Dave Willis says that we should, "Show respect even to people who don't deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of ours." It's hard to have respect for someone that we have issues with. But who we are must be greater than the problems and issues that we face in others. Being disrespectful in a heated situation is like feeding a cancer, the more we give it what it likes the more it grows and over take us. Learning how to respect the unrespectable is a challenge but a must for a life of success.
1. Internal – I had a car that I would spend an hour or so washing and making shine. The interior and the exterior were spotless! But under the hood there were some internal issues that were slipping. I continued to drive the car on a prayer, hoping it wouldn't break down. But, as unaddressed internal problems go, it let me down when I needed it most. Our lives can be the same way if we fail to address our internal problems of respect.
One way you can spot internal slippage is when you see your respect for others drop. There are reason on the inside why you are responding the way you do. Take some time to analyze (What did you do?), diagnose (Why did you do it?), optimize (What can you do to change it to be better?). Work on improving your internal respect for others with clean positive motives.
2. Short List – I recently was being pushed to a point of anger. I was losing respect for the person I was talking to. I felt that I needed to express what I was feeling inside and it was not pretty. But as I took a moment to breathe I was able to see that I was connecting old hurts to the issue. I was not being fair to the other person. The author of "Anger: A Practical Guide to Anger Management", Hal Goldblatt says it this way, "It is not whether we have anger—everyone has anger. Rather, it is what we do with it that makes the difference between an angry person and a calm one. Anger can blind us to many things." The person I was angry with was being dumped on by my pass when I needed to be addressing the current issue only using my past experiences as a point of reference to help me handle what I was facing.
When you are dealing with hurtful things, it is good to have a short list of past hurts for yourself and others. The past viewed negatively can easily bring a need to be disrespectful. Work to allow the initial feelings of past hurts and resentments to be erased so you can be able to effectively handle what's current.
3. Add Chemicals – In the kitchen I have noticed that some old messes on the stove required more than elbow grease to remove. They need an additional cleaning agent to help break down the hard stuck on messes. Fixing our disrespect is not a onetime wipe over and it's gone fix. Becoming respectful requires changing the way we think. Disrespectable people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. If we see ourselves showing signs of disrespect we must work to replace our negative thoughts with more rational ones. This is applying the chemical of positiveness.
In life there are some hard messes that have been around for a while and are stuck real hard. The chemical of positveness is probably far from thought when in the heat of the moment, but if allowed to penetrate it can break a lot of tough issues. True respect is not based on what others do or say; it is based on what you value. Allow your values to affirm what you think, say and do in your hard mess spots. Remind yourself that getting angry is not fixing the problem and it's actually creating more work for you to clean up in the long run.
Summary - Proper thinking before responding defeats disrespect. You can justify disrespect just like most of us, but to achieve a higher level of success requires you to remember that the world is "not out to get you" and you can only increase the respect you receive by change you. Life is full of messes that are loaded with people you might not respect. However, when self healing starts, self-respect is boosted and in turn respect for others is valued.
Increase your respect by searching internally, keeping a short list of past messes, and adding the chemical of positiveness. Allow the present to be a gift that you cherish. Each day is an opportunity be a better person with everyone.
No matter where we live, we see things being improved and upgraded. Change is inevitable but improvement is a choice. In our lives improving who we are should be our number one goal. If we were successful yesterday that was yesterday; today is a new day that needs the improvements learned from yesterday. It is only with improvements that we can be more effective and efficient throughout our lives. Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond says it like this, "Let us strive to improve ourselves, for we cannot remain stationary; we either progress or retrogrades (move backwards)."
1. Evaluate – An assessment is made to see what can be kept, removed, or added before major reconstruction. There are even cases where pieces that look good are not good because it can't handle the incoming updates. Our lives are similar. We too must evaluate our lives to see what's working and not. We should have a daily attitude that says like Lowes, "We, Never Stop Improving!"
Evaluate what’s going on in your life. Pay attention to what you are spending a lot of time doing. There is a saying that says, "There is a difference between movement and progress." Know which one you are doing more of each day. Develop your internal voice to listen to the truth of every matter that you're in. Improve yourself by evaluating where you are and making changes daily.
2. Exonerate – This is a big word that means to forgive. When improvement needs to take place we can’t keep reliving the past hoping and wishing things would just get better. A builder would be ineffective if he allowed the memory of a fifty year old structure to cloud his plans for improvement. We should not allow our past hurts or accidents to keep us from making the necessary changes to our lives. Let's move the rottenness no matter how much we like it. We must not allow the good or the bad to hinder our ability to improve.
John Maxwell says, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn." Learning can only take place when there is an open heart to improve. There once was a martial arts master that asked Bruce Lee to teach him everything he knew. Bruce Lee responded, "You must first empty everything out of your cup to receive what's in mine." Holding on to what you once did and how it once was will hinder your improvement. Exonerate (forgive) and learn from your good past and bad past. Forgive yourself and improve YOU!
