"If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges" Pat Riley.
Our attitude is a product of how we come to terms with our perception of reality. Your attitude, in its essence, is how you choose to deal with every situation thrown your way and the consequences of every choice you make.
Whether you behave in a positive or negative manner is completely up to you and you alone. Let's face it, though. The business world is a rough place sometimes. Keep a positive attitude and you will find that even the worst curve balls that life can throw will be easier for you to deal with.
Of course, no one ever becomes perfect in their attitudes and behaviors. But, while you are working on improving and growing here are four easy steps that I've taken to have a much better attitude towards life.
1. Change your perception.
Many people, when faced with a tough scenario like losing a job, look at their life with despair. I lost a job years ago. It was the hardest thing, up till that point in my life, that had ever happened. I was lost. I finally realized my choices were to let the challenges and frustrations of the past dictate my current feelings and behavior, or learn from the situation and realize what potential I have in my life.
You can change your perception by trying to find something positive in every situation but first you have to choose to do so. Finding the positive in a crumby situation isn't easy. Most of us will instinctively complain and point fingers simply because it's the easier thing to do. But it only takes a quick reflective moment to find a positive. Looking for a positive instead of focusing on the negative is a powerful way to change your perception and a good way for you to improve your attitude.
Lao Tzu once said, “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
2. Enjoy what you have.
Life is series of moments. Some of these moments are much more memorable than others. You will find that the biggest and most influential moments are spread out across your entire life -- birth, graduation, marriage, kids etc. If you want to improve your attitude, learn to savor the moments in between. Everyday occurrences, such as simply listening to your favorite song, eating your favorite snack or going for a walk are all good things you will overlook if you are focused only on the big events on the horizon.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ~ Epicurus.
Don't take the things you already have for granted. In today's throwaway culture we get caught up in the aggressive and addictive cycles of wanting the newest, latest and greatest "thing." You will always feel you are lacking if you focus only on the next thing you want and overlook what you already have. Instead of constantly trying to find something that will make you happier, be grateful and find joy for all that you already have.
3. Have faith in yourself.
Stephanie Lahart said, “Respect, love, and value yourself. Always remember to be good to yourself by taking care of yourself. Make yourself a priority and know that it’s okay. Don’t feel guilty for loving yourself, first! You’re just as important as anybody else.” You are your own biggest critic. Valuing yourself more begins by turning your mean, nasty, sarcastic inner critic into an uplifting, inspiring voice. Failure to uplift and inspire yourself leads to crippling self doubt.
Just find one thing you enjoy about yourself and you will value yourself more. Then look for another good quality about yourself, and then another. When others do not believe in you, offer yourself these four little words that have encouraged many dreamers to move forward, "You can do this!" Many of the world's biggest goal setters and dreamers achieved their wildest dreams while having little more than an idea and faith in themselves. Having faith in oneself goes hand in hand with achieving a better attitude in life.
4. Watch your mouth.
What you say has an enormous impact on your attitude. Every word you say act is a bullet in a metaphorical gun. Refrain from speaking negatively to, or about, yourself and others. I find this creates a negative culture and attitude about myself when I talk this way.
Use positive speech and phrases (including your voice inflections) to influence yourself and those around you into a more positive thought process. When you speak positively you begin to upload that positivity to your brain. This uploading of great thoughts engenders more good thoughts and a more positive attitude. Limit your complaining and stay away from people whose negativity make you think and feel poorly.
“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is to change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” ~ Maya Angelou.
Notice how quickly people join in the negativity when you complain. Complaining always spirals downward without solving the problem, but if you offer happy, uplifting ideas you'll feel everyone's energy increase. Watch the faces of people you deal with. Did you add to or subtract from someone's joy? What about your own joy?
Instead of complaining, try suggesting different solutions. Remove yourself from the equation if you cannot refrain from complaining.
Here's to the better you.