“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson. I’m sure many of you are getting tired of my comments on attitudes but over the ages, the single biggest aspect of success, happiness, contentment, and growing in wisdom is a person’s attitudes. I’m not going to promise to not write about this subject again but how about a different perspective on attitudes? Attitudes are not locked in stone and can change in an instant. One minute you are feeling great and the next one you are in the dumps – both circumstances are how you choose to interpret what’s going on around you and then how you choose to respond to this environment. One minute you are having a great day and the next minute you have a flat tire and all H____ breaks loose. Attitudes are an ongoing choice and are not permanent. They are representative of our inner circumstances and emotions that are driven by our definition of events, people, expectations, etc.
“The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear.” Vincent Van Gogh. It’s common knowledge among all human behavior personnel that fear is the single biggest contributor to; negative emotions, poor individual performance, opportunity avoidance, and poor health and diseases even contributors to death. Fear is a response to life’s circumstances whether a meeting with your physician to the fear of heights or flying and to many even smaller issues like losing your keys or forgetting where you parked your car. Let me summarize one of my three-hour seminars in just a three short sentences. There are two life emotions; fear and love. All others are subsets of these. So, regardless of what happens in our life, we can have two responses; from the subset of fear; anger, regret, jealousy, confusion, blame, hate, criticism or hostility, etc. or from the subset of love; compassion, understanding, support, courage, creativity, faith or resilience again, etc. So, back to the quote, I guess he gets it – use fear as a trigger to get better, wiser, and stronger rather than weaker, indecisive, submissive, compliant or doubtful, etc.
“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” Heraclitus. Life and its destination whether in health, money, relationships, or just plain contentment is a function of direction. And the direction is an issue with daily or routine actions not once in a year, once a month, or even once a week. Direction is all about the minute-by-minute, routine steps we take each day that ultimately will determine our final destination. Trust me, I know. In some areas of my life, I am filled with joy not because of what just happened yesterday but as a result of continuous behavior, actions, choices, and decisions. But I must also admit that some areas of my life have been or are even today a – train wreck. Did this train just go off the tracks or run into a building all at once or was it the results of continuous flaws, mistakes, poor choices, etc? I’m not whining just trying to make a point. I don’t believe any of us have “perfect” histories where we don’t have flaws or didn’t make mistakes. The issue in my opinion again and again comes back to focus, positive expectations, continuous actions and behavior, and believing and knowing that we create our future or destiny one day, one choice and one action at a time.