Some people have a default setting of anger. They’re always upset about something, even when there is no real reason to be angry. No matter what the stimulus is, the response is invariably anger.
Others have the default setting of fear. Like Chicken Little, the sky is always falling. They think, “This economic downturn is the end of the world as we know it.” When this turns out to be untrue, this geopolitical crisis surely spells mankind doom. The primary lens through which they view the world is fear.
There are people whose default setting is discontent. No matter how good things are, they wish they were better. Nothing is good enough to elicit gratitude as the instinctive response. And so they see their world as perpetually imperfect and inadequate.
It is possible to have a positive default setting.
The stimulus that causes anger in those with that default setting doesn’t have the same effect on the person whose default setting is happiness. While the person whose default setting is happiness may find some stimulus to be unpleasant, they choose to be happy regardless.
The same events that cause people who choose fear as their default setting doesn’t frighten people who have chosen the default setting of stoicism. The stoic sees the events as the ever-shifting trend line of humankind, steps forward followed by steps back, followed by a muddling forward again.
Those who have had little long enough to feel grateful for what they have now, have a very different default setting than the discontented. Where the discontented see something missing the grateful see “enough.”
Your default setting isn’t really a default. It’s really the result of the ideas that you have been infected with over your lifetime. Your default setting, whatever it is right now, doesn’t have to be permanent.
You can change your default setting at any time when you choose to no longer be infected with negative beliefs that no longer serve you the way that they did when you were infected. You can choose to practice a different default setting.
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Filed under: Attitude