Monday, January 10, 2011

Small Bags

Let's talk about baggage. Not the heavy suitcases we carry around with us filled with our past, but the back packs and messenger bags that are stuffed full of our attitudes and expectations. What we have in those bags has a direct impact on how our day will turn out.

Quite often the difference between having a good day and an ok day, or an ok day and a bad day can be attitude. When we walk into work expecting to be miserable it is very likely that we will be miserable. On the other hand if we change our mindset even a little, say from "this day is going to suck" to "I will make the best of it" we can transform our experience. Our attitude dictates what we notice. If we are expecting to be miserable the hard, annoying moments of the day resonate with our attitude and make it stronger. If we have a better attitude the same is true, we note the good parts of the day.

While attitude can be a tightrope we have to walk, actively balancing between the attitude we want to have and the one events push us toward, expectation is the center point of the seesaw. We tend to find our expectations realized and positive as long as we keep them under control, balanced at the center of the teeter totter. When we over-expect from a situation there is a greater chance that it will fail us. Think about movies: the next big hit is coming and you are excited to see it and while it may be good, how many times does it live up to your expectations? With this in mind it seems like having low expectations would be safer. The problem there is that once we meet our expectations we tend to stop trying; we have what we came for so why bother doing more? We need to set our expectations high enough that they push us, but realistic enough so that we do not become disillusioned.

By keeping our expectations realistic and our attitude aimed at the positive we can shape our days and control our moods.


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