You may already know, I am a fan of Survivor. So, when I was watching the last episode with my daughter, I laughed out loud at the difference in attitudes. “What do I mean?”, you ask.
I laughed when the two tribes met for the first time. One tribe is made up of previous survivor players, who were either favorites or favorite people to hate. The other tribe is made up of first-time players who are big fans. After they spent a night in the wild, they came together for the first competition and I laughed while my daughter looked on, confused.
“Why are you laughing, Dad?”, she said.
“Because you can look at those two tribes and see the advantage the favorites have because of their attitude.”
“What do you mean?”
“When I was in the Marine Corps, one of the most feared experiences was the Gas Chamber,” I replied.
Why? Can you imagine walking into a room full of swirling, fog that is composed of who-knows-what kind of chemicals; burning your eyes, throat, and nose?
I first experienced it in Bootcamp. Then again several times throughout my career. The first time it was miserable and scary. The second time, I remembered it was scary. I, and my peers feared it because of that memory. But after several years went by and I had experienced the gas many times, and had achieved the rank of Sergeant… I was now in charge of other Marines and set an example. I now knew what to expect and knew I would be fine once it ended. So I and the other Sergeant had an advantage. We walked in and posed. Yes… posed. A classic hands on hips, drill-instructor, leader-of-men, recruiting-poster pose. It said, “I am a Marine and fear nothing!”
Lucky for us, the new Marines could not read out minds. They didn’t know that it also burned our eyes, throat, and nose. That we were in just as much pain as they. But because our attitude was “We will be fine! We can have some fun with them while we are here!” we weren’t as miserable.
Thursday, if you had looked at those “favorites” next to the “fans”, you would have seen the same difference in attitude. The fans were sullen, serious, and somewhat miserable. The favorites were smiling, having fun with the fans, and definitely not being miserable. It was day and night. Their attitude was allowing them to handle the situation better. To be less uptight and more ready to deal with what lay ahead. It also affected how the fans perceived them. Perhaps, the fans looked at them with a “They are the Survivors and they fear nothing!” attitude that caused a bit of intimidation. In Survivor, you can see why that can be an advantage.
I hope it made sense to her. I hope you remember how attitude can affect your situation. So when she is facing a tough situation… or even everyday stress, maybe she can find a way to change her attitude towards the situation. Try to find a way to make it just a bit less miserable.
Do you have any tips on facing tough situations? How do you use attitude to face the world?