Have you ever been around someone with a negative attitude? I’m not talking about someone who is just having a bad day. I’m talking about someone who is always complaining about something. They are consistently negative.
A positive attitude has always been something that is very important to me. I am weakened and drained when I am around negative people. Dr. Alan Zimmerman says that a negative attitude is just as contagious as the common cold. We can’t afford to catch it.
Dr. Zimmerman, in his excellent book Pivot, writes that he’s noticed that attitude makes a huge difference in determining a person’s level of success in life. He goes so far as to say that attitude is one of the most powerful factors in your life. John Maxwell agrees, stating that the connection between attitude and success is undeniable. Why is it then that so few people demonstrate a consistently positive attitude?
There are many benefits of a positive attitude. Below are three of them:
- Those with positive attitudes make good team members. On the document that I send to all of my new team members, I start off with attitude because of the importance that I place on it. I state “Attitude is very important with me. I’ve always said that I would rather have someone on my team with less talent and a great attitude than someone with more talent and a poor attitude.” Why do I say that? You can generally teach someone skills, but you can’t teach someone to have a good attitude. They either have it or they don’t. A person’s attitude will influence their team either for the good or bad. I don’t want someone with a bad attitude negatively impacting my team. Have you experienced team members with negative attitudes? If so, how has that impacted you and what have you done about it?
- Those with positive attitudes are better able to deal with what comes their way. One of my favorite quotes is this one from pastor and author Chuck Swindoll, which I also share with team members and have a framed copy in my office:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than facts. It is more important than past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitude.”
Swindoll states that we are in charge of our own attitudes. Think of what he says here. Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. Do you agree with that? Why or why not?
- Those with positive attitudes will deliver better results. Dr. Zimmerman writes that you can trace just about everything you achieve or don’t achieve back to your attitude. He tells us that good attitudes bring good results and bad attitudes bring bad results, and that our attitude, even more than our aptitude determines our altitude. I firmly believe that. Your attitude on how you approach a challenge makes a significant difference. Have you found that to be the case with challenges that you have faced?
These are just a few reasons why attitude is critical to your success. There are many more. What are some additional ways you can think of?