturbing, even sinister, sound.
The floor that creaks during the day – the creaks that you never notice – are amplified in the night. You may lie awake and here that creaking and wonder if someone has broken into your home – are you in danger? Your heart races and your mind explores a hundred possibilities. But only one is possibility is the truth. The rest are distortions, illusions, specters of the mind – Things In The Night.
We can choose the attitude we will embrace for the day. Or we can let other people, events, and things in the night dictate what our attitude will be. We can make mountains of molehills and molehills of mountains. Our thoughts can heal us and our thoughts can make us ill. Our thoughts can motivate us to do great things or terribly evil things. Our minds can choose to believe in God or not. Our minds can see beauty in everything or ugliness in the most beautiful things. We can think ourselves into misery. We can think ourselves into happiness. We are in control of what we think. We can control our thoughts and we can control our attitudes. We can base our thoughts on things in the night or we can base them on the truth made clear by the light.
All of us have problems and each one of us can deal with our problems if we examine them in the light of day. We should never allow our minds to create problems that are things in the night: ghosts, specters, and illusions – all things untrue and that live only in the dark.
Like the faucet that drips in the night or the floor that creaks in the quiet hours – we can make our problems so great that we can never overcome them. Examining things in the dark, quiet hours, can amplify and distort our problems into specters not based in reality. Once we’ve allowed an illusion to become reality it will affect our life, health, and attitudes.
All of us, sometimes allow distortions to influence our lives. We imagine all kinds of things that are not real – things that exist only in the night. These illusions can alter the way we face the world and destroy our attitudes. Our thoughts can make us sick or make us well. Our attitudes can make or break our days.
It’s hard to believe that anyone actually sets out to have a bad day; yet many allow things in the night, events, and the opinions of others to control them and the attitudes they embrace. It’s simple and indisputable fact that we can all control our attitudes and not allow our attitudes to control us. We can choose the attitude we will embrace for the day.
The mind is a complex and powerful thing. Our minds can conjure up thoughts that can make us miserable, sick or inconsolable. If we allow our thoughts to be based on distortions, illusions, specters and ghosts – things in the night, then we’re living that distortion.
If you have a problem, examine it in the light of the day. Do not drag it out in the middle of the night and let the quiet hours amplify it and make it worse. Do not dwell on what troubles you; dwell on what makes you happy.
We must be careful not to let the things of the night form the basis of our thoughts. If we do our lives can become miserable and our attitudes change. Our attitudes reflect our inner thoughts and fears and our attitudes determine how we feel about ourselves and others. Everything looks different in the light of the day. You can see things as they really are and not as they appear in the dark. For in those dark and quiet hours even the most innocent sound can seem like a monstrous, evil shriek from a terrible demon.
You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. You can, indeed, choose the attitude you will embrace for today. You have control over your attitude. If you choose to let others dictate your attitude or choose to let events dictate your attitude only you will suffer.
The Serenity Prayer sums it up:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. …” (Reinhold Niebuhr)
Don’t let distortions or illusions or things in the night define your problems. Examine your beliefs and your problems in the bright light of the day. Your problems will not seem as great and you will see things as they really are. You’ll realize that the things in the night are mere specters – ghosts of the truth. You’ll feel better and others will like you better because the attitude you embrace will be the attitude you choose to embrace. Don’t let your outlook on life or your attitude be based on things in the night.