Life twists and turns and sometimes goes in directions we didn’t expect or even want. When our lives start to head down a path we don’t want it to head down it’s frustrating and seriously discouraging. We can gnash our teeth at the injustice that things aren’t working out the way we planned or we can start guiding ourselves back to the path we choose. The key word here is “choose”. The saying goes, “life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you deal with it.” How you deal with change ultimately determines your satisfaction in life, so it all comes down to attitude.
Enjoying a fulfilling life has very little to do with how your cards are dealt, but rather how you play them.
A good attitude is a choice and it’s a process — it is the result of good habits, practiced over time. Approach developing a positive mindset like you would developing a muscle — actions need to be repeated consistently and over time that muscle will be strong and healthy. It’s the same with attitude — practice small mental habits and over time, your attitude will shift to a sunnier outlook.
There are two parts to developing a healthier mindset — what to do, and how to do it. It is relatively easy to know what to do, just read on, but perhaps more important is the how. At the bottom, there is an amazing tool to get your clear answers for ‘how”.
The attitude you display in any circumstance will inevitably impact the outcome of it. But you’re probably wondering, “How else am I supposed to react to a negative event than to feel negatively about it?” Let’s take a look at an example and how a change in attitude can improve your situation:
The Traffic Scenario
Let’s say you’re driving and you’re about to come upon an amber light, which you’d rather not stop at because you’re late. So you speed up and actually run through the red light instead, and end up being stopped by a police officer, who is now writing you a ticket.
You’re angry and annoyed because you’re late for a meeting at the office. Your anger overflows and you suddenly start to shove the police officer. As a result, you get a second ticket for assaulting an officer. *Your negative attitude has resulted in receiving two tickets instead of one, and you’re still late for the meeting!*
Let’s look at how a change in attitude could have impacted the outcome for the better:
- Leaving home a little earlier would have bought you enough time so you wouldn’t have to speed through the light in the first place.
- Stopping at the yellow light would have resulted in a two-minute delay instead of the 20-minute delay you experienced with the police officer!
- Accepting your wrong-doing and acknowledging it to the police officer could have resulted in leniency with the first offense. You might have gotten off without a ticket at all.
- Containing your anger would definitely have prevented the ticket for the second offense.
- You’re now down at least $200, which you were planning to use to complete your credit card payments. A more positive attitude would have saved some money and enabled you to follow through on your credit card payment plan.
That example clearly shows how a change in attitude can significantly change the outcome of a situation you’re thrown into – or one which you’ve created all on your own! It is instinctual to want to respond to the tone of a situation with an equal tone. But when that tone’s negative, you’ll almost always end up being worse off.
The minute you start to change your attitude towards life’s challenges, you’ll start to feel accomplished at the end of a challenge as opposed to feeling conquered by it.
When you remember that you have the power to choose your reaction, you’ll have the power to determine the outcome of a situation!
If your ultimate goal in life is to be truly happy, stop and take a look at how much control you have over most outcomes. Once you have stopped long enough to realize that only you can determine how happy you feel, you’ll automatically start making the choices and attitude adjustments that will help you achieve that happiness!
So now you know what to do but that is not the same as knowing how to get there. Just like in driving — you may know that you need to turn the car on and press some pedals but how do you drive across the country, what route do you take?
A great tool for developing your personal map is Prime Your Mind to Win. In this session, you will have an opportunity to brainstorm your “how” and develop your plan. If you want to be a happier, healthier person, schedule your time now and start changing your life today.