7 Strategies for a Lasting Positive Attitude
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:
You can't afford the luxury of a
Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal
Think back to when you started a
new job at a company. You were all excited about the job, the company,
your products, your services, your customers, and your future. Your
enthusiasm and positive attitude were obvious to everyone around you. But then,
before too long, a long-time employee came along side you and said, "Well,
that's fine. But wait until you've been here for a couple of months.
You'll see how bad things really are."
If you weren't careful, you might
have caught his or her pessimism. After all, a negative attitude is just
as contagious as the "common" cold. You cannot afford to catch
it. The research makes that clear.
The cost of having a negative
Dr. Martin Seligman, the author of
"Learned Optimism" studied 1500 people and their attitudes towards
their jobs, wondering if that would make any difference. Indeed it did!
At the end of 20 years, only one of the pessimistic people had become a
millionaire, while 100 of the optimistic folks had become millionaires.
If money seems to be too shallow
of an indicator, then look at the impact of a negative attitude on health.
For example, Dr. James Strain, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City,
compared pessimistic and optimistic men who had heart attacks. He
discovered that 21 of 25 pessimists died within 8 years of their heart attacks
... while only 6 of 25 optimistic men died in that time period.
And if you want to get gut-honest
about the dangers of a negative attitude, look at the Oxford, Ohio study on
aging. People who viewed aging with a negative attitude died 7.5 years earlier
than those who had a positive attitude towards aging.
Put all those things together and
the conclusion is obvious. It will be very difficult ... if not
impossible ... to have a happy and productive life and career if you're saddled
with a negative attitude.
If that sounds like you, don't
lose heart. You CAN change your attitude once and for all. It's one
of the reasons I encourage people to register for my "Journey to the
Extraordinary" program. As John Tolbert, a manager at the Index Corp., reported,
"Your 'Journey' program breathed new life into my attitude and improved
every one of the key relationships in my life." Click here If you want to join us for the
next "Journey" in Chicago.
But let's get started on your
attitude transformation right now.
Seven strategies for building a
lasting positive attitude
1. Start your day with
When you first awaken, what are
your first thoughts? Do you think, "Ugh, I've GOT to go to work
today?" or do you think, "Gee, I GET to go to work today?"
Let me remind you that no matter what job you have, there are millions of
people who would love to have your job ... or any job ... for that matter.
Be very careful about cursing your blessings. So when you first
awaken, consciously dwell on some positive thoughts for a few moments.
It's kind of like feeding yourself a good, healthy, nutritious breakfast.
It tends to stick with you and help you throughout the day.
2. Start your day with
You may not be able to
"feel" your way into a new way of acting, but you can "act"
your way into a new way of feeling. In other words, if you do some
positive things or take some positive actions, you will invariably feel better.
So, before you take off for work in the morning, you might leave a loving
note for someone at home to find. You might tell your partner or parent
that you appreciate him or her. And on the way to work you might look for
two or three caring things you can do for others, whether you know them or not.
(Sidebar: These are quick
tips. If you want in-depth information and a step-by-step guide to
changing your attitude once and for all, get a copy of my book called "PIVOT: How One Turn In Attitude Can Lead
3. Care for your body.
You're probably wondering,
"What? What does my body have to do with my attitude?" As
it turns out, quite a bit. It's almost impossible to lovingly take care
of yourself and NOT have a good attitude. And it's almost impossible to
let your body fall apart AND have a good attitude. So get some daily
exercise. Eat right and drink right. Get plenty of sleep. And
if need be, "Get yourself a new look," as the respected sales
trainers Scott Anderson and Chip Kudrle recommend. They say,
"Whether it be a new hair style or a completely new wardrobe, you will
feel better when you do something for yourself."
4. Engage your spirituality.
I won't tell you what to believe
... unless you ask me ... but I will tell you this, there's positive power in
almost every religion or spiritual belief. So tap into that power, and
let it build and reinforce your growing positive attitude. Believe there
is a Higher Power that cares about you and is willing to help you.
Clarify your purpose ... because if you don't stand for something you'll
fall for anything. (For more detail on the power of purpose, get a copy of my
new book coming out in the spring of 2014 ... called "The Payoff
Principle.") Go out and help people ... not only because it's the
"nice" or "right" thing to do ... but also because it will
give you a research-documented "helper's high" for hours and days
5. Change your self-talk
from permanent to temporary.
Instead of saying, "My boss
is always on my case," say, "My boss can be difficult at times."
Instead of saying, "All the customer cares about is price,"
say, "Sometimes price is the only factor the customer thinks about."
Instead of saying, "I'll never have any money," say, "I
can develop better money management skills." And instead of saying,
"I always attract losers," say, "Just because I attracted losers
in the past doesn't mean I will do so in the future." How you talk
to yourself makes a huge difference. If you talk about challenging things
as being "permanent," you will create a negative attitude. But
if you describe your challenges as "temporary," you're more likely to
have a positive attitude.
6. Change your self-talk
from universal to specific.
Instead of saying, "Training
programs are useless," say, "This training program is a waste of my
time." Instead of saying, "No one ever cares about what happens
to our team," say, "Our team is having a difficult time getting
engaged in the XYZ project." Pessimists tend to make
"universal" statements, that certain negative conditions will
"always" be with them. Optimists are smarter than that.
They are able to isolate a negative situation and talk about it as a
"specific" point in time that will ... most likely ... not go on
7. Look forward to the
The cynics say, "I'll believe
it when I see it." However, the most effective people in the world
think quite differently. They think, "I'll see it when I believe
it." In other words, they know that they are much more likely to
experience good things in life and at work ... IF they believe those good
things are going to come their way. To put this into practice, try this.
On the way home from work, rather than think about the problems you're going to
have with your sick child, your messy house, or uncut lawn, think of how good
it will feel to be in your home. Think of the hug you're going to give
someone or receive from someone. Think of taking a shower to refresh
yourself and putting your feet up while you listen to your favorite music.
Think of how good that cold beer or glass of wine will taste as you sit
down to relax. Then make that happen for you.
As Abraham Lincoln so keenly
observed, "People are about as happy as they make their minds up to
be." It's true. And it's amazing how much better your attitude
will be if you just make up your mind to follow these seven strategies.
If you could only choose one of
these seven strategies to work on right now, which one would you choose?
And how will you implement that strategy?
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About the author:
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional
speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of
business.” His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy,
and high involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they
To learn more about his programs and products, or to
receive a free subscription to his weekly Internet newsletter, click here.
Copyright© 2013 Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's
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