‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’
—Charles R. Swindoll
Attitude is Important
Even if you find yourself single again or single a lot longer than you would like, there is one thing that will without a doubt never fail to increase your happiness. It is not marrying mister or miss right. It is not going on more dates. It is not even reducing the length of your single years. The thing that will decide your level of happiness is your attitude.
There will always be things in this life that are beyond our control. Bad things will happen. When they do, consider this quote.
‘The last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.’
—Viktor E. Frankl
This was spoken by a man, Viktor Frankl, who survived Auschwitz. If anyone ever had a reason to have a terrible attitude it was Mr. Frankl. Yet, even after the inhuman treatment he received and the barbaric behavior he witnessed, he chose to not let his circumstances determine his attitude.
Change Your Attitude
The easiest way to become happy while you are single, in fact, the only way, is to decide that you can be, deserve to be, and will be. Decide that neither your marital status nor any other circumstance will determine your happiness. Let me say that again. Decide that neither your marital status nor any other circumstance will determine your happiness. This is an important first step. You must believe that you can and will change your attitude.
Don’t Wait to be Happy When …
The thing is, too many people wait for someday, somebody, or something. But the reality is, no event, person, or thing can make you happy. So, why wait when you can just be happy now?
Instead, what happens is people wait and wait, and delay happiness until that glorious someday. At some point, they just might, actually, finally get the thing on which their hope of happiness has been clinging. All too often, that thing, person, or event turns out to be not all it was advertised to be. Or, it is awesome – for a while. The new boyfriend, new car, or vacation makes them happy – until it doesn’t. Then the newness wears off and they start looking for the next person, thing, or event to bring them that elusive happiness again.
Stop waiting. Just start. Now. Don’t wait for anything or anybody. Things, people, and events do not ultimately make you happy. An unhappy single person eventually becomes an unhappy married person if nothing changes on the inside. Happiness is a decision. Make a decision and start.
One way to a better attitude is through gratitude. Start being grateful for the things you do have. If you have your own place, you have running water, and you ate three meals today, then you are better off than most of the people on planet Earth. If you can walk, speak, hear, see, and read you have reason to be thankful. Simply having the mental capacity to ponder whether you have things to be thankful for is a reason to be thankful.
This is not to downplay the things that are going wrong in your life. Going through a divorce, a sickness, a financial setback, a breakup, or the death of someone you love is no small thing. It hurts. It messes with your psyche. But, even in the midst of those things, give yourself permission to enjoy any good things that do come along. Being grateful for any good thing, no matter how small, will help you develop a better attitude.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
You cannot maintain a good attitude while entertaining negative thoughts. You cannot stop negative thoughts from popping into your mind, but you do not have to make them coffee and offer them a Danish. Instead, step back and examine them with curiosity. See if there is any truth there. If there is some truth there, decide if there is anything you can do about it. Any thoughts that are untrue or beyond your control, toss them out. To continue the unwanted houseguests theme, show them to the door, hand them their coats, and make sure they leave.
As I mentioned in a recent post, trying not think about something guarantees you will think about it more. Instead, fill up our mind to the brim with good things. Read, watch, and listen to all the truth and positivity you can.
Watch What You Say
Dwelling on the negative is bad enough. Talking about it constantly is like fanning the flames. Learn to speak truth. Learn to speak goodness, light, and positivity.
Don’t become your own downward spiraling feedback loop. You talk about all the bad things. You hear yourself talk about all the bad things. That reinforces that things must be really bad. So, you talk more about how bad it really is. You hear about all of this bad stuff. The cycle repeats and amplifies.
Accentuate the Positive,
Eliminate the Negative
Attitudes tend to be very contagious. Even worse than just hearing yourself talking about the bad over and over is having a negative person around to really amplify the negativity. So, another way is to develop a good attitude is to spend more time around people with good attitudes and less time around people with bad attitudes.
Friends. Family. It doesn’t matter. To have a better attitude limit your exposure to people with bad attitudes. You know who they are. You talk about something bad that happened. They top your story with an endless stream of awful, woeful, tragic tales. If their repertoire does include any happy stories, you’ve never heard them.
You are not obligated to stay around and listen to them go on and on about how bad life is. Do not let them bring you down with them. Try to redirect them once or twice toward something more positive. If they still insist on dwelling on their tales of woe, excuse yourself and go find someone more positive to hang around with.
Strong medicine, but you tend to become more and more like the people you spend time with. So, hang around with happy, well-adjusted people who lift your spirits.
One Final Thought
Attitude is way too important to let other people or circumstances choose yours for you. So, work on having the attitude you want.
- Decide you will have a good attitude
- Do it now, don’t wait for something, someone, or someday.
- Have an attitude of gratitude
- Watch your self-talk
- Spend less time around people with poor attitudes
- Spend more time around people with good attitudes
Do these things and your attitude will begin to change. It will take time and effort, but it will be worth it. At some point you will be a happier single person, which will make you more attractive, which might just lead to a happy marriage down the road.
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