My previous post was about attitude and its importance in shaping our lives. The post also defined the attitude unambiguously in simplest terms. Here is the definition again : [tweetthis url=”http://bit.ly/1xv3Q7X”]Attitude is “The perspective with which you choose to view your life and everything in it”.[/tweetthis]
All great men till now have become great not because of talent or intellect, but because of attitude. Steve Jobs didn’t know about coding. Yet his company created best gadgets in the computing world. It was possible because of his attitude which demanded perfection in life – from himself as well as others. Similarly Gandhi didn’t become great because of any supernatural abilities. Gandhi is always a great study of how a common man could become the leader of masses and inspiration to some many great people. But in my view it all boils down to his attitude to challenge himself and become a better person. Abraham Lincoln became the president of the most powerful country due to his attitude of not letting failures affect his ambition. You can take any great man in the history and ask yourself this question: “What did this person have which made him great which I don’t have”? Think about the central thread in his life around which most of his life revolved. Something he was doing continuously over and over, again and again – which made him great and why did he do it. In every case your answer will boil down to some prominent aspect of his Attitude.
If attitude is so important, can we also develop positive attitude? In my previous post I emphasized that the attitude is a “choice”. At any moment in our lives we have the choice to choose our attitude. By being conscious of our decisions to choose our attitude we can create and altogether different life – filled with more energy, happiness and greatness than we are living currently. Key is to be aware of our choices and make wiser choices.
So how to develop a positive attitude in life? Here are eight tips which I have found very helpful to develop a positive attitude.
1. Create a log of your general attitude
Create a general log of your attitude. Every evening write on the scale of 1-10 your general attitude throughout the day. Fix a specific time for it. Also write few sentences about your attitude if possible. Do this exercise for one week daily and you will get the hang of your general attitude. This is the first step towards improving attitude. Also being aware of the attitude automatically creates a shift towards positive attitude in many people. If you are scoring less that 8 for most of day then you need to work on your attitude.
- My today’s attitude: 8/10. Today I caught myself on the verge of delving into self pity and as soon as I realized this – I made a choice to do things in positive way. Areas of improvement: I got into the flow of discussing office politics with Michael. Need to stay away from such thoughts.
- My today’s attitude: 10/10. Today I was super charged. Thanks for the yesterday’s sleep and my meditations and visualizations. I managed to keep my spirits high. Area of improvement: Need to have this attitude everyday.
2. Morning thoughts
Morning is the most important time of our day. We wake up. If we had a good sleep then our bodies and mind are relaxed. It has been proven that the morning thoughts effect us during most part of our day. Hence plant positive thoughts in yourself during this time. Do meditation or visualization about having positive day. Or just tell yourself that today’s day is going to be a great day for you. Choose to be happy throughout the day. Avoid the tendency to crib about anything including getting up without proper sleep, having no breakfast of your liking etc. Just focus on positive things around you and ignore negative things.
[tweetthis]Change your thoughts and you change your world.[/tweetthis]
- Think about your dear ones
- Think about nice dream if you had one and remember it
- Think about your kids and their activities.
- Think about your beautiful and careless childhood.
- Think about how lovely the morning is and how your thoughts are making it even lovelier
- If you do morning walk appreciate the natural beauty around you
3. Positive language
Whenever you speak, try to be aware of your language. Avoid the negative language i.e. criticizing, cribbing, violence etc. Instead speak about progress, health, happiness etc positive emotions. If you have been doing a lot of negative talk till now, you will notice an automatic shift towards the positive language. The language determines our attitudes and behaviors in life. The more positive language you use, the better your attitude is going to be.
Meditation helps us calm our mind and also reduces the intensities of our anxieties. It rejuvenates our spirit and automatically lifts our attitude. Having 20-30 minutes of meditation in the beginning of the day can do wonders to our day. In addition in case if you can add 20 minutes of meditation in the evening then that can improve the quality of your sleep by letting go of the day’s happenings. You will wake up more fresh and with more energy in the morning.
Visualization has been around for quite sometime now. Earlier it was used by athletes, sportsmen and high achievers. Now many people are becoming aware of the benefits of visualizations. Apart from improving your performance, the visualization can be used to improve your health, quality of meditation, letting go of procrastination (the biggest benefit in my opinion), and also to improve your outlook towards life. Besides you don’t need to necessarily create an environment to do visualization (though it would be good to do so). You can do it anywhere and whenever you feel overwhelmed. You can club visualization with meditation and that will create wonders.
Create a list of positive affirmations for yourself based upon the changes you want to bring to your attitude. Repeat these affirmations often. Setup alarm on your phone or reminders in your outlook to remind you of affirmations. The best part of the affirmations is that they can be done in least amount of time as compared to the other methods highlighted in this post but can still produce wonderful results.
- It is so great that my life is good and positive.
- I feel good that I have positive mindset.
- It is wondeful that I am unstoppable.
- My thoughts and actions are positive.
- I am grateful to existence/God/ etc for everything in my life.
- I am grateful to everyone in my life for all the goodness they bring to it.
7. Positive literature
Positive literature like self-help books creates some bio-chemical changes in our body which motivates us to do bigger and better things. Though this chemical reaction is for short time, its effects are for longer time. You forget your worries while you are reading the literature and for sometime after you are done with the reading (till the bio-chemical balance returns to its normal state). But this whole sequence of events does one very good thing – it takes the power away from your worries. Repeatedly reading of positive literature makes these worries and challenges weaker and weaker and then after sometime they lose all their power on you. It doesn’t matter that those worries go away, but they are no more significant enough to make you crippled in front of them.
Some inspirational books are as below
- You can win by Shiv Khera
- Dale Carnegie books like : How to win friends and influence people, How to stop worrying and start living
- Magic of thinking Big
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki
- Winning by Jack Welch
- Biographies of Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch, Richard Brandson etc
8. Positive movies
Just like positive literature, watching inspiring movies like Gandhi, Chariots of fire, Limitless, Life of Pi etc creates bio-chemical reactions in your mind in positive way. The intensity of these reactions is many times stronger than any other technique highlighted above due to your complete and effortless involvement in the movie for 2-3 hours. Your mind is relaxed and yet active. You are involved at the mental as well as emotional level.
Few of the movies are as below:
- Life of PI
- Chariots of fire
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Pursuit of happiness
Things to avoid
As important as it is to follow good stuff to improve your attitude, it is equally important to avoid corresponding negative equivalents. Your aim should be to fill in more and more positive things in your mind and reduce the intake of negative things. A person who watches a positive movie followed by two gory movies is going to end up with a gory attitude.
Hope I made my point. Avoid following things for the sake of your attitude:
- Negative thoughts
- Negative language
- Negative Literature
- Negative movies
Note: For more thoughts you may also like to read a similar post 7 ways to develop positive attitude in life. I had somewhat forgotten about the older post. Some points are common in both posts and both posts have some mutually exclusive information as well. The topic of attitude is so dear to me that I cannot stop myself from writing about it again and again.