Go catch fish…

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”

Ovid

I don’t believe in chance or in “cosmic coincidence.” Things happen for a reason and for a purpose, even if we don’t understand them in a given time.

I love this quote because it speaks to the power of positivity and positive thinking and always being ready for that fish to bite. To be ready you have to be preparing and looking for the best in life and have a perspective of gratitude for all the gifts and blessings that have led you to be in exactly the right place and moment to catch the fish.

Will over skill…

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Zig Ziglar

There are some incredibly smart people in the world that unfortunately just can’t get out of their own way. It is always frustrating to see someone with tons of talent and ability have an attitude that is an anchor that just holds them back and ends up sinking them. How does this happen? Do they not get the feedback they need along the way? Do they not listen? How do we ensure that we never become one of “those people” with the bad attitude?

Weakness into strength…

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”

Michael Jordan

Most of the greats have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. There is an edge to them that you just can’t quite put your finger on. They have something to prove and no one can push them harder than they will push themselves, especially if they are challenged in some way. I am sure that we have all known people like this, or perhaps even been this person from time to time.

When should you push hard and turn another person’s perceived weakness into a strength and when should ignore that criticism and focus on leveraging the strengths that you already have? Being able to discern this is critical otherwise you could spend all of your energy trying to fix the perceptions of others and that could in itself become a great weakness…

Do you choose to invest in your attitude?

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”

Charles R. Swindoll

How much of our lives do we spend searching for the things listed in the quote above? Money, education, appearance, gifts, skills? How much time do we spend focused on improving our outlook? Our attitude? Attitude is a choice, do we spend time investing in that choice?

Do you choose to impact or be impacted?

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, 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… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday 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% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Charles Swindoll

There really isn’t much to add to this quote. It says a lot and truly it says it all when it comes to the power of attitude.

I will say that I am always amazed at how much impact another persons attitude can have on our own, if we choose to let it. That can be both positive and negative. A positive attitude is contagious and a negative attitude is cancerous. However allowing another person to impact us is a choice. Both for good and for bad.

When you woke up this morning what was your attitude choice for the day? Is it intentional or accidental? Does someone else’s choices frame your day or do you make the choice? Do you choose to impact others or be impacted by others?

Excellent attitude…

“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.”

Ralph Marston

How do you define excellence? Doesn’t the way you define excellence, and your commitment to it, define your attitude? Does that attitude inspire others with your vision of excellence and engender the same ideals in themselves?

What does it mean to you if someone were to describe you as having an “attitude of excellence?” Does that reflect who you are and what you believe?

The antidote…

“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.”

Harvey Mackay

I am always amazed at how many people choose to be miserable. They choose to see the negative and be cynical about the world instead of embracing the beautiful and the positive. It is a choice that we all have and that we all make on a daily basis.

I certainly am not perfect and can have those moments of negativity as well. However, when that happens I have found that perfect antidote is to pause and simply reflect on what I am grateful for right at that very moment. Without fail I have found that gratitude is a very powerful counter to negative thinking.

The impact this has on you will absolutely have an effect on those around you. We like to be around positive people. Negative people are the ones who just suck the energy from you.

On those bad days or in those bad moments we should pause and answer this question. “What I am most grateful for in my life right now?”


Attitude is leadership..

“People with a positive attitude are influenced by what goes on within them. People with a negative attitude are influenced by what goes on around them.” 

Keith Harrell

This quote is truly spot on.  It is the internal vs. external perspective that matters so much in life.  Do you happen to the world or does the world happen to you?  

But what happens to those around you when you exhibit a positive attitude?  If they are externally driven, they will be influenced BY YOU.  Therefore your choice to be positive and embrace an internally driven positive attitude isn’t about YOU.  It is about others who are environmentally driven and will embrace the behavioral characteristics that you display.  

So, when you CHOOSE to be embrace a positive attitude based on what’s motivates you internally don’t do it for yourself.  Do it to serve others and impact their lives.  That is leadership.

 

Do what you can do!

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

John Wooden

I really love this quote as I’ve been thinking a lot lately on the phrase “focus on the solution, not on the problem” which was one of the quotes from last week.  It is amazing how easy it is to allow oneself to focus on why things can’t be done, as opposed to what can be.  It drives me crazy to hear, “that will never work” or “oh, I can’t do that.”  Not that I haven’t been guilty of it myself more than a few times… How do you flip this around when it comes up?

I’ve found that focusing on one simple question can reframe the thinking when I, or others, get caught in the “excuses trap.”  Because let’s face it, if you are focused on what you cannot do, you are making excuses.  The question is this; “What one thing can I do to create change in this situation?” 

Success in anything requires taking ownership and finding the path forward.  Getting caught up in the reason why something won’t work is a guaranteed way to get bogged down and achieve less than you are capable.

Complaining is an investment in negative energy…

“Watch yourself about complaining. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Maya Angelou

I love how this quote frames out there are only two paths forward from a complaint.  Change it, or change yourself.  That’s it.  Once you have invested the energy (think about that for a minute…) into complaining about something you only have two action oriented choices.  Of course you could continue to complain and wallow in misery but that’s your own choice if you decide to do so and generating a positive return from that energy is practically impossible.

I’ve found that approaching this with the perspective of an investor can be incredibly impactful.  Ask yourself; “is this investment of my precious energy and time into complaining about something going to result in a positive action or outcome?”  If the answer to this questions is “no”, then why would you continue to invest in something with a negative return?   Change the situation or change yourself.  If the answer is “yes,” then the automatic next question is “so what are you going to do about it?”

 If you are going to use the finite energy you have in life to complain about something will you take the next step?  Will you own the reason for the complaint and do something about it?  Easier said than done of course.  But most things worth doing are…  

Learning while waiting…

​”Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

Joyce Meyer

Ah, patience…definitely not one of my strongest virtues.  Though I can’t think of one time in my life where patience hasn’t been rewarded in some way or another.  Though in many cases not in the way that I expected.  

I believe there are two ways one can handle being patient.  First, one can have the “why isn’t this happening already?!” approach.  This is where not having a good attitude can be very dangerous.  It makes it hard to remain positive and learn anything beneficial.  

The second, and much more powerful approach, is is to refocus and ask yourself this question, “What am I supposed to be learning during this season of waiting?”  Doing this requires that one have a positive attitude and it enables your ability to grow and learn while waiting.  

If you can reframe waiting to view the world through the lens of learning it can change how you feel about being patient.  Don’t misunderstand, being patient is still extremely challenging, but maybe waiting is more about learning than it is achieving…

 

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