Developing a Good Attitude

Reviewed May 27, 2016

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Summary

  • Remain open and alert to opportunities.
  • Focus on the positive.
  • Brainstorm solutions to problems.
  • Learn from mistakes.

Having a good attitude doesn’t mean being happy all the time. After all, what’s the good of having a positive attitude if all it means is you’re happily walking down the wrong path? Having a good attitude doesn’t mean denying the pain, disappointment and frustrations that are inherent in life. In fact, you need to be attuned to problems so you can make the necessary adjustments and adapt or change.

Having a good attitude means looking for solutions, seeing possibilities and remaining hopeful about the future. A good attitude leaves you and those around you feeling stronger. 

Look for the diamond in the dirt

Attitude determines how we approach everyday life. Is it a drag? Or is it filled with opportunity? Sometimes we think those who have succeeded in life got lucky, but other evidence shows that those “lucky” people remained open and alert to opportunities. They weren’t looking inward, lost and absorbed in the obstacles. They were looking outward and thus could see possibilities.

Focus on the positive

People with good attitudes focus primarily on the positives. They don’t ignore the problems, but they don’t let them color their overall perception either.

For example, Sarah, an adjunct instructor, had two difficult students in a class of 17. She became so absorbed in the bad feelings created by the two slacker students that she ignored the energy and enthusiasm inherent in the 15 others. Her skewed negative focus poisoned her attitude toward her abilities, her job and the class as a whole. She left her position only to read later in student-teacher evaluations that the majority of the students had rated her work as inspiring.

Don’t let negative people drag you down or distort your vision. Draw strength and courage from the positives—those things that are going well in your life. Make a mental list every day of those “good things.”

Seek solutions

When faced with difficulties, those with a good attitude seek solutions. They start brainstorming. As the ideas begin to flow, energy ignites. In that way, a good attitude is contagious—it invigorates, motivates and inspires. Think of it as a jolt of caffeine for yourself and those around you. Unfortunately, a bad attitude is just as contagious—it can drag you and your associates down. In a negative world, everyone whines and complains that the sky is falling but no one looks for a solution.

If the problem is something that can’t be changed—a death, an incurable illness or something as mundane as the weather—seek creative ways to adjust or, better yet, to thrive, despite the challenges.

Learn from mistakes

People with positive attitudes know that trial and error, mistakes and failures are part of life and part of the process of development and discovery. This, in turn, gives them the energy and courage to learn from their mistakes and to persevere.

While perseverance is part of a good attitude, it does come with a caveat. Don’t confuse blind perseverance with creative perseverance. In other words, you don’t want to persevere in making the same mistakes over and over again. Persevere in your goals while continuing to learn, adapt and change as necessary.

Take action

A person with a good attitude takes action. He’s not afraid to take the first step. Or maybe he is afraid, but he does it anyway. Don’t wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration. Start doing and the energy and inspiration will follow. For example, successful writers don’t wait for the muse of inspiration to sit on their shoulder before they start to write. They show up in front of a blank sheet of paper day after day and write and re-write until they get the result they want. In other words, do the work and inspiration will follow.

Develop a positive attitude

Not everyone was born with a positive attitude nor was everyone nurtured in an environment conducive to developing a positive attitude. It can be learned and, with practice, become a habit. For starters:

  • Every time you think of something that isn’t going well, counter that with a list of the things that are working out.
  • For every problem, brainstorm solutions.
  • Follow through on at least one of those solutions.
  • Do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Remain open to change.
  • Challenge your negative self-talk.
  • Don’t become a fake, but “up” your game in life—dress better, smile more often, make more positive comments.
  • As an experiment, for one day, cut out all your negative statements. Notice the different responses you get from everyone from the clerk behind the cash register to your significant other.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and avoid toxic naysayers.
By Amy Fries
Source: The Winning Attitude: Your Pathway to Personal Success by John C. Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Inc., 1993.

Summary

  • Remain open and alert to opportunities.
  • Focus on the positive.
  • Brainstorm solutions to problems.
  • Learn from mistakes.

Having a good attitude doesn’t mean being happy all the time. After all, what’s the good of having a positive attitude if all it means is you’re happily walking down the wrong path? Having a good attitude doesn’t mean denying the pain, disappointment and frustrations that are inherent in life. In fact, you need to be attuned to problems so you can make the necessary adjustments and adapt or change.

Having a good attitude means looking for solutions, seeing possibilities and remaining hopeful about the future. A good attitude leaves you and those around you feeling stronger. 

Look for the diamond in the dirt

Attitude determines how we approach everyday life. Is it a drag? Or is it filled with opportunity? Sometimes we think those who have succeeded in life got lucky, but other evidence shows that those “lucky” people remained open and alert to opportunities. They weren’t looking inward, lost and absorbed in the obstacles. They were looking outward and thus could see possibilities.

Focus on the positive

People with good attitudes focus primarily on the positives. They don’t ignore the problems, but they don’t let them color their overall perception either.

For example, Sarah, an adjunct instructor, had two difficult students in a class of 17. She became so absorbed in the bad feelings created by the two slacker students that she ignored the energy and enthusiasm inherent in the 15 others. Her skewed negative focus poisoned her attitude toward her abilities, her job and the class as a whole. She left her position only to read later in student-teacher evaluations that the majority of the students had rated her work as inspiring.

Don’t let negative people drag you down or distort your vision. Draw strength and courage from the positives—those things that are going well in your life. Make a mental list every day of those “good things.”

Seek solutions

When faced with difficulties, those with a good attitude seek solutions. They start brainstorming. As the ideas begin to flow, energy ignites. In that way, a good attitude is contagious—it invigorates, motivates and inspires. Think of it as a jolt of caffeine for yourself and those around you. Unfortunately, a bad attitude is just as contagious—it can drag you and your associates down. In a negative world, everyone whines and complains that the sky is falling but no one looks for a solution.

