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If You Can't Change Your Situation, Change Your Attitude – My Happy List

Inspired by Ghostwriter’s post about the things that are under our control, I decided to publish some of the things I listed there, and also expand the list. They are inspired by similar lists on the internet, I collected the ones that feel universal to me. Some are also borrowed from Carol’s list in the same comment section. Sometimes, we don’t have a choice, but many other things are our choice. 

First, I want to write a few words about control. It’s very important to find the balance, because we may end up restricting ourselves. I have seen people who almost punish themselves with restrictions because they lack control in other areas of their life.

Some things you can control:

  • How many times you smile today;
  • How you interpret situations;
  • How many times you say “thank you”;
  • How you express your feelings;
  • How much time you think about the past;
  • How much time you spend worrying;
  • How much you appreciate the things you have;
  • How much you share with others;
  • How open-minded you are;
  • How you treat others;
  • How many risks you take;
  • How much effort you exert at work;
  • How many new things you try;
  • How many times you admit you don’t know something;
  • How many times you are ready to hear an opinion different than yours;
  • Whether or not you judge other people;
  • Whether you try again after you fail the first time;
  • Whether you ask for help;
  • Whether you decide to feel offended;
  • Whether you forgive others and yourself;
  • Whether or not you give someone the benefit of the doubt;
  • Whether or not you form expectations of people;
  • Which commitments you keep and cancel;
  • When you walk away from a conversation;
  • Your words;
  • Your level of honesty.

Years ago, someone gifted me a plaque with these words:

“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.”

It’s surely something I often forget, as wisdom doesn’t always come to me naturally. 

It’s a list with potential to spark some positivism, so I am posting this under my challenge My Happy List.

What are the things you are in control of?

  • You are the captain of your ship?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

18 Points

Written by ellie925


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  1. Dr. James (brother of the author) postulated in the 1880s that smiling every day on purpose could help you improve your attitude.

    It flew in the face of what Freud was saying and was ignored until the 1970s.

    it has been tested many times since then, they found, in fact, smiling every day on purpose can help your attitude improve!


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