The one word that defines your year ahead
The third time in one day was the moment I felt, okay universe, I’m listening. Have you ever heard something said several times in one day and thought to yourself, “hello, am I being given a message here?” I saw this happening last week.
A tiny lady celebrating a huge birthday. I was honoured to spend time with Lily King on the occasion of her 101st birthday. She has a smile that lights up the darkest room, is articulate and sharp, and is perhaps the most confident woman ever. She wore a pink streak in the fringe of her white hair and a delightful pair of brand new shoes to her celebration. Lily is living, truly living. On the same day I learnt even more about the long walk to freedom that defines the late Nelson Mandela, how he stood taller and taller in his life and saw the seemingly insurmountable as just another reason to step up. And thirdly I heard from a 13 year old boy who was identifying with what he had learnt about himself and declaring that perhaps “boring” is not so after all.
What is the message in all of this? It’s just one word, the one word that has the ability to define every day of your life and change the world in which you live forever. Attitude. The definition of attitude is a state of mind or a feeling. In other words, attitude is the way a person views something and tends to behave towards it.
Why is attitude going to define your year ahead? Having an attitude of happiness, positivity, gratitude, progress, care and abundance is an asset in all areas of life. In career and business your attitude has a massive impact on your ability to achieve your goals, to find happiness in the workplace and to be valued by your employer, colleagues and clients. In your relationship with family, friends and loved ones your attitude will define how people care for you and interact with you everyday. In health, your attitude will enable you to reach your goals and have energy and vitality. Every area of your life benefits enormously from the quality of your attitude no matter what your life story or circumstances are.
The concept of attitude in psychology dates back to the early 1900’s. Thomas and Znanieki (1918-1920) studied the distinction between values and social attitudes. They found that attitudes were personality driven and shaped by subjective interpretation. The founders of NLP in the 1970’s found that pure experience has no meaning and an individual will make their own assessment based on individual values, beliefs, experiences, references and attitudes.
Shrigley and Katz (1988) defined that attitudes are both verbal and nonverbal and have a significant impact on experience.
So, how are you going to take steps to ensure your year ahead is your best ever, with one word to remind you? Decide what your attitude is going to be in all areas of your life. Attitude is not some Polyanna (1913 Novel by E Porter) concept of illogical optimism and burying your head firmly in the sand like the proverb (Pliny the Elder from the Roman Era). Attitude is a decision to bring out the best in yourself and others, to look for higher meaning in all situations and to look for opportunities to expand the boundaries of problems by finding new and better angles. This takes the courage to not take your life and everything in it personally and to define yourself by choosing your reactions, mood and perspectives. Choose to look for ways in which every experience can take you even closer to happiness and fulfillment of your life purpose.
What if you dwindle and start to feel sorry for yourself, and start looking for negatives, excuses and disempowering thought processes? There’s just one word you need to remember: attitude. Call a trusted friend and ask them for an attitude pep talk, write down the key words on how you would prefer to feel and see how you could bring them back into your thinking, look for higher meanings.
Lily King celebrated 101 years of life and when I asked her what has kept her so vital and so energised for so many years the answer was obvious. She has a attitude of happiness, joy, certainty, self-love, ability and she radiates this everyday and in all areas of her life. Mandela did not change his attitude despite conditions and persecution that would physically kill another man. Was it not for Mandela’s attitude he would not have survived nor shaped history as he has done, creating a legacy that is like nothing we are likely to see again in our lifetime. A 13 year old boy negotiating the early stages of adulthood has realised that he has control of his mind and therefore his behaviour. Simply and powerful.
So as you move into the year ahead. See what your life looks like when you choose the attitudes that best serve you. Tell yourself that you have the choice and discover what it feels like to truly define yourself by living the best version of who you really are.
Madelaine Cohen Author
Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning. Madelaine welcomes connection & networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.