Saturday, February 6, 2010


Attitude is everything. We have heard that dozens of times, perhaps so often we don't give it credance anymore. And it's true. Attitude comes first. Everything and anything is possible if you have the type of attitude that supports who you want to become; your aspirations, hopes, and dreams for yourself.

Something I've observed over the years is those with the most positive attitudes are also flexible while those with negative attitudes are entrenched. Picture a trench in warfare when you read "entrenched"; dug in, immovable, stuck. Neither you nor your conflict circumstance will EVER change if negative attitudes keep you entrenched.

Just as being entrenched results in absolutely no movement, either in personal change or in conflicted relationships, the opposite is true for flexibility. The person with the most flexibility in any given circumstance or system has the most influence over that circumstance and system.

What is it about attitude that translates in how we change or don't change? Remain entrenched or become flexible? Why is negativity such a bond, while positivity is freeing?

Think about the map one draws for themselves on their journey through life if they are negative or have adopted a negative attitude (which by the way is always a "me" and "why me" attitude) That map will be dotted with stops and detours with signposts that say "what's the point?" , "nothing ever works out", "why care?". Moreover, the more negative we become, about ourselves and others, and life in general, the more we tend to become insular and isolationist, the more painful life gets for us, the more we deflect and blame others, (it's them, not me), the more hopeless we get, the more "what's the use" and entrenched we become. We become entrenched people - stuck in our negative mindset, which leaks out into our conflicted relationships. Or here's a thought - maybe our negative mindset is what is driving our conflicted relationships? Personal change seldom occurs; relational change will not occur without personal change. It's just that simple.

A positive attitude does the opposite. It remains hopeful, sees the good in everything and everyone, and always recognizes the possibilities. Someone with a positive attitude is secure enough to put the interests of others above their own, and is secure enough to own their failures. Whereas a negative person is shamed and wants to hide their failures, a positive person sees failure as an opportunity to learn, grow and get feedback, whether that feedback be from another person or from God Himself. This ability allows the positive person to be flexible, like a reed in the wind, bending but never breaking, learning and always teaching, thereby influencing themselves to change, as well as those around them.

Emotions and attitudes are contagious. Daniel Goleman, writes in "Social Intelligence" that neuroscience has proven that we are wired to catch eachother's emotions. It's a remarkable science of brain to brain signaling that, as far as I'm concerned, proves the exquisite imagination of a very complex Creator. But all the science aside, if we are going to have influence in this world, does it not make sense to be influential in a positive, hopeful and freeing way, or does the image of a war trench appeal to you more?