The Accepting Attitude

 One of the things I’ve learned in life is to refrain from fighting things I cannot change.  Ultimately in your life, there will be things that cannot be changed; race, sex (although modern medicine is making this physically possible), chronic illness (yes, we can treat with modern medicine). There are certain situations such as a cheating spouse, natural disasters, and accidents that involve injury or death that we cannot change.

Even though a negative attitude is 7-10% stronger, it is the positive, accepting attitude that moves you in the upward direction you desire.

You might visualize a person attempting to climb to the top of a mountain constantly thinking negative thoughts.  Do you think they will get to the top?  Why?

Now visualize that person climbing to the top of a mountain while thinking positive thoughts all along the way.  Do you think they will get to the top?  Why?

When I wanted to obtain a PhD degree but I was told I could not.  People gave me excuse after excuse as to why it could not be done by me.  I had low grades, no money, poor study habits and low self-esteem. No African American had ever achieved that goal from Waterloo, Iowa during that period. I accepted all these criticisms. I did not resist the truth.

But, my critics forgot one very important thing – I believed in myself.  I could take lemons and turn them into lemonade. I accepted what I could not change, and I became determined to change the things I could.

I learned good study habits, built my self-esteem and applied for financial assistance.  While I could change these things, however I would never be able to change my skin color. Again, I accepted I was black, and this would always be a fact, but should not be an excuse to fail.

From that day I moved forward and never looked back. I stopped whining about life being so unfair and letting my color be a hindrance. I gave 100% in whatever challenges and adversities I encountered. It worked! I obtained my PhD.  It continues to work for me today as well.  I accept what is thrown my way and continue to use my resources to do the very best of my ability to ensure the best results possible. I retain an accepting, positive attitude that things will work out the way I intended.






Posted in Coaching.


Founder and CEO of The JAFA Group, James A. Farmer, PhD has worked in human relations, counseling and coaching for over 35 years. His vast experience, leadership, passion and success all contribute to a particularly strong understanding of workplace issues and their creative resolutions.
Dr. Farmer is a widely respected author and lecturer. He has written or co-written four books as well as numerous articles which have appeared in esteemed journals. His textbooks – Positive Influences and High Risk Teenagers were required reading in the curriculum at various major universities.
Dr. Farmer also maintains a strong presence in the business world. His expertise in areas such as motivational psychology, human relations, communications, and interpersonal skill development has made him a popular and sought-after consultant for many companies. Exxon, Dow Chemical, Texas Instruments, Blackmarr Associates and various human service agencies are among his impressive list of engagements.
He received his BA in social work and speech in 1974 and his MA in counseling from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976. Dr. Farmer subsequently received his MSW from the University of Iowa in 1978 and went on to attain his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1986. His academic appointments include the University of Northern Iowa, The Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Farmer is also a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Barksdale self-esteem analyst. As well, he is certified in dispute resolution and is a Licensed Advanced Clinical Practitioner and a Board approved supervisor in the state of Texas.
Dr. Farmer began learning to self-coach himself in the 4th grade in order to overcome early childhood trials and tribulations. He eventually enrolled in a life coaching course and was dismayed to find that many simple topics were made complicated and needlessly complex in a way that prohibited effective learning. He’s been taking notes ever since, and a lifetime later continues to adapt, learn, grow and teach.
The many students of Dr. Farmer are perhaps the greatest testament of his work. Thousands and thousands of people have come to him, and their success stories are endless – students have gone on to earn PhDs, management positions, high level government jobs and more. He’s especially proud of the foster children whom he’s counseled as a part of his therapy business.
Dr. Farmer’s passion continues to evolve in the field of developmental coaching – helping people to succeed in life, guiding them to help themselves, and learn authentic self-esteem.
He lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, yet enjoys traveling extensively to promote his work.

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