A Bad Attitude Is Like A Flat Tire – Have a Successful Attitude

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A Bad Attitude Is Like A Flat Tire

A Bad Attitude Is Like A Flat Tire

I read this quote in Guideposts magazine one day and thought it was too good to pass up:

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.”

Here is an example of what I mean. Over the years we have received e-mails from people who are upset with us because our cookbook, Dining on a Dime, isn’t a vegetarian cookbook or a diabetic cookbook or a wheat free cookbook, etc.

One day we had to laugh because we first received a very nasty e-mail from someone who was so angry because we didn’t take into consideration all of those people with… and she listed about 4 different allergy and food problems she had. What was so funny was that, just a few hours later, we received a phone call from a woman who couldn’t thank us enough for our cookbook. She said it was the first cookbook she had ever used where the recipes were such that she could easily adapt them to her family’s many food allergies. Then she proceeded to list all the same things that the woman in our earlier negative e-mail had listed.

It was one of the most perfect examples of two different attitudes for the same situation.

Most of you probably don’t know it, but I am left handed. I have had to live in a right handed world all my life. Only you other lefties will understand that it does pose a problem once in a while but I don’t usually even give it a second thought. I adapt. I don’t expect the whole world (the majority) to change their way because of my “difference.” I just do the best I can.

In a way, it has made me a better person because, at times, I have to get creative or learn to do things in a different and maybe even better way.

We all have some little “handicap” we have to live with. Some are bigger than others. The ones who succeed in spite of their handicaps (whether a food allergy, debt, the loss of a job, etc.) are usually the ones who have the right attitude.

Stop looking at your flat tire and ranting and raving about how it isn’t fair that there is no one to help you change it or that the street sweeper hasn’t come down that road to sweep that nail away.

Get out your owners manual, open the trunk, pull out your spare tire and get busy changing it. You don’t have a spare? Then start walking. Although, before you do anything, I would pray like crazy for God to help. I don’t know how many times I have done just that and, before I knew it, several big hunky guys were there to help. :)

Now don’t get me wrong… I didn’t always get big hunky guys. There have been a few tow truck drivers who I could tell had been working in 100 degree weather for several days in the same clothes and they sure loved chewing their tobacco but I was so grateful to see them. They looked as good to me as any hunk would have. Once again, it’s all in how you look at things. :)

So, if you feel like you are getting nowhere, maybe you have a flat tire in your mind that needs to be changed. Get out the tools you need and/or start walking. You will get there one way or another if you try.


PS Please don’t send e mails or make comments about how dangerous it is to let strangers change your tire. Most of us aren’t that foolish and I usually call AAA but there have been times when I have been in no man’s land with no cell phone and the nearest human habitation is a farm house 25 miles away. 



  1. Bea says

    Jill, Thanks for the lift. I have been in a low mood for the last couple of days and needed your inspiration. Part of the reason I have been in a low mood is because of people. People can be so rude. They make living in this world hard at times. In your case, with what you mentioned about nasty or inconsiderate emails and letters, it’s hard for me to understand where people get their ideas. Why complain to you if your cookbook isn’t what they wanted? The world is filled with options and they can look around for what they are looking for. What are you going to do about it? People need to grow up. I want to tell you a story. Just today one of the toilets in the Ladies Room was clogged. It has been that way for 2 weeks. Finally the supervisor called a plumber to fix it, but for the last 2 weeks me and another woman have been plunging the toilet and I put Draino down it to try to unclog it. No other woman here would dirty their dainty, manicured hands to offer help. Today, when the plumber came he found out it was the plastic toilet paper holder that someone flushed down the toilet, instead of dirting their hands to just pick it out of the toilet. Another time some woman’s cell phone fell into the toilet and she decided to flush it down. Some of the women I work with just won’t do anything unselfish, or that would require goodness, so they cause problems for everyone else. Pure selfishness. People need to grow up and deal with the problems life has and add to the goodness that’s sorely needed in this world. Whiners accomplish nothing. Thanks for letting me vent. Jill, you inspire me.

  2. Jayne King says

    Jill- You are a very wise woman.:) I know you probably get this a lot, but this post was a confirmation of things God has been trying to get through my head. I had a few setbacks lately and have let myself take a bad attitude towards so many things in life. When I have a bad attitude I don’t feel like doing the things I should-like-being more charitable, praying, setting goals, etc. Bad attitudes can really hurt other people too. This is not a small thing in my opinion. Anyway, God bless you many times over!

  3. Brenna says

    It has been almost twenty years ago now, but when my mother had cancer the first time, she made a sign on a piece of poster board to hang in her hospital room as a reminder to keep a positive attitude. The sign said, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Something so simple, and almost a cliche, but that was all it took for her to keep the correct attitude through her surgery and chemo. She hung that sign up every time she went in the hospital. She has since “beaten” cancer two additional times since then…and my belief is that it was because of daily, small changes in her attitude. She is my hero. I learned by watching her example, better than any thing she could have told me.

