3 Seconds without the right attitude;
3 Minutes without air;
3 Hours without shelter
3 Days without water;
3 Weeks without food;
3 Months without an internet connection.
In the United States, we have come to take much for granted. It is readily available, free or cheap. Yet we should never take the Rule of 3s for granted. It is easy to assume just another day and mayhem strikes leaving us in the middle of a blizzard or an earthquake. Shelter in the blizzard is a vital need. Buried under rubble we can slowly suffocate. Air, shelter, water and food are physiological needs for survival.
The highest of the priorities, attitude, is different from the physiological needs. It is both spiritual and physiological. It drives your emotions, your actions and your “want to.” It is the dwelling place of hope or the home of despair.
Attitude is the outward reflection of an internal expectation. Beliefs, values, character, and experiences influence our attitude. Yet, the direction our attitude takes is based on our decisions and actions. A person with a persevering or expectant attitude can do and will do what is best for their team, their family and themselves regardless the challenge. A positive attitude is about hope, and “hope will not fail us” if we believe ancient holy writings.
Survival training is about more than knowledge of the environment and little tricks. It is about an attitude of doggedness. Firefighters train to this attitude. It is ingrained there is a way through or out of any situation; we need only to find it. Would you want a rescuer with a different point of view? It is said, “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, either way you are correct.”
My wife and I went through a very tough spot in our marriage. I was meeting with a mentor and I expressed I didn’t feel love for her any more. This was my introduction to “fake it until you make it.” He helped me discover that love is a decision which creates emotion and not the other way around. My mentor showed me how my attitude could be changed one step at a time by pretending.
Dick E. challenged me to make coffee for my wife every morning as a small step toward learning to love her again. This was because he knew I hate coffee breath and she loves coffee. It was a simple 30-day challenge. There was an amazing transformation as she responded to the coffee. I found new joy in learning how to make better coffee to realize the delight in her face. That was 14 years ago in our 31-year-old marriage. I love her.
Earl Nightingale presents the finest discussion of attitude I have heard in his audio series, “Lead the Field.” He calls attitude “The Magic Word.” Mr. Nightingale claims, “First, it’s your attitude at the beginning of a difficult task that, more than anything else will bring about its successful outcome. Secondly, your attitude, towards others determines their attitudes toward you.” There is much more wisdom in the series about directing your attitude that I can present here.
“Fake it until you make it.” This is a strategy that says, “Claim it.” Be positive about life, it is your decision. Start with a smile. It is like taking a step, you just do it. So it is forced. It may look false but do it. Slowly you will notice others reacting differently toward you. They are smiling back at you. They may laugh at that funny smile but you made a happy moment in their life. Solutions will come a bit easier as you face them with cheer and new-found friends will gather to help you.
What do you need to conquer? First put on that smile. What is the next step?
P.S. (Can you post script to a blog?)
Some quotes on attitude from some of my friends:
- “We do what we believe.” – Dave Rathcamp
- “You’re not dead ‘til you quit fighting; when you quit fighting, you’re dead.” – James Rieder
And some other’s:
- “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou
- “Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan
A blog I felt presents the right attitude:
- The 10 Secrets of Leadership (mullanjames.typepad.com)