Monday, May 20, 2013

Attitude

Attitude means a settled way of thinking about something. Attitude can therefore be good or bad, right or wrong, open or closed. It means the same attitude may prove to be right in some circumstances and wrong in others. The underlying factor that decides my attitude is therefore very important. Knowledge and experience are the key. Limited information means limited perceptions. The more I know about a subject, the better my attitude towards issues that arise from it. Gathering knowledge and experience both require an open mind and the capacity to think outside a box. It is easy to know what I know, the challenge is knowing what I do not know. There are multiple ways of gathering knowledge if the mind is open and must be availed of to be a successful decision maker, whether at home, at work or in communities. Good attitude is developed from taking an open minded approach to every challenge. The moment I limit my capacity to 'what I know' I limit my ability to grow and be productive. Pre-supposing that the perceptions of others have no basis, or need to be changed to mine, is the marker that sparks the need to open my mind and gather more information. 

The challenge, with having an open mind with the intent to learn, lies in not being able to act. This is anti-productive and impedes the ability to bring ideas to a tangible fruition. Here too attitude plays a major role. Disciplining myself to act decisively comes from my acceptance of imperfection in myself. This acceptance makes it possible to move forward and make adjustments along the way. Imperfection is a functional by-product of an open mind, that helps me strive towards perfection. Knowledge can become wisdom which can then be the insight needed to do what is necessary to live a fruitful and purposeful life - imperfectly maybe, as the field of knowledge is after all infinite. 

When working on a challenge alone there is only a single person's attitude to deal with. When working in a team it is very important that we encourage people with different attitudes to express their viewpoints. Every person has value, in that they represent a perspective that challenges decisions and processes being undertaken. Strategy and tactics must be developed, up front, based on the personalities within a working team that makes it possible to produce tangible and useful results. Without this important element ideas will never take visible shape. It is just as important to picture the design as it is to put it on paper and to buy the material to build a functional home. Anyone can design a room with four walls but it takes creativity, knowledge and a sense of proportion to decide where the doors and windows should go, how high the ceiling should be, where functional partitions should be placed based on the needs and the resource limitations of the people who are likely to use the home. It is always beneficial to have a team to collaborate to build such a home.

Good leaders understand, respect and encourage the characteristics of each team member. This helps the leader to deal with each person as an individual, to treat that individual with respect, and to develop a cohesive and productive team. It is incumbent on the leader to communicate what needs to be accomplished and leave the how to be developed by the team. The leader sets the timeline but leaves determination of time management to the team. The leader listens to the team with an open mind while always keeping the eyes on the goal. The road to the goal must be built by the team. Good leaders know how to both give and receive communications well. They are the ones with the most open minds. Leaders dream big and know that only with collaborative effort can a dream become a reality. They must earn respect by giving respect and by allowing the potential of each member of the team to flourish. An organization with a leader who has the attitude of acceptance not tolerance, cohesion not adhesion, development not expansion, integrity not answerability succeeds at every level. 

Everyone of us is an 'organization' with a 'team' inherent within us. We work cohesively - every organ accepts the other and lets it work autonomously within the framework of the needs of the individual. When one part hurts our general health suffers - no matter how healthy the rest of us is. Yet it is possible to be functional if the mind - the leader - is stable.The more I gather knowledge about the world within and the world without the more courageous I become. There are limits to every organ and it is incumbent on me to work with that limitation and yet let the infinite potential within me to shine right through at every moment. 

Many today are comfortably talking about their own death simply because they have accepted it as part of life - not as an inescapability but as an evolution. This too comes from development of an open, objective, receptive, detached mind - one that breeds an attitude that honors every other aspect of what comprises 'me.' I am sometimes right and sometimes wrong and that is what makes me think and want to know more before I undertake anything and on the way to meet every goal. It allows me to let others into my mind so they can place their views forward and help me grow. This is only possible if I am open minded and willing to accept that I am an extension of everyone else just as they are an extension of me. A difficult concept but one that is possible to experience by remaining silent and inactive in the mind. Live life performing every duty of every role assigned to me, without letting the mind wander where I am not. I am here in the now and therefore my mind needs to be with me. The mind does not control me, I control the mind. Attitude is mine to develop, maintain and use to live my purpose. My purpose is to express gratefulness for the gift of life by leaving a trail of goodness, kindness, compassion, love and truth. Death will come when my gratefulness has overwhelmed my need to express it.