Don’t forget to ‘tune up’ your attitude

At age 16, I passed my driver’s licence test thanks to a nice older man who gave me it.
I was a good driver at the time, but I had no idea how to parallel park.
So when the officer asked me to parallel park, I tried to drive into the parking space with disastrous results.
When he told me to back in, I replied that I didn’t know how.
Then he nicely directed me to turn my steering wheel this way and that way until I was safely parked. And he passed me!
Eventually I learned how to park on my own. But how to drive and park are the only things I’ve ever known about a car.
I’ve never even learned how to fill my gas tank or how to change a tire.
Until my mother died at age 82, I took her along to fill my gas tank. And after that, I took advantage of “ladies’ day at the pump.”
Fortunately, I’ve had only one flat tire in all my years of driving. It was 25 miles away from home on a country road—before the days of cellphones.
But I must have been in synchronicity because just as I stepped out of the car to assess the situation, another car approached and stopped. And, amazingly, out came my friend and neighbour Ernst Harder to fix the tire!
I know that oil has to be changed in cars, spark plugs and brakes are important, and motors need “tuning up” periodically. Although I’m not quite sure what tuning up a car is, I assume it means fine-tuning a delicate instrument so it will work properly.
So, I was intrigued by the idea of tuning up your attitude in Keith Harrell’s book, “Attitude is everything.”
Harrell says a positive attitude is the foundation of a successful life. He is so sure that a positive attitude pays off, in fact, that his whole goal in life is to embrace a “super-fantastic attitude” and help other people do the same by speaking, writing, and consulting.
He has been so successful that The Wall Street Journal called him “A Star with Attitude.”
The whole title of Harrell‘s book is “Attitude Is Everything: Ten Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action.” Ten steps to “tune up” your attitude and improve your life.
Step 1 is understanding the power of attitude.
Harrell learned the hard way. As a 6’6” basketball star in high school and college, he fully expected to be recruited by an NBA team. When that didn’t happen, his usually good attitude turned into bitterness and depression.
After a time, Harrell realized he never would be happy unless he got rid of the bitterness and negative feelings. So he followed the advice he now shares and began changing his bad attitude to good.
Very simple things can help. For instance, Harrell stresses the importance of internal dialogue. If you want to live life with a “super-fantastic attitude,” you can’t afford negative thoughts or conversation—even with yourself.
Two other simple things are lightening your life with humour and giving everyone you meet a positive greeting.
And always remember, even a positive attitude may need some tweaking periodically. So make sure you recognize when it’s time for a “tune up.”
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.
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