The title of today’s post refers to the process, where our thoughts determine our behavior, that I wrote about on April 6. A definition of “ATTITUDE” is: manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc. with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation especially of the mind. “ALTITUDE” generally means the height above or below sea level. In this case since we’re discussing people it refers to our mood above or below neutral.
I leave my house at 10:00 am, driving to an appointment at 10:30 that usually takes30-40 minutes. “You’ll make it on time,” I reassure myself, except I won’t because another car pulls in front of me as I leave my neighborhood and I am stopped at the first light. I get on the freeway to find it backed up for who knows what reason. “Why are all these cars here, they should all be at work already?”, I grumble as I give the lady next to me a dirty look as I pass her. The cycle continues as I interpret every lane change and safely driving motorist as a direct threat to my punctuality. At 10:50 I arrive at my destination, hurriedly find a parking place and run into to the office. I am friendly, calm and ready for my appointment? NO! I am angry, irritated, heart racing, blood pressure up – classic stressed-out nut-case.
This a short, but realistic, example of how our “Attitude equals Altitude”. What we think directly determines how we feel physically and emotionally, how our body functions and how we behave, which in turn circles around and reinforces how we think. In this case a negative cycle is in place. It could have been different if the thoughts had been different.
The words “think” and “thought” in this context do not mean random or fleeting ideas. They refer to those concepts we dwell on, focus on, and escalate by finding other events to reinforce and continue the pattern. It happens with positive thoughts too. A car pulls out in front of me and I am grateful there wasn’t an accident. Traffic is backed up and I breath deeply and focus on staying calm.
We are in control of more in our lives than we accept. Blaming others seems to be a way to avoid responsibility for our own behavior. I am in control of what I think and therefore my actions. I am responsible for my thoughts and my actions. I will happier, calmer and easier to get along with when I accept this truth. I will have higher altitude.
NOT EASY but WORTH IT! Try taking your thoughts captive.