Encouragement. For me it is a basic need, or perhaps a character flaw -- I'm not quite sure. All I know is that I need encouragement, and I need it often. I have a feeling that you do, too. This matter of getting out of debt, living below our means and learning how to manage our money can be a very discouraging proposition at times.
I want to become one of the encouragers in your life -- someone you can count on to cheer you on in the good times and help dust you off so you can get up and back on track during the bad times.
I want to be the one you can always count on to help you see the big picture, to point out the glimmers of joy in seasons of sorrow. I want to be there to help pull you up to the top of the mountain so you can see all the beauty below.
Over the years I have built up my own collection of "encouragers." Some are people, but some are books, websites and activities like exercise and prayer. I know the people, places and things that are a source of encouragement for me. I count on them. They help me to focus and give me the confidence I need to keep going. I try to concentrate more on them than on those people and situations that tend to be discouragers.
One of my favorite encouragers is a short essay written by Chuck Swindoll, a well-known author. I've kept this close to me for years now and have read it so often I've memorized it.
I want to encourage you to pay attention to your attitude. Print out the following if you can and then stick it in a place where you will see it the first thing every morning. Re-read it. Apply it to your life for the day.
If you do this for one full month, you'll have it committed to memory. And in the process you'll have a new habit of choosing your attitude for the day even before you choose what to wear.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.
Mary Hunt's weekly column, "Everyday Cheapskate," can be found at creators.com.