Change Your Attitude, Not Your Circumstances

Brian Johnson
Feb 13, 2019 · 4 min read

It’s no secret that life will give us a good kick every now and then. Heck, it’s a foregone conclusion.

In order to change the inevitability of our current circumstances we first need to stop our current thought processes.

It’s also often discussed in blogs, videos, and literature galore that when this happens, it’s our attitude that is most important in how successful we’ll be with overcoming whatever our life problem happens to be.

So why is it so difficult to align these two concepts to our benefit when we struggle with the life issue de jour?

Well, as it turns out, the problem of the occasional life kick isn’t that we don’t know what to do.

The problem is that when life kicks us we get so lost in the turmoil of it all, the crisis of the moment consumes us, we lose our bearings, then we lose focus, and finally, we lose our perspective. So basically, before we even start to work the problem, we’re already lost and afraid.

In fact, I believe that the fear of unexpected life challenges experienced by so many is due mostly to this feeling of turmoil and the anxiety of not having a good handle on things. Left unchecked, this fear of unexpected life challenges can easily lead to a loss of hope.

At least that’s my experience because this actually happened to me years ago when I found myself out of work for nearly a year. At the time it seemed as if one bad thing after the other was happening. I was very depressed and I slowly began to lose hope in the future. Not a good place to be when trying to solve a problem or work out a plan for the future.

However, it wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to focus on all the good in my life and give gratitude for all that was going well that things began to slowly change.

So full disclosure, I can’t take credit for this change of attitude because it was brought about by some wonderfully caring friends of mine who have mastered the art of success and happiness through the alignment of their attitudes towards their everyday challenges.

What they explained to me was that I had been working on the wrong side of the equation. I was too busy trying to change the circumstances of my reality rather than trying to change my attitude and perspective of my reality. Once I started to realize that good things were happening all around me I was able to tap into that positivity, which in turn gave me the hope and the energy I needed to persevere and overcome.

And that energy was necessary because it wasn’t an overnight process to change my perspective. It took a lot of work at the conscious level and months of application and practice but ultimately it proved successful. Basically, I had to do some simple, but not easy things.

I had to actively and aggressively look for the good and positive things that were happening in my life at the time. What started to emerge was the realization that despite my financial difficulties, bills were getting paid and I had good solid relationships in my life.

I had the opportunity to do some consulting work with some amazing people. I was confronted by some uncomfortable truths about myself but I was given an opportunity to address them, to grow and ultimately become better.

I also had to seek out and find all of the positive things going on in other people’s lives as well. As far as I’m concerned this was just as important because I slowly started to realize that many of the people closest to me were successfully getting through some difficulties of their own or had done so recently.

This realization gave me enormous encouragement because I could slowly start to weave together an internal narrative of my own ability to get through, and past, my own circumstances at that time.

Ultimately, what I discovered through this process is that life will always give us a good kick from time to time and when this happens it will kick us in whatever direction we are facing.

If we are facing in the direction of gratitude, hope and helping others then when life kicks us it will kick us closer to that perspective. If, however, we are facing in the direction of anger, fear and selfishness then when life kicks us it will kick us closer to that perspective and outlook.

Today I know that despite the appearances of my own personal reality there are always good things happening, big and small, in my life and the lives of others.

If I can just practice tapping into that perspective at a core level just a little each and every day then I can overcome all obstacles. I don’t think that anyone really does this perfectly, least of all myself.

But, I think that we can all practice a little each day and slowly grow our knowledge and understanding of this perspective over time.

Brian Johnson

Written by

Technology Innovation Strategist & Change Manager: Influencing and helping others to reach their full potential through intentional improvement.

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