This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book, co-written with one of the most progressive thinkers of our time, Dr. Jim Samuels.
Really, before going on, state your answer. Ideally, write your answer down so you can see how this answer compares to your answer after reading this book.
The clarity of your answer will tell you how much control you have over your attitude. Our shared goal is to massively increase that control.
Your attitude should be the go-to tool for you in building or rebuilding any and all aspects of your life. Attitude gives you enormous leverage in leading a satisfying life.
Attitude is defined as "a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.
There are some important parts to this definition. Each part is important, just like the parts of a car, or a computer, or your life. Let's look at this definition a bit more closely before going on.
"a settled..." - this means there was a process by which this attitude was reached, arrived at, established, learned. Attitude is a habit, and can be improved if it is to your advantage to do so.
"...way of thinking or feeling..." - your thoughts and feelings are determined by your attitude about whatever it is you are engaging with. Attitude gives you a direct, powerful way of shaping your thoughts and feelings. This gives you direct control of your personal experience of your entire life.
"...about someone or something..." - that covers just about ALL the meaningful engagements in your entire life.
"...typically,..." - this is the most common determiner. There are few exceptions, and we will go over those in a bit.
"...one that is reflected..." - it shows up, appears, can be observed, witnessed.
"...in a person's behavior." - what you do and don't do is fundamentally controlled by your attitude.
What is vital to understand is that how you PERCEIVE events is determined by your attitude. And, you will respond to those perceptions, usually before you realize it, through your behaviors.
Lastly, your behaviors will produce consequences in your life. Those consequences create the fabric of your life experience and tend to reinforce the originating attitude.
All this results in a fundamental formula that can give you insight into improving your life and the lives of others.
Attitude times Behaviors equals Consequences
Let's quickly illustrate how this works:
A single attitude can affect many behaviors throughout a single morning. This is why AxB is the start of this formula.
These behaviors can each produce multiple consequences that may have to be dealt with. Hence, =C.
More, these consequences tend to reinforce the originating Attitude, and the entire formula repeats itself. AxB=C.
Have you had the experience of working with someone with a "bad attitude"? No matter what you are trying to do, they find a way of making things more difficult than they need to be. The work is harder, and the results are less satisfying.
Have you ever started your day with a bad attitude and had it affect the way you related with everyone throughout the morning?
How about those days when you start off with good attitude? Do you notice the difference in how you approach your work, your friends, your associates?
When the originating Attitude is an uplifting, winning attitude this can be very helpful.
So, it pays to know what the positive, winning attitudes are. These are the attitudes you want to strengthen, because they make your life easier and produce many positive, winning consequences.