What if I told you that your attitude and thoughts DIRECTLY create the results in your life? For Example:
[By the way, Wade Boggs was an extraordinary Hall of Fame baseball player who FAILED to achieve his desired result almost 7 out of 10 times!]
Ok, back to the initial assertion:
Attitude directly causes outcome(results).
What is your reaction?
Here’s my guess based on myself and over 100,000 students I’ve taught throughout the years-
“I understand that statement intellectually BUT I really doubt that is is quite that simple. There are lots of people with great attitudes and terrible results and vice versa. If all it takes to have success is to have a positive attitude, I’ll just imagine finding $10,000,000 dollars and it will happen. but we both know that it won’t.
Ok, so we can’t control or trick the universe into rewarding us immediately for positive thoughts…so why bother?
The answer is quite simple – IT FEELS BETTER.
What is the most I get from predicting the worst(negative attitude)?
I never have to be wrong or be disappointed. I get to say to myself, “I knew that” when I get rejected or fail to achieve a result. I know that it seems absurd, but based on results, we would rather be right than be HAPPY.
Just in case you’re open to living your life with a positive attitude, let’s look at some stories, examples and a definition.
One of my favorite examples is that of the little girl(Isn’t it always the youngsters that STILL have a positive attitude?!) that finds herself in a room filled with horse manure and happily proclaims, “There MUST be a pony in here somewhere!”
My definition of having a positive attitude is:
“The ability to stay hopeful without relying on hope as your strategy.”
If you believe you CAN’T…you’re right, you can’t.
If you believe you can…at least there’s a chance.
The most important aspect of having a positive attitude(frame of mind, perspective) is that as human beings, we can actually choose it.
I always told the story of Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who not only survived a Nazi death camp but refused to allow his unbearable circumstances to steal his spirit, purpose and meaning in life. I would conclude the story by saying:
“Thank goodness that you and I don’t have that difficult of a choice, so if he could do it, so can we.”
Imagine that I’m with a group of friends who are skydiving. I’m just an observer so I don’t even have a parachute. They all safely descend to the ground.
As I stand at the door of the plane I accidentally fall out – NO PARACHUTE!
Do I have a choice? Yes? No?
Of course I have a choice – my ATTITUDE.
I can scream and yell and blame the pilot and eventually I will crash into the ground and die. Or, I can choose to be happy and enjoy the view and watch the birds fly by. Suppose I choose to enjoy the journey of falling 5,000 feet, how long can I enjoy it?
THE REST OF MY LIFE!
I told this story in a family training many years ago in Los Angeles. When I finished, a seven year old girl raised her hand and informed me that the point of the story was obvious to her.
“Some people live longer than others, some fall out at 5,000, some at 50,000 feet, but the choice is still the same – whether to enjoy your life or not!”
Wisdom from the mouth of a young girl.
Of course we can be hopeful about the FUTURE. We can embrace the PRESENT and fully experience it.
But what about the past?
Since the past is more of a matter of our old tapes and perceptions than actual reality, we can even choose our perspectives about our past. A brilliant man who was a mentor of mine – Dr. John Enright – used to often say to people who wallowed in self pity:
“It is NEVER too late to have a happy childhood.”
Eugene Peterson once wrote:
Finally, if you find the strength to embrace your present circumstances and perceive your past in an empowering way, you open the door for an exciting future.
Because I guarantee that the future will bring CHANGE.
A recent survey showed that 2 out of every 3 people worry about CHANGE and resist it, even though they know it is inevitable. Perhaps this simple illustration will help you be(or continue to be) that 1 in 3 that sees the future as full of POSSIBILITY(defined as something that doesn’t exist yet-but could be)
To explain, remember that the difference lies in my attitude towards CHANGE. If someone hands a “ticking box” on the bottom half, I think it is a bad(bomb) and become defensive. On the top half, I think it is a ticking clock and wonder where I will put it.
Your choice is: Maintenance or growth; fear or excitement.
I once read in a great book about leadership characteristics-
“A successful leader is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at you.”
Many years ago there was a song that had a very simple message about attitude and life-
“Don’t worry…Be Happy.”