  4. Alicia Webster says

    I agree…not to mention, that with a good attitude, others are apt to WANT to help you…My MIL scowls at everyone that she meets, and then complains that people aren’t “friendly”…a smile works wonders, and gratitude, gratitude, gratitude saves the day!…I have bad days like everyone else, but I remind myself how stinkin’ grateful I am for my three healthy children and my loving husband…I don’t ever want to be in the position of having taken my blessings for granted…Some people I know complain endlessly about how awful life is, and I look at their lives and wonder, “What the heck are they bellyachin’ about?” And I know a couple of people who seem to be in the midst of a run of bad luck(years in this case), and they just shrug it off and laugh…”It will turn around”, they say. Just be happy, people, it ain’t that difficult..lol…

  5. Laura Frisch says

    Awesome thoughts Jill!!! Really hate to see people that can only see the faults in things instead of trying to find the benefits. They spend so much time looking for the negative that they never see the positive.

  6. Margaret says

    I love this quote. I am printing it out in BIG letters to hang over my desk. I need to remind myself to keep a postive attitude sometimes. I am usually a very positive, upbeat person but days when I don’t feel well, I tend to crankiness and just need to remember that I am not the only one who “hurts” and overcome that to remain calm and peaceful.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  7. LittleLori says

    Love the quote! I’ve copied it to a postie and suck it on my bathroom mirror. I’m glad I checked your site today as I needed the reminder. I love being a lefty too!

  8. tracy says

    I can tell you that God is always there to see you through! Today was a tough day dealing with people. But on our way home, we saw a deer on the side of our road taking its time, seeming to have no worries. Because the deer knows it is being taken care of. That was a reminder to me that no problem is too little or too big to put to God. Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. Debbie says

    That’s a good way to look at things. Hopefully, you don’t get many bad apples that need to have their tires changed.

    I try to look at the good side of things but sometimes I too get stuck in a complaining rutt. I am posting this quote on my fridge to remind my self to walk the mile first. Thanks.

  10. Caroline says

    “Do as you would be done by” is my life philosophy. Keep smiling and try very hard not to let other peoples attitude or behaviour change your own. Im not perfect and last week I had to call my doctors reception with a query, the receptionist wasnt particularly helpful and I got irritated with her attitude and I slipped from my philosophy and became like her. After I had finished the call, I was annoyed with myself that I had been a bit grumpy with her, after all I had no idea what sort of problems she had or if she was having a bad day at work, so I rang back and apologised for my grumpiness and we had a laugh about it and at the end of that call I felt a whole lot better about myself. I dont know how she felt but I hope that the next person she dealt with benefitted from that laughter.

    and for the record, I love the Dining on a Dime cookbook

  11. Debby Clayton says

    Your cookbook is the best. I have given many as gifts because of not only the recipes but the advice in them as well. You know people tend to find what they are looking for in anything!

  12. Lisa says

    I have this similar quote posted over my desk:
    “The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” Scott Hamilton.

    Thank you for your blog. I enjoy it very much. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  13. Angie says

    Great post Jill!

    This reminds me of a personal experience at my office. A co-worker of mine actually griped for a month that our cleaning lady did not thoroughly vacuum our carpet. She knew this because there was a small sliver of paper that had been laying on the carpet in her office for over a month. She would rant and rave that the cleaning lady was in every Wednesday and Saturday and still after more than a month, that same small sliver of paper was still on the carpet in her office. One day I point blank asked her: “Why don’t you bend over, pick it up and throw it away?” She turned a bit red in the face and did just that. I mean, come on, who can’t do simple little things like that? Now granted, if I was the cleaning lady, I would try my best to do a thorough job. However, I’m not above bending over and picking up something and throwing it away.

    I saw a funny little sign the other day that I think also applies. It was about married life and it said “Which takes more energy: putting down the toilet seat or griping about it for three hours?” We should all think about things like that! :-)

  14. Mary Crabtree says

    Hi, folks! This is a quote from yesterday’s devotion in “Our Daily Bread”:
    “In all the setbacks of your life as a believer, God is plotting for your joy.” -John Piper
    Have a joyful day, all! Mary

  15. Doug McCormick says

    My late brother once taught me a good line — ten words — each word just two letters — sums it up very well…….


  16. Sarah says

    You guys, your site & newsletter are awesome…my favorite!! Keep going, We love you! God bless! YeeHaw!!!

  17. Derek says

    My daughter forwarded this to me and I found it refershing and so right on. People with good attitude are so much more pleasant to be with. Sounds like you have had a lot of flat tires. lol

    • says

      So you could tell I am an expert on flat tires Derek. :) Before I got my drivers license my dad made me learn how to change a tire. I couldn’t even lift the tire but he made learn anyway in case I was ever in a pinch. It has come in handy.

