The attitude you have towards your life and its circumstances have a great deal to do with your level of success in life. The mind can be friend or foe depending on how we decide to use it. Greek Stoic Philosopher Epictetus explained that “People are not disturbed by things, but by the way they view them” and that “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” If you’re feeling ill emotionally, it may be a result of you suffering from one or more of these attitude diseases. Rid yourself of these pernicious ailments so that you can live a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
1. Self-Pity. Feeling sorry for yourself will do absolutely nothing to help you live a better life. Everyone has a sad story to tell, and no one wants to hear yours. Self-pity paralyzes you and leaves you unable to take any action towards improving your situation. There is a distinct difference between acknowledging that you’re not where you’d quite like to be and simply feeling sorry for yourself. One leads to wanting to do something about the problem, the other leads to the problem actually worsening.
2. Neglect. A week of neglect can cost you a year of repair. Neglecting to take care of your financial situation can lead to a perilous outcome that can be extremely difficult to climb out from underneath. Neglecting your physical health increase the difficulty of regaining it exponentially with time. Neglecting your relationships may mean losing them altogether. Pay attention to the things that are important in your life because failing to do so can have disastrous results.
3. Indifference. This is called the mild approach to life. You’re neither hot nor cold. You simply don’t care at all. You’re drifting through life with a directionless sail that will lead an undetermined destination. You can’t drift your way into prosperity. To be successful in anything you have to actually give a damn about it. Pick a direction and go for it with everything you have. Even if it’s the wrong direction, at least you’ll find out quicker. The best way to live is one way or another, not in the middle. If you’re inspired you will have the energy to move mountains. If you’re desperate you will have the energy to fight your way out of your circumstances. If you’re indifferent, you are destined to live in a metaphorical limbo for the rest of your life.
4. Indecision. You can’t make up your mind as to what to do with your life. You struggle with choosing a path that’s right for you. Indecisiveness keeps you in exactly the same position you’ve always been in. Leaders have to be able to make decisions, and if you’re not able to come to a decision quickly, you can’t be considered a leader. A life of adventure is filled with many decisions. The one’s that turn out to be incorrect help to give you better perspective going forward and provide you with valuable experience for future decisions.
5. Doubt. Doubt is perhaps the most detrimental attitude disease of them all. There are several types of doubt, but self-doubt is the most insidious and damaging of them all. You doubt if you’re good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. You doubt if you’re able to reach your goals, and even when you reach an optimal position you doubt if it will last. If you don’t believe in yourself, the game is over before you even begin playing. Success comes from faith and self-confidence. The understanding of self worth is the beginning of progress.
6. Worry. Incessant worrying has a deteriorative impact on your mental state as well as your physical state. Worrying doesn’t solve anything and it contributes to increasing levels of anxiety. Worrying repeatedly and often can reduce you to being the type of person who is presumably doomed for the rest of your life. Give it up. Eradicate it from your life completely. It is an arduous task to eliminate worry in your life, but the benefits are immeasurable. Removing worry is a liberating experience. It doesn’t remove difficulty, challenges, and obstacles from your life, but it allows you to be much more capable in facing them.
7. Over Caution. This is called the timid approach to life. You’re afraid to take any sort of risk whatsoever. You say to yourself “What if try and fail?” or “What if it doesn’t work?”. You only highlight the risks involved instead of looking at the rewards. The penalty for not trying at all outweighs the penalty for trying and failing. You should fear risking your sanity for a life of presumed safety and security. You should fear risking living a life filled with regret. Either you join the game or stand on the sidelines and watch the winners play. The choice is yours.
8. Pessimism. The glass is always half empty. You go out of your way to find the negative in any and every situation. The poor pessimist leads an ugly, terrible life. Spending your whole life looking for potential reasons why things won’t work is a sure fire way to be absolutely miserable. Like Epictetus said, it’s the way you think things are that effect the quality of your life, not the way things actually are. Perception is reality. Change the way you view things and it will change the direction of your life. Your mind is like a field and your thoughts are like seeds. Your mind doesn’t care what you plant; it will grow whatever seeds you decide to sew. When harvest time comes, you will reap what you’ve sown in abundance. Poor thinking habits lead to living a poor existence.
9. Close Mindedness. You think you know everything. You’re the type of person who loves to spout your opinions yet don’t want to hear anyone else’s. You think you have life all figured out. Epictetus also said, “It is impossible to begin to learn which one thinks one already knows.” Instead of having a know-it-all approach to life, become more curious. A major problem I see in many adults is their lack of curiosity. Their lives aren’t where they’d like them to be yet they think they know everything there is to know about life. Their way of thinking is incongruent with reality. Open your mind to new ways of thinking, new types of people, and new experiences. It’s nearly impossible to live a great life with a close mind and a hardened heart.
10. Complaining. Whining, crying, bitching, moaning, groaning. It goes by several monikers. I saved this one for last because you don’t get rid of this one, you have a zero percent chance of having an excellent life. Complaining kills dreams with an assassin-like efficiency. You complain about the weather, your job, your partner, your kids; you complain about everything. Shut up. Stop it. Cut it out. Knock it off. Don’t cry about your life, do something about it.