Attitude as a Choice

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It’s been said, “The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.” Yes, we are creatures of habit. It appears there are two avenues in life. The first path are those people who passionately want to live a great life and who crave achievement, excellence, or glory. They may never get what they want but the journey is important to them and their pursuit of a “worthy” ideal keeps them focused and busy. They have a higher purpose in life, a bigger vision of what is possible.

The second group are the sleepwalkers in life. The rat race looks the same forwards or looking back. They are on a daily hamster wheel and won’t take a chance outside their comfort zone.

Both groups have made conscious or unconscious choices about their lives. Being optimistic, taking chances is a choice. The first group is striving to be better, to have more to do, to make an impact on the world, to achieve something grand, even if they have some cuts and bruises along the way, even if their family and friends are betting against them…no matter if they fail.

It doesn’t matter if you want to be the best dental assistant, the best businessman, or mother or father or grandparent, best dentist or employee. It only matters HOW you do whatever you do. Because “how you do anything” is exactly how the rest of your life will go.

The rest of your life will most probably go just like your entire life has gone so far—UNLESS you do something about it—because “the way you do anything, is the way you do everything.” If your life is great, “God Bless You.” If your life has a lot to be desired, the question you want to ask yourself is “What am I going to do about it?”

You have the power right now to choose how the rest of your life will go. If your thinking habit has been one of complacency, glass half empty, can’t wait until the weekend, envy of others who appear “lucky” or more gifted, blaming your childhood for your present problems……you really can choose another attitude. You can be in the winner’s circle. Your attitude and destiny is up to you.

Fake it if you don’t feel optimistic. Acting happy even when you are not makes you feel better. Smiling improves your mood.

Dodge pessimists and avoid negative influences. Be selective about what you read in the newspaper, watch on TV and your music. Shut out thoughts propagated by pessimists.

Keep a mental inventory of past successes. Review the part you played in creating the successes.

Celebrate achievements. Share good news with everybody. Rehearsing successes helps you to enjoy the happiness repeatedly.

Learn your own triggers. There are some thoughts that create happiness and others that put you in an unpleasant mood. Learn which is which and block the negative which encouraging the positive.

Choose to be optimistic.

My 92 year old mom-in-law is a flag-waver about attitude. Ruth Pasley says, “the longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important then facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, 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 school, a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we 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 life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.