For me, one of the greatest motivators of all times has always been Zig Ziglar. Whenever I feel low, or lethargic, or simply too lazy to do what I should be doing, I feed myself a “Ziglar pill”. By pill I mean one of his countless motivational quotes. Just to quote one example, I have been floating in and out of a state of inertia as far as setting up this website cum blog is concerned. I had been telling myself to get started, and I did once set up a hosted blog for a while, but then the inertia took over again, and the idea had just been sitting there in the background, stuck under the burden of the so called important tasks. And then, while browsing, the Ziglar pill popped in front of my eyes – “If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive”.
The quote had the desired effect. I just had to get on with it. I had been wanting to set up this blog and site to showcase my presentations which were scattered all over the various sites. And so I sat down and logged in. I already had the domain name, so I quickly bought myself a web hosting service online, installed WordPress, and got cracking. It took me three days of relentless efforts to finally get it up and running, which included copying all my old posts on the hosted blog, and locating and embedding the presentations etc. Finally I think it has started looking somewhat like a proper site. Still far from perfect, but I am reasonably satisfied with the results so far.
Anyway, coming back to the point.
Everything in life seems to be connected with attitude. Like all other things in life, attitude too can be negative. In fact many of us suffer from negative attitude – most of the time. And it is equally true that we choose our attitudes. We can choose to be happy and positive, or we can choose to be grouchy and negative. Negative attitude brings negative energy with it, which is infectious. We tend to pass it on to everyone that we come in contact with, simply by the way we behave with them. Behaviours, after all, are shaped by our attitudes towards people, things and situations.
When afflicted by a negative attitude, we tend to find faults with everyone and everything, thereby rubbing people the wrong way, and ruining relationships in the bargain. We also complain about everything – nothing seems to satisfy us. The biggest reason for this negative feeling is that we are not grateful for what we have, but are always focusing on what we do NOT have. We crib about our jobs, the people that we interact with, things that we do not have, or the current circumstances that we are in. When I was a child, I was always taught that whenever you complain about something, compare yourself with others who are worse off than you, not those who have more than you. I think this principle has held me in good stead for most of my life, because quite honestly speaking, I have never chased the material things in life, at least not consciously.
However, that is not the same thing as being grateful for things that I have had. Whatever I had, I took for granted, never sparing a thought about what made it possible to achieve those things. I could not have made it on my own to where I am today. When I reflect back upon everything I begin to realize the role that other people have played in my life. Something that I was blind to earlier. In the words of Zig Ziglar, ” The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude“. When I first heard this in one of his videos, it triggered some serious soul-searching. Had I ever felt real gratitude for what others had done for me ?
Quite frankly, the answer was no. Because I took for granted what came my way. Because I felt that that what I got was my due. I couldn’t have been more wrong. True, I worked hard to achieve whatever I did achieve, but at the same time, I have started to realize that had many others not played their roles, I would not have got even half of what I did. And I am grateful today that those people did whatever they did for me. I am grateful that things worked out the way they did – it could have been much much worse.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude is not very difficult – we just have to make a conscious effort to give people due credit for their contributions in our life. Once we learn to do that, we not only open our minds towards them, we also stop being critical of them. It creates a positive feeling and a positive outlook towards life, people, and situations in general. As Ziglar says, “Start a change from being a fault-finder to a good-finder. You’re not going to change anybody else till you change YOU. Everything really does begin with you.”
This post would be incomplete without sharing this very inspiring video. I am sure you will find it equally inspiring.
I would like to again drive home the point that WE choose our own attitudes. Being positive about people and situations in general does help, of course, but most importantly, adopting an attitude of gratitude helps us to find the good in others that we fail to notice otherwise. And that changes our very perception of them. We become “good finders” instead of “fault finders.”
Another key factor to remember is that an attitude of gratitude also helps us to become more compassionate, and thus better human beings. We learn to respect others for what they are, rather than judging them. And more importantly, we also begin to respect ourselves more. This, by implication, means that we become less critical of ourselves, and hence less negative. This, by definition, translates into positivity. To be positive about life we need to be positive about ourselves.
Those who are familiar with the book – “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne – will also immediately relate the attitude of gratitude to what she has stressed on in her book, and I take the liberty to quote from that.
“Focus on your gratitude for what you have. Spend a little time every morning and every night feeling gratitude for the things you already have acquired or accomplished that have made your life better.
Now here’s the fun part. When you focus on the things that you love and already have, you create a magnet to attract more things you will love and have. When you are constantly grateful for your family, your house, your pets, or whatever, you are placing these positive emotions and thoughts out in front of your negative worries. Now, the stronger of these thoughts (the positive ones) will begin to have the most effect on your manifestations.”
Stay tuned in, and stay motivated. Cheers !