ATTITUDE by: Charles Swindoll 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 failures, 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% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines attitude as the position or posture assumed by the body in connection with an action, feeling, mood, etc. or a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition, opinion, etc.
How does one controls or changes one’s attitude? We are not born with either a positive or negative attitude. Most kids have an upbeat outlook on life or can be easily persuaded in a positive way. When we go through the course of life not everything goes our way and some people feel entitled to an “attitude.” I believe it is an accumulation of negative emotions which bring us down and hold us down if we let it.
I am using an acronym for the word attitude: Awareness · Awareness is the ability to perceive a situation, to feel or be conscious of an event, a circumstance or a pattern. It is the beginning of changing one’s attitude. Once we are aware of a difficulty we can take the necessary steps for changes. If we don’t know how to do it we can always ask or get help. Think · Thinking is a mental process. It is one part of our mind faculties: intellect, emotion and will. Sometimes it can help to just stop and think through a situation before we make a choice and consider the consequences of our actions. Therapy · Therapy can help if a diagnosis has been made and a treatment is necessary. Again, it is a matter of choice and dependent on the severity, a plan can be developed. Regarding attitude, it is sometimes possible to create some helpful conditions such as three-week retraining of behavior. To create new habits takes about 30-40 days where one can focus on a new practice. This can be applied to lifestyle, giving up smoking or anything else we do every day. Napoleon Hill, (Think and Grow Rich) dubbed it the R2A2 practice. · Recognize a principle or improvement that will benefit you. · Relate the improvement to your own beliefs, experience, business or life. · Assimilate the improvement into your daily routine. · Apply and take action and make the improvement a new HABIT. Identity · There are many identities, but for simplicity I am referring here to our human identity. Our identity come from our creator who purposed us to be good, gave us choices and responsibilities. He gave us unlimited potential and a desire to grow and learn. Our conscience still directs us that way. By focusing our condition of being created in the image of God, we can inherit all of His characteristics and Divine nature. Trust · Trust is a relationship of reliance, a spiritual value which is essential in relationships. We put IN GOD WE TRUST on our money because we want God to be part of our financial life. Trust in a relationship is both emotional and logical. Emotionally, we make ourselves vulnerable by being open and honest. Logically, we speculate a certain behavior from others. In trusting others we have experienced their trustworthiness and have faith in human nature. Trust is a feeling which includes friendship, love, agreement, and comfort. Steven M.R. Covey, wrote a book on the Speed of Trust. Understand · Understanding is a psychological process of relating to an abstract or physical object such as a person, a situation or a message. More than using concepts, real life experience brings true understanding. Wisdom growths with years of repetitious activities, and building habits of discipline. Therefore, understanding is crucial to having a good attitude. Decision · Some people believe that attitude is a talent and we were born with it. Most of us have discovered that when we are down and out on our “luck” it is not any talent or aptitude which helps us out but a very down right decision which can change things around. Taking a different look at a situation or relationship can bring a whole new perspective. It is never wrong to enlist the help of our heavenly father or a trusted friend. Emotions · Emotions are physical sensations in our body, felt as tingles, hot spots or muscular tensions. Human beings are spiritual before we are flesh and blood. Emotions are energy in motion. They are transfered by our mind to express certain feelings and attitudes. The nervous system transmits messages to the muscles which move our arms and legs and make us act a certain way. If these emotions are directed in a positive and constructive way, guided by principles and values, we experience joy, happiness, and peace. On the other hand, if we repress the flow of emotions either by being told we are worthless, stupid or talentless, these sensations turn to resentment, fear, anger, guilt, etc. As long as we carry any of the negative emotion with us, we go up and down, being moody and can never experience a life of true fulfillment. The easiest way of releasing these negative emotions is through Emotional Release Therapy. Emotions are the most influential to our attitude. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of our emotional state or misinterpret feelings. Without developing our Emotional Intelligence, which is not something we are born with according to Daniel Goleman, we cannot balance life properly. We can raise our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) by learning new skills. EQ is a term that describes the ability, capacity, and skill or a self-perceived ability, to identify, assess, and manage the emotions one's self. Therefore, without developing our ability to manage our attitude we cannot grow to love and engage in human relationships.
Victor Frank wrote: “The last of the human freedoms is to change one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
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