person facing three doors
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter 

Narrated by Marie T. Russell

Video version

Attitude Reconstruction began as a Blueprint; a complete guide to our six emotions and the predictable things we think, feel, say and do as a result -- all on a simple piece of paper. I had discovered that our emotions exist in opposite pairs -- sadness and joy, anger and love, and fear and peace. Furthermore, each emotion has four core attitudes, which control our every action, thought, and feeling.

It wasn't until years later, however, that I realized that one over-arching concept (an Ultimate Attitude) was the essence of the four attitudes connected to each emotion. The Three Ultimate Attitudes are bottom lines of how our minds work.

There are three destructive Ultimate Attitudes associated with sadness, anger, and fear. 

The Three Destructive Ultimate Attitudes

  1. Get down on ourselves (indicates unexpressed sadness)

  2. Don't accept what is (born of unreleased anger)

  3. Overgeneralize and hang out in the future or past (due to stored up fear)

I'm not going to expand on our destructive Ultimate Attitudes but to say that they are very familiar modus operandi that cause us pain. These attitudes manifest in how we act, speak, think, and feel. They are the underlying issues that create our fundamental unhappiness. We all know folks (maybe ourselves) that embody one or more of these three crummy attitudes.

innerself subscribe graphic

The opposing Three Constructive Ultimate Attitudes

  1. Honor ourselves (indicates we experience joy)

  2. Accept people and things (brings us love)

  3. Stay present and specific (lands us smack in the present) 

Details about Each of the Three Ultimate Attitudes

The three constructive Ultimate Attitudes are universal concepts that are at the root of every major religion and philosophy. I believe that to be "enlightened" means that we truly and deeply live by these three principles. It means we live aligned with these three attitudes and the Constructive side of the Blueprint. And with the Ultimate Attitudes as our guide, we can create a true community

Ultimate Attitude #1 -- Honor yourself

Honoring or loving ourselves means that we unequivocally know that we are whole and complete no matter what. We are worthy and perfect regardless of what we do or have; we are self-reliant, full within ourselves, and independent of others opinions and judgments. We appreciate and respect ourselves, and we speak up and take action aligned with what we know is best in our hearts/within.

Ultimate Attitude #2 -- Accept other people and situations

Accepting what is means we keep our focus on our own domain, our heart, and act from our intuition, rather than being reactive or governed by what others do, say, or have. We accept what is presented with equanimity and then respond from a place of love. We appreciate and look for the good in our world and we give without a selfish motive. From this stance of acceptance we speak up lovingly about what is true for us.

Ultimate Attitude #3 -- Be present and specific

While the value of staying present is very popular in today's culture, the need to remain specific is not, but "should" be. We use specifics in architecture, all fields of science, music, engineering, medicine, and cooking, but we're not taught to stay specific in our thinking and communicating.

We can handle any problem if we stay focused on just that, without bringing in the kitchen sink. We can be understood and find workable solutions if we stay concrete.

It's Never to Late to Change Your Attitude

And how do we learn to live by these three Ultimate Attitudes? With desire -- with vigilance, practice, devotion, and persistence.

How can we accomplish these lofty goals? The Attitude Reconstruction proposes that the way to do this is simple: 

1) handle our emotions physically and constructively,

2) entertain constructive thoughts,

3) check within for guidance,

4) communicate following Attitude Reconstructions 4 rules of good communication ("I"s, specifics, kindness, and listening), and

5) act in alignment with our hearts. Every time we align with an ultimate attitude, we feel good. When we make a misstep, just make the correction and proceed.

For example, it's fairly straightforward as to how to enliven the three Constructive Ultimate Attitudes by changing your thinking, the second way. Select one or a couple of 'Reliable Truths' from the box below and repeat them tenaciously, ignoring all the competing and distracting chatter.

Write your truths on a 3x5 card. Then, when you notice you've slipped into a negative attitude, repeat, and repeat, and repeat until you truly get it.  

Three Ultimate Attitudes screen shot

You can "power" on your favorite "truths" anytime you need some help. This can be done in several ways:  as a solo activity, like a meditation; while doing other things, such as showering, driving, exercising, waiting in line, or not sleeping; and as a substitute when you realize your thinking is funky.

100,000 reps should do it! Just think about the number of times you've thought or told yourself the opposite. With unstoppable persistence, you will feel the benefits of re-framing how you interpret your every moment.  

©2021 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.

book cover: Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life  by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.With practical tools and real-life examples, this book can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with joy, love, and peace. Jude Bijou's comprehensive blueprint will teach you to: ? cope with family members' unsolicited advice, cure indecision with your intuition, deal with fear by expressing it physically, create closeness by truly talking and listening, improve your social life, increase staff morale in just five minutes a day, handle sarcasm by visualizing it flying by, carve out more time for yourself by clarifying your priorities, ask for a raise and get it, stop fighting via two easy steps, cure kids' tantrums constructively. You can integrate Attitude Reconstruction into your daily routine, regardless of your spiritual path, cultural background, age, or education.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of: Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT)

Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education.

Visit her website at