Perhaps we remember Attorney-General John N. Mitchell more for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. However, he is also known for his quote: “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” How right he was. Our attitude or outlook in life dictates our success or downfall in life. That is how powerful attitude is as a driving force in our life.
Our attitudes start from childhood, together with the formation of the personality unique to us. Some of these are genetic but the rest are shaped and developed through the years by our environment, our experiences, and the relationships we had. Some come out good but some can be bad. Take note that people with optimistic or positive outlook are generally happier and more successful in life; the pessimists, on the other hand, seem to carry the world’s burden on their shoulder.
Fortunately, our attitudes are not permanent. We have the power to change them if we wish to —and we should (especially the bad ones we developed), if we are to succeed in life. Here is some tips on how we should do it:
We should clearly define what attitude we want to change in us. We must know “what” to change in us and “why”. We must be honest with our self-assessment. Admittedly, the most difficult part about making a change is taking action but it is doable.
We must set our goal. This is a very important step because it is the key to our success. We should write down our goals and re-read them every time we feel are motivation is waning.
We should be accountable for the plan of action we will take. We should share our determination to change for the better with our family or with people we trust. These people can encourage us in times we hesitate to move on.
Also, it is advisable that we do the change with someone who is in the same situation we are in and is equally willing to make a change. This way, we will be supporting each other and our struggle to change will be easier.
We should immediately replace our bad habits with the good ones. If we delay this process, there is the great possibility of slipping back to our old ways.
We should avoid temptations. We should stay away from things, persons, or situations that may tempt us back to our old habits. For example, if we want to limit our time with social media or wasting time on the phone, we should switch off our phone or set it to silent mode; automatically disable our access to the social media sites during certain periods of the day; if we are addicted to watching TV, we should turn it off or work in a room without a TV set around.
Let us reaffirm several times a day that we can do difficult things. We should convince ourselves that we have the power within us to change. We should not belittle or put ourselves down. Believe in ourselves. Oftentimes, our greatest enemy to change is ourselves. If we do not trust ourselves that we are able to beat our bad attitude, there is no way we can succeed.
We should acknowledge our accomplishments. We should appreciate even the small successes we attain towards our goal. These seemingly insignificant triumphs will do a lot to boost our morale.
Let us have a role model. It will be much easier to change if we have an inspiration — someone we admire and respect and whom we can imitate. This person’s life and example can encourage us to look beyond our temporary failures and weaknesses and become like him in many ways.
We should select the right company. We must choose to be around with the crowd who shares similar goals as ours. Bad company corrupts good character so we must be careful whom we hang out with. We should avoid negative people or we will soon be acting and thinking like them. Instead, let us choose to be with those with optimistic outlook in life so we will absorb the good vibration they radiate.
Change cannot happen overnight, especially if the bad attitudes have been ingrained in us for quite a time. However, through persistence and firm determination, the change we hope for will surely come.