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Improve Your Attitude Today
I remember the first time I watched the movie Rudy on T.V. many years ago. I was tuned in to this movie from the first moment it began to run through the closing credits. So how does that have anything to do with five simple ways to improve your attitude?
If you have ever watched the movie, then you already know the answer, but for those who have not, I will briefly explain the connection.
Rudy was a young Irish kid growing up in the 1960s and early 70s, and his only dream was to play football for the Fighting Irish Of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame University is a Catholic school well known for its outstanding football program and high academic standards. It held a special place in the hearts and minds of young Irish-Catholic boys growing up around its legend and traditions who hoped that they could one day take part in playing for the Fighting Irish.
There were a few issues with a kid like Rudy going to any top-level programs such as Notre Dame. The one that stands out the most is that he was considered too small and did not have exceptional talent in football by anyone’s standards.
In addition to this first problem, which would be a show-stopper for most young people, he did not have the grades even to be accepted into the university so that he could play football.
A third but significant obstacle that he, as one of 13 kids in his family, was that his family did not believe in him and was ultimately against the idea.
No one in his own family thought that what Rudy wanted to do was possible. If he were to achieve his dreams, he would have to do so without the support of his family.
Attitude Can Help Get To Your Goals
As history would have it, Rudy found a way to go to Notre Dame and even found a way to play football with the famous Notre Dame football team as a member of the scout team.
After all this kid went through to get that far, he could have been satisfied knowing he got close to his dream. But that did not sit well with this young man because in his dreams he saw himself running out of the player tunnel and onto the field at Notre Dame stadium.
But everywhere he turned seemed to be a dead-end, and every request met with a resounding “no”! The doors that he kept knocking on remained closed, and yet his attitude was one of resolve and determination.
With his senior year at Notre Dame drawing to an end, and one more home game remaining at Notre Dame Stadium, Rudy still was not even on the current team roster. Frustrated, he looked at his dreams about to become a thing of the past, he wanted to give up.
In a very inspiring and moving moment in the film, the head groundskeeper who had looked after Rudy and given him a job reminded Rudy of just how far he had come and how many obstacles he faced and yet had persevered.
Then he revealed that he too was once a player for Notre Dame but had allowed setbacks and having to sit on the bench affect his attitude to the point where he quit. He then said the most profound and possibly inspirational thing of the movie.
He said, “not a day goes by that I do not regret quitting and giving up on my dreams.”
Realizing how far he had come and what it would mean if he quit after years of working and paying the price for success, Rudy again found the inspiration to finish strong and see this journey to its end no matter the outcome.
Having a positive attitude when the outcome is not known and the likelihood of success is minimal requires real character and heart, and one that is not dependant on circumstances or even the results.
We Win If We Never Quit
Rudy never quit, and on the very last home game of his senior year, he was allowed to dress with the team.
Rudy had the honor of leading the team out of the tunnel and onto the historical field at Notre Dame
An experience that most of us have not had in our lives and can only imagine the glorious feeling of excitement that must go through the minds of those who have. So much more for Rudy, who, according to everyone else, was not qualified to be there.
Still, he would likely have no chance of actually getting into the game, but this in and of itself was quite an accomplishment.
Had that been the end of the story, we would still have a shining example of how the human soul and attitude can lift anyone to their biggest dreams regardless of their shortcomings, lack of skills, talents, and abilities. It does not matter how we compare to everyone else if we pursue our dreams with the right attitude and never give up.
With only seconds remaining in the game and Notre Dame assured the victory, coaches put Rudy in the game for three plays.
On the last play of the game, Rudy showed the world something he had done throughout his time on the scout team, which was to give one hundred percent effort on every play and never hold back.
The ball was snapped, and the quarterback began to drop back, Rudy had already blown past the defender and quickly tackled the Georgia Tech Quarterback behind the line of scrimmage as the game ended.
The Rewards Of A Good Attitude
The moment was electric, and the stadium and sidelines erupted like thunder at what they had just witnessed. Something out of a dream, this young boy got what he wanted that everyone else told him he could not have.
