A Zillion Choices
I am always a little hesitant to write about attitude because so much has been written and spoken about it in the past. We all know its effect on our success or failure, contentment or discontentment, happiness or despair. We all know what attitude does, and yet there always seems to be some old idea that whips us back into shape with a quick attitude adjustment or something new that helps it all make sense, one more time. I am no different than anyone else in that I continually need the reinforcement of hearing again about the things I know but sometimes neglect to do. No matter how many different things we've heard about having a great attitude, it seems safe to broach the subject again with the hopes to positively influence the thoughts we hold today.
Someone shared some ideas a while back that run parallel with my thinking that a great attitude is a choice away . . . over and over again. I ask in my seminars for people to raise their hands if they have a great attitude, and the audience and I always laugh at the response. Maybe three quarters of the group will raise their hand, and I always say, "Why wouldn't you raise your hand? Are you sitting there thinking, 'No, I've had a lousy attitude for 40 years, and I don't plan to change it for any crazy inspirational speaker'?" The first step in building an attitude that will positively serve you for a lifetime is to choose to have a good attitude and then look for all the ways we can make that happen.The instant we make that choice to allow ourselves to have a good attitude, then we are on our way to having it, and construction can begin.
Our attitude truly is something that we BUILD, one small victory over self at a time . . . one choice at a time . . . one thought at a time. It really is a process or a never-ending journey that is made up of a zillion little choices. We call them CHOICE POINTS in the laboratories of JP HORIZONS that affect how we respond and ultimately who we really are.That is an interesting thought to be reminded of, isn't it? Our choices can define who we are. I'm afraid, however, that we very often look at a great attitude as something we either have or don't have, rather than something that can be built, nurtured and improved. We can get to believing that we either have it or we don't have it, or we want to get it or we want to keep it . . . or we don't care.
Even when we know we have the habit of dwelling on the right thoughts and responding in a positive way, the attitude we aspire to can still elude us on occasion, and once again we need to take the steps that keep us building in the right direction. Even if you've read all the positive self-help books . . . you've listened to tapes from Ziglar to Robbins to Waitley . . . you know what it takes and you're determined to face life with a positive attitude, it can still happen . . . boom, you're down again. You're even disgusted with yourself for slipping into the blues, and you are struggling to at least put up a positive front.
I know this scenario sounds familiar because we are all made up of the same things. Keeping an upbeat, "nothing's-gonna-get-me-down" attitude is sometimes just plain hard work. Since our human nature tends to recognize and dwell on the negative aspects first and foremost, it often takes an all-out effort to envision the possibilities in a situation and then respond positively.
I often like to remind people that having a great attitude doesn't mean you won't ever feel discouraged or frustrated. That is a crazy notion and can even be one that will set you up for defeat. What distinguishes someone with a great attitude is their ability to recognize challenges and make choices that direct their thinking in a positive direction and then have a willingness to take action and move forward. Positive attitudes result in positive actions, which ultimately end in some type of positive result.
Remember, true optimists are not out there bouncing off the walls trying to convince everyone else that things are great, but they are individuals consciously building themselves, one positive choice at a time, looking for the good possibilities in every person and situation as they put forth every effort to make a difference.
- Jim Paluch
Tools for Attitude Building
What are the things that you use to build a great attitude? Here are a few tools that might help in your building process:
- Hammer out the negative - don't be too proud to stop yourself when you are headed in the wrong direction.
- Nail Down what you want to dwell on - know that our thoughts will turn negative if we don't actively nail down the positive.
- Level the emotions that change your state of mind. Identify your personal habits that turn your thoughts south and the ones that keep you pointed due north.
- Organize and Line up the tools that work best for you - books, tapes, a journal, personal time, a positive mentor ... the job is always easier when you have the right tools!
- Drill down deep when your thinking is stinking - be willing to look at your reactions objectively and actively remove what doesn't fit with the picture of who you want to be.
- Mortar in your core beliefs and build the strong foundation for your attitude from there.
- Plan Additions and Renovations to your building daily, knowing that the finished structure of your great attitude won't be complete until you take your last breath.
What tools will you choose to use today? Will you make a choice to be a BUILDER, pick up the tools listed above and continue the construction of the attitude that one day will stand as a reminder to all of what you chose?
Will you build a memorable structure with purpose that will last long after the architect and builder are gone, or will you construct a shanty without a foundation that will crumble and be forgotten as soon as the person that "lived there" is gone?
You are a BUILDER, so go ahead and enjoy the process of building your attitude!