Mindset and Choices

4 mins read

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We have all heard the saying “mind over matter”. But, what does that really mean?

Circumstances are circumstances, correct?

You have no control over the things that happen to you or around you?

This is not necessarily true.

Although you may not have total control over all of the instances that happen in your life, you will always have the choice of how to react to them. And your reaction to life’s circumstances will make all the difference. Remembering that it is always your choice and no one else’s to chose a positive or growth mindset over a negative one in every situation. By choosing one or the other you take control over what you get out of the situation.

For example, hypothetically, you’re in a department where leadership is lacking.

There’s no appreciation, no leadership, no mentorship and ego runs the department.

There’s no real camaraderie and morale among the crews is low. But you love what you do, the job itself is amazing and you appreciate your crew members. This is where your choice comes into play.

You have the choice to start each tour with or without a negative attitude. For example, complaining about the things that you feel are being done incorrectly, doing the bare minimum because “no one” is going to notice if you do more than what is required and keeping coworkers at a distance. With this negative mindset also comes the it’s not my job mentality which inhibits you from new experiences.

Or, you can chose to come into your department each tour with a growth-focused mindset. One that is positive regardless of the situations that occur during your shift or the ongoing struggles you will undoubtedly see.

You can go throughout your shift treating your department with the same respect you give your home which means doing beyond what is expected. You could treat your coworkers like they’re family, making sure they know they can count on you.

Regardless of the leadership (or lack there of), you could choose to make the best of the situation and lead from the bottom – not looking for applause or recognition. Also, with this mindset you become open to new experiences and new ways of doing things.

Regardless of which you choose, realize you will effect the people around you.

Attitudes and energy, both positive and negative, spread like wildfire.

When we choose a negative mindset we need to recognize that it isn’t only taxing on ourselves and those around us, but it also makes everything we do so much harder and every situation seemingly worse.

Negativity will seep into others like an unwelcome visitor.

When we decide to have a positive, growth mindset things tend to become much easier or at least more enjoyable. People around you seem to be more pleasant. Obstacles in your path, no matter how large, become welcomed challenges. With that continued positive mindset, the obstacles that make their way into your path start to seem like they were meant for you. With each one you overcome you become more confident and more relaxed knowing that you can overcome the next.

We are dealt the cards we are dealt.

Find the silver lining, keep your head up and remember that cards are ever fluctuating, it’s our hand that we control.

Kara McCann can be reached at @mccannfitnessnutrition

Bill Dungey is a volunteer firefighter in Ontario, Canada. He is focused on fitness, mindset development and finding training opportunities to help the fire service make things better.

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