If I told you there was something that could change your results faster and more dramatically than anything else, would you listen? Would you sign up? Well, pay close attention because the cure is free, readily within your grasp and relatively easy to do - change your attitude, and you change your life.
Williams James noted that the greatest discovery of his generation is that you could alter your life by altering your attitude of mind. That said, if there is any aspect of your life that could use a quick positive shift, just fill the prescription James offered.
Attitude is one of the most commonly used, yet most misunderstood, words in the English language - virtually every language in the world has a word for it. Teachers tell their students that if they would just change their attitude they'd get the grades they need. Counselors tell couples that with a better attitude their relationships will improve. Bosses tell their employees to change their attitude if they want to move up (or simply remain) in the company. The medical field encourages patients to keep a good attitude in their efforts to achieve good health.
You'd think that something so critical and that packs such punch would be a subject that is required in school from the earliest age. Yet, if you asked ten people what attitude means, you'd likely get ten different answers. When you have a clear understanding of just what attitude is and how attitudes are formed, then and only then, can you begin to change it. In truth, only a small percentage of the population controls their attitude. Most of our attitudes are controlled by outside influences; the media, the government, other people, conditions and circumstances in our lives.
So what is attitude? How is it formed? How can we change it to finally get the results we are seeking? Think about cake. Yes cake. You go to a friend's house and he serves a tasty chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. Do you say, "Wow! Great flour? Great cocoa?" No! You say "Wow! Great cake!" Attitude is kind of like that. Attitude is a mixture, just like the cake - a composite of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Further, attitude is not just your thoughts, nor is it just your feelings, but is your thoughts and feelings when combined and expressed in your action. To better understand, consider the relationship of the mind to the body and how the conscious and sub-conscious parts of the mind work together and create the feelings that put us into action that is either positive or negative.
When we work with individuals and organizations, we delve deeply into each part of the mind on its own, and then bring it back together. In this short piece, simply know that you have the choice, the ability, to accept or reject ANY thought that enters your mind from outside sources. STOP! Consider each thought and know that if you choose to accept it, it then is internalized into your sub-conscious mind where it is automatically accepted, automatically turned into emotions and feelings. These feelings, whether they are negative or positive, true or false, are expressed in your actions and perceived by others as your attitude.
You see, it is the body that moves into action as directed by your feelings. If the ideas that are impressed on the sub-conscious mind are confusing, or negative, that will be evident in a person's outward actions. They flit from here to there. They are chaotic, never finishing what they start. Their environment is generally messy and nothing of any consequence is accomplished. Start a project. Abandon it. Start another. Start something else. Disrupt the team. It is said they have a "bad attitude."
Now, when the ideas impressed on the sub-conscious mind are in harmony; when the positive idea is accepted, this too will be expressed in an attitude that is perceived as positive. Such an orderly state shows up as focus. The person is productive and accomplishes more in a short period. They are on task, finish projects on time and begin another. Energize the team. They are seen as having a "good attitude."
Know this. Attitude is a composite of our thoughts, feelings and actions. In essence, the combination creates a sort of vibration. The thoughts and ideas we choose to get emotionally involved with are expressed in our actions - it shows up as our attitude. Whether these choices are conscious or unconscious matter little. It is still the way it is. You can say you didn't know, but that's too bad, you lose. Don't lose. In life there is absolutely no allowance for NOT choosing the thoughts and ideas that will serve you well.
When a person's attitude shifts, everything in that person's world shifts, too. If the attitude shifts toward the negative, the person's life shifts in that direction. When the attitude shifts in the positive direction, life improves for the person. Begin now to choose your attitude by choosing your thoughts and ideas. Fill the prescription that William James prescribed, and take daily!
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Jane Miller is President of Miller Institute and is certified to work with the Thinking Into Results Program. Providing self-study materials, workshops, speaking and coaching, Miller Institute guides individuals and companies to engage their full selves to catapult results. If you can tell us what you want, we can show you how to get it. To reprint this article or for more information please contact Jane at 1.800.540.2610, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or see [http://www.millerinstitute.com]
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