Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

First - THANK YOU - to each of you who have been so kind to send such supportive comments in the past few days.  Each one was very much appreciated.

During the years when I taught management and motivational classes in a corporate setting, I often used the terms coined by psychologists known as an "external locus of control" and an "internal locus of control."

Basically, a number of studies have shown that individuals who believe life is "what happens to them",or "they did to me", or "I had no choice-it was forced upon me" - that type of thinking is called having an external locus of control.  Such people think that your life is controlled by events outside of yourself and beyond your control.

To be sure, there is some basis in fact for such views, but taking them to such extremes leaves a person seeing themselves as nothing more than a victim in life.  Or some sort of hapless martyr.

Those who tend to hold an internal locus of control believe that life is a series of choices and that the sum total of those choices largely determines the quality of one's life.

Certainly "things happen" to each of us in life that we would have rather avoided.  But as the saying goes, "It is not what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens, that makes all the difference."

For many years I kept a little sign in on my office wall that read:

      Choices create habits
      Habits create patterns
      Patterns determine my success or failure in life
      The choice is up to me.

Thus, despite setbacks, problems, and pitfalls we can choose to have an attitude of gratitude - or not.  The choice really is up to each of us.

Hope your day is full of good things, and good choices.  Until next time ...Marsha


  1. Excellent post Marsha. If only people would realize they are where they are because of the choices they've made in the past, and they go where they are going by the choices they make in the future.

  2. I love that little saying you have on your wall. I think I may borrow it for my own mantra. Excellent to remember! Your outlook on life is spot on.

  3. When I used to teach cardiac patients about creating new habits, I used something similar to what was written on your sign. Having an attitude of gratitude is so important. It helps us look at life differently and keeping our eyes on the Lord.

    Sorry I've not visited in some time. I've missed you but thank you for stopping by Heart Choices. Life continues to be challenging but I'm choosing to keep my attitude of gratitude.

    Blessings and love,

  4. "It is not what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens, that makes all the difference." I totally agree! It can be a huge challenge, however, to change the responses we were taught we must have - when we finally realize that they are not 'us'. God gives insight and strength!!

  5. I've often said that to family and's not what happens to your life, but how you choose to respond. Wow. Kindred spirits here!


  6. This is my first time visiting your blog (saw you on Sush's) and I love what you said. Absolute truth!

  7. Life happens. We can control some of it and must respond to the remainder of it. I like your little proverb about choices and patterns.

  8. You'r the one in some lonesome dire straits and here you are encouraging us.
    You are a very positive person. And you are a role model for me.

  9. Very wise words, Marsha and brave ones too.

    God Bless - Nita