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Attitude is Everything

Updated on June 13, 2012

Yesterday, one of my adult students said to me "You have such a positive attitude. Maybe I should have you teach me about that too." Just that statement got me thinking about attitude and just how important it is in day to day life.

Cultivating a positive attitude is very much like cultivating a garden. It takes, time, effort, nurturing, some occasional pruning and an ever growing awareness of ourselves. I can not honestly say I have always had a positive attitude. I also can not say that I always have one. Like everything through out life it's a work in progress.

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Turning the Soil

Having a positive attitude requires some heavy lifting and back-breaking labor of the mental kind. In order to create a new mindset and allow it the proper environment to take hold and grow we are going to have to dig, turn, sift and look at what we find in the well trampled soil of the mind. Sometimes we will find beautiful gems like a memory of our grandparents being silly with us. Other times we will find some ugly dried up turd we didn't even realize we kept let alone planted. Each one deserves evaluation so we can see the impact it has had on our life to date, determine why we kept it and finally decide to re-pot or say thank you, you have served your purpose; it is time for you to go! Until this digging, sorting and cleaning is done our reactions to similar situations will be unconscious and along the same lines as past reactions.

I am going to be very honest with you. This is the hardest part of creating a positive attitude. It requires facing things that can at times be painful. I cried many tears through this phase some of joy, some of sadness, some of genuine hurt and several of anger. Each tear served it's purpose and helped me to move forward. Being willing to let the tears flow so the heart can breath is not an easy process however, it is well worth it in the end.

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Planting the Seeds

I am a firm believer in what we do today influences our tomorrows. Some have told me that I spend too much time thinking about the impact of my actions. Truth be told I do spend a good deal of time thinking, processing and carefully choosing what I am willing to carry forward into my tomorrows. Each carefully selected item gets planted in a different section of my personal garden. Some items take a place in the vista of lessons learned, some in the garden of gratitude, others are placed in pots on the patio of possibilities.

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Tending the Garden

With each new planting there is also weeding that goes along with it. Each experience in and of itself has a tendency to bring up past experiences, memories and encounters. Some are in harmony with us and others discordant, requiring attention. Sometimes the attention is simply reviewing the memory from a different perspective to gain greater understanding. Let's face it, memories from a child's vantage point are seen very differently (intellectually and emotionally) than the same memory viewed from the eyes of an adult.

Take time to review your days, past and present, so you can plant just what you wish to carry forward and weed out the dysfunctional thinking and reactions from your tomorrows. Often times going through these memories allows us to create boundaries that are healthy, affording us to move forward with confidence.

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Enjoying the Growth

As time goes on and diligent work applied a positive attitude will grow and flourish. Like any garden it will take time for it to fill in and go from scattered seedlings to full, healthy adult plants lush with flowers. The quiet time you spend in your personal garden will allow more than just a positive attitude. It will give you time to reflect and create a vision of where you would like to be so you can make a functional plan to achieve your dreams. It will also afford you the ability to deal in a healthier way with the challenges that come with life. A positive attitude will not make loss hurt less or the sting of disappointment not felt. What a positive attitude will do is allow you to face these realities of life in an easier manner, remembering the good you have and the dreams you are working to achieve.

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    • BillS25 profile image
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      BillS25 5 years ago from Providence, RI

      Thank you so much Sgbrown! I love your attitude and focus. Thank you for the feedback and sharing :-)

    • BillS25 profile image
      Author

      BillS25 5 years ago from Providence, RI

      Thank you so much Terri for your rating and the sharing of your personal work at a positive attitude. One of the hubs I am putting together is about how much control we do have about our thoughts once we begin to pay attention to the unconscious dialogue within!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Wonder hub! Most people don't realize how much control they actually have over their life with what attitude they have. I decide every morning that this is going to be a good day! If something happens during the day that is negative, I try to accept it as it happened for a reason, adjust my attitude and move on. This is an excellent article, good job! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • Terri Meredith profile image

      Terri Meredith 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Super, super recommendations for finding and allowing peace through positive attitudes. For me, the most important aspect of maintaining a positive attitude, is to remember that action/reaction taken begins with a thought. When our thoughts have a negative "flavor", we are in charge of whether we follow that negativity or whether we pinch it off and replace it with something positive. I've had many people tell me there's no way to control thoughts as they simply pop into our heads. Well, as quickly as they pop in, we can push them out. To me, that's control. We can't control many of the events which pop into our lives, either, but we can control our reactions to them. If and when something unpleasant occurs in my life, I simply examine why it may have happened. Did I set the event in motion by a past action? Is it a result of me having followed a negative thought or is it simply something that happened as a result of others I've allowed into my life (still my choice). And then I look for what can be learned from the event, based on how it came to be. I've had many life altering events to contend with, some that have brought me to tears and even some regrets, but I refuse to carry the weight of blame and anger. I simply experience the event and then let it go, after taking the necessary actions, knowing full well that those actions will lead to other events. So I try to make sure the following events will be of a more positive nature.

      Excellent piece of writing! voted up and awesome