“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” – William James, American psychologist and philosopher
Life is what we make of it, isn’t it? That’s what we were taught during our days of treatment. Whatever our problem, whether it was for substance abuse, compulsive gambling or any other behavioral addiction, we chose the path of recovery. Now that we’re in recovery, however, it’s easier to say that life is what we make of it than to actually see how that plays out. One key differentiator in our ability to achieve effective long-term recovery is attitude. Simply put, if we have a good attitude, life will be easier. Challenges will become opportunities instead of overwhelming obstacles. Minor setbacks will be seen as occasions to learn.
Attitude, then, can either help us along or stand in our way. An easy way to look at attitude is to use the glass half-full versus glass half-empty analogy. The volume of water is the same in the glass, but the positive person – the one with the optimistic attitude – sees it as a glass half-full. The individual with a sour outlook, who only sees the negative in life, views it as half-empty.
We have many things going for us in recovery. There are opportunities that present themselves to us each day, along with numerous challenges. Strive to begin each day looking forward to what’s ahead, and celebrate our successes with a small self-congratulatory smile along the way. This is the beginning of cultivating a good attitude.