Rule #5 in Business and Life: Maintaining a Great Attitude

The world is full of obstacles and challenges, and it can occasionally cause even the very best of us to ask whether the entire struggle is really worth it. This is when we need to remind ourselves of one of my favorite mantras, "The one who says it can't be done, is being interrupted by the one doing it!" This is the saying that I have lived my entire adult life by and remind myself constantly. Why? Because we all get discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, sad, tired and sometimes just want to quit. Our attitude in dealing with these feelings when they surface can be the difference between success and failure. I use the word "maintain" because just as we service our vehicles, we need to work on maintaining the best attitude possible.

Another one of my favorite mantras is "Successful people do, every day, what the unsuccessful people don't want to do." When I don't want to get out of my warm bed at the crack of dawn to work out at the gym, I remind myself that "Successful people do, every day, what the unsuccessful people don't want to do." On those days when I don't feel like dealing with the challenges that running a business with multiple complexities can bring, I remind myself that, "Successful people do, every day, what the unsuccessful people don't want to do." In other words, when I need to do the things that I don't want to do, I have a statement that reminds me of who I am, who I want to be and where I want to go. I am constantly working on my attitude on an ongoing basis.

I once heard a great sales trainer say that in order to be successful in sales, and I might add in almost everything else too, a great, positive attitude is imperative. So, he said, stop watching the news because it will destroy your attitude. Filling your mind with positive affirmations that lift you up, giving you hope and confidence, are central to becoming the person you dream of being. Further, surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, encourage and support you and conversely eliminating or at least minimizing those who do not is a major key to both success and personal happiness. As the famous writer, Jimmy Breslin, once said, "In the six furlong sprint from high school to the funeral parlor, the hardest of all jobs is surrounding yourself only with those people who give off friendly vibrations. Anyone else is a detriment to your life and should be avoided at all costs."

Most of us already know that a great attitude is key to success. We should also remember that there are times in life when it is very difficult to maintain a great attitude. Similar to other endeavors, the harder you work at developing your best attitude, the easier it will be to maintain it and recover when things get tough. This is life -- no matter who you are, things will eventually get tough. As Winston Churchill once said, "The secret to success is going from failure to failure while maintaining a great attitude."

My observation of why many people fail is that they are petrified of making a mistake and therefore they either don't even try or choose the path of least resistance, taking the easy way out and settling for whatever scraps life will give them. Fear of failure and fear of change are two measures of a less than stellar attitude, and these attributes will not take you where you want to go. Most successful people have failed an average of 4 times before they achieve their ultimate success. Allowing yourself the privilege of such failure while also embracing the inevitable changes that are a constant in life, can lead to an emotional freedom that comes from knowing that failure, change and success are all part of your required journey.

Lastly, I believe you develop a great attitude by practice, observation, study and association. As one of my football coaches once told the team, "If you want to soar with the eagles you can't peck around with the chickens!"


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