If the problem is something that can’t be changed—a death, an incurable illness or something as mundane as the weather—seek creative ways to adjust or, better yet, to thrive, despite the challenges.

Learn from mistakes

People with positive attitudes know that trial and error, mistakes and failures are part of life and part of the process of development and discovery. This, in turn, gives them the energy and courage to learn from their mistakes and to persevere.

While perseverance is part of a good attitude, it does come with a caveat. Don’t confuse blind perseverance with creative perseverance. In other words, you don’t want to persevere in making the same mistakes over and over again. Persevere in your goals while continuing to learn, adapt and change as necessary.

Take action

A person with a good attitude takes action. He’s not afraid to take the first step. Or maybe he is afraid, but he does it anyway. Don’t wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration. Start doing and the energy and inspiration will follow. For example, successful writers don’t wait for the muse of inspiration to sit on their shoulder before they start to write. They show up in front of a blank sheet of paper day after day and write and re-write until they get the result they want. In other words, do the work and inspiration will follow.

Develop a positive attitude

Not everyone was born with a positive attitude nor was everyone nurtured in an environment conducive to developing a positive attitude. It can be learned and, with practice, become a habit. For starters:

  • Every time you think of something that isn’t going well, counter that with a list of the things that are working out.
  • For every problem, brainstorm solutions.
  • Follow through on at least one of those solutions.
  • Do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Remain open to change.
  • Challenge your negative self-talk.
  • Don’t become a fake, but “up” your game in life—dress better, smile more often, make more positive comments.
  • As an experiment, for one day, cut out all your negative statements. Notice the different responses you get from everyone from the clerk behind the cash register to your significant other.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and avoid toxic naysayers.
By Amy Fries
Source: The Winning Attitude: Your Pathway to Personal Success by John C. Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Inc., 1993.

Summary

  • Remain open and alert to opportunities.
  • Focus on the positive.
  • Brainstorm solutions to problems.
  • Learn from mistakes.

Having a good attitude doesn’t mean being happy all the time. After all, what’s the good of having a positive attitude if all it means is you’re happily walking down the wrong path? Having a good attitude doesn’t mean denying the pain, disappointment and frustrations that are inherent in life. In fact, you need to be attuned to problems so you can make the necessary adjustments and adapt or change.

Having a good attitude means looking for solutions, seeing possibilities and remaining hopeful about the future. A good attitude leaves you and those around you feeling stronger. 

Look for the diamond in the dirt

Attitude determines how we approach everyday life. Is it a drag? Or is it filled with opportunity? Sometimes we think those who have succeeded in life got lucky, but other evidence shows that those “lucky” people remained open and alert to opportunities. They weren’t looking inward, lost and absorbed in the obstacles. They were looking outward and thus could see possibilities.

Focus on the positive

People with good attitudes focus primarily on the positives. They don’t ignore the problems, but they don’t let them color their overall perception either.

For example, Sarah, an adjunct instructor, had two difficult students in a class of 17. She became so absorbed in the bad feelings created by the two slacker students that she ignored the energy and enthusiasm inherent in the 15 others. Her skewed negative focus poisoned her attitude toward her abilities, her job and the class as a whole. She left her position only to read later in student-teacher evaluations that the majority of the students had rated her work as inspiring.

Don’t let negative people drag you down or distort your vision. Draw strength and courage from the positives—those things that are going well in your life. Make a mental list every day of those “good things.”

Seek solutions

When faced with difficulties, those with a good attitude seek solutions. They start brainstorming. As the ideas begin to flow, energy ignites. In that way, a good attitude is contagious—it invigorates, motivates and inspires. Think of it as a jolt of caffeine for yourself and those around you. Unfortunately, a bad attitude is just as contagious—it can drag you and your associates down. In a negative world, everyone whines and complains that the sky is falling but no one looks for a solution.

If the problem is something that can’t be changed—a death, an incurable illness or something as mundane as the weather—seek creative ways to adjust or, better yet, to thrive, despite the challenges.

Learn from mistakes

People with positive attitudes know that trial and error, mistakes and failures are part of life and part of the process of development and discovery. This, in turn, gives them the energy and courage to learn from their mistakes and to persevere.

While perseverance is part of a good attitude, it does come with a caveat. Don’t confuse blind perseverance with creative perseverance. In other words, you don’t want to persevere in making the same mistakes over and over again. Persevere in your goals while continuing to learn, adapt and change as necessary.

Take action

A person with a good attitude takes action. He’s not afraid to take the first step. Or maybe he is afraid, but he does it anyway. Don’t wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration. Start doing and the energy and inspiration will follow. For example, successful writers don’t wait for the muse of inspiration to sit on their shoulder before they start to write. They show up in front of a blank sheet of paper day after day and write and re-write until they get the result they want. In other words, do the work and inspiration will follow.

Develop a positive attitude

Not everyone was born with a positive attitude nor was everyone nurtured in an environment conducive to developing a positive attitude. It can be learned and, with practice, become a habit. For starters:

  • Every time you think of something that isn’t going well, counter that with a list of the things that are working out.
  • For every problem, brainstorm solutions.
  • Follow through on at least one of those solutions.
  • Do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Remain open to change.
  • Challenge your negative self-talk.
  • Don’t become a fake, but “up” your game in life—dress better, smile more often, make more positive comments.
  • As an experiment, for one day, cut out all your negative statements. Notice the different responses you get from everyone from the clerk behind the cash register to your significant other.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and avoid toxic naysayers.
By Amy Fries
Source: The Winning Attitude: Your Pathway to Personal Success by John C. Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Inc., 1993.

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