The Gratitude Gateway
Copyright © 2019
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
All the material contained in this book is provided for educational and informational purposes only. No responsibility can be taken for any results or outcomes resulting from the use of this material.
While every attempt has been made to provide information that is both accurate and effective, the author does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or use/misuse of this information.
You are encouraged to print this book for easy reading.
Use this information at your own risk.
Who Is This Book For?...................................................................................... 9
What Will You Learn From This Book?............................................................... 9
Chapter 1 – Your External Results Are Produced by Internal Choices 11
It All Begins With Our Thoughts...................................................................... 13
Confucius To The Rescue................................................................................ 16
What Does This All Lead To?........................................................................... 21
Chapter 2 – How To Take Full Ownership Of Your Internal Reality 25
Step #1: Do An Inventory Of What You Believe About Yourself........................ 26
Get Rid of Beliefs That Rob You of Personal Self-Ownership.............................. 30
Be Results- or Outcome-Oriented................................................................... 32
What Do You Need to Believe?........................................................................ 34
Chapter 3 – A Good Attitude Is Never An Accident.................. 36
Be Clear On What Your Attitude Is.................................................................. 39
Take Control Of Your Attitude......................................................................... 42
Possible Attitudes That Lead To Positive Personal Narratives............................ 43
Tap The Power Of Role Models........................................................................ 45
What You Focus On Grows.............................................................................. 46
Chapter 4 – Converting Attitude Into Action.......................... 49
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Attitude.................................................... 51
Gratitude Gives You The Humility To Open Your Mind and Heart Up.................. 54
Chapter 5 – Create A Self-Sustaining Personal Success Feedback Loop 59
Hello and welcome to our short, beginners guide on how having an attitude of gratitude can be the gateway to transforming your life.
How many times have you heard of the saying: your attitude determines your altitude?
There are many variations of this saying but the truth they contain remains the same. Your mindset has a direct impact on how you perform in life as well as the quality of the results you get. These two are joined at the hip. How you perform normally is tied to and has a direct impact on the quality of life you achieve.
Your mindset is not some sort of psychological concept. It’s not just a label or an empty idea. It relates to a very important process. Your mindset is your own personal reality filter. All of us can look at the same set of information but walk away with completely different conclusions.
These differences are not innocent, mind you. These differences add up to a lot. What accounts for these differences? Our mindset.
We use different filters. We look at the same objective set of facts to come up with different conclusions. These conclusions, of course, determine how we act. Your mindset directly impacts the quality of your decisions. Unfortunately, too many people are simply blind to the connections between the things they choose to believe and the reality they live.
Too many people think that there is a disconnect between the ideas, mindsets, assumptions and expectations they have in their minds and their everyday waking reality. Some people explain the way they live and the results they get primarily in terms of luck, “That’s just how things worked out.” They think that these two factors, the things they choose to believe in and the reality they live, run on relatively independent tracks.
It is no surprise that too many people who believe this continue to struggle. Too many people believe in the concept of luck: life seems to “just happen.” It’s as if you’re just doing your thing and all of a sudden something happens to you. It could be a great thing or a negative thing but that is, in big picture terms, the flow of your life.
You just do certain things the way you normally do them based on how you normally think and it’s these unexpected turns of luck that take your life to a whole other level or take it in a new direction.
Ultimately, too many people fail to take control and ownership of their lives and they simply coast through life frustrated yet not entirely unhappy. They’re not happy but they’re not so unhappy or so dissatisfied that they would lift a finger to change their lives. They’re coasting.
This is the path of least resistance. In none of these situations are people happy or feel that they’re living up to their fullest potential.
Thankfully, there is a better way forward: take control of your attitude. Your attitude is the key. If you are in any way dissatisfied, disappointed or frustrated with any aspect of your life, your attitude is the key. By being purposeful about the specific mindset and attitude you adopt, you change your decisions, emotional states and overall level of personal effectiveness. You no longer have to content yourself with life “just happening.” Instead, more of your plan’s become reality.
You no longer have to be frustrated about things you hope and wish for. Instead of hoping and wishing, you consciously and reliably work towards specific realities you manifest through the right goals.
You reach a stage where you set up goals and they actually pan out. That’s right. Instead of getting results that are mediocre or are not entirely satisfactory, they pan out just like the way you planned them, more or less. Wouldn’t you want to reach that stage? Wouldn’t you want to reach a point in your life where you feel that enough great things are happening?
Who Is This Book For?
If you are struggling financially, this book is for you.
If you feel your life lacks direction and purpose, this book is for you.
If you think that your best days are behind you and you have resigned yourself to a life of frustration, disappointment and mediocrity, this book might give you that much needed reboot you’ve been thinking about.
If your best laid plans can’t ever seem to pan out just as you had envisioned them, this book is for you.
What Will You Learn from This Book?
This book helps you take full ownership of your attitude and in turn, take control of your life. Your attitude is the key. This book will teach you the contours and shape of the key. Just as importantly, this book will teach you how to turn the key.
You Will Learn the Following:
How your external results are produced by internal choices
How to take full ownership of your internal reality
A good attitude is never an accident
Gratitude is the key to personal power and effectiveness
Converting attitude into action create a self-sustaining personal success feedback loop
Are you ready to begin? Let’s dive in!
Chapter 1 – Your External Results Are Produced by Internal Choices
What if I told you that everything about you is a product of how you choose to think? That’s right. Everything from your haircut to your choice of clothing, shoes, the way you speak, your facial expressions, the way you deal with people, the way you react around certain people, all of these and more are external consequences of how you choose to think.
