Attitude is like the foundation of a building: it doesn’t matter how well the building is designed, built, or maintained; it will fail if the foundation isn’t sound.
As you live your life there will be ups and downs, successes and failures. Your attitude will determine how you handle them, and how you handle them will determine your success and happiness.
Basically, attitude is about choices and expectations. First, let’s talk about choices. Everything you do or say is a choice. There is always a choice. Paying taxes, for example, is a choice: you could choose to go to jail instead of coughing up the dough. Why you would do that is beyond me, but it is still a choice.
Attitudes affect more than your choices, though, they affect your expectations. I am a firm believer in the old axiom “Things tend to happen the way you expect them to happen”. If your attitude affects your expectations, and your expectations affect the way things happen, then your attitude affects the way things happen. Either consciously or subconsciously we do things that tend to sway the outcome of any given situation to match our expectations.
For example, if you are calling your doctor and you are sure that he won’t have time to talk to you, my guess is that he won’t. Why would that be? That could happen because, due to your expectation that he won’t have time for you, you may say something off putting on the phone or have a “tone” in your voice that offends the message-taker, or you may even say something like, “…and if he doesn’t have time, that’s okay too.”
Gee, what do you THINK would happen in that situation?
Another very important aspect of attitude and expectations is that they are contagious! That’s right--your attitude will affect those around you, and the attitudes of those around you will affect you. This is a fact; you can take it to the bank. Why does this matter? It matters because it underscores the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people, and it matters because it is critical to be aware of this when you are around someone who is dealing with an illness.