They're there, and they're not. Windows. They stand between us and the world, offering a view. We see what we want and ignore what we want.

We all possess our own figurative window, too. Like the glass version, it stands between us and the world, offering a view. We see what we want and ignore what we want.

Your view shapes your perspective, your attitude about the world outside. It determines how you treat others, how you approach the challenges of each day. It also shapes how you see yourself and how you perceive your own prospects for the day, the week— for your life. When you don't like what you see outside, it drags down your attitude, your personality, your spirit. It drags down you.

It makes you resentful and critical, of even the smallest things. It makes you look for flaws everywhere—at work, at home, and even in people you first meet. Makes you frown at every encounter. Makes you perceive every challenge or opportunity as yet another chance to fail. It drains your confidence. In a word, it makes you miserable.

No matter your goals—for today, tomorrow, or for the rest of your life—they're unattainable when your view is clouded, gloomy, and critical. Misery loves company, not success.

Think about the miserable people around you every day—people who are always critical, always mumbling and blaming someone else for their frustrations or their setbacks of the moment. If you're waking up each morning with a critical, resentful attitude, waking up mad at this person, mad at that situation, mad at work, just plain mad, try this: Clean your window.

That's right. Scrub off the soot of past failures. Hose away the dinginess of broken relationships. Take some elbow grease to the splotches of betrayals, losses, and bad breaks.

Then, take a look. Suddenly, the world outside looks much different. Things are clearer, brighter. It's almost as if there's no window there at all.

You might even decide to throw the sucker open and step outside, where your perspective can now be shaped by fresh air, fresh aromas, fresh opportunities.

I once knew someone whom I just dreaded seeing because no matter the topic, she had something negative to say about it. This woman could have spoiled a kid's birthday party. I said "once knew" because ultimately I had to wipe her out of my life because simply being around her was affecting my own view. I had to clean her off the window.

Progress begins with a positive attitude. No one ever got anywhere by saying they couldn't. Dreams are not made from dread.

The smudges and stains from your past will only cloud your future if you don't wipe them away. Today.

Roy S. Johnson
Men's Fitness
Editor In Chief