How is your day going? Is it great, terrible, or boring? Why? Probably because of something that happened – you had lunch with a dear old friend, made or lost an important sale, or someone raked you over the coals for something you didn’t do. Maybe life is the same old thing day after day. It all adds up to one thing: your attitude.
We can’t see our attitude. We often forget it exists. Yet it is with us always. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, it colors our world. It even colors our dreams!
Attitude is expressed in three areas: toward ourselves, other people, and life. How we express it determines whether we live a frustrating life full of problems or a dynamic life of opportunity.
We communicate attitude toward ourselves by self-talk. We think over 2,000 words a minute. What do you say to yourself? Are you encouraging, believing in your potential? Or do you berate yourself, dwell on your mistakes, doubt your abilities, and question your effectiveness? (As adults we don’t need parents to demand, restrict and criticize us – we are fully capable of doing it to ourselves!) Negative self-talk destroys esteem and shuts the door on opportunities. Positive self talk builds esteem, expands potential and attracts positive results.
Our attitude toward other people evolves from our attitude toward ourselves. It surfaces in our judgment, communication and openness to them. If you allow yourself to make mistakes, you are less critical of others. Do you expect the best from people or the worst? Do you seek benefits for all concerned, or try to get the best of others, believing if you don’t win, you lose? Do you focus on what you have in common with people, or differences?
As our attitude toward others shapes our experiences, we begin to form our attitude toward life. We may choose to see it as exciting, full of opportunities to learn and to grow; or we see it as one painful failure after the other. This poem sums up attitude well: “Two men looked out from the prison bars. One saw the mud, the other saw stars.”
When you awaken in the morning, you have a moment of choice. Will you focus freshly into the future, or dwell on past regrets? Will you choose the constructive or destructive? Your entire day consists of one choice after the other. You are in control, starting with your self-talk. Choose your attitude carefully. Choose your thoughts lovingly. You are a unique gift to life. Make it a great day!
Coming soon: I will review techniques you can use to develop and maintain a positive, constructive attitude.