A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 07, 2019
“It isn’t what happens to you, but how you react to it, that determines your life”

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” (or “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it") is a saying that has been printed on many images. Authorship of the saying is uncertain.

“Always in this life it isn’t what happens to you that matters; it’s how you react to what happens that proves your class” was printed in the Detroit (MI) Free Press on January 25, 1938. “It isn’t what happens to you, but how you react to it, that makes this business of growing up so important to your future happiness and success” was printed in the Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Star-Phoenix on February 19, 1949. “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it, and stand up under it, which determines the final score” was printed in the Hartford (CT) Courant on August 29, 1953.

Percentages were added to the quotation by at least the 1970s and 1980s. “‘Life,’ someone said, ‘is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to what happens to you’” was printed in Success Unlimited in 1974. “"I’ve always said 10 percent of life is what happens to you. The other 90 percent is how you react” was printed in Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram on September 13, 1987.

“I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it” has been credited to evangelical Christian pastor, author and educator Charles Swindoll since at least 1993. Swindoll was born in 1934, so he could not have coined the original saying.


Wikipedia: Chuck Swindoll
Charles Rozell “Chuck” Swindoll /ˈswɪnˌdɒl/ (born October 18, 1934) is an evangelical Christian pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher. He founded Insight for Living, headquartered in Frisco, Texas, which airs a radio program of the same name on more than 2,000 stations around the world in 15 languages. He is currently senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church, in Frisco, Texas.

25 January 1938, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “Iffy...The Dopester,” pg. 3, col. 6:
Always in this life it isn’t what happens to you that matters; it’s how you react to what happens that proves your class.

19 February 1949, Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Star-Phoenix, “This Business of Growing Up,” The Prairie Pals, pg. 3, col. 3:
It isn’t what happens to you, but how you react to it, that makes this business of growing up so important to your future happiness and success.

29 August 1953, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Informing You” by M. Oakley Stafford, pg. 8, col. 2:
Two Quotes Linger In My mind: “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it, and stand up under it, which determines the final score” ...

13 April 1954, Tuskegee (AL) Herald, “The Bible Guidepost” by A. F. Lokey, pg. 7, col. 7:
THE IMPORTANT thing then is not what happens to you but how you react to what does come.

30 December 1954, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Informing You” by M. Oakley Stafford, pg. 19, col. 1: 
The living proof of the truth of the saying, “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it, which determines your life.”

22 January 1955, Des Moines (IA) Tribune, “Spending Money to Relax? ‘Won’T Work,’ Pastor Says,” pg. 3, col. 6:
(Rev. Charles M. Roth.—ed.)
“It is not what happens to you, but how you REACT to what happens to you that determines whether you live in a state of constant tension and anxiety or whether you sail serenely through life.”

2 December 1956, Atlanta (GA) Journal and Constitution, “Human Touch: Walk That Second Mile To Success” by William H. Parr, pg. 5-B, col. 1:
Mrs. Sutton says that a lot of people do not realize that the important thing in life is “not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens.”
(Evelyn Sutton, a management consultant.—ed.)

13 July 1957, Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA), pg. 6, col. 2:
It’s not so much WHAT happens to you that matters but how you react that makes the difference.

26 December 1964, The Call & Post (Cleveland, OH), “Which Way Are You Going” by Bill Thomas, pg. 9, col. 1:
There is an old saying: “It is not what happens to you but how you react which counts most.”

Google Books
Success Unlimited
Volume 21, Issues 7-12
1974
Pg. 103:
“Life,” someone said, “is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to what happens to you.”

Google Books
Dream a New Dream
By Dale E. Galloway
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers
1975
Pg. 60:
“Life,” someone said, “is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you react to what happens to you.”

13 September 1987, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “A perfect 20/20 revision” by Steve Campbell, sec. 2, pg. 6, col. 2:
“I’ve always said 10 percent of life is what happens to you. The other 90 percent is how you react. We all go through tough times and react to it differently.”
(First baseman Pete O’Brien.—ed.)

6 April 1988, Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal, pg. 4C, col. 10 classified ad:
I’m very positive, ever curious & believe life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it.

Google Books
Farewell to Fear
By James R. Sherman
Golden Valley, MN: Pathway Books
1989
Pg. 34:
Bovee’s words seem to be supported by psychologists who say that life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it.

27 October 1991, Huntsville (AL) Times, “Stress,” pg. G8, col. 3:
“It has been said,” said Mellott, “that life is 10 percent what happens, and 90 percent how we react to it.”

Google Books
Developing the Leader Within You
By John C. Maxwell
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
1993
Pg. 98:
Charles Swindoll said:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, or a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. Nor can we change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We also cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you—we are in charge of our attitudes.

Google Groups: sci.engr.chem
[OT] What I want to do with my life…
Pgsjgr
2/1/00
(...)
“... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
--Charles Swindoll

Twitter
Jorge Vismara
@jvismara
Life is 10% what happens; 90% how you handle it
5:32 PM · Apr 6, 2007·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Gary
@kamiro
“life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it” - Charles Swindoll
7:38 PM · Feb 21, 2008·Twitter Web Client

StratComm
Success Through Attitude: How Your Attitude Can Make or Break You
07 19 2016
Success Through Attitude: How Your Attitude Can Make or Break You
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
—CHARLES R. SWINDOLL

Google Books
Title Life Is 10% What Happens to Me and 90% How I React to It: An Inspirational Journal to Get You Motivated!
Author Perfect Papers
Edition illustrated
Publisher Amazon Digital Services LLC - KDP Print US, 2018
ISBN 1717974759, 9781717974754
Length 122 pages
Subjects Antiques & Collectibles › Paper Ephemera

Twitter
MαŇรooℝ Ꭺ𝖍๓αd (❤įƓ❤)
@DrMansoor01
Life is 10% What happens to Us .. And 90% How we react to It...😌😌
9:11 AM · Aug 30, 2019·Twitter for Android

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, September 07, 2019 • Permalink