In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 7 steps to changing your attitude.
First a quick update:
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Now, let’s talk about the 7 steps to help change your attitude.
On December 17, 1944, a 23-year old, Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda was sent to an island in the Philippines to fight the war against The Allies. His orders were to never give up and never give his life voluntarily. Onoda followed those orders and for 29 years he refused to surrender or concede that the war was over.
Numerous times, the Allies had dropped pamphlets, fliers, letters from relatives with photos and newspapers over the island letting everyone know that the war was over. But Onoda and his men believed that it was a ploy by The Allies to trick them. In 1949, one of Onoda’s men secretly deserted them and one year later they found a note from him confirming that the war was over. Yet again, Onoda refused to believe that it was true and he and the remaining men continued guerrilla attacks – killing thirty people and a hundred others unnecessarily.
Finally, in 1974, a Japanese college student met with Onoda who told him he would only believe the war was over if his first superior officer Major Taniguchi would tell him so.
Major Taniguchi made the trip to the Philippines and met with Onoda who wept openly at the news that the war ended 29 years earlier and that Japan had lost.
Hiroo Onoda is an extraordinary example of the power of attitude, belief and commitment: he believed that only his superior officer could confirm truth; he committed himself to his orders to never give up his life voluntarily and; his attitude was that he could survive and conquer his environment and every challenge & test.
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change”
While Onoda’s story of survival and devotion is inspirational, he also unnecessarily killed 30 villagers.
He refused to change; he refused to accept the evidence before him on multiple occasions.
It is common for people to take up a position or belief and refuse to change or let it go – even when that position or belief results in pain, loss or self-sabotage.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”.
- Lao Tzu
Our attitudes, beliefs and emotions combine to make us magnets that either attract or alienate people, opportunities, relationships, success and happiness. Our energy, perception and response to everything around us also form part of our reality for we can positively affect or infect our lives and world. We have about 65,000 thoughts a day and most are unconscious. What are you dominant thoughts? Read my article “Affect or infect?” http://patrickwanis.com/blog/affect-or-infect/
Here are 7 steps to transform your attitude to one that supports and empowers you.
- Identify the attitude & impact
Accept that your attitude and perspective needs changing i.e. that you believe that ‘the world is bad, people, can’t be trusted, life stinks, everything is hopeless, Joe needs to change, I am a loser, etc.’ Identify the ways that this attitude is infecting your life.
- Identify the source
Once you have accepted the truth about your attitude, determine its actual source. Is it stress? Are you emotionally overwhelmed? Is there a specific situation or past experience that has contributed to your present attitude or belief or is it the result of programming? For example, is your attitude the reflection or copy of one of your parent’s attitudes?
- Change your words
Our thoughts determine our feelings which in turn drive our action and create our results. Become aware of your thoughts, the words and phrases you use on a constant basis. Remember to do more than think positive – speak positively. The constant use of positive words will not magically change your world but will change your mood and outlook and thus will change your results. Read my article “Positivity isn’t enough for success”: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/positivity-isnt-enough-for-success/
- Express gratitude
When choosing your words and thoughts, choose to focus on gratitude. For what can you be thankful – which people, things and events in your life? Begin the morning by thinking about reasons to be cheerful. Of course, life is not perfect but there will always be things, friends and relationships that can be counted as blessings. However, do not use gratitude as an excuse to stop taking action or to give up on your dreams.
- Take control, accept change and expect change
Focus on taking charge and control of your life – and not the life or actions of other people. Identify what can be changed and what cannot be changed. Patiently practice accepting that which truly can’t be changed.
Be willing to change; expect that things and people will change: Change is the law of life. Expecting and accepting change results in emotional freedom.
“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
- Lao Tzu
- Change your environment and people
You can’t change people but you can remove them from your life, particularly if they contribute to your negative thoughts and perspective. Regardless of how positive you are, negative people will progressively bring you down. Read my article “Dealing with emotional vampires”: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/dealing-with-emotional-vampires/
“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.”
- Michael Jordan
Notice if your situation is also contributing to a negative or destructive attitude? Can you change your job or environment or do you need to change your perspective and attitude about it?
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
- Steve Jobs
- Transform your beliefs
Shift and transform your beliefs by creating new evidence. For example, if you have an attitude that people can’t be trusted, think of those people in your life that have proven their loyalty and devotion to you. If your attitude is that everything always goes wrong, think of the times when things have worked out well. Look for the lesson i.e. certain types of people can’t be trusted; which ones? Not everything happens the way we want; how did you contribute to this result? Do you sabotage your life?
Shift your beliefs by asking questions about the people and events in your life. Seek to understand other people and that will also help to win friends and deepen bonds. Read my article “How to win friends”: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/how-to-win-friends/
If you discover that you need additional help to transform an attitude or belief, consider one-on-one help. Watch this video: http://patrickwanis.com/PhoneConsultations.asp
Finally, we all wear different sunglasses (filters based on our attitudes, beliefs and programming) and when we change our sunglasses, the world looks and feels new and different – and quickly our reality and results also change.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist