Image Courtesy of Mr. XPK
“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be”
― Anthony Robbins
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter
A positive attitude goes a long way to making life better, and steampunk is practically filled to bursting with it. The characters in our stories fight the good fight and persevere to do the right thing. The stories themselves show the value of an individual and how one person can make a difference. Our DIY nature exemplifies the ideals of trying and then trying again. Our events bring people together where we have a chance to lift each other up.
With a positive attitude, we look for the good in things, and we believe that everything will be OK in the end. One of my grandmothers was the epitome of elegance. Every day was a special day for her and she made the most of it. She participated in things which made her happy and she spread that happiness around to others. She dressed her best, in clothes she mostly made herself. I daresay she would have given many of us a run for our money if she had started making steampunk outfits to join us.
She was an independent lady, knew her own mind, and definitely did things her way. She was active and helpful to her friends and neighbors.
One of the clearest things I remember about her was her positive attitude and how it carried her through life, overcoming obstacles and hardships. It took me a while to really learn what she said sometimes, “Only good memories”.
It wasn’t that she ignored the trials and traumas of her life, but she didn’t hang on to them, either. She learned from each one, and applied those lessons to her life as she continued ever forward. She looked for the best in everything, and found it. She believed that everything would be OK. She presented another way of looking at things, without wavering from her convictions and perspective. She was a role model and just shared her way of thinking in every action of her life.
My time with her was never enough, and in my youth, I surely didn’t make the most of the time we had. Now though, I can share in her outlook and make it part of my own. A positive attitude can and does make a difference in how we look at others and the world.
A friend reminded me years ago that for everything we do, for every moment and every action, we have a choice. We choose how to respond, or just react. We choose how to act, including doing nothing. We choose how to handle a situation – head on, or ignore it.
Somewhat related, is something that grade school principal of mine used to say during one of her angry lectures which basically came down to the same message. She was going on about how we didn’t have to come to school, and we didn’t have to do our homework, and we didn’t have to do <whatever>, and saying it in the harshest, cruelest possible way. Ultimately, she was saying we make our own choices, although her examples were always filled with the most dire of consequences if we didn’t do things her way.
Grade schools horrors aside, steampunk can help us gain and keep a positive attitude, about ourselves and what we do. We choose what we want to wear, and out steampunk outfits show the very best image of ourselves. We chose our behavior and our actions, and the politeness of the steampunk community can be the normal expectation of how we treat others and desire to be treated. We chose whether we try to make things work, risking possible failure, like so many fictional steampunk characters, instead of just giving up and ensuring complete disappointment. We can choose to keep the status quo, for better or ill, or we can take our steampunk optimism and passion and change the world for the better.
Each morning, we can have the expectation that it’s going to be a good day for us, no matter what comes. We can act with kindness and altruistic intent in everything we do. We can keep a realistic perspective on the things which happen around and to us.
There will be challenges, to be sure, and not everything will go our way, but we can keep those things in check and determine if those things really matter.
Most things going on around us are little things. They might be annoying, or we could choose to just roll with it and not waste our time, caught up in needless drama.
Even for the big things, we decide how to respond. Are we going to dwell on negativity and let it suck out every bit of energy we have? Are we going to feed that fire so it becomes an eternal flame?
When handling my own traumas, I realize that sometimes I just have to experience it fully and face it head on. I have to feel the hollowness of angers until it burns out, and cry my eyes out until I’m desiccated in order to finally move past the heartache. Once past those raw emotions, the only course is forward, and the only action is to do something about the situation.
“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” The Power of a Positive Attitude
Steampunk in all of its expressions can remind us to keep that positive attitude and keep moving forward. We can expect to have a good day, and help make it a good day for others, too. We can believe in our own abilities, and our happiness. We can raise our spirits by lifting up others, and we can learn by teaching. We can wear a smile, or be the smile. We can be a sturdy cogs that keeps things moving along, or we can be the gear that makes things happen.
Challenges will always come our way, big and small. Our attitude will help us overcome them instead of being swamped by them.
Now, go out there, and make it a great day!