How to mould or mar your life with your attitude
The attitude we put up towards life determines life’s attitude toward us, said Earl Nightingale. Attitude very simply put is our feelings that prompt us to make choices. Male and female celebrities understands the power of good attitude towards life in general. Attitude that we put on daily determines the future we hold. It is the most important factor to have a fulfilled and joyous life and needs continuous adjustment. The dictionary meaning of attitude is approach, outlook, feelings, thoughts, opinion, etc. It is our own approach, our opinion, our thoughts that determines the result, and not those of others.
In life many persons do not grasp this simple concept that it is not other person’s action or reaction or the situation that determines our attitude. It is entirely our own personal choice. Over a period of time I discovered some of my own attitudes, and also those of others, I am sharing here. How do we identify such attitudes in us and adjust them for a fruitful lifestyle?
A Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude is by far the most difficult of all attitudes to possess. Sri Ramakrishna Parmahansa used to say – mind is like water, it always goes downward, you’ve to make an effort to raise it. A positive attitude has to be acquired, has to be made a habit with consistent practice. Most of the people who have a negative attitude when told about the importance of having a positive mindset feel belittled and irritated.
But a person with positive attitudes is usually a person who is happy, joyous and fulfilled. My experience as a person is that whenever we begin to practice positive attitude in one area of our life by keeping a check on our thoughts and words, slowly our life starts to change. This becomes easy when we ask God to intervene. I believe that with God you can easily do all things, but without Him it becomes too much or even a futile effort to try.
Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing, said Zig Ziglar. All of us complain, sometimes for petty things in life and sometimes about big things. And complaining becomes such a habit in us that we don’t even realize that we complain. Once on a Facebook link from the Ziglar office, there was a video of Mr. Ziglar standing in front of a wall that read as the Wall of Gratitude.
That was awesome, I thought. What a way to show your gratitude! In the video, Mr. Ziglar mentioned that even people with a grumpy attitude who helped him change something in his life found a place on the wall. God daily looks for His children who are not complaining and instead are grateful for what they have. I heard a speaker say this once – God will not give you more, if you complain about what you already have. And I realized that it is so important to thank God and be grateful to Him for all He has given us, not once in a while, but daily. A grateful attitude is a sure shot way to our progress.
To become grateful we can start thanking God at every opportunity and become thankful to people around us more often. We’ll see our complaining attitude taking a change for better.
While writing this article, I myself had a breakthrough in an area where I had a complaining attitude for a long time. Whenever I asked someone to make tea or to do something for me, if it was not done the way I want, I would start complaining and fret till the other person would feel miserable. One day while I was at my writing desk, I requested my husband to make tea; the tea I got was warm and not hot enough.
Initially I had this urge to complain and fret as always and leave the tea as I enjoy my evening tea hot. But this time I decided to check myself and chose to make a choice – the choice of not only having tea but also enjoying it because someone had specifically put in effort to make it for me. So many times God is only testing you before He gives you a breakthrough in life. And I felt that by breaking this attitude in me, I made God proud.
Happiness is an attitude of mind, born of the simple determination to be happy under all outward circumstances, said J. Donald Walters. Being determined means unwavering. One truth you must know is that there is no battle of life that can keep a determined person from achieving his/her goal. We all have a measure of determination for something in life.
But when we engage determination in a positive manner, we reap the amazing benefits in a wonderful way. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that determination is the key to your relationship with God. Sometimes circumstances of life make us negative towards life and we lose our zeal. But for some, the challenging circumstances become a stepping stone to a new and better life. The underlying difference between the two is determination.
After going through emotionally troubled childhood filled with fear and condemnation, followed by a physically and emotionally abusive first marriage that brought me nothing but pains and humiliations, I made up my mind to show all those people who had wronged me that I am here for a purpose, a big purpose at that. I did not know how I would do it but I knew that it would happen someday. Subsequently I had God prove them wrong because my determination to build relationship with God helped change my mess into God’s message.
I was determined to be loved, I got it through God. I was determined to have wisdom that would put me way above the people who abused me, I received it from God. I wanted security; I got it in God’s embrace. So even if one has nothing in the world but has determination one is sure to fulfill God’s call on her life. But even if you have everything but no determination you cannot go far in life. So use your determination in a positive way to achieve results.
Disciplined vs Lax Attitude
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment; we must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons, says Croft M. Pentz. Some people are pro-active and some are laid back, but some others are lax about everything in their life. From taking care of their own life to their children’s, some people are lax. And the truth is that lax people keep themselves from having God’s best for their life. In Bible God says, be either hot or cold or I’ll spew you out of my mouth. A lax person is lukewarm. A lax person is not disciplined to achieve anything in life.
Few years back I hurt my back and as a result, my spine got compressed. I was lax about showing it to a doctor, for which I had to pay a hefty price. The doctor told me that because of the fall my back had aged ten years more than my normal body age. I didn’t want to undergo a surgery but God spoke to me that for me to discipline myself to lead a normal life and have a regular exercise schedule as well. Initially it was extremely tough because every exercise I tried, it involved my back. I prayed to God frantically and he sent me yoga teacher through whom I learnt the exercise that best suited my body condition.
If you identify with this attitude, start taking small steps of action. For me whenever God prompts to bring some change, I ask Him to help me. Go to God and tell Him that you can’t do it without Him, ask for His help and intervention. And then start making changes in the area you think is most difficult, rest all other areas will fall into place. Small successes motivate us to take bigger steps and ultimately put us into a habit of discipline.
Nosy and Gossiping Attitude
People with nosy attitudes are inquisitive beings, wanting to scrape about everyone’s business but their own. Being interested in what’s going on in other people’s lives and homes even when their own life and home is in a mess, gives some people a thrill. We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions – I read this in a book called Monkey business, and it is so true. No one really likes a nosy person.
It’s good to help people till the time you are not being nosy about their private space. People who are nosy are usually big gossips. And when we choose to gossip we choose to pay a huge price for a cheap thrill. The main intention of people who gossip is to spread the news to every possible person they can. When we gossip we are only doing harm to ourselves because what we speak comes back to us manifold. If we intend to know people in order to help them, the intention is good. If we do it with a desire to gossip, we only inflict punishment on our self.
For me personally I am more comfortable with people who have a humble attitude, even if they are not as educated or intellectual. So next time when we choose our attitudes we need to be cautious the kind of attitude we are putting on. If it brings peace and happiness in our heart know that it will bring a greater harvest to your life. But if we are only getting a kick out of it and no peace, choose to let it pass.
God counseled us in the Bible – “I set before you life and death, choose life.” This means the attitude that we choose will become life for us, so choose carefully.