OPINION: This edition’s column is an extract from The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, first published in 2009.
Positive attitude has nothing to do with what happens to you; it is what you do with, and how you react to, what happens to you.
Positive attitude comes from your ability to process thoughts in a positive way, regardless of the circumstance. And it’s never 100 per cent, which is why there are highs and lows based on your thought process and your vulnerability to others.
Here’s the good news – the more you work on your attitude, the less vulnerable you become to the negative aspect of it.
The most interesting aspect of attitude is that ‘instant’ only applies to the negative part. Someone can make you angry (negative) in a second, but it can take years to achieve the positive. Positive attitude comes from your own thought process combined with your determination to stay in the right frame of mind.
The ‘yes’ factor
Picture in your mind the feeling of crossing the finish line first, or completing some big task, or making a sale, and at the end making some gesture of triumph like raising your fists in the air, and screaming, ‘yes’.
Can you picture it? It’s a happy moment, it’s a joyous moment, it’s a triumphant moment, it’s a winning moment, it’s a positive moment, and that’s why you scream ‘yes’.
Wouldn’t it be cool if every moment of your life were like that? So, what’s preventing it?
There is nothing new about attitude – except yours.
Positive attitude has been preached for millennia. Every major philosopher, every major theologian, and especially every major personal development expert has preached the virtue of positive thought, positive action, and positive attitude for centuries. Millions of words have been written (and rewritten) on the subject.
You would think, with all this information at their fingertips, that everyone (you included) would have a positive attitude. You would be thinking wrong.
You can read and listen all you want, but unless you decide that you want to become a positive person, a person who thinks positive thoughts, acts positively, and speaks positively (both proactive and reactive), your attitude will not be a positive one.
Introducing the most important person in the world. Hint: It ain’t the customer.
In every one of my seminars, I select one person and ask, “When you’re speaking with your biggest customer, who is the most important person in the world?” Ninety-nine percent of the time, the person I selected will answer, “The customer”.
“Really?” I say. “Suppose there were two people left on the planet, you and the customer, and one of them had to die. Who do you want to see drop dead?”
“The customer,” is nearly always the response.
So, we’ve now established that you are the most important person in the world (in your view). But the problem is, when you’re speaking with a big customer, they think they are the most important person in the world.
You can take the word ‘customer’ and substitute mother, father, sister, brother, friend, or teacher. Everyone feels as though they are the most important person in the world, or wants to feel that they are the most important person in the world.
Your job is to treat them that way, and your positive attitude permits that action.
Everyone wants to be positive, and many people even think that they are positive, but they aren’t. They act it in terms of what will serve themselves best, rather than serving others best.
A large part of getting your attitude from negative to positive, and from positive to ‘yes’ is phrasing responses in terms of the other person, not in terms related to you.
The secret of a positive attitude is being selfish on the inside (the way you think about yourself, the personal pride that you have, the person you seek to become, and your thoughts just before you respond or take action), and then helping or serving others because you feel good enough about yourself to help them.
Once you get the fact that positive attitude is all about you on the inside (your thoughts about your actions and responses), you’ve made the first breakthrough.
Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development. © 2017 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.