I define attitude as, “The way you dedicate yourself to the way you think.” Think negative or think positive is a choice and a process. Negative is (unfortunately) an instinctive process. Positive is a learned self-discipline that must be studied and practiced every day.
To achieve a POSITIVE attitude, or as I have named it, a “YES! Attitude,” you must take physical, verbal, and mental ACTIONS. Here are a few short chunks of attitude “awareness and actions” that will help put you (or keep you) on the positive path.
- Admit that attitude is no one's fault but yours. The more you blame others, the less chance you have to think positive thoughts, see a positive solution, or take positive action towards solution. The opposite of blame is responsibility. Your first responsibility is to control your inner thoughts and thought directions.
- Understand you always have (had) a choice. Attitude is a choice, and most people select from the negative column. Reason? Negative is more pervasive in society and media. It’s more natural to blame and defend than it is to admit and take responsibility. Ask any politician.
- If you think it's ok, it is…if you think it's not ok, it's not. Your thoughts direct your attitude to a path. If you think “this is crappy, why does this always happen to me?” You have chosen a negative path. If you think “WOW, this may not be the greatest, but look what I’m learning. And learning what NOT to do again.” You have chosen a positive path.
- Invest time, don’t spend it. Ignore the media you cannot control — find a project, or make a plan to sell something, or meet with someone who buys (or teaches) instead. You will become a world-class expert in five years — the only question is: at what? Spend (invest) an hour a day working at or studying anything, and in five years you will be a world-class expert. Most people will become world-class experts at some kind of local TV news program and some kind of TV rerun. Me? I read and write while you watch TV. Business news is IMPORTANT. Who got killed or what burned down, unimportant.
- Study the thoughts and writings of positive people. Read the Napoleon Hill classic Think and Grow Rich, TWICE. Read The Power of Positive Thinking. They are priceless, timeless gems of wisdom that you can convert to your own success thoughts. The secret is to read a little each morning.
- Attend seminars and take courses. The hardest part of taking an attitude course is FINDING one. Look at any school or university in the world and try to find ONE course in ANY of them. I’ll save you the time. The answer is (and has always been) ZERO. Find a Gitomer Certified Advisor in your city (call my friendly office for recommendations — (704) 333‑1112) and take YOUR attitude course TODAY.
- Check your language. It’s just words, but they are a reflection of how your mind sees things, and an indication of how you process thoughts.
- Avoid confrontational and negative words. The worst ones are “why,” “can't,” and “won't.”
- Say why you LIKE things and people, not why you don’t. I like my job because… I love my family because… Say things from the positive side enough and it becomes a habit you will revel in for life.
- Help others without expectation or measuring. If you think someone “owes you one,” you are counting or measuring. If you give it away freely, you don’t ever have to worry about the measurement. The world will reward you ten times over.
- Think about your winning and losing words. Be aware of “loser” phrases and expressions. Lose with: “They don’t pay me enough to…” or “That’s not my job.” If you say, “I'm not 'cause he's not,” who loses? If you say, “Why should I…” who loses? Think “learn,” “lessons,” “experience,” “help,” and “solutions” before you make a statement.
- Think about your mood, and your mood swings. How long do you stay in a bad mood? If it’s more than 5 minutes, something's wrong. And your attitude (and your relationships, and your results, and your success) will suffer.
- Are you the head of the complaint department, AND the chief complainer? Many people slip into cynicism day-by-day. They become bitter because of their jealousy or envy of other people or their own misfortune. BIG MISTAKE. List the lessons you can learn from those you have bitterness for and the results will turn your thinking towards your own success and away from theirs.
- Celebrate victory AND defeat. In my early days of selling I would go to a department store and buy myself something every time I made a sale. It made me feel GREAT! When someone told me to celebrate victory AND defeat, I started to buy myself something after I lost a sale, too. It felt GREAT. After a while I was feeling GREAT all the time. Winning and losing are part of life and apart from attitude.
- Visit a children’s hospital. Get comfortable with the plight of others, and feel good about the minuteness of your problems compared to theirs.
- Count your blessings every day. Make the list as long as you can. Start with health if you are fortunate enough to have it. Add the love of children and family. From there it’s easy to build the list.
Oh, and then there are the “Attitude Aha’s.” Many (many) years ago I was riding down the road listening to a tape by Earl Nightingale (one of the founding fathers of personal development). On tape four of his legendary, but unavailable, series “Direct Line,” the topic was enthusiasm. “Enthusiasm” Earl said, “Comes from the Greek “entheos” meaning the God within.” AHA! All of a sudden all the other quotes and advice made sense. The strength of self-belief is within your own spirit, if you hunger for the feeling.
And these words are food for yours. In the words of the Jefferson Airplane rock anthem White Rabbit, “Feed your head.”
Want an instant lesson? Go out and buy a copy of “The Little Engine That Could.” Or go to your kid’s room and get the copy full of crayon marks. Read it regularly. It’s not a book for kids, it’s a philosophy for a lifetime.
Positive attitude is a self-imposed blessing. And it is my greatest hope that you discover that truth and bless yourself forever.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude, and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at email@example.com.
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