Change Your Attitude

And Change your life!

What is attitude? Let’s start by looking at some definitions:
1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.
2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.

Merrium Webster
1. the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure : posture
2. a position assumed for a specific purpose

Although attitude can be expressed in a body position, as stated above in both definitions, I think most people look at attitude as a verbal or physical behavior, one that goes deeper than a posture.

How many times as a child have your heard or as an adult have you said: “I don’t like your attitude” or “If you plan on going anywhere, you better change your attitude!”. I’m pretty sure I have heard it and said it many times and the reality of the second statement it is that it’s so true.

One of my favorite quotes:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
– Winston Churchill

Attitude is a choice, it is not something we inherit nor is it something we are stuck with, but it can be contagious – both positive and negative. Motivators, mentors, coaches and friends all encourage us to ‘think positive’, don’t dwell on the negative. Often times these are just statements made to change our current mindset – our attitude, and sometimes it comes with reasons and suggestions on how to do it. I’m no expert on recommending methods to change your attitude, I just know its something we all deal with on a regular basis and it’s something we all can control.

We all know the eternal optimists around us, the super positive, glass is half full, sky is always blue and when it isn’t – every cloud has a silver lining. We also know the naysayers, the doom and gloomers, the life’s a $#%* and then you die and the forever Christmas Grinches. Both can be annoying at times because life just isn’t always that cut and dry and most of us tend live in the world between. But, given the choice of being stuck on an island with one or the other, we’ll choose the optimist every time.

If I’m going to be surrounded by others or share my precious time with anyone, I want it to be positive, don’t you? So, if this is what we prefer, doesn’t it make sense that we be positive ourselves? After all who is going to want to be around us if we’re always negative? In reality, ‘always’ is probably not a fair statement, but what side of the spectrum do you tend to fall on?

Being a person of positivity with your friends and family is not all there is to having a good attitude, it is in fact just one part of it. How do you approach disagreements, financial upsets, last-minute changes of schedules, rude customers, etc? Often times maintaining a good attitude has a lot to do with how flexible and open-minded you are. Seeing both sides of an argument or opinion, putting the shoe on the other foot, walking in the other person’s shoes, etc… These are all examples of looking at life from more than one point of view. If you are too rigid in your beliefs and behaviors how can you take something seemingly negative and turn it in to a positive? Note that when I say ‘beliefs’, I do not mean ‘faith’, as that is a positive thing in itself. Having strong faith is often what allows us to remain positive through all types of adversity.

If I had to give some recommendations to help one achieve a better attitude it would be to change how you deal with adversity, stress and disappointment. Our attitude has a lot to do with how we see the world and how we perceive each event that happens in our life.

  • Don’t hang on to anger – forgive when you can, move on when you can’t
  • Think before you speak (more…)
  • Be open-minded – there is always more than one way to do things (more…)
  • When feeling anxious or stressed, calm yourself – Take deep breaths: inhale while counting to three and exhale while counting to six.
  • Consider others feelings, not just your own (more…)
  • Don’t hang around negative people (if more people walked away from angry, negative people it might eventually get them to rethink their attitude)

Our attitude affects our friendships, our personal relationships and our careers, a good attitude often determines how successful we are in all these areas. Life is not black and white, there is a lot of grey and that grey just may be the silver lining we are missing.


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