Episode 13: 3 Strategies to Maintaining a Winning Attitude

Good morning! It’s Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design, your Monday morning moments of motivation. I gotta tell ya, I enjoyed another fantastic weekend. Spent a lot of time with my family, had a great time with our younger daughter this weekend. Just really had a moment of peace, quiet. If you can call climbing the hills of a local cave quiet, or if you can call swimming and getting rockus by the pool quiet. But you know it’s a different kind of relaxation, right? We don’t all just lay down, and just the whole world falls apart, and then that’s called quiet. Not for me, man, I enjoy getting out, enjoying those weekends, and to me it kinda sets me up for a bigger, better, and bolder week. You know that’s what we’re all about here on this podcast. And I am too excited today, but I’m gonna tell you we’re gonna have a great, great episode. And I want to bring you just the best information so that you can take implementable ideas, practical ideas, and apply them to your life and have a better day today then you did yesterday.

Thank you for joining me, for those of you that have subscribed to the podcast, thank you so much. We’re getting a lot of input and I want to hear your comments about these episodes. After each episode, we have a comment section where you can give us your comments about the episode. How they may have touched you, something you may have learned from the episode, or perhaps even, maybe there’s something I didn’t do well and you want to give commentary and little critique on that. I’ll take it and I will run with it. Because our goal here is to give you, our listeners, the best information that we can give.

And if you’ve subscribed to us on iTunes, for example, please give us a rating and a review. And be candid. We certainly appreciate your listening and we owe this all to our very loyal listeners as we continue to see the listening list grow and our numbers are continuing to grow and we have you to thank for that. So keep telling your friends and your family, we certainly appreciate that. But before we start today’s episode, I just want to reflect on a few things.

One thing that popped into my mind as we were writing this episode was the fact that I always believed in having what I call a great attitude. Today we’re gonna talk about attitude. I’m gonna give you the three strategies to maintaining a winning attitude.

You know, attitude is something that we see so many people exhibit today, wrongly. Too many of us have sarcasm, used at an inopportune time, or perhaps we give an overlooked smile and don’t return a look toward someone that’s in need or hurting. You know attitude is a lot about what’s between your ears. And we’re gonna talk about three of those strategies today to helping you maintain a winning attitude.

You know, there’s a quote I love to always state by John Maxwell the great writer, pastor. This guys’ a leader personified. John Maxwell says, “Your attitude and your potential go hand in hand”. And I agree with that 100%. If you’ve got a poor attitude, you’re gonna have poor performance in life. If you’ve got a great attitude, you’re gonna reach potential in life. So today we will gonna tackle these three strategies.

Strategy #1: Perform a Check-up from the Neck Up

The first strategy is this: periodically perform a check up from the neck up. You know we go to the doctor and check our physical bodies, once a year most of us, and we go get a physical to check blood inside our bodies and make sure everything we have that generates our power, our being, our energy, our strength. But we don’t check the one most important thing that fuels our briain and our mentality, and that’s our attitude. I’m not saying you need to go to a counselor or therapist, or psychologist to do this. This is a simple process and I’m gonna talk to you a little bit about how I do this in just a few moments. But give yourself a check up from the neck up.

You see, attitude determines our approach to life. You know, the bible tells us for whatever a man sows that he will also reap. What I’m saying is this, if you wake up in the morning, and you have a smile on your face, your attitude is one that hey world bring it, I can take it. You’re gonna have a much better start to the day and I’m gonna say also a better finish to your day. But if you’re one of these individuals that gets up on Monday morning, because you don’t listen to this podcast obviously, and you’d get up and say oh woe is me, another Monday. Oh my goodness what’s gonna go wrong today? Don’t laugh there are people like that. You may know some of these people. You may work with some of these people and you know they’re the last ones that I know you, our listeners, want to spend time with. They’re just so ready to tell you what is wrong and woeful in their life instead of telling you something good.

I’ve been accused many a times of being a baptist minister, now I don’t mean that derogatory toward baptist ministers, I don’t think I rise to that level, but many people go, why are you always smiling, why do you always have such a great attitude and you talk to anyone, and all of it goes back to the opening moments of my day. I literally, when the feet hit the floor, put a smile on my face, I walk into that bathroom to get ready for my day, I look in that mirror and I say, unequivocally, this is the best day of my life.

Now that may sound silly to you. My wife is still usually asleep by the time I get up, but this is just that moment in the morning where I give my brain that little push. That says today is a great day. It’s going to be the day I choose, not gonna let the external factors of the world no matter what the weather is outside, no matter what’s going on in the stock market, no matter what’s going on at work. I’m going to have a great day. So periodically perform this check up from the neck up.

