Thought + Behavior = Attitude & Attitude is Everything

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Attitude is everything. To paraphrase Sterling W. Sill, one of my favorite authors,

“Attitude determines the trajectory of your life.” 

Think about it.

Does your attitude affect your daily decisions?

Does the way you feel determine the direction you choose to go?

I know that I if have a bad attitude about something, I’m not going to go toward it. Sometimes, in fact, a bad attitude makes me choose to not do anything—and my attitude continues to just get worse as I just sit and wallow in negativity about myself, my life, my world, whatever.

When I have a good attitude, on the other hand, I’m willing to do more. I’m willing to see more possibilities. I’m willing and able to be happy because my attitude is good.


So how do we manage our attitude? Bob Proctor, another mentor that I love to listen to, says,

“Thoughts plus behavior = attitude.” That makes a lot of sense to me.

People often reach out to me ask, “Have you always been positive and optimistic? Are you naturally a happy person?” 

The answer is, I’ve always thought I was—in my own mind—but if I look back, I didn’t always act that way. In fact, a lot of times I acted quite opposite. I could be ornery and still would think of myself as an optimistic person, but it wasn’t complete. My behavior did not match my thoughts.

It was not enough to think positively, I also had to ACT positively before I could truly claim to live the kind of life that comes from having a positive attitude.

One of the things that has helped my attitude the most is a decision I made to look for the things that I want to see and then be them. For example, I once enjoyed watching people have fun, but I felt left out of the fun because I was boring. I rarely if ever laughed out loud.

One day I realized that more than just watching. I wanted to experience MY life as fun and exciting. I decided to create the intention to see fun in my life on purpose, and then I would BE fun by actually laughing about it. I turned fun from a wish to a behavior. 

That decision created magic in my life and so I started doing more and more of that. Now I can truly say that my behavior matches my thoughts.  Of course I have days where I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. On those days when I feel like my mood is going to be get in the way I’m my ability to have a successful day, feel good day, or if I want to influence someone for good, I know I have to behave my way out of that mood. I get up and put my thoughts in order by listening to an audio, reading a book (I often choose scripture,) and then I do something active, like go for a walk or dance. Getting into action, it changes my attitude and my day is so much better because of it.

It’s an Intention; it’s a Decision; & it’s Action. 

There is a scripture (Philippians 4: 8) which says,

“whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Author Tommy Newberry wrote a book about this scripture called “The 4:8 Principle.” In the book, he suggests reading this scripture every day at 4:08 as a reminder to look for the good things in life. I took this suggestion seriously, and every day for about 3 years now, my phone sounds an alarm at 4:08,

“…whatsoever things are lovely…think on these things.” 

So at least once a day, I stop and look around until I find something virtuous, something lovely, something of good report, something praise worthy, something that makes me happy, something that makes me smile, something that helps me feel positive about my life.

And this is my message to you today—a challenge to seek for lovely things.

Set an intention to have a great attitude, because your attitude determines the trajectory of your life.

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