Attitude in Life

The attitudes that you choose to carry in life have a major impact on such important consequences as how happy you are, or whether realize your goals. For example, if you choose to persist in life, you will likely one day reach your goal. However, if your attitude is to give up after initial attempts, your path to your goal may be more likely thwarted. Thus, the following advice tries to summarize some of the major attitudes that people should generally try to hold, but are generally neglected by many people. It may not be possible to follow these guidelines all the time, but definitely attitudes to strive to achieve toward.

Don't blame others - learn from your mistakes and any other lessons that your experiences may be handing out to you. Many people have excuses about their lives. They don't do this because of this. They didn't do that because of that. They blame their parents. They blame their teachers. They blame the traffic if they are late. They blame everything and everyone they can - except themselves, of course.

However, they should really be looking at that excuse, and saying, "Hey, I do not need to make up an excuse. I do not need to be late going to this appointment every time. I can solve this problem of being late. I can be on time by writing down in my agenda that I will set my alarm the night before, get up on time with time to spare, and arrive on time, as I had told others." Others may even be astonished at their transformation.

Don't criticize other people or things just for the sake of criticizing. It is a waste of time. If you can change a situation, change it; if you can't, don't complain. Of course, you may want to discuss with a friend the problem you are having. Doing that is perfectly legitimate because it makes you feel better after sharing a problem with someone. Once you have discussed this problem, though, try to move on to more constructive problem solving instead of complaining and criticizing in front of everyone how horrible the boss is, or how you hate the traffic layout in the city. Do something about it instead of complaining. If it serves no purpose, do not complain. Even if it does serve a purpose, such as if you do not like someone playing loud music, you should frankly address the problem with that person instead of complaining. (See the Communication section.)

Some people constantly complain about certain individuals to others. However, this does nothing to solve any problems unless, as mentioned above, you would like this confidant to help you with your problems. Still other people find faults in the most trivial of things. Again, this is an extremely bad habit that must be broken. (See article on changing your own habits - Effecting Internal Change). 

Work hard. Perhaps the reason that so many people watch professional sports is that when a team wins, it makes them feel wonderful. During the period of the playing however, the viewer was passive and did not really have to engage in much work or sweat. Thus, it was not hard work. It was easy work, but yet it made them feel so happy if their team wins. However, if you are willing to accomplish hard work, and not easy work, for your own benefit as well as for the benefit of society, all will improve for both yourself and society. 

While you work hard, remember to aim for high quality, not perfection. Perfection may be almost impossible. However, performing high quality work, doing the best you can, pushing yourself beyond what you normally assume to be the best, is attainable for everyone. If you enjoy calligraphy, challenge yourself to write even better every time. Put in some more toil. Put in some more time. Slowly, your skills will gradually improve. Your toil and sweat will eventually pay off. Not all of a sudden of course, but through days, months, and years of hard work, you will one day notice, "Wow, I really like that penmanship of mine." And it was not because you tried to perfect your penmanship, but because you tried to make it the very best you possibly could. 

Don't necessarily follow trends. Following popular trends is one of the worst aspects of popular, modern culture and the media; when many people do one thing, other people follow suit, such as watching a film, reading a book, or owning a digital camera or fax machine (for those of you who don't know or were not born yet at the time, the fax machine used to populate many households, but is now gradually being replaced by the computer). Instead, you should learn to judge for yourself and decide whether you should follow suit; you do not have to do it just because other people do it. Have some character. Do things once in a while that others don't do, and don't always do things that almost everyone else is doing. If you do not enjoy traveling, you do not need to travel just because everyone else in your office travels whenever they go on vacation. This is not to be a contradictory person, but it really means having your own character. Be yourself.  Of course, not saying that all popular culture is bad. If you like to follow trends, that's fine. But, as mentioned, you must decide for yourself why you are doing a certain thing. Are you watching the latest popular movie because you are afraid you will miss something if you don't, that you'll miss some important life lesson, that you have nothing more constructive that you can do with your time, that you will definitely enjoy another popular movie? Or, are you just going because if everyone else is going and saying it's good, then you're thinking that you need to watch too? Sorry for sounding a bit extreme, but sometimes, you must rethink your priorities, look at the big picture, and determine whether you really should continue to do the activities you have been doing all your life. 

