Every morning we wash up, comb our hair, and carefully choose clothes, all with the intent of making a favorable impact on others. We wouldn’t think of putting on a smelly, torn shirt or wearing house slippers to work. Yet how much time do we spend preparing our attitude for the day? We give it little attention although it is crucial to shaping our interaction with people and life. It is fun and rewarding to begin to take charge of our attitude.
Begin the day by intentionally connecting with encouraging support. Listen to joyful music, read a paragraph from an inspirational book, say a prayer of thankfulness, meditate, or write three things you look forward to this day. This might include having lunch with a friend, appreciating that your hair looks great today, or being grateful that your old car started one more time. Starting the day with an optimistic outlook creates your mind-set, and will attract your attention to people and events that support this belief pattern.
Become aware of what you constantly say to yourself. For a week, periodically stop during the day to jot down your self-talk. When you catch yourself thinking a negative about yourself or someone else, stop to replace it with a corresponding positive. For example: “I really blew that again! I am so stupid!” can be replaced with “I did the best I could in these circumstances. I will learn what did not work well and determine how to do better next time.” As self-talk begins to focus on the positive, your life will too.
In a quiet place, sit down to write a list of your strengths. Are you friendly, organized, witty? Resist the urge to evaluate, such as “I’m only that way sometimes.” If you showed a strength once you can do it again = write it down! Next, make a list of your accomplishments, beginning with childhood. What have you done that made you feel good about yourself? Never mind whether other people noticed. You are looking for what made you feel good. Remember finally learning how to ride your bike? The first time you wallpapered your bedroom? The award you won as rookie of the year? Add to both lists as days go by. Notice how your strengths and accomplishments begin to add up? Your attitude will pick up, too.
Write out a positive affirmation about yourself and your life. For example: “I am a dynamic, efficient person. Today is full of opportunity. I handle all situations with ease and success. No person or event can rattle my cage. Other people are cooperative and supportive.” An affirmation is always positive. Include any areas that are currently important to you. State it in the first person, “I”. Write it in the present tense, “today”. State it as if you are already this way that you want to be. Read it every morning upon awakening and evening before sleeping. Read it to yourself during the day if you feel yourself slipping. Plato and Benjamin Franklin used affirmations often to shape their productive lives.
Keep a personal “Positives Journal”. Every night before going to sleep, note in your journal at least one thing positive you experienced that day. It may be something you accomplished, or what someone else did for you. If you cannot think of anything to write, get back out of bed to do something positive. Write a note of appreciation to a friend, go kiss your kid, pet the dog, look at the stars, clean the refrigerator. Don’t go to bed without declaring a positive every day. You will sleep better. You will enjoy looking for positives, and achieving constructive action. People will give you enthusiastic feedback and your attitude momentum will build a positive life!
These practices have never failed to bring me back into the light. “What we focus upon expands.” Don’t sit around waiting for a constructive and positive attitude to seek you out and slip into your head. Take charge of your life; make a firm decision to look for the possibilities of life. In no time at all, notice how you attract a significant amount of good things in your life.
Ellie meets with clients in person, by phone or Skype to mentor them into living a more fulfilling and expansive life. Consultations may be regular or occasional. Contact her at http://www.CosmicGathering.com for further information or to schedule a time to discuss your situation.
“First we seek our path. Once found, we begin the journey, meeting seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Yet with determination, guidance and support, we can fulfill the life we came to live.” -Voices from Life
This article is a follow-up to “Our Attitude toward Life IS our Life” posted on this blog.