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ANYONE CAN!LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE
By MARION LICCHIELLO
BALBOA PRESSCopyright © 2013 Marion Licchiello
All right reserved.
What if you knew you could change your attitude and in turn your life would transform because of it? Would you do it or at least give it a shot?
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude of mind." William James (1842-1910)
If you have a healthy attitude you can get much further in life. In order to change our attitude, we need to change our thoughts. Learning to bounce back whenever there are hard times is crucial. Pay attention to your thoughts. It is imperative in living a healthy, happy life!
I asked one of my best friends what she would like to see in a good personal development book. One of her answers was how to connect with other people and how not to react when speaking to others. She also was concerned with how to find a better way to speak to people so they do not take what you are saying the wrong way. I've noticed the tremendous change over the years in this area with her, but I imagine it is still something she struggles with once in a while. A lot of us do. So, with that in mind, my question to you is: How is your attitude? Do you make sure you answer people with kindness?
I believe attitude is everything. You get hired because of your attitude, you can get fired because of your attitude, and people are or are not attracted to you because of it. Of course enthusiasm is part of attitude.
Would you select a friend or partner for life if they had a really bad disposition? Or are you going to look for the lighthearted, friendly, personable, enthusiastic, confident person; the one who answers with love and kindness, not defensiveness or bitterness?
Here is a story from Pattie that explains a change in attitude and how it made a tremendous difference in her life.
My "Eurek A" Moment
Written by Pattie Simone
Many years ago I had a "eureka" moment - that literally changed my life. I can't tell you the exact moment this occurred, but the outcome was utterly awesome! In a nutshell - one day I realized I had control over how I reacted to people and situations; and the difference in my reaction and my attitude was a game changer.
The scenario that prompted the realization and subsequent change: I was part of a civic woman's group and one woman in particular was very irritating to me. I didn't like anything about her - she wore old fashioned clothes, her haircut was outdated, she seemed so serious about everything and had a strict, schoolmarm air about her. A real downer!
Of course there were other women who felt the same way and occasionally we'd rehash some of the things that annoyed us at the end of our monthly meetings. One woman was wound a bit too tight with her observance of parliamentary procedures, another one said _____, etc., blah, blah, blah.
I always felt uncomfortable after these negative discussions, like there was a bad taste in my mouth. So I started observing how some of the other women interacted with each other, how the calmer, upbeat and more diplomatic ones smoothed over the rough edges when one or more people had a combative tone. These people fostered harmony not discord. They recognized the two or three camps, allowing them time to have their say and making comprises so we all came to an agreement. And stuff got done.
So back to the "eureka" moment ... At some point I realized the obvious - I was not going to change the people who annoyed me. I DID have complete freedom of a choice to change my focus, thoughts, actions, words and hopefully, outcomes!
I could look past the silly things that distracted me and focus on our shared mission. I could also really open my eyes, and see more things from a positive perspective. So instead of focusing on the negative and what we DID NOT have in common, I made an active choice to focus on the POSITIVE and the many things we DID have in common!
The almost instantaneous effect of my new, forward-thinking attitude was amazing. The meetings became a whole lot more productive, and my new positive point of view helped me reassess other people and the way I interacted with them. I wanted to be in the camp of fostering harmony, not discord, so we could all be more productive and get things done.
Am I a perpetual Pollyanna? Nope. I get irritated by stupid, unfair or inaccurate stuff all the time. When I'm really steamed, I'll write a note, a letter to the editor, a blog post. And within my family and circle of friends, I regularly vent about a bunch of things; people who don't teach their kids basic manners, companies with idiotic or sexist ad campaigns, etc., etc.
But day to day, I'm choosing to be on the "upswing". I infuse my business doings with enthusiastic and productive news, advice, and tips, especially within the growing global community of ambitious women listed on WomenCentric.
Give it a whirl - being positive is contagious - and studies show having an upbeat attitude is way healthier too. Be a change agent with a sunny disposition and watch great things happen to you and the people around you!
Love it! Love it! Love it! You go girl - keep that positive attitude, share it, live it, own it!
Attitude is Everything!
Years ago I had the pleasure of conducting mini lectures for Spas and Fitness Centers. I created my "Attitude is Everything" seminar. At the time, I was in the best shape of my life and I was rockin' the world, mind, body and spirit (or at least I thought so, and that's all that counts [??]). I was discussing the up and coming seminar ideas with my sister and she said why don't we go to the spas and see how they treat us individually, kind of like the premise of "Undercover Boss" today except we weren't their bosses. At the time I was fitness-model material and might have even been when I was modeling sportswear. One of the problems the owners presented to me was how she thought certain employees were treating people differently but didn't know how to prove it. My sister had weighed more than I and she suggested we see how different they treat each of us as individuals, one being seemingly more health conscious than the other, even though she worked out every morning and is and always will be more flexible than I am. They didn't know that. We were determining how they viewed us or if they judged us based on our appearance, hence ascertaining what kind of attitude they had towards others.
