Editor's Desk: Tough times? It's just a matter of perspective

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James M. Berklan, Editor
James M. Berklan, Editor
I'm a big believer in the saying “Attitude determines altitude.”

Granted, simply thinking positively isn't going to get you the corner office or the 20% raise you want. But, conversely, if you're not willing to make the best of a situation, then odds are pretty good you're not going to be happy with the outcome.

It indirectly relates to a fantastic concept explored by Nazi concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl in his best-selling “Man's Search for Meaning.”

In a nutshell, Frankl concludes in this landmark 1946 work that one can lift oneself to another level of existence by thought or spirituality, even under the most horrible circumstances. As a death camp inmate for three years, the neurologist and psychologist had plenty of opportunity to test this hypothesis.

It actually gets way deeper than that but I don't want to stretch my pop psychology diploma any further. Let's just agree that if you ever think you have it bad, you ought to take another think.

These are surely serious times, both inside and outside the long-term care profession. But then again, when is it not?

“As for tough times like these … there have always been tough times like these,” goes a fabled, old saying, always attributed to some fabled, no doubt old, philosopher.

It comes down to making choices. Will you, who in all likelihood never will face the horrors that a Viktor Frankl did, succumb to sorrow or negative circumstances? Will anxiety about what might happen or concern over a past problem be your undoing? Or will you create your own reality, starting in your mind and spreading to your body and personal actions? Not fantasy but reality.

The mind is powerful in many ways. If you want to make an impact, just remember what one sage behavioral expert once said: “It's not what you do once in a while; It's what you do day in and day out that makes the difference.”

It's about adopting a way of thinking, and by extension, a way of life for yourself. Day in and day out.

If there is any doubt about this, just consider another of my favorite sayings now tacked to my bulletin board (author unknown):

“You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.”

Which will it be for you?

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