I know of no parent that has not said to one of their children, “ Don’t give me an attitude!”. We all know that we are talking about a bad attitude – one that is negative and disrespectful. Yet most of us if we were truthful with ourselves would have to admit that from time to time we too have that “bad attitude”. Interestingly in a recent article in the journal; Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics (April, 2009) that it is true that there are some people who are just more positive than others, but that only 50% of happiness is determined genetically. Where do you think the rest of ability to be positive and happy came from? Yes it was ourselves.
There are three things that only we have control over that have an affect on our attitude, whether we are 5 years old or 85. They are how we feel, think and act. I am sure you have seen this before. If someone is thinking and feeling things in an optimistic way, they also act in a positive way. If they think and feel more pessimistically, then they act in a negative way no matter how hard they try to cover it up and “act” positive.
The way we see the world, how we feel it is treating us, the way we think and act influences in a great way our Attitude. It affects our relations with others including our closest friends, to how we respond to events in our lives and even the very mundane day to day life.
So what is attitude and can we choose the attitude we want to have? What influence do we have on our children when it comes to their attitude? Can we help them to approach their day in a more positive way? As parents we influence how our children see the world, so what are strategies do you use to have a positive attitude?
Recently I read a book about success. The very first or second thing in the book was the question, Do you take responsibility for your life? I thought this was interesting from the point of view that we hear individuals young and old who want to push off that responsibility from themselves onto anything else. Then there is the thought that there is no in-between. You either take responsibility all of the time or you don’t.
When we take that responsibility is when we can begin to have success in life, because we recognize that the results we have achieved, good or bad, are the results of the choices we have made.
The same is true with the question of dependability. Dependable individuals make mistakes. But when they do they do 3 things.
- Take responsibility
- Make it right
With the world filled with individuals who are quick to say, “It’s not my fault”, “It’s not my job”, “I forgot”, and every other excuse in the world, it is great to be around people who take the responsibility and in lieu of trying to lay blame, look for ways to solve problems or take on challenges that need attention.
That is what dependability is about. Being honest with ourselves and others, being dependable even when it is not comfortable, not making excuses or laying blame, is the way we act as leaders and we gain the trust of those around us.
Elanor Roosevelt, one of my favorite people of all time, once said; “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
There are 3 things according to Jack Canfield, author of Success Principles, that stop us from doing what we know we should do or even want to do. They are; considerations, fears and roadblocks. I am not going to talk about the considerations or roadblocks right now, but I do know that fear is something that all of us feel probably everyday even if we do not identify it as fear. While fear is a good thing in many circumstances, when we allow it to get in the way of achieving our goals, it no longer is serving us in a positive manner.
Much of what we fear is made up in our imagination and we hold onto to that belief, image we have in our mind, or the experience we have had far beyond that it may have been true. Then when we try to achieve a goal that we really want, guess what happens? The picture comes back in our mind and we retreat to our comfort zone – no matter how much we want to step out and reach our goal.
This happens to kids and adults. Funny thing though as adults we have ways of hiding behind our fears. Many times that is called, procrastination. That is another subject all together. What kind of attitude do we need if we are going to get beyond our fears? We need to have a positive attitude with energy and enthusiasm. We need to break out of the prison that we are held in, one that has been largely created by ourselves of what we can’t do and all the reasons that is true, and focus on the the way we want to be. As we create the image of our success in our mind and feel it in our body, this can become our new reality.
Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” This month we will continue to examine courage and how we can develop this characteristic as we face our fears and challenges with determination.
It is very interesting that when I talk to our students about subjects dealing with character, it always make me stop and think about myself. We have been talking about why it is easy to keep our promises to ourselves and others and why it can be hard sometimes too.
It is always easy when it is fun, or we are good at something or if we just love doing it or being around the people we are involved with. On the other hand it is a lot harder when it is something that we do not understand or is boring to us. There really are 3 things that get in our way of keeping a commitment.
I read recently that they are considerations, fears and roadblocks. I have noticed with myself that many times that all three of them get in the way many times all together.
First you have the negative talk, considerations, that happen and you can quickly come up with all the reasons you cannot do something. That many times can lead to fear which are feelings. They may include fear of failure or rejection (two that I battle all of the time). Then of course as soon as the first road block comes up your fears are realized and you are sure that your original considerations were true and so you get frozen.
Now back to promises. The promises we make to ourselves are very important. I have promised to complete the Ultimate Black Belt Test the best way I know how or better than I know how at this moment. I must learn how to overcome the considerations, fear and roadblocks to keep this promise. No matter what comes up I must overcome the negative voice, the fears, and those roadblocks that are bound to get in the way.