My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #120: The Power of Attitude

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-01-2010 01:12 PM 9307 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 119: Busy Hands are Happy Hands Part 120 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 121: Building a Bridge »

Yesterday I did an experiment. I wanted to see if I could make a really great day just ‘happen’.

We hear so much about how our attitude affects the outcome of our day (week/month/life) but do we really believe it? Is attitude some magical and mystical force that is dictated by our own thoughts and actions? Or does everything that occurs in our lives just happen by chance? Hummm . . . . .

We hear the saying about looking at the glass ‘half empty’ or ‘half full’. It is a simple saying, but did anyone really think about the implication of what it means? All these questions going through my head so early in the morning!

So back to yesterday -

I decided I wanted to have a really good day. I have found in the past that when things weren’t going very well for me, I used to kind of mope around and think about the bad things and be kind of sad or upset most of the time. I went through a period in my life where this was a daily existence for me and I lived with a cloud of doom following me wherever I went. It reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh cartoons where Eeyore was sitting with a rain cloud pouring down on him, slumped over with a forlorn look on his face. It made people want to just hug him and tell him it would be alright. But he never really changed and he seemed to find something to be sad about no matter how good the circumstances were.

We all have our moments when we feel like Eeyore. Justifiably so in many cases. It is a difficult place to be in our lives and it tends to suck the life right out of us.

But there came a day when I got tired of being sad and forlorn and wanted something better in my life. I had a very smart and wonderful teacher at this time who told me over and over “we follow where we focus”. At first I heard them as only words. After all, how can five little words make any significant changes in my life? I needed things to change, not just my attitude.

But then I started to notice something. Like a fog lifting (my teacher said it would happen that way) little by little things started to change. The more positive I was about things, the better things seemed to turn out. Was this a coincidence? I thought so in the beginning. But soon I saw that it wasn’t a coincidence at all. It was the way I looked at the same thing that everyone else was looking at. I found that if I look hard enough, there is good in many situations that on the outside don’t always look so good initially. You just have to work at it a little more to see it sometimes. I found that just as when you look at the negative side of something and it brings you down, you can also choose to look at the positive side of things and it will be very uplifting. It is a matter of what you choose.

I posted on my facebook that I knew it was going to be a great day. I don’t know why I did it, but I just wanted to see. I had no particular reason to feel that way other than because I wanted to. Nothing significant was scheduled to happen either. But you know what? It worked. I had a great day yesterday.

I had a call from a friend that I haven’t talked to in quite a while. I was happy to hear about all the good things that were happening to her and also I got to tell her how good things have been here. That alone was quite uplifting.

I also had several orders on the site, pushing me to my best month ever. It was a great milestone and one that I have worked very hard to achieve this past year. So despite the hiccup of the site being down for a day or so, it all ended positively.

And one of the most significant things that happened was that I received my beautiful little box from Ecocandle here on the site. I had watched his blogs about building his little boxes and I absolutely fell in love with them. The one in particular that I adopted (named Francois) is a beautiful mix of wenge and maple with stunning inlaid stripes of padauk. After watching him create this box on his blog, along with seeing all the care and thought he put into making it, I knew I had to have one. He only had a few for sale and I treated myself to a beautiful piece of artwork.


From Everday Stuff

Not only did I love the box, but the story that went with it. I look upon Francios as a symbol of what Lumberjocks and the people here are all about – creating beautiful things of wood and sharing and friendship. To me, Francios is a reminder of all of you and how much you have all brought to my life. It is a box that will hold my hopes and dreams and creative thoughts, and I can look at it anytime I need to be reminded of them.

So you see, it was a great day! Sure, I could have picked out all the little annoyances that happened to me yesterday and focused on them (and you can be sure there were some there!) but I chose to pick out and focus on the good things around me and positive things in my world. I went to sleep last night with a feeling of contentment and peace that is as they say “priceless”.

And I made it that way all by myself.

