Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gratitude Is In The Attitude!

This morning I perused the internet for thoughts on gratitude and I happened across some pretty amazing counsel.

"You’re always leading with your attitudes. The attitude with which you greet the world each day determines what you receive throughout the day. Another way of putting this is that you get what you expect to get. If you “get up on the wrong side of the bed,” then throughout the day you’re going to discover all sorts of reasons why you did and go to bed that night with more of what you started out with.

Your immediate future is shaped by your present attitudes of mind.

What this means is that, even though you can never actually define your future with any specificity, you nevertheless shape its content by means of your present attitudes. These present attitudes provide filters that focus on finding facts and experiences that validate those attitudes. William James wrote, “As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.” Our attitudes serve to sift out what is not pertinent to or supportive of them or that is not similar in content or emotional tenor. In this way, we have control over the way we will experience our future, regardless of what actually happens, by the control we exercise over our present attitudes of mind.

But to what extent do we really have control? Can we really change our attitudes of mind? Aren’t they etched in stone by genetics and/or by years of conditioning from society, peer groups and family? Another of James’ observations makes sense here: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

Let’s say it is possible to change your attitude, as James suggests, and that this can be life altering. Let’s take the example above of getting out of bed “on the wrong side.” Regardless of the reasons you do so – perhaps you’re not feeling well or you didn’t sleep well because of issues you tried but couldn’t resolve in your head – this is how you begin your day. With this attitude, you immediately begin to look for reasons to continue in this manner. And, as Henry Ford was once purported to say, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t – you’re right.” In other words, as you think, you travel. You go in the direction of your dominant thought. Your attitudes are the distillation of your habits of thought that wind up controlling your destination. But you don’t have to let it control you destiny.

Attitudes seem to behave in the same manner as physical matter and abide by similar laws. Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion states, “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.” To paraphrase for our purposes, “an attitude tends to remain in the brain until acted upon by an external force.” If you start off by thinking in a certain way, you’ll find yourself continuing to think that way until someone or something acts upon you is such a way as to change the manner of your thought.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with discouragement because of your current circumstances, frozen by fear and faint from fatigue, the first thing you must do is to change your attitude toward those circumstances. They are not your enemy nor are they the cause of your discouragement and misery. They are merely data regarding your environment with which you must deal in some fashion."

So, simply put, in order to feel gratitude in all things, we must change our attitude.
Pretty amazing, huh? :o)

Suggested Reading

Book: Brass Dragon Codex
Author: R.D. Henham

The Book
Never start a conversation with a brass dragon--it might never end!

In another volume of the companion series to A Practical Guide to Dragons, orphaned baby brass dragon Kyani ventures out into the desert to find something to eat, and finds a gnome named Hector instead. Hector is not so sure he wants a chatty, hungry brass dragon following his every move. But several groups ready to go to blows over the marvelous invention Hector guards with his life, he may need the help that only a fun-loving brass dragon can provide.

This was the first time I had ever read one of R.D. Henham's novels, and I have to say that it was a very fun book to read. I mean, hey, how can you not like a book with a lovable, free-spirited dragon and a cute little gnome? :o) I'm definitely going to read the rest of the books in this series.
Brass Dragon Codex can be purchased at your local bookstore or from Amazon.com

Get your copy of The Journey today! jadamsnovels.com


Josi said...

Very interesting insights. I need to work harder at applying this type of thinking. Thanks for the research and for sharing your own thoughts on this, Jewel.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Way cool! But then, you are cool, so anything you say will therefore be cool.