Friday December 15th 2017

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Tune Up Time?

Have you ever waited too long to fix something?

Maybe you pulled into Jiffy Lube the other day and they told you it looked like you hadn’t changed the oil in your car for over 15,000 miles…or maybe you finally got around to cleaning out the refrigerator in the garage this weekend only to realize that there were leftovers in there from your neighborhood Christmas Party in 2007…

A bad haircut?  That squeaky noise the air conditioner makes?  The leak coming from the floor in the upstairs bathroom?  Or, worst of all…your attitude?

No matter what the scenario, if you wait and wait and wait and wait (commonly referred to as “procrastinating”) to fix something that needed to be worked on the first time you noticed it, you are absolutely going to have a bigger problem than the one you started with.  There might be a gross, stinky, colorful mess like with the refrigerator; a burnt-out valve or gasket as with the car; or a $1,500 repair bill for your A/C.  It just doesn’t make any sense to wait around hoping that the issue or situation will magically either solve itself or reverse course by way of some mystical universal osmosis.

So what’s up with the bad attitudes?

If you think about it, how long have all of us been letting this whole attitude thing go?

I asked a bunch of people over the course of the last few weeks what their definition of a positive attitude was, and the almost overwhelming consensus was this:  A positive attitude is believing that the best possible outcome will manifest in every situation…in spite of reality.  Did you catch that last part?  “In spite of reality“!  Wow.  This one has been gnawing at me for a while…

It seems that we have given in to so much negativity throughout our lives, and become so comfortable with thoughts of limitation, that the majority of people believe reality is something other than good or positive.  Our collective consciousness actually expects bad things to happen!

It was amazing talking to people, most of whom I knew as either neighbors, friends, former co-workers or family members.  The underlying theme was that a positive attitude is something you have to pretend to have.  And the reason that you have to pretend is because it’s not real.  You know, it’s like the old bit about being a “realist” and not a pessimist.

Most people talked about how annoying it was to be around someone who is always happy.  And there were plenty of comments about not liking the guy or gal who was smiling all the time.  Again, I have to say, “Wow”!

I know that the sentiment from these good people is genuine, because I can recall a scene in my own life when I was having a somewhat heated discussion with someone that I cared about very deeply.  At one point during the conversation, they told me to “take my positive attitude and shove it up my ass!”  Apparently the whole concept of trying to see things from the positive perspective is just too much for some people to bear.  That particular conflict was eventually resolved and I didn’t end up having to sacrifice my outlook in such a drastic manner.

The point is, we have become a culture that abhors the happy and the positive and embraces the sad and the negative.  Or at the very least, accepts the sad and negative as inevitable.  Truthfully, we’ve traveled way more than 15,000 miles since our last attitude change!

Life, in and of itself,  is neither negative nor positive.  It is our perception of it, reaction to it, attitude about it and the action we take that literally determines our reality.

If we could get inside of our minds and look around, we would probably see that there is more muck and goop in there than any car engine or garage fridge could ever accumulate.  This is the result of unchecked and neglected negative thinking that just sort of hangs around and perpetuates itself, while all of the positive potential keeps draining through that leak that we just haven’t found the time to fix.

And guess what?  The damage this kind of neglect can do in our lives is incredible.  The wear and tear that any of suffer as the result of negativity and limitation can cost us dearly.

If you have noticed that you have a bad attitude about something, here’s the best advice you will get from anyone:  FIX IT!

It doesn’t cost a dime to change your attitude and it can be done almost instantaneously.  Leaving it for later will almost always result in events and circumstances that will not be pleasant for you.  A bad attitude is like a bald tire just waiting to hit that one last rock before it blows up and sends you reeling and skidding off the highway.  Resolve to fix it now!

You don’t even need to go anywhere to change your attitude;  It can be done right where you sit or stand.  But something has to be done, or it will never change.  And if it never changes, life will continue to reflect back to you all of the negative scenes that you are inviting and attracting by virtue of your dominant negative mindset.

Here are three quick ways to start making the kind of lasting change that will ultimately result in a lifetime of more happiness and good stuff than grouchiness and lousy stuff.  Any time you feel negative or down or bitter or “blah” do one of these things and start taking some action to fix the problem you may have been ignoring for way too long!

1. Think of someone or something you love.  It could be anything from a newborn child to your favorite vacation cabana in some exotic land.  Think about it for a while.  Notice the shift in your feelings.  That’s how it works.  The longer you can hold the positive thoughts of this person, place or thing, the longer you will feel good. And the longer you feel good, the closer you are to developing a more positive mindset.  If you train yourself to do this whenever the need arises, it will become a habit for you, and then you will automatically revert to a more positive feeling when you notice that you’re starting to become negative.  Yes, you will need to practice this until it becomes part of your lifestyle, just like you need to stay on schedule with oil changes for your car.

2. Smile.  This is a good one because it forces your attitude to change.  You cannot possible be upset or cranky or negative or bitter when you are smiling.  It’s like turning a light on in a dark room.  As long as the light stays on, the room is lit.  Same principle.  Of course you can’t always be smiling, but beginning the process with a smile will create more circumstances that you will feel like smiling about.  It sounds kooky, but it really works!  There is an added benefit to smiling, and that is that it makes those around you smile, too.  Even better than a yawn, it can cause a domino effect that takes a room full of gloom and transforms it into a party!

3. Be grateful. This is the quickest way to a positive attitude.  When you start to think seriously about the blessings in your life, you won’t be able to help it.  And you can start anywhere…your health, or your great doctors if you are ill, your house or apartment, or the wonderful people that you live with, the car you drive, even if it is not your dream car yet, the friends that you have, your kids, your significant other, your pet, books that you have read, seminars that you have been to, the air you breathe, the sunset, your job, the food in your pantry, your church, or anything else in your life that you are truly thankful for and would be worse off without.  This begins to change your perspective in a very real sense and you literally start to see your life from the other side of the glass, so to speak.  All that negativity that was blocking your true light will begin to fade the same way a lonely pack of clouds do into a summer afternoon sky.

Any of these will get you started, and there is no better time to begin than right now.  Put these positive principles into practice and see how much better it feels to stay on a healthy maintenance schedule, as opposed to waiting until you spring a leak!

Reader Feedback

3 Responses to “Tune Up Time?”

  1. avatar Jovi says:

    Thanks again!
    I am in tune with the message of your e-mail and your thought expressed in this column.
    My website is still under construction, but I show it to you because your messages and website, which I found through Pat O’Bryan, are involved in the birth of that page.
    Your thinking is sound, deep, comes to mind and heart, and transforms them.

  2. avatar Mike Shippey says:

    Jovi –
    Thank you so much for the kind words, and I am thrilled to have been an inspiration for you in any way! Wow…that’s great news.

    Your website will be wonderful, I’m sure.

    Check back often and let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

    All the best
    MS

  3. avatar João Gomes says:

    Thank you for your inspiring messages. I have been following your writing since some weeks ago and it has been very helpful for me, I am grateful. Thank you very much.

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