“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.” I love this thought. I love the image of how we can’t get anywhere until it is changed.

Sometimes, when times of heartache or great difficulty hit (or simply a bad day hits and we don’t want to smile), how do we get that old mindset out of us, and accept the more’- the better part’ that is ours to have? Here are a few simple things we need in order to make the change. Remembering that, in all things, we need holy help for the best results, of course.

1. Desire to make that change. Right? If we’re not ready, nothing will happen. Can we fake it til we make it? Yes. Elder Sterling W. Sill once taught, “Desire is the pilot of the soul.”  With desire, we can begin – no matter how awkward or bothersome it feels- to remove the flat tire.’  If we can accept it – to any degree – in our mind, we can begin to grow the desire.  It’s like experimenting upon the word [Alma 32:35]. The desire is created and grown because we’re willing to try.

2. Look for good things.  Regardless of how icky – ugly – overwhelming things are, we can look around for that sunshine. For the perfect snow flake. For a funny or happy show on television. Try Googling happy quotes or looking for inspirational stories. I will sometimes look for images of nature that bring – always – a sense of joy and gratitude for this world we’ve been given. Small things matter when changing attitude.

3. Pet an animal. Read to a child. Hug someone.  Hopefully, not a stranger. That may freak them out There is a reason that animals are used in therapy. It is calming to the mind, and sweet to the heart when sharing even the tiniest bit of love and caring. It always comes back to us, a hundred fold.

4. Reach out and help somebody.  This is ancient counsel. From the Highest source. We find it over and over again in scripture and from the prophets. Somehow, service is a selfish thing, for regardless of what we give out, we get more. There are always folks who need us. Right now. Exactly when we’re prompted to send a note or make a call. It’s the way our Savior allows us to be His holy hands.

In the doing of service, this truth emerges- we find something to be grateful for. Our half-empty attitude begins to shift up, and soon we realize that we are living the Full Life. It doesn’t take a lot of money, nor prestige. It doesn’t take much of anything that the world values. But watch self-value grow when reaching outside of self!

5. Accentuate the positive & eliminate the negative. That’s an old song I’ve enjoyed for decades. Its message is simple and elegantly effective. Should we not, sometimes, remove certain people or situations that cause only harm or negativity? Thinking on the positive – focusing on something good, regardless of how whiney we’re feeling – moves the attitude upward. Ya know? The bit of work it takes to accent and eliminate offers huge, powerful return on investment.

6. Accept self-worth. When we feel down on ourselves, we know it isn’t the right thing. Oh, how the adversary works to tear us down from the inside-out. Who can overcome this lack of self-worth? Only we can- individually and quietly.  It takes genuine courage to face self. To take note of the foolish things [so they may be changed] and accept the weaknesses [so we can ask to be taught how to strengthen them] automatically grants a better awareness of our worth. We don’t have to be perfect. We need to seek help from the One who is!

From Psalms 127, we learn a key to growing a good attitude:   “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.”

This scripture reaches deep into my heart and mind, clarifying that I must allow the Lord to build me. O labor in vain, when I think I can do anything without the master builder. The Lord keeps the city – this world is his stepstool. When I try to build’ without the positive influence of the Holy Ghost, do I really get anywhere I want/need to go?

Nope. My testimony of truth will get me where I need to go, when I’m willing to accept the divine impressions and heavenly attitude offered. Awakening to the happy truth that our Lord is keeping us is an ultimate attitude changer.

Keep me, O Lord. Keep me under thy wing, where I can think things through more effectively. Where I may keep my resolve to have an attitude worthy of the Home for which I set my goals!

When my tire is flat, I must change it. When my attitude is flat, same thing applies. What blessings and lessons come when we are willing to make the change, and refill ourselves with positive, good, joyful, grateful thoughts and feelings.