Change Your Attitude… Change Your Life!
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Jeff Keller’s Perspective
Jeff Keller is a motivational speaker, leader and writer about human motivation. Keller was a law school graduate who practiced law for a few years. But he felt unhappy with his life and decided to pursue his true calling of teaching self-improvement. Since then, he has worked within multiple organizations to help develop high achievers. Jeff’s articles have appeared in national and international publications, including: Selling Power, The Pryor Report Management Newsletter, The Toastmaster and The Chamber of Commerce Pacesetter. He is also a member of the National Speakers Association. Keller wrote this book to provide a clear outline of how you can advance your organization’s potential by improving your attitude.
Attitude Is Everything covers multiple lessons on attitude. These storyshots will provide a concise outline of each lesson. These lessons relate to how you can harness the power of your attitude to reach your life goals. As humans, we tend to focus on the negatives in life. This negative outlook impacts those you complain to as well as your own beliefs and subsequent actions. This negative mindset and activity prevents you from reaching your goals.
StoryShot #1: Our Thoughts Drive Our Circumstances
The foundation of this book is the reality that our thoughts dominate and drive our circumstances. Your attitude toward your life and the people around you is your window to the world. If you think you can do something, then you can. If you think you can’t, then you can’t. You’re right either way, as your attitude will impact your outcomes. It’s the classic self-fulfilling prophecy. So try to change your attitude to one that is more positive.
StoryShot #2: Your Attitude Is a Mental Filter
Keller defines attitude as the mental filter through which we experience the world. Some of us see the world through a filter of optimism, while others perceive the world through a filter of pessimism. Some people see the glass as half full and some as half empty. Keller believes you can control your attitude, so you should keep your view of the world clean and clear.
To illustrate this point, Keller compares attitudes to windows. Your window is your perspective on the world. We all start with a clean window when we are young. But with age, our window gets covered in dirt from everything life throws at us: criticism, ridicule, rejection and disappointment.
This dirt is what makes us doubt our capabilities. Doubt feeds negative attitudes. Our job is to keep our view of the world clean. In other words, try to keep a positive attitude. Use a filter of optimism instead of negativity. Instead of saying “I can’t,” you should be saying “I can.” Then, when your window is clean, you can finally see the world outside is full of positive opportunities.
If we can choose our attitude toward our circumstances, we can also choose all our reactions and responses. The example Keller gives is the mindset of Victor Frankl, an author and a concentration camp survivor. Frankl believed that those who were naturally more pessimistic often died in the concentration camps, while those who were optimistic were more likely to find the hope and strength to survive.
StoryShot #3: Positive Thoughts Attract Success
On a basic level, we are human magnets. If we think about positive things and outcomes, success will follow. We become what we think about.
Keller introduces the idea of “dominant thought.” Your dominant thoughts rule the day. If you continually think positively about a goal, you will take steps to move toward that goal. But with a negative attitude, you are never going to take that first step. If we are always thinking negatively, we will produce “negative” actions. These are actions that don’t move us toward our goals.
So you must exercise your positive thoughts. Think positive thoughts until it becomes a habit. Your beliefs brought you to where you are today. The way you think about things from this point on will determine your path forward.
Keller explains that one way to change your thinking is to become aware of what you say to yourself. You can also read positive literature daily and listen to motivational programs. Repetition is the key.
Keller also warns readers that expecting overnight success is a dangerous approach to embracing positive thoughts. We can be positive as often as possible, but that does not mean we should expect instant success.
StoryShot #4: Visualization Is a Skill We Learned From a Young Age
Visualization is something we use to understand our circumstances. You have used visualization from a young age, and you should continue to use it. Keller encourages readers to create mental movies in their minds, picturing every milestone toward the ultimate goal they want to achieve. You must also rid your mind of old mental images that remind you of negative factors, like failure and disappointment. If you are still failing, then you are still holding on to pictures of lower aspiration or failure. Keller tells the story of singer Celine Dion as an example. From the age of 5, she imagined herself singing in front of a vast audience and receiving multiple awards. She continued to hold onto these positive images throughout her life, and she ultimately accomplished living her dreams.
StoryShot #5: Do Whatever It Takes
Keller asks his readers whether they are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their objective. The key to getting what you want is this willingness to do whatever it takes. So make this commitment to yourself. Once you have supplied this commitment, you will then be determined to reach your goal. Positive events will also start happening once you have committed. People around you will start helping you to achieve your goal. It won’t be easy, but if you don’t give up, you can move mountains. Here, Keller provides the example of Benjamin Roll, who at age 74 finally passed the California bar exam. He never gave up on his goal and finally cleared the exam on his fourteenth attempt.
StoryShot #6: Find the Lesson in Problems
How you react when faced with problems and setbacks is vitally important. Generally, people start questioning themselves, their circumstances and their luck. After this initial disappointment, though, you have a choice to make. You either:
- Keep feeling miserable OR
- Learn a lesson from the setbacks and move on
You can either dwell on the negative or find the lesson in a problem. Often “problems” aren’t even real problems. Instead, they’re merely opportunities to take positive action. They allow you to improve and do better next time. Adversity encourages us to make the necessary changes in our lives and to tap into our hidden potential.
Failures also give us perspective. Failures teach us to be grateful when small, positive things happen. Keller uses the example of Napoleon, who is quoted as saying, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
Criticism and Rating
Regular readers of self-help literature may not find anything new in this book. To some others, the book may come off as new-age literature.
We rate this book 4.3 / 5.
This unofficial summary was first published in April 2021.
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