"Attitude determines your altitude." - Anon
"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect It's successful outcome." - William James, considered America's first great psychologist
"The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind." - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
"To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Always look at what you have left.Never look at what you have lost." - Robert H. Schuller
"If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won't, you most assuredly won't. Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad." - Denis Waitley, Empires of the Mind
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." - William James, considered America's first great psychologist
"You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise. - Zig Ziglar
Life is replete with choices, at every hour, on every corner, in every mind. We cannot escape them. We dare not try. When we try to escape choices, we barrel down the highway of blame, powerlessness, fear, and bitterness. By taking ownership of our choices, we assume power, convey confidence, and stalk success.
Every emotion is the result of a belief that led to a particular thought. Emotions are the final step in determining our behaviors, habits, lifestyles, and destinies. The fantastic, explosive, awesome news is that we can control these internal processes by making better internal choices.
Where attitude is involved, belief is the foundation. Belief is based on a combination of experience, personality, genetic tendency, and environment/culture. Some things are more "controllable" than others. As the Serenity Prayer suggests, take control over what is rational and possible to control!
Here are 5 Key Attitude Choices that we must make if we are to end up with a feeling on contentment and peace:
1. The Attitude of Positive Self Belief - When you look in the mirror, what is your first thought? If the initial thought is to criticize or to worship, we are probably way off in the self-attitude department. We are not divine, and we are not demonic. We are human. Refuse to think of yourself in terms of income, house location / size / value, car, "attractive looks", or accomplishments. Develop a mindfulness of yourself as a self, a person, a child, a sibling, a father/mother, etc. The attitude of positive self belief is not about denying faults or regrets, in fact, it is about embracing them as truly YOU. Humans are not perfect, but they remain lovable and valuable. How well do you love yourself?
2. The Attitude of Cautious Kindness toward Others - In that no one is perfect, no one is perfectly trustworthy. Yet, we are a system of interconnected people. We do need each other. Hopefully, we want each other also. If we assume that all people are good or that all people are evil, we are probably way off in the cautious kindness department. We must be willing to discern others' intentions and motives with a judicial sense. However, we must remain open to experiencing others transparently and fully. When we love, we will get hurt, but the joy of love is so worth it! When we trust, we will be hurt, but the comfort of trust is so worth it! To be wise as serpents and harmless as doves is one way of putting it. Be willing to say "No" to others, but please remain open to shouting "Yes" also. Always show respect and kindness.
3. The Attitude of Optimism - This is a tough choice to make sometimes. In my own life, I have had periods of cynicism, doubt, and anger. We choose to believe in the future or to berate the future. When we devalue the future, we cast a long, dark shadow over our attitude. Can clients and customers see this gloom in our eyes? You bet. So can our partners, our children, our colleagues, etc. If we dare to look into the mirror in this state, we may not recognize the other person peering back. It is far too easy to get lost in a bad attitude. We don't even realize it. Cleanse your perceptions by interacting with new, more successful people, by getting back to nature, by reconnecting with faith, by spending time with children, by whatever means necessary. We must continue always to have hope, to choose cheer, to believe well. Circumstances do not determine our choices.
4. The Attitude of Growth - Be a lifelong learner. There is no better feeling than mastering a new subject or meeting a new challenge. Why does Brett Favre still play? Why does the lone golfer still shoot? Why does the Realtor go to a new training? The attitude of growth is a message that we will fight on, our ship will not break against the rocks. When we do not grow, there is stillness, but not the peaceful stillness. This stillness is usually tied up in managing emergencies, feeling overwhelmed, draining energy, burning us out. The positive attitude of growth says "I remain master of my destiny" and "I will be better tomorrow than I am today". It is a position of power and resolve. "I shall not be moved." "This dog still hunts." "Either lead or get out of the way." I love this attitude. "You may be ahead of me today, but tomorrow is coming, and I am learning......."
5. The Attitude of Thankfulness - What a powerful attitude! To be thankful in the midst of nothing going right is true power. The lost closing, the lost client, the overdue bill, the fear of failure.....Yet I remain thankful for the people and hope and possessions that I do have. My focus is fixed on that which is preserved and that which is promising. My eyes continue a believing gaze to the horizon, where my next success lies. Am I am thankful to God, or to my family, or to my friends, or even to myself that I have the will to walk, to step, to breathe to that next accomplishment. I am blessed, even in the belly of the beast. I am cool, even in the fire. I stand tall against the crushing tide. Thankfulness is an attitude of security and perspective. Even when all seems lost, I am thankful for where I have been, for what I have seen, for who I know, for who I am.
I hope these thougths are a blessing to you today.