The power of attitude
What is attitude? Where and how does it arise? What is it’s power? Does it have power? What is power?
A power is anything that has influence over our being. So I have the power to direct myself to type this, therefore I am in power at this point. If the door bell rings then I’m influenced to move and answer it. I’m not going to deviate further on the various concepts applicable to ‘power’.
Attitude has a power, because it can influence thinking and behaviour at a very deep and oft unconscious level. How people arrive at their attitudes is probably the subject of a doctoral thesis – which you’re not getting today. It’s reasonable to say that attitude is one’s predisposing patterns of thinking or feeling about something. The word ‘predisposing’ is important – as that’s where it is mostly ‘unconscious’. Hello – in case you do not know – your conscious existence is only a very small part of your world. Research has shown quite conclusively that it is our ‘unconscious’ that largely orchestrates that which we value so much i.e. our familiar conscious existence. Bunkum? You’re bunkum.. go get educated. Did I say you had to read this or enjoy it? Read the site’s terms and conditions.
Attitude arises from our particular experiences of things. Experience shapes how we react to things. Gosh do I really need to explain that? If you’ve been abused most of your formative years and living in a dump, you will have a different attitude to the world and those around you compared to someone who has been grown up in a loving caring family living in a palace. So – attitudes are shaped my environment, and people and loads of other things.
Sometimes it’s possible to tell someone about their attitude and if they come to realise it, and are sufficiently motivated, they may make a conscious effort to change. To what extent they can effect wilful change of their own attitude is another matter. However, from my observations, people are largely unconscious and unreceptive to external feedback about their negative attitudes. Positive attitudes – well people are always receptive to anything that makes them feel worthy and valued etc – aren’t they?
But today I’m referring to negative attitudes or those that limit performance or achievement.
There is an aspect of attitudinal change that is often not spoken about. I call it restitution. I borrow from the concept in physics but broadly speaking, this is about things returning to their original state. So – attitudes may be modified for a while, by conscious effort or external changes/demands. However they have a tendency to restore themselves to original position.
Some may have had an ‘AHA’ moment – whilst others will have fallen into deep slumber by now. For those in the ‘AHA’ group, they would have realised that attitudes are significantly shaped by cultural experience and upbringing. I’ve often referred to this process as programming. I mean even people’s religious beliefs or choice of religion are shaped by that very big process. Culture and attitudes are therefore very closely – or perhaps inextricably woven together. And keep in mind that people are largely unclear or unaware of what their cultures are or how they have been influenced by cultures (which includes work cultures, not just upbringing).
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s bad to be influenced by cultures. What I am saying is that it’s bad to be unconscious about attitudes that have become ‘built-in’ to us – programmed into us – and make us oblivious to certain things, or limit is in various ways. [Tough – can’t and won’t be more specific – see no spoon and no spoon-feeder!! Bugger off!].
I’m also not saying that everybody needs to change their attitude/s. I for one am aware of some of my most unliked attitudes – one of which appears as arrogance in the eyes of others – and to be quite frank about it, I refuse to change on that one. Why? Because – I think that people just don’t like to be told about things as they really are, they don’t like facts – and they’re obsessed with a need for ‘support and guidance’ – and the moment you speak it as it is with no consideration about their feelings, your labelled as arrogant, insensitive, pompous etc. Well no – I now take power over my personal attitude. People need to grow up else get outta my way – that’s my attitude. Their culture and attitudes are, that you must always speak in diffident, apologetic and touchy feely terms – tail between legs (figuratively – for those about to wonder if I have a tail) – cuz if you upset anybody, well well.. we can’t have that in cultural Britain. Don’t we know this – that sex and aggression are banned in Britain? Like – right! LOL. So I too am a victim of restitution of attitude.
But there are some who are trapped in self-defeating attitudes, which lead them to make minimalist or wrong choices. They know about it, yet they are unable to do anything about it. There are some who think/know that education will change their ways. I’ve got news for you – education has only a very small impact on attitude. Where did I get that from? Me! I say so – based on my personal observations of some of the most intelligent people in this country.
I know – you want me to tell you how to change negative attitudes – don’t you. If I had a spoon in my hand, and I was within easy reach – do you think I’d attempt to feed you? Based on my attitude above, I think it’s safe to infer that you’d be at risk of GBH with the blunt end of a spoon! You’re very lucky today! Off to have a coffee now. Tah!