Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

August 28, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 4:29 am

Are we born with attitudes or do we develop them as we mature? What are the factors that form our attitudes? If you have a negative outlook on life because of your environment, can you change your attitude? Most of our attitude is shaped during our formative years. There are primarily three factors that determine our attitude. They are:

  1. Environment
  2. Experience
  3. Education

These are called the triple Es of attitude. Let’s evaluate each of the factors individually:

Environment – Environment consists of the following:

  • Home: positive or negative influences
  • School: peer pressure
  • Work: supportive or over-critical supervisor
  • Media: television, newspapers, magazines, radio, movies
  • Cultural background
  • Religious background
  • Traditions and beliefs
  • Social environment
  • Political environment

All of these environments create a culture. Every place – be at home, organization or a country – has a culture. Have you noticed that sometimes you go to store and you find the salesperson polite, the supervisor, manager, and owner polite as well? Yet you go to another shop and you find everyone rude and discourteous. You go to a home and you find the kids and parents well-behaved, courteous, and considerate. You go to another home where everyone is fighting like cats and dogs.

In countries where the government and political environments is honest, generally you will find that the people are honest, law abiding and helpful. And the reverse is true too. In a corrupt environment, an honest person has a tough time. Whereas in an honest environment, the corrupt one has a tough time. In a positive environment, a marginal performer’s output goes up. In a negative environment, a good performer’s output goes down.

Culture in any place always goes top down, never bottom up. We need to step back and look at what kind of environment we have created for ourselves and those around us. It is tough to expect positive behavior in a negative environment. Where lawlessness becomes the law, honest citizens become cheats, crooks, and thieves. Isn’t it time to evaluate the environment that we are in or we have created for others?

Experiences – Our behavior changes according to our experiences with people and events in our life. If we have a positive experience with a person, our attitude toward him becomes positive and vice versa.

Education – I refer to both formal and informal education, not just academic qualifications. Knowledge strategically applied translates into wisdom, ensuring success. I talk education in the broader sense. It makes the role of the educator vital. A teacher affects eternity. The ripple effect is immeasurable. We are drowning in information but starving for knowledge and wisdom. Education ought to teach us not only how to make a living but also how to live.

How do you recognize people with positive attitude?

Just like an absence of ill health does not equal good health, an absence of negativity alone does not make a person positive. People with positive attitudes have certain personality traits that are easy to recognize. They are caring, confident, patient, and humble. They have high expectations of themselves and others. They anticipate positive outcomes. A person with positive attitude is like a fruit of all seasons. He is always welcome.

The benefits of a positive attitude

  • Increases productivity
  • Fosters team work
  • Solves problems
  • Improves quality
  • Makes for congenial atmosphere
  • Breeds loyalty
  • Increases profits
  • Fosters better relationships with employers, employees, and customers
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps a person become a contributing member of society and an asset to their country
  • Makes for a pleasing personality

The consequences OF A negative attitude

Our life is an obstacle course and we become our own biggest obstacle by having a negative attitude. People with a negative attitude have a hard time keeping friendships, jobs, marriage, and relationships. Their attitude leads to:

  • Bitterness
  • Resentment
  • A purposeless life
  • High stress level for themselves and others

They create a negative environment at home and work and become a liability to society. They also pass on their negative behavior to others around them and future generations.

When we become aware of our negative attitude, why don’t we change?

Human nature generally resists change. Change is uncomfortable. Regardless of its positive or negative effect, change can be stressful. Sometimes we get so comfortable with our negativity that even when the change is for the positive, we don’t want to accept it. We stay with the negative.

Charles Dickens wrote about a prisoner who stayed for many years in a dungeon. After serving his sentence, he got his freedom. He was brought out from his cell into the bright daylight of the open world. This man looked around and after a few moments was so uncomfortable with his newly acquired freedom that he asked to be brought back to his cell into confinement. To him, the dungeon, the chains and the darkness were more secure and comfortable than accepting the change of freedom and the open world.

A Little Black Pen

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