Have You Checked Your Attitude Lately?
BY: Daniel M. Savage
Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Although not everything, attitude is an intangible quality that plays a vital role in all aspects of our lives – a powerful game changer, often spelling the difference between success and failure. Accordingly, undertaking an attitude self-assessment periodically is a worthwhile endeavor, especially when confronted by significant challenges.
To understand why, let’s first examine what attitude will not do for us. Attitude will not:
- Substitute for competence: People frequently confuse confidence with competence. One is a function of attitude, while the other is purely about ability. Success demands mastery of our craft, along with excellent interpersonal and communications skills. In the absence of those essentials, attitude (confidence) will not carry the day.
- Stay good on its own: Farmers know that cows never stay milked. Attitude works the same way: they’re fragile and don’t remain positive without constant nurturing.
- Substitute for personal growth: Bruce Springsteen wrote, “A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.”
- Change your approach to life: Successful coaches understand that players’ attitudes going into a game are a critical factor in determining the game’s outcome. Said differently, all’s well that begins well! The right attitude will positively impact your daily approach to people, challenges, and problem solving.
- Favorably affect your relationships with people: Research and common sense tell us that when someone has problems with people, it’s usually an attitude problem. When we fail in our relationships, it’s generally because we’ve failed to nurture healthy and constructive attitudes toward others.
- Influence how you face challenges: Everyone, including highly successful individuals, has problems. Successful people simply handle their problems differently. Do you see your problems as oppressive burdens, or do you regard them as challenges begging for creative solutions? It’s all attitude.
- Energize you and those around you: When you nurture and maintain a positive attitude, everything in life – even work – becomes more interesting and fun, and your enthusiasm is contagious.