"... improve upon and make beautiful everything around you."
Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude-- the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire, and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head held high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain-- and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
A little more kindness and a little less creed;
A little more giving and a little less need;
A little more smile and a little less frown;
A little less kicking a man when he’s down;
A little more “we” and a little less “I”
A little more laughs and a little less cry;
A little more flowers on the pathway of life;
And fewer on graves at the end of the strife.
“Remember that doubt and faith cannot exist in the mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Whereas doubt destroys, faith fulfills. An attitude of faith brings one closer to God and to His purposes.”
We sometimes think of being good at mathematics as an innate ability. You either have "it" or you don't. But to Schoenfeld, it's not so much ability as attitude. You master mathematics if you are willing to try. That's what Schoenfeld attempts to teach his students. Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds. Put a bunch of Renees in a classroom, and give them the space and time to explore mathematics for themselves, and you could go a long way. Or imagine a country where Renee's diffedness is not the exception, but a cultural trait, embedded as deeply as the culture of honor in the Cumberland Plateau. Now that would be a country good at math.
“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, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, 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 everyday 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% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
There’s a fine line between being indifferent with the state of things and using Reddit to express your every displeasure with all facets of life. In between is the discontentment you can use to light a fire under your productivity.
The key is to focus on the discontent with things that you can actually change. Get riled up about your programming environment and submit a patch. Become annoyed with how the text flows on your company homepage and rewrite it. Feel guilty about the UI of a common action in your application and redesign it.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
— Reinhold Niebuhr
When you find people who embrace this idea, you’ll usually find people with exactly the pointed drive that gives them the power to Get Things Done. Hire them.
Sweet are the uses of adversity.
From what sources, then, can we borrow strength without building weakness? Only from the sources that build the internal capacity to deal with whatever the situation calls for. For instance, a surgeon borrows strength fro his developed skill and knowledge; a mile runner from his disciplined body, strong legs, powerful lungs; a missionary from his developed capacity to love and teach and testify.
In other words, we ask the question: What is it that the situation demands? What strength, what skill, what knowledge, what attitude? Obviously the possessions, the appearances, or the credentials of the surgeon, the athlete, or the missionary are only symbols of what is needed and are therefore worthless and deceiving without the substance.
But when we borrow strenth from divine sources and eternal principals, the very nature of the borrowing demands our living better, and we thus build strength inside.
"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life..." (John 6:27.)