Attitude is a choice

June 25, 2024

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Joshua Lifrak, MS

You see the thing about axe throwing is that there needs to be some aggression and confidence in the throw. So currently the situation is dictating your attitude.

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Anyone ever been axe throwing? The first couple of times you throw the axe you kind of have this fear in the back of your head that it might bounce back and hit your feet. This is because you just went through a 15 minute safety brief with a worker at the axe throwing facility and they cautioned you about getting your toe cut off if the axe bounces back. So you step up to the line to throw the axe the first time, and instead of being aggressive and confident you throw to not have the axe bounce back and hit you.

You throw it and you short arm T-rex it and the axe hits the target backward and bounces back. It slides across the floor and you dance like you are hot coals and try to jump out of the way. Now the past experience begins to influence your current experience because let’s be honest. That was scary. The axe came back quick, it bounced and had you not been on my toes you might not have toes. So you line up the next time and you are even more tentative. You release the axe softly and the result is the same.

You see the thing about axe throwing is that there needs to be some aggression and confidence in the throw. So currently the situation is dictating your attitude. And instead of choosing an attitude you are reacting to the circumstances. Until….you decide to have your attitude dictate the situation. But that takes something. It takes a decision in your mind. It takes a moment. It takes intention and focus. It takes being aware of what your thoughts are.

It takes thinking about what you are thinking about. Then it takes the willingness to change. Sometimes the awareness comes from the outside, the reaction of others, the voices of others. Someone, a coach saying, “Hey throw with confidence.” Or it takes observing others to learn how to think. So the change happens and now you are saying to yourself “aggressive, through the target” and you take control of your attitude by talking to yourself and drowning out the subconscious and conscious fear. It is tough to not think, it is easier to replace thoughts. And now when you step up to the line, you are a different being, one of forceful belief and energy. Now when you step and begin the motion of throwing you growl and grunt and whip that axe with intent. You throw to break the target rather than to possibly hit it. And the axe does not wobble through the air, it spins with purpose. When it hits the target it digs in and sticks in. The key is attitude. The key is deciding how to be rather than just letting the situation create the reactions.

So how does this apply….well we have the choice to choose whatever attitude we want. We can choose it before we leave our cars, before we go into work, before we come home. We can choose it now or in a minute or whenever we want, but unless we choose it, our attitude is going to be left to default. When we decide to design our lives and our mindset and attitude then we can really do great things.

What is your attitude today? What do you decide to be?

Note: One way to remind yourself to choose your attitude is to write sticky notes to yourself and place them where you have to see them, the edge of your computer screen, the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator. Another way to get in the habit to choose your attitude is to set a time and a place to make that decision. For example, in the morning after I get out of the shower, or before I start my car, or before I open my laptop, etc.

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