There are outcomes in our lives that we can’t control or change. While these outcomes can seriously affect us and potentially be devastating, there are countless ways that our lives can be incredibly gratifying and impactful. We can be frustrated and/or powerless, or we can act on what we are able to address and be powerful. We can’t let circumstances define us, nor our lives, as we greet a new day, live our lives and lead others.
There have been many wounds unhealed over the years in our social, political and ecological environments. We ourselves, individually, have been wounded in our lives at one time or another.
Our attitude towards healing is our own choice. How can we learn to calibrate our attitudes?
In autumn, as I sense the beauty of the winter approaching, I like to reflect about my own wounds and what I need to let go of in order to minimize self-imposed limitations in my life in all aspects of my life. What must I let go of for the benefit of the people around me? What must I release so that I may humbly take full accountability for myself and heal what I can?
I am very cognizant that I always have the choice to have a positive attitude, regardless of what occurs around me, as there is always something that I can change about myself to be more fulfilled and have a more fulfilling life. What occurs for me and around me begins with me, and with how I perceive life around me.
In constantly taking ownership of our attitudes, our world, all sectors of our lives and our roles as leaders of other people, every part of our lives has a greater potential to flourish. Bottom-up management is just as important as top-bottom. We can prioritize leading and living our own life with harmony and govern our communities, our boardrooms and organizations with the right attitude.
Recently I was traveling abroad, through both major cities and off-the-beaten-path locations, the latter of which were almost hidden from civilization, well tucked into the hills of Corsica, France, and Tuscany, Italy. I was reminded of the strong family values that I had the privilege to experience throughout my upbringing. It filled me with joy to see bonding across generations and an authentic focus on family and love.
I saw a grandfather with his son and his grandson, rocking the crib of his great-grandson, totally present to the joy of just being in the moment– just looking at the smile of the child who was receiving love. It was a marvelous moment to witness harmony flowing.
I had the pleasure of meeting a man who has just retired at the age of 61 and shared with me that all he is living for going forward is his family and friendships.
I met a man in his 50s who shared with me that he had been inspired in his life by his grandfather, who fought in World War II, and who aspires to living his life with courage and compassion.
I felt the heartbeats of many people from different cultures who are living their values with a natural devotion and are not letting the uncertainty that exists in our world dampen the love and joy in their lives and for what they value the most. I was exposed to a strong undercurrent of trust and further inspired to continue to be relentlessly focused on what really matters in life. Around me I felt a consistent tone of respect, of positive attitude and will to do, and to give our best.
With an attitude of strong will, we enhance our life and the world around us. With an attitude of courage, we view a world ready for transformation– not falling apart. Our individual and collective evolution deserves to be, and is meant to be, healthy.
While the leaves on the trees are falling and appearing to die off, they are actually letting go so that new growth can emerge. They are not “falling apart.”
We can’t expect change and transformation unless we ourselves lead by example. We need to hold ourselves accountable to the same standards and expectations that we have for others.
Our attitude is consequential to enhance our lives. Our attitude is our own choice.
Johanne Bouchard is on the Board of Leaders for “2020 Women on Boards”, and is a Member of the Board of Trustees for the American Sports Institute. Her executive career includes CEO, CMO and Vice President roles with a variety of companies including Boss LTD, Art Technology Group, Stac Electronics and EMC Documentum, as well as Advisory Board service for a wide range of organizations. Follow her on Twitter.