Let us deliberate on the subject of attitude and try to understand as to how our attitudes influence our outcomes in life.
Attitude is defined as a settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior.
Elaborating on this definition, we discover that our attitudes are closely linked to how we think and the way we feel about the thoughts we think. Repetition of this process begins to form a set pattern of thinking and feeling that become second nature to us into which we settle down comfortably.
With the passage of time we begin to act on the set patterns of thoughts and emotions that begin to influence our behavior.
These set patterns of thoughts, and the feelings and emotions associated with them, form our belief systems.
Our attitudes are driven by our belief systems.
The following story gives us an insight as to how our attitudes influence our outcomes in life.
The Retiring Carpenter
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. He would get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently. But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, and erect a wall. “Life is a do-it-yourself project,” someone has said. Your attitude and the choices you make today build the “house” you live in tomorrow.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. -Winston Churchill
Attitudes are classified as Positive or Negative.
Propagation of a Positive attitude results in achieving desired outcomes, whereas Negative attitude culminates in adverse outcomes.
An individual with a Positive attitude is one who thinks thoughts that are constructive in nature, allows emotions that feel good and believes in accomplishing the well being of all concerned, including self. Most importantly, he expects only the best outcomes through his thoughts, feelings, words and actions. These people are called optimistic individuals, and their attitude helps them achieve much in life.
Individuals with a Negative attitude harbor destructive thoughts and emotions and expect the worst outcomes in various circumstances in life. These people are called pessimistic individuals.
The following narration will reveal the contrasting ways in which an optimist and pessimist view events, circumstances, and life in general.
Two convicts, who had escaped from prison and had given their captors a slip, found themselves walking through a long, narrow and dark tunnel. The end of the tunnel was nowhere in sight and they were feeling hungry, thirsty and tired, almost on the verge of collapsing.
One of the convicts suddenly spotted a halo of bright light some distance ahead and, pointing it out to his companion, yelled out excitedly, “There, see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are safe and will survive.”
There was silence for a few moments, following which the other convict whispered back, “That is not the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a train speeding towards us. Get ready to perish.”
Let us contemplate on ways to change our attitude from Negative to Positive from the following quotes:
PRACTISING THE ATTITUDE OF CHANGE
If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
PRACTISING THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
A final point on attitude before we sign off
IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO US BUT HOW WE REACT OR RESPOND TO WHAT HAPPENS TO US THAT DETERMINES OUR OUTCOMES IN LIFE.
ATTITUDE IS THE FORCE THAT DRIVES OUR REACTIONS AND RESPONSES TO LIFE.