Which becomes a great day. Which becomes a great year. Which becomes a great life.
Life is short, but if we actively choose our attitude, every single day, we’ll make the most of it.
The decision to have a great attitude may be difficult, but only at first — almost everything we do is the result of habits and subconscious repetition.
You want to make it a habit to have a great attitude and respond to the events in your life with positivity, until you do it on autopilot.
It won’t guarantee happiness; nothing in life is guaranteed anyway. But you get to choose your attitude, and that itself is one of the highest forms of freedom.
28,000 days to live
Yep. That’s roughly the number of days in the life of the average person. 28 thousand sounds like a lot, but only because it’s days.
Divide the number by seven and you get four thousand, which is roughly the number of weeks you’ll get to live with an average life span.
About four thousand weeks. Less than a thousand months. And that’s if we consider the whole life span.
If we don’t include our very first years, as well as the very last, then it becomes even shorter.
Now, whether life is too short, too long, or long enough — that’s totally subjective.
The point of visualizing all the “blocks” of your life is to realize that although life may be perceived as long, it’s definitely finite.
Personally, I find it inspiring. I would never want to live forever, or live so long I’d forget about the fact that, eventually, life will end.
Your decision to choose a great attitude will result in a great mood, which will result in a great day. That day is one of the “blocks”.
If you can turn that day into a great week, then a month, then a year, then a series of years, chances are you’ll have a pretty good life.
Tricks to change your attitude
There is an endless list of books and resources on the topic, ranging from cognitive psychology to spirituality.
Ultimately, different techniques/concepts work for different people — you have to find the ones that resonate with you, and that work for you.
The following are the ones that had the biggest impact on my own life, and the life of those I have known personally.
- Absence of guilt. You will never experience what you think you don’t deserve. Guilt is the insidious inner demon that tells you you can’t have what you want. Note that while guilt can originate from actual mistakes, most of the time guilt is induced and therefore unnecessary. It would be great if there was a word to define the opposite feeling, but I can’t think of any — perhaps freedom, or self-worth? Either way, do your best to detach from feelings of guilt because that’s the first thing that prevents you from being happy.
- Optimal health. Happiness, willpower, discipline, vitality, and even optimism — we tend to think of these as the result of optimal mental health, but in reality the mind only plays a role. Mind and body are always interconnected, and to change your attitude, or anything that has to do with it, you want to take care of your body as well. Sleep, exercise, diet, relaxation, posture, breathing — change these and I guarantee you’ll notice changes in your attitude as well.
- Positive thinking. Consciously focus your attention on positive things, and consciously cultivate positive thoughts. If you can do that over and over again, eventually it turns into a habit, to the point where your mind no longer pays attention to drama, negativity, and problems (or at least doesn’t dwell on them) and cultivates positivity and positive energy. Just like your physical health is the result of the food you eat, your energy is the result of the energy you consume; you become what you feed your mind.
- Gratitude. Similarly, you want to learn to focus on the good things in your life, and appreciate them. We tend to take things for granted and assume it’s either foolish or pathetic to celebrate the little things. Big mistake. Happiness is mostly our own decision, and if you have the mentality where you are constantly chasing happiness, chances are you’ll never reach it. Gratitude helps you enjoy and live in the present moment because the present moment is all there is.
- Short-term goals. Where do you direct your energy and focus? If the answer is nothing in particular, you may end up focusing on the past (and the past version of yourself) and letting negative distractions interfere with your life. The power of setting short-term goals and intentions is that it instantly changes the direction of your energy. Bigger, long-term goals will help you define short-term goals, but focusing on the distant future itself won’t get you far. Think of a month, six months, or a year from now; that’s a more realistic, more tangible perspective.
A great attitude becomes a great mood
Once you develop the habit of having a better attitude (consciously making the decision to be happy and do the best you can), that’s going to turn into a better mood.
A great mood naturally attracts positive people and positive things into your life, and from there it can only get better.
Change your attitude and you’ll change a day, a week, a month, a year, and your life. The decision itself takes less than a second, but its effect could literally shape the rest of your life.
That’s why Ziglar’s quote is so inspiring — it reminds us that all great things in life actually originate from a single decision, or a tiny change, and that we have control over that.
We can then repeat the process (having a great attitude and a great mood) over and over again, and naturally that’s going to lead to a great life.
Other inspiring Zig Ziglar quotes
A plan is always successful if the plan is good.
There is a certain amount of dissatisfaction that goes with knowing your time, talent, and abilities are not properly used.
Many people who want to be great are not willing to do the work to make it possible.
Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.
Courage is on display every day, and only the courageous wring the most out of life.
I am a constant learner. You need to be a constant student because things change and you have to change and grow.
In the game of life, before you get anything out, you must put something in.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.
Until you are happy with who you are, you will never be happy because of what you have.
If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.
Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have, and that is awesome.
Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
You do not pay the price of success, you enjoy the price of success.