Attitudinal Planning = Your Future

Attitude = Your Future
This is the second part of a series on developing a positive attitude.
As I shared last week, your attitude will determine, more than anything else, who your peers are and your success and happiness in life.
The definition of attitude is "the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think." (The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude) The key word is dedicate. What is true and seems unfair is that we can dedicate our thinking without consciously "dedicating" our thinking. The reason is that the world is so full of negative, that if you are not dedicating yourself to the positive, you are, by default, dedicating yourself to the negative. There is no neutral attitude.
You acquire your attitude over time from experiences, internal thoughts, external events, family, etc. Most of us did not think about what was happening to us but just "experienced" life. This life experience determines your attitude unless you are consciously filtering and working on yourself to see the best in the situation. Otherwise, it is easiest to see the negative.
The Stain
I love a current commercial for a spot cleaner. A guy is in an interview wearing a white shirt, but the white shirt has one stain on it. The stain starts talking while the job seeker is trying to answer a question. The interviewer focuses on the stain and totally ignores the person. He is fixated on the stain and can't hear anything else. It really makes the point; one small stain can ruin a totally white shirt.
This commercial has two applications: 1) how other people see you and 2) how you see other people and circumstances.
How Other People See You
Do you possess such a negative attitude where that is all a person sees when they are around you? Do you have a lot to offer others in a job or relationship, but your negative attitude (the stain) speaks so much louder than everything else, that you can't seem to land the job, maintain a relationship, keep friends, mend wounds or just move on from where you are?
Our tendency is to judge someone else for not looking at all our good qualities and to consider ourselves a victim of some sort of prejudice, when in actuality, our stain, our negative attitude, is talking louder than any other good we have to offer. Get rid of the stain (your negative attitude) and everything else will shine; people will see how fun you are to be around and what you have to offer.
How You See Others and Circumstances
Are you the interviewer that is only seeing the stain? Have you developed the attitude of always seeing the negative even when the positive outweighs the negative? Have you developed the attitude that the stain over rides or takes priority over all the other good things in a person? It is easy to see the stain in any situation. The hard part is to look beyond the stain and see the person or the positives in the situation (i.e. the white shirt and the person in the white shirt.) This is a learned skill. One does not just "see" whole person and not see the stain. You must learn to look beyond the stain and see the whole person. It is a practiced way of looking at life.
Blinded by the Darkness
In the past two years, I have caught myself focusing on the one negative thing in my life and letting that supersede my attitude for everything else. I focused on the struggles in my business and let it give me a sour attitude above everything else. I was letting one area of my life overshadow all the other good things happening! I was blinded by the darkness.
Missing Opportunity by What We See
In my "negative" experience I did not realize all the positive things I was learning and experiencing. Because of my experiences, I have been able to help several others prevent making similar mistakes in their business. I have gained a level of credibility and insight that I would have never gained had I not gone through the tough times. If I had just kept my focus on the fact that I was not achieving my expected outcome, my goal, I would have missed out on all the other blessings that I was and still am receiving.
Too many times we let our negative attitudes or "experiences" (not getting what we want, what we "deserve") cause us to miss out on the rose bloom right in the middle of the thorns. Are you missing a rose bloom, its sweet smell and beauty, in your current circumstances? Take a step back and write down all the good things that have happened to you in this time of adversity.
Remember, positive attitude is determined by, not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.
Your View of Others
I have watched a person force a positive attitude. It attracts others. I have seen this person, when they get around kids, have a wonderful positive attitude and kids flock to them. When this person is around their peers or family, this person lets fly the negative. Everything seems to have a negative slant in their conversation. Life is always against them. Nothing goes their way, etc.
If a person can show a positive attitude or "force" a positive attitude in one situation then he or she can in any situation. It is a choice. The good news is that when you "force" a positive attitude, what you are doing is actually practicing a positive attitude. Forcing over a period of time (practicing it) will actually cause you to have a positive attitude.
Attitude Behind the Attitude - the Psychology
When you show a positive attitude around one group but let your "guard down" around another with a negative attitude, this shows the attitude or value you have for each group. For the group with which you are positive, your attitude shows that you care for them over yourself. Your attitude toward the group that you are negative around shows that you care for yourself and how you feel, more than you care for them. Your attitude is "all about me." You are saying "I don't care how I come across to you or how I offend you with my negative attitude. I am focused on me, not on you." Your feelings, complaints, whining, judgmental attitude are justified because you are the most important person. (Boy, with a negative attitude, I bet you are such a joy to be around and people like being with you. I know they do when you show a positive attitude.
How You Treat Your Family
Many take the negative attitude out on their family because the family can't leave. They justify their negative attitude by saying "What's a family for? It is my safe place to dump or let things out." In reality, all they are doing is destroying their family. "I am an angry or negative person and I have to let it out somewhere and my home is where I chose to do it." If a father does it, he is teaching his kids to be negative and is alienating himself from his kids. What the Dad does, the kids will follow, no matter what Mom teaches. I have watched a negative attitude destroy a family. The marriage is a wreck; one child is in trouble with the law and the other is just trying to survive. All the while, a spouse is justifying their negativity because of circumstances. They are not willing to get help and are full of pride. Much of this person's problems are caused by his/her negativity. It is the snowball effect.
More Tips for Developing a Positive Attitude
1) Awareness - put statements on your mirror that are positive about you. "I am a positive person. I like other people. I look for the best in any situation." Read those out loud when you brush your teeth.
2) Body language - stand tall, look people in the eye, smile. If we act like we have a positive attitude, we are actually practicing our minds and body to have a positive attitude. Nothing is learned without practice.
3) Ask someone to hold you accountable and be humble and teachable when they challenge you on your negative attitude. Get a trusted friend to help you. (You can't because all your friends are negative too? Start finding new friends for that is part of your problem of your negative attitude.)
4) When you are criticized or held accountable say "Thank you for sharing that with me" and say no more. Don't defend or justify yourself.
5) Write 5 good things that happened to you each day before you go to bed. Keep a small notebook by your bed and write 5 good things down before you turn out the lights. This can be any 5 good things including you are alive or you have a bed.
6) Be encouraged not discouraged in your attitudinal process. Attitudes are learned over time and not changed over night. If you have begun to change, you are on the road to a happier future. You are doing the right type of planning. Good job and keep pressing on!!! It is hard, but well worth it!
7) Forgive yourself. If you can't forgive yourself then pride is one of your great pitfalls. Not being able to forgive yourself is not humility. It is pride in the greatest form. You are too great in one way or another that you can't be forgiven. Forgive yourself and then forgive others.
Psalm 103 Excerpts
"Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
Now those are some powerful words from which to be forgiven and build a positive attitude!!! To hear all the good news, read all of Psalm 103.
Forgive yourself and receive God's forgiveness. Forgive others and receive freedom. Look for the good and you will find it and receive blessings. Ask God to make you aware when you are negative and ask God to help you change.
Have a great day. It is a choice!

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