Working for a Living: Attitude Adjustments

There is something we often forget about ourselves. This goes beyond our capabilities. This is us at our core. This is our attitude and the way we adapt to our circumstances as well as our surroundings.
The fact remains that most of us spend more time at work than we do at home or doing pleasant things, which does not mean work is or has to be unpleasant. Work is part of life.
We live some, think some, work some and play some as well as eat, breathe and sleep some too. This is life. The idea of a work life balance, however, is something completely different. 

There is a great quote from Simon Sinek that comes from one of his talks, in which Sinek explains, “You don’t hire skills, you hire attitude. You can always teach skills”.
What is attitude? Is it only a word?
Is our attitude more than our mannerism and more than our position in life? Is our attitude our posture?  Is this the way we pose ourselves or the way we express ourselves?
Or, is it more interactive?

The truth is most of us interact with people in the business world more than our loved ones at home. The way we interact and the power of our attitude is something that either draws people towards us or oppositely, this can be something that pushes people away. This also affects our ability to be efficient and work well with others.

There are qualities we have that act as our natural draw. Oftentimes, we forget to nurture this. And sometimes, we give in and mistake irrational data as fact or we jump to conclusions. We judge. we have biases. We have subconscious ideas that limit us and the possibility of reaching our best possible potential. In fact, what is your best possible potential? Do you know?

There is the idea people often suggest to “Stay positive”. And that’s great. But is this always as simple as it sounds? To stay positive would also reflect upon our thoughts and emotions.
Put simply, it is difficult to “Be” positive when you don’t “Feel” positive. In which case, the opposite takes effect. In which case our attitude reflects our thoughts and emotions. In which case we tend to repel instead of attract and draw people in. This only leads us to more ideas of rejection and the further decrease of positive energy. Ever proving the quality of our mental health has a direct relation to the quality of our attitude.

Some people will suggest that we “Snap out of it,” as if it were “Just” that easy.
The word “Just” is a word that we use often. As in “Just” do it this way.
Or “Just” stop or, “Oh. just start over,” or “Just quit.
Just don’t do that anymore.”
People say this as if it were “JUST” that easy. And maybe it is for some. But for others, not so much.

If life were this simple and people could “Just” do things differently and easily then there would be no need for therapists. No one would ever be overweight. No one would ever live with unhealthy habits and there would be no such thing as dependency disorders because people could “Just” quit.

It would be nice to have life be this simple. However, we all experience our own complications with thoughts or ideas.
So, to tell someone “Just” be positive is almost like saying “Just” be taller or, “Oh, hey, what’s the matter? You can’t fix your life? Well, just be smarter and you’ll be fine.”
I was told to “Just” stop a lot of things.
“Just” don’t do that anymore. 

Simple, right?
Perhaps in some cases, change and improvements are “Just” that simple. However, for some people and in some cases, change is not simple. For some people, there are chemical imbalances. Some people find themselves at a disadvantage. Some people have social disorders, discomforts and dysphorias. For some, telling them to “Just” be positive is no different than approaching someone with stage four cancer and telling them, “Just don’t be sick.”

Our attitude is a living, breathing  component of ours. To own this and to nurture this is to be able to be comfortable with the uncomfortable feedback that comes our way.
Feedback does not have to be the devil. We do not have to take everything personally (but yet, we do) and plus, our ability to grow stems from our lessons. This is the way we learn and the way we find pathways to improve.

If attitude is everything, and yet, we find flaws with our attitude, how can we improve or “Just” snap out of it?
It has been said by Socrates, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

This is true.
And since this is true, how do we find ways to improve the quality of our thoughts? How can we improve our thinking when the quality of life is poor at the moment? How can we improve our thinking if we are suffering from either an unfortunate or unnatural event? How can we think positively when we experience the loss of a loved one? Or, what about the loss of an important opportunity? How does one improve the way they think or feel when they are focused on the losses and the debits instead of the gains and credits?

This is not as simple as saying “Just” do it this way.
Saying this is the same thing as telling someone with food poisoning, “Just don’t throw up and you’ll be fine.”
Below are a few bullet points that I have found to be helpful.

  • Be comfortable with your journey and understand your life is unique to you. This means your ideas, thoughts, desires, needs and wants are unique to you. YOU are always the square root to your own equation. Your life, your days and your happiness are only going to change when YOU decide to dedicate to this change and give yourself the permission to follow through with this.
  • Understand that your journey is personal. Your changes are personal. Your feelings are personal and although some people might relate or understand to some degree, no one will understand your needs and your feelings as well as you do. Therefore, don’t be afraid to be your own advocate. Be your own best friend. Be your own hero and learn to build your self-esteem by replacing thoughts with esteemable and redeemable actions. 
  • Feedback and constructive criticism is not a threat. Be open and be mindful that the right kind of feedback is meant to help, not hurt.
  • Do not take too much time worrying about advice from someone that you would never trust to ask for advice in the first place 
  • Understand that your circle of influence and the people you surround yourself with are contagious. Same as sadness is contagious and misery loves company; happiness is equally contagious. So don’t be afraid to catch happiness. It won’t hurt as much as you think.
  • Make time for yourself and find something fulfilling. Create a path and find a purpose.
  • Create your own vehicle of peace. Whether this is exercise, meditation, yoga or a hobby, it is helpful to create a pattern and routine that keeps this vehicle moving as a steady part of your life.
  • Avoid triggers. Social media is a problem for many people. There is a great saying which goes, “May your life be as good as everyone pretending on Facebook”. Avoid the investigations of anything that triggers self-deprecation or problematic thinking. Avoid looking into other people’s life when this impacts you in an uncomfortable way. Understand that our behavior is a symptom. Sometimes we do things that lead to self-inflicted pain, which is often a way to “Pick at the scab” so to speak to reopen the wounds we have to both manifest and understand the reason for our pain.
  • Self-care begins at the very moment when you wake up. And although your schedule and your process is unique to you, be sure to recognize that your outlets and your best interest need to be met on a daily basis. Your goals belong to you and not anyone else. This starts at the beginning of each and every day.
  • The overall goal is to end the day with a constructive conclusion. Each day, the objective is to improve a little, live a little, learn a little, laugh as much as you can and love whenever possible and without apology.

These ten bullet points are only a direction. There are more suggestions; however, these were very helpful to me. This is an open roadmap to both personal and interpersonal wellness. This is also a roadmap to find your work/life balance (if there is such a thing). More than anything, following a list of plans, goals and then finding the strategy to achieve them is the permission needed to find a sense of personal improvement. This is also a helluva lot better than telling someone, “Just get over it”.

Our attitude is up to us.
“Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare.”
Taken from Box of Rain: The Grateful Dead.

Image result for box of rain

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