The way a sailor rigs the sails on a ship determines the direction the ship goes. Your attitude is just like those sails – it determines where you will go in life. When you have a poor attitude at work, the lens through which you view is cloudy and gray, making everything seem dark and depressing. A positive attitude helps you to see things that happen in your life from an upbeat viewpoint. Your attitude makes a huge difference in how well you do your job.
Co-workers can affect the way you feel about the company you work for and influence your job performance, when you let them. When you have control of your attitude, however, no one else has the ability to influence you or affect how you do your job. When you allow another person's attitude to change the way that you view things, you are giving away your personal power. In essence, you are handing over control of your mind to someone else. It's important to be open, but it's more important to filter out the negativity and attitudes that bring you down.
Where you put your focus determines the type of attitude that you have. If your co-workers are negative and downgrade your boss or complain all the time, when you agree with them you end up feeling the same way. The more focus you put into someone else's negative attitude, the worse you feel at work. What your think and feel shapes your attitudes at work, home and play. When you place your focus on a positive attitude, how you behave and act at work changes as well.
Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist interred in a Nazi death camp during World War II, realized during his imprisonment that "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Whatever you think and feel – your attitude – is yours to govern. To be successful at work, or in any adventure in life, requires a willingness to take control of your attitude.
The Importance of Mindset
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a journalist, writer and mystic from the 19th century wrote a poem titled "The Winds of Fate" in 1916. In that poem Wilcox puts it simply, "'Tis the set of the soul that decides its goal and not the calm or the strife." In her poem, she referred to your attitude as the "set of the soul," which she compared to the sails of a ship. No matter what the circumstances are at work – your mindset defines how well you do your job.
When you have a positive attitude, it helps you to enjoy your work more. Positive thoughts and feelings help to reduce stress, which leads to a healthier life. It provides a sense of control and direction in your life. It also makes you a pleasant person around others. Having a positive attitude doesn't mean burying your head in the sand to avoid problems; it means that you approach your problems with a "Can Do" attitude. A "Can Do" attitude helps you get noticed at work.
- Positively Present: Benefits of Having a Positive Attitude at Work
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation: Attitudes and Performance – The Impact of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Viktor Frankl: The Prophet Of Meaning
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Timeline
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Winds of Fate
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.