With this project participants are introduced to, perhaps, the most significant learning point of the program - what we get from life is closely tied to how we think. "The way we think" is the working definition of "An Attitude". This project makes the point that "AiA is based on the premise that any thought held in your mind becomes an atitude and will eventually be brought into reality by the conscious and subconscious forces within you". It isn't difficult to see the wisdom in that statement but this project gives participants the opportunity to make the connection for themselves. I'll never forget the first time I went through the exercise - what a revelation. Attitudes are thought; thoughts can be positive or negative; we actually have the power to choose our attitudes and therefore the direction our life will take.
Try this exercise:
1. Make a list of all the things you, and most people, really want from life.
2. Make a list of the characteristics of the people you most enjoy being with.
Did you see that what we desire most from life are those things that are a bit intangible: happiness, love, friendship? Do you agree that the characteristics you listed in number 2 seem to fit people who generally achieve the things in list number 1? Could it be that using these behaviors helps attract the people we need to achieve what we want from life?
List number 2 could be explained as attitudes in action. These are the behaviors that, more times than not, come from positive attitudes. AiA goes a bit further and suggests these behaviors come from seven essential attitudes:
AiA is nothing more than an exploration of these seven great attitudes, each of which open up new possibilities for living life to the fullest. Bob Conklin, the author of AiA, explains how he arrived at this insight most serendipitously in his book, Be Whole. He saw the seven attitudes as the light of Faith, Hope, and Love passing through a prism and exposing these attitudes as the result. Rather poetic but also practical since we can choose these attitudes in our daily living, turn them into behaviors, and achieve the results we are looking for in living.
It is amazing to me how often I catch myself thinking negative thoughts (more on that later) and quickly realize I can choose something different, something more positive. So my experience with AiA has not eliminated negativity but, rather, helped me realize my power to choose.
I'd be happy to pass along a handout illustrating the Dynamics of Positive Attitudes. Just ask!