A Great Fit by Tom Murry is one the first few books I have read in 2020. It has a lot of useful advice for our business and careers. One of the chapters had 10 simple tactics to have a great attitude. Here they are with my take on each.
Think Positive – The key to success lies in optimism. It’s not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us that matters. Steve Jobs believed in his products even when he was the only one with the vision. He was not even sure if it will be accepted in the market but he showed undying optimism to see success till the end. Even in his professional nadir he showed enduring optimism and show what one can achieve with optimism and belief. An example is the Apple Stores concept. Initially the media had written this off as a non-starter but Jobs believed in it. He wanted to take retailing and brand image to a new level. So, stay hungry and foolish but stay optimistic. Here is the optimists manifesto that you can check out. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/optimists-manifesto-10-commandments-optimism-shyam/
Believe in yourself – We all have reservoirs of potential to be unleashed and to recognize our unlimited potential is the first step towards getting the best out of ourselves. Talent is a strange word that we use to describe only the uber-successful like multimillionaires, sports superstars and other public figures but we all have talent that can be unleashed. Talent is not something most of us are born with, it is something we develop through thorough soul searching, self-analysis, practice and deep learning. It is a cinch but worth repeating find out what ignites your passion. Passion ignites reservoirs of talent that is hidden within our vast reservoirs. The main obstacles in our path are our self-doubt and lack of patience. First you need to know exactly what you want. As Geoff Colvin says in his inspiring book “Talent is Overrated” you must know deep in your heart what you want. Finally, you need to believe it is possible and you do have what it takes to put the 10000 hours of deliberate practice needed for success. I think Venus Williams said, “Believe in yourself when no one else does that’s what makes a champion.”
Seek Inspiration – Inspiration is needed if we want to chase all our goals and have an upbeat attitude. For me the best ways to maintain inspiration are to exercise, read, listen to music or watch an inspiring movie. Whatever works for you is good but make sure you schedule some of inspirational activity every week.
Stay Healthy– Barring any unforeseen circumstances most of the aspects of our health is in our control. Unless you are full of energy it is very difficult for you to create a world class life. To accomplish everything, you want in life being in excellent health enables you to have higher energy to accomplish more. First requirement for health is to get adequate sleep. Sleep researchers have confirmed that everyone requires at least 7–8 hours of sleep daily. Keep this in mind and design your work schedule to ensure you get this requirement of sleep. Second you need to have a consistent exercise program to stay energetic. There are so many health benefits from exercise that we owe it to ourselves to stay fit. Third we need to be careful about our diet and eat lots of vegetables and fruits. None of these steps are rocket science but simple things are hard to implement. Of course, any health program should be undertaken with the help of your doctor.
Set attainable and measurable goals – Decide what you want in your life and take action. Obviously once you start acting you are going to face the inevitable obstacles and roadblocks that characterizes any journey. To weather these storms, we need to be vigilant and stay calm. Keep your focus on the end goal always. That’s why it always comes back to how burning the yes is in your life. How badly do you want something? That will determine how far you will go. Staying cool will enable you to enjoy the arduous journey much better. Write down goals in all the areas of your life that is important and have a periodic review to see how far you have left to go and how far you have come.
Find something that motivates you – Once you decide to be successful you need to know what really motivates you. You also need to decide why you really want something. You need a lot of energy to sustain the passion for a life time. What makes a champion a champion is to do action on their dreams day in and day out. Keep moving forward and the best way is to stay energetic. Some of the ideas are to sleep well, exercise, read, write in a journal, meet new people and always stay grateful. Read my article on how to maintain high energy 11 ways to have High Energy.
Be prepared for the unexpected – The only certainty in life is uncertainty. We must be prepared for constant failure. John Maxwell begins his book Failing Forward with the thesis that “All successful people have one characteristic which is different from others and that is how they respond to failure.” The famous quote from IBM founder Thomas J. Watson comes to mind. He said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” Everyone is going to fail no matter what so all that matters is dust it off and move forward learning what you need to from the failure. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Failure is merely another way to intelligently begin again. Never give up on your overall vision and remember obstacles come not to obstruct but to instruct. We can even call failures as challenges that are meant to be overcome. Success is not avoiding failure but accepting it and moving forward towards something bigger. In the Jim Collins and Morten Hansen book “Great by Choice” they say all the great leaders whom they call 10Xers have three qualities which make them special and they are fanatic discipline, empirical creativity and productive paranoia. To overcome failure, we need to have fanatical discipline to keep our commitments/vision/goals front and center of our lives. When the going gets tough the tough really get going. In fact, welcoming failure and overcoming it can become a game which you keep winning always. The one thing that is certain in our lives is uncertainty so we do need to equip ourselves to deal with it.
Don’t act entitled or expect things to magically work out – The world doesn’t owe us anything. I think this just means anything we want out of our lives is totally up to us. We need to take the action and make course corrections to get what we want. Once you take off towards your destination you can land a few times. So, action is everything and the only thing that will determine how our future turns out.
Choose friends wisely – Choose friends who are upbeat and positive. Choose friends who really want you to succeed and are happy when you do well.
Never give up– When we encounter failure it is good time to reinvent ourselves. Human beings have the enormous capacity to reinvent our lives even under dire circumstances. As Victor Frankl mentioned “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” We can choose our destiny, we can reinvent our lives, and we can turn our past failure into stepping stones for greater things. The only thing that is stopping us is a lack of a bigger vision for ourselves. As General Douglas McArthur says, “There is no security in life only opportunity.” The story of human life is the story of overcoming enormous odds and rejections. An example is the Chicken Soup for the Soul series; it was rejected by nearly 140 publishers before it was finally published. As a young cartoonist Walt Disney faced many rejections from newspaper editors who said he had no talent. Young Beethoven was told that he had no talent for music but he gave some of the most memorable music of all time. Let’s just remember this whenever we face one or two rejections. We need to really DIG DEEP and bring our best self to light. Reinvent and recreate so that you live an extraordinary life full of possibilities. Develop high self-esteem and don’t allow anyone to put you down or your dreams.
There you have it the 10 keys to have a great attitude as we navigate the tides in 2020. Thanks for reading this post.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.