Attitude: Control or be Controlled

You can accomplish more with a good attitude than with a bad attitude.

Attitude. Control or be controlled.
I wanted to talk about attitude today. Attitude is 90% of accomplishment. I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, so you may be cynical—if you are, put that aside for three minutes until I’m done.

You can accomplish more with a good attitude than with a bad attitude. Here’s why. We’re relational—all of us. If we treat people neutrally or worse—badly—we slow down the work process. I think If we look at an extreme example it will highlight what we are talking about.

I walk 6-8 miles early most every morning.  One morning as I was approaching an intersection, a car was approaching it as well. I got to the intersection first as he slowed to the stop sign. As he was slowing, I stepped into the crosswalk…

Suddenly he took off! I had to stop or I would have hit him—which would have hurt me. What a bozo! Man was I ticked!

I missed several minutes of the book I was listening to and had to back up to get what I missed. Throughout my walk I had to keep rewinding the book because I kept getting side-tracked thinking about this bozo that could have really done some damage. I got home, whined about him some more and started telling everybody I knew what a jerk he was. Wait until I get to Facebook!

I was halfway through my morning before I realized this guy had complete control of me. I was short tempered with everyone because of what this perpetrator had done. I allowed him to set, AND CONTROL, my attitude. The whole morning was shot. I lost five hours to something that didn’t need to own me.

It happens to all of us

The barista doesn’t make our drink perfectly and we go to town on them (my son works at StarBucks and the stories about a cup of coffee are stunning, sad, and way too frequent). The aggressive driver cuts us off (every day!). We argue with our spouse. Whatever. Then we play it over and over in our heads and interrupt ourselves all day long.

Add to this the legitimate ‘life’ that happens and you’re in for a pretty unproductive day. This is why balance is so important. If you’re doing well at work but are having serious troubles at home or elsewhere—your mind pulls you into those troubles and makes you less productive at work. The same for financial troubles, physical, spiritual, or social ills.

What if we could stop—rewire our thinking—and get back to focus? Whenever stinkin thinkin creeps in, make a conscious decision to stop it, forget it, and change our behavior—immediately and specifically!

If we have a good attitude, we can make things happen. We become unstoppable. We find solutions for problems. We help others who are having a bad day see the good side of things and make changes.

The good news is that we are in total control of our attitude! We can choose to yell at the barista for messing up our coffee order, or we can nicely tell them it’s not right. It’s our choice. We can blame everybody we want to, but we’re not a victim—and even if we are a true victim, it’s still a choice!

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” I don’t know anyone who has gone through more and not be a victim.

Maybe the guy in my story simply didn’t see me. Maybe he was fooling with the radio or on his cell phone. Or maybe he was a mean and nasty person. I still don’t need to react badly and be controlled by this person—I need to control me. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Control the controllables.” Your attitude is a controllable.

It’s how we are wired. We can accomplish so much more with a good attitude than a bad attitude. Don’t just let an attitude happen to you. MAKE it part of your success plan. TRAIN yourself to control your attitude. It’s why I say, MAKE it a great day—it’s your choice. Don’t be a victim. Control your attitude and control the day!

Reflection

How do I react to hard situations during the day? Do I let them control my attitude, or is my attitude based on my higher goal?

Action

Pause after every situation that grabs you emotionally, acknowledge it, and leave it behind! Specifically replace it with what is more important. Practice this all day. Get good at responding instead of reacting.

Or do you want someone else to control your day and ultimately, your life?

MAKE it a great day!

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