Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘attitude’

Choosing Happiness!

This is the second blog on the topic of how small changes in our thinking can make huge impacts in our lives. In goal setting we know that there are two different types of motivation – constructive and restrictive. The understanding of the difference between the two are significant and can be life changing.

The definition of constructive motivation is deciding to CHOOSE to see the opportunity in a situation. Even with events in our lives that challenge us using constructive motivation we decide to handle them in a more positive manner. Think of the saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemon aid. This is a perfect example of constructive motivation. It allows us to bring a more energized mindset to any chore or event. Life is not easy or for the faint of heart. Why make it harder on ourselves? Constructive motivation colors our world with vibrancy and is energizing not only to us but to those around us.

Restrictive motivation, on the other hand, is easily identified because the person usually starts by saying, ‘I HAVE TO …’ or ‘so and so is MAKING or EXPECTING me to …’ What they are saying is that what they need to do or are expected to do is not really of their choosing and consequently they psychologically resent it and see it as a demand. When you think about it the only two things we have to do in life is die and pay taxes. We don’t have to work at a particular job, live in a particular environment or maintain certain friends because we can change those things if we are unhappy with them. If our job is too stressful we can start looking for a different one that better suits us. If our bills are too high and causing us stress we can change our spending habits. People who use restrictive motivation often enjoy the attention received by playing the role of victim by being the person who is constantly overwhelmed by the demands of others. Their attitude speaks volumes. Slowly but surely they have fewer and fewer friends because their negative energy zaps others. Over time, people choose not to be around them. It just takes too much out of us to hear their latest version of what is not working in their lives. It can be exhaustive just thinking about them.

If we want to feel more in charge of our lives we can do so by consciously thinking in terms or ‘want or choose to do something’ rather than ‘have to’ do something. It takes practice but over time the results are worth it. Reading this you may think the difference of thinking in terms of ‘choosing’ rather than ‘having’ to is merely semantics but it is so much more. The difference is truly immense because in reality it is all about energy – positive or negative. Just think about how you feel when someone tells you to do something compared to when someone asks you to do something. You may still do the task but when asked you feel you have a choice and do it more willingly. When being told to do something you may still do it, of course, but you bring to the table a subtle but natural resentment to the task just as we did when we were kids and our parents told us to do this or that – remember how you felt? Not so good right? Then why would we do the same thing constantly to ourselves?

Our tomorrows stretch out ahead of us just as a blank canvas to an artist. What colors, attitude and motivation we choose to bring to the experience determines whether we bring our total self to the experience with gratitude for the opportunity to live another day and make a difference or not.

The amazing and wonderful thing about life is that we have the exclusive choice to use constructive motivation to cause us to feel deeper and accomplish more by recognizing the gift of being here on this planet to learn our lessons. It is totally in our power to choose our mindset and with it the life we choose to live.That is an awesome opportunity!

Have a great few days!

A Difference of 1 Degree!

Sometimes seemingly small things we do can make all the difference. There was a book published a few years ago entitled, ‘212 the extra degree,’ by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson which emphasized the importance of just going the extra mile to achieve outstanding, life transforming results.

They used the analogy of water. At 211 degrees it is hot. At 212 degrees water will boil and cause steam. The steam, ultimately can power a locomotive or serve as energy for other needs. If that one extra degree can transform an element such as water, what could it do for us? The example they used was simple, the message unbelievably powerful. It’s about adding a bit more commitment to the game, a little more effort to things we do that can change the composition, the product and ultimately, the end result.

In school we are often pushed to do our best. What happens when traditional school is over and the rest of our life begins? Do we remember that what served us well in school will also serve us well in life? Do we do our best and commit that little extra surge of energy, even when tired, to make a difference?

When I used to hear Wednesdays referred to as ‘over the hump days,’ I would question the mindset. I visualized someone with a downtrodden outlook thinking …’just two days left ’till the weekend’ rather than thinking ‘I have so much I want and need to do and ONLY have two days left in which to complete the tasks.’ The amount of work is the same but the path to getting there and the final product can be light years apart. The mindset in the first example robs us of energy and being all we can be while the second actually energizes us to be more …that one degree more that can make all the difference.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, …life is no brief candle to me but a brilliant torch that I’ve got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn brighter…

The choice is ours in life, either we choose to simply show up or bring our A game to be fully PRESENT in what we do. No one can make us happier or more successful in life, only we have the power to do that through the attitude we choose to manifest. If you were giving yourself a letter grade in life what would it be up to this point?

The next time you think about your job or the tasks before you consider adding that one extra degree of effort – you’ll be glad you did.

Have a great few days!