“I believe the single most significant decision I make on a day-to-day bases is my choice of attitude. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitude is right there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream to extreme, no challenge too great for me.”
Charles R. Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1982), 207.
I lived many years in Asheville, North Carolina that at one time, proudly showcased a great motto; Altitude Affects Attitude, it is the largest metropolitan city in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and is perched beautifully on those beautiful mountains and the altitude does affect ones attitude during the time spent visiting or living in the beautiful city. Most everyone feels happier and that they’ve had a great vacation after a visit.
No offense is directed to beautiful Asheville, but for our purpose I would switch that saying around a bit; Attitude Affects Altitude. You see, the height you will climb in your company of choice is 100% dependent on your attitude.
Let’s begin by answering the question that is on everyone’s mind- What does “attitude” mean? Simply put, attitude is the way you think about things, the mindset you choose to take about a situation, or the point of view you take on life [Real Life has no expiration date, page 12]. And everyone is in charge of their own attitude, attitude is a choice, one that you make every day in every situation.
For example: Tomorrow you have your first ever meeting with a potential new business partner and you have a choice on your mindset- you can worry, stress, and tell yourself “She probably won’t want to join my company because I am so new I don’t know the answers to all of her questions and I don’t know how to explain things to her in a way that will entice her to join”
Or, you can prepare your materials, study the answers to the most common questions, call your mentor for last minute pep talk, and think to yourself “I may not know everything but I know I love this company for the blessings in my life and tomorrow will be a fun and educational experience, no matter what.”
See the difference in attitude choice? See how one is better than the other? The reality is that a person makes a choice in attitude like this all day every day. Your child spills the milk while pouring it in cereal, you have a millisecond to choose wrath and fury or calm and understanding. Your spouse once again leaves their dirty socks on the floor by their side of the couch and you decide between berating him for never doing as you ask or in a loving way remind him to pick them up and take them to the laundry. This choice happens in mere seconds and right now, for those who have never worked to change their attitude the initial reaction is an immediate jump to the negative emotion, anger, frustration, rage, and so on. It’s innate, and everyone does it at first. That’s why attitude is a choice, you must overcome the immediate response to decide on a different one, this takes time.
What should you do to change that attitude and make a different choice? The simple answer is to change your attitude. Alas, it is not so simple, else you wouldn’t need this book or the countless books written at length on the subject. And on that note, know that you are not alone, everyone who wishes to change themselves goes through this and it is perfectly normal. You are fine, just follow the process, do your best til you can do better, then do better.
There are steps one can take to change an attitude and affect an altitude in business:
Step 1: Recognize that your attitude needs changing.
Congratulations, you have achieved step one, assuming that you want to change your attitude, you are reading this book after all.
This is a crucial step, skip it and you’ll blow the entire operation. Take a hard look at yourself and your mindset toward life, its annoyances, and be honest with yourself- what do you see? Lying or withholding the truth only hurts you and your business, so be straightforward.
Step 2: Identify the areas that need the most work, start with those.
During your time of self-reflection one or more areas of greatest concern will come to light. Perhaps they are work related, business related, or even family related. We will start with those areas first, always tackle the most difficult things head-on and the smaller ones will seem easier.
Step 3: Decide
Simply decide that you will put in the effort it takes to change your attitude. This is not going to happen overnight, or in a week. But it will happen, in time and with a decision to continually change your attitude.
If your usual response is “I can’t” change it to “I can”, if you only see problems in life look for the solutions to those problems for example your children are eternally handing you papers in the morning from their teachers as you’re rushing out the door, start asking them as soon as they come home from school “Do you have anything from your teachers tonight?” And finally, always count your blessings, even on the tough days and on the days you have to look a little harder than others, that’s when you need them the most. If you attend a party with only two guests and only see $100 instead of complaining about only two guests and $100 decided to think that you are blessed with an extra $100 you didn’t have and two new contacts for your business. Decide to change your attitude.
Step 4: Say positive thoughts aloud.
You’re going to feel really silly for about the first 30 times, we all did and some still do. But seriously, say that positive thought out loud. You can say “I will have the best party today! Everyone will enjoy being there and I will walk away with blessings!” Your brain will love it! Psychology tells us that speaking aloud can change the thoughts swirling in our heads, so use your voice to change your attitude.
Step 5: Repeat that.
Repetition is essential. Say that positive thought aloud again and again. This will cement it into your psyche, the unconscious part of your brain, and soon it will become part of you brain’s natural behavior and in time your millisecond choice will go from an automatic negative attitude to an automatic positive one without the need for your choice.
Step 6: Be prepared to slip.
Welcome to being human, slip ups, especially slip ups of the attitude kind, happen to all of us. And they really happen during the beginning stages of attitude change. Don’t throw in the towel or diverge from the path just because one day you didn’t decide to change the attitude and you thought instead “This business is too hard, I just cannot do it!” Just breathe, refocus, forgive yourself for the thought, say instead a positive thought out loud and try again. All will be well and the next time that negative attitude creeps in you’ll be a little stronger and you’ll be able to change your choice even faster.
You will hear from everyone who has been in business for a length of time, you will read in every book on sales and leadership and growth, you will see if every video you watch—Attitude Matters. I will argue that attitude is the most crucial part of being the Direct Sales secret ingredient. Your attitude will make or break both you and your business. Follow these simple steps to changing your attitude and mindset in both life and your business and over time positive changes will come your way. n