Did you know that you have the ability to determine how your day will go? It’s true.
While we can’t make people do what we want. And we can’t change how others treat us. We can make sure we have a good day.
You may be wondering how this could be. It’s simple, yet difficult, to implement.
We have control over the biggest influence of how our day goes. That thing we have control over is our attitude.
Why Attitude Matters
The famed basketball coach Lou Holtz is known to have said: Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
And baseball great Wade Boggs put it this way: Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but how we react to what happens, not by what life brings us but the attitude we bring to life.
These men knew the secret to making a difference in life: Having a positive attitude.
So, why does attitude matter so much in how we perceive our lives? It’s because our attitude is one of the things we have complete control over.
We control our feelings, whether or not we want to admit to it. No one else can tell you how you feel in a situation.
You get to choose your attitude!
When someone offends you, you can choose to be angry or you can choose to walk it off. When something goes wrong at work, you can choose to get upset or you can have peace. When your car breaks down, you can become frustrated or you can remain calm.
These are all choices we make in our attitude. No one else has that choice but you.
How To Do An Attitude Adjustment
I’m not saying controlling how you feel is it. It’s probably the hardest thing to do.
This is a key component of self-leadership. Something all leaders should learn how to do before they begin leading others.
So, let’s take a look into keeping your attitude in check.
Look on the bright side: I’ve found life can play pranks on us. One of those is the way it makes us think that, at this moment, our lives suck.
Your car broke down, an employee didn’t listen, or you had a major fight with your wife. Those things can bring us down quickly.
But did you know there’s a bright side to these things?
You HAVE a car. You HAVE a position where you HAVE a team to lead. You HAVE a wife.
There’s a bright side to bad situations. Don’t let it keep you down. Shift your perspective and give your attitude an adjustment.
Take a deep breath: While Pam and I don’t have any kids, we do have plenty of nieces and nephews. We’ve also spent many years around students.
In these relationships, we’ve seen them go from calm as a cucumber to ready to blast off. You know what I mean?
In dealing with these type of explosive situations, we were able to get many situations under control by getting the person ready to blow to take a couple of deep breaths or to do a slow count.
Doing this allowed them to focus and see the situation in a clearer light. The world isn’t ending. They’re not dying. Things would be okay.
Before you freak out and have a bad attitude, breath deeply. You may find a surprising calm in the storm.
Think about the other person: When I think of stress, I think of driving in traffic. Especially in the big cities.
People are cutting you off. They swerve in and out of traffic. You might even have someone riding your bumper.
In these situations, it could be easy to lose your cool.
Yet I want you to think differently. What makes you want to lose your cool is that you’re making it all about you and what’s happened to you.
Instead, think about the other person and what they’re going through.
The person who cut you off or swerved in front of you may have just lost their job. Could it be that they’re rushing someone to the hospital? Maybe their dog died.
We don’t know what’s going on in the lives of those who treat us wrong. But I say give them the benefit of the doubt.
Create a story that doesn’t make you mad. You can do it, it’s your attitude that’s going to be affected.
Remember, you can’t control others. You can control your attitude and response to others.
Take control and tell yourself how you’re going to react. If you don’t, you lost the only control you have.