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8 Ways to Improve Your Attitude

A positive attitude make success easy; a negative one makes success pointless.
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If you truly want to be successful, your number one task should be to create and maintain a positive attitude. When you've got an attitude of optimism, expectancy and enthusiasm, opportunities grow, and problems shrink.

If you're a leader, a positive attitude draws people to your side and encourages them to do their best work. A leader with a negative attitude, however, can only compel others to take action through fear.

More importantly, what would be point of being successful if you're always feeling lousy?  With that in mind, here's how to ensure your attitude stays upbeat:

1. Always act with a purpose.

Before you take any action, decide how it will serve your greater goals.  If the connection is weak or non-existent, take that action off your to-do list. Aimless activity wastes time and energy.

2. Stretch yourself past your limits every day.

Doing the same-old, same-old is depressing, even if your same-old has been successful in the past. Success is like athletics; if you don't stretch yourself every day, you gradually become slow and brittle.

3. Take action without expecting results.

While you naturally must make decisions and take action based upon the results you'd like to achieve, it's a big mistake to expect those results and then be disappointed when you don't get them.  Take your best shot but don't obsess about the target.

4. Use setbacks to improve your skills.

Rather than feeling bad if you fail or get rejected, look back at your actions and see what you can do (if anything) to improve your performances.  Remember: the results you receive are the signposts for the results you want to achieve.

5. Seek out those who share your positive attitude.

It's a scientific fact your brain automatically imitates the behaviors of the people around you.  (It's because of something called a mirror neuron).  Therefore, you should surround yourself with positive thinkers and shun those who are excessively negative.

6. Don't take yourself so seriously.

If you want to be happier and make those around you feel more comfortable, cultivate the ability to laugh at yourself.  If you don't (or can't) laugh at yourself, I guarantee you that the people you work with are laughing behind your back!

7. Forgive the limitations of others.

High standards are important, but humans are, well, human. It's crazy to make yourself miserable because other people can't do a job as well as you think you could, or when people don't share your vision with the same passion that you feel.

8. Say "thank you" more frequently.

Achieving an "attitude of gratitude" requires more than simply being aware of what's wonderful in your life.  You must, and should, thank other people for their gifts to you, even if that gift is something as simple as a smile.

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IMAGE: Andy Peters/Flickr
Last updated: Aug 26, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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