Of All the Things We Carry, Our Attitude is the Most Important
Many people struggle with a sense of a lack of meaning in their lives. Day to day life acquires meaning depending on how we see things, how we value things, and how we allow things to impact us. We can say that the attitude we take towards life gives form to all that happens around us.
Undoubtedly, you have met the kinds of people who are always on the defensive. They are the kinds of people who always look for the double meaning, for the darker side of the situation. These people have closed attitudes. They are not receptive, and can even be immature. Their world is little more than a tunnel with no exit.
Reality acquires meaning through thoughts, affections, and responsibilities. What you think, you create. Your attitude towards your own life and the way in which you allow things to effect you is essential.
The relationship between attitude and personality
Attitude and personality are always related. Nevertheless, while the former can change and restructure itself to be more open and positive, the latter, our personality, has roots that run deep that cannot change from one day to the next.
We all experience dark moments. Everyday life always comes with gray clouds that cannot be moved by the wind. Sometimes, instead of struggling against something, it is better to accept and maintain a positive and constructive attitude when facing it.
Life always has its gray days, and its dark days. Therefore, enough with just putting up the umbrella and waiting for it to clear up. There’s no rush; the day will brighten and the storm will clear when you least expect it.
An attitude of acceptance
And you? How do you confront the things that come your way? In the first place, it makes sense to point out that attitudes are build through our beliefs, but also through our emotions. From this, and depending on our mood, we react to the world one way or another.
Always remember that you can control your attitude towards things. The difference between a good day and a bad day will not depend on what clothes you have on, or what others think of you. It lies in your attitude and within that implicit strength that is capable of confronting anything.
Social psychology indicates that attitudes, in reality, are intimately connected in three dimensions. It is worth it to take a moment and consider them:
The cognitive dimension
How to you interpret the things that happen around you and the things you experience? How do you fit them in with your previous experiences. If you have a date, but your date is a no-show, do you attribute it, for example, to yourself? Or to bad luck? Or do you say “my mother always told me I would never get married…”?
In other words, we create a series of attributions, beliefs, and internal representations that shape that negative attitude. With how we see the world, we construct a reality that gives a form to that negativity.
The emotional dimension
When talking about emotions in the context of attitudes, we could say that there are three corners. There are those who show negativity towards almost everything that surrounds them. In these cases, the origin of this negativity would be due to certain experiences that the person was not able to process correctly.
There are also those with a generally positive attitude. Finally, we have those people who opt to just let things be, who choose to take no side, to not react, and who are indifferent to all that happens around them.
The behavioral dimension
Have you noticed people have a fairly “regular” reaction to things that happen? There are those who avoid having responsibilities, and others who take on both their own and those of other people… In other words, each individual, according to their own attitude, demonstrates a determined behavioral pattern.
There is strength in vulnerability
It is not easy, and not even possible to maintain a positive attitude every day of our lives. We all have moments when we feel down, even when we are more or less strong people. We are human beings, and therefore, we are vulnerable. Nevertheless, never doubt the fact that your vulnerability is also your strength.
“Sometimes I end up crying not because I am weak, but rather because I am tired of being strong. But it is only for a few seconds, after venting and relieving my stress, that I can see myself anew with my positive attitude, the attitude of a person who can do anything, and who has learned all their lessons from life.”
How to keep a positive attitude towards life
To have a positive attitude, we must work for it everyday. It is like a chord that must be pulled to make the wind takes us where we want to go. Therefore, we must maintain our control of the three dimensions we mentioned above: thoughts, emotions, and behavior. So, always keep in mind these three straightforward dimensions of your life.
1. Your emotional interpretation is important.
Depending on the emotion you attribute to a given experience, it will make your attitude later on positive or negative.
Example: I will not change my attitude towards romantic relationships just because I have been rejected. A “no” does not reject me as a person. A “no” should push me to find someone who accepts me and with whom I belong.
2. Learn that you cannot control everything.
People have limits and we cannot control all that surrounds us. Furthermore, the world cannot always be the way we want it to be.
Example: My economic and social situations are not going well. I am going through a difficult time. But just because I am does not mean I am going to stop trusting in the institutions of my country, and in other people. I will begin with trusting myself. People form society, and I am part of that society. I am part of that change.
3. Love yourself more.
Always believe in yourself. Always value yourself. Know that you have the right to make mistakes, to learn, and to be happy. Only you can do this for yourself. You are the owner of your own destiny. Your attitude is the compass that will lead you and allow you to climb mountains. You will be able to do anything you allow yourself to, and of course, anything you believe in.
Images courtesy of Claudia Tremblay and Mariana Kalacheva