THE POWER OF A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Do you know that your attitude determines your altitude? John Maxwell, author of the book, Make Today Count defines attitude simply as an inward feeling expressed by an outward behaviour. Another definition from 1000ventures.com says, “attitudes are the established ways of responding to people and situations that we have learned, based on the beliefs and assumptions we hold”. Attitudes become manifest through your behaviour. The beautiful thing about attitude is that it gives you a choice. You can choose to be positive or negative.
I have learnt that most things in life are relative? It depends on the specs you wear. If you wear a dark shaded spec, everything you see with your eyes becomes dark but with a bright coloured spec, you see clearly. This means you can always choose your behaviour and how you react to situations. Some people are found of making statements like: “he made me angry, she made me sad, he drives me nuts, she makes me happy. Forgetting that anger, sadness, depression and happiness are merely emotions and you can decide whether to feel them or not. The truth is nobody makes you do anything. If you are sad, you created that show, and if you are happy, it is still the work of your hand. So, someone behaves stupidly or annoyingly, so what? Until you get to that point where you are no longer reactive but assertive, you remain a slave to your emotions. You give too much power away, when you are merely reactive to situations, why not become assertive? Yes, create your own happiness, become the driver of how you feel about situations. Regardless of the circumstance, choose a winning attitude. Choose to be calm instead of erupting like a volcano. Choose to rejoice instead of being depressed. Choose to be thankful instead of complaining. Choose to sing instead of crying. It may be a bad day but seek out the good in it, just as you should always seek out the best in others.
By choosing your attitude you get in that mood and send out a message that everyone understands. Attitude Is Infectious; that means attitude is like catarrh or cough, someone else can easily catch it.
Your attitude is the first thing people pick up in a face to face communication. Just as laughing, yawning, and crying are infectious, attitude is infectious. Before you say a word, your attitudes can infect the people who see you with the same behaviour. Somehow just by looking or feeling, you can be infected by another person’s attitude, and vice versa. When you are operating for example from enthusiasm, curiosity, and humility, your body language tends to take care of itself and sends out signals of openness.
The benefits of a positive attitude are endless. Two researchers from an American university have concluded a study which proved that a positive attitude can add to longevity. This is because there is a strong relationship between the body and mind. Hence, your beliefs can affect how you feel in your body. In the words of one of the researchers, Dr. Glenn Ostir says, “our thoughts and attitudes/emotions affect physical functioning, and overall health, whether through direct mechanisms, such as immune function, or indirect mechanisms, such as social support networks”.
Other benefits when you practice a positive attitude by John Maxwell are:
- You open yourself to possibilities. Doors open to you; people want to be around you.
- You minimize your unproductive characteristics such as impatience, anger, jealousy, envy or moodiness.
- You become more creative as you divert your positive energy in the right direction
- You enjoy life more. This alone is worth it.
Brian Tracy suggests you should do the following four things:
- Focus on The Future: Whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past.
- Focus on the solution rather than the problem.
- Look for The Good: Assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking once said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem.” The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.
- Look for The Valuable Lesson: Assume that whatever situation you are facing now is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful.
I leave you with a scriptural quote from Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever, is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praise worthy. Think about such things”.
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