This is Thanksgiving week. And I wish you a very Happy Blessed Thanksgiving.
But deep down, how thankful are you? Really and truly? Only you can answer that.
I do know this, however. The depth of your thankfulness is controlled by the breadth of your grouchiness.
And chances are you have a bit of grouchiness that needs to be killed off. Because it is getting in the way of the life, career, and relationships you would like to have.
If that sounds anything like you, here’s how you can kill it off.
►1. Be honest with yourself.
If you’re a grouch, admit it. You’ll never change what you refuse to acknowledge. Acknowledge the fact that your grouchiness not only damages your relationships, it also gets in the way of just about everything you want.
For example, I’m sure you’ve noticed that on the days you’re the grouchiest, your customers are the most difficult? And I’m sure you’ve noticed that on the days you’re feeling positive, most people are fairly cooperative. Of course you have.
In essence, being a grouch or being negative is going to cost you something … while learning to be thankful and positive is going to pay off.
That’s why a Positive Attitude is the 4th of the 12 keys I teach in my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience. And that’s why I am offering a never before Thanksgiving gift for those who want to take advantage of it … the lowest ever tuition on my next Journey coming on April 23-24, 2020 to St. Louis.
Of course, it’s not always easy to see yourself the way you really are. You may not even recognize your own grouchiness. Then you have to…
► 2. Get some feedback.
Find someone that knows you … and whom you also respect … and tell them you’re trying to be more effective. Tell them you’d appreciate their feedback.
Ask them what you should start doing, stop doing, and continue doing to be more successful. Do this every six months, or at least once a year, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you move ahead.
If you get some feedback that indicates you may be a little too grouchy for your own good, then…
► 3. Figure out what kind of grouchiness is tripping you up.
There are three kinds of grouches.
The first one is the lazy grouch. A “lazy” grouch does just enough to get by. He knows the bare minimum and that’s all he’s going to do. The lazy grouch says, “The trouble with getting to work on time is that it makes the day so long.”
Are you a lazy grouch once in a while?
Or are you the second type of grouch … the critical grouch occasionally? I see a lot of them at sporting events. In fact, it amazes me when there are superbly conditioned athletes in a boxing ring. They’ve been working out, six hours a day, six days a week, for six years. They’re down to 3% body fat and in the best of shape.
Then you’ve got some man in the third row who is fifty pounds overweight, who hasn’t exercised in eight years, eating a jumbo bucket of buttered popcorn and drinking a super-sized Coke. He’s sitting there shouting at the boxers, “Whoever taught you how to fight? Your mother? Go ahead, hit him! What’s wrong with you anyway?”
Just once, I’d love to see one of those boxers call time out, go down to that third row, take off his gloves, and say to that man, “You’re right. I don’t know what I’m doing. Go in there and show me.” I’d love to see the expression on the man’s face. You see, talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
Unfortunately, the same is true in business and our personal lives. More people would rather make a comment than make a difference.
And some of you may be a bit of a mean grouch from time to time. They seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Their behavior is mean; their comments are mean, and even their humor is mean — when you stop to think about it.
One woman asked, “What is the thinnest book in the world? ‘What Men Know About Women!’”
Another woman added, “How can you tell if a man is happy? Who cares?”
Of course male humor is often worse. A couple walked up to a wishing well, where the man leaned over, made a wish, and threw in a penny. The wife decided to make a wish also, but she leaned over too far, fell into the well and drowned. The man was stunned for a moment but then smiled, “It really works.”
Now I’m not trying to be a grouch and put down all humor. Not at all. Humor is a wonderful gift to be shared with others. I’m just saying that the antagonistic grouch may sound funny initially, but if their humor hurts others, it’s not funny, no matter how good the joke is.
If you’re still not sure about whether or not you’re too much of a grouch for your own good, then…
► 4. Ask yourself the “better-off” question.
In other words, if everyone in your department or organization acted just like you, would they be better off? Would there be a better, more positive spirit amongst the people? Would there be more engagement and a stronger bottom line?
If you answer is “yes,” that’s great!
But if your answer is “no,” that things would NOT be better if everyone acted just like you, then you’ve got some grouch characteristics you need to address.
The same goes for your personal life. If your spouse treated you exactly the way you treated him or her, would you have a healthier relationship? If your answer is no, it’s time to change.
Finally, if you decide there’s some room for improvement in your behavior (and frankly, if you say there’s no room for improvement … that you’re perfect just the way you are … you’ve got a huge problem), you can…
► 5. Surround yourself with optimistic people.
All of us are extremely impressionable creatures and we tend to absorb the qualities of our surrounding environment to a large extent.
So seek out non-grouchy friends and colleagues who have optimistic attitudes and visibly optimistic behaviors. You’ll become more like them and less like the grouch you sometimes are.
Final Thought: If you’re a grouch, you’ll be amazed at how many grouches you meet in this world.