We’ve all been there: we’re good people, yet the weight of our responsibilities to friends, family and society become too heavy. Uncomfortably heavy. Then, we tend to forget our good intentions and put up a futile struggle against things we don’t want to do. We rush through our responsibilities absently, just to get them done as quickly as possible. The resistance to doing our part puts us in a negative mental space where we are rushing and wishing we were doing something else. This added speed and stress creates negativity, which turns into poor patterns and habits. This problem is something selfcreated, because of our attitude and our approach to work/living.
“I’d volunteer if I had more time.”
“I’d read to my kids if I wasn’t so wiped out from work.”
“I’d go see a personal trainer, but I’ve got other shit to deal with.”
If you are in this headspace — even occasionally — it should be a red flag to check if your underlying attitude is negative, poor or limited. You might just need to lift your own spirit by starting to believe you can have enough energy, smile more and spend time helping others. This simple attitude shift can start creating the life, mind, body and spirit you have always dreamed of embodying.
One of the big reasons we fall short of doing our best is because we haven’t taken care of our mind and bodies properly. This leaves us with less energy and capabilities to do what we need to do well. Nothing gets people down easier than not feeling well, being overweight, having injuries that aren’t addressed, eating low nutritious convenience foods, etc. All of these things crush your energy and have a chain of repercussions on your mind and body, which then affect everyone and everything in your life.
Ask yourself: What’s one thing can you easily think of that you haven’t been taken care of properly?
Commit to dealing with it headon and finding ways to enjoy the process of taking care of yourself. Believe me training, meditating, eating well and seeing professionals for help are all amazing ways to spend your time and pay huge dividends so enjoy them.
Now, you might be asking: What can we do to display a better attitude with these every day tasks?
We can cultivate a good, relaxed, can-do attitude — what we’re calling the UNITE Attitude. At Unite we want to help inspire and train more people to not only take greater care of themselves, but have a positive view that inspires greater citizenship for our countries and earth. Unite for good.
Now this isn’t a vague “good” attitude that a teacher or parent might have talked about. Below I describe exactly what he UNITE attitude means and how to shift your mind to be more positive on the spot. Here are some simple daily practices you can easily apply to start activating this skill.
The UNITE Attitude means:
- I understand that the foundation to being my best and doing exceptional work is taking good care of my mind and body. If these areas are not in good working order then everything else will be tarnished and less effective.
- I am willing to slow down and make more time for what I need to do. This will make work time more productive, creative and enjoyable. It’s not about working more; it’s about working smarter and enjoying it.
- If I don’t like how I am being, it will be projected onto other people or show in my work, so that motivates me to do the right thing.
- If I don’t like something I have to do I am going to let go of the complaining and negative prejudice about it and just do it. If I stay in the moment I might even find something positive and enjoyable about the experience and people.
- I admit when I am in the wrong, haven’t done what I meant to do and will try to make up for it without beating myself or others up.
- I understand that taking good care of our environment and other people is necessary for everyone to benefit. I commit to finding fulfillment and joy in doing my part, which could mean taking care of my household, my workspace, the community and the earth. (As a side note, my mother taught me this value, as she was always enhancing the house, garden, helping someone or volunteering and it made her useful and happy.)
How to Get Started Today
Two Ways to Cultivate the UNITE Attitude:
- MORNING PRIMING: Prime your mind in the morning to get into the right headspace. Sit still or walk slowly and pay attention to all your senses to “get present” Notice the state of your mind and body and practice slow deep breathing. Try to ladder up your breaths from a one second inhale and exhale all the way up to 10 seconds of each and back down to one. Next, think about three things you are grateful for and then three goals for your day and write them down in a journal or even the notes section on your phone.
This daily reminder and morning meditationwill increase the probability that you will use a good attitude that day, be more effective, garner more social support for your goals and enjoy more of your daily tasks. At the beginning it is so critical to do this everyday to create the habit. Habits take up to 21 days to get going and three months to really be embedded. If you miss it in the morning just do it later in the day in a five minute timeframe. If you miss a few days just do it that day without punishing yourself. Punishing yourself for yesterday only screws up today.
- ENHANCE DAILY ROUTINES: Look for creative, fun ways to enhance parts of your day. These could be the critical but seemingly routine daily tasks such as food, sleep, commuting, work socializing, walking the dog or childcare.
For example: commuting tends to really put people in a bad place and then they take it out on their partners, coworkers or other drivers. Yes it sucks to be driving in traffic for a long time. But what if you find something good to fill that time? What if you caught up with family and friends on the phone? What if you listened to podcasts or books on tape about interesting things you’ve wanted to learn about?
Then you will start to feel positive, accomplished, and maybe even appreciative of the commute time as it gives you great things to share with your partners and coworkers upon arrival.
Now what are you waiting for? Life is too short to feel negative and grumpy all the time. I know it sounds cheesy, but you really do have the power to change how you think and feel about your daily tasks.