Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A for Attitude

Recently, I started volunteering for a job readiness program. I’ve been dealing with a lot of my own struggles and I felt it was time that I got out of my own box and out of my own head and did something for someone else.

On my first day, I observed the first session for a new class full of job seekers. One of the first things the instructor said was that if they were going to be successful, they’d have to have the right attitude. And that attitude was one of professionalism and a willingness to do the work.

A man sitting next to me balked. “Attitude?” he said. “What does attitude have to do with anything?”

The instructor responded, “Attitude is everything. Your attitude determines your behavior. And your behaviors determine what you do.”

A positive attitude is critical to any real or lasting success. Your attitude is the canvas that your life is painted on.

So exactly what is attitude? Well, it’s more than emotion or a feeling. It’s more than positive thinking.

Your attitude is your overall outlook. It’s how you view a situation. It deals with how you see yourself and how you perceive others. Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean that you are always happy but a positive attitude does mean that you will get back up sooner than later after falling down. A positive attitude is one where you accept that you — and not a partner, job, economic downturn, political party or society — has the ultimate control over your life.

A positive attitude doesn’t come from a place of helplessness. When it encounters obstacles it doesn’t throw up its hands and declare defeat. Instead it puts its head down and gets to work, finding another way, looking for other options and sometimes even creating opportunities.

Attitude fuels belief. Consider this. You can’t have a positive attitude and negative beliefs. It just doesn’t work. You can’t have a positive attitude that says ‘anything is possible and then believe that ‘nothing good will ever happen’ for you. If yours is a negative attitude then it will be difficult to have positive beliefs come from it.

Beliefs fuel action. If you believe in persistence, then if one door closes, you will continue to push forward because you believe that you will eventually get that open door. If you believe that nothing good can happen for you, then as soon as that door closes, you will take that as proof of your negative belief. And chances are you will not find that open door.

It all starts with attitude. And you, … not anyone else has the power to create your attitude and the power to control it.