Your thinking patterns are choices. Thinking patterns involve selecting what to think about, what to focus on, conclusions you draw, judgments you make and analysis. All these lead to emotional states.
These emotional states are not free-floating, mind you. They’re not just emotions that have no impact on your greater reality. In fact, they have a tremendous impact on how you act on reality, how you create your personal reality and how you perceive reality. In other words, they’re the stuff of your life.
Unfortunately, if you were to say all of this to somebody that you meet right off the street, they wouldn’t understand you. All of this would be foreign to them. It’s as if you were speaking in a foreign language.
But make no mistake about it. We make decisions out of habit. These external observable details of our lives are actually products of our habitual choices, values and priorities.
You may be asking yourself, “What does my choice of school, vocation, work, hobbies, personal appearance, weight, friends, social circles, even residential address have to do with all of these deep, internal personal realities?”
Well, they have everything to do with it because these choices that you make, they don’t come out of nowhere. The values that you have, they weren’t imposed on you. It’s not like somebody pointed a gun at your head and told you you’re going to have these set of values and not that set of values.
It’s not like somebody slapped you around and told you to prioritize certain things in your life. These all come from learned behavior that impacts how we both respond to and create our reality.
It All Begins With Our Thoughts
What if I told you that in any given second, your body is actually picking up hundreds of signals from the outside world? These are stimuli. These are the things that you see, smell, taste, touch and hear. It turns out, however, that people ignore the vast majority of these. You only choose to pay attention to a small part of this. Of that subset, there’s only a part that you choose to interpret.
Of these interpretations, you only choose to remember a small part and of the things that you do choose to remember, very few make it to your personal narrative.
This is the personal story that you walk around with explaining to yourself who you are and your place in the world. In other words, it’s your identity.
Do you see how this all works? And it all begins with what you choose to perceive. These are thoughts. They are powerful.
You may think that they are basically not that big of a deal because you’re always thinking. How consequential are they when it seems like you’re always picking up all these things from the outside world? You’re always bombarded with stimuli. How does this lead to power?
Here’s how it breaks down. Of the things that you choose to perceive, there’s only a relatively small amount that you choose to analyze. These produce an emotional result.
Whenever you analyze something or you judge something, there is some sort of emotional state. Of course, you can be emotionally neutral but there are thoughts that lead to certain emotional states.
These states then lead you to take action. When you take action, you shape your reality. I’ve got some bad news for you. The world couldn’t care less about what you’re feeling. That’s right. The world doesn’t give a damn about your emotions. Get over it. Feelings have no place as far as the world is concerned. All the world cares about is what you actually do.
You can talk about your feelings when you publish a book but publishing a book is an act. You have to get to the point where you’re publishing. Similarly, you can sing about your feelings. That’s a form of action because you actually took the impulse and emotional states and sat down and put in the work to actually record a song.
The point here is that until and unless you allow your emotional state to lead you to the point where you take action, the world won’t sit up and pay attention. It’s got better things to do. Understand the reality of actions in terms of its relationship to your emotions.
My point here is when you start thinking a certain way, it triggers emotions and emotions lead to actions. Actions then lead to success or failure. In other words, it leads to some measurable impact on your reality. Things get real when you take action. And the whole point here is that it all begins with your thoughts. Your thoughts are the key to this process. Your thoughts start the chain reaction.
The reality of your life may be disappointing to you. You may feel that regardless of what you do, nothing seems to work. Regardless of your intentions, nothing seems to pan out for you. No matter how hard you wish and hope, it seems that your life doesn’t improve.
Maybe it’s due to the thoughts that you choose to focus on. Maybe it’s how you choose to emotionally react to those thoughts which leads to the wrong kind of actions.
Confucius To The Rescue
One of my favorite quotes has been attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius. I’m not quite sure if Confucius actually said this but there’s a tremendous amount of truth in this statement. This gets to the heart of the connection between thoughts which you can absolutely control and the reality you’re living which may seem like completely beyond your control.
According to the quote that’s been attributed to Confucius:
‘When you sow a thought, you reap a word. When you sow a word, you reap an action. When you sow an action, you reap a habit. When you sow a habit, you reap a character. When you sow a character, you reap a destiny.’ - Confucius
Normally, when people talk about destiny, they think in big terms. I agree. It’s grandiose. It’s huge. In fact, it’s so vast and so big that it seems that it’s really beyond our control.
Destiny chooses us, not the other way around. That’s how people normally think about destiny. It’s just so big and so vast. It has so many uncontrolled variables that you feel like it either happens in your life or it doesn’t, or you feel like you’re just being moved along by some sort of invisible current.
According to the progression described above, you actually choose your destiny. How? You choose your thoughts. Thoughts can be controlled. You don’t have to think a certain way if you don’t want to. You don’t have to follow a train of thought if you feel that there’s really no reward in it for you. You think the way you do because you choose to. It’s learned behavior.
Don’t, for a second, think that you are somehow forced to think these thoughts that there is this evil mafia somewhere that just drill these thoughts into your mind or beamed these ideas into your mind through TV. No. There is no grand conspiracy to make you think the way you think. They’re products of your choice.
Even if a company were to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on an expensive advertising campaign if people did not choose to ingest those ideas, that company would have wasted its money.
Thoughts are chosen. What makes this seems strange to a lot of people is the fact that they are passive about how they think. They believe that they just process things in some sort of automatic way. In their mind, that’s just the way they think. That’s just the way things are. No.
