Want a New Life? Start with a New Attitude

Changing your attitude can change your life. In a more positive light, improving your attitude can improve your life. I know it’s true. I’ve experienced it. But what’s attitude, anyway? Simply put, attitude is our orientation regarding a person, a situation, or anything you encounter. It affects our thoughts, actions, words, relationships, and everything else. Most importantly, it affects the way we treat ourselves. I didn’t really have any vice or addiction when I was in my teens or even later on. I even grew up with family and relatives who smoked cigarettes a lot, but I never really liked trying it. What I had, though, was more vicious and destructive than alcohol, smoking, or any other such vice. I had this negativity that’s keeping me from enjoying my life. For some people, I think, realizing the need for change comes after a sudden blow that’s struck them hard, making them fall flat on the ground. I didn’t really have that experience. It would’ve been great drama for this article if I had an event like that. But I don’t have one. My experience was more like a string of challenges that I knew I had to face. I knew that there’s something in my attitude that’s holding me back from everything and I just couldn’t seem to shake it off. For those of you who are going through a similar thing, I’d like to impart some of the things that I’ve started to doing and still continue to do to be a better person – enough to say right now that I have a great life that I deserve to enjoy. These are just 3 areas in my life in which I’ve done a major makeover, but there are a lot more. Be more grateful. I think I can never overemphasize the importance of being thankful for what you’ve got when I talk about being happier or having a better life, in general. I remember my mom’s always told me whenever I came to her crying to look at what I have and be thankful for each of them. Now I understand why. I believe a lot of the good things are rooted in gratefulness. I think more of the things I should give thanks for, and it seems like everything flows from there. I feel more capable of doing things, more generous, and more contented. I also find that anger, envy, disappointment, and all the negative feelings don’t happen quickly anymore. But above all these, when I’ve got difficulties to handle, I feel more hopeful than before. I still dread the challenges, of course. Give more compliments. This one goes with the grateful attitude. I think that it’s hard to do this without acknowledging what you have. More than a decade ago, a friend of my mother went to our house, and she had this nice bag that caught my eye. And I just told her that I liked it, without thinking so much about it as I was on my way out of the house. A couple of days after, she bought me a bag just like hers – just like that one I complimented her on. Until now, I always remember that experience. It still serves as a reminder for me about the beauty of complimenting. But please, don’t get me wrong. Giving compliments is not about wanting to get something in return. It’s the experience of taking that big step of telling people good things about them compared to just thinking positively about them. And there will be people who’ll be unresponsive to your compliments, and some will even brush them off. But all those who’ll appreciate what you’ll say will truly be worth the effort. Welcome new experiences. Fear and a host of other negative feelings have stopped me from living my life to its fullest then. I know many of you can say that, too. But inch by inch, I’ve been ticking off items in my bucket list. It’s all because I’ve been letting curiosity and the thrill of new experiences drive me more than fear and negative thinking. I’ve always wanted to learn a third language. I was 37 years old when I decided to take Nihongo classes. Without any knowledge of reading or writing Japanese or Chinese characters, I just went ahead and registered for a class. I was excited but also anxious about what’s going to happen. To my surprise, I did quite well and went on to finish all the basic courses. And I was even pregnant with our first and only daughter almost the whole time I was studying. I even entered the school’s speech contest for beginners, which I won – again, to my surprise. Had I let anxiety and low self-esteem overcome me, I couldn’t have known and experienced any of these things. I may still not be proficient in Nihongo, but I had gained knowledge, friends, self-confidence, and many other things. I’ve also discovered a lot of good things about myself along the way. It’s inspired me to go on and fulfill all the other items in my bucket list. One thing surely hasn’t changed, though – I’m still not perfect. And that’s just fine. I guess that’s why I’m still alive. I remember this quote that’s credited to author and politician Bruce Barton: “When you are through changing, you are through.” But I love my life more now. And I don’t want to go back. I just want to keep moving on. I’ve always heard people say that life begins at 40. Well, I turned 40 this year. And I think I have a good idea what they’re talking about. What about you? Is your attitude making a positive or a negative impact in your life? Any major attitude changes you’ve made to help you enjoy your life more? 

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