Exercises - Attitude
Tuesday Night Talks Newport Beach 10/21/80*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
Let's talk for a few minutes about attitude. So an attitude is how I feel about you, about the day's work, about Life in general, etc and it is something that you can choose what you will have.
Now most people leave their attitudes to the tender mercies of circumstances that "this might happen", and that's liable to have you in any kind of an attitude except a desirable one unless now and then you meet some nice person. Frequently a person's attitude is very much determined by the last person they were talking to; and that doesn’t' easily adapt itself to having a very pleasant existence all day. So can you have about any kind of attitude you want?
(A good one.)
Well, I said you could have them, can't you? And you don't have to let anybody else influence it or take charge of it or run away with it. It doesn't matter whether it's a relative, or whether it is a total stranger, or whether it's a friend, there is no particular reason to let anybody have charge of your attitude.
The attitude decides about how your day goes. If you start off with a very pleasant attitude and your in charge of it and keep it that way, what kind of day do you have?
Very pleasant. There's people that come along [in your day] and says "this or that" [probably something you don't like]. [You can see it as] they give you the feeling that you ran into a "character"; and everybody loves "characters"--when you meet one now and then?
(If you look at them that way.)
As characters, but not as a _______________________.
And so very frequently our whole income is determined by our attitude.
Our social life is determined by our attitude.
Our digestion is determined by our attitude to a good extent.
Our general state of health is determined by our attitude; and certainly the state of our solar plexus is determined by our attitude.
You know about the solar plexus. That's the thing that flutters when you get upset--is that right? What's one of the good ways to keep it fluttering?
(Not to take charge?)
Not to take charge and just let it go willy-nilly. To hope and worry, and wonder, and to make all kinds of "beautiful" pictures. You know most people are great artists. They paint all sorts of "beautiful" pictures in their heads--course most of them belong in a Vincent Price movie. They're mostly "horror" pictures.
I don't know why we are so much more adapted at making "horror" pictures than we are at making pretty ones. Do you know why?
(Why we do that? I think its habit.)
You think its habit? How about you, do you have a habit of doing it? Do you think it's a habit?
You can paint "horror" pictures that everything is going to the dogs. The world's going to hell with it's back broke, and I'm in worse shape than that. Nothing's ever gonna work out for me. Now it works out for other people; but it won't ever work out for me. We can find one thousand evidences to prove that nothing's ever gonna work right for me. It's never gonna be my turn. I was born under an unlucky star--that's all there is to it--it's the wrong season of the year--the "horrible" scope was in the wrong place; and we're gonna have nothin' but trouble. It's awful easy to paint those pictures.
It's very difficult to paint a pretty one. And if you do paint a pretty one would you believe it?
But you can believe those Vincent Price "horror" stories--gothic novels all day long. They all look reasonable.
(I think besides it being a habit it's…….)
So many horrible things happen.
(Yeah. I've heard you can create what you fear.)
No, you create it. When you keep some picture in mind, you have a tendency to actualize it. Fear didn't do it. Fear's not gonna do nothin'. You have to build it. You do things, don't lay it off on fear. If I sit around and build pictures of all the horrible things gonna happen to me, I probably will be working to actualize them. You're attitude has much to do with how you do things.
So if you have a "pity" attitude. I have man over in Arizona who calls me very frequently and says, "Bob, I'm not in the pit anymore, I'm in the subject." I know a lot of people that keep him company. I told him that; but it didn't seem to make him any happier.
When you're down there in your attitude, you are going to actualize what goes with that [attitude]. You know about the subject? You know about the pit? But there's a stairway that leads down through a trap door. If you stomp it hard enough you can fall in there, and it's hell to get out--unless you change your attitude.
But that's the LAST thing we want to change. We want circumstances to change and THEN, I will change my attitude. If I’m gonna wait until circumstances change when I'm in the subject; I will probably have to wait a considerable time.
(What you've created for yourself is a lot of negativity in your life.)
That's what you're working on. We said your attitude is the way you bring things about. But don't say that the fear did it--you did. Who's in charge of your attitude--you or circumstances?
(We alternate between circumstances……)
No, we blame it on circumstances, but who's doing the blaming? I do. And so we continually get back to where I am responsible for whatever attitude I carry around with me today. Now the last thing we want to take on is responsibility--of course for ourselves is what we're talking about here--you can't be responsible for me or anybody else. You can pick up a duty for them; but you cannot be responsible for them.
The last thing we want to do is be responsible for ourselves; we want the world to straighten up and fly right and give me what I want. You know the first decision which we don't talk about here because we feel everybody knows it, is that "It's important to have my way right now and the way to get it is throw a tizzy." Course that's about the last way to get it; but that's the basic idea, so that's what you do when you're not getting your way. Is that somewhat accurate? You ever tried that method?
(Sometimes I do-----you know that!)
I have observed that on an occasion or two. We would like to lay it off on circumstances. Circumstances made me in this condition. You see a guy laying on the ground behind a Safeway Store with a half a jug of wine; and he's still trying to get some more wine because the bottle is empty now. He says it's due to that crazy woman he was married to a few years ago that got him in this state. Or it's the way his mother treated him when he was a child--I've talked to a lot of them. I've had them brought in, I didn't go out there and volunteer to sit down and visit with them--don't get me wrong.
(It might be true, Bob.)
That's what he said, so you have to accept it--but he can change his attitude now.