“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” –– Viktor E. Frankl, neuroscientist, psychiatrist, concentration camp survivor
Your life is defined by two things.
First, it’s defined by the choices you make.
Today I’ll be talking about the second thing – your ATTITUDE.
Somewhere along the line you may have read this poignant quote on the importance of attitude:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company … a church … a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past … we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
— Chuck Swindoll, pastor, author
To determine the current state of your attitude, ask yourself these questions:
- How would you describe your attitude? Right now? In general?
- What in your life is currently helping your attitude? What is hurting it?
- How much do you let others impact your attitude?
- If you keep your current attitude, where will it take you in five years?
- If you could bottle and sell your attitude, would anyone want to buy it? How much would you get for it?
If your attitude isn’t stellar, you might think there’s nothing you can do about it. It might feel ‘built-in’ — like it’s part of your basic personality.
While it’s true that some people are inherently more positive than others, just like any other mindset, developing a good attitude is something you can learn.
Here are some simple things you can do to strengthen your ‘good attitude muscle’.
1. Surround yourself with positive thinkers and shun those who are negative. Your brain automatically imitates the behaviors of the people around you.
2. Cultivate the ability to laugh at yourself. If you don’t laugh at yourself, others will do it for you!
3. Spend time in nature, listening to music, or any activity that feeds your spirit.
4. Spend time with pets and young people. Both are guaranteed to boost your mood.
5. Exercise. It’s one of the best ways to move to a better frame of mind.
6. Smile – even when you don’t feel like it. The act of smiling releases endorphins which make you feel better about everything, including yourself and your circumstances. “Fake it until you make it” actually works here.
7. Sit up. Stand straight. Uncross your arms. Make eye contact. Self-confident body language ‘tricks’ your brain into feeling more confident.
8. Help others. It will make them feel good, and it will make you feel good, too. If you don’t personally know anyone who needs a helping hand, volunteer. You can find organizations in your area that align with your interests at VolunteerMatch.com.
9. Lastly, develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’. Gratitude has been said to be the healthiest of all human emotions.
Working at developing a good attitude is worth the effort. Few things will go as far as a good attitude to improve your health, your happiness, your relationships, your financial success, and even your longevity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deane Alban holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and has taught and written on a wide variety of natural health topics for over 20 years. She teaches the best ways to stay mentally sharp for life at her website BeBrainFit.com. Learn how to nourish your brain and optimize your brainpower – sign up for her free e-course “21 Days to a Brighter Brain”.