  18. Doris says

    My husband has a number of health problems and is unable to do the things he used to do. Instead of whining about his problems, he does what he can do and stays as pleasant as possible. When people ask him, “How are you?” his answer is “Grateful.” Now that covers a lot of things, doesn’t it? Grateful to get out of bed in the morning, grateful for food, drink, clothing and shelter, family and friends. We all have a lot to be grateful for.

  19. Charla says

    I have the cookbook and love it. I also had a flat tire once and while I was standing looking at it wearing a business suit, a kind man came around the corner, changed the tire, got back in his vehicle and was gone. I have no idea who he was, so I accept it as an angel God sent to help me that day. I thought it was interesting that I had stopped right beside a cemetary. Life and death…all in God’s hands.

    • says

      I have had a few of those angels like that who have helped me too when I was stranded in no man’s land (no traffic, no cell phone) with a broken down car. I don’t know what I would have done without them and am ever so grateful for those who still stop and help even now. My son and daughter are one of those who quietly stops helps out and leaves. So I give my heart felt thanks to you angels out there who in spite of sometimes risk and discomfort to yourselves still stop and help. Thank you all so much.

  20. Shirley Beesmer says

    That was very well stated. We have a Bible Study here at the Senior housing where we live and the whole idea is that we all have work to do in our lives and it is different in each person’s life. Thanks so much for your posts.

  21. Heide says

    I love your cookbook. I bought it years ago, when I ate most of the foods in it. I have since become vegan, and over time have disposed of all the non-vegan cookbooks I once had…except Dining on a Dime. I love that is a basic scratch cooking book, and I use it as a reference if I want to create a vegan dish that I have no recipe for…yes, that means I adapt. I also love all the extra non-food info in it, and I love the can-do attitude. I would keep it for that part alone!

    I once read an article about a woman who was packing to go to the mission field. She was evaluating the worth of every kitchen item she owned and severely minimizing her “needs” as she packed. She decided to only take one cookbook with her, and she chose “Joy of Cooking” because it was a classic and well-loved scratch-cooking tome. Well, that article really impacted me, and I began to downsize all the widgets from my kitchen. I think I actually acquired “Joy of Cooking” and tried a few recipes…but I was never overly taken by the book. Later on, I found “Dining On A Dime” and quickly grew to love it…and “Joy” was purged from my home with no regrets. If I ever need to severely limit my cookbook collection, Dining on a Dime will still be a keeper!

    • says

      OH my Heide. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice review. Thank you also for sticking with us for so long. You answered a question we get quite often from people who are vegans who want to know if the book will help them at all. Now we can refer them to your comment. You really have paid us the highest compliment. You have the kind of attitude I love too and that is you are willing to adapt. :) Thanks again.

  22. Ingrid Lanford says

    You are absolutely, 100% correct! People don’t realize that their attitude is what will determine their success or failure. Its all in their perspective things. My family has definitely had their ups and downs from job loss to debt, but we put our noses to the grind stone and penny-pinched our way out of debt and then realized that we didn’t even need that 2nd job! YEAH!!! This is when I first discovered your website. There are so many unique and creative ways to save money that you really don’t realize how much you’re truly saving until the end of the month rolls around and WOW, you have money left in the bank. LOL. LOVE YOUR WEBSITE AND CREATIVE MINDS :)

  23. Debi says

    I wanted to thank you for the article on “a bad attitude is like a flat tire”. Been going through some stuff lately. For some reason, your article was so uplifting for me. Reminded me to take a good hard look at myself and if I don’t like what I see, I’m the one who can change, no one else.
    Thank you again!

    • says

      You are welcome Debi. Sometimes it is so hard when going through a bunch of things not to get discouraged but I myself get encouraged when I hear from readers like you who in spite of it all picks themselves up and keeps going. To me people who keep going no matter what is happening in their lives are the ones who I consider successes in life so like I tell my grand kids – good job and way to go. : )

  24. Lyn says

    Jill, I don’t know what brought me to your site but I have a sneaking suspicion it was our dear Father in Heaven giving me a nudge. You words just made me realize I have forgotten what my 6 year old nephew says when he’s being punished for doing something he shouldn’t, “Lord, I am on my knees looking up to you. Please help me.” Thank you.

  25. Teresa says

    I just love your personal touch you add to everything you post. Thanks for keeping it “real”. I also love how everyone shares and is so caring! I have a sweet story to share for anyone who would like to read. My mom passed away from cancer, too young last year at 68. We are 20 years apart. We always had old cars that were on the verge of breaking down and one in the fix it stage. My dad was very handy and both parents frugal. I have good memories of walking to the nearest pay phone with my mom:) it definately built Godly character. We were living on a prayer all the time and God blessed our family by stretching our dollars, keeping things from snowballing. Thanks for all your valuable resources!

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