Ultimately, what we are targeting and shooting for is for you to be happy. And perhaps happier than you have ever been.
What drives individual happiness is, well, very individual. Some will look for more money. Others will look for promotions or a particular job title. And still others will look towards things like location, jumping into entrepreneurialism, better relationships with others, or being a more admired leader. Maybe a winery is Napa is your thing. Perhaps your dreams center around travel.
The exact target doesn’t matter but what is important is to achieve an improved state or condition. To be better tomorrow than you were today. To have more happiness moving forward without the stress you are currently feeling.
If you were hoping for a formula to create a million dollars in the next 90 days, I’m sorry. It’s not here. Can you create and execute that formula after removing your obstacles and limitations? Absolutely you can.
Our definition of behavior differs slightly from the classical definition. Typically, behavior is defined as how someone acts, especially towards others.
For the context here, a behavior is an outwardly observable action. Something that can be seen or sensed by others.
Some easy examples of behavior include your body language and facial expressions, tone of your voice, fidgeting with your hands, praising others, friendliness, assertiveness, listening abilities, and walking pace. All observable and all actions.
Many of our behaviors are quite useful for us and some can become limiting or defeating. A few behaviors appear to be valuable but are masking a limiting or defeating behavior.
In the short term, behaviors can be very easy to change. If I tell you to smile, you will and probably will for the duration of our interaction. Long term behavioral change will require more work and examination of deeper elements of why the behavior exists.
Behaviors that are done repetitively often become habits. Neuroscientists have described a three-part habit loop that includes a cue or trigger, the routine of repeating a behavior, and then a reward, usually intrinsic, that supports the use of the habit.
We all understand habits related to smoking or drug use, but we rarely associate common verbal responses, when we look at email, what apps we use on our phones, or other work routines as habits. They are and again, some are great, but some can be quite limiting for us.
Habits typically take 18 to 21 repetitions to become habits and likewise, it will take that many repetitions to establish new and more useful habits.
One of our challenges will be to unlearn the automatic responses of habits. Learning the new is relatively easy. Unlearning old habits, especially if they have served you well previously, can be daunting. Not impossible but a challenge. All of this will start with one changed iteration at a time. One step by one step. Much more on that later.
Attitudes and Beliefs
Attitudes and beliefs are complex sets of thoughts that drive our behaviors.
Please read that again.
Our attitudes and beliefs drive our behaviors.
Have you ever received a compliment about your “good attitude” about something? It is very likely you have. Did that person have a deeply mystical connection into your soul to see your attitude or were they evaluating your behaviors at that moment? Conversely, have you ever had someone inquiry to see if you were in a “bad mood” or had a “bad attitude” about something? Again, there is a high likelihood that you have. Were they able to see your attitude aura or were they measuring and assessing your behaviors projected by that attitude? Even an inquiry into if we are feeling okay can give insight into the power that attitudes have on our behavior.
Consider these two examples:
Juan is dreading a meeting. Historically it has been a waste of time and nothing but updates from other departments and lots of longwinded presentations that don’t interest him. He has created an attitude of negative expectation. This attitude affects his body language, tone, and overall engagement during the meeting. He is sitting with a scowl on his face, arms crossed, and does not offer any input or appreciation for the updates. And everyone in the room sees it. His attitude has driven these behaviors.
Sonya is looking forward to the same meeting and the opportunity to hear from her peers. She has always enjoyed knowing more about other areas of the company and how they contribute to her success and the overall success of the company. She has created an attitude of positive expectation and it shows. Her body language is open, she smiles frequently, interjects, and praises the updates. And everyone sees it.
I know this is too simple but be Sonya and not Juan.
Consider a personal example of the relationship between attitude and behavior:
You and your husband are hosting a dinner party and he has invited a friend of his that you just don’t like. You have been thinking about it all day and created an attitude of expectation of a negative outcome. All during the gathering, you are sullen, non-communicative, and look like you would rather be anywhere else.
An attitude is a set, or settled, way of thinking about a person, thing, or situation. It is a set of thoughts chained together to create judgement about someone or something. Often these are rooted in some past experiences, some are passed from person to person and even generationally, and some are based on irrationally bigoted thoughts. By themselves, attitudes can be limiting because they will often minimize the possibility of experience that an individual can have in any given situation or with any person.
Attitudes are generally classified as:
A generally upbeat and optimistic view of a person, situation, or even the world. This attitude set will drive confidence, hope, determination, sincerity, empathy, and serve to be magnetic with people. A positive expectation is a great example of a positive attitude. Consistent holding and projection of a positive attitude will draw other people of the same attitude qualities to you.
This set of thoughts drives a dim view of situations and people and can be very energy draining. This attitude type will also produce anger, doubt, frustration, and resignation from activities and people. Consistently possessing and projecting a negative attitude will draw others of the same to you and rebuff people with positive attitude qualities.
This is neither a good nor a bad thing and it is also not a victory for us. Neutral is blah. There is no doubt but there is also no hope. Neutral attitudes often drive disconnection and disinterest. Nothing is either good or bad, it just is.
A constant state of negativity combined with aggressiveness. This attitude will produce not only internal negativity but seek to dismantle the positive or neutral attitudes of all others. This attitude state must be avoided at all costs and can certainly produce some highly undesired behaviors.
So, to have a consistent set of positive, healthy, and connecting behaviors, we must always work to produce a positive attitude. Likewise, to maintain a changed behavior, we must manage our attitude that drives that behavioral change. Without that step, the behavior change will be short-lived.
A belief is a high level of trust and faith in something or someone. If you accept something as true now and, in the future, it becomes a belief. Our predictions of outcomes (i.e., “that will be great” or “that is really going to suck”) is a belief. Connect that belief with an attitude and you have a powerful behavioral driver.
One of the most important steps we must take is to openly and assertively acknowledge that past events and interactions do not predict all future events and interactions. Just because someone treated you poorly yesterday does not mean they will treat you poorly today. Without this step, our history drive beliefs will produce a negative attitude that will drive very counterproductive behaviors.
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – People Pleasing / Overly Accommodating
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Overcoming Being Extra
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Being Extra
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Defeating Procrastination
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Procrastination
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Conquering Perfectionism
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Perfectionism
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Overcoming Overthinking
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Overthinking
- Leading Edge: Limitless Transformation – Frequency and Encouragement