Attitude is defined in Webster’s as: “a mental position with regard to a fact or state, a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state” and “the position of something in relation to a frame of reference.”
When you think about the challenges we face in life, it becomes readily apparent that those who have cultivated a positive mental and emotional position have a distinct advantage in terms of emotional resilience and the active engagement of others in dealing with issues.
What is not so apparent is that that positive mental and emotional positioning is immensely strengthened when it is in relation to an overarching frame of reference.
What exactly is the attitude you bring to work each day or the attitude you bring to your home life or the attitude with which you face the hardships and crises that occasionally occur?
Do you bring a sense of positive expectancy or positive engagement to those around you, or is your attitude that of a “negative Ned” or “cynical Nellie” when you interact with others?
Is the way you have of talking about issues and people something that would encourage others and positively engage them, or does it depress them or invite them into a negative round of criticisms?
Here’s a tip: senior executives really don’t want to promote people who consistently display a negative attitude toward work or those around them.
Those who are most desired and sought after are those who display a positive attitude.
Of course, managers want to promote and hire those who get the work done, but they also put a premium on those who get it done with civil, respectful interactions and show a positive way of communicating and responding to challenges and difficulties.
Now that is challenging, especially since complaining and being sour about events, work practices or senior management seems to be an American pastime.
You follow that pastime at your own peril since it places you in the majority of people who haven’t cultivated a consciously chosen positive attitude toward their lives. That sub-optimizes your contributions and your ability to make positive changes.
It also puts you at greater risk health-wise. Research, especially in the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology, consistently highlights that as a group those with a positive attitude have better immune responses and health outcomes than those who don’t.
What, for example, is your personal frame of reference? What do you task or measure your life and the events of your life against or in relationship to? Would people around you characterize you as having a positive attitude toward life and difficulties?
Since your attitude determines your altitude in life in terms of enjoyment, success and health, are you soaring high with the eagles or down in the brush with the turkeys? Every day you get a new opportunity to choose which it will be for you.