So let’s talk about a couple of those things. Our attitude determines our relationship with people. Give yourself a little check up criteria. Are you developing the types of friendships you wish? Are you spending the majority of your time with people that lift you up, support your ideals, have the same beliefs? These are people that want to see you be successful. You know, President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The most important single ingredient to the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” You know there are certain people, as I’ve said on previous episodes of this podcast, that I just don’t spend a lot of time with. And it’s not because they are bad people, it’s because of the bad attitude. You know the world is so negative, you’ve heard me say before don’t watch the news. It is so hard to overcome if you watch news first thing in the morning. You plant that seed of negativity and depression in your mind and then you go out and say how am I going to have a good day now?

I’m suggesting to you that you just turn that tv off and fill your mind with some pure, powerful, positive message. By listening to this podcast, for example, is our hope. But the form of success is how to get along with people. Are you the one in your office that’s not exhibiting the great attitude that you should have. Are you noticing that your relationships aren’t as good as they were? Or perhaps your family discussions are not as meaningful? Not as fun as they were? It may be that our attitude has slightly shifted off course from where it once was.

You see we don’t just wake up, I think, in any given day and say “I think I’m gonna have a bad attitude today”. No we slightly drift off course similar to a ship at the ocean. That misses its destination, by hundreds of miles, on a destination that’s a thousand miles away and they miss it by hundreds of miles because the fact they have a degree or two drift. They didn’t stay focused to their orientation, where they were headed on the journey. And they let things slip.

You know our attitude is often the only difference between success and failure. There are many, many brilliant people in the business world. I am fortunate to deal with a lot of individuals that have a tremendously high IQ. You know, intelligence quotient. But I will tell you, I hope that our daughters and the people on my team that I work with everyday, that are hard working great people, great attitudes, I’m hoping they have what I call a very high AQ. Or attitude quotient. You see that is one of our four attributes at Compass Capital Management, it’s kindness. And attitude of kindness is one that attracts others.

I hope that you understand that an AQ will always overcome a high IQ. You see you can have some of the most intelligent people on the planet working with you, and still not want to spend any time with them. So a high AQ or attitude quotient is that type of person that brings you the best in the team, brings out the best in you. You know a high AQ by your children brings other children into your mist your home and they have, typically have, high AQ. Birds of a feather, if you will, gather one together.

I’ll never forget this story once of a Yale University president as he was discussing with a former Ohio State president the reasons to be kind to the student body. The Yale president simply was saying always be kind to your A and B students. Those are the students that may just come back to your university in the future and be good professors. Also be kind to those C students. Those are the ones that will return and build you a 2 million dollar science lab. You see it takes all of us on this planet pulling together in harmony, being kind, and also having a great attitude to make this planet really move forward. And so strategy number one: periodically perform a check up from the neck up. So you know that your attitude is where it should be and your relationship strong with a positive AQ.

Strategy #2: Don’t Compare Your Backstage to Others’ Front Stage

Strategy number two: stop comparing your backstage to others’ front stage. Well Jimmy, what do you mean by that? You know often we see people that you know, got it all together. They have money, success, fame, confidence. They’ve got the world turning at their pleasure. And here we are grinding it out everyday. It just feels like we’re on the salt mines. We’re down in those mines just digging every day, we don’t see daylight. We’re not seeing progress in our savings, we’re not progress in our family relationships, we’re not growing our friendships, you know, that kind of person that makes everything look easy. And we’re working so hard. Well don’t compare their front stage that outward appearance you see, with your backstage. The hard work, the preparation, where you’re working toward gaining skills or doing things that need to be done to make you a better person.

You know I have a friend of mine named Jim. Jim’s now deceased. Jim started life very poor. His family didn’t have much in means in terms of assets. But he had a loving father and mother that taught Jim and his sister what hard work and honesty could provide in life. Jim went on to be a very successful businessman. He owned several, several acres of land. He had many businesses worth millions and millions of dollars. But one thing Jim did focus on was his children. And during this time of increasing his wealth, he spent a quality amount of time with his children. And his two children, he thought, would grow into the company business that the family business he was in. They didn’t show an aptitude toward the business, and didn’t show a desire to want to learn. You know, this was disappointing for Jim, but he understood not everyone wants to do something that their parents had started and he got that, but what happened in life was is he had all the outward appearances of success if you saw him, talked to him on the street, you would swear that life was easy for Jim. Now, let me give you his backstage.

Jim’s health was suffering when he was a younger man. His first heart attack came when he was a mere 47 years of age. His two daughters, his two daughters that didn’t want to be in the business were given opportunities for good educations at universities. Highly rated at that. They declined those. He also had the opportunity given to them to learn different skills. And they declined. You see they simply were not involved in creating a better world. Matter of fact, they got into other things that were not so positive. Facing drug additions, failing in every business that they ever started, and generally just relied upon their parents their entire lives. Jim, I would say, was disappointed, not in his children but in the behaviors they portrayed.

You see, his front stage of all that success looks real appealing. But would we want to be in Jim’s shoes with all the backstage issues that he’s dealing with? Not sure that I would. And I often read biographies of many famous people that live in California, for example, and they maybe movie stars and you know on the front side it appears when they get out of that limousine, and the dress is all glittering and they’re on the red carpet and they’re getting out at Hollywood for some movie preview, and we all look at them in awe and just say wow, they’ve got it all together.

