ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING by Felicia Oduntan

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING BY FELICIA ODUNTAN PROPRIETRESS LORD’S SCHOOLS, OYO

INTRODUCTION:

Your attitude determines so much about how you will live your life and how far you will go in life. Your attitude is like the engine that runs the car. The more finely tuned that engine is, the better the car will run. The same is true with your life. If you keep your attitude up- if you make it “Super Fantastic”, as Keith says – then you will see so much about your life open right up and flourish. You will see your relationship expand and deepen. Think about it : Who wants to hang around someone with a bad attitude? But people with great attitudes are magnetic. People are drawn to them. They feel better being around them. Your career will grow. All things being the same, the person with the better attitude will always go further and of course, things won’t be all the same because you are going to have great skills too.

Attitude is a choice. Each and every day that we arise we have a choice on how we will view and interact with the world around us.

What is attitude?

Attitude is a predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action, and responses to changes, incentives, and rewards (together called stimuli). Attitude is the foundation and support of everything we do, a key element in the process of controlling your destiny and achieving mastery in your personal and professional life.

The great psychologist – philosopher William James said, “The greatest discovery of our generation is that people can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind” You may not be able to change your height or your body type, but you can change your attitude. Each of us has the power to develop and maintain a positive attitude that works for us, that improves the quality of our lives and enables us to accomplish our life objectives.

It has been discovered that learning to monitor, control, and tap into a positive attitude is the key to every self-help process. In fact, the  most valuable asset you can possess is a positive attitude toward your life.

It should be noted that it isn’t how much you know about maintaining a positive attitude that is important; it’s how well, and how consistently, you put that knowledge to use.

Let’s look at five steps for turning attitude into action

Step 1

Understand the power of Attitude.

Your Attitude is a powerful tool for positive action. It is inherently interwoven into everything you do. It’s your most priceless. The good news is, you don’t have to buy it. You have to develop it.

A positive attitude is the foundation of a successful life. Some have questioned the assertion, saying that attitude is not everything. That much more is involved in achieving success. Of course it takes planning and hard-work to reach your goals. It is absolutely critical that whatever you do, you should do with all your might. Go for it, work to the best of your ability. But your ability may be much higher than you realize. It all comes back to attitude. Attitude is everything because it is involved in everything. It impacts our performance at work and our relationships. Attitude is the cornerstone upon which we build our lives.

To develop an attitude that helps you live life to its fullest, as you were designed to do, you must first understand that the heart is the control centre for your attitude. Your attitude is nothing but an outward reflection of what resides on the inside. To change your attitude, you must change your heart.

Regardless of what you have taken to heart throughout your life, it is possible to re-programme your attitude. It is a powerful transformation that can bring you both personal and professional success.

Note that “our attitude affect everything we do.”  The next time you are faced with a difficult challenge, focus on staying positive. Remember that your setbacks can be set ups for even greater opportunities. Tap into the pioneer of a positive attitude and stay in the game by playing with your N.B.A. – Natural Born Abilities.

Optimists (individual with positive attitudes) are more successful than similarly talented people with permissive or negative attitudes, according to Martin Seligmen, a noted psychologists at the University of Pennysylvania. His research also indicates that negative attitudes can be changed to positive attitudes. Each of us can decide to change our primary attitude. Most people get health or dental checkups once or twice a year to maintain wellness. We also take our cars in for regular checkups to make sure that they keep running properly. Yet, sadly, we aren’t nearly as careful about monitoring the attitudes that affect our mental health. When was the last time you had an attitude tune-up?

The power of positive thinking has been documented scientifically in the real world of work and relationships. There are sound reasons for you to develop a process for maintaining a positive attitude. These are common sense strategies that will help develop your positive attitude. They work because as you eliminate stress and negative thinking, you’ll begin to enjoy a more positive feeling about yourself, which is the first step in helping you turn attitude into action.

George Bernard Shaw said, “people are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they, want and, if they can’t find them, make them.