Don't yearn. Many people envy other people can do this, other people have this, while they don't have any of that. However, this is not a healthy outlook on life at all. When they are thinking this, they often neglect that other people have their own problems. There is always a negative side to each story, and forgetting this can make people unhappy because they feel that other people are always better off than they are. However, it is much more constructive to enjoy the things that you like in your life and then take actions to improve upon the areas in which you feel miserable. Taking these actions will already be major steps in accomplishing your goals. This is much more useful than yearning about things that you have no control over such as other people's lives. 

Feel a sense of modesty. One should definitely be confident, but unfortunately today, there are too many arrogant, vain, and smug people today. Much of this probably resulted from accumulating much wealth, and thus they feel that they do not have to be humble. However, humility is one of the best and most admirable qualities of a human being. But why bother being humble? By being humble, one can learn more and feel that the knowledge that you have to date is adequate. At the same time, though, you will also feel that you can always improve upon what you know, or learn from others the way to accomplish a certain task. 

How, though, does one behave arrogantly? Examples are feeling that one is superior to other people. (It's important to feel worthy and capable, for that leads to self-confidence. However, one person is definitely not superior to someone else even if one is a professional athlete and another person is not; the professional athlete may be playing to win and make money, while the other person may simply be playing for pleasure, or they may already be playing their best). This feeling of superiority is often displayed in statements that downgrade other people without reason, or insisting that someone believe or do what they say. There should always be room for learning from others, from listening to others' viewpoints, from accepting others' beliefs, from changing your own beliefs about certain issues, and from admiring the capabilities of others. That way you can learn and improve to be a better person for the morrow.

Don't get caught up in the rat race. You often hear advertisers say you have to do this to maintain your position, or go one-up in this "competitive world." Well, it is true that competition serves an important role, for it forces you to reach a higher, new level. However, it would probably be less stressful to think of it as self-improvement, and as an increasing of your own capacity and potential for accomplishment. That would be a more reasonable way to look at it because there will always be competition, and the competition will probably always do it better than you.

Even if you were the best, you may some day be replaced by a more efficient methodology. So, the thing to do is simply to try your best in whatever you may be engaging it, enjoy it, and feel a sense of accomplishment simply because you have completed a task, or perhaps because you have started a project that will be carried on by others. 

Persist. Whenever you are a new hand at a task that you have never accomplished before, you will of course have your disappointments. What is important, though, is that you have a competent mentor. Someone who can guide you. In today's age of the vast information resources available whether through the internet, television, or other such media, it may be relatively easy to find a mentor. Even if you can't find one in person, you can use the advice that those mentors give others in their books, tapes, or writings, and take it to heart. For other endeavors, such as a technical profession, you may need a competent mentor in-person, which would be wise for you to invest your time to discriminately choose a suitable supervisor, boss, instructor, or company to work for.
What is also important, is to work hard (as mentioned) and also to reflect on what you have done so that you learn from your work and experience. Eventually, with this combination of a competent mentor, continually working hard, aiming for high quality, as well as reflecting on your work, do not doubt your abilities will eventually be valued by others.

The attitudes you have will follow you wherever you go. Make wise choices about what attitudes you would like to embrace. Choose ones that will expand and fulfill your life. 

In summary, some of the key attitudes to carry throughout life include:  

     A. Don't blame others.

     B. Don't criticize.

     C. Work hard.

     D. Aim for high quality, not perfection

     E. Aim for high quality, not perfection.

     F. Don't necessarily follow trends.

     G. Don't yearn.

     H. Feel a sense of modesty.

     I. Don't get caught up in the rat race.

     J. Persist.

Life Skills > Common Sense Life Skills > Attitude in Life


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Last Reviewed 2015