Do you believe that the results in your life relate directly to your attitude? William James, the distinguished psychologist, said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives simply by altering their attitude.”
Let us examine attitude more closely and see how we actually do control our lives by controlling what we think and how we think about it.
The dictionary defines “attitude” as, a state of mind or feeling with regard to some matter; a second definition is disposition. “Disposition” is defined as one’s customary manner of emotional response or temperament. “Temperament” is the manner of thinking, behaving or reacting characteristics of a specific individual. Al these definitions suggest that attitude is an inner experience. In that case we and we alone are responsible for our attitude.
Your attitude is established by what you say and do. Your actions are determined by what you think. When you deny responsibility for your thoughts, you believe that the causes of events in your life are outside of you. When you live by that belief, that attitude, all you can do is react. You complain about how “they treat me.” You sit down and brood about how “nothing good ever happens to poor me.”
You can choose your feelings, your behavior, and your attitude. You can choose the results of your life. You can begin to accept the responsibility for your actions. “Each of us has free will and we have chosen the results in our lives, either passively or actively. That is an important aspect of our reality for us to accept.” It means that in every situation we encounter, we have a choice and the choice we make is directly related to how responsible we are. In fact, Wally Amos believes that the word “responsible” means being able to make moral or rational decisions on one’s own and therefore being accountable for one’s own behavior. Another definition is the ability to be trusted or depended upon; to be reliable.
Can you begin to see the importance of a positive mental attitude? How exactly do we go about developing a positive metal attitude? If your thoughts determine what you say and do, the first action you need to take is to stop behaving like a robot that can only do as others instruct.
According to Wayne Dyer, if you feel abused by others’ treatment of you, then look at your own thinking and behavior, and ask why you have permitted or even encouraged the abuse you complain of. If you do not make yourself responsible for how you are treated, you will continue to be powerless to do anything about it.
Dr. Dyer believes that the Roman philosopher Epictetus summed up these same ideas over two thousand years ago in the first century AD: “It is not he who gives abuse that affronts, but the view that we take of it as insulting; so that when one provokes you it is your opinion which is provoking.” The truth still holds: “Thinking is the first act in creating your world as you want it to be.”
Monitor your thoughts and start listening to them and question whether they are in your best interest or for your highest good. Begin to question everything you come into contact with that is how learning takes place. Also monitor how you react to experiences and not get into the habit of automatically rejecting something just because it is different or unfamiliar. Wally Amos believes that once you have opened yourself to new and different experiences, good begins to come into your life in shapes; shapes that a limited, negative attitude would have rejected before realizing any of the rewards involved.
The change means our dismantling the wall that an old attitude has placed in front of your objective mind. “When we make a commitment to change our attitudes, we begin in a very real sense a process of unlearning all the things we thought was good for us.” As you do away with negative attitudes and replace them with positive attitudes, your horizon broadens and your capabilities increase. “You go to success; success does not come to you.”
ATTITUDE PRECEDES CIRCUMSTANCE
Are you one of the many who believes you must first receive the desired results in your life before establishing a positive attitude to go along with your new status? That is putting the cart before the horse. Attitudes are never a result of circumstances. Circumstances are the result of attitudes. George Bernard Shaw puts it aptly: “I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are those who get up and look for circumstances they want.”
Thus success is the result of an attitude that can find the positive, worthwhile aspects of everything it comes into contact with and denies anything that may be hindering. Create the circumstances you want in your life by developing a positive mental attitude.
A positive mental attitude says that success is a journey, not a destination. With a positive attitude you know that throughout each day you experience success. Dr. George Sheedan said: “Success rests with having the courage and endurance and, above all, the will to become the person you are, however peculiar that may be. Then you will be able to say, I have found my HERO and he is ME.” Life never fails and never goes backwards. A positive attitude helps you to see that more clearly. A positive attitude also lets you see that you are the star and the real hero of your life.
A positive mental attitude will lead you to strong self-esteem, pride in yourself, and you will constantly project love, understanding, patience, confidence and all the wonderful characteristics we all inherently possess. Your positive attitude alone will create that type of environment around you; attitude creates your reality.
Steve Crothers, a friend of Wally Amos, calls attitude the “Magic Word.” It is important to realize, though, that you create that magic that makes your attitude work. When you start thinking in a positive manner, you will realize that the actions, feelings and moods you project bring out the reactions, moods and feelings of the people you come into contact with. And of course, that works both ways. How often are you rude to a person because they were rude to you? A person with positive attitude must challenge herself to stay positive all the time.
A positive mental attitude not only helps you to visualize what you want to be, it helps you become it. A positive attitude helps you constantly attract the very best of everything in your life.
We have all heard the proverbial quote, “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” This illustrates that attitude is a matter of perspective. A positive attitude emphasizes perseverance over a challenge that may seem insurmountable. A positive attitude places more importance on the means than on the end. A positive attitude also focuses on the solution and not on the problem. If you go through the day doing your best possible, at the day’s end you will look back and marvel at all that you have accomplished.
You might as well live in the present because the past is gone and the future is not ready to be acted upon. It is believed ninety percent of the worries in an average life concern the future. The remaining ten percent is probably about the past. “When we live in the present, we live a longer, happier and more useful life. Be your best today. He who gives his best today will be even better tomorrow.”
Whatever you see on the screen of your life was first seen in your mind. In you do not like what you see, change the reel of film, change your attitude, change your thoughts and change your world. You are the power. Our attitude is a byproduct of our thoughts. It is in our attitude that we discover strength and weakness, hope or anxiety, determination or frustration.