This is an oratorical piece I wrote as a favor. I’m posting it here just in case somebody else might need it. And also to keep tabs of it (in case I accidentally delete the file, lol). You are free to use it, but please do not credit this as your own work. Thank you.
There was once a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three strands of hair on her head.
“Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today…”
So she did, and she had a wonderful day.
The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only two strands of hair on her head.
“Hmm,” she said. “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today…”
So she did, and she had a grand day.
The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only a strand of hair left on her head.
“Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair up in a ponytail.”
So she did, and she had a fun-filled day.
The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there was not a single strand of hair left of her head.
At that, she exclaimed jubilantly, “Yes! I don’t have to fix my hair today!”
To my esteemed professors, honorable guests, dear classmates, and friends: a pleasant day to you all.
How do you define life? How do you make sense of the events that transpire in your life? Do you contemplate the meaning of your existence, and if so, what answer do you arrive at for yourself? How do you face the challenges that come your way? Do you cower in fear of them and worry, or do you revel at the thought of the lessons you might reap in the face of adversities? These questions—albeit hard and often verging on the philosophical—can say much about the person at the end of this line of questioning. Similarly, the choices we make in our lives and how we handle the snapshot of events that come our way—the good and the bad—mirrors who we are as a person. It defines us—our attitudes.
Attitude, by definition, is a way of thinking and behaving that affects a person’s behavior. It is that which influences how we handle whatever comes our way, whether we become optimists, pessimists, or turn indifferent to the world around us.
Attitude is not inherent. It is not something genetic we get from our parents; it is not something we are born with. It is something we choose. It is something we have control over.
Yet, despite knowing these, how exactly can attitude help? How can it make a big difference when we have our skills—our talents—to back us up? Are these not enough to make us successful in whatever field of endeavor we choose to undertake?
Although our God-given talents and the skills we have cultivated over time are valuable and are surely needed, we need positive attitude in order to give us an edge. How we perform and how truly successful we become in the things that truly matter are determined by our attitudes.
Studies—as well as history—shows a person who lives his life in the light of a positive attitude performs greater than his peers. He is able to celebrate the world and his life, no matter what fate throws his way. With each challenge that comes, he sees it as an opportunity to grow and learn new things to improve and better himself.
Our attitude gives us a sense of how we look at the world. And depending on whether we are optimists or pessimists, we can become the biggest assets or the biggest liabilities of society.
Our outlook in life is not set on stone, however. The remarkable thing is that it is not too late to change our attitude to something better. What is needed, in order to do so, is to change the way we perceive things. We must learn to think positively whenever something undesirable happens to us or to the world around us; to see something good in every person and in every event.
To be an optimist, we must learn to speak positively about others and above all, ourselves. Let us fill our minds of affirmative and encouraging thoughts. Let us see in us, in every event, and in every person a great opportunity to learn and grow. Let us count our many blessings and be grateful for them, focusing on them rather than on our few failures.
Having the right attitude—a positive attitude—makes a big difference in our lives as it keeps us from continuing down the path of that never-ending search for diamonds outside us when we, ourselves, have a light that far outshines any gem known to mankind.
With an optimistic outlook in life, we become more caring, confident, patient, humble, cheerful, fun-loving, hardworking, dedicated, and passionate. We strive to constantly improve ourselves and face adversity head-on; courageously taking risks and initiative in order to grow and mature into the people we are meant to be.
Attitude affects every aspect of our lives. From the right attitude comes happiness. For even in the darkest of times, one can find happiness if he chooses but to see it. Like an art enthusiast choosing to look and marvel at the intricate, detailed, painting filled with colors like no other rather than the fly that has landed on its frame. Or a person who sees the world as a giant playground rather than a prison cell.
And so, let us consciously cultivate an optimistic mind. Let us use our imaginations. Let us see the opportunity in every difficulty. Let us always consider alternatives and dare to believe that we can make possible what others have deemed impossible and live our everyday lives extraordinarily!