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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 08, 2010 • Issue 10:03:01


Attitude affects everything

Someone once told me, "You need to make me happy." After thinking about this for a while I decided it was not my job to make anyone happy except myself. I truly believe that happiness is a choice we must make for ourselves, and not just once, but every single day.

When my father was ill with cancer he was placed on 24-hour hospice care. The nurses commented to me about how wonderful he was and that he was always so cheerful.

Choose thankfulness

I asked him about this one night, and he said to me, "Every morning when I wake up I have a choice to make. I can be a crotchety old man and dwell on my pain and misfortune, making everyone around me miserable, or I can accept my life as it is and be glad that I woke up at all.

"I would rather be around happy people, so I choose the latter, but it is a choice I have to make every day, some days more than once."

My father's words have stuck with me all these years. A good attitude is so much a part of success. Anything can be accomplished if you believe in yourself and have the courage to try.

Take positive steps

But how do you get and maintain a good attitude? As fast-paced and stress-filled as our lives are, it can be difficult to find your "happy place." Following are some ideas to increase your happiness and present a good attitude to those around you.

  • Make a choice: First, you have to make the choice to be happy. When you wake up do you leap out of bed or do you lie there desperately trying to find the snooze button on the alarm clock?

    While you don't actually have to leap out of bed, you should try to resolve to get up and get moving the first time the alarm goes off.

    Be thankful that you have the privilege of enjoying this brand new day. To have 365 new beginnings every single year is actually a pretty amazing thing.

  • Find a reason to smile: Smiling, and all facial expressions, are actually physiological responses to emotions. Smiling not only makes you look happy, it can also relieve stress, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and release endorphins (those wonderful little natural pain-killers and stress-reducers). Besides, smiling is contagious.

  • Take care of yourself: Do this the same way you take care of others. We all know that working in sales is largely about customer service. Think of yourself as one of your own customers. Make sure to exercise, eat right and carve out some down time in each of your days. In other words, stop to smell the flowers.

  • Have some fun. Too often we postpone fun activities for when we have more time. If you keep doing this, you may never get around to it. Even just a short walk in the park can be fun. Find something you love to do and set aside a little bit of time every day to do it.

Act like a winner

Three other things that will help improve your attitude are:

    1. Being optimistic - the glass really is half full.
    2. Associating with happy people - their positivity will rub off on you.
    3. Having faith in yourself - you really can do anything.

Spread good news

There is a wonderful Web site called The Good News Network (www.goodnewsnetwork.org). This site was founded in 1997 by a woman with a background in television news. Her goal is to offer up a dose of positive news for everyone.

She maintains that there are plenty of good news stories; they just don't get highlighted as often as the negative stories. If your mood is in need of a lift, give the site a visit.

Then decide, in your own way, to become a good news network for your own circle of family, friends, colleagues and customers. And watch your relationships transform.

These are just a few tips to help you maintain a good attitude. The first step is yours. You have to make the choice. So what will it be? end of article

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