06/28/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Living the Well-Lived Life With Attitude

Imagine if you will, this wonderful imagery.

A string of cultured pearls is a thing of beauty. Each one is perfectly matched and strung together to create a display of loveliness. Your mental image of the pearls is one of peace and pleasure. How nice it would be to have a memory of the days of your life as lovely as a string of pearls!

This sounds a little too much like a Madison Avenue spiel of the happy, perfect life!

The truth is that we all know life is not always lovely, it is by no means perfect, and it certainly isn't days of peace and pleasure. Life is messy and at times totally unlovely.

Okay then, if we can't expect perfection or a "string of sunny, lovely days," how are we ever going to live it well? The secret, if there is one, is easier than you know.

It is what you allow to be in your life.

Attitude has a tremendous impact on our minds. Have you ever known someone who brought such a negative attitude into your life that it made a beautiful sunny day seem to be one of clouds and gloom? How you view life's unpredictable situations can do just that -- sunshine gives way to chill grimness if you allow outside forces to "own" your day.

Allowing situations to control your day is easier than it sounds. If misplacing your car keys means that for the entire day you will be in a bad mood, then you've permitted that small inconvenience to rule your day. If being stuck in an unexpected traffic jam on your way home from work ruins your whole night, then that jam has control over your evening.

Keep it up and you won't have even one minute of a well-lived life.

Not being one of them by nature, I have always admired sunny, laid-back people. I asked a colleague who never seemed to get "bent of shape" by any problem, even a grumpy, shouting boss how he kept so calm in the small daily storms. How could he keep his good humor in all situations?

"Oh, I do get annoyed, believe me, but I always know that life is constantly changing and the annoyances of the moment will pass. Besides, I try to see the humor in every situation and the humanity in every person."

Now that is a great philosophy on living a well-lived life!

Everything is viewed through your own personal vision but it is how you react to situations and people around you that determines whether you will live well or not. If it is at all possible to remove any negativity from your life, do so.

Co-workers who are constantly draining you because of their negative view on life can have less of an impact on your life if you can limit your contact with them only to the workplace. Don't join them for lunch and listen to them lament their daily lives; go for a walk or to a park if the weather is nice, if it isn't go to any indoor place nearby your work.

It is harder to avoid close friends and family with negative outlooks but even there you have a choice. You can be miserable and drained by them or you can gently tell them the truth about what they are doing to themselves and to others by their negativity. Even if it doesn't work, at least you tried and by doing so you have alleviated some stress.

As for daily "situations" that occur, it helps to remember that there will always be some annoyances somewhere in your life. Dealing with them in a manner that makes your own day better is what will make your own life happier. Life and happiness shouldn't be thought of in future tense, life is what you live every day.

There is a Native American saying that best describes daily life.

"Live your life well. Remember that when the sun goes down at sunset, it will take a part of your life with it."

copyright 2010 Kristen Houghton

And Then I'll Be Happy! Look Inside the Book

To read more from Kristen Houghton, peruse her articles at Kristen and visit her Keys to Happiness blog.


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