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Attitude Gauge Holds Key to Happiness

John Alston

It’s quite common to hear someone say, “if only I had a better job, then I’d be happy,” or “If I could just find the right partner to spend my life with me then I’d be happy.” It’s rare that we ever hear someone say, “If I improved my attitude, I (and those around me) could be so much happier.” Unfortunately, too many of us just don’t know that the key to happiness is nothing more that a simple adjustment to our “attitude gauges.”

We wear our attitudes on the outside of our bodies. Attitude is exuded from our physical presence like sweat is expressed through our pores. We see a person’s attitude most vividly through their body language. Negative attitudes are evident when in the face of certain events or situations; some people wrinkle their faces in soured configurations or frowns. They step back and away from people when asked to take responsibility for a task that they don’t want. Some people subtly avoid eye contact while others are blatantly hostile in their words and mannerisms. Negative attitudes tend to repel positive people and experiences while positive attitudes attract that which brings happiness.


John Alston
For example, if you ask a co-worker or friend to help you and they smile, step forward, and ask how they can be of service, you interpret their attitude as positive. In response, you are more likely to be attracted to them and to respond favorable to them when they need you. Like throwing a ball at the wall and having the wall bounce it back at you, the same expression, positive or negative, that we project outward is what is returned to us in kind. In addition, attitude is nothing more than other’s interpretations of what we say and do!

If you don’t like the way that others are responding to you, check your attitude gauge and body language. Here are some simple things that you can do starting today to bring favorable responses from others through attitude:

  1. Strive to show others that they are important to you. Look at them when they talk, show that you hear them through a nod of the head, smile, or simple answer.
     
  2. Try to put yourself in their shoes. This helps you understand why others are responding the way that they are and enables you to address their needs.
     
  3. If you don’t want to do something but it has to be done, don’t whine and complain. Take a breath, do the hard stuff or most repugnant stuff first, and do the right thing.
     
  4. Take a look at your posture. If you slouch or hang your head, straighten up (literally!), look forward, and put your shoulders back slightly.
     
  5. Walk with a gait that tells others you’re alive and happy to be so. Don’t drag your feet or appear to wander aimlessly. Adopt a lively, brisk gait.
     
  6. Is your countenance sporting a smile and bright, open eyes? Try smiling with both your mouth and your eyes today. You’ll either be shocked at how often you get smiles back or at how often you’ve shocked others.
     
  7. Learn how to shake a hand properly. A nice, firmly planted palm of the hand into that of your associate makes a difference in their analysis of you. No wimpy or bon crushing handshakes … please!

Your attitude gauge should soar from “eh” to “wow” with the above tips. To insure that a positive attitude becomes a part of you until the end of your life, study the below elements of maturity, and gradually incorporate them into your core value system:

  1. Impose discipline on your impulses. (Remember that feelings never tell you what to do, they act as alarms that tell you to attend to something.)
     
  2. Learn to more accurately predict others’ reactions to your actions. The better the predictions, the better you can control others’ responses to you.
     
  3. Become aware of the difference between a true problem and an inconvenience. Each beckons a different response.
     
  4. Know that for which you are responsible and follow through. For example, mature persons are responsible for their time, talents, growth and development, and their conduct towards others.

Bottom line: you have great power to influence and control the degree of happiness in your life. A great place to begin exercising your life’s potential and reaping an abundance of happiness is through the development of a strong positive attitude.
 


John Alston uses humor, instructive examples, and stories to assist people in cultivating the attitude, appropriate impetus, and the skills necessary for personal development, professional improvement, and moving beyond the comfort zone to meet the challenges, changes, and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.
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