How do you measure success? Is it by financial security, career growth, community involvement, quality of relationships, business growth, spiritual centeredness or the legacy you leave?
Whichever measure you choose, your attitude is the single most important factor in achieving your success. The topic of attitude can be conceptual and confusing. You often hear phrases like: "keep your chin up," "look on the bright side" or "you need a winning attitude." Unfortunately, it is unclear how to convert these soft sayings into hard results.
The great news is that even in the worst situations--a victim of a natural disaster, prisoner of war, target of abuse or when hit by a string of unfortunate circumstances--your attitude is something you can always control.
When you control your attitude you influence how your body responds and performs. Where your thoughts and attitudes go, your bodies follow. For example, blushing is a physical reaction to a mere thought. If you have this kind of reaction to a thought, is it such a leap of faith to believe that you can orchestrate our attitude to affect your body in beneficial ways?
In fact, a positive attitude can buffer you against some adverse health effects and depression. Researchers who studied 839 patients over a 30-year period found a link between optimism and lower risk of early death. Specifically, optimism early in life predicts good health later in life.
The choice of attitude is yours. Tomorrow you will become what you choose today.
There are three aspects of the attitude script that work in concert: thoughts, words and actions. By orchestrating each aspect with conscious responses, you positively influence your beliefs, commitments and results.
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The script plays out like this:
- Thoughts the way you choose to interpret the world, directly influence your beliefs.
- Beliefs directly influence the words you choose to speak to others, and more importantly, to yourself.
- Words reflect your commitments to yourself and others.
- Commitments influence your choice of actions.
- Finally, your actions directly influence the results you achieve.
This script is self-reinforcing, for better or for worse. The results you achieve reinforce your thoughts and the same script is played out again. So, it all starts with your thoughts. Your thoughts today influence your results tomorrow.
The left side of the script is the side of choice. You choose your thoughts, words and actions either consciously or subconsciously. Therefore, you influence the right side of the script--the side of responsibility. You must take responsibility for your beliefs, commitments and results. You are each responsible for the choices you make and the results you ultimately achieve. The ultimate choice is yours--victim or victor?
To illustrate how this script plays out, let's say I am given a new project to lead. I am confident that the prospects for this project are positive. Therefore, I start thinking about how to ensure its success and how I can measure the benefits of the project deliverables. I also think about my talented project team, knowing they will need to go above and beyond to achieve success on this project. My kick-off e-mail contains words like "excited," "opportunity," "talented team," "creative solutions" and "positive impact." My team members speak and react in kind, "boomeranging" my winning attitude back to me. Meetings are crisp, roles are clearly defined and decisions are made collaboratively, yet quickly.
The expected challenges, even the seemingly big ones, are handled professionally and swiftly because the team knows that failure is not an option, and there are many pathways to success. My thoughts and words have already predisposed the team to acting in alignment with my expectation of success. And our eventual success predisposes me to the same thoughts, words and actions on the next project. This is when the powerful, self-reinforcing script will be played again.
Orchestrating attitude creates a beautiful human symphony. The result is a person of integrity who gets the best from him/herself and others.
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Orchestrating Attitude is a rapid-read book that translates the incomprehensible into the actionable. It provides inspiration and application so you can orchestrate your attitude..... and your success.