Training your attitude

The Phantom Menace - that infamous Star Wars Episode One movie with that ridiculous rasta-alien and a kid who claimed Mark Hamill’s previously owned: ‘worst actor ever’ award.

The film was tremendously awful. Except for one line.

Right before Anakin goes racing in those hover-race-car-things, Liam Neeson’s character said something magical. I’m sure he wasn’t the first to coin it, or come up with it, but I’m crediting him because he told me first.
The line: “Your focus will become your reality”

BOOM!

This mentality is so huge. I don’t think I can logically discuss why. But I’m going to give it a nudge…

What you focus on will become your reality. If you focus on the issue or the problem, guess what you’ve got? If you acknowledge the issue but focus on a potential solution to said problem, guess what becomes your reality?
This needs to be your mantra until you have the realisation that work and life no longer deals you problems, just plain hurdles to overcome during your race.

Simple Trick: Whenever you are faced with an obstacle, issue or problem; simply ask yourself: “OK, so now what?”
This quick and simple trick will retrain your brain overtime to not focus on the challenge. It will teach you not to settle, finish or dwell at the obstacle. It will direct your perception to problem solving. When you do this naturally, with multiple issues at once, when you do not have “the time” and without breaking a sweat or creating another issue with a bad reaction – then yes you have fallen down Alice’s awesome attitude rabbit hole.

Welcome. It’s pretty sweet down here.

No, that is not all.

Attitude will be littered within my other posts. There is a reason. It is powerful and will help with a lot of other areas in your professional (and personal) life. There will be extra tricks and tips that help with your attitude more specific to those facets of work.
In saying that here are some other ways to practice boosting your attitude and positive perception abilities:

Synthetic Happiness:
TED.com has a great video by Dan Gilbert on Synthetic Happiness. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
To quickly summarise, basically Synthetic Happiness (the physiological tricks humans have developed to feel better about their surroundings) and genuine or Natural Happiness lead to the same result. So… find things to be thankful for.

Many people do the 21 day challenge. Each day for 21 days WRITE DOWN three things you are thankful for that day. Within 21 days you will perceive the world more positively, have more fun and be genuinely happier. Nearly every new year some people do the #100days. Focusing on the more positive things in life. Consistency and perseverance will pay dividends here. As the saying goes; “Little things lead to Big Changes”

Enjoy the journey – not just the destination:
The destination is a place, it’s not the race. If you focus too much on the outcome you will become a result addict, and that ‘good’ attitude won’t be genuine.

Result addicts, when stretched, will perceive an issue as a reason they cannot get to their result fast enough, blaming everything else imaginable along the way. They go a million miles an hour and not happy unless they have a result to post. Over time what they figure out is how to post a result, regardless. If they get away with that, things get really unsustainable and this can lead to bad business practices. Be aware.

Don’t get me wrong, results are important. But becoming a master at all journeys – the how, what and even the why – will allow you to achieve results faster and with more efficacy.

Dream:
“I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. “
Dreaming is powerful. We all do it, and have done since before we can even remember. Do not mistake the ease for lack of relevance.

Dreaming puts your subconscious mind into situations and deals with them accordingly and because it is your personal fictitious environment you can alter, or manoeuvre the proceedings and outcomes.

A couple of tips:
Dream about things within grasp, or are connected to your burning personal or business desires. Sure, dream about the far-fetched every now and again, but whenever possible dream about how well that interview, proposal or prototype is going to go. Dream a bit further, how is your business operating in five years? 10? How will you react when you have achieved your long term goals?
Dream about situations and how you will positively react to them. Dream about someone giving you a problem, and the ecstasy of the dream is that you solve it, superhuman-like, in no time at all.

Search for continuous improvements:
Training your attitude comes by living it.
If you are not exposed to enough problems to build your attitudinal muscle mass, then create the issues. No, don’t actually cause a big problem, but find something that isn’t ‘broken’ and make it more awesome.

-How can I evolve an at-work process to piggy-back, cover or improve other areas that are less than stellar?

-How can I build a tool, system or use something existing to remove time wastage? (ie: find a repetitive task that takes you 3 hours a week to do. Now how can you achieve the same outcome but only work on it for 1 hour a week? Or less? Can I do this for my staff as well?)

-Master this riddle: How can your business make more net profit without generating more revenue or removing overhead costs?
These are all issues that have not become “issues” yet. You find the continuous solution, proactively “solve” them by putting something sustainable in place and BOOM, you will look at the old way and then realise you had a problem.

LASTLY…
A great attitude and problem solving ability is the skill to foresee issues prior to them arising and proactively solve these obstacles. This is not a skill many possess and cannot be bought in a store or acquired in a 2nd year University paper.
It has to be earned. The hard way.
Practice. Build your attitudinal muscle.
Focus on the solution, find the positive.

Expose yourself to problems, and identify solutions.
It will become second nature. And when it does, when you are viewing multiple, large, complex issues and viewing them all like a hurdler does of a hurdle… then you have a GREAT ATTITUDE.

The best part of all this hard earned practice?
Let alone being the defining tool between success and failure and the ability to grow beyond any issue, it is that NO ONE can ever take your attitude away from you.

Enjoy your journey.

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Parnell, New Zealand

+64 272 148 403