Attitude is Everything
[This excellent article by Dr. Travis Bradbury, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and President of TalentSmart, was first published August 9, 2017 in a newsletter of the World Economic Forum.]
Challenges come at us whether we are ready or not. Stuff happens! The interesting (and empowering) thing here is, of course, is that how we react to challenges and what seem like defeats, is all important.
Here is the thing…problems invite problem-solving. Action is needed. Doing nothing other than suffering – usually is a choice. The useful thing here is to see problem-solving as a choice. What ever you do, even if it is withdrawing for a while before you change direction or rise to the occasion – is a choice.
Is my attitude my choice? Yup!
It is sometimes useful to think about trying on an attitude (‘for size’, to see ‘if it fits’) just like you might try on a new jacket or a new pair of shoes. It may feel odd at first, but you can ‘grow into it’.
Conscious choice is a lot like driving a car. You choose when to step on the gas and when to put on the brake, and how much. You choose which way you will turn, and on and on. The metaphor fits. It is far better to be in the ‘drivers seat’ of your life, than to ‘be along for the ride. Choice-making is your control – and your choice.
It is far better to see a challenge or some moments of relative failure, as obstacles to climb over or for you to go around. And therefore becoming stronger or more skilled as a result.
Active problem-solving often arises out deliberately taking action that comes from asking yourself “what do I need to learn?” or what do I need to do differently?” – then taking action. Great things have been achieved by being stubbornly determined not to be defeated. Being stubborn can be a good thing as long as it is harnessed to help you stay motivated not to be beaten by a defeating moment.
Attitude is every, particularly when that attitude is put into action.
The myth of the Phoenix is common across several cultures for a shared human reason. The Phoenix of the myth is a beautiful gold and jewel-encrusted bird (the ‘firebird’) that rises up out of the ‘flames and ashes of defeat’. We humans have challenges and set-backs as part of living in this world. How we respond can define us not only as those who survive, but also as those who thrive, in spite of adversity.
So, choose your attitude. It can be done and you can be thankful for it.