How Do You Control Your Attitude in the Face of Adversity?

Positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Sometimes the mirror shows us parts of ourselves that we are unwilling to accept. Ron tells about his realization to self awareness when he saw the person behind the face staring back at him.

I slammed my fist on the front desk to get the receptionist’s attention, “this is the second night my girlfriend and I do not get any sleep! This situation is totally unacceptable! They stay up all night, screaming, and making noise. Will you do something about it?”

“Sir, you have the choice to go to another hostel, you can leave whenever you like.”

His eyes were bloodshot red from lack of sleep as he told me about the conditions he and his girlfriend endured the night before. It was Ron’s second day in Buenos Aires, staying in a hostel where 90% of the people were a group of friends traveling together.

“I am not pleased with the receptionist’s response,” Ron continued telling me, “Asking me to leave is not the way to solve the situation. I hope he will do the right thing and ask them to stop making noise.”

The next morning, I noticed he had peacefulness about him and was more relaxed than the day before. I thought maybe the receptionist took care of the situation and the noise stopped.

“Ron, how did it go last night, you look a lot more rested.”

“It was completely out of control. Not only did the noise continue, it got worse! They had a party and blasted the music.”

He noticed the puzzled look on my face, gave out a sigh as he explained further.

The first thing that came to my mind is that they were purposely doing it to aggravate me. I jumped out of bed, got dressed and was about to go out there. I became so furious and raged that I wanted to just punch one of them. I went to the bathroom, punched the door open and as I looked up, I saw myself in the mirror.  I have never seen myself in that state, NEVER! I couldn’t stand looking at myself, seeing the person I had just become. I realized that I had done this to myself and asked myself, “What the hell am I doing?”

I am accustomed to the way situations like this are resolved in my country. From the first night, I expected that the receptionist would take control of the situation and get it resolved. I insisted on staying at the Hostel and tried to impose the way I wanted him to handle it. It was not so. I knew this from day one. By staying, I brought myself to become someone I was not proud of. An ugliness came over me that made me realize it was not worth it.

Sometimes we need to realize what we can change and what we cannot change.

I was not going to change the fact that this behavior was accepted because these people occupied 90% of the beds. Going out there and punching someone would have made matters worse. There was only one thing for me to do, which I should have done from day one.

I went back to my girlfriend and told her, “Maybe it would be best if we leave.” She agreed. So, we packed our things and walked over two blocks to a nearby hotel.

This morning I went back to the hostel, advised the receptionist that we were checking out and that we should not be charged for the night since we left. I was surprised over his attitude. He was very understanding of the situation, apologized for our inconvenience and only charged us for one night.

This situation has taught me that in life I will continue to have adversity. The way I choose to adapt and my attitude will determine my happiness. If things always go my way, I will remain stagnant and spoiled. I want to keep growing, so, the more I am faced with situations unfamiliar to me, the more I am given an experience that will allow me to change for the better.

The choice is mine, I can either control my attitude and grow or it will control me and make me a miserable person.

“Don’t allow your wounds transform you into something you’re not” – Paulo Coelho

When you look in the mirror, what do you see reflected back at you? How do you control your attitude in the face of adversity?

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This entry was posted in Cleansing Your Beliefs, Power to Let Go and tagged , , .

5 Responses to How Do You Control Your Attitude in the Face of Adversity?

  1. Chas says:

    “If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” ~Roald Dahl

    • Antonia says:

      I love that quote Chas, thanks for sharing:)

      Like they say, true beauty is the beauty that shines from within. Our attitude and thoughts will enhance or deteriorate our beauty.

  2. Antonia says:

    Hi Sylvain,

    Thanks for sharing your experience! We all encounter frustrating situations. I love your attitude of how, “you don’t have time to deal negative energy…” So true!

    • Sylvain says:

      Yes. Sometimes it’s just that the hotel Internet connection is down for a few hours. Even if I rely on Internet a lot… it’s not a drama if I’m delayed by a few hours.. I have plenty to do with my computer without Internet. Even the stuff I need to do on the Internet… it’s not that urgent nor that important that the world would stop spinning.

      I totally accept the consequences of my choices and staying in the cheapest hotel in town usually means dealing with a poor Internet connection.

      If I were to require a better connection I could choose better hotels or get myself a SIM card for a smartphone. In worst cases, most city parks and plazas here in Mexico have free Wi-Fi.. so I can easily go there to get my emails and look for touristic info.

  3. Sylvain says:

    Funny! I encountered a similar situation not so long ago while I was in Guadalajara, Mexico.

    I was in a hotel where most of the rooms are occupied by long-term residents… some have been there for years. We were probably 4 or 5 tourists plus about 15 residents. The first few nights were perfect. But then one night they threw a little party to celebrate the birthday of one of the tourists.

    As most Mexican hostels, the area is wide open and any noise done in the central court is heard by all. So, as they played the music and talked loudly until 2 AM (on a Thursday night), of course that prevented me to sleep. Some people would have joined the party… but I’m not a party guy… so I stayed in my room.

    Of course, I couldn’t sleep and I had some plans for the morning to go visit an important building and hopefully meet someone for an interview.

    I was a bit frustrated at first… but then since I’m not a party-crasher either… I decided to simply get up and work on my Web sites and to revise my interview questions. When the party ended, I went to bed and I slept.

    Two nights later (Saturday night), the same thing. As I was leaving in the morning… I simply put my ear plugs in and I was able to sleep a bit even though they had music (a bit lower than two nights before) until 3 AM. When I got up around 8… I did have a bit of frustration.. which expressed itself by slamming a door ‘accidentally’… but not more than that.

    Through my journey, I learned to adapt and to roll with the punches. I don’t have time to deal with negative energy (from the others or from myself). I encountered many other frustrating situations… but I never lost my cool.