Posted by: kulanjiyil | November 4, 2011

Attitude is Everthing

An attitude is a frame of mind that expresses a person’s thoughts, feelings, and evaluation about a person, place, thing, situation or an event, and as such it is the powerful motivator in all human behaviors. Attitude can be negative or positive, and it is always directed to an object. Some attitudes are fleeting and circumstantial, but some are stable and representative of a person’s personality traits.

The famous German philosopher Dietrich Bonheoffer once said, “The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.” Studies reveal that people that are optimistic tend to adapt better to their environment, respond well to psychological stressors, and recuperate faster and better after an illness or surgical procedure. They have the advantage of optimal immune response to treatments such as cancer. Optimistic persons are seldom quitters, and that boosts their coping mechanism and survival ability. A positive attitude in life is linked to improved quality of life, enhanced work performance, and a greater sense of life satisfaction.
Negative attitude, on the other hand, is characterized by a general pessimistic orientation to life, self-defeating thought patterns, and lack of self-confidence. People with negative attitude tend to worry about their circumstances and blame others for their problems, and their negativism stands as an obstacle to living life fully. They inadequately handle life stressors, and have limited adaptive skills. Pessimism breeds cynicism and despair.

The personal resolve and hope of the optimistic persons draw people to themselves and for that reason they appear to have stronger and efficient support system in comparison those that are pessimistic. The negativity of the pessimistic persons repels people from them.

What is important to realize is that our attitudes, to a large extent, is shaped by our environment. Our cognitive, emotional, social and personality developments are impacted by the kind of nurture we receive early in life, and then after the kind of people that influence us. This is an important lesson for parenting. Children cultivate positive attitudes if parents demonstrate that for them, and children take on negative attitude if they are raised in an environment of negativity and critical spirit. There is much truth in the proverbial saying, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

The kind of attitude we foster in ourselves and in others make a huge difference for our lives, and for the lives of others. By developing an optimistic way of thinking and acting, by learning to appreciate the good in others, and by educating ourselves to reappraise our circumstances differently, we can revolutionalize our way of thinking, feeling, and evaluating people and our life situations.


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