Letters to Tom — Attitude

Dear Tom:

Football coaches talk a lot about attitude. You hear them say, “the team needs to develop a winning attitude.” Especially when their team has lost a few games, then you really start to hear a lot about attitude and believing in “ourselves.” I engage in similar pep talks with myself. I encourage myself to look at a situation differently or to put out positive energy, especially when I feel stuck in the mud or frustrated with my circumstances.

I was interested to read that Sufi’s talk about how to deal with similar problems by imagining how one’s frustrations might look from God’s point of view. They ask questions such as, “ What is the reason behind the circumstances of one’s life? They then try to work through the issue by considering whether their problems are there merely to open one up to new ways of thinking. They perceive one’s problems are the means through which something mysterious, perhaps even great is struggling to be born.

My interpretation of seeing something from God’s view may be simplistic for Sufis, but it is simply bringing a much broader view of one’s problems to the table. Rather than looking at my problem from my personal point of view, I need to look at it universally. I need to cast broader intelligence and perspective to a vexing situation than just how it affects my person.

I once had a chance when I was Mayor to travel over Little Rock in a hot air balloon. The city looked different when I saw it all from the air. The view helped me look at things a lot differently. I was able to see the city as a whole. The city was much more than who literally “barked the loudest” or “smelled the worst.” I eventually landed in a pasture outside the city limits, but my view of my city had been transformed. I tried to bring that transforming view to my every day work as Mayor. I need to learn from that experience and bring the broader picture to my everyday life.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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