It was his attitude that carried him there, but it was his teammates that carried him off the field and into the locker room, which was the first time anyone was carried off of the field at Notre Dame.
Only one other player in Notre Dame’s storied history ever received such a high honor from their teammates since November 8, 1975, when Rudy Ruettiger was carried off on the shoulders of his team.
What Rudy achieved is beyond comprehension when you consider that this program has produced All-Americans, first-round draft picks, and Superbowl MVP’s.
How Did He Do It?
What did Rudy have that allowed him to face so much adversity and still get what he wanted? How did this kid get carried off the field, have a movie made about his story, and become a living sports legend inspiring countless other athletes all over the country and the world?
One word, attitude!
People can say he had heart, drive, determination, and a host of other things, which he appeared to have. But for me, at least, it was created from and sustained by his attitude.
Having the right attitude supports your faith and belief so that they can expand and increase, causing you to take action.
- A right attitude looks at what most people would call a defeat, and sees only a challenge.
This positive and productive approach helps keeps you going when no one else believes in you except yourself.
Nothing I am going to share with you is breaking news or even something that you may not have already heard in some form or fashion.
And I don’t know if you have the right attitude or a bad one, but what I do know is that if you develop a proper perspective, it will change everything in your life.
So let us look at five ways we can improve our attitude right now, today
#1- Be thankful
Say what? That is correct, and the reason I put that first is that that is where it is most effective and has the most significant impact on our attitudes.
It took me a little while, but I now have the auto-pilot level habit of telling God one thing I am thankful for as soon as my eyes open in the morning. It may sound simple or even silly to some; however, this primes my attitude in two ways.
First, it guarantees that my first thoughts of the day begin with something positive. We have all had those days where we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, which means we woke up with a bad attitude.
Once in a blue moon, we may all be a bit off for many different reasons, such as eating habits and not getting sound or enough sleep.
But if there is a pattern of waking up like this or just being extremely moody, we can do wonders by having a mindset of gratitude for what we have and for who we have in our lives.
No Excuses. Just Do It!
There are zero exceptions for being thankful in God’s Universe as He instructs us to give thanks in everything good or bad.
So you mean to tell me when something terrible happens, I should be grateful? Well, yes, I am. But allow me to explain. While it may be impossible to be thankful for everything that happens, we can remain in a consistent state of gratitude and thank God for something. What good has it ever done anyone to feel and act the opposite way?
The Word also says, “God works ALL things together for good to those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose”
I believe that the Word all in the original text means ALL. So God can take the worst mess, circumstances, failures, pain, sorrow, and disasters and use them together with other things and bring about something good. We cannot possibly see all that is going on in the spiritual world or even in the physical world. That is when our faith is tested and without faith, it impossible to please Him.
The very thing that you may initially have viewed as bad maybe the very situation that springboards you into the life you desire and opens doors that would have never been open to you had it not happened.
There are too many possibilities and circumstances that we either cannot see, do not understand and are unaware of happening for us to figure it all out.
And if we immediately take the road most traveled and assume things are horrible and final to where there is no longer hope or anything right, it doesn’t change the situation one bit and keeps us living under things that came to pass and not to stay.
No Matter What, We Can Find Something Good
Even in death, Jesus comforted His disciples by telling them that when He went away, He would send the Comforter, The Holy Spirit, to be with them. And, that with the Holy Spirit leading them, they would do even greater things than He had done.
You will be lucky ever to meet a super-successful person who has not been through trials and disasters throughout their life. It is these times that test us and our character, mold us, and define which direction we go.
We may not be grateful for the pain of some tragedy that has happened in our lives. But even amid the worst storms, if you will remain thankful for what you do have it will not only produce peace and give you the strength that others around you may need, the storm may not hang around as long as it would if you become bitter, angry, and ungrateful.
Just Look at What They Went Through
If you object and say to yourself, to God, or anyone else, “but you don’t know what I have been through,” it will do nothing to change the fact that you can still find something for which to be thankful. And it will be better for you anyway.
