Who or What is Influencing Your Attitude?
Who or what determines your attitude? The way you answer this question could be directly related to the level of peace and fulfillment you experience in life.
I received a rare treat this morning and was able to hear the great @JohnCMaxwell speak. His topic was about the importance of our attitude. To set the proper tone, and to introduce you to John if you are not familiar with him, please take a quick moment to watch this humorous video.
This is the first time I have ever seen him flustered. He has been a virtual mentor of mine for 15+ years, and so it was good to see this ‘human’ side of him.
He has 60+ books on the market about topics such as personal leadership, leading others, overcoming failure, and setting yourself up with the right attitude for life. It’s no surprise that his level of influence has gone global.
With that kind of record, and years of teaching and mentoring under his belt, I knew he would have something important to say. But I was unprepared for how much attitude-related wisdom he could pack into such a short amount of time.
Success to me is defined as fulfillment, and a fulfilled life is directly related to how you fill your heart and mind. Our attitude is the paintbrush we use to fill that space.
Logic then tells us that before we can realize true fulfillment, we must first attain the right attitude. So what does the right attitude look like? John’s answer is that a person with the right attitude is someone who:
- Has a teachable spirit. This means they are open to the wisdom and knowledge of others and are willing to accept that when there’s a problem in life, that problem may very well be the person looking back at them in the mirror.
- Takes responsibility for their attitude. In short, they don’t blame their parents, the government, or other drivers for their poor behavior. They realize they have control over what they do, what they say, and how they say it.
- Travels the High-Road. There are three roads we can take in life. The Low-Road is when we treat people worse than we ourselves would want to be treated. The Middle-Road is when we treat people the same as we expect to be treated. The High-Road is when we learn the ability to treat people better than what they expect or deserve.
- Understands the value of a good, positive attitude. What we appreciate, appreciates. The more we complain, the less we obtain.
About the bologna story that Mr. Maxwell began in the video – although he did not finish it the night of the music-stand incident, he did finish it during this morning’s talk.
The rest of story is that after the man went on at some length about hating bologna sandwiches, a co-worker tries to reason with him, telling him that he should just talk to his wife when he gets home about packing something different in his lunches. He yells back, “Leave my wife out of this – I pack my own lunches!”
The moral of the story:
Chances are that if there’s a lot of bologna in your life, you packed it yourself.
Understand that our attitude is the gateway to a fulfilled life. Once our minds and hearts are set in the right groove, fulfillment is a lot easier to attain.
Granted, a good attitude is not easy to maintain.
For me, my attitude is most challenged when I’m on the road. Nothing gets my gander up more than reckless drivers and smokers who throw their butts out the window. Both cases are just rude, inconsiderate, arrogant, obnoxious, dangerous, intolerable… see – there I go. Just thinking about that causes my stress level to rise.
So what does it for you? What are your greatest attitude challenges? What (or who) in your life is considered to be in the EGR category (Extra Grace Required)? And how do you keep a positive attitude when you begin to see things headed the other way? I’d love to know.