How to REBOOT your Attitude in 2019
by Todd Mitchem
2018 is over. We made it. We survived it all: from hurricanes to elections and now here we are, ready to take on a new year. There is only one problem; we are all operating like a computer with far too many programs open. Because of social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and the onslaught of talk about every detail of this past election, you may be feeling like you need a reboot. A reboot—just as your computer needs one from time to time. Have you ever had your computer completely lock up and you were left feeling like, “Now what?” As we look to the future and a new year, here are some ways you can reboot your own attitude so you can find happiness in 2019.
First, why does a computer lock up and need this important reset in the first place? A client of mine at a prominent tech company explained to me, in simple terms, the reasoning behind the computer reboot.
Let’s imagine you are holding a rubber band with your hands on opposite sides. If you pull your hands apart from one another very gently, the rubber band doesn’t exert too much resistance and thus doesn’t stretch to its maximum elasticity. However, when you begin to pull and stretch the rubber band with considerable force and, as your hands move further and further apart, the rubber band gets more and more stretched. This, in turn, makes it very rigid and not as flexible as it is when the rubber band is relaxed. The analogy he was trying to convey is that the more programs you operate on your computer, the more stretched the rubber band will get. When you have too many programs open on your computer, the processor and the available memory can’t function efficiently, slowing everything down and sometimes even freezing up. In other words, after the rubber band has reached its elasticity limit and can’t take any more stretching—SNAP—the band breaks and you must get a new rubber band—or reboot your computer. It’s a good thing a computer can reboot instead of snapping like a rubber band and requiring a replacement. The good news is that so can you.
Humans run far too many programs at one time. From family, to work, to social media, to the over-indulgence of news every minute of every day, we are all running too many programs at once, causing us to feel overloaded. All of this stimulus, just like too many programs running, locks up your system and turns your attitude sour. Once this happens, every other aspect of your life starts to become negative. Here is a simple three-step plan for you to reboot your attitude in 2019, so that instead of a snap, you feel happy, fulfilled and less stressed.
1) What’s My Attitude? –The best part of a reboot in your own life is beginning to understand you have the power to change everything. Just like rebooting your computer, rebooting your attitude is as simple as stopping everything and looking at it all with fresh eyes. Let’s take a simple phrase that trips up most people: “You are making me mad.” Or the other popular version, “This is making me mad.” If you are saying or thinking these phrases, you are literally giving away your power to someone or something else. No one can make you mad. Getting mad is a chosen reaction to a certain situation. It’s a choice, which means you can make a new one. The first step to changing attitude is to change the way we speak and think.
2) Learn the truth –If you look at the statement of “You are making me mad,” you can see the only real truth in the statement, “Me Mad”. Essentially you are mad at something, but you are blaming others for your own personal feelings. When you make the statement, “You are making me mad,” you are literally saying, “I have no control over myself, only you do.” When you say, “You are making me mad” you really are saying to yourself, “I don’t want to control my own emotions.”
Here are some more examples of how you give others power over you and your positive attitude. When you say:
- “The kids are driving me crazy.” Why are you allowing your kids to control your sanity?
- “This traffic is causing me to be late.” It’s your responsibility to leave home to get to the office on time. Why are you allowing traffic and the driving actions of others to cause you to be angry?
- “My work is stressing me out.” No. You are stressing “you” out and the work is your excuse.
- “This weather is causing me to be depressed.” Not really. You are depressed and rather than find a way to feel better, you blame the weather.
3) Make the Switch –The next time you are faced with a negative attitude, which will happen at some point this year, start rebooting yourself with an attitude shift. When you say or think, “You are making me mad!” or “He/She is making me mad,” scream out loud (perhaps in the privacy of your home), “ME MAD! ME MAD! ME MAD!” Stomp your feet like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum, because you are mad indeed. By mad, I mean, crazy mad. If, at first, you are not ready to take the leap to screaming “ME MAD” out loud, then, at the very least, do it internally. Trust me, you will find it hard to have a negative attitude when you are stomping and yelling “ME MAD!” By doing this, you are putting ownership of your emotions on the one person responsible for them: you. Great news! You have now started down the path of taking control of your attitude in a fun and positive way.
2019 will have stressful situations for sure. The question is: will you manage your attitude or simply stomp through the year saying, “Me Mad?”
And don’t forget to Look Up toward your goals, your optimism and your forward thinking mentality.