“Your attitude determines your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar
My mom used to kindly define obedience for me when I would be in one of my *cough* more rambunctious moods as a child. She would point out that obedience was doing what she said, when she said it, with a good attitude. Even as a kid, that word, “attitude” held a lot of weight. More than just what my mother was asking me to do, my attitude was, and still is, my entire demeanor and how I look at life. The quote above is one of my favorites because it illustrates that you can go far in life if you will only have the right attitude.
Unfortunately, many people limit how high they can go because of attitudes that they have. Three specifically, are rampant in our society today and hinder the production of people around the world every day. These three attitudes are sneaky, destructive, and especially harmful in the life of a professional. It is my desire that you will read, understand, and that we will fight the status quo by producing a new kind of person. We want one that is not like everyone else. We want a better professional. Without further ado, here are three attitudes that, simply, have to go.
Listed first because it is arguably the most harmful and the most prevalent in our society, mediocrity harms the effectiveness and quality of life for people everywhere. We live in a world that says, “That’s good enough.” Think about a classic movie, any at all will do. Think about how the men and women were dressed up for day-to-day activity. Maybe we did not see them actually perform a task to it’s fullest, but you at least know that they cared enough about their appearances to put a lot of effort (or teams of movie makeup artists) in to looking like they knew what they were doing.
Is appearance everything? Absolutely not. But it is no secret that performance is increased when you are dressed to the nine. As I write this, I am thinking very strongly about taking off my sweatshirt and putting on a suit. We have gradually began to settle for “good enough” instead of pushing for optimum performance. Having this attitude in your life is the mental equivalent to going into the office and playing on Facebook all day. Do your job, whatever that may be, well and to the absolute best of your ability. It will take you much further than someone who stopped at work that was “good enough.”
This second attitude is one that hampers creativity and goal setting like no other. If you are not constantly feeding your brain with positive input, negativity will creep its way in and lock your mental door behind itself. You know those people that just exude happiness? Those are good examples. I know they can be annoying at times but trust me. Much more is accomplished through smiles and enjoyment of work than ever was with frowns and negativity. Honestly, with as busy and productive as you are, you can’t afford to not have a “pep in your step.”
The best way to overcome negativity is to completely get it out of your life. Start thinking about how you feel in certain situations and monitor the input. Granted, some of those situations are unavoidable. But as you’re missing the next few sentences I write while thinking about situations, you realize that many of them are. Think about how you feel after watching that show on television vs. playing a musical instrument. Once you have determined your “triggers”, avoid them at all costs. Some triggers are people. Love them, tell them Jesus loves them, don’t let them camp out in your office. Smile, and enjoy your day as the world smiles back.
More so than the two aforementioned attitudes, you seriously don’t have time for this one. Don’t ever let someone tell you that a task “can’t be done.” Many people waste their time thinking about ways that something can’t be done as opposed to using their energy for constructive ways that it can be done. Which do you think is more valuable to your company/church/family? Where this attitude takes root most often is in procrastination.
That is not to say that, if you are a procrastinator, you feel like something can’t be done. Sometimes you just feel like it shouldn’t be done right then. For whatever reason, that task is not worth your time at the moment because putting it off is more important. It seems impossible for you to get it done in a timely manner as it should be. For example, the day before yesterday dragged on at work for me because I came into work with the attitude to accomplish my to-do list. Even though the list was fairly lengthy, I ended up doing more than I anticipated and actually dragged out some of the tasks so that I would have enough to do over the course of the day. In contrast, yesterday flew by because I woke up with an attitude to get all of the hard stuff done first. I didn’t like the way I had felt a couple of days ago. Armed with a new attitude, my brain and productivity rewarded me for it. Decide that, whatever needs to be done, it can be done quickly and effectively.
You are in control of how you feel about life. You cannot decide what happens to you. That is reserved for God, alone. But you can determine your attitude. Keep these “Big 3” out and insert positive thoughts, and you will be a better person and professional as a result. Let’s change the world one mind and heart at a time. After all, if bad attitudes are contagious, so are good ones.