Personal Development


CHAPTER XL – Your Attitude is Everything

I am Jude. Your attitude determines how you experience life. It shapes how you view yourself, your interactions with others and your relationship with the world. 

In many instances, it’s the reason you succeed or fail or feel good or bad about certain stimuli. In effect, we are a reflection of our collective attitudes.

What is an Attitude?

An attitude refers to a set of emotions, beliefs, and ideas associated with a particular object, person, thing, or event. They are the result of personal experiences, social factors, observation and conditioning – and everyone has them. 

Our attitudes directly inform our behavior and define who we are. They are reflected in our character, our preferences and priorities and our social and political views.

A positive attitude might consist of uplifting traits such as optimism, self-confidence and resilience while a negative one could be comprised of more obstructive characteristics such as cynicism, anxiety and self-doubt.  

With everything else being equal, individuals possessing these divergent attributes would have very different outlooks on joy, fulfillment, peace and success. 

The great thing is that we can shift what we think, value and believe. We have a high level of control, it just takes work.

How do we adopt a more positive attitude?

While attitudes are enduring and are generally resistant to change, they can always be altered. It’s a deliberate process that requires intent and commitment but it’s certainly possible. 

We gain greater control of our attitude as we become more attentive and objectively aware of our thoughts and emotions. With this new awareness, we can challenge negative and self-limiting thoughts by understanding them better.

We can practice daily gratitude, focus on the positives in our lives and accept both the good and bad in all things. We can also expose ourselves to positive influences and seek connections with people who inspire and uplift others through their actions and their words. 

My Testimony

When I look back over the past, I realize that my attitude has been one of my biggest assets and most glaring weaknesses. It has contributed to all of my personal and professional successes but it has also been responsible for much of my shitty decision-making and self-destructive, self-limiting thinking. 

Until the recent past, I was consumed with negativity, fear and resignation. I viewed everything through a lens of fatalism, hopelessness and blame. I was walking through life in a fog of despair that was my own making. 

However, through a process of focused breathing and self-discovery, I am becoming more objectively curious about my thoughts and feelings without judgement or guilt. 

I am slowly evolving one small attitudinal change at a time. I challenge you to do the same.

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

Sometimes, I question what I’m doing. 

I can retire in less than five years, I enjoy my current assignment and there are a host of opportunities for part-time work but I somehow feel compelled to pursue the idea of entrepreneurship. I can’t shake the desire to create something myself.

I have no idea where this will lead but it has already given me purpose, presented some meaningful opportunities to grow and learn and connected me with like-minded people all over the world.

For me this is the road less travelled. Everything is new and things still seems completely overwhelming at times, but I believe that this path will ultimately provide me with the freedom and fulfillment I am seeking in the next phase of my life. 

One of former American President Theodore Roosevelt’s greatest speeches has become known as The Man in the Arena and this passage, in my opinion, is the reason why. It’s powerful!

I am inspired by the idea of being an active participant in life and striving for something greater.

I want to be ‘marred by dust and sweat and blood’ in the pursuit of something more and helping others Break Free and Be Better is directly aligned with that purpose.

You Next Best Read – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – Part I

I am halfway through the Power of Now and I can confidently say that it has fundamentally shifted the way that I consider the thinking mind(Ego) and the true self. 

This international best-seller focuses on introspection and the inner work we all have to complete to free ourselves from our ‘thinking mind’ and access the Power of Now.

The author proposes that the only way to reach true peace and fulfillment is by being completely present in each moment you experience.

The ego derails us by ruminating on the past, speculating about the future, clinging to our painful experiences, and insisting that we will be happy and fulfilled if we can just achieve this goal.

The Power of Now reveals that inner peace and happiness can’t be found in anything external, but rather must be found within by being present. 

Tolle is an author, a spiritual leader and a teacher and he presents some provocative  questions:

What is the ego or thinking mind?

What is the Power of Now?

How do you stay in the present moment and not get distracted by the past and the future?

There is nothing sexy or exciting about this book but the subject matter is profound and literally has the potential to change your life. This is your next best read for exploring our inner being, if you are willing to do the work. 

I personally believe it’s worth it, 

Photo by Darko Nesic on Unsplash

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

The Truro Tennis Club is offering FREE tennis lessons for the next month. You got it. Free instruction. 

A grant from Tennis NS has been awarded to the club which has resulted in the purchase of rackets, balls and some movable nets that can be accessed by the ANS community.  

All you need to do is sign-up for one of the identified days and times and show up. It’s currently Thursdays and Sundays but confirm scheduling. 

I’m no Yannick Noah(If you know, you know) but it was fun being transported back to the times when we chalked out lines and played tennis in the middle of the street.

I personally loved the instruction and the young instructors were both knowledgeable and entertaining.

My back didn’t like the starts and stops, the changes of direction or bending over to pick up balls. And there will be no lunging, overhead volleys or crosscourt saves. In fact, I felt about as agile as the Tin Man out there.

But I’m not looking to join the ATP Masters Tour. I just want to learn the fundamentals and be able to have some rallies. That’s enough for me, and quite frankly, all that I am capable of right now. 

Tennis is never going to be a full-time pursuit for me. My back has already made that perfectly clear. However, I am seeking new personal challenges and fun activities that I can enjoy with my wife, and this fits both those criteria. Just in slow motion. 

I encourage everyone from the local African Nova Scotian community to come out and try tennis. Get some laughs, exercise and instruction throughout July. It was a hit for me, I will be back next Thursday, weather permitting. Hope to see you there. 

Any questions – Call Jennifer at (902) 814-5366 or email

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Public Announcement

So, I tested positive for Covid. I can’t say that it was what I expected but I am relieved that I finally contracted it. Even though I spent the entire weekend sequestered to my basement.

Like most people, I had flu-like symptoms, a headache, my joints were sore and I had no energy. The first day was the worst but things steadily improved after that. 

I tried to utilize my forced isolation to simply rest and recharge instead of getting lost in Netflix or the internet. However, I find ‘doing nothing’ extremely difficult so I also used the time to read and make some coaching connections. 

I got on my yoga mat and even enjoyed a short unapproved early morning walk during my quarantine. 

As I write this blog, I have switched roles with my wife. She is now confined to the basement after testing positive and I have moved upstairs into the recovery unit. 

We have both experienced Covid now. My hope is that we will now be resistant to any further positive results for the foreseeable future, but regardless it has been surprisingly cathartic for me.

The Coronavirus has become part of our everyday realities; this is just another natural step in normalizing its existence. I am Jude.  

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

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