So much of life is determined by the quality of our thoughts. A popular Eastern saying goes, ‘what we think, we become,’ so therefore it is critically important to evaluate our thoughts and attitudes on a daily basis to make sure they are aligned with the direction we want to be heading in.

There is a great saying about attitude and life perception: If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you. (Unknown) We need to realize that we are the ones who determine the course of our lives; and that the surest way to perfect this course is by keeping an open mind and open heart.

Even with the best mindset, it is impossible to avoid all obstacles. However, despite difficulty, we can always choose to make the best of any situation: When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you. (Unknown) It’s not always as simple as ‘mind over matter,’ but we can always find ways to turn a negative around to a positive.

Oftentimes the world appears as we view it from within; so where we choose to see beauty and goodness, we will find it. As the proverb goes: Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses. There are good things happening around us every day, and we need to be careful not to let the ‘thorns’ of life block us from seeing this.

How we live is utterly up to us; no outside opinion or belief can change the course of our future. And as long as we keep the flame alive inside, circumstances will take care of themselves. As writer James Allen says: The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs. Start inside, and move outward from there.

It’s a simple saying – attitude determines latitude – but it’s oh, so true.