Attitude: “The way that you see life right now—your relationship with the present moment.” If you watch carefully, you’ll see all kinds of attitudes as you go through your day. Different people, in different places, seeing life from a completely different point of view. I am fascinated with the study of attitude. It makes so much difference when you begin to realize that we all have a choice as to how we view and respond to life as it happens. The problem is that most people simply react—as if they have absolutely no control. In today’s world, if you go through life reacting, you’re in store for quite a roller coaster ride—not to mention rolling through life with all the other “victims.”
I see attitude as your viewpoint, your vantage point, the way that you see and experience life. The current challenge is that there is so much bad news and negativity coming at us every day that having a healthy attitude has become quite difficult for most. We have become a society obsessed with information, and right now most of it seems bad. In so many ways, “what you see is what you get.” If I spend most of my time watching, listening, and talking about bad news, then chances are that I will see life through that dark lens. The more I watch and listen to it, and the more I talk about it– the more I FIND it. It becomes a trap that people fall into, and in a reactive state, the attitude becomes very negative and hopeless. So the question is: “How can I keep my head right with all of the bad news and negativity surrounding me?”
The first tip that I would offer is: “You find what you LOOK for.” Have you ever noticed that when you’re in the market for a particular type of car, you begin to see that car everywhere? That’s because of a fascinating part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (or RAS). It is in charge of filtering information before it is sent to a specific part of the brain to be processed. We are constantly bombarded with billions of bits of information trying to access our brain. If we didn’t have a functioning RAS, we would be crazy. However, the RAS let’s in what you tell it is important. If you are looking for a red corvette, then it begins to search for them on your behalf (without you even being aware of it!) So, if you are obsessed with bad news, guess what it believes that you want it to search for? That’s right: more bad news. Just like Google, it will find exactly what you tell it to find. The key? Set your mind first thing every day and begin to program your RAS for what is important to you. “Today I will find exactly what I am looking for.” You want good news, great clients, more income, strong relationships? Begin to focus on what you want, instead of what you don’t want.
The second tip I would suggest: “You find what you BELIEVE you deserve.” We all carry mental messages that we have had with us since childhood. For the lucky ones: “You’re a winner. You can do anything. Nothing can stop you.” For most of us however, we carry different messages: “Nothing lasts. Things never work out. I’ll never make it.” Those messages affect attitude, and can be the difference between success or failure, victory or defeat. We need to examine and sometimes change those important messages. The problem is that those messages live in the sub-conscious mind.
The average adult has over 50,000 unique thoughts in a given 24 hour period. The problem for most is that they have the same thoughts yesterday that they will have today and again tomorrow—and people wonder why they feel like they’re in a rut! First we must begin to witness that little voice in the head (he thinks he’s running the show, but he’s not). You’ll be amazed when you begin to listen to and observe the “monkey mind” at work. All day long people are finishing the sentence “I am ___” in various different ways. I believe that the way you finish that very short, but powerful sentence makes ALL the difference. “I am sick. I am tired. I am broke.” No wonder people are burned out! The way you finish that sentence defines you in the present moment, which is the ONLY moment we ever have. And the brain is always learning…
The most successful people this world has ever produced have one very important thing in common: their self-talk serves them. Affirmations are very popular today. The reason they are so effective is that the brain hears the spoken word and develops a “loop” that affects the actual brain wiring that determines how you process information. The more you affirm the statement, and strengthen its prominence in your mind, the more your brain begins to “buy in” and eventually rewires itself to experience life from that perspective. If you constantly tell yourself “I AM HEALTHY” then eventually your brain will accept it as reality and begin to see things and look for things from a very healthy perspective. Our beliefs and habits are thousands of times stronger than our desires.
So what if I begin every day talking to myself with respect, seeing myself the way that I truly wish myself to be. Add music, the right book, or a special place, and you add power to the experience. With discipline, you can begin to “set your mind” before the world sets it for you. You will begin to live pro-actively instead of just reacting to the news and circumstances of the day. And what if I end every day activating my imagination, and visualizing the life of my dreams? That is much more that just fantasy. I am actively programming my RAS to look for what is important to me right before I drift off to sleep—the most effective time to work on the RAS, as well as the sub-conscious mind.
As you begin to do this, you will begin to witness something amazing happening: the right people and the right circumstances will begin to show up in your life at just the right time. Call it the “Law of Attraction” or just pure luck, but I’m telling you it WILL happen. Good news just finds positive people. We tend to find those that are like ourselves, and it’s always been that way. Positive people attract positive people. Faithful people attract faithful people. Successful people find successful people. Join the growing group of people who have taken charge of their attitude. You really can change the way that you think—but it takes discipline and consistency. Science used to believe that the brain was hardwired by the time you were five, and that it didn’t change. Now they know that it continues to rewire itself well into our eighties—and the way you think and experience life tells it how to connect, and it is ALWAYS learning.
Would your life be different if you began to monitor and control the information that you allowed into your brain? Sometime ago I began to realize that my attitude had shifted and I was becoming increasingly negative. I hadn’t realized the pattern that had developed: I was starting my day with “Fox News in the Morning.” Then I was listening to news talk radio all day long. At night my wife and I had gotten into the habit of watching “Law and Order” and “CSI”. I was wondering why I was a little blue… Then it occurred to me: I was starting my day with “drama”, followed by bad news all day long, capped off with a little “rape and murder” right before bed! Of course I was a little “down”—what you see is what you get… It is true; we are going through a tough time in the world today. But you don’t have to be a victim and allow the bad news to dictate your reality. You can choose what you focus on—and what you focus on is what you will tend to FIND. And remember: the brain is always learning. It will find what it believes is important to you. Let it begin to SERVE you, and it will become your most important asset—and I wish you all the best!
About the Author: Kit Cummings is a professional motivational speaker, coach & Trainer. Kit is a graduate of Walton High School and the University of Georgia. To learn more about Attitude Science visit Kit’s website at www.KitCummings.com