Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choose Your Attitude

A note from for Thursday August 21 2008

Welcome to this very fine summer Thursday.

If my mail is any indicator there has been a great number of you have booked appointments to be interviewed in 2014. Now that is going to be a real hoot, I can hardly wait.

Clearly by your notes, it is evident that many readers really do understand the power of “choice” and are committed to making sure that their lives are lived by their own design. The quality of our lives are simply dictated by the small choices we make in the present moment.

Today’s offering gives a personal reflection on that wonderful power of “Choice”.

Choose Your Attitude

I just re-read “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen.” You know the book. It’s that annoying one with the fish on the cover that reminds you that “work made fun get’s done.” I was sorry I had waited so long to re-visit this little gem.

You can read the book in about an hour as you fly through the story of Mary Jane Ramirez, a manager at First Guarantee Financial, who gets promoted to a job managing a floor of people who aren’t motivated to do their jobs the right way. After a few frustrating weeks, she stumbles upon Pike Place Fish Market, where the workers are busy having a good time and entertaining customers. A fish place having fun? Yes and that’s where the story gets interesting. I won’t take you through the entire story, but wanted to go over the four main ideas/lessons Mary uncovers in the process of changing her group’s attitude and productivity.

The four things you have to do in order to change your work environment from a drab, uninspiring place to a fun place to work: Choose Your Attitude, Play, Make Their Day, and, Be Present. The first item, choose your attitude, struck me as particularly important and wanted to write to you about the difference this one simple concept can make in your life.

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE “There is always a choice about the way you do your work even if there is not a choice about the work itself. We can choose the attitude we bring to work.”

That in a nutshell is the idea behind the choosing your own attitude about your job, business, and the work you do.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever you’re thinking. My job is so boring that I can’t wait to run out the door when it’s quitting time. So if that’s the case with you, why do you stay? I know you have bills to pay and you need the benefits, but why on earth do you stay if you’re miserable? I have no choice in the matter, you say. I don’t buy it. Here’s why…

You Can’t Always Choose Your Job, But… In life, you can’t always choose the job you have in the short-term. Sometimes you get stuck in a job because you need the salary or the benefits and can’t afford to take a risk. I understand this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose how you approach your work. You have the ability to dictate how much of yourself you will put into your work and you determine how you will react to certain situations. Work is not always fun, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t accept this and try to make our work environment a better place to work. In short, you choose your attitude.

You can choose to live life to the fullest or you can watch as your life slowly unfolds and you can continue to spend the majority of your life in a state of boredom and deficiency. Your boss isn’t going to force you to change and neither will your coworkers. It’s up to you to decide how you will live your life today and every day from this point on.

And in my opinion, since you’re at work any way, why not try and change things to have more fun or at least stop letting your work control your emotions. In short, stop making your work a prison. Break free from the attitude that’s stopping you from enjoying the place where you spend most of your waking hours. Life is too short not to enjoy.

As you’ll learn in the book Fish!, “choosing your attitude and acting like a victim are mutually exclusive.” You can’t continue to play the part of a victim at work and be the type of action-oriented person who is actively working toward improving their work environment.

One last thing. When you begin to take an active role in your work by choosing to change your attitude from one of passivity to one of empowerment, you’ll begin to notice a change in your personal life as well. You’ll become more passionate and with a little less stress in your life, you’ll be a better, more fun person to be around.

In Summary… It’s up to you whether you want to enjoy your work. At the end of your career or business life you can look back with disdain or you can look back with pride. You can start rewriting your story today and soon your story will change from “those were the worst years of my life” or “I wish I, I could have, I wanted to…” to “Those were the best days of my life and I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come.”

My hope is that after digesting this reader you will reconsider your approach to your work and your job. You might not be in the job of your dreams, but you are in the job of “right now.” While you’re here you might as well enjoy your stay because you don’t know how long your stay will last. Bring your best self to work and bring a renewed sense of passion and vitality.

Choose Your Attitude Wisely!

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1 comment:

Jay Larson said...

Well said Peter! I am a consultant and speaker for the FISH! Philosophy and I can't say it better.
In the video that was made of the Pike Place Market, Justin (fishmonger) summarizes your words when he says, "It's a simple choice."
It is not easy, but it IS simple. Thanks for your words.
Jay Larson
The Prophet of Possibilities