Attitude at Work

Dealing with negative attitudes in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges facing business, managers, and employees. A person with a negative attitude has the same power to influence others as a person with positive attitude. The difference appears in the results. Positive attitudes in the workplaces help improve communications and teamwork. Positive attitudes keep us morale and help increase productivity.

The appropriate can be said for negative attitudes. They dismantle teamwork, increases stress, and cripple productivity. The difference between winners and losers in the work place is often attitude.

Step II

Attitude is a choice – Choose to take Charge of your life

This step helps you recognize how your choices today impact your success tomorrow. Taking charge and staying in control is an attitude of choice. It’s your next step of turning attitude into action.

  1. The Power of Choice

What is it going to be for you: a positive attitude or a negative attitude? The problem is that we often forget we have a choice. That is one of the master keys to unlocking your greatness in life – exercising your power to choose your attitude and your approach to life challenges – e.g. (i) those bereaved  (ii) those who fail exams  (

  1. Bitter or Better? It’s your choice.

I am sure you notice that some people seem to have an unshakable self confidence while others seem to believe in themselves. The self confident people may suffer setbacks, make mistakes, or get dragged down by hard times, but they still believe they will weather the storm and come out on top. Those who don’t believe in themselves never seem to find their way. Often they just seem to drift with the tides.

iii.        Controlled by attitude

This category of people lack faith in their ability to overcome difficulties and don’t understand their own power. When they are hit by hard times, they go down. They stay there until they’ve been so long. It looks like up to them They are pessimists by nature. They tend to perceive challenging times as special punishments dished out only to them  because f past sins.

  1. Attitude Under Control

These ones know that though they may not be able to control their circumstances, they can control how they respond to them. They are optimistic by nature, and even when life hits them hard they see setbacks as temporary interruptions caused by circumstances they cannot control.  When faced with challenges, they tend to focus on solution rather than the problem.

  1. Change your focus, change your attitude

The Winner of the World and U.S. proceeding Championships Lance Armstrong had cancer that spread from his testicles to stomach, lungs and brain at  age 25. The doctors predicted 50% chance of surviving. Armstrong chose an attitude that empowered him to stand out. The power to choose is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. Yes, Armstrong battled briefly with a negative attitude as he encountered one of life’s most difficult tests.

He was physically and mentally exhausted. But in the end, he realized he had the power to choose another, more constructive attitude. And he did. As a result, he continues to make history.

  1. Happiness is Yours to Create

We all want to be happy and fulfilled. Often, though, we demand too much of life. We set strict criteria for what will make us happy. When those criteria are not met, we develop attitudes that  only make matters worse.

The most basic, most revealing question you can ask yourself is, what does it take to make me happy?

  • Do you have to be happy every minute of everyday?
  • Does everyone have to do what you want them to do.
  • Does every aspect of your work have to be fulfilling all the time.
  • Do you want to be making more money than every one else?
  • Do you have to have more power than everyone else?
  • Do you have to be recognized and rewarded for everything you do?
  • Do you have to be loved by everyone you know?

The same attitude spoils many relationships. Not everyone is perfectly neat, beautiful, charming, loving, funny or attentive all the time. Life isn’t a romance novel. We often demand too much of love and friendship, and the same is true of happiness. It’s easy to be happy if you can find happiness in small doses. If you set impossible criteria for happiness, then it be all but impossible for you to be happy.

vii.       Build Your Attitude from the inside out.

For true happiness, it’s best to look within yourself rather than rely on others or the world around you. The root of happiness is joy, and joy lives within you. It’s not influenced by external events. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood.

viii.      Your Choices determine Your Happiness

the quality f our lives is determined by the choices we make: which career path we take, which partner we choose, the lifestyle we embrace.

  1. It’s the Internal messages that Count

You must be able to cope with rejection. When people speak negative things to you discard don’t ponder on it.

