Interlaced in every part of life, attitude is like visible DNA we wear on our faces.
It manifests in demonstrations of our opinion about others, in our take on events, it is embedded within our beliefs about the world and lays the foundations for our philosophy about ourselves.
No need for a resume, introduction, presentation of credentials. Everything shows up, shows off, and shows who we are within, in this straightforward element that acts as a litmus test, character reference, and integrity-meter.
We have, own, and live inside our attitude – we inhabit it, wear it on more than our sleeve, but never wear it out like old shoes. It never leaves. Belief and philosophy are always on, often reflexively causing us to blurt out exactly what we think. In contrast, a pause for thought might result in silence or an edited response, something more politically correct.
Attitude operates as with no switch on our control panel, there is no switch inside us.
Not our smile or frown, more like our suit of clothes.
We might look sharp, on top of things, ready for anything. Or like hobo rags showing dejection on the inside.
I know, if my attitude is screwed on tight, fresh in the morning or dog-tired late at night, my viewpoint doesn’t change. It might be run-down at the heels exhausted physically and mentally, but the attitude will be intact, pointed the same way it was when the day started.
Conversely, if my attitude is upside down, my days will be like the canoe that won’t float – I’ll be like some crying child on the shore who missed the boat.
We all know these truths, we say them different ways – and most people don’t say anything at all, but they can see what is evident in others. Why is it that so often people can’t see it themselves when everyone else can?
I say this with the authority and confidence of knowing this attitude game from both sides, and knowing that most people who should give me a kick in the pants when I need it, don’t. I wish they would. Well, not exactly. My aim is to always have my attitude straight, so I don’t need that kick in the pants.
Maybe that’s an idea for a new product – the self-kicking pair of pants!
We have self-repairing zippers and self-cleaning ovens, and text that auto-corrects. There is an APP to connect us with every service or piece of information we might ever imagine needing – instantly available. So, how tough could it be to develop a rear Pavlovian-pocket to give low-volt jolt when our attitude veers off-course?
Life is hard to live an auto-pilot – we get more out of it the more we put into it; for that, we can switch it on or switch it off. But attitude, it’s always on.
Whatever your attitude, it shows. It reveals more than it conceals, except for those who try to hide from reality, and that tells far more rather than less.
So, can we change our attitude?
I’m told we can. Lots of people in the DIY movement, the self-help book industry, and motivational speakers will crow long and loud about gratitude, about their mindset-changing processes of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) – and these tools can make a difference. In my experience, they seem to help. Not everyone, but maybe that’s because success is connected to the degree of buy-in???
In any case, I think there is an X-factor here, and that is who you hang out with? Who are your friends, who do you spend time with – and what is their attitude? If we spend time with achievers, with positive-attitude people, with generous, caring people – it rubs off. Conversely, if we hang out with and foster relationships with people living in a negative, unhealthy, or self-destructive space, then that will rub off too.
Most important, and not written about much, is what rubs off from us.
If I exude enthusiasm, truth-telling, reality-revealing openness, will that do anyone any good?
If I exude the opposite, could that possibly do me – or anyone else, any good?
My mother-in-law used to say, after dinner, “Well, that’s one less meal I have to make”. I thought it strange to count back like that but I never asked her how many meals she had left. 95 is very ambitious. I hope I am still a reader on that last day, RH, Calgary, AB from Bradenton, FL
You know, I’m pulling for you to complete your plan. Good Luck! PS, Calgary, AB ~ I've been getting your daily emails from almost the very beginning.