I know it sounds cliché, but the older I get, the more confirmation I see that it is our attitude, not our talents that determine our altitude in life.
Talents, charisma, who you know, and social skills all have a significant bearing on the opportunities you get in life. Attitude however not only gets you opportunities, it determines how you do what you do. It'll determine who wants to work with you and for you. It determines whether someone endures your attitude for the sake of your productivity or actually respects you and hopes to call you friend.
I think we all know incredibly talented, charismatic, and well-connected people with significant attitudinal deficiencies. It seems that the more talented, charismatic, or well-connected the individual is, the larger the temptation to allow our attitude to fluctuate wildly with the present circumstances.
We need to see that negative people steal not only our time but our attitude as well.
When the person we see on the stage is not the person we see in the green room, it's a huge letdown. We may like them from a distance, but we won't want to go long-haul with them or call them our close friends.
This is so common, that when we meet someone who is talented, charismatic, well-connected, and has a great attitude about life, it is incredibly refreshing. People like that stick out don't they? And even though there are probably people that are naturally positive, I believe that the ones that have great attitudes through the various ages and stages of life are individuals who are both spiritually and emotionally mature. They are people who have predecided what their attitudes will be and despite the situations they find themselves in, they choose the right ones.
So let's take a moment and talk about just a few of the possible attitudes to embody. Here are a few that I consider to be important both for my personal life and those I call coworkers and friends.
1) Can Do
Anyone with two brain cells can see what is wrong with something. It takes imagination, positive thinking, and leadership to believe that something can be beyond what you currently see. I have a hard time working with or hanging out with people unless they are optimistic. People with this attitude remind us that it's not about resources, but resourcefulness.
God didn't give us hearts, hands, time, brains, money, and talents just so that we can consume more. There is so much value we can add in about every arena of our lives. There is so much that we can contribute. Our contributions should far outweigh the amount we consume. People with this attitude stay humble, centered, and creative.
3) Go with the flow
Yes, life will not always go as we expected it to. At times, despite our best attempts to plan, things do not always go our way. And when that happens, when the we lose control, we discover so much about our hearts. What happens when you do not get your way?
Anger? Stress? Emotional instability?
Peace? Adventure? Joy?
People with this attitude have contagious optimism and usually have lives filled with some great adventure stories.
There are dozens more, but here are a few that I deem to be incredibly important.
I would love to hear what you would add to this list.