We sometimes get the notion that our pain is worse than anyone else could know, and this is because we cannot see and do not see what others have experienced. We complain about the pain in our leg until we see someone who has no legs sitting in a wheelchair.
The person in the wheelchair complains about having to be in a wheelchair until they see someone unable to get out of the bed.
And the person unable to get out of bed may complain until they see someone in a coma who is not even conscious.
I think you get my point, and while I am not suggesting we compare ourselves to others in most cases, this is one area of life where doing so can help us realize that what we are experiencing is not exclusive to us. There is always someone who has to deal with a worse situation than we do.
Against All Odds
We often hear of stories of how people overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and achieve things no one would expect them to, given their particular hardship or circumstances.
Success stories should remind us not only to be grateful for being spared worse trials but to understand that we can still have the right attitude in the midst of them.
Life is full of challenges for everyone, you have yours, and I have mine. But even if ours were identical, it is doubtful that we would both have the same attitude towards them.
Because we as humans have the tendency to stereotype everyone, sizing them up in the blink of an eye and forming a belief of who we perceive them to be all based on superficial, temporary characteristics, we forget that no one has a perfectly smooth life.
The truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and people all around us hide problems, trials, and pain from us right under our noses every day.
Another bad habit that we, as humans, tend to have is the habit of feeling sorry for ourselves. We somehow think that because we went through some hardship, it means that we are now exclusive and get to live with a unique set of rules and laws.
We may not even realize we do it, yet it shows up in our conversations, and in our (here is our Word again), “Attitudes.”
Ok, so we should stop so that you can hug yourself because I do not want anyone to think I am trying to be mean or hateful.
I know how these things have affected me in my life and how they have slowed down my progress. By allowing my thoughts and words to remain in line with the victim mentality, it only led me to see more and more of life as unfair. Soon, everything that happens is someone else’s fault, and it is like a domino effect until you are miserable and helpless.
The second benefit of being thankful is that it gets the focus off of me and on God. It is intentionally honoring Him before anyone or anything else. God expects and is worthy of the first and the best, not the last or the leftovers of our life. And it is not some God complex or defect. It is because He loves us that much.
If you are a parent, you must know the joy and love you have for your children. Just being with them makes you happy. They do silly dumb stuff or even horrible things sometimes, yet you still want a close relationship with them, and you also want to protect, teach, and help them grow.
God laid it out right in front of our noses in that He sees His children a lot as we see ours. Still, we look at any restriction as legalism or God not wanting us to enjoy life. You know, as a kid, you looked at your parents the same way a time or two.
The truth is, thou shall not merely means don’t do that because it is harmful. It is no different than when we slap a child’s hand away from touching a burning hot stove.
The young child is oblivious to the danger and pain they are about to experience, and you, as an excellent parent to not want to see your child suffer the horrible pain of a burn.
Up or Down, We Can’t Do Both At The Same Time
It is hard to be down in the dumps when we are thinking positive and grateful thoughts about something that we have or may be experiencing.
It sets the tone for my attitude and my day, and It is worth the time and effort to add it to your morning routine if you haven’t already.
Priming your view with the mindset of gratefulness will make you so much happier and healthy than one that feels the world owes them something.
#2 Monitor the words you speak to yourself
Most of us are aware of how we talk to ourselves throughout the day or are we? How do you address yourself when you mess up and blow it? When you make a big mistake or fail at something? Do you rip yourself and belittle yourself in your mind? Have you ever mumbled to yourself the words “stupid,” or I’m an idiot?”
The last thing you want to do is put yourself down, especially during big emotional moments.
I had formed some bad habits with this, and while at times I said it almost like a joke and sarcastically, what good did it ever do for me?
- I want to tell you a secret. It is just as easy to say something positive under your breath or in your mind whenever things do not go your way as it is to say something negative, it all comes down to the habits we create.
It just requires feeling a little awkward at first, and like the new words do not fit or belong. That is because your subconscious mind is all primed and ready to continue doing things the way you always have.