You can choose how you think. You can challenge your normal thinking patterns and ask yourself, is there another conclusion? Is there another judgment? Is there another way I can analyze these data points?
Make no mistake about it. The stimuli that you’re getting from the world, they’re neutral. I know it may seem like they’re begging for just one conclusion.
For example, if you see a fire and there’s a bright orange and red and yellow flames coming out of it, it’s too easy to panic. It’s too easy to think that this is a scary situation you need to get out of there as quickly as possible.
But you can also choose to look at this as an emergency that is controllable. You can calmly call for help. You can calmly gather people for an orderly evacuation of the building. And it all begins with the control you assert over your thinking process.
Those data points that you get from the outside world are neutral. It’s you who is giving them meaning based on how you judge them. This is control. You control your thoughts. You can look at that same set of information and freak out like a chicken with its head cut off. Do you think that would make things better? Do you think that would reassure people? Do you think that would lead to an orderly evacuation of the building?
It’s all a choice. Thoughts can be controlled. This is crucial because this leads to you achieving certain emotional states. When you look at the burning building as requiring urgent yet orderly action, you do not freak out.
You don’t let your emotions get the better of you. You’re operating with a tremendous sense of emotional urgency, but you are systematic and methodical about your actions and things play out safely for everybody.
On the other hand, you can let a sense of panic kick in and because you interpreted this as the worst-case scenario, you end up forgetting stuff, people get left behind, people get injured, you freak out. All sorts of bad things happen. And it’s all unnecessary. It all boils down to how you judge your thoughts because it unleashes a chain reaction.
The moment you judge your thoughts a certain way, certain emotions kick in and by the time emotions trigger actions, it’s too late. It’s like trying to apply the brakes on a train. Good luck with that. Do you know how much space a train needs to brake to a stop? It requires a tremendous amount of space. We’re talking up to several miles if the train is long enough and heavy enough.
That’s precisely the situation you put yourself in when you try to control your emotions as they lead to actions. You’re going to be a day late and a buck short at that point. You control this process with your thoughts.
What Does This All Lead To?
All this information I’m sharing with you actually leads to a very important piece of good news: if you’re unhappy with your external reality, change your internal choices. Isn’t that good news? When you change your thoughts, you change your external reality. Change your thought patterns. Change how you judge the data that you perceive from the external world.
When you change that, you change your emotional patterns. You can interpret things in such a way that you feel empowered. You can interpret things in such a way that you are in control. And it all begins with taking full ownership of this process.
Understand that you control your mind. You control your thoughts. Even though it’s habitual and it seems to operate on autopilot, you can still assert control over it. You have to take the initiative and take full ownership of this process so that your internal reality changes and it leads to a chain reaction that leads to change in your external reality.
Do you think people who are making tens of millions of dollars a year were born with that ability? I’m talking about self-made people here. Most of them were not born with that ability. Most of them actually faced really tough times and it’s these trying situations that woke them up regarding their attitudes and thought patterns. They needed to change.
Maybe they were forced by circumstances or they just got sick and tired of their reality and wanted something better for themselves and their families. Others had a proactive desire to create something big and make something out of themselves.
Regardless of the specific path you went through, it all leads to the same place. You came from a place that you are unhappy with because of your thought patterns and you were able to make changes because you asserted control over that internal process happening in your mind.
Everyone is capable of this. Don’t think that you are too poor, too illiterate, too uneducated, too disadvantaged or too hopeless for positive change. In fact, thinking along those lines highlights your problem. The fact that you think that way indicates that you have a serious problem with your internal reality.
Other people can look at what you have and come up with a totally different judgment. They can have a totally different mental picture, and this leads to a different emotional state and different actions. You just need to change the way you think inside.
You have to take full ownership of this process that what you think has an impact on your emotions which has an impact on your actions. Take control of this process.
Realize how it works. Realize that it works for other people to turn them from broke, ignorant, downtrodden individuals to rich, successful and powerful men and women. If they can do it, you can do it too.
In fact, if you’re really honest with yourself, you might actually even have more advantages coming into the game than they did. If you don’t believe me, read the biographies of some of the world’s richest people. It would blow your mind.
A lot of people struggled for a long time until they made it big. Other people were laughed at, dismissed, written off, but they continued, and they made something out of themselves. If people who had less to start with are able to achieve tremendous victories, what excuse do you have to hang on to clearly unproductive attitudes?
Chapter 2 – How To Take Full Ownership Of Your Internal Reality
In Chapter 1, I spelled out the internal reality that you have. By simply changing your thinking patterns, your assumptions and expectations, you change your emotional states. When you change your emotional states, you change your actions.
Reality rewards actions. It doesn’t reward your feelings. It couldn’t care less. It doesn’t care about your intentions, what you wanted to do, what could have happened. All it cares about is what took place because of the actions you individually took. That’s all that matters.
In this chapter I’m going to teach you how to take full ownership of this internal reality. Follow these steps. Make modifications to them to fit your particular set of circumstances or your personality. Whatever the case may be, follow these steps. Implement them.
Step #1: Do An Inventory Of What You Believe About Yourself
The first thing that you need to do is to sit down and be completely honest with yourself. Tell yourself, “I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. I’m going to be as conscious as possible regarding the things that I believe about myself. These are ideas about what I can do, what my limits are, where I’m going, what I’m capable of, how people view me, and how I view myself.”
