Saturday, February 10, 2007

Adopt an Attitude

Stranger in a Strange LandWhile I was vacationing in paradise, I brought along a couple of books to amuse and edify me. One was a "business" book, Jeffrey Gitomer's "Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude" and the other, one of my old favorites, Robert A. Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Now, at first, one wouldn't think that these books have much to do with each other. One is a guide on how to achieve a positive attitude and then take it one or two steps further. The other is a classic science fiction novel of a young human, raised by Martians and returned to Earth and his strange and wondrous adventures on our planet. Yet, as I was reading them over the same few days, I seemed to catch echoes of one in the other and vice-versa. How could that be? What was the link?

Well, I sat and thunk for a while and I think it finally came to me. In Gitomer's book he recommends approaching things as a child would, with all of the enthusiasm and joy for discovery that we all had at one point in our lives. Valentine Michael Smith, the protagonist of Heinlein's epic, does just that. He has no preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be and therefore approaches all aspects of life on earth with a curiosity and an eagerness to understand which is almost childlike.

What a wonderful way to be. Fearless in exploration. Curious in all things. What would life be like if we lived that way all the time? How many new things would we discover? How many old things would we rediscover?

Sometimes, when we go through our everyday lives, we don't really look around us to see the opportunities at hand. For those of us who want to take our lives in powerful directions, whether through our careers, our education, or our relationships we have to open ourselves to those possibilities.

Perhaps it would behoove us all to be a bit more childlike (or Martian) at times.

So, how do you keep yourself open to new possibilities?

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