If a person has a negative attitude and adopts the value that life is unfair, how do you think that is going to affect their basic outlook on life? Do you think they will have good experiences as they interact with others?
On the other hand, if a person adopts the value that life is an adventure and develops the attitude of exploring new possibilities through everything that comes into their life, do you think that this person will see the world differently from the person who has a negative attitude. Attitudes and values that we adopt are the elements that give shape and form to our life. Attitudes and values that we adopt will give shape and form to our experiences, which affect the world we perceive.
In our two examples, the person with a negative outlook will constantly be on the lookout and be suspicious. The second person will also be on the lookout, but with a different focus. They will be on the lookout for opportunities.
Attitudes and values are powerful and we can choose which attitudes we want to adopt and which we want to discard. It really comes down, at least initially, to making a choice. Here is a story from my life which demonstrated the power of attitudes and values.
Long ago when I was a boy scout, we used to go camping one weekend per month from August through May. I like to believe that our scout troop was different from most scout troops. One difference in particular was that the scout master enjoyed practical jokes and having fun. He had a sensible approach when it came to learning scouting skills, but at the same time a good adventurous practical joke took precedence. He believed it built character and created a tighter bond between the members of the troop.
Throughout the years of my scouting adventures, many jokes were played out. I became an instigator of many of them as well as executing quite a few of them on my own.
However, even I was not immune to other boy’s stunts. Often, we went camping at one or the other of two official boy scout campgrounds. On this particular campout, we went to Camp Strake located in the pine forest. It was late spring and hot. So, we went swimming in the pool that was located across the road from the camp headquarters. It had both a regular diving board and a high dive.
For the first hour, we dove off the diving boards, splashed each other, and had fun swimming. We played a few games in the water for a while until some of the boys gave up playing and went back to diving on the high dive. That pretty much ended the games, so I joined in doing flips off the high dive. As I came up to the surface, two of the bigger boys grabbed my arms while a third pulled off my swimsuit. Then began a game of me swimming after my swimsuit just to have it tossed to another boy. After my second attempt to retrieve it I thought to myself, “Do I really want to play this game?” I thought, “The damage has already been done and everyone has seen all there is to see, so turn the tables, Gigi”.
I quit chasing and swam to the ladder and climbed out of the pool. I climbed up the high dive and shook my hips saying, “Skinny dipping is great!” I glided through the water even better without the drag of clothes. I was hoping at least one other boy would join me in skinny dipping, but it was in full sunlight. I dove into the water and swam to the ladder. The boy holding my swimsuit asked if I wanted it back, and he promised not to toss it to another this time. I said, “No thanks; swimming naked is awesome!” It was and I meant it, for I had realized this after the initial shock of being naked had worn off, and I realized they couldn’t see any more than they already had.
The boy holding my swimsuit tossed it to me saying, “I don’t want this anymore.” I tossed it back and climbed up the ladder to do a flip off the high dive naked as I had never experienced doing a flip naked before. After I came up to the surface, the scout master made me put my swimsuit back on.
I tell this story to illustrate how attitudes and values can create a transformation in a life experience. I think most people would have continued chasing after their swimsuit if they were in a similar situation. But by adopting a change of attitude and focusing on the opportunity to swim naked, I became the hero in many of the boys’ eyes. When they tried giving me back my swimsuit and I honestly did not want it, the world shifted and transformed. It was this experience that taught me a valuable life lesson: listen to and believe in your own attitudes and values. Allow yourself to shift into who you want to be and if need be, play with a new set of rules and a new perspective. It can turn the tables.
There are many instances in my life where a shift in attitude transformed my world. The boy scout experience was one that has continued to stand out as meaningful and provided me with insights into the power of attitudes and values. A while after the boy scout experience, I started applying what I learned from it to my own body image issues.
Isn’t it time to develop a new attitude about your body that is free from the influences of living in a sex negative culture? How about setting a new set of standards in how we define beauty? Wouldn’t it be awesome to become the sexy, beautiful, and charming person that you were born to be, before social conditioning striped that away with lies, conformity, mixed messages, and sleek unfulfilled promises?
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