Believe me, this can be quite an uncomfortable exercise. It can lead to discoveries that you may not be all that happy with. But also believe me that that is good news because until and unless it hurts, it means you’re not digging hard enough.
If you’re completely honest with yourself, there will be a stone that you will turn that would have worm’s underneath. It would have inconvenient truths. There would be some uncomfortable facts there. You know you’re making progress when you start turning those over.
Do an inventory. This can take several days. Take your time. What’s important is you give this the proper amount of time and focus so you can get a clear list of the things that you believe about yourself.
These are just statements one after the other, line after line. Use a stream of consciousness approach. Think about the first things that come to your mind. Don’t judge them. Don’t filter them. Don’t water them down. Avoid doing any of these. Instead, just write the first things that come to your mind.
After you’ve done that, analyze each item by asking three things: what are its causes, what are the reasons you give for thinking that way, and how do you explain them to other people?
Understand that the things that you believe about yourself don’t just remain in your mind. They impact your actions. When you are making explanations to other people, you’re usually explaining your actions. This is what I want you to write.
For your causes, make sure that you write facts. Don’t use your opinion. Don’t say, “I just feel like it” or “Because that’s just who I am.” That’s not helpful.
When you believe something about yourself, for example, you say that you believe that you are a bad public speaker, and nobody wants to listen to you or people don’t believe you. Ask yourself why this is the case. What are the facts that would account for this?
For example, in terms of bad public speaking skills, write down some incidents where you stood up in front of strangers and you detected certain facts that led you to conclude that you’re a bad speaker.
Were people falling asleep? Were people pointing at you and laughing? Were people holding up signs saying, “dumb ass?” What were they doing? Or is this just happening in your mind because you didn’t know these people? You mangled a few words and you automatically concluded that you’re a bad speaker? Which is it?
Look at facts. Do not look at your feelings. Do not look at your conclusions. Look at facts. Otherwise, this inventory exercise is not going to do you much good.
To recap, I need causes. Meaning, these are facts that you can point to that caused you to believe certain things about yourself. You also have to talk about the reasons for your action, reasons why you believe certain things about yourself. These can be your emotions and then your explanations in terms of the consequences of your belief. Take your time.
The good news is, once you go through this process, it can be quite therapeutic. You would realize that you’re blowing facts out of proportion. They don’t have to haunt you. They don’t have to cast a long shadow on your life because there are many ways to interpret them. Oftentimes, we come up with the worst interpretation possible. By “worst,” I’m talking about the most oppressive, limiting and discouraging.
Get Rid of Beliefs That Rob You of Personal Self-Ownership
At this point, you have a long list of beliefs about yourself and it should also be clear as to which of these beliefs are very limiting. They provide limits as to what you can do. They dictate that you feel a certain way when you try to make certain changes or when you start to think about certain things.
When you look at these beliefs, a lot of them involve blaming. Some involve excuses. Others create false dichotomies or false choices. Even others make you wait. Regardless, all of these are worthless to you. Seriously. They hold you back and they drag you down.
They prevent you from operating at peak performance levels. You have tremendous amount of power in your hands. Seriously. You can focus, and you can turn an idea into reality if you allow yourself to do it.
But if you come up with all sorts of situations to blame and people you point the finger to, you don’t get around to doing what you could otherwise do.
Similarly, when you come up with all sorts of excuses as to why things can’t work right here right now and you have to wait, you’re robbing yourself of a better future. If you routinely put yourself in a situation where you cannot live your life to the fullest potential because it can lead to certain disasters, these false dichotomies that you set up in your mind act like mental shackles. They limit your movement and they make you feel so small that you start defining yourself as a small person.
Finally, you can fall into this habit of just thinking that your lot in life is to wait. You’re hopeful, you aspire for things but it’s not yet your time and it’s okay to wait. You’re not doing anything. You’re not putting your plans into action. You’re not working on your goals. You’re just waiting.
All of these rob you of self-ownership. They rob you of the benefits of tapping into this internal mechanism of thought leading to emotional state, leading to action, leading to a changed reality. Get rid of beliefs that involve blaming, excuses, false dichotomies and any sort of waiting.
Be Results- or Outcome-Oriented
In this stage, your list should be a little bit shorter because you have identified beliefs that rob you of personal self-ownership and you’ve identified beliefs that limit your effectiveness. The next step is to work in an opposite direction. Begin with your ultimate objective in mind. Ask yourself, what is the reality you want to achieve in all areas of your life?
Put simply, do you want to be financially secure? Do you want financial freedom? Do you want to own your own time? Do you want to help people achieve great things? Do you want to leave a legacy by founding a company or an organization or school that helps a lot of people?
Figure out the reality that you want to achieve. Break this down into ultimate goals. What do you want to do with your life on a consistent basis?
Next, trace a straight line in terms of choices between the outcomes that you want and the thoughts or beliefs that you have about yourself. This should be startling. There should be a lot of lines coming from the objective leading to nowhere because there’s no thought to connect to it. Don’t worry though, it’s already there. You just need to transform one or a few of these beliefs so that it fits that line emanating from your ultimate goals.
This is the straight line. Each line represents a series of choices where you proceed from certain things you believe about yourself and you follow the logical choices you make based on them to your ultimate goal. You’re doing this in reverse. To fix this problem of missing endpoints, look through your list of beliefs and try to transform them.
What kind of person do you need to be inside for you to achieve these external ultimate goals? What do you need to be? In other words, how can you transform the things you currently believe about yourself, so you can produce these results externally?
