We grow up in a world that says we can make a difference. Most of us as children think "I could be the next President" or “I will find a cure for cancer". We will also say we want to be doctors, lawyers, singers, dancers, Astronauts.
I myself wanted to be a corporate lawyer or social worker. These things could still happen, if I wanted it to but life has given me other opportunities to embrace. Most of those things we want to be as children do not always come to pass but that does not mean you can't make a difference right where you're at. I always think the key to success is an amazing attitude towards life.
Do we wake up happy and excited everyday? If we are honest we will say no (but if you are, I am jealous you do not have to work as hard as the rest of us do) but the more you practice being positive about your surroundings the more you appreciate what life is offering. Just by waking up in the morning and getting out of bed is a great start (even if you have to press the snooze button several times before actually doing it, it still counts!).
Getting to work with an attitude that says “I am ready world, what do you have for me today”? is not something most people embrace. As a matter a fact, most of you are probably laughing at the very thought. Over the years however, I have noticed average people do simple things that change other people’s lives extraordinarily. A simple hello, a firm handshake, or a smile can lift a person’s spirits, even taking the time to give directions to someone who is lost, or being the ear for someone who is upset and needing to vent. These are all things that just take a tiny bit of our time but make a lasting impression on the people we interact with everyday. We are the key.
This reminds me when I went through a seminar early on in my hotel management years (prior to Parallel) about seeing the world in a more positive way. If you wrote down throughout your day between 3-5 positive events that occurred, after 30 days you will have formed a habit of looking for the positive things in your daily life (believe me I was quite the cynic when I first heard this). So, I thought why not and started this on a checklist for all of my employee’s. In less than a month it made a huge impact on how they treated customers as well as each other, not only at work but also in their personal lives. I know some might read this and say “yeah right, that can’t work”, and I say it cannot hurt to try (I did).
I know from personal experience that some days it can be so very hard to find the positivity especially when you have clients yelling, employee’s upset , but you have the ability to let it affect you or to look at it as a challenge to turn the situation around for a solution to benefit all parties involved.
One of my favorite things I enjoy doing is taking a person who is generally negative and trying to win them over. For example, when I started working for Parallel Employment Group we had a man who came in most of the time with an attitude. He would complain about pretty much anything that was bugging him that day. It came to a point where most people in the office dreaded this man coming in. Now I must say this guy was a tough one to crack but after about 2 years of meeting each negative with a positive, this man is completely different around us. He comes in, chats, socializes, and honestly has an amazing personality but we would have never known it if we had we just ignored him during his weekly rants. It started with a simple smile, a Thank you, and the occasional we really appreciate you. Quite a few people told me it was useless because he was always like this but I am quite a determined person in this area and have had years of practice. I am a firm believer that all things are possible and all it takes is just one person to take the time someone needs to be encouraged, listened to, and made to feel they are worth your time. I also love sending out quotes to encourage people and here is one I hope you will enjoy:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”-Charles R. Swindoll
It starts with you.