An attitude is one’s own personal concept of an experience that one then takes into his universe as a rule to live his life by. Most attitudes are learned as a child through interaction with the family. These can be by observation of a role model, father, mother, teacher, sibling, etc. or by an experience of a personal nature. Personal experience is a far greater teacher than sitting in a classroom reading about life. Do not ever let anyone tell you any different.
Perhaps most people should write a list of attitudes they know they have and not judge them as good or bad until after thorough examination and study of them. One particular attitude may be a bad one for one person and the same attitude may be a good attitude for another. So it becomes personal criteria that must give the definition of a bad attitude.
On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the strongest, it would be wise to list your ten worst attitudes in the order from strong to weak and start resolving the strongest. As you work backwards from strong to weak, you will discover that the weak ones disappear as you work on the strong ones, thus making your task easier. If you start with the weakest, it really seems quite hopeless at times. Starting with the strongest would be the proper way for everyone to work on their attitudes.
The way to transmute a bad attitude to a good one, a weakness into a strength, is to focus every situation you are in with this bad attitude and imagine what would take place if everyone in the situation acted as you have with this bad attitude. Then take this same situation and replace the bad attitude with the higher way of responding and imagine what the different outcome of the situation would be. This is one exercise that you can begin doing immediately. The way, then, to transmute the bad attitude is to use it as a pathway to the correct response. Analyze your reaction to certain events and ask yourself why you reacted as you did. What did you gain from the reaction; what did you lose from the reaction?
The focus on the bad attitude will make you so aware of it that it becomes repulsive to you. As it grows in importance as to the outcome of all events in your life, you will begin to see that it has caused most of the hardships you have encountered. Letting the enormity of this bad attitude present itself is what is meant by letting it grow.
As far as letting it expand you, let your thoughts expand as to how this attitude has covered your entire life. When you realize the large part it has played in your beingness you will no longer want anything to do with it. You will find that replacing it with a good attitude immediately will go back and change the past so that you see all situations wherein this attitude reared its ugly head as being replaced with the good attitude. This makes you aware that most all that has come to you has indeed been of your own doing.
By going back over all situations you begin to ease the feelings of anger these situations cause in you whenever you think of them. You will eventually not be able to stand anyone who brings this attitude with him into any situation. You will not bring it into any situation of your own making because you will recognize it immediately and will shift immediately into the good attitude.
We will take the attitude of resentment. This is an ugly attitude. The correct attitude for anything or anyone you resent is appreciation. Resentment is a feeling of “I deserve to have that because it is what I want.” The thought that you want it is the key. What you need to think instead is I could have that if only I really wanted it. It is my choice to not have it in my life at the moment. I have something other to be thankful for or appreciative for. You should immediately focus on what it is that you have that the other person does not. Concentrate on it and on why it is better for you than that which you think you want only because someone else has it and you resent the fact that you don’t. Please try this for the next few days. It requires watching your thoughts very, very closely and especially watching everything you say when you talk.
Another thing you can do is to be totally honest with yourself. You must accept that others don’t have the answers for you. You must trust your own feelings in all situations. If you feel so strong about something then you must hold on to that belief. If, indeed, you realize that you are into stubbornness and not wanting to let go because of ego then you must go all the way with this and try to figure out why this is so important to you.
It is very difficult to put attitude changes into practice, because these attitudes have been ingrained in you through many lifetimes and cannot be broken overnight. Most people react to a situation much too fast. A slower reaction would give just enough time to think for a second to see if you are reacting the same old way. If so, try to apply the discipline needed to change that old reaction for a better one. One must be alert and thinking all the time. No action or word should be done or spoken without thinking of the consequences. This is the only way to overcome your bad attitudes.
The way to transmutation of attitudes is very, very difficult and it will take many eons for everyone to change. Meanwhile, planet earth is being slowly choked to death. The more emotional responses and reactions that leave their energies in the ground and the atmosphere, the thicker the fog of energy becomes that causes the emotional outbursts. It is like a vicious circle.
Humanity is having a hard time grappling with life through the fog of their emotional responses. They become so emotional that they cannot see situations clearly. Most are living with an illusion as to what reality really is. Picture it this way. Illusion is like seeing things through fine net curtains blowing in the breeze. They keep one from seeing out the window of the prison into the world around him. Sometimes one can make out dim shapes through the curtains; occasionally the breeze will blow hard enough to let him catch a glimpse of what is out there, but one must be interested and curious and pay attention or he won’t be watching at the right moment. Once seen, that real world can never be forgotten and one longs for the day when he can leave prison and go to that other world.