  1. Watch what you say to yourself

the loudest and most influential voice you hear is your own inner voice, your “self centre”. It can work for you, depending on the messages you allow. It can be pessimistic or optimistic. It can wear you down or cheer you on. You control the sender and the receiver, but only if you consciously take responsibility and  control of your inner conversation.

STEP III

Bag your Bad Attitude:

Identify through self awareness the attitudes that hold you back or propel you forward. In this step you will learn to transform turning points into learning points to help turn your attitude into action.

  1. Bad Attitude Are Heavy Baggage

It is not always easy to determine why other people have bad attitudes, but it’s certainly easy to pick them out of crowd. You could probably name a co-workers, relatives, or others you know with bad attitudes. If you haven’t been getting what you want out of life, if you feel stuck, overlooked, unappreciated, or unfulfilled, it could be that you have picked up an attitude that is holding you back. If your relationship with bosses, co-workers or employees have changed for the worse, if you loved ones or friend don’t treat you the same way, maybe it’s you.

  1. A Good Attitude begins with self awareness:

The ability to recognize our feelings as they come over us is called self-awareness, and it is critical to our development in a highly mobile, fast-changing, and complex society. If you remember the experiences that trigger a bad or self-destructive attitude, you can then work to disarm those triggers and even replace the bad emotions with more constructive and empowering motions to create a better attitude.

Self-awareness is very important. When you tell yourself I shouldn’t be thinking about this before I go to sleep, you are practicing self-awareness because you are monitoring your emotions and judging their potential impact. Do other people tell you that you tend to overreact? Do you often find yourself wondering why you got so upset? So angry?  So offended? If may be that you have an attitude that you need to examine and root out.

iii.        Bad Attitudes: The early Warning signs listen to this “If I wanted to be promoted to another division, I had to reach a certain level of sales first. So I did it. I focused and dedicated myself, and I hit the target. But nothing happened. No promotion. No pat on the back. Nothing. That discouraged me. Without ever realizing it, I developed a bad altitude about the job”. Are you like that when your expectations were not met?

  1. Turning Points to Learning Points

“The pursuit of Excellence” it is one of those classes you don’t know you need until you take it, but unless you take it, you will never know you need it. One of the major themes of the course was that you have to take responsibility for your attitude and for your success. As part of the course, you are required to review all of the major experiences of our lives – our turning points and recognize how the choices we made at each point shaped our lives afterward. The idea was to convert those turning points to learning points.

  1. 3 Types of Bad Attitude Baggage

(i)         If – only Baggage

The first piece of bad attitude baggage many people carry around is marked if only. This is baggage that has to do with the past. It is often full of unfinished business, plans that went wrong, or hurt feelings that have not healed. These are some of the things you’ll typically find in the if – only baggage.

If only:

  • I’d thought before I said that
  • I hadn’t had that last drink
  • I’d stayed in school
  • I’d listened to my parents
  • I’d taken precautionary measures
  • I’d spent more time with my children
  • I’d let somebody else drive
  • I hadn’t give in to my desires
  • I’d kept my mouth shut
  • I hadn’t tried to be the centre relationship
  • I’d put more effort into the relationship
  • I hadn’t taken (a loved one) for granted.

Unless you learn to release the past, you’ll eventually become so bogged down by it that you’ll never move ahead.

  1. What – Now Baggage

This emotional baggage is placed under pressure of the present. It is heavy with stress and weighty expectations.

Typical negative Inner dialogue contained in What – now baggage goes like this:

  • My spouse is unhappy – what now?
  • I’m going to graduate with high debt what now?
  • We’ve just had twins. What now?
  • I have been downsized. What now?
  • I have two projects due on the same day. What now?

The key to dealing with this negative emotional baggage, and almost any other type of recurring stress, is to focus on opportunities and solutions rather than on potentially negative consequences or problems.

  1. What is Baggage

The third type of negative emotional baggage people commonly carry around is labelled what if. It is usually packed with worries about the future, which result when people think about the potential problems ahead rather than the potential opportunities.

