Well as the title says here we go. This is my second in what I hope will eventually be a long series of posts.. What I want to do in this post is lay some groundwork. I have come to believe that in order to be successful in any area of your life there are certain qualities one must possess, or put another way, one must think and act in a certain way to be successful. Now I know you may be thinking that this is starting to sound a little wishy washy but if you think about it for a moment doesn't it make sense that if you want to be successful then you should act like successful people act. If you wanted to be a better golfer wouldn't you want to learn what Tiger Woods does and try and imitate him? If you wanted to be a better cook wouldn't you want learn from the best chefs in the world and try and use their recipes? This is exactly what I am suggesting here. I am simply saying that if you want to be successful - study success. Find out what successful people do and think.........and do and think that! Better yet, then find out what unsuccessful people do and think......and don't do and think that! Simple isn't it? Again, I know this sounds a little esoteric but don't worry because I am here to help. What I meant when I said earlier that I wanted to lay some "groundwork" is I want to share with you what I have learned from my study of success. Now I still encourage you to go out and start your own study of success, but I will now share with you four traits or attributes that I believe most successful people share and which I encourage you to start to work on acquiring, if you do not already possess them, or improving on if you are fortunate to already possess them to some extent. I like to think of these as four pillars or four legs. Just like a building or a table requires a strong base of support, I believe that any quest for lifelong success also requires a strong base.
The first of these pillars may be the most important of all and that is your "attitude". What I mean by attitude is the way you approach and look at things on a daily basis. Throughout my life I have found that you can have two people faced with the exact same situation and yet quite often they will see it in two totally different ways. One person will focus on all the negative facts and think of all the negative possibilities and will thus have a very unenjoyable experience. Now you can observe another person in the exact same situation and just by looking at things in a slightly different light it changes their whole perception of the experience. By focusing on what went right, as opposed to what went wrong, they may actually find the experience enjoyable, or if not enjoyable, then certainly not as unpleasant as the first person. It is the old question "Is the glass half full or half empty?" Now I know this sounds incredibly simplistic and it is simple, but throughout my life I have witnessed the incredible difference a positive attitude can have on not only a situation but also the effect it can have on those around you. As I mentioned in my introduction I work as an airline pilot for a major carrier. Now as I'm sure most of you know travelling by air can be a very stressful and frustrating situation. After thinking about it for many years I believe it has something to do with giving up control of your time and schedule and not having any input, but I will save that theory for another blog. The story I want to share with you is that I have worked and flown with many different pilots throughout my career and they have all come with their own unique attitude, but there was one fellow many years ago who had a profound effect on me. His name was Bill, and Bill was one of the most positive and optimistic people I have ever had the good fortune of meeting. Bill was different than most in that he always assumed that things would work out in the end. I can remember flying with Bill once and when we showed up in the flight planning room a snow storm was just starting to blow in. Now there were no delays yet, but it certainly appeared to me that there was a pretty good chance that we would be delayed and I expressed this opinion to Bill. Bill would have none it, although he admitted that we might get delayed he said that we were going to go straight to the airplane and do our best to get out on time. Well I had nothing to lose so I grabbed my bags and off we headed to the gate. I must admit I wasn't feeling too confident that we would get away on time but If Bill wanted to try...hey why not? Well we came up to the gate with our flight bags in tow and before even looking up at us the ticket agent working the flight says " well I guess there is no rush today, it doesn't look like you guys will be leaving on time ".Well again Bill would have none of it and he told the agent that we were planning an on time departure and that we were now going to go get the airplane ready and if she could get all the passengers on board because if possible we were going to try to leave early ! All the agent could say at this point was "really???" Bill went on to explain to her that at this point it was just a little snow (he was right as it had just started snowing) and that he was headed outside to talk to the ground crew to make sure that they would be ready to go early as well....and he did!! He went straight outside with a big "hello" to the ground crew, asked them how their day was going, and then went on to explain how we were trying to leave early and would appreciate any help from them. Well to make a long story short as flights all around us left late we actually left early!! It was as if Bill's positive attitude had rubbed off on everyone he came in contact with. He even had a name for it...he called it "positive energy". I flew with him for four days that time and everywhere we went Bill had me pass on estimates to the company saying that we were going to be arriving early. Well we didn't always arrive early, and sometimes we were even late, but since we were telling everyone that we were going to be early everyone was always ready and waiting for us. I was amazed at how smooth things went! I flew with Bill many times after that and it was always the same, he was always in a good mood, was always very encouraging, and was always very positive. He truly was apleasure to fly with. This was the first time I thought- hey maybe there is something to this "positive energy" stuff. Well I can tell you for a fact now that it works. I now believe 100 percent that if you go into a situation expecting it not to work out that those around you pick up on that energy and 9 times out of 10 things will not work out. However if you go in with positive thoughts and expecting a positive outcome the opposite is true. Your enthusiasm and optimism will rub off on others and you greatly increase your odds of things working in your favour. Since those days of flying with Bill I have adopted his positive energy attitude and have noticed a tremendous difference in my life, and I find that I am generally just a happier person! Now whenever I work with someone who starts down the "oooh man this is gonna be a long day" road I always tell my Bill story and say we are going to try and be early. Now I am the first to admit that this sounds overly simplistic, and I am not saying that you should ignore negative things in your life and just think positive, that is just hiding from your problems. What I am saying is that you should face your problems and when you start to hear those self doubts or those around you expressing their doubts try and think of the best possible outcome and strive for that. Sometimes all it takes is one person to break the negative cycle and turn things around in a more positive direction. But hey don't take my word for it....try it yourself. When you get up tomorrow tell yourself what a great day it is going to be today. Throughout your day as you tackle the challenges you face be optimistic that you can beat them. Try and send out some "positive energy" of your own!!!! Trust me it works. Now this post has gone on far longer than I had planned but I really wanted to stress the importance of a positive attitude and share with you the change it has had on my life. This is only one of the pillars that I spoke of earlier but I believe it is so very important. Believe me, trust me, what have you got to lose??? Try becoming a more positive person and you are well on your way to leading a more successful life.
If you enjoyed this post please come back tomorrow when I will share with you what I believe to be the second pillar in your base to building a successful life and please feel free to leave any comments you may have.