Wednesday, February 2, 2011


“We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.” ~~ Phillip E. Berstein~~

I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining lately…. I think it has a lot to do with the weather. It’s been the snowiest month on record here in Connecticut. It’s cold, it’s gray, roofs are laden with snow and ice…and the economy is still in “recovery”. There are a lot of things out there that could be better. People’s attitudes are one of them. Complaining about your situation will not actually change your situation any more than complaining about the weather will change that.

I propose a shift in consciousness. Let’s start a movement. Sort of like the “pay it forward” or the “random acts of kindness” movements. Let’s start an “attitude adjustment” movement!

My dad often asks the question, “How good are you willing to have it?” The concept is this: what if, no matter how good things are, you believe they can get better? What if no matter how bad things are, you believe they *will* get better. This is two sided; let’s look at two very different sets of circumstances.

1. You have a great job. You love going in to work every day. It’s fulfilling, it pays well, and you’re appreciated. On a scale of 1 to 10, you figure you have a 10! Well, what if could get even better? How good are you willing to have it? What if you decide that it’s not a 10, it’s a 2. What can be done to improve upon an already good thing? Maybe you can begin a special project that will have even more of an impact. Maybe you can suggest something that will improve efficiency and output. Maybe you can bring in an apprentice or let someone job shadow so you can train the future of the organization… Things get even better, because you allowed yourself that possibility.

2. Now, consider this: You don’t have a great job. You’re unemployed. You can still put food on the table, but it’s rough out there. On a scale of 1 to 10, you figure you’re at about a 3. So ask yourself, how good are you willing to have it? Is complaining about your circumstance going to help you make things better? Unlikely. Instead focus on what can be done to make it better? Think about what you can be doing to improve your situation. Are you networking? Are you asking for help? Have you increased your online presence? Have you looked at your resume and made sure it was targeted to the right kinds of opportunities? Have you hired a coach to help improve how you articulate your value to a prospective employer? Are you surrounding yourself with positive people, and positive energy to help keep you out of the slump?

I know it’s hard to stay positive in the face of challenge. I also know it’s easy to rest on your laurels. So here’s how this will work: If things are good, relish in them, enjoy them, appreciate them, but don’t stop improving upon them. I believe that positive attitudes are contagious and that the happier we are, the happier those around us will be. And on the flip side, if things are not so good, find ways to stay positive. Surround yourself with helpful, positive people and strive to make things better. Agree to adjust your attitude, and commit to always focus on how good you’re willing to have it.

Spread the word. The world will thank you for it!

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