Insight article

Get the attitude right – the rest will follow

I read a great story on my way to work this morning – which given the aura of glumness hovering over my fellow commuters – seemed timely as well as thought provoking.

Most of us understand that having a positive outlook is preferable to that of a negative one, but how many of us simply react emotionally to most situations rather than consciously choosing to apply a positive attitude to what life throws our way?

I’m not advocating that we all go around grinning moronically (although the entertainment value of this alone may be worth pursuing!) but we do have a choice.

We choose how we react to situations, how to respond to information we receive and how others affect our mood.

Changes happen the instant you decide to choose a positive attitude due to the influence our moods have on those around us. This is a powerful thing in the workplace when you consider the number of people involved. You start to see more openness to understanding, an easing of tensions, others starting to behave positively and things start to happen for the better.

The results as described in Jerry’s Story can be significant. It’s a long story that can be found circulating the Internet but essentially goes like this…

Jerry was one of those people who was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. Working in the restaurant business he proved to be a unique Manager and had waiters who would follow him from restaurant to restaurant as his career progressed. The waiters followed Jerry because of his attitude – he was a natural motivator. His belief was that when you wake up in the morning you have 3 choices – to be in a good mood, to be a victim or to learn from and make the best of a situation.

One day Jerry left the back door of the restaurant open and was held up at gunpoint by three robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand – shaking with nerves – slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. After eighteen hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from hospital with fragments of the bullet still in his body.

When asked what had gone through his mind he replied ‘‘the first thing was that I should have locked the back door! Then as I lay on the floor I realised I had two choices – I could choose to live or I could choose to die. The paramedics were great, they kept telling me I was going to be fine; but when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expression on the faces of the medical team I read ‘He’s a dead man’ in their eyes. I knew that I needed to take action, so as a nurse shouted the question ‘Are you allergic to anything’ at me, I said yes. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled ‘BULLETS!!!’

Go on – be positive…. it could change your life!

Nailia Tasseel