I presented this to the owners of the centers and they loved the idea. It was the only way to let the employees know how they were portraying themselves to others and how to change it. It was also a great way to acknowledge and award those doing a great job.
We visited three different centers.
1. The first staff members made us wait incessantly. They treated me totally different than my sister. When one staff member spoke to us, she never looked at my sister, once. They continued for an hour and half to treat us differently. What an experience. Think about how that attitude towards someone overweight, finally deciding to begin a fitness routine, would hinder their results or even halt them from starting a program.
2. Second told us they couldn't see us for more than a few minutes because they were closing and we would have to come back the next day, even after explaining it was the only time we had and were very interested in joining the club that night. There was still a good twenty minutes before they closed. They hardly gave either of us the time of day; all they cared about was going home. Potential members did not matter to them at all. With that attitude from employees, businesses fail.
3. Third one was locking the door as we ran up to it. They were just starting a party for an employee's child and one of the employees still graciously opened the door, showed us around and treated us both as if it was the middle of the day. She even told us we could experiment with the equipment if we wanted. It was 7:02pm and right on the door it stated in no uncertain terms 7:00am to 7:00pm. Did she have to do that? NO! Was she the owner? NO. This is an example of attitude being everything. She was treating this business as if it were her own. She was also treating us like human beings. Am I saying you have to stay late at work to make a good impression? No, I am just trying to give you examples of the difference in attitudes. The third employee will be noticed and hopefully acknowledged throughout life for her attentiveness.
Keep in mind, none of the employees knew we were on a secret mission to save the business by seeing who had great attitudes and who needed improvement or possibly needed to be put on probation. On the day of the lecture, suddenly the employees who needed improvement were cowering in the back of the room, almost ducking behind people. The ones who were pleasant, accommodating, and had a friendly attitudes were right up front. From the back, I heard one yell out, "Oh S#%t, I am in troooooublllle." She was right! Another one came up to me and balled me out for tricking her, but these were the employees whose attitudes, excuse my French, SUCKED! The employees who had good attitudes were very humble and accepted praise gracefully. They were actually happy to see me. They thought it was great. When you have a good attitude and you know you are doing the right thing, you see life differently. You know when you treat people right or not, I truly believe that.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! It's important to remember when interacting with anyone in life; whether it is family, friends or anyone you come in contact with.
Everyone had the opportunity to come and speak to me privately after the lecture in case they had any questions. Wouldn't you know it; the enthusiastic ones with good attitudes came up to me and asked if I thought there was anything they could do better! One of the staff members with a bad attitude came forward to ask if she was one of the employees I was speaking of. When I said yes, she was not really shocked and said she wanted to change. She asked for advice. Bravo to her. The others didn't even feel they had any kind of negative attitude or judgment issues. These are probably the men and women who will go through life thinking everything happens to them and they are not responsible. They will also have a lousy disposition and attitude until their viewpoint about life changes.
Let's talk about attitude in relationships; spousal, parental, siblings, friends, family, co-workers and so on.
The Defensive Attitude
Do you act toward others the way you wish for them to act toward you? My mother always said, "Do unto others as you expect them to do to you." I am sure she meant the bad as well as the good though, because that was my mom. Oh boy! I am just glad I figured out the right way. Anyway ...
Something to think about.
How do you answer someone when they ask you a question or try to offer advice? Do you base your attitude and thought process on the past or present?
I remember hearing something life-changing – we base most if not all of our present decisions, actions and reactions on the past. That is all we have to base it on. But, what if we didn't? What if every experience and relationship was fresh and new as it should be? Wouldn't that make for a better world, better communication, and better relationships? I THINK SO and I do my best every single day now to look at it that way. I certainly did not always have this attitude in life or about life. My dad would tell story after story of how he struggled with his bosses to show them who was really boss, how he fought (literally fought) with people over the silliest things. He was very spiteful. Mom was vicious and malicious at times. How the two of them didn't kill each other is beyond me. However, they did kill each other mentally so beware of who you allow into your space.
With learning from the two of them, it is a wonder I ever learned to change my attitude. My mom was always very snippy with her answers. She was defensive and bitchy at times. Some of you may be thinking "how can she say that about her mom," but I would hope you rather me speak the truth which is she had an attitude problem and was very snotty and sarcastic a lot of the time.
