Good morning! My thoughts on attitude this morning reveal my Harry Potter nerdiness. Erin and I took my mom to see the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and I was struck my the meaning behind the obscurial (sp?). If you haven’t seen the movie (I’m not giving away anything) an obscurial is a dark, destructive force created when a child is forced to suppress his or her magic. The idea is that the real self is forcibly suppressed and the results are tragic.
In thinking about obscurials and attitude I started to question the authenticity of pretending to have a good attitude when I don’t feel like having a good attitude. Is it authentic to put on a smile and try to be positive when I really don’t feel like it? Does suppressing my natural feelings have some sort of negative consequence? Additionally, I always want to be real, not pretending to be something I am not.
Then it occurred to me that all of us are pretending to some degree each time we learn something new. It is called practice. We are practicing what we want to become. I don’t know why it seems so different when talking about changing an attitude or personality trait. There is a tendency to say, “that’s just how I am.” But that same thinking is not applied to learning other skills. Learning to parent, to teach, to be a friend or spouse – where would we be if we didn’t practice and become better at those things? I know that when my daughter was first handed to me as a screaming infant I was pretending to be a parent. When I stepped into my first classroom and thirty sets of teenage eyes stared expectantly at me… I instantly pretended to be a teacher. And, through practice, I was able to pretend a little less each day. So why is it more difficult to apply this same idea to our attitudes and personalities?
I intend to apply it. So on days when my natural attitude is not good I will pretend that it is. And I will continue to practice a good attitude until I get it right.