When the truth maybe known that they’re dealing with demons with which we would never wish to tackle. So what you don’t see though, of all of these people, are those backstage failed attempts. Those disheartened days, the trials they faced, maybe as children or facing now as adults. It’s just one of those things in life we have to think about that tells us we can’t compare what we’re walking through now in our backstage and how we’re dealing with life’s troubles to someone else’s front page. Their front page is looking glittery.

Let’s talk about one of these people. You’ll know this individual when I get through describing this story. It was late one afternoon and a skinny young man runs down the steps at his local school to check out the bulletin board by the gymnasium. His heart is pounding as he looked at the list and would determine if he realized his dream of making the high school basketball team would be a reality this year. He read the list again, and again, each time with the same result. His name was not there. He had failed again. That day, that moment changed his life. For the next year, regardless of the weather, he practiced four to six hours every day in a park about a mile from his home. Many nights he was alone under the moonlight practicing every move, every shot that he needed to make next years team. You see, the ending is a happy one. He did make next years team at his local high school. And that player went on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And of course I’m talking of Michael Jordan. Number 23 of the Chicago Bulls. He didn’t sit back and say woe is me, I didn’t make it. He didn’t give up. What he did is he knew within his heart, his attitude, that he was going to conquer whatever it needs to be to get to that team. That was his goal, he was not going to deviate from that goal.

And so what’s the valuable lesson we’ve learned from Michael Jordan’s story, it’s this, your success or failure in life will not be decided by the number of setbacks you encounter, but rather how you react to those.

Bruce Lee is another person that I really enjoy studying and reading about in terms of discipline, attitude. He could execute his martial arts moves so fast, that he had to slow them down so the cameras of Hollywood, when making a movie, could capture them for you and I to enjoy. His martial art movements looked fluid. He had a statement of “be like water”. You see no one watched him though, as he practiced one punch a thousand times. But millions of us watch him as he threw one powerful punch. You see his backstage was work, attitude, dedication, continuing working and refining his skills. We only saw after hours of practice that few minutes on the screen where he was doing what he loved to do. He was being the person he was born to be. And yet a quote that I really love too, Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times”.

So number two: stop comparing your backstage to others front stage. Your path is different. Your attitude should be your best attitude to accomplish what you want to accomplish in life and not compare your best efforts to anyone else. Compare your efforts today, the same efforts you put in yesterday. Make today far better than yesterday and all we need to do is grow one percent better today then we did yesterday. In one years time we’re more than three hundred percent better as a person and in our skills, our vocabulary, our education, whatever it is you do. You will be that much better.

Strategy #3: Develop an Attitude for Gratitude

Item number three or strategy number there is this: develop an attitude for gratitude. I will tell you one of my pet peeves is being around people that have a very poor attitude for kindness that has been shown them. And I’m not talking those people with tangible gifts given to them. You know, this isn’t the spoiled child on Christmas that received a gift under the tree, but it wasn’t the gift they wanted and they’d toss it to the side, very much in disgust. I’m talking about grown ups, I’m talking about people that should know better, but look at everything you do in a cynical way. And you know those people. Do you find that you are experiencing fewer new friendships or new gifts or conversations with family and friends and etc, are not as appealing as they once were? Are you finding that people avoid you as opposed to talking with you now because they just don’t want to deal with that negative attitude? You see sincere gratitude about everything in life will not guarantee you riches. But you will enjoy a rich life by showing gratitude.

The challenge I give for you this week is simply this: write down three things everyday that you are thankful for in a journal before you retire for the day. Repeat this act for 21 days. Review each day when you’re done, after the 21 days and your attitude will change tremendously. Your brain will be fed with that list of items of gratitude that you’ve written in your handwriting and I even would like for you to leave it by your bedside. Have it ready there with a nice pen, some nice paper or nice journal, a book, whatever you want to write this in, and write down three things that you’re thankful for that day. It could be things, it could be people, it could be something someone said, whatever it is, just write down those three things. You know Bruce Lee again, had another great quote that I enjoy. He says, “Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do”. So you can sit here and say, well, that sounds like a great idea Jimmy, and I’ll think of those things before I lie down and close my eyes at night, but if we don’t write them down, we won’t remember or recover or reflect on them. And those are the three steps remember, recover them, and reflect. That is the key to changing the attitude because you’re feeding that pure, positive and powerful message to your brain.

You know this week, I want you to do a couple of things. As we reflect on these three strategies, you know first and foremost, always remember that your attitude and your potential go hand in hand. So perform a check up from the neck up as your first strategy. Strategy number two, stop comparing your backstage to others front stage. And strategy number 3, if not the most important one, develop an attitude for gratitude. And this week pay particularly close attention to your attitude. Be honest with yourself. Provide something you are grateful for in the podcast comment section below. We would love to hear what you have to say. And join us next week as we discuss the secret formula to defeating fear.

Until next time, go out and Live Your Life By Design!

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