“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
Is that so? Let’s challenge this historic theory. What can’t we change? Other people. External influences. Nature’s due course. However, there is one thing that can help any man, (and woman, or child for that matter), with the wrong mental attitude. What pray tell? The very man, woman or child with the wrong mental attitude. We can bang our heads against the wall trying to fix and change everybody else only to discover that in this department of health we have zero control. Some people spend their lifetime on this errand for fools. We may not have the power to change the poor mental attitude of others. But we sure can change our own.
Thinking that we will be happy once we accomplish one more thing is common thinking. The kind of common thinking that gets the common man, woman and child in trouble. Here’s to uncommon thinking – thinking in the present tense. As in I am going to take responsibility for my self, and my attitude, one day at a time.
Anytime we think our problems are other people’s fault, we give our true power away. The part of our problems that are the fault of others, or the fault of anything outside of our own control – are just that – out of our control. Focusing on what is in your control means focusing on your own part in things. Focusing on… your self.
Is this selfish? Hardly. It’s selfish to think we have nothing to do with our problems, that we have no part in changing things for the better for ourselves. Chances are when you do focus the effort on improving your own mental and physical health, it tends to have a positive ripple effect on others. When we stop telling everybody else what they should and should not do and start walking the walk, we connect with a much higher purpose and become leaders in our own right.
Taking self initiative is often like starting up an old lawnmower. You have to pull the cord with willful determination. Once you build up the confidence, and put your good efforts into practice, you can become more of a turnkey operation. Accountability is half the battle, another 40 percent takes willpower, the other ten per cent takes focus. It’s okay to ask for help with the heavy lifting. We all know what it is like when we have an extra pair of hands at our disposal to get any big and important job done. With the right pair of extra hands, any job can get done faster. Employ the wrong pair of extra hands… well that can turn out to be a fumbled ball.
Taking initiative is a great thing when you really know who you are and where you want to go. If you need help, respectfully ask for it. Get to know thyself and to thine own positive mental attitude be true. Changing one’s own mental attitude is not only possible. it can be downright liberating.
Karin Yapalater MFA, CHHC, AADP
Board Certified Individual & Family Health & Nutrition Counselor
Park Avenue Family Wellness • Hamptons Family Wellness
715 Park Avenue • New York, NY 10021