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Building Positive Attitudes In and Out Of The Office

By Dr. Alan Zimmerman

Hold up your thumb and forefinger about 2-1/2 inches apart. It takes about 1/100th of a second for Olympians to run that distance in the 100-meter race. But that's the difference between winning and losing.

In the women's 100-meter dash at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, for example, the gold medal was won by an American who crossed the line only 2-1/2 inches in front of her closest opponent. The fifth place went to a Jamaican who finished a mere 6/100th of a second behind her. And yet that little bit of difference made all the difference in the world.

The same goes for attitude. When you compare age, gender, upbringing, education, IQ, and just about any other factor you can think of, research says that attitude is the little bit of difference that makes all the difference in success in both your personal and professional lives. In fact, the research makes it clear that attitude is more important than any other element when it comes to ensuring success.

So how do you build a positive attitude that ensures your success? Just follow this "4-Day Attitude Diet," focusing on a different skill each day. And repeat the cycle until you've built an invincible attitude. It works!

Positive Attitude Diet Day 1: Fill your mind with positives.

Instead of living your life on autopilot, letting any and all thoughts come into your mind, consciously feed your mind positive input. Do this on the first day of every week, and do it throughout the day. Read inspirational books; listen to uplifting music, or call an upbeat person. And by all means, avoid the cynics and gripers.

Keep a journal and write down 50 wonderful things that happen to you on Day 1. Include even small things like finding a quarter on the sidewalk or a stranger greeting you with a cheerful "good morning." After a while, you'll realize that most of the things that happen in your life are positive.

Positive Attitude Diet Day 2: Affirm yourself.
To build a positive attitude you must remind yourself of past victories. Congratulate yourself on the good you have done and will do. And refuse to let any self-doubt enter your mind. Just tell yourself over and over, "I am filled with confidence, and I am competent." And when you make a mistake, learn the lesson in that mistake and laugh at yourself. In fact people who can't laugh at themselves are not only more negative, but they re also more susceptible to cancer, stroke, and heart disease. So laugh ... and affirm the fact you're learning and growing.

Of course you may have some doubts about yourself. But on day 2, literally, consciously feed yourself with positive affirmations. As boxing champ Sugar Ray Robinson said, "To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will." And Dolly Parton added, "I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know that I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde."

Positive Attitude Diet Day 3: Think only good things about people.
Don't allow ill thoughts to enter your mind. Look for something you like in everyone you meet. One person might have a great smile, and another one might be extremely dedicated to his work. You can always find something you like.

Of course, you may think this a rather Pollyannaish activity ... especially if you're working with some very difficult people. No problem. Simply see these people as giving you an opportunity to learn patience and practice assertiveness. That's something you can like.

Positive Attitude Diet Day 4: Speak only positive words.
In order to build and maintain a positive attitude, you must speak hopeful about everything -- your job, your customers, your manager, your employees, your children, your health, and your future. Go out of your way to talk optimistically about everything.

You may have to talk yourself out of uttering negative words. If, for instance, the man at the front of the company cafeteria line seems to be holding up everyone else, you'll be tempted to make a snide remark to the person next to you. Don't do it. Instead, say, "It's kind of nice not to rush every single minute of the day."

When you have a positive attitude, you refuse to use a loser's language. If you talk like a loser, you ll end up losing. As George Schultz, the former U.S. Secretary of State said, "The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost."

And, now the challenge: Start Building a Positive Attitude Today.
Nothing absolutely nothing contributes more to your success than your attitude. The good news is you can have a powerful, positive attitude if you get on the 4-Day Attitude Diet. I've seen it work for thousands. Now it's your turn.
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman has taught more than one million people in 48 states and 22 countries how to keep a positive attitude on and off the job. In his book, "PIVOT: How One Turn In Attitude Can Lead To Success," Dr. Zimmerman outlines the exact steps you must take to get the results you want in any situation. Go to Alan's site for more information.
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