What an Attitude Adjustment Can Teach Us

What an Attitude Adjustment Can Teach Us January 9, 2024

If we want to make changes in our lives and relationships in the new year, where should we put our attention? What “little things” will make the biggest difference? Researchers have identified actions that have an outsized – almost miraculous – impact for human flourishing. We call these the simple superpowers and examine three in this series. Today’s Part 1 focuses on attitude.

For a few days not long ago, I kept an eye on the social media presence of a few popular leaders. I noticed that many of their posts were short and snappy, making important points, widely shared … and filled to overflowing with discontent.

The posts that were positive and uplifting didn’t get many comments or shares. The ones that were outraged, concerned, pointing out this is wrong! were the posts, blogs, or podcasts people clicked on. That I … clicked on.

For most of us, discontentment is a default setting. (Thanks a lot, Eve. We owe it all to you.) Seriously though, if left alone, discontentment becomes part of the wallpaper of our lives.

I can’t believe they didn’t invite me.

I hate how I look.

This place doesn’t pay me nearly enough.

My spouse never wants to watch what I want to watch.

 It’s all about what we don’t have, and we don’t even notice it in the background. This affects our relationships, our health, and, if we’re Christians, even the view others have of what it looks like to follow Jesus.


We have to get out of the mode of discontentment and into … well… contentment. It’s sort of like changing the factory settings on a smartphone. For me, for example, my phone’s default notifications settings cause all sorts of problems. So I have to manually go in and change the settings until it works the way I want it to.

It’s the lesson the Apostle Paul learned when he wrote, “I have learned how to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Contentment is a learned behavior. It is a learned attitude that affects everything else in our lives. And it can be really, really hard to learn sometimes, which brings me to the first point … a question.


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