I have found that the attitude or stance you take before you do anything is critical. In many ways, it is the most important thing done, for everything done afterwords will be ‘colored’ by it. In some respects, what is done afterwords is nothing but an elaboration of the original attitude or stance taken. It’s for this reason that I feel its often good to look at ones attitude before doing anything, for the attitude predates the act.
To me, there seem to be two types of acts a person performs:
1. The deliberate acts a person does.
2. The acts life requires us to do, typically without our initiative.
Take a look at the deliberate acts. You decide to read a book, or watch a show. Why? What motivates you to do this or that? When you feel yourself ‘moved’ to do something . . . stop . . . and look within. What is the passion that’s behind this decision? What do you expect to get out of your action? This simple move can reveal so much. Often, it can reveal more than the act that follows, for often the act that follows the passion becomes detached and as if removes itself from the situation and is lost in the events.
By looking at the passion that motivates the attitude we often see the simplicity in our motives. Once we move into acts and happenings then the passion is often lost in it all. They can literally get engulfed by the acts and happenings that take place. By looking at the attitude before our action the passion is felt as if new, undistorted, and pure.
Typically, the passions for deliberate acts are for specific goals and purposes. It’s generally easy to see the passion as they are focused and generally seeks a specific goal. They also have a beginning. That is to say, something instigates them to be. This passion is also very personal. That is to say, it involves the person, ones self. It’s what I do.
Looking at the passion behind the other type of act, when life requires us to do something, often without our initiative, is more difficult. The reason for this is that it is already existent. You are born into it. We find ourselves in the act of life, not creating it. Unstead of creating the act you find yourself a part of the act, pulled along as if by some force. Unstead of you affecting it, it affects you.
It is, in fact, the opposite of the first type. This requires a whole new perspective and point of view. This is not easy as this passion as if predates us, comes before us. In many ways, with this passion we are riding it like dragon. We wake up in life and find ourselves riding it.
It seems that looking at this passion has the net result of being reflective, philosophical, and religious. Because the condition predates us it has a ‘speculative’ quality, a humility of the fact that life has become before us. We do not know ‘for sure’. It seems to have no beginning, things just ‘are’. Many times, this passion is not specific nor does it have a goal necessarily.
In many ways, this passion entails the ‘what is life all about?’ point of view . . . and who can really answer that? As a result, this perspective seems to have a quality of having no answers and, in many ways, dealing with things that are ungraspable. In the end, mystery often surrounds this perspective.
In many ways, this perspective creates a sense of great depth in life, of the ‘beyond us’. It has the quality of impersonalness, of the absence of me or the I. In that sense, it can be self effacing at times.
Looking at these its apparent that the passions behind both acts are like opposite ends of the spectrum. They are quite contrary to one another. Not only that, they can contradict each other as well. This shows that perspectives a person can take are often contradictory but that doesn’t mean they are wrong. They are just different perspectives, showing that truth does, in fact, depend on the perspective a person takes.
But what is a perspective, really? It’s a certain angle you look at things. It’s a certain way you see things. It’s a certain stance you take. It, really, is a certain attitude you take. Here it shows that attitude generally determines your perspective on things and, subsequantly, the interpretation you end up using and even how you react to it. This means it’s a major element in how you behave and live in life.
It is true that . . . attitude is everything.