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Positive Mental Attitude

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

The Six Characteristics of a Positive Mental Attitude

Discovered by Gary Faris
  1. Inner Motivation
    1. Both Toward & Away
      1. Toward
      2. Work toward a goal, toward achievement, toward success, toward health, wealth, happiness
      3. Away
      4. Avoidance...move away from poverty, away from dis-ease, away from depression
  2. Valuing High Standards
    1. Anything less is unacceptable
    2. And beyond...aiming for better than before
    3. Gaining full capability and thriving
  3. Chunk Size
    1. Step-By-Step...strive for the small goals that are necessary to reach the greater goal
    2. Create a sense of satisfaction in meeting goals
  4. Time Frame
  5. Live in the present
    1. Create a mental compulsion to succeed at each moment...and reach the small goals on the way.
    2. Combine present viewing with future
    3. Look toward future reward to see through the pains
    4. Experience the present; take action toward the future.
  6. Personal Involvement
    1. Be active in your success...Take control of your life
    2. Determination increases with active participation.
  7. Self-to-Self Comparison
    1. Measure against yourself and for yourself...not others
    2. Measure progress from start of journey.
    3. Find personal improvement and be encouraged by it.

This is not a list of time-oriented steps. An effective Positive Mental Attitude and goal realization relies on each point working in concert.

1. Inner Motivation
For some goals, toward and away motivation are organic to the process. If you are motivated toward safety, you are simultaneously motivated away from danger. The difference comes down to your focus--where you place your emotional investment.

Emergency and disaster preparedness neither prevent nor manifest earthquakes--such events are beyond our control. It is about awareness. Conscious awareness and preparation in the absence of an emotional investment act as obstacles to possibilities, while emotional investment and focusing toward the positive attracts possibilities. Preparation is not expectation, you are not expecting a problem, but rather you are recognizing that there are things beyond your control and outcomes outside of your desired preferences. Awareness of a possible problem is the first step toward the solution; it starts the process of creating obstacles to prevention or continuation of a problem. Without awareness there is no intention to prevent or stop a behaviour or outcome.

2. Valuing High Standards
By consciously setting goals, you can better promote a higher standard than is likely without conscious deliberation. Creating a plan for realizing your goals reveals possibilities where you may have only seen obstacles and gives you something to strive toward, creating a feeling of accomplishment as you complete steps in the process. Without a conscious plan, goals are often beyond abilities and thus demotivating as efforts fail, or they are set so low as to provide little or no satisfaction. Determine your standards and strive for them. As you complete each step, your abilities increase and thus your standards may also.

3. Chunk Size
Satisfaction is a result of reaching a goal; increase satisfaction and sustain motivation by breaking your ultimate goals into smaller, more manageable steps and reward yourself upon completion of each step.

Achieving an ultimate goal is a process; this in itself is a series of steps which are smaller goals. The smaller goals may also be easier, not merely because they may require a shorter time-frame, but because they are within your present level of capabilities. If your goal is to run a marathon and you've never ran a mile, please don't start with a full marathon or even a full mile. Try a quarter mile and increase or decrease that mini goal according to your ability.

The athletic analogy is obvious, but even so, many fail to transfer it to other situations. MLC is a journey that averages 2-7 years. You have plenty of time to reach your goals, and rushing is a failure to grasp Acceptance. What is your goal--a goal that is within your control?

Whether your MLCer chooses to come home or not is not within your control. But you may still have Standing as well as personal goals for your own growth. Regarding Standing, what is in your control and what can you do to realize your goals? What can you do to break them into smaller steps? Many of your personal growth goals may be steps within your Standing goals.

4. Time Frame: Live in the Present
Choose to view your present state as successful without forgetting where you are going. Live in the moment; reach for small milestones, but if you know what it is, don't forget the ultimate goal, and you choose that ultimate goal; it is yours.

My ultimate goal in this journey was for a reconciled relationship. For me that other stuff was a byproduct. They are no less important, but those other things are the goals of each present moment, the small goals that helped me achieve my ultimate. But that was my goal. What is yours? Maybe you don't know yet. That's okay. Part of those smaller goals are to help you find your ultimate. This is a journey of self-discovery. Determine that you will find rewards, and that you will create your Self--a Self you will love.

Without the present moment achievements, the final goal will be forever beyond grasp. Those smaller goals are the background; they should be part of all of our goals, for even if you have achieved them, you need to maintain them. Though you may want something greater, the background is the foundation from which success springs.

Live in the moment. Life is also about maintenance. Peace, joy, self-love, self-focus etc. keep up the effort to maintain these, otherwise they may be fleeting. If this is a new crisis, a shock; the quality of your peace may need changing. Sudden crisis can throw off our peace, the joy and foundation you once thought was so stable.

5. Personal Involvement
Are you waiting to be rescued? By taking an active role in the outcome of your life, you are investing in the process. As you participate in a project, you have greater desire to see it completed--even if you are like me and are better at initiating; I still want to see my investment completed even when someone else is more active in the later stages. Determination increases with active participation. But you are not an external project! When it comes to you and your life, you are the only dominant force--others may influence, but the only person who can rescue you is you.

How does active participation match with Accept the process? The process in which you are accepting is your own. Your spouse's journey is outside of your control; accept his process while investing in yours.

6. Self-to-Self Comparison
Make your guarantees Self-Guarantees. There are no guarantees that one person will be victorious over another, only over one's Self. To find joy, success and satisfaction, alter the method of measurement. You cannot control others, to attempt victory is honourable, but to promise it is wasteful and futile. Measure yourself against the only one you can control.

If you are in a support group for Standers and your MLCer is the only one who is...

  • filing for divorce
  • spewing mean venom
  • still seeing the OW
  • not contacting you regularly

...it may seem that your situation is the only one without positive signals or signs of improvement. Your friends are not you, not married to your MLCer, their histories are different; the root causes MLC are specific to each individual. MLC is not in a vacuum in which all conditions are identical.

But somewhere you may have read some absurd data that stated 75% of MLCers regret their actions and come home someday. (That is not a real statistic; I made that number up for the example.) Your MLCer seems to be in the more rare 25%--panic--what are you doing wrong?

What method was used to collect the statistical data? What were the variables--if you change a single variable the results may completely flip showing that only 25% regret their actions and return. Do those statistics include spouses who told their MLCer No regarding a return? There are many who will not Stand or choose to stop Standing and refuse marital reconciliation. But if the MLCer wanted to come home, should that count? How were the participants found? Did they approach the data collectors? What does this say about them--how would those who did not approach data collectors differ? Was the data biased through interviews with only the Stander or only an MLCer?

Use the successes and failures of others as inspiration, examples, guidelines or warnings, but each situation is unique. Review your completed steps from your chunk-sizing to measure your progress. Be attentive to your progress rather than that of others.

Review a goal in the context of the six characteristics.

  1. Choose your goals: Be specific about what want and do not want. Does failure to achieve your goal have a negative consequence? Ex. Lung Cancer for failing to quit smoking.
  2. Have you set your standards? What are they? Are they high enough to promote growth and a feeling of accomplishment, yet realistic enough to maintain confidence and motivation?
  3. If your ultimate goal feels outside of your capabilities, have you determined smaller steps that can increase your abilities as you grow?
  4. Is the process satisfying? Are you choosing joy as you go rather than waiting for it to magically appear at the end? Are you visualizing future accomplishments to maintain motivation and assess additional paths toward success?
  5. Are you being active or passive? Are you taking control of your life or allowing someone or something else to determine your outcome?
  6. How are you measuring your progress? Are you inspired by others but focused on your Self and your accomplishments? Have you looked back to the start of this journey and logged your progress to date?
I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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