It has the words on the tip of your tongue waiting for you to speak them for the one-thousandth time this year, but you can refuse and reprogram yourself with truth and positive affirmations of who and what you are.
You may laugh at this, but it works. The next time you make a big mistake instead of all the negative words and thoughts say to yourself (without being sarcastic), “you are smart and competent.”
I do not recommend yelling this out to your boss or anything if you just lost a big contract or missed a deadline.
You may be able to come up with something better in your life that you can use but take a minute and think of replacing those negative, self-defeating words and thoughts that you say to yourself.
Just start speaking or thinking the exact opposite of what you have been thinking and saying, and you will most likely have the ideal words for each situation.
- You could say or think nothing, but that is not likely, and having something to put in place of the bad habit makes forming a new one much more likely.
#3 – Feed Your Mind A Healthy Diet of Nutrition
This one is just as important as the first two, and because you are reading this, you are already practicing this crucial element of creating and maintaining the right attitude.
- We put garbage in, and we get the trash out. If we are lazy in our garden, then weeds will take over, and the harvest will reflect our negligence.
With our attitudes, they are just like anything else in life. We will not likely wake up every day and be positive and driven if we fail to feed our minds with motivation, information, and direction.
We do not just fall into success or achieve high levels of anything by being lazy and neglectful.
Pull the weeds and give the garden some water.
- Instead of going on about this point, I will give you 20 suggestions of things you may consider doing do to help you out with forming or maintaining the right attitude.
- Listen to positive people
- Read books about improving attitudes
- Read stories about those who overcame obstacles
- Watch motivational videos
- Listen to lectures from life coaches and speakers
- Find someone who believes in you and who will encourage you when you feel weak
- Exercise and eat healthier
- Complete small tasks and keep track of your success
- Read blogs like this one, and I am sure there are many
- Pray without ceasing
- Practice looking at the glass as half full and not half empty
- Spend time with positive goal-driven people who have good attitudes
- Shut out the nay-sayers and negative voices and do not focus on them
- Get a good night sleep every night
- Make a plan on how to get where you want to be
- Live life with intention and purpose
- Stop and smell the roses each day
- Feel good now by focusing on something good
- Do what you love to do
- Follow your purpose in life and not someone else’s
- And one more for good measure, Look at those who are where you want to be and have great attitudes and be encouraged that you can have what they have too.
#4 Understand That A Roadblock or Obstacle is only the End if You Believe it is
When it comes to attitude and achieving anything of value in our lives, we had better determine ahead of time that no matter what, we will not give up and quit when times get hard, and there seems like no way to get where we want to be.
If you know without a doubt that you will reach your goal, then the issues you encounter along the way will not stop you or sour your attitude.
And that is the kind of belief we need to keep feeding our minds to keep our positive attitude going when life happens, and there is a delay in reaching our destination.
Think about the following statement with an open mind as it is key to sustaining a right attitude in moments of adversity and doubt. When your attitude is correct, the facts don’t matter.
While that may sound absurd and foolish, it is a true statement. First, most of what you and I hear from the news, our friends, co-workers, and even family members are not a fact but are their opinions.
On top of that, we add thoughts and opinions to everything and often create bigger situations and roadblocks in our minds than we are facing in reality.
And, in almost every situation, things reported to us are neither as good as they appear or as bad as they seem.
When emotion is involved, people have the habit of exaggerating the facts for effect, and often what we get is a version that is far different than what happened.
Other times what we hear is motivated not by giving us accurate truthful information but is meant to influence us in one way or the other. So without knowing all of the facts, we come to the wrong conclusion.
Just as two people can watch the same movie and give reviews that are as different from one another as night and day, we must learn to be patient and ask questions.
Clear out the emotion and self-serving motivation that may be fueling the story or information that is being presented and get to the actual specifics of what someone is telling us and the way something may appear.
We all have seen that even with the best intentions, things get distorted and changed when they pass from one person to another.
