Showing posts with label Attitudes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attitudes. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Contrast in Perspectives

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
My husband and I love to visit the mountains of Virginia and spend time with nature, especially the birds. In fact, we enjoy birds so much that I coordinate field trips for a state organization called the Virginia Society of Ornithology – a fancy name for a group of birding enthusiasts.

Recently we held a field trip around Blacksburg, home of my alma mater, Virginia Tech. After a caravan to a beautiful location with mixed woodlands, open meadows, and wetlands, we divided the 50 participants into two groups with experienced guides to explore different trails.

As the person who puts these trips together, I want to make sure everyone has a good time. Since I could only be with one of the groups during the morning, I decided to check with a couple of people in the other group as they returned from their walk.

The contrast in their perceptions of the experience was startling.

I asked the exact same question to two individuals separately: “How was your morning?”

Barry, in a dry, monotone voice: “We saw a couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Blackburnian Warblers, and that was about all that was interesting.”

Jessica, with enthusiasm: “It was fantastic! We got great looks at three Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and they were magnificent in the sunlight. There were some beautiful Blackburnian and Black-throated Blue Warblers, too, and we had lots of birds all along the trail. What a special place this is!”

Same guide, same route, same exposure to the birds.

Vastly different reports.

Factors such as personality, age and birding experience could partly account for the variation in their descriptions. But as I observed these two individuals throughout the weekend, I concluded that what they experienced and chose to share with me reflected something bigger – the lens through which they view life.

At times I overheard Barry complain about little changes in the schedule that didn’t align with his expectations. He was easily irritated by others in the group and didn’t engage much with them. Jessica, on the other hand, was generally positive about whatever direction the field trips took, helped less experienced people locate birds that others had already found, and was eager to volunteer in any way that might benefit the group.

As I watched their responses in a variety of situations, I reflected once again on the impact that our attitudes and responses have on those around us.

Why this matters to you

Whether it’s in a work environment, a social setting, or with your family on vacation, the way you perceive what’s going on around you – and the way you react to those events – can have a profound effect on the people who hear your words and observe your behavior.

You have a choice in every situation. The people around you aren’t perfect, and events don’t always unfold according to your plans. You can experience frustration or anger and react negatively when things don’t go your way.

Or you can acknowledge the unpredictable nature of human beings and situations – and still affirm the positives.

It’s your call.

I can tell you that Jessica not only made more friends that weekend, she left a positive imprint on the minds and hearts of many people.

Any time you can contribute to another person’s happiness, you achieve a significant success in your own life. It all starts with your outlook and attitude because those influence the way you view the world and determine how you interact with others.
“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.” - Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, French author (1900-1944)
“Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.” - Fulton J. Sheen, American Catholic bishop (1895-1979) 
“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." - Hugh Downs, American TV announcer (1921- )

Monday, January 3, 2011

Your Attitude Affects Your Outcomes

Your attitude about a given situation has a huge impact on what you’ll say and do. You can choose to think in ways that can enrich your life or make you miserable. Always remember that you alone make that decision, and it’s one that affects those around you, too.

What is one area where a change in your attitude would make a positive difference for you and the people you care about? What new attitude will you adopt?
"You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside." - Wayne Dyer, American author
"Things don't change. You change your way of looking, that's all." - Carlos Castaneda, American author
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson, American president
"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today." - Groucho Marx, American comedian

Friday, June 11, 2010

Optimism - Focus on Opportunities Instead of Obstacles

The attitude and beliefs you bring to a challenging situation dramatically affect what happens to you. Putting on rose-colored glasses and hoping for the best won’t make the problem go away. Find out what an optimistic approach really looks like and why it will get you better results. When you implement these ideas, you’ll reduce the fear and anxiety you may feel in the face of uncertainty.

If you tend to play “scary” movies in your head, try replacing them with vivid images of what you DO want. Can you feel the difference in your mind and body?
"Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." - John Wooden, American college basketball coach

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” - Leo Buscaglia, American author

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet
"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher