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Posts Tagged ‘Attitude’

Have you ever met someone who is always negative? No matter what, it’s not going to work for them, it’s not good enough for them, or they just don’t like it.  These are the kind of people that if you gave them $1,000,000, they’d complain that it’s green and wrinkled…….

One time when I was about 8 years old, I asked my mom why people get crabby when they get old.  She told me that people don’t get crabby when they get old.  She said that old people who are crabby now were crabby when they were young too. ( She also told me that I should say elderly not old.) 

Her words have stuck with me to this day, and the message that went with it……..everyone has choices to make no matter what their circumstances are, you can choose to be nice to people, you can choose to be a happy person, you can choose to have a positive outlook even when things don’t go your way or bad things happen.

One time, I worked with a guy (we’ll just call him “Joe”)  Joe was the CRABBIEST, GROWLIEST, GRUMPIEST (if those are all real words) person I had ever met.  He was so negative and mean to everyone underneath him in the company.  To his peers and people above him in management he was nice (for obvious reasons such as he wanted to keep his job.)  When I started working there, everyone told me, “Watch out for Joe, he’s so grumpy to everyone.”  Joe was always nice to me as I was on the same level of management he was.   One day when I was coming out of the break room, I observed Joe being rude to an employee.  I followed him to his office and told him that what he said to the employee wasn’t nice at all and that he could find a better way to talk to employees without being rude to them. 

 He went on to tell me about how this employee had messed up, etc, etc.  I told him, “Joe, it doesn’t matter what they did wrong…. you don’t have to be a growly bear to everyone……you can be nice to people if you want to.”

Joe just looked at me like no one had ever told him that before…….and do you know what?  From that point on, Joe’s attitude was so different that the employees and other managers started making comments about how pleasant he was and Joe even got a promotion a few months later and continued to be nice to people. 

I don’t really think that what I said to Joe were magic words and I don’t know what thoughts my words sparked in his mind, but I know that Joe made a choice that day to stop being negative and not only did he choose to be positive, but he also chose to start being nice to people.  Joe was so much fun to work with after that and several employees later told me that after Joe’s attitude changed, he was one of their favorite managers to work with.

I know that we all go through things.  But really, everyone goes through things, not just you and me.  I’ve always held the position that what I’m going through right now is what God has for me at this point in my life.  Some times, we go through trials, and as a dear friend of mine said one time….”Trials come into our lives to teach us things, and if we don’t learn our lesson the first time we go through the trial, we’ll go through the trial again and again until we learn that lesson.” 

No matter what the trial or situation you’re going through is, God is with you…..you may not always feel like He is, but He is there for you, sometimes He walks with you, and sometimes, He’s carrying you.

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Today was a good day, every day this week has been a good day…..as a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a “good day.” 

Growing up, I had many days that started out to be “good days” that went from bad to worse.  I finally came to the realization that having a “good day” is a choice not just something that happens to us.  So have I had bad things happen in the last year?  Sure I have.  Does everything go the way I want it to go? No way!  Is everyone nice to me (um, no) Is every day a beautiful sunny day, of course not. 

Bad things happen, people treat us unfairly, people say things they shouldn’t say.  Things don’t go according to plan, accidents happen, traffic gets backed up, Grace gets crabby, money gets tight, bosses get demanding, but it doesn’t have to ruin our day. 

Let me explain……a very wise woman I knew growing up (we’ll just call her “Mom”) told me MANY times over the years…..”Beth, you have to choose to have a good day.”  I would cry because my friend was mean to me……”Beth, you have to make the choice to have a good day.” I would be crabby because my sister was picking on me……”She’s making me have a bad day!” I would whine……” Beth, you have to choose to have a good day, no one can make you have a bad day unless you choose  to have a bad day.” came mom’s reply. 

I hated to hear that.  Whenever I was having a “bad day” growing up, I felt very grouchy and angry about it.  I didn’t want to hear that I could consciously do something about it.  I wanted to sulk, to be grumpy, to wait until something “good” happened so that I could stop having a “bad day”

Years passed, I moved away from home, I was in my early 20’s and I worked at a marketing firm as the Assistant Branch Manager. It was a good paying job, but very high stress and very long hours. 

 One day, I walked into work not feeling very well.  From the moment I walked in the door to a stack of messages, a full in-box, a full calendar, a line of employees waiting to talk to me and a boss who wanted me in his office ASAP, I felt overwhelmed and sick to my stomach from all of the stress. This was going to be a bad day, I could already feel it. 

I sat down at my desk to get my bearings, not sure where to start (well, I knew that going to my boss’s office ASAP would be a good start…..) “Beth” I could hear my mom’s voice in my head, “you have to choose to have a good day, bad things happen during the day, but you can still choose to have a good day.”  I had about 3 seconds to make a choice and get in my boss’s office before our meeting started.  I had never tried my mom’s advice on choosing to have a good day, but I figured, what could it hurt?  The day couldn’t possibly get any more stressful.  “OK” I thought to myself, “This is going to be a good day.”  I took a deep breath and walked into the meeting.

That was one of the BEST days I can ever remember having in a long time.  “Wow” I thought “this really works, mom knows what she’s talking about!”  My day turned out so well, that I decided to start choosing to have a good day every day.  For the next few months, every time something bad would happen in my day, I would stop and remind myself, “Beth, don’t let it ruin your day, even though something bad just happened, you can still have a good day.”

I began having “good days” so frequently, that now, I don’t even have to remind myself to make the choice to have a good day, even when bad and stressful things happen, it just comes naturally to me now to have a good day despite the circumstances.

One thing I noticed once I started following mom’s advice, is that before, when bad things would happen and I was having a “bad day”  my day would go from bad to worse.  Once one bad thing happened in my day, it was a downward spiral.  Now since I started making the choice to have a “good day” even though bad things happen, I’ve noticed that when something bad happens, I deal with it, move on and it’s not a downward spiral.  I don’t feel grumpy or crabby for the rest of the day because of it anymore.  I LOVE having “good days” every day, and it’s all in how you look at it.

Thanks Mom, I had a very good day today!

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