Before You Speak, Your Attitude says Everything (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 321)
“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”
— William James
Attitude makes a huge impact upon the way we communicate and what the people we communicate with derive from our communication. Before you say a word out of your mouth, the attitude you display speaks volumes as to the kind of person you are. Many people in nearly all aspects of life say the right words but with the wrong attitude. A positive message with a negative attitude is very counterproductive.
It should be noted here that attitude can be felt through the words we speak. Attitude is not tangible or visible to the naked eye, but it speaks loud and clear in the way people receive it and perceive it. We all can choose to use words that encourage the people around us and that express positivity for life. Those words often are the driving force behind whether something gets done or whether something gets delayed. Words alone drive surface conversations, but attitudes are the force behind deeper meanings and nuances.
It is very important, however, to realize that before we speak a word, our attitude is communicating either something good or bad about us. It has been said that “actions speak louder than words”. I think the same can be said of attitudes: “attitudes speak louder than words”. We communicate attitude through hand movements, facial expressions, non-verbal cues, and body language.
For example, if you drag your words together when you are giving a speech or presentation in front of any number of people, you are communicating a lack of self-confidence. If you sit with your hands cupping your face, you could be communicating boredom or disinterest. And if you slam the door to your office or car or house, you may be communicating anger, frustration, or disappointment. Crossing your arms can communicate arrogance. In these scenarios, no words are spoken, but the actions are speaking loudly.
Attitude is like the spirit. Have you ever walked into a room or gotten around a certain person and you feel negative vibes bouncing off of them to you? You don’t see anything necessarily and they may be smiling and saying the right words but it is the spirit part of our being that cannot be seen that often shows who we really are and what we are really up to. The spirit is a reflection of our motives and intentions toward another person or even toward a project.
A change of attitude always begins on the inside. It begins in our heart and in our spirit. It isn’t just about making superficial changes like walking around with a Cheshire cat smile all the time. Surface changes are rarely permanent. And even if you can fool other people into thinking you are the real deal, your true attitude will eventually show up in the long run. If you meet a person for the first time, you get one, usually positive, impression. If you meet that same person every other day for a period of two years, you begin to discover who they really are.
The point about attitude is that it is a choice. We have to choose to have a good heart and a right spirit. This means extricating the gremlins in our lives that keep us from extending forgiveness. This means letting some things go so that we can be free on the inside. This sometimes means choosing to accept every situation for what it is, changing what can be changed, and not being stressed over what is not under your control.
Choosing to be positive is not always easy. Sometimes we’re tempted to just feel negative and let that negativity flow from our attitudes. But when we yield to this temptation, it will show up in our actions, on our face, in our thoughts, in our body language, and even in our interactions with other people. The consistent message of your life and my life should be a positive attitude of choice that shows up on the inside and flows into everything we do.
“Your attitude belongs to you and it’s your choice if you want to have a good one.”
— Joyce Meyer