You've possibly come across the saying that "attitude is everything".
Have you ever had a great day with a bad attitude? Have you ever had a bad day with a great attitude?
Both, I think, are impossibilities. If we had a bad attitude our day would most likely not be going the way that we wanted it to and we wouldn't have a positive outlook on the day. If we had a great attitude we probably wouldn't think our day wasn't very good.
What determines whether we have a good or a bad day? Is it how the day unfolds to us? Or is it how we approach our day that matters more? Is one way better than the other?
These questions may seem simple but I think they are quite involved. I think the first viewpoint implies a more reactive approach; waiting for the day to unfold. The other, our approach to the day, seems like a more proactive approach where we're intentionally approaching the day a certain way.
The BIG question is, does our approach to our day determine or ensure we can maintain a positive attitude or outlook throughout the day? Within that question is an even harder one; how do we change our attitude from one that is poor to one that is positive?
The solution can definitely not be a reactive one and it lays within the following analogy...
Let's imagine that it's hundreds of years ago and we're living with our people in an unfortified village without any weapons. If foreigners, with weapons, come upon us and decide they want our land, livestock, and other resources do we stand a chance? The answer is 100% NO! However, if instead we're living with our people, in a fortified city, with weapons and trained combatants and archers do we stand a better chance? DEFINITELY!
How did we get from the first situation to the second described above? Did we snap our fingers and suddenly have a fortified city with weapons, and trained combatants? DEFINITELY NOT! It took time to build the wall, make the weapons, and train people to fight. It took lots of time! Second, does being prepared mean that we'll win every time? Not necessarily but being prepared definitely gives us a better chance.
How does this analogy relate to our day and the type of day we may be having? In the first example, if the people were having a great day and then suddenly attacked without any way of defending themselves there day would be completely turned upside down. However, in the second case, with the proper provisions in place they would know how to respond to the given situation and they would have the tools and resources in order to carry out defending their people, their land, and their resources.
Let's now compare the examples described above to our attitude. What provisions or steps have we taken to defend our attitude against the things that arise during our days that attempt to overthrow our currently positive attitude? If, during the course of the day, we find our attitude being challenged by arising circumstances or events and we try and find a solution in the moment then, as the tribe described in the first situation, we will find ourselves completely unprepared and our 'attitude' will be overthrown.
What steps do we need to take to protect our attitude? There is no one solution and it is not something that we can snap our fingers for and have everything change in an instant. It's so important to take time for ourselves and do things that we really appreciate and enjoy. We need to build routines or practices that encompass our passions and lead to enjoyment in our days and in our lives. These things will be different for everyone one but the result will still be the same... peace of mind, reduced stress, increased joy and happiness, better sleep, increased energy, etc. Again, if we're currently not taking the time for ourselves then we may find that it takes effort, patience, and persistence to persevere and ensure we are taking time for ourselves just as it took the tribe in the second scenario time to build a wall, make weapons, train troops, etc. The results will be undeniable because when our days take an unexpected turn we will have a better chance of 'survival' because we take time for ourselves during each day and have created a routine that will be able to defend us against anything that arises in our life.
1. Take the time to do the things that you enjoy. (ie. exercise, reading a good book, enjoying a good meal, talking with a friend, etc.)
2. Appreciate the little things. Truly appreciate them.
3. Appreciate yourself, your uniqueness, and your unique attributes and strengths.
4. Intentionally approach your day. Plan out what you'll accomplish. Get the things done that are important to you.
5. Have things built into your daily routine that you won't give up no matter what kind of day you're having. Be prepared, in case something pops up to attempt to 'attack' and 'overthrow' your current attitude and steal your resources ('the energy you have in your positive attitude').
Take the time, be patient, persist, &, of course, Strive to Optimize!