Of all the items that I own, the one most incongruous with my personality is a coffee mug featuring the pseudo-inspirational phrase “Your attitude determines your altitude.” This saying might explain why I can’t fly. The cup in question sat on my desk for nearly a year and a half, taunting me with its promise of altitude based on attitude. I paid a whopping $2.50 for the piece of pottery, which I naturally complained about. I really did try to use the inspirational mug as a rallying point, a place from which to grow and mature in good spirit and genuine positivity. Then I brought it home, tossed the ugly chachki spawn into the back of the mug cupboard and vowed to change my attitude without the help of prosaic dinnerware.
I have a poor attitude toward many issues and people. If there was a coffee cup phrase that would really inspire me to change and grow, it would be “Drink your coffee and stop trying find the meaning of life in pottery.” Over the years, I’ve tried numerous times to become a more positive person. For instance, instead of saying “This sucks,” I use the more positive phrase “This positively sucks.” I try to challenge my poor attitude by finding the good (and then the great) in all situations. Sure, this a naive world view, but a helpful outlook in its own simplistic way. When my neighborhood faux Italian restaurant serves it’s house specialty, which is burnt chicken parmesan over nylon noodles, I maintain a positive attitude. I also don’t pay them, but my attitude is becoming more and more wholesome. One thing that keeps me in fine attitude is that I grew up eating hot tuna sandwiches. How can I be a critic of the charred, rubbery remains of phony Italian cuisine after eating luke warm seafood and mayonnaise for the first eighteen years of my life? Accentuate the positive. Oh, and the attitude/altitude mug? I replaced it with one featuring Muhammad Ali that says “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Now, that’s positivity for the flightless man.