Attitude - Section Two
My belief in the power, influence and effect of attitude goes way back and incorporates other aspects of the mind. Essentially, a positive and optimistic attitude have been of paramount importance to me as far back as I can remember. An upbeat approach to life. An outlook of joie de vivre.
Attitude has also long been something I have felt vital to an enjoyment or rather even joy of life, of living. Regarding my positive and optimistic attitude towards life many have asked how I could drink so abusively when I had such a good attitude. A good question, but at least it helped me to stay attuned to the eventual healing I experienced. However, it is so that on the lower level of attitude I always felt that I should be positive at all times, no matter how I felt or what the circumstances were. By doing this I now realise that I was piling positive thoughts, feelings and emotions on top of any negatives that existed and they did.
At some stage they would have to surface and I think when they did I gave in to alcohol again. Attitude was all about the mind, all in the mind, mind over matter, the power of the mind to the almost exclusion of feelings and emotion and the heart. Not taking into account that we are also body and soul, not just mind. And so my attitude became one of accepting certain negative realities rather than just passing over them as if a good attitude would eliminate them.
I believe that my positive and optimistic attitude has played a major role in my life, in a number of ways. As a result of this approach to life, I have been able to lead a very joyful and enjoyable life, even through the depths of alcoholism. It may well be so that the fact that I am alive can be largely attributed to this attitude.
Attitude has a bearing on virtually all aspects of our lives. In my case, I was encouraged by my attitude to develop and maintain a purposeful approach. My attitude motivated me to exercise regularly, to seek spiritual answers to my questions of life, to appreciate and be grateful.
Source: A SANE MAP - My Journey in Recovery from Addiction.
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You have probably heard of the “Power of Positive Thinking” (incidentally also the title of an excellent book by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale). Some realize how true and beneficial positive thinking is, and put it into practice; others believe it to be true, but don’t actually utilize it; or if they do, only infrequently, whilst still others don’t believe it to be true or merely see fit to ignore it. Others at the extreme end of the spectrum castigate it and call it an unrealistic approach to life.
Positive thinking is fundamentally wonderfully powerful. There are far too many examples of vast numbers of people’s personal experiences, achievements, improvements, so-called ‘miracles’, resulting from such positivity, for it not to be taken seriously and accepted and used as a solid foundation for your life.
What would you prefer to be: happy or unhappy? ; content or disgruntled, depressed?; calm and relaxed or apprehensive, anxious, tense, ‘stressed’? ; attractive – and attracting — or unattractive — and non-attracting?; healthy or unhealthy? ; optimistic or pessimistic? ; lively or lethargic? ; enthusiastic or disinterested?
I am sure that virtually without exception, everyone would give the same positive answers. But many people do not realize that they themselves control these emotions and conditions. Consciously or unconsciously you largely create these circumstances for yourself. You have the incredible power to dictate and control your life to a far greater extent than you may realize.
Ultimately, you decide for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. It is not ‘outside’, external circumstances or influences that cause you to be happy or unhappy, but rather how you react — or better, respond — to these circumstances. The very same incident can cause one person to be happy, and another to be unhappy. It is an individual’s own choice and decision. Happiness and unhappiness are states of mind. Who do you think controls your mind?
Whatever your current circumstances may be, it is vital to know that you can change them, for the better or worse, through the use of your own mind. From a technical or scientific point of view, it is not necessary to understand precisely how the mind works. It is necessary though, if you desire to be happier, that you know you are capable of causing happiness to manifest through the power of your mind, through positive, optimistic and constructive thinking.
We spend many hours working to earn money for necessities, comforts and luxuries in our own lives and others’, or for whatever purpose. And yet, we often allocate so little, if any, time to improving ourselves, to ‘positivising’ our attitude and state of mind, so that the quality of our lives is automatically and habitually improved.
‘Positive Being’ is a description of what you are when you consistently strive to internalise and practise the power of positive thinking. It is in your hands. Or mind rather.
Often when I am in a coffee shop and look around, I see individuals poring over newspapers. Engrossed. And mostly with not very happy expressions on their faces. They will quite often be commenting to others around them, including me unasked, about this or that terrible happening. Whether it’s the war or violence or murder or rape or…. But the theme is virtually always some disaster of whatever degree.
Seldom do I see or hear people commenting about any snippet of good news. Why is this I wonder? Some will say to me, yes but you have to keep up with the news you know. As if it was possible to be aware of everything that is going on on the planet. And elsewhere. And why the focus on all that is bad or negative?
I don’t necessarily have answers, but I do have a solution for myself at least. I am of the opinion that, because others are so concerned about the news, I will likely be kept up to date anyway of anything I urgently need to know. It is said that that is escaping reality. I disagree. I am very aware of the negative aspects and occurrences in the world, but I consciously choose to focus on that which is bright and positive in the world, also a reality. I am certainly happier for this approach. And surely we would wish to be happier? The negative circumstances may continue irrespective of my or others’ reactions or responses to them. And indeed, the possibility of having a positive influence is more likely with a positive attitude than negative.
And the news is mostly third party anyway – someone else’s perception of what is being reported. And of course it may be true – or not.
And so: I would rather to a certain extent create my own news where and when possible. I shall focus mostly on the good and beautiful around me. There is after all plenty of that – if only we just desire and intend to see it. And add to it where I am able.
I am a Recovery Coach, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.