Change your attitude towards life and Grow|Suzanne d Williams |unsplash.com

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” Brian Tracy.

The trauma of Covid has affected all of us. It has turned our life upside down. Even if we were coping relatively well, it is time to focus on these 6 keys to achieving positive change in your attitude towards life as we move forward. Our lives are not going back to where they were, no matter what we want. Many of us have lost loved ones. Many who survived will face new challenges as their bodies have Benn changed forever. 

How we approach our life from now on will affect us forever. We have an opportunity to change our attitude to life and living that will make for a richer and more self-fulfilling life. To do this, we need to change our attitudes, beliefs, and how we respond to the events that we will face in the future. Remember, yesterday is past and we can’t let it be an anchor of guilt and worry. We can say the same about tomorrow. No matter what plans we make, it may not come. Unfortunately, we cannot control tomorrow. We must focus on being the best we can be today. Savor the moment.

I know you have heard this before, but it is true. “Attitude is everything.” But perhaps you haven’t thought deeply about this. What or who determines your attitude. You do. You control your mind and only you can change your beliefs and approach to life. It is your mind, and you can control and change it.

STEP 1 Change your mindset to a growth mindset.

 According to Carol Dweck in her book, “Mindset The New Psychology of Success,” says that we approach life from one of two mindsets. A fixed mindset where we think they set our abilities and IQ at birth, and a growth mindset that assumes we can learn and change. A fixed mindset assumes you have no control, and a growth mindset puts you in control of your reactions and growth.

Change is a fact of life. How we deal with it is up to us. With a growth mindset we embrace change, find the positives and decide how to move on. It may not be easy. It may mean moving, revisiting our view of success and what work is. But this is what the post-Covid world is going to bring. We are going to see changes in work, education, economics, climate, and robotics.

We can take a fixed mindset approach and fight it or become depressed because we don’t understand it, or we can take a growth mindset approach and see it as an opportunity and a challenge.

Step 2 Recognize that your brain controls your life.

 Our brains are the most amazing part of our human body. We can think, decide for ourselves, and determine what we value and believe. But this requires work. If we are going to decide for ourselves rather than accept what others say blindly then we have to become introspective and learn to think rather than react.

 Thinking is hard work. We need to examine our lives and identify what is causing pain, grief, or heartache and ask ourselves why. Are you unhappy because you don’t have what Jane/Joe has? Why is that important to you? What do I believe and why? What are my values? My purpose/mission in life is to do or be what?

Step 3 Teach your brain to think better, make better decisions, and control your thoughts.

 Thinking better and making better decisions is a judgment call. Only you can decide what is better. Teach your brain how to make this call on the big issues and the little ones. How do I treat others? When I see someone different, do I stereotype them or try to get to know them? Do I stay in my comfort zone or try new things?

Step 4 Learn to respond rather than react.

 We receive stimuli every second of our lives. Many we simply react to. But we need to take time to think about the stimulus before we respond. If we react instantly, we often are responding from emotion rather than from clear thinking. This comes from the historic situations where people originally didn’t have time to think they had to react to save their lives. But we are past that time now. Seldom are we in a dangerous situation where we have to. React rather than having a few seconds to think before responding.

 Thoughtful responses rather than reacting to a stereotype are always better.

You can and should train your brain to think and then respond rather than reacting. Learn to examine your feelings to determine why you responded that way rather than a different way? 

Step 5 Decide how you want to be, not what you want to have.

 I grew up in the time after World War II, where our parents were trying to get more so they could leave their children better off than they were. They wanted us to have more education so we could have a better lifestyle than they had. But it wasn’t all their desire for us to have a better life. It was because this was the beginning of the advertising assault on our senses. Trade your car every two years and get a new one. Buy the new and improved Tide to get cleaner clothes. A never-ending torrent of buying the new without useing up the old.

 This assault hasn’t stopped but I think we are entering an era where we have to learn to determine what we want to be rather what we want to have. We are going to live more simply rather than extravagantly. We need to measure people by what they do to make the world a better place and how they live their lives, rather than how much money they have. Of course, I could be biased because I am not a millionaire or billionaire and don’t aspire to be.

Step 6 Take time to journal, meditate, and become a more mindful person.

 A journal is a place where you write to yourself about how you feel and what is troubling you. This is where you are thinking on paper to help you better understand yourself. Journaling is a way to write your negative thoughts and get them out of your mind, where you can examine them, review them, and change them.

 Meditation is a means to help you focus your mind. It helps you be quiet and listen to and relax your body. The simplest meditation is a breathing meditation. Sit comfortably, breathe in for a count of four, hold it for a count of four, and then breathe out. While you are doing this, focus on your breath as it enters your body. Feel it flow down into your lungs. Feel your muscles expand and contract. Let all other thoughts leave your mind. Do this for 1 minute several times a day and you will find yourself more relaxed, less tense, and better able to think.

 Mindfulness is about being aware of what is going on around you. Most of us go through life and ignore what is going on. We don’t observe what is going on. Life has become so fast that we are all in a hurry. Slow down and see what is going on. It will help you be in the present rather than being bothered by the past or focused on the future.

Change how you think, how you live, and how you feel about others. Learn how to be rather than how to accumulate. You can train your mind to change your life and world. Make your mind control! You can be you and not what others want you to be.

“We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” Charles R. Swindoll.

“The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight.” Arthur Ashe.