When I hear people say things like, “I can’t help the way I feel … I’ve always been this way … or … That’s just the way I was raised,” I get a little sad. Because they’re living a lie.
Indeed, when people talk that way, they’re almost always referring to something that is not going all that well for them. They’re saying, in effect, they’re helpless to do anything about it. That’s baloney.
People like that may be oppressed, but their oppression is not coming from anyone or anything but themselves. They’ve got a serious psychological condition called “stinking thinking.”
The super good news is the fact that this condition is fixable. Instead of “stinking thinking,” you CAN have an unwavering, winning positive attitude. Which may very well be one of the most valuable assets you could ever acquire for yourself or your business.
So how do you get that kind of attitude working for you? Start with the following action strategy.
► 1. Act your way into a new way of feeling.
Dr. William James, the Harvard professor and the father of American psychology, declared,
“The greatest discovery of the 20th century is the fact you can have any quality in your personality if you just act as if you have it.”
In other words, if you want to be more patient, you need to start acting more patiently. If you want more energy and enthusiasm, move, act, and behave with more energy and enthusiasm. If you want to be happier, you need to act happy. In other words, fake it ‘til you make it.
Sure, it may sound silly or even a little crazy, but it works! As mental health professionals learned long ago, you may not be able to feel your way into a new way of acting, but you can certainly act your way into new way of feeling.
Take the connection between singing action and happiness feeling, for example. You do not sing because you’re happy; you’re happy because you sing.
The question is … how can YOU do that?
►2. Take the action of saying “thanks” every time you’re served by someone.
Remember, when you act more positively, you will feel and become more positive.
A great place to practice this action is in a restaurant. Be someone who is expressively and genuinely grateful. You’ll make someone’s day as well as improve your own.
Working as a busser and waiter in a Downton-Abbey type mansion in England, I’ll never forget one table I was serving. Every time I went by this table, whether I was refilling waters, bringing food, or anything else, one young man graciously said “thank you.” I even heard him say it to all the other employees when they stopped by his table.
This experience had a dramatic impact on me. It was so simple what he was doing. Yet, so beautiful. I could tell by how he looked into his servers’ eyes when saying “thank you” that he meant it. It came from a place of gratitude and humility.
Interestingly, one study has found that saying “thank you,” improves the service you receive by 66 percent. So saying “thanks” not only makes you feel better and gives you better service, it also makes the other person’s day. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.
►3. Keep at it. Keep on “acting” with persistence.
Lesser people with weaker attitudes tend to be quitters a lot more often. And
quitting says more about who you are, than where you are, or what you’re up against.
Oh sure, we all have our excuses. We can pretend that people, things, and situations outside of ourselves are to blame for our lack of success, but in reality, most failures are the result of our own lack of bulldog tenacity. More often than not external things don’t stop you; it’s what happens to you on the inside that kills off your persistence and thereby the development of your attitudes. I’ll address that also in our upcoming webinar on How to Take Your Killer Attitude to The Top!
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Did you catch my point above? The only thing that absolutely guarantees your failure is to quit. To stop trying.
Fritz Kreisler had to learn that lesson. As a young boy he wanted to play the violin and later he wanted a musical career. But it didn’t work out the way he wanted, so he quit.
Kreisler decided to study medicine. He failed miserably at that. So he quit. He joined the army but never made it beyond a low ranking private. He quit again. He continued his pattern of trying different things and quitting each one of them.
Finally Kreisler went back to his former music teacher. He was told, “What you must have is the invincible, undefeatable determination (or a Killer Attitude) that you will never give up.” Kreisler took the advice to heart. He persevered until he finally succeeded. In fact, he became a world-famous violinist who would pack Carnegie Hall to capacity and keep his audiences spellbound.
Conrad Hilton, the famous hotel entrepreneur also knew that acting with persistence turns into an unwavering attitude. He said, “Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.”
The true champions in life have always been persevering souls. As Kreisler, Hilton and millions of others have discovered. “In all worthwhile endeavors, you must be prepared to endure before you can prevail.”
IN ALL WORTHWHILE ENDEAVOURS WE MUST BE PREPARED TO ENDURE BEFORE WE CAN PREVAIL.