What if:

  • I lose my job?
  • I have a health problem
  • The money runs out
  • I end up alone?
  • My spouse leaves me?
  • The stock market crashes
  • Global warming kills us all?

There is nothing wrong in planning ahead. In fact, it would be wise to consider each of these  what – if questions and come up with reasonable responses to each scenario. But there is a difference between  focusing on the solutions to these problems and merely focusing on the problems.

The Root Causes of a Bad Attitude

Habitual bad attitudes are often the product of past experiences and events. Here are some  of the mist common underlying causes.

  1. Low Self-Esteem

Do you have a habit of putting other people down? Do you tend to blame other people or circumstances for your mistakes? Do you avoid mentoring or helping other people move up in life? If so, then you’ve probably developed a negative attitude based on low-self esteem.

  1. Stress

Do you feel burned out? Do you become easily frustrated or irritated? Do you have difficulty sleeping or focusing on a single task for an extended period of time? Have you considered quitting your job, ending a relationship, or even suicide “just to get it over with”. Do you have frequent headaches, stomach problems, or back pain? These can all be signs of stress, which can trigger a poor attitude and lead to serious medical, mental, and physical problems.

  1. Fear

The psychologists say this word really stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Feelings of fear are nature’s alarm system for danger. The problem comes when we try to make this emotion into something real. A fear-induced attitude a tender the most efficient and effective person totally useless. Fear locks you up like an engine without oil. It immobilizes you.

  1. Resentment And Anger

If you have conflict with someone you work or live with, it can cause an attitude of resentment and anger that will turn your life upside down. Do you become angry just thinking about that person? Do you lose sleep because of it? Anger and resentment trigger an attitude that in the end is more harmful to you than to anyone else.

  1. Inability to Handle Change

In a workplace transformed by rapid changes in technology, shifting demand, realignment, restructuring, corporate take-overs, and mergers, it is little wonder so many people feel threatened when a change is announced. Do you feel that failure is inevitable whn faced with change? Do you get a  sense of panic, loss, or betrayed?  These are all things that can affect your attitude if you are not prepared to deal with change. We all experience those emotions at one time or another. It depends on the way you handle them.

The Basics of Attitude Awareness

One of the most important steps you can take towards achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor your attitude and its impact on your work performance, on your relationships, and on every one around you.

Negative attitudes on the job

The truth is, negative attitudes are highly contagious – where do negative attitudes seem to spread more quickly than on the job. In his book understanding Business values and motivators dr. Ira Wolfe writes, “An Attitude Virus” seems to be every where … we see the symptoms everyday as rudeness, poor service, lack of motivation, and increased job stress…

Dr. Wolfe notes that the Journal of occupational and Environmental Medicine has diagnosed a work place condition called “presenteeism” – being “at work” without being productive.

Martin Luther King Jr., had his own idea of what a work attitude should look like. He said, “If a man is called to sweep the street the streets, he  should sweep streets even as Michelango painted, as Shakespeare wrote poetry, as Beethoven composed music. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause and say, Here lived great sweeper who did his job well.”

The Baggage you carry shapes your Attitude in order to do something about our bad attitudes, we must first understand where they come from. Often the most debilitating attitude we carry with us in the result of old baggage from our formative years. Since we’ve carried around these burdens of insecurity or low self-esteem, stress, resentment and  anger, fear and suspicion of change for so long, and since the forces behind them are buried so deep in our subconscious “basement” they are the most difficult to  understand or root out. It takes serious work to examine the roots of a harmful attitudes, but the rewards of ridding ourselves of this heavy baggage can last a lifetime.

Attitude Assessment

  1. How do you respond to stressful situations
  • Get angry
  • Become depressed
  • Throw up your arms in despair
  • Get energized

Examine which of these responses is most similar to yours when you become stressed out.

2.Do you tend to look into the world in a pessimistic way?