You can whisper something in someone’s ear who then whispered in someone else’s ear and repeated to twenty different people all in a circle. In most cases, when the last person whispers it back to you, it will not be the same thing that you whispered in the beginning.
If that is the case, then we will do well to remember that throughout our life and understand that edited videos we may see on YouTube and images we see on Pinterest, or stories we read on Facebook, are often not facts.
You watch where some event looks so unjust, yet they only showed you the part they wanted to show to have you think the way they wanted you too. It is that simple and easy to mislead and misrepresent the facts of anything.
I want to rant and rave about the media but will spare you this time to save that for another time. President Trump has the kind of attitude that I am talking about here.
Standing alone against every type of accusation and hatred from groups of liberals and the media, he stayed the course and has continued to fight for our country and the principals he stands for.
Spare me the regurgitated rhetoric from the late-night talk shows, and MS-NBC. They have behaved like animals and spoiled children having not succeeded at manipulating the will of the people to their agendas. They will continue to spoon-feed their viewers with nightly meals of hatred and spite. And if you want a terrible attitude, listen to a nightly dose of that poison before you go to bed.
Trump has shown real character and high levels of sustaining his positive attitude amongst sharks and preditors who relentlessly seek any and every way possible to discredit and thwart his efforts to lead this country.
Attitude is so important, and whether you like Trump or not is not the subject of this article. You can still take from his example that we do not have to crumble when facing even the worst levels of opposition and accusations.
We may not feel much emotion when it is someone else who is being thrown unjustly into the fire, but when it comes into our life or the life of our family, then it is a far different story.
Take what you hear with a grain of salt. The advertising methods of today teach that you must get someone’s attention to gain traffic. As a result, you see ridiculous and misleading headlines with shocking statements more and more, which get you in the door to see their advertisements.
#5 See the End From the Beginning
- The last one for today I want to share is this, get the big picture in your mind. The big picture of who you are, what your purpose is, and where you are going.
Keeping the big picture in mind will help put things in perspective when you run into an issue that seems to slow you down or interrupt your journey. Understand that sometimes the detour is not so much a detour as it is the way to get where you want to be.
We are likely to be much less concerned with paying a small price here in there to achieve our objective if we will keep the final destination in mind and not allow ourselves to get a sour attitude when something arises we did not expect or want.
Shake it off and get back to your plan or deal with something and overcome it. Sometimes we can move mountains, other times we must go around it.
Still, there may be times where we must fly over a hill or tunnel our way under it. If we will keep believing and maintain our positive attitude, we can achieve things in our lives far above the limits and expectations of others.
Take the time to be thankful every day. Eliminate negative self-talk and feed your mind with the right information and motivation. Then, understand that roadblocks and delays are not permanent and keep the bigger picture in your thoughts.
All of these can help us to have a better attitude, which in turn creates the opportunity for us to have a better life.
I would have to say that one of the most important things I have learned, or should say am learning, is this. When something that appears to be bad that seems horrible and it makes no sense or I see no good in it, to pause. I must remember that I am not God. I do not know what I do not know which includes all knowledge of what will ultimately happen as a result of this situation that appears bad now.If I will remain calm and weather the storm while looking for the good, it is a million times better than allowing the event to bury me in fear, worry, or anger. I either believe this verse or I do not:
“God works all things together for good,…”
- And you can be happy and feel good right now. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only way to be satisfied is to get to some other place or have some other thing. The best time and place for you and me to be happy is right here and right now.
Do not spend your entire life working on getting where you think happiness is. It is already right there inside of you just waiting for you to discover that the glass is actually half full and not half empty.
Remember, when our attitudes are in the right place, the facts do not matter. And what other people may think or say should not stop us from achieving our goals and dreams and living a more fulfilled and meaningful life.
You are amazing, you are a champion, and you can apply these simple suggestions to begin experiencing an improved attitude which can brighten your day and your future.
For additional resources, you can access at the bottom just below this image of a super attitude boy.
You can read in more detail the life of Rudy Ruettiger here at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Ruettiger