Put simply, what kind of thoughts do you need to engage in to achieve certain emotional states that lead to you taking these actions that feed into your goals that produce these ultimate objectives? That’s how you answer the question of what kind of person do you need to be inside to achieve these external results.
Please understand that as you kick these around in your mind, you have to keep it real. Avoid self-delusion. Don’t think that you magically are going to be able to achieve these great things because if it was that easy, why haven’t you done it before?
Obviously, there are certain things that you currently believe now that get in the way. The point of this exercise is to identify them and transform them, so they don’t get in your way. Change them enough so they don’t drag you down and hold you back.
What Do You Need to Believe?
When trying to transform your current beliefs about yourself, you have to ask yourself the following questions. What do I need to believe so I can think differently? What do I need to believe about myself, so I can process the different daily data inputs that I get from my senses in such a way that it leads to the results that I want? What do I need to believe so that I feel around and emotionally navigate my world in a more effective way? Of course, “more effective” in this context means that they lead to the right action.
It all boils down to changing your belief system so you act differently. What kind of attitude do you have to adopt in terms of your reality filters, so you can take different actions? Only you can answer this because only you are aware of your set of personal circumstances.
There is no right or wrong answer here because you are going to make it the right answer. Your implementation of them will make them the right or the wrong answer.
Chapter 3 – A Good Attitude Is Never An Accident
Good attitudes don’t just happen. They have to be chosen consciously. In the previous exercise, you became clear about what you need to believe about yourself and your present waking reality, so you can become more effective. You became aware of the changes that you need to make in your mind and how you choose to perceive things, so a lot more of your plans turn into reality. This is all attitude.
Good attitudes don’t just happen. They are chosen consciously. They are fine-tuned and honed over time.
Here is a quick example of how a difference in attitude leads to different actions.
Two guys were walking down a street and out comes this Ferrari. It’s a beautiful piece of Italian automotive engineering. The first guy looks over to the deep red Ferrari and is just blown away by how beautiful it is. It’s obvious that this car costs a fortune. The first guy automatically says to himself, “I can’t afford that. There’s no way I can ever own a car like that.”
The Ferrari then speeds off and there he was feeling a longing desire for the Ferrari. He feels awed by its beauty, but he doesn’t really see it being part of his reality. It’s like seeing a beautiful sunset. It’s very far from you, it’s very remote but it’s very beautiful nonetheless.
The other guy looks at the same car and says to himself, “How can I afford that? What do I need to do to get a car like that?” By asking himself these questions, he triggers in his mind emotional states that involve problem solving. They involve planning. They require some sort of timed sequence of actions that can lead to him purchasing that car.
Notice that he did not foreclose the possibility of him owning that car. He did not say, “I don’t have the money” or “I can never earn enough to buy that” or “I’ll never own a car like that.” Instead, he asked himself “How can I earn the money to get a car like this?”
In other words, he gave his brain, the world’s most important and powerful biochemical reality-bending machine, instructions. He sent a query to his brain. He did not send a conclusion which sealed off reality. He did not cut himself off from all possibility of ever getting that car. Instead, he gave himself an assignment, “How can I earn enough money to buy a car like that?”
When you ask yourself that kind of question then this reflects your attitude. That it is possible for you to sit in that Ferrari’s driver seat. This is a conscious choice. This line of reasoning is chosen consciously. It’s not something that somebody imposes on you. This is your attitude.
Are you going to ask questions that push you to solve problems so ultimately you achieve a certain goal? Do you ask questions of yourself that keep you emotionally pumped up as you work on your problems? Or is your attitude closing doors and shrinking the range of possibilities that’s available to you? Which is it? This is your attitude.
Be Clear On What Your Attitude Is
Regardless of the area of your life you’re most worried about, be clear what your attitude is. What are your beliefs about yourself regarding that area of your life? Do they involve blame? Do they involve excuses, false dichotomies, things that make you wait? What are the causes, reasons and explanations involving those beliefs? They lead to your attitude.
This is very important because as I have mentioned in our discussion regarding the Confucius quote, your attitude shapes your perception of reality. You are your very own reality editor.
This is crucial because your ability to control your thoughts turn on this question. If your attitude is that you cannot make much of a difference in this world because life is unfair, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and that’s just the way life is, it’s a lottery, then you have let go of a lot of areas of control in your internal mental world. You put yourself in a position of helplessness.
You’re basically dependent on the right person coming in at the right time to give you help, to get that big break or in another variation of this mindset, simply winning the lottery. It all boils down to basically luck. Is that the kind of reality you want for yourself?
You need to check your attitude because you are your very own reality editor. Nobody can get in the driver seat and fulfill that job. You have to do it. Your attitude is crucial, and this is why it’s really important to be as clear as possible about what your attitude is.
It has a tremendous impact on what you choose to perceive, how you analyze and judge what you perceive, what your emotional response is and how you act. This is crucial because your action is not automatic. It is not lifeless and robotic. It is triggered by emotions.
Your attitude also impacts what you choose to remember and feed to your memory bank. Again, this is not a small thing. What you choose to remember helps build your identity. It shapes your personal narrative.
Those two guys I described in the story above had two totally different narratives. The first guy’s narrative about himself is that he is an everyday Joe who just couldn’t get a good break. He can’t afford that car because there’s really nothing he can do to own a Ferrari. It’s nice and everything. He’d love to be given one but as far as working to make it happen, he just feels that he’s too small, too disadvantaged to make it happen. He doesn’t have the wealth, the connections and the place in life to even feel that such a car is possible, to even accept the possibility that he can own such a car.