Pessimists aren’t much fun to be around or to be. They are dream-killers. Toss the baggage and lighten the load. It’s amazing what can happen when you toss attitudinal baggage. The good news is that regardless of where you are in life, regardless of your occupation or your station, you still have the power to choose your responses and your attitude. God made you in his image, and the Lord doesn’t make junk. You are a unique human being. The world has never before seen and will never see the likes of you again. You were born to bless others. Only the limits of our mind-set can determine the boundaries of our future.

STEP 4

Change your bad Attitude for God: Re-frame your bad attitude

This step will show you that a change in perspective will change your attitude, which will help you turn your attitude into action.

  • Attitude Control 101

You can’t always expect people to adjust your attitude for you of course. It’s really something for which you need to take responsibility. The death of a loved  one, the breakup of a relationship, a blow to your career, an attack on your character – all these experiences can create powerful feelings of sadness, remorse, and anger. If you don’t take control of your attitude and negative emotions and find a way to ease the intensity, they can cause serious  mental, physical , and spiritual deterioration.

We can take classes in school to learn how to  control our finances, our careers, and even our overall successes, but where do we sign up for Attitude 101? Despair, grief, hatred, jealousy, resentment, fear, anxiety, and other potentially harmful feelings may sweep into our consciousness, but these troubling emotions can also be swept out. Your attitude is your responsibility.

  1. Change your Attitude With a Change in perspective

The drive way still looks like Toys “R” Us after an earthquake. His children are  not putting their toys away. Nothing has changed but his perspective. Yet his attitude has changed dramatically. My friend simply learned to refine the situation he substituted gratitude for anger and changed his attitude for good.

  1. You Determine the value of your Experiences. It’s the same with pretty much everything in the world and everything that happens to you. If you lose your job, the experience has only the value you give it. You can take an attitude of defeat anger or you can take the attitude that you are now free to explore other option or do what you have always wanted to do.

You determine the value of your Experiences. If you lose your job, the experience has only the value you gave it. You can take an attitude of defeat and anger, or you can take the attitude that you are now free to explore other options or to do what you have always wanted to do.

It’s up to you to assign a value or meaning to it based on the point of view you decide to take.

The threeP’s That cause bad Attitudes

There are 3 points to remember when faced with a major challenge. Remember that the challenge is not.

  1. Permanent – It’s not going to last forever. What is it that when something wonderful happens to us we immediately fear that the joy won’t last, but when something tragic occurs we immediately assume that we will never get over it? Why aren’t we better at savouring the good times and letting go of the bad? What good does that do anyone? Give yourself over to the recovery process, knowing that over time you will transform this turning point into a learning point.
  2. Pervasive – it is not going to destroy your entire life. Embrace change in every area of your life. Personal – You are not the only one this happened. Why do we personalize the bad things that happened to us? Life is random. Everything is not personal. Yet we don’t seem to get it. Why does this always happen to me? Why can’t I ever catch a break? What did I do to deserve this? Get over it.

Gratitude and Forgiveness – The Antidotes to negative Attitude

True wisdom rarely comes in lightening bolts. You have to deal with a wide range of emotions including disappointment, grief and fear. Those feelings will come to you, but you should not allow them to live within you. As a result, your attitudes eventually became far more positive and constructive. When your car runs low on fuel, you o to the service station and fill the tank so you can keep going, right? When your cell phone battery loses power, you plug it back into the power source, don’t you? What is it, then, that when your emotions and attitude take a downward plunge, you don’t look to your own source of rejuvenation?

Two of the best antidotes to negative attitude are gratitude and forgiveness. When you stop blaming and criticism or feeling hurt and angry, you are then free to forgive and love, to be grateful and accepting – There’s so much to be grateful for.

  • There is no statute of limitations on forgiveness. It is a cancer that will grow and spread unless you learn to forgive and release the bitterness and danger.
  • Expect suspicion when you want to forgive. Approach the person in a non threatening way. Allow the person from to manoeuver and time to think. The person might not even understand you.

If you have missed your opportunity and the other person is goner., it’s still necessary to forgive.