There may be a virtual guarantee of fulfillment in life, thanks to the miracle attitudes.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Victor Frankl”
When you adopt one of the miracle attitudes, you get to feel fulfilled regardless of what is happening around you. Even extreme misfortune is no match for the miracle attitudes. This cannot be said for ordinary positive attitudes. Another huge bonus of the miracle attitudes is that they are interchangeable. You can move back and forth among them to discover which is most fitting for whichever situation.
What are these miracle attitudes?
There are three that I am sure of:
Regardless of your external situation, even if very unfortunate, you can always find something to be grateful for. Why is this true? Because there is always a worse scenario than the one you are in, if you are still alive.
Gratitude for what you have, or how lucky you are, is an instant cure for a bad mood. As soon as you realize you can be grateful, your spirits lift and you begin to see life differently. Again, there is rarely, if ever, a circumstance when gratitude is not an option.
If you are continually grateful, however, does that mean you’re just an unrealistic fool?
Some people worry that too much gratitude will blind them to reality. On the contrary, gratitude helps you face reality with a more open mind. You can look at the worst situation, find something to be grateful for, then proceed to solve the problems in front of you while feeling good.
I can’t think of one situation that compassion would not improve. In fact, compassion may be the universal salve. And it is always available.
Even Victor Frankl, who lost his entire family to the Nazis and endured years of torture in a concentration camp, found compassion in the midst of his darkest days. In fact, he refused to judge his captors, the murderers of his family and found freedom and strength in his compassion for them.
“Frankl was freer than his Nazi overlords because his compassion released him of resentment and inner misery.”
If Frankl can find freedom and compassion in a torture camp, you can find it in your family and among your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
Compassion is the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes, see them as people, and understand their plight. When you do this, your inner self is moved toward love and acceptance, as opposed to resistance and resentment. Compassion is an attitude, not a behavior. To be compassionate, you do not need to be agreeable. You just need to understand and sympathize. You can stand up for your rights, say no, respectfully decline and even lead an all-out rebellion while maintaining compassion.
Hope is a special attitude because you can muster hope regardless of external circumstances and hope is its own reward. You can lack faith, lack belief and lack all evidence, but hold onto hope.