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Word Changes Or Sunny-mantics

April 4, 2019

We cannot control that which comes our way, but we can control how we respond.  In order to respond in a way that keeps you climbing your mountain, start with having a positive attitude.

In Dr. Viktor Frankl’s famous book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, he shows us that one can endure the unendurable and unimaginable, and still have a positive attitude.  He did this and witnessed this when he was in Auschwitz.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Change your words and change your outlook

A positive attitude can be attained and maintained by reframing the thoughts and words we say to ourselves and others.  Changing your thoughts through word changes, will produce a different mindset, attitude, and mood.  Then you can continue to make progress or you will be stuck where you are or worse.

Here are some examples

We are often asked “How is life treating you”? That question creates a mindset of us as victims of circumstance. The question really should be “How are you treating life”?  Thinking that way creates a positive attitude shift.

“It did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” – Viktor Frankl speaking of himself and other inmates of Auschwitz from “Man’s Search for Meaning”

I once asked someone how they were late one afternoon, having sensed that he was troubled about something.  He said, “not so good, it’s been a tough day, tomorrow might be better”.  I said “today’s not over, why wait until tomorrow”.  His face went from a frown to a big smile.  He said enthusiastically “you’re right, Thank you”.

I have a good friend named Steve.  Whenever I spoke to Steve, his greeting was “Hello” and instead of the standard “how are you”, he would say, “tell me something good”.  So if you were feeling down and were about to kvetch if he asked how you were, now you didn’t or couldn’t.  You stopped and thought about something that was good in your life, and there always is.  This causes a tremendous attitude shift and sets the tone for at least the rest of the day.

These are a some examples of those seemingly small word changes that often produces a big change.  Some of these word changes might be called semantics.  Instead let’s call them “sunny-mantics”

Heart and Soul

Using the comment box share any Sunny-mantics you use or have heard

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Paige permalink
    April 15, 2019 9:31 pm

    “Make it a great day” instead of have a great day. The universal theme in my life is always “limitless possibilities” because when we live with intent we follow the path to realize those limitless possibilities.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      April 16, 2019 6:47 am

      Well Said
      Thank You Paige

  2. Beni permalink
    April 4, 2019 12:28 pm


  3. April 4, 2019 9:19 am

    Kirk here, “onward and upward”…

    • Fred Fox permalink
      April 4, 2019 9:50 am

      one pedal stroke at a time:)

  4. Jocko permalink
    April 4, 2019 8:11 am

    Thank you, Fred. I first read V.F. when you mentioned him when we met after a Spin Class years ago. I’ve always been grateful for that meeting…in many ways.

    For this hidebound and wary retired cop, a practice which has helped me “set the stage” for a positive outlook and more compassionate interactions is the practice of the “Half Smile.”

    For me, it’s a kind of kindling that makes me more ready and able to be helpful in this world. Kind of a prequel to sunny-mantics.

    Once again, thank you for your efforts and care in putting out these teachings. They brighten my mornings and help me get off on the right track. Jocko

  5. Catherine permalink
    April 4, 2019 7:35 am

    Thank you for your inspiration Fred and reminder to keep climbing our mountain. Great way to start the day!

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