Many people believe that, with a positive attitude and positive thinking, you can do anything, including be a better teammate. I have an amazingly positive attitude, but if you needed surgery tomorrow, would you really want me to perform that surgery? Of course not.
While I do possess a positive, can-do, attitude, I don’t possess the skills to perform any kind of surgery. I believe that, with positive thinking, you can do everything (that you do) better than with negative thinking.
After a long week of travel and crossing the country twice in just eight days, an exhausted Jose was going through airport security late one night when an airport security woman said, “Hi, how are you?” Now let’s be clear, when the average person says, “Hi, how are you?” they really don’t care and are not even listening to your response.
Jose, being almost always in a positive frame of mind, quickly said to the security woman, “I am having an awesome evening and I am getting better.” In a very raspy and sarcastic tone of voice the security woman said, “Well somebody’s in a good mood.” Jose responded, “Why would you ever choose to be in a bad mood?” The woman looked like a deer caught in headlights and responded genuinely saying, “You know, you are right, and thank you for reminding me it is my choice. Have a great evening.”
Did Jose change the attitude of the woman? No. All he did was to provide an open atmosphere where the woman could freely and comfortably make a decision to change her attitude. Jose walked around the corner and watched for several minutes as the woman greeted the next few passengers with an entirely different and positive attitude. This, in turn, had a positive effect on the passengers as well. The real question is: how long did the attitude of the woman stay in a positive state? Quite probably until a passenger with a very strong negative attitude came by and yelled at her.
Bottom line, nearly 90% of the people you meet can be affected by the attitude you present at any given time, so why not impact the world in a positive way?
Here are five things to remember about having a positive attitude:
- The average person comes in contact with 10 different people a day, either on the phone or in person. This means that your positive attitude not only impacts the 10 you come into contact with, but it can impact up to two or more generations down the line. If you are positive to the 10 people you come in contact with, and they do the same for just one more generation, that means that your positive attitude impacted 100 people. What if that carried out just one more generation? You have now impacted 1,000 people with your positive attitude. Unfortunately, a negative interaction works the same way.
- Your attitude drives your work behavior. If you are positive, you will do your work faster and at a higher quality than if you have a negative attitude. Think back through the last three or four days. What kind of attitude did you have when you got to work? Now how was your production for that day? Do you see any correlation?
- Remember, your attitude is not just in your words, it is demonstrated in the way you stand, your facial expressions as well as the tonality of your voice. Non-verbal cues can be even more devastating than the words you selected.
- Your attitude has a dramatic impact on your health. This does not mean that positive people will never get sick or have problems. It does mean that they usually use their attitude to get through the problems more quickly. The same applies to laughter. How often do you get a gut wrenching belly laugh? How do you feel after such a laugh?
- Remember, like the airport security officer, your attitude is your choice. When you feel like you are headed in the wrong direction, do one of the following:
- Think about a time when things were clicking just right.
- Call a friend and let them pick you up.
- Make a change in what you are doing at that moment to something you know will help create positive energy.
The bottom line is, when you are thinking positively you will be more effective in every aspect of your life and, in many cases, the endorphins released can reduce pain and anxiety, which perpetuates a greater positive attitude.
Photo by Torley