The other person has a totally different narrative. His narrative is that the world is open. All he needs to do is get the right plan, work hard, make the right changes and things are possible. In other words, he can build a reality that he wants for himself. It’s wide open. It’s not all closed off and constricted to the point that he is feeling squeezed like the first guy. I know this sounds stark. I know that it sounds like some sort of black-and-white contrast, but this is the reality for most people. You have to realize if you’re doing this to yourself.
Take Control Of Your Attitude
Be clear of the wrong attitudes that you have that limit your capacity to make positive changes in your life. What is it about your attitude that is robbing you of opportunities? What is it about your attitude that leads to a predictable set of emotional states and actions that produce negative consequences?
This is not a judgment. I’m not trying to make you feel bad. Instead, I’m trying to wake you up to the role attitude plays and the results that you get with your life.
Once you have identified that there is a certain set of attitudes that hold you back, be clear as to why it’s wrong. Be clear as to what you need to adopt.
In the previous chapter, I talked about tracing a straight line from the outcome to your thoughts. You have to do the same here. What is it about my attitude that’s preventing me from reaching that outcome? In this context, you’re working from the other direction.
Take control of your attitude. Be clear about them as possible and try to flip them.
You have to understand that a negative attitude really is just a positive attitude stated in a negative way. “I don’t have the money” can be twisted to “How can I have the money?” Start twisting.
Think of it like some sort of Rubik’s cube or a Tetris game. Just move things around. The problem is really the answer all jumbled up in the wrong sequence or in the wrong shape. Everything you need is already there. You just need to keep moving it around until it works for you.
Possible Attitudes That Lead To Positive Personal Narratives
It’s easy to identify personal narratives that produce great results in life. What are these narratives? They’re simple actually: I’m a winner! I can think my way out of any situation. I’m a creative person. I’m a victor. I’m a leader. I’m an innovator. I’m a problem solver. And on and on it goes.
Those are personal narratives built on solid positive attitudes. Your job is to come up with attitudes that work in your particular context. Here are some possible attitudes that you may want to try.
- I’ll try anything once.
- Life is an adventure.
- I choose excellence all the time.
- I am consistent.
- Integrity is important in my life.
- If I’m going to try something, I’m going to go all the way.
- When I give my word, I will never break it.
- Success is bigger than my fears.
- I’m only as good as my next victory.
Start with these attitudes or come up with your own. Whatever the case may be, come up with attitudes that lead you to the outcome that you want for yourself.
Tap The Power Of Role Models
If the exercises above are just too free form for you or they may lead to really disturbing discoveries you may have about yourself, here’s a shortcut. You might want to try role models.
I’m not talking about role models in the traditional sense. You don’t have to necessarily look for people like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs or Bill gates.
You can look at role models in your life. Are there successful people in your life that are good with people? Do you know any risk takers? Do you know people who took a lot of risks turning their vision into reality who gave up a lot just to pursue their dreams and succeeded?
Even if you don’t know anybody who came up with amazing success, maybe you know somebody who never gave up and continued to push forward.
Look for these role models. Pay attention to their attitude. Listen to them explain their success and come up with an appreciation of the attitude that they had and pattern yourself after that.
What You Focus On Grows
The road ahead, let me tell you, is going to be rough. While it’s true that a good attitude is never an accident, it is also true that a good attitude is forged by fire. Right now, you’re reading this book in relative comfort. Maybe you are sitting in an air-conditioned room or maybe you are lounging in a very leisurely place like a café. But forging your attitude doesn’t play out in such places. Great attitudes are not forged on the “fires” of comfort and convenience.
Instead, it only grows when it’s challenged, when you go through tough times, when you actually push yourself to develop a positive attitude.
How does this play out? When you wake up, so you can show up for work, you’re given an opportunity. Am I going to show up on time or am I going to stick to my daily late schedule? When you get to work, you’re given yet another opportunity.
Am I just going to coast through the eight hours and barely get two productive hours out of the way? Or am I going to work all eight hours and pack solid value in each and every minute of those eight hours?
These are the choices that you’re going to make and the answers to these choices either strengthen the positive attitude that you’re trying to build for yourself or they weaken it.
These questions persist through many different situations in your life in many different areas of your life, whether we’re talking about your relationships, your attitude towards learning new things, your attitude towards authority, your attitude towards money. All these factors are at play. You have to ask these questions.
Your positive attitude only grows when it’s tested. It’s easy to be positive when things are going well. When you’re not struggling to pay the rent, when everybody’s healthy in your family, you can say with a straight face that you have a positive attitude.
The big challenge is when things are falling apart. It seems that regardless of what you do, nothing seems to go right. That’s the real opportunity to develop a positive attitude. That is the fire that tempers steel. Right now, everything is soft, convenient and easy. It’s very difficult to forge hard steel in such a context.
Understand this. Focus on the right things because what you focus on grows. When you dwell on factors that boost your attitude’s positivity, your attitude becomes stronger and stronger.
When you focus on the fact that regardless of how bad things are, there’s always cause for hope. That helps your attitude grow. When you focus on the fact that you could always choose to learn from the past and your mistakes, that enables your positive attitude to grow and strengthen.
Chapter 4 – Converting Attitude Into Action
All the information that I’ve shared with you in this book, as exciting as they may be, is completely worthless if you fail to take action on them.