3. Esteem – Improvements must be put top on the list. If something is not improving it’s deteriorating. I was on a cruise ship once and saw the crew men painting the boat. I asked them, "How often did they paint?" He responded with weekly." Each week these men painted the boat because they knew what the salt water was doing to it daily. In our lives we have something that's deteriorating who we are too. It's called mediocrity. When improvements are esteemed we will make time and provide the resources to make it happen.
Improving yourself is something you must do daily. It's like taking a bath, no matter how well you scrubbed yesterday there is more to scrub today. Improving is a never ending cycle so make it a daily habit.
Summary - Improve your life by evaluating it, exonerating it, and esteeming it. You can be successful at being the best you possible by being persistence and diligence at making tomorrow better than today.
There is a quote that says, "We are never satisfied. The more we have, the more we want and for this reason, we will never have it all." It is true, that having everything we want is not possible. So how can we get the attitude of contentment? Brian Tracy says, "Our attitudes are and expression of our values, beliefs and expectations." So the question arises, What are our values, beliefs and expectations that are being reflected in our attitudes?
1. Values –Since our attitudes reflect our values we must pinpoint what we really care about the most. A great checker is asking ourselves, "If we only had 24 hours to live, who or what would we want to be around. Would it be people that are honest and real? Would we want to spend the last hours with people and things that respect who we really are and could appreciate our lives? I'm sure we would want to do everything to maximize the moments that we had left. Those people, places and things contain some of the things we truly value.
Most could count what they really value on their fingers. However, really knowing what they are and working to make them higher on the list can be a challenge. Work to pinpoint your values so you can have a strong internal compass to guide your attitude through the chaos that life can bring.
2. Beliefs -Whether you know it or not, the foundation of our lives are our beliefs. They are the pivotal elements that cause us to respond the way we do to issues in life. What we believe is going to happen or not going to happen formulates our attitudes into viewing life that way.
To help shape your attitude allow what you believe to be governed by the truth. That means that you do your research to find out why you believe what you believe. With the truth as the guiding factor your beliefs can be a positive guide to your attitude.
3. Expectations - What we think the future has in store for us, shapes the alignment of our attitudes. Our expectations are somehow a gage that can push our attitudes to do more or less. High expectation result in an attitude that pushes for it to happen and vice versa.
What are your expectations? Are they realistic enough to push your attitude to be positive about the life that's happening around you? Work to govern your attitude to be acceptant of your outcome, as well as, learn to grow from your mistakes and improve on your successes. Set your attitude to expect to be positive, work hard and preserver.
Summary - Having a positive teachable attitude is key to success. Making sure that attitude is focused on values, rooted in beliefs that are true and set on realistic expectations is the reflector that resembles long term success.
"When it rains it pours", is a common statement said when experiencing a lot of trouble - like delays, denials, or devastation. Corder, says that the “like attracts like” factor is in play when we have back to back problems. In other words, bad things bring on bad things. I feel that our attitude, also responds to the "like attracts like" factor. Whatever attitude we display will attract similar attitudes from ourselves and others. So to have the success we desire requires us to have an attitude boost. With boosted attitudes we can reflect the positive in every situation.
3 Attitude Boosters
1. Focus – Boosting comes from whatever has our attention. The things we find ourselves doing more of is usually where our focus is. For example, if we were trying to walk a straight line and put our eyes on another place other than the line, we would see that our feet would follow our eyes because we are focused where our eyes are. When we are properly focused on our goals, our attitudes will be directed by our focal alignment instead of the problems.
Boost your success by focusing your attitude on your goals. A focused attitude is always apart of the solution. Improving is its number one objective.
2. Faith – What we believe when we can't see anything in sight is known as faith. However, faith cannot be based on fictitious people or things. The key to a successful attitude is faith based on truth (things that have a track record of being real). When we have our attitudes backed by the truth we are able to shake off the mess that life can throw on us. With an attitude full of faith we can find ourselves saying things like, “I can hang on because this is going to pass soon.” or "This crises it tough now but it will only last for a season."
Boost your attitude with true faith, which believes whatever it is you desire can happen, even when the pressure is constantly on. Turn your odds to work for you by working to be positive and doing the right things. Boost your attitude to resemble what you want even if you don’t see it yet, that’s faith in action.
3. Foundation – Someone once said, "Behavior is the function of our attitude and self perception." In other words the frame of mind we have about ourselves and others shows up in the way we act every day. To get the boost we so desperately need we must be solid on promoting positiveness within our foundation which is the root of who we are.
An Albanian Proverb says, “Ability will enable a man to get to the top, but good character will keep him from falling.” Your character is much more than just what you try to display for others to see, it is who you are even when no one is watching. A true boost is having good character as your foundation, which enables you to do the right things in the face of wrong.
Summary - Achieve success and continue to be successful by boosting your attitude to reflect right. Then you will have a reputation based on integrity that leads to long term success. Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Boost your future by planting trees that cast an attitude of one who is focused on improvement, has faith in things that are true, and has a foundation of right.