My “Words to Live By” About Positive Attitudes

Much of my life has been driven by little catchy sayings and idiomatic phrases. “When you point a finger, three are aimed back at yourself.” “Keep your side of the street clean.” “Take an attitude of gratitude.” It was helpful in parenting, too.

I would spout off phrases like these to my children as they boarded the school bus or left for a sleepover, in hopes that some small bit of wisdom would stick in their formative brains and nudge them to make good choices.

Or maybe rolling these around in my brain was a way for me to cement my own north star and build positivity into my busy and often disjointed existence of straddling professional life with parenting, with self-improvement, with community service, with important-to-me hobbies, and so on.

Of all my favorites, the phrase I chose for the Blue Wagon Group website is: Whether you say ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t,’ you’re right!

The idea is that a positive attitude can steer your outcome.

One summer, my middle child returned home from working as a camp counselor. With a huge eyeroll, she relayed the tale of a tentative camper attempting a rock-climbing wall and the words “whether you say ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t,’ you’re right” just blurted out of my daughter’s mouth.

She shared this story and, somewhat dismayed, said “I’m becoming my mother – ugh.”

We laugh about it yet today, but I like to think that some of those other life lessons did stick via my corny “words to live by.”