I hope you all have a great day today!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

12 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2456 days

#1 posted 10-01-2010 01:51 PM

A pessimist will say the glass is half empty. An optimist half full. An engineer will say its twice as large as it needs to be to meet the design requirement.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 10-01-2010 01:56 PM

My glass is ALWAYS half full. and it’s either a tall cold glass o Guinness, or any wine, white or red. :) lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8985 posts in 2340 days

#3 posted 10-01-2010 02:19 PM

Excellent point, Martyn I like your analytic way of thinking! :)

Yours too, Roger! lol

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2456 days

#4 posted 10-01-2010 02:31 PM

My grandmother use to tell us “Yesterday was a good day. Don’t be sad because it’s gone. Be happy that it happened.”

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2287 days

#5 posted 10-01-2010 02:43 PM

Sheila, you always seem to have a positive attitude to me, even when you have some problem that you are worrying over. I can’t speak for everybody on LJ, but your positive attitude often rubs off on me as well and that is a good thing. That’s why I like to try to read your blog every day even if I’m real busy. Keep up the good work and thanks.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BertFlores58's profile


1684 posts in 2342 days

#6 posted 10-01-2010 05:07 PM

Technically it has meaning with us who are marine engineers… Ullage is the measure from top of the container to the level of the liquid… we say half empty meaning measuring the empty part… while HALF FULL we SOUND IT meaning taking the level of liquid from bottom… this will give us a vision on what was measured. Another example is 1/4 full and 3/4 empty .... It means same…. The good thing about this is the way you are organized… If you measure level of sticky fluid then you measure the empty side not the full side.. any ways … that the way it is…

-- Bert

View SallySpiral's profile


5 posts in 2232 days

#7 posted 10-01-2010 06:00 PM

Legend of the Dreambox –
The Legend of the Dreambox suggests writing down your fondest dream, greatest desire, strongest wish on a small piece of paper, putting that paper in a Dreambox and placing it beside your bed. Every evening as you retire & every morning as you rise, hold your Dreambox and think on your dream, beleiving with all your heart that it is so. Legend has it, if done faithfully ….. your dream will come true.

I love Francois!

-- Jeannie, Adirondack Mts.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8985 posts in 2340 days

#8 posted 10-01-2010 06:07 PM

That is an outstanding idea, Sally! I love the thought of it! Thank you for sharing it.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 10-01-2010 07:25 PM

I love the “we follow where we focus”. This is true in all aspects of my life. Now if I can just remember what I was focusing on :) Sheila, if you don’t mind I’m going to use this at work. It will speak volumes.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3581 days

#10 posted 10-01-2010 11:31 PM

an excellent blog.

Many (many) years ago I did a little experiment as well … I simply raised my brow, opened my eyes wide, making them sparkle, and pulled the edges of my mouth back into the form of a smile. As I created this facial transformation I could feel my emotions shift, my mood shift, and my whole being become more positive.

Also, as I read your blog about how you could have focused on the things that didn’t go so well … and I wondered why we would want to carry around the stuff that didn’t go well rather than enjoying the good stuff?? My goodness we are weird creatures!

May you have another great day tomorrow!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2308 days

#11 posted 10-01-2010 11:38 PM

Hi Sheila.

Expanding on the “wish box” theme, when my wife was a little girl, she fekk in love with her grandmother’s Claddagh ring that she wore as a wedding band. In the part of Ireland where she was from they were traditionally worn as wedding bands. LouAnn found a picture of one and put it in her little “treasure chest” along with her diary and other keepsakes.

When we were dating, I noticed her always stopping to look at these rings any time we went to an Irish craft or cultural event. When the time came, guess what kind of ring was in the little box in my hand when I got down on one knee? (and guess who’s maternal granny ALSO had a Claddagh as a wedding band and was from the same part of Ireland?) And while we’re playing guessing games, guess what’s now on the third finger of my left hand?

If you wish long enough and hard enough, miracles can happen.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2535 days

#12 posted 10-02-2010 12:59 AM

that´s the right way , think possitive :-)
and its a beautyfull box you have adopted

take care

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