Four Ways to Improve Your Attitude to Be Happier, Healthier, and More Productive

As the story goes, a couple is concerned about the huge gap in attitudes between their two sons.

happy-&-angry-boys

One lad is a confirmed pessimist, his sibling the decisive optimist. Wanting to advance the cynical child’s outlook and guard the other from disappointment by teaching him that things don’t always go as expected, the parents come up with a scheme.

On Christmas morning, each youngster awakens to find his own sizeable, wrapped present. The dour child opens his and discovers in it the ultimate building set. As if on que, his demeanor sours and he whines, “There are too many pieces, I’m know I’ll lose a whole bunch of them and then I’ll be sad. Why would you do that to me?”

The upbeat sibling, on the other hand, unwraps his only to find a dirty, rusty horseshoe atop wads of paper. Undeterred by what appears to be a mean, lousy gift, he eagerly starts digging through the papers excitedly proclaiming, “Wow! There’s got to a pony in here somewhere!”

Attitude, our outlook on the events that make up our lives, will either elevate or ruin us because it determines our actions and therefore the manner in which others react to us.

I normally don’t write “how-to” columns but a coaching client recently asked how she could become more upbeat, so I thought, “What the heck, might as well share it more widely.” Making our planet a bit more cheery, one reader at a time, here are four of the more common reasons one’s attitude can take a trip to the dumpster.

Reason #1: All-or-nothing thinking

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Choose Your Identity

We have multiple identities.

woman-without-face-holding-face-on-mask

Lest you get concerned and think I’m talking about hearing voices instructing to do evil unto others, let me expand.

I’ll use me as an example; the identities I cannot change include:

  • Son
  • Father
  • Born of Jewish background in Detroit, Michigan in 1954 to Ruth and Symore (sic) Marcus

No matter what happens, nor how long I live, those will always be correct. But, they alone don’t make me who I am.

Therefore, my “core” must be found by other manners in which I identify.

  • 60-year old
  • Man
  • Husband
  • Resident of Eureka, California
  • American Citizen
  • Writer/Speaker/Consultant

These descriptions, while accurate, are more fluid than the first set.

I mean, we know for a fact that I can only identify as a “60-year-old” for this year; but do I change who I am if I change my marital status, residence, or even my gender? I think we’d all agree, that I would still be me. [Read more…]

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Your Feelings are Real

dog-emotions

Whatever you are feeling, whenever you’re feeling it – is real.

Your emotions are as real as your limbs and they have vital functions.

Of the four “primary colors of emotions:”

  • Sadness cleanses
  • Fear and Anger are each designed to protect
  • Happiness builds community and enriches your life

It’s no one else’s right to change what you feel or to tell you you’re wrong. [Read more…]

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Celebrate More Often

Find a way to celebrate more often.

CandlesYes, sometimes life can be dull. Yes, it can be dreary. Periodically, it is even painful.

However, that’s probably not the majority of time.

So, when things aren’t bad – even if life isn’t a “party” – find a way to celebrate what’s going well.
[Read more…]

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Success is in the Present; Failure is in the Future

When you don’t think you can accomplish your goal, it’s because you’re looking too far down the road.

© jonrawlinson.comYou’re thinking of all the things that could go wrong and of all the obstacles you must overcome, none of which exist if you can focus on the immediate.

When you’re overwhelmed and you’re afraid you won’t be able to achieve your goal, focus on what you can do right this minute.

Make it small enough that you’ll actually do it. [Read more…]

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