I guess my big question for you is – do you react or just answer kindly or normally when someone asks you a question or offers advice? Do you get defensive? Why is it we feel we can get defensive or hurt the people we love and adore most. I learned from my mom to be in defense mode most of my life but I think I get better and each year. As a matter of fact, I think I am very good at it now but I still tend to catch myself becoming defensive with the people who are most near and dear to my heart ... not often but it happens. Sometimes if a close friend tells me something I do not want to hear it kicks in. The only difference is now I catch it almost immediately and apologize profusely. Before my awakening to the positive I was a very defensive little bugger. Thanks MOM! I do think I've gotten 90% better over the years but I am still a work in progress. Aren't we all? I am getting rid of a lifetime of conditioning. Most of the time this resistance mode comes up for people when they do not want to hear something someone else has to say. Why have an attitude problem with someone for offering an opinion?
It can be about ego, which I work so diligently each and every day to edge out. It can just be about knowing what you are going to do already or thinking you are right. It can stem from to many places deep within. It can also come from a past experience when someone either tried to control you or tell you what to do and you did not want to hear it or didn't deserve to be treated that way. I am writing about this because I believe it is one of the major things that can truly hurt relationships. Without proper communication and a good attitude it is hard to have a conversation. Without conversation there is no relationship.
The next story is an example of how your positive attitude can really make a tremendous difference in your life. Robbie is not only helping herself, she is helping other women to know if she can do it, they can too.
A Positive Attitude Can Get You Through Anything
By Robbie Motter
In September 2011, I went to my doctor because I was having knee problems and when I saw her she gave me the referral to a knee specialist and she said to me, "Robbie since I never see you much is there anything else bothering you?" I am not a doctor so I said, "Well it's nothing but my left breast sort of hurts like when I use to have my period." She gave me a referral for a mammogram and an ultrasound which I went and had figuring it would be nothing.
Well low and behold I got a call from her office to come in. I knew immediately that it probably was not positive as over the years when I would have tests they would just say everything is good, but this time they were asking me to come in soon.
Not long after I was called to have a biopsy and then the office called and said I needed to come back to see the doctor. They scheduled an appointment immediately which was unusual so I knew the news probably was not that good.
I can clearly remember the day. The doctor walked in and the expression on her face said it all. I never dreamed I would have Cancer; no one in my family had cancer. Since my mother died of a stroke and strokes ran in my family I thought that was what I needed to get checked for. I cried and she cried and my friend was in the waiting room and as soon as she saw me she knew I had been crying. I said to her, "It will be okay. Let's go to our usual restaurant and have a glass of wine," and so we did. Knowing I could not change whatever it was I made the decision to remain positive and do as I was told.
They set up a surgery immediately and I went to the Hospital for what I thought was just a lumpectomy (to cut the spot out on the breast) but when they did further x-rays they found there was another mass near the breast bone, so I said, "Just take out the whole breast - its only a breast and I want the cancer gone, so with that being said, they did a Mastectomy.
I had to stay in the hospital that day. When I got home I was house bound for two days. On the third day I ran a board meeting for a Woman's Club I was the President of, people could not believe I was out and about so quickly. My thinking was I did not want to stay home and feel sorry for myself; I wanted to be out with my friends to keep me in a positive mode. That was surgery number one. Surgery number two was because they left too much scar tissue so I was sent to a plastic surgeon so he could fix it all. A day later I was driving and back on track. The third surgery was for a reduction on my right side, which I was thrilled about as for years I had big boobs and now I got to have smaller ones and even be able to go braless if I wanted to. To me that was a great gift. It was same day surgery and I went to lunch with my girlfriends on the way home, again I was home about a day or so.
Then it was time to stretch the area where the mastectomy was done and a mesh was put in. That surgery was, I believe, the most painful and I was out of it for three days. Then again I was driving, running meetings and SHOWING UP everywhere. The next surgery was to put in an implant; another easy one. On the way home from the Surgical Center I again had lunch with the girls and I was home for about a day.
I am now Cancer free, hopefully forever. I still have two more surgeries to undergo. After that I can have the knee surgery as I could not do it while I was going through the entire breast cancer situation.
Well, what I have learned is:
Don't listen to anyone that had Breast Cancer as most of the stories will scare you, and know that everyone heals differently. Everyone is amazed at what I did after each surgery but I believe it's because I keep a positive mind and know that doing whatever it is I have to do is going to solve the problem and make me better.
Excerpted from ANYONE CAN! by MARION LICCHIELLO Copyright © 2013 by Marion Licchiello. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Dedications and Thank You's....................xi
2. NEVER EVER GIVE UP....................29
3. EVERY EXPERIENCE IS A LEARNING LESSON....................35
4. CREATING YOUR DESTINY THROUGH VISION BOARDS....................57
7. FOCUS AND FAITH....................97
8. BEYOND GRATITUDE....................105
9. GOD AND EGO....................111
10. THE NOW....................117
11. ALCOHOLISM AND ADDICTION....................123
16. HAPPINESS AND SELF LOVE....................181
18. FITNESS AND HEALTH....................201
Let The Wonderful Contributors Of This Publication Know How Much You Appreciate Their Story....................221