If you want to change your reality and you want to change your standing in the world and how the world responds to you, you have to take action. It’s not going to be pretty. There’s going to be a lot of pain along the way. You might have to make sacrifices but that’s part of the process.
All this information is just going to kick around in your head. You might even get excited about it but ultimately, it’s not going to help you achieve much of anything if you don’t implement it. You have to commit to it. You have to decide that this is important enough for you to actually implement.
Again, as I have mentioned several times in this book, the world only rewards action. It only pays attention when people actually take steps to make their hopes, dreams and wishes come true.
A winning attitude in life is only as real as it is lived. You can tell people all over the world that you have a great attitude and that you have faith in yourself. You can tell them all sorts of great things. But that’s just empty talk.
Unless somebody lives out the things that they’re saying about themselves, they’re just flapping their gums. They’re just engaged in empty talk. The world is full of empty talk. That’s why it only pays attention to action. It only pays attention to objective reality.
All the best intentions in the world is not going to change your reality unless you take action on your attitude. The proof that you have adopted these attitudes is revealed in changes in your choice of words, the way you carry yourself, the way you respond to situations, how well you spot opportunities and how you live your life in general. Again, talk is cheap. Action is everything.
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Attitude
The big problem here is that a lot of the time, we can mentally get why changing our attitudes is so important. We can get it. We feel the pain. We understand that we can’t get our act together when it comes to certain areas of our life. We see the need. When we absorb this information, we understand it for what it is. It is the solution. Everything is all well and good on that front but there’s a disconnect.
You know that the solution to your problems is to change your attitude. You know that the solution is to change your mindset. You know that the solution is to stop thinking the way that you’ve grown accustomed to and start thinking a totally different way. You get all of that. But unless you take action and implement it, meaning you have to actually change the way you think, this is just empty information.
This is not theory. This is not speculation. It actually changes lives but it’s not going to change your life because you have not put it in action. This action starts in your mind. It starts in your mental choices. It starts in how you choose to think.
But it’s not going to deliver any of its results because you did not choose it. You know it’s there; you know how it works but you think you’re too busy or you’re waiting for the right time or you’re just hoping to get lucky.
Whatever the case may be, you have not trusted it enough to actually implement it and that’s your problem. It’s stuck on a mental level. You have intellectually compartmentalized it.
It’s not going to do you much good if it’s stored away in some sort of mental drawing cabinet. You have to insert it in place of your current attitude. You have to allow it to trigger a different set of emotions which leads you to take different actions. This is very hard to do.
Similarly, even if you believe it into certain extent that it affects your thoughts, but you block it at the level of emotion, it’s not going to help you either because it doesn’t translate into action. Even if you’re pumped up and excited about the impact of the new attitude on your life, that’s still not good enough. Close, but no cigar.
It has to change the whole dynamic that starts with your thoughts and leads to your emotions which produces actions. Actions then produce results.
This changed attitude must apply throughout that whole process. It must be active. If you’re going to approach this situation on a purely intellectual level, chances are you probably are not going to make much progress. Your mental habits are going to win every single time.
Even if you’re pumped up and excited emotionally, your old emotional habits will get the upper hand. It’s only a matter of time. Eventually, the excitement will die off and you’ll be back to your old emotional patterns.
Gratitude Gives You The Humility To Open Your Mind and Heart Up
Gratitude is the key. When you practice gratitude and you willfully, consciously and purposefully focus on the things that are going right in your life, you humble yourself enough to open your mind and heart up to the possibility of change.
You start thinking about the specifics of the attitude that you need to adopt that would create change. You start gaining the perspective that you need. You gain perspective as to what you have. You become thankful for this and you get the power to go further.
This attitude of gratitude unlocks your sense of curiosity. Things are possible again. You can figure things out. Things are not closed. Things are not locked down. Things are not set in stone. You are free. The world is open to you.
You get freed from your pride that holds you back and this then paves the way for a sense of urgency. This is different from feeling pumped up about the change that you know is possible for you. That’s going to disappear fairly quickly.
When you have an attitude of gratitude, you develop a sense of urgency because once you engage your sense of curiosity, it all flows from there. Things become possible again. There’s some sort of chain reaction on an emotional level and this leads to a sense of urgency.
You then start looking at your striving as something positive. You don’t look at it as trying to get away from something. You don’t look at it as an act of desperation. Instead, you feel that it’s a proactive action towards some positive change.
This is crucial because even if you were able to change your attitude for a day, that is not going to be enough. To achieve success in life, you need consistent action. You need to take action day after day. You need to do it and continue to do it. The world doesn’t work on a one and done basis. Oftentimes, it would only pay attention to you if you’ve been at it for a long time. That’s the kind of consistent action you need to take.
What makes this really challenging is the fact that on certain days, you don’t feel like getting up. On certain days, you don’t want to go on. Emotionally, you’re spent. You feel burnt. You feel you just don’t have it in you. What do you do then?
When you start with an attitude of gratitude, you unlock the right attitude because they’re based on a sense of curiosity. You also take control of your pride and fear. This creates a sense of urgency regarding the possibility that’s locked in the goals you have set for yourself. You are able to strive forward consistently regardless of how you feel and regardless of your external circumstances.
Make no mistake about it. Consistent and predictable success take persistence. It doesn’t just magically appear. You don’t just lock into it. If you want to achieve success on a predictable level, you have to work at it because the more persistent you are, the more patterns you see and the more you know how to act. This leads to greater and greater levels of efficiency. You’re able to handle more and more setbacks. You’re able to keep pushing forward.
