What is the Best Attitude You Can Have?
I have found that the best possible overall attitude in life is an, “Attitude of Gratitude”.
If you study any of the motivational material that has been produced in the last few centuries you will see that most teachers recommend some form of this, “Attitude of Gratitude”.
Most inspirational material that I am familiar with also recommends the, “Attitude of Gratitude”. In fact, most of the worldly wisdom that has been passed down over the ages contains similar ideas.
The Power of Attitude
This “Attitude of Gratitude” is so powerful because it changes the way we look at everything in our life. You can’t feel angry, bitter or resentful when you are feeling grateful.
When you feel grateful you are focused on what is good in your life and that will push out what is bad. This is the amazing thing, when we think about being grateful it literally pushes the negative feelings out of us.
You Can Change Your Attitude
Here is a simple exercise to change your attitude in a few minutes.
Let us say that you are upset about something right now. Maybe you had a disagreement with your spouse or friend, maybe someone cut you off on the freeway or maybe it is something deeper from childhood. Whatever the case, if you are upset and it is affecting your attitude; you can change that situation very quickly with this simple exercise.
Just ask yourself these three questions and it will change your attitude in just a few moments:
- Can I see? Yes, I am so grateful that I can see this beautiful world around me.
- Can I hear? Yes, I am so grateful that I can hear the sounds of nature and people around me.
- Can I speak? Yes, I am so grateful that I can speak and communicate with other people.
Whatever problems you had before seemed huge and were weighing you down. However, when you compare your problems to these three things that we tend to take for granted, the problems begin to seem insignificant.
How does being cut off on the freeway compare with eyesight? How does a dispute with someone compare with the ability to speak? Most of our problems pale in comparison to the wonderful gifts we have in this life.
If these three questions did not change your attitude and put your problems in perspective, continue to ask questions like this and eventually your attitude will change. By continuing this on a regular basis it becomes a way of looking at life and you won’t have to do this as an exercise because you will just be grateful more often.
How did I learn this idea?
In my mid thirties I was getting divorced and I was not very happy about what was going on. I felt that I was getting the short end of the deal in the divorce.
My therapist gave me an exercise one week. He said, “Before you come back next week, make a list of ten good things that you got from this marriage.” I thought that he was crazy. I know that I could have easily given him a list of ten bad things about the divorce.
But he was insistent and I trusted him so I did the exercise. I can tell you that it was not easy and it took a lot of time and frustration. However, when I returned the following week, I was a different person. When I made the list of what I was grateful for from the marriage it far outweighed the bad parts of the divorce.
Overall I was glad that I had gotten married and was a better man afterwards than when I started. Most people come out of divorce with lots of anger and bitterness towards their ex-spouse.
However, if they would just look at the whole relationship from beginning to end, I think that many more people would see the whole thing as beneficial. However, people tend to focus too much on the divorce which is only a small (although significant) part of the whole relationship.
This idea of choosing our attitude by choosing our thoughts can lead us to manage our attitude which is an important part of life.
Bruce is a motivational speaker and conducts seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in his book, “Attitude Determines Destiny”.
Contact him for your next event
**originally published 6/5/12