Introduction to Lesson 3

The Power of Attitude in Our Race of Life

When we are challenged by unexpected events in life, we need creative change in our mindsets and our perspectives. That creative change requires the A in PATH: the power of Attitude.

Harvard Medical School cites research regarding how attitude affects your health and can potentially lead to a longer life (Harvard Health Publishing 2016). For Tasha Schuh, an attitude shift accompanied her new life as a quadriplegic once she discovered something a little more tangible: the power of gratitude. If she hoped to regain some independence, she had to cooperate with the doctors, nurses, and therapists trained to prepare her for life beyond the hospital. Tasha is the first to say, this wasn’t easy. It was difficult to keep her emotions in check and not fall into depression with each and every reminder that her old life was gone.

But a turning point occurred when doctors and therapists were thrilled to find movement in her wrist. That little movement later allowed her to wear a tenodesis splint to aid in things like eating and doing her own make-up. That little movement led to driving lessons in an adapted van, which was a leap in independence. Her first memoir recounts this struggle, and discovery, that little changes can be huge! The gratitude she felt for this little change facilitated Tasha’s shift in attitude. She rose to the challenge and gained wisdom about the connection gratitude has to attitude and emotional balance.

Fortunately for most of us, a traumatic accident will not alter our life’s journey like Tasha’s did. However, like Tasha, we will all have to face life’s undesirable events—those unexpected experiences we didn’t see coming. Understanding the role attitude has in who we are may strengthen our decision-making skills. Once we have conscious awareness of a habit, a reaction, or a negative spin we tend to fall back to, we have the potential to change it.

Many of us do not take the time for this type of self-examination. Yet, there are things we can do to focus our thinking in a more positive direction. Change within our minds has the potential to happen at any moment, and this can result in a positive shift in our perspective and attitude!

Lesson 3 will closely explore the Five Basic Human Emotions: Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, and Sadness. All these emotions are innately built into us and can complement each other in very healthy ways. Using PATH while building resilience results in stronger emotional balance when faced with life challenges and adversity, experiences that come with growing up.

Instructor: Choose the order in which you assign these content items. Enhance the Power of PATH Curriculum by including items marked Optional or Bonus as time permits.