Have you ever heard the phrase, eat to live or live to eat? These are two totally different perspectives to the same activity. For me, I love food. It’s nourishing because without it I perish, so I give thanks every time my body is nourished. Our family finds the cooking experience to be so joyful. There are smells, textures, colors, temperatures and of course what we all wait for, the taste. All of these ingredients come together to form the eating experience. However, there’s a subtle deception going on.
What I’ve found is most of us think the joys of eating come from taste, but we cannot be more wrong. Without the sense of smell, most things taste like cardboard. Without the right texture, food leaves us unsatisfied. Also, temperature is a big influence. Hot soup tastes vastly superior to cold soup.
Now, let me catch you off guard – this article is not about eating. It’s about your attitude and perspective of what makes your human experience and how there’s also another deception there.
Did you know your attitude is not under your conscious control? Just as eating is not dictated by ingredients but by other sensory inputs, your attitude is based on little things of which you are most likely unaware.
Ingredients! For Your Attitude:
The biggest ingredient of your attitude is what you say to yourself all day. Your self-talk tells your perceptive system how to interpret the world. In fact, it poisons you or nourishes you. Most people think their attitude is completely under their control and is a result of how other people “make them feel”. If this was you before, I’ve got advice.
Go the next few days recording your internal self-talk. If it is hurting you, FIX it RIGHT NOW DO NOT ALLOW POISON TO RUIN YOUR ATTITUDE. Simple things like, “with my luck…”, “that figures”, “I can’t”, “I won’t” can destroy your motivation.
Changing self-talk is harder than changing your body, it’s all mental. There is no mirror you can look for gains. You must command your mind to think the way you want it to. Command your mouth to speak the way you want it to. Command your brain to compel you to do the things you want to be doing or need to do for your goals. Command your body to perform, heal, become strong.
There’s a fantastic YouTube video with TD Jakes in it. It goes like this, “Put your hand on your head and ask God to give you a new mind. A new mind means a new perspective. A new perspective means a new way of doing things. A new way of doing things means new results.”
Here’s my version of internal self-talk, “I command my body to heal. I command my mind to get me up, get me training and push me farther than I’ve ever thought possible.” “God give me a better body and mind because a better body and mind mean a better perspective. Better perspective equals a better attitude. Better attitude means better results. Better results mean better goals. Better goals mean a better future. A better future means a better destiny, and God this destiny is what I was meant to have.”
This is a powerful ingredient. What you tell yourself programs your internal systems. From the reticular activation system that tells your visual cortex what to tell your brain you think you see, to the meanings of actions that your brain chooses to notice. These “picked and choosed” events can route through your reptilian brain for a fight or flight, or your mammalian brain for social interpretation, or your higher level brain for enlightened association. You’ll notice this all over the place. My favorite way to gauge someone’s internal dialogue is when they are driving. Someone cuts them off, the fight or flight mechanism can kick in (pushes horn, makes finger gesture and curses) or their compassionate mammalian brain, “oh good thing there was a space for him to get in”, or their enlightened association, “you say a car cut me off? Didn’t notice.”
This is a seriously big deal. The perspective dictates what hormones will course through your system. Pick fight and you’ll get an injection of destructive hormones and all learning and growth goes out the window and you’re angry for far longer than you think you are. Choose the mammalian brain and your social interaction skills and empathy become sharpened. Pick enlightenment you’ll get calming hormones and stay focused on whatever you were doing previously and pass that on to others. Your emotional state transmits that feeling to others. People literally get sensory input to influence their emotional state from you, likewise the people you choose to watch, hear, or be around influence your emotional state, all without you consciously knowing. There’s truth to the old phrase, “you are the sum total average of your 5 closest people.”
So part 1 of Air Force Ken’s Ambassador Corner is first paying attention to your self-talk.
Part 2 is Nutrition
(Pictures are of Ken’s wife, Rachel)