When My Cardiologist Complimented My Positive Attitude

I had an epiphany this last week, and if you don’t mind, I would like to share it with you.

Last week I was leaving my cardiologist’s office and my mom said, “I think it’s cool that he complimented your positive attitude.”

I smiled at the memory of the compliment and with blushing cheeks, I replied, “Well my attitude is the only thing I can actually choose. I can’t choose my future. I can’t choose what circumstances I’m in. I can’t even control how my body reacts to day-to-day life. The one thing I can choose is how I respond.”  Then it hit me.

My attitude is the only thing I can choose.

Despite what Hollywood and the media would like you to believe, you are not in control of your destiny. If we could choose our own destinies then everyone would be a billionaire. Life is unpredictable, which is what makes it so fun! Yes, it’s hard, but so are all great things. As humans, we can be unique and inventive because we have free will. We are not robots, but instead are able to choose whatever response we want. Now although the outcome will always be out of our control, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Our attitudes help define us for better or worse. We like to think we can plan every aspect of our lives and simply “will” it into reality. If you can do this then you’d be the first, and I’d love to know your secret! For the rest of us, we have to roll with life. My whole life has taught me that I can only choose my attitude. I decided early on that if I wanted to have a happy life I had to choose joy and that’s what I’ve done. It is definitely not always easy, but in the long run, it’s worth it.

The next time life kicks you in the teeth, think of these two choices:

1. You can smile.

2. You can cry.

Choose wisely, and remember crying can dehydrate you – so it’s more work!

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Dysautonomia

woman sitting at a desk and clutching her chest in pain

How My Anxiety Led to a Dysautonomia Diagnosis

When I first left home for college, I was nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew I was “ready.” I was graduating while still 17, so there was also a part of me that secretly wondered if it was too soon… was I equipped? Would the world take me seriously? After [...]
two women sitting next to each other and holding hands in support

To the Stranger Who Helped Me When I Was About to Pass Out

I didn’t even ask your name. I could barely hear your voice. I couldn’t turn my head to see you and I never got a chance to thank you. I have dysautonomia, an autonomic disorder that can cause heart rate changes and dizziness. I was standing in the food court at St. Mathews Mall when [...]
Yijia's service dog, a black Labrador relaxing on the floor.

Why I'm Hesitant to Bring My Service Dog to Job Interviews

Having a service dog takes a toll on you some days. Yet having a service dog is the best thing that could have happened to me. My service dog takes care of me if I pass out, or if I get dizzy and disoriented. He keeps me present and focused when I’m otherwise dissociating and [...]
12 embarrassing symptoms of dysautonomia we don't talk about text over slightly blurry photo of girl with light streaks behind her head

12 'Embarrassing' Symptoms of Dysautonomia We Don't Talk About

Dysautonomia is a term that includes several different conditions (the most common are postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and neurocardiogenic syncope) caused by autonomic nervous system malfunctioning. The autonomic nervous system controls a variety of functions in our bodies, like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and temperature regulation, so the symptoms of dysautonomia can be wide-reaching [...]