The right attitude taps into imagination, creativity, a sense of wonder and curiosity. This is crucial because if you don’t start with an attitude of gratitude that leads to other attitudes of possibility, imagination, problem solving, innovation, adventure and wonder, the road in front of you looks the exact same way it does now.
Right now, you know what you should be doing. You know that you’re capable of so much more. But when you look out, you see the road to success as a grueling ordeal. It’s painful. It’s harsh. There are many bumps along the way. You stand to lose many things. You’re not quite sure.
But when you shift your attitude where you’re operating from a sense of imagination, creativity, a sense of wonder and curiosity paired with the fire in the belly made possible by an emotional sense of urgency then you are able to walk that path.
Granted, you’re not going to be hopping, skipping and jumping all the way but you’re going to be pushing forward and it’s going to be a lot more fun and ultimately a lot easier than what you have now.
Right now, it’s scary. Right now, you feel that you have a lot more to lose going down that road than if you had just stayed in place. This is the reason why most people remain stuck. You have to turn the key with that attitude of gratitude and all these limiting beliefs start giving away. You start adopting a whole new attitude rooted in a different perspective.
Chapter 5 – Create A Self-Sustaining Personal Success Feedback Loop
You need to take action today, not tomorrow. Today. You have to take action soon. Today might be too soon because you might just jump in with both feet and be completely unprepared.
When you experience a setback, chances are it may be the first and last setback you would hit before you want to quit. That is too soon. You don’t want to set it up too far in the future either. It may be too remote, too speculative that by the time that point in time comes, it turns out that you’ve filled your time with other things that you needed to do. You’re as unprepared during that date as you are now.
Come up with something in the middle. Come up with something more realistic. But once you have identified that date, start on that day. It doesn’t matter how you’re feeling that day. It doesn’t matter whether you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter how depressed you are. It doesn’t matter how pumped up you are. None of that matters. Once that date comes, that is your trigger. That is your cue to take action. You need to decide, commit to a date and do it.
The key here is to just do it. Stop thinking and do it. Don’t fall into this common trap of thinking that everything has to be just right for you to do it. No. Once you have done your research and you have set everything up and you’ve planned the right date and you’ve read everything in this book, just do it. That is the time. You’ve set up the time. Now, give yourself the space and the time to do it.
Another way people undermine themselves and erode their success is to think that everything has to be smooth. When they start, it has to be a smooth and quick line from point A to point B, point B being success of course. It doesn’t work that way.
In fact, in many cases when you start, you’re just taking baby steps and guess what, that’s okay. Baby steps are still steps forward. You are at least one inch better off than you were yesterday. Be grateful for whatever small progress you are able to achieve.
The key here is to understand that you have taken action and you can repeat this action the next day and the next day after that. Allow this realization of having finally taken action and shifting your attitude and practicing daily gratitude to push you to take more and more action and achieve more and more changes.
Put yourself in situations that challenge your attitude. Allow any sort of progress to encourage you take more and more risks. Be grateful for your achievement and take even more action. Do you see how this works?
It starts with a mental decision and action. You implement it. You put yourself in situations where you’re challenged. You make some progress. You emotionally acknowledge and appreciate that progress.
This triggers you to take even more action and on and on it goes. You eventually start scaling up your achievements. If you do this, you end up destroying your reservations and sense of intimidation. It takes less and less effort for you to start and more and more effort to stop.
Become more confident and take more risks. Achieve more and feel even more capable. When you feel more capable and confident, you take even more risks, and this produces even better results and on and on it goes. Notice the pattern? It’s an upward spiral.
But it only begins when you choose to take action and start. Again, the beginning of the upward spiral doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. You don’t have to shoot out of that gate like a derby winner.
Instead, forward progress is good enough. As long as you realize that you’re making progress, allow it to emotionally pump you up to keep pushing forward. Achieve more and feel more confident. Feel more capable. It really all boils down to your choice. You can either create an upward cycle or a downward one.
Congratulations on making it to the end of this short, introductory guide on how cultivating an attitude of gratitude can be the gateway to transforming your life
You may be surprised to know that the majority of people who start something never complete it.
Take your time and progress at your own pace. This is not a race. The more you understand and comprehend about changing your belief systems the better
If you really want to succeed, then everything you do for your life must be with long-term planning in mind. These changes you’re making are not meant to be temporary. They’re meant to be part of a new lifestyle that you follow.
You can’t think of Gratitude as simply as something that you add into your day once or twice a week. Positive belief systems & an attitude of gratitude must instead be something that your life is about all the time…and only then can you truly reap the benefits
This book contains very empowering truths on how to get out from under a life of negativity, limitations and weakness. However, just like all other self-improvement books out there, if you don't choose to act on these ideas, nothing is going to change in your life.
While I appreciate the fact that you spent to buy and download this book, I would be happier if you actually implemented what you’ve learned. I've broken down these steps in the simplest and most basic levels possible. Everyone should be able to wrap their minds around these steps and implement them.
Start taking action on them. Stop giving in to the idea that you can "change tomorrow." I'm telling you, tomorrow will never come.
Live your best life right here, right now. Nobody can do it for you. Take action on the truths that I shared with you here, right here, right now. You will only thank yourself for it later. Your attitude is the key. Choose your attitude and you will choose life’s altitude.
I wish you nothing but the greatest happiness, success and joy.
Hold Tight to Your Dreams!