“There are two types of people in this world: The ones who make you feel better as soon as they walk into a room, and the ones who make you feel better as soon as they walk out of it.”
That brilliant quote is courtesy of my mom, in case you were wondering.
I was probably 10 years old when she said it to me, and immediately after hearing it there was only one thought that stuck in my brain:
Whatever it takes, I will never be one of the people in the second group.
I wish that I could tell you otherwise, but I have failed many times in keeping that promise to myself.
As I’ve said before on this blog, I used to be a chronic complainer. I blamed everyone for my problems. I had an excuse for every reason why my life was failing. I would hate on anyone who was happier and more successful than I was.
In other words, I was “that guy” who literally made every room that I walked into a worse place than it was before my arrival.
Things have changed a lot since those days, and it’s mainly because I have finally realized what the world’s most important asset is, and how to use it in my favor.
If you don’t know what it is, allow me to introduce it to you.
Your Most Important Asset
Do you know the one thing that completely shapes your reality, it’s completely free of charge, you’re always in control of it, it will allow you to live longer and have more meaningful relationships, and your eventual unhappiness and failure in life are pretty much guaranteed if you don’t have it?
It’s your attitude.
Or more specifically, it’s having the right attitude.
It is no exaggeration at all to say that your attitude determines everything in your life. Yes, everything. That’s why it’s your most important asset.
So, what is an attitude anyway?
I define it as your habitual way of thinking. Just like any habit, you can have it work for you or against you. One thing that is for certain is that if you don’t have it working for you, it could negatively affect your career, your happiness, your kids, your health, and every relationship that you have from this point forward.
That’s why it is so critical to always choose your attitude wisely. And if you don’t believe that this attitude stuff is important, let me ask you this:
Have you ever worked with (or worse, lived with) someone who has an “attitude problem?”
We’ve all been there before.
When you think of a person with an attitude problem, be honest–do you consider that person to be happy, successful, and living a life that you admire? Is this a person who you would want to spend a minute of your free time with? Did you feel incredibly sad and disappointed when this person eventually left the room that you were in?
I’ll answer this for you: No, to all of the above.
Even if there is a person out there who has a serious attitude problem and is “enjoying” some success in her life, it’s like she’s driving a car with the parking brake on. Sure, she might get to where she wants to go, but it will be a lot slower, bumpier, less enjoyable, and her vehicle (aka, her) will endure a lot of unnecessary damage along the way.
There’s a much better solution.
Choose Your Attitude Wisely
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” -Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they can’t change their thinking.
“I’ve always had a temper.”
“When something bad happens to me, I just react.”
“Negativity is something that runs in my family.”
That all may be true, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed.
Like I said before, our attitude is our habitual way of thinking–and any bad habit can be broken. Trust me, if a simple country kid like me can figure it out, then anyone on this earth can do the same. The key is knowing how to do it.
Here are two things that worked for me to switch from a negative attitude to a positive one:
1) Realize that I am always in control
Once I rejected the “Hey, this is who I am, I can’t help it” excuse for my bad attitude, everything changed. This may sound painfully simple to some people, but it was damn near an earth-shattering epiphany for me to realize that my attitude wasn’t something that “happened” to me, and that I actually got to choose it myself.
For example, I didn’t have to fall into a deep funk once a high-profile project of mine failed, instead I could choose to dust myself off, learn the needed lesson, and go after it again with even more energy.
I made the attitude shift by noticing when the negative voices were creeping into my mind, and then silencing them by forcefully saying to myself, “I have a choice!” and immediately replacing the negative thoughts with more useful positive thoughts. Don’t dismiss the simplicity of this, because doing this one thing has literally changed my life, and for the past seven years it’s a habit that I still use everyday. The key is to remember that this choice is always available to me, and I’m the only person in control of it.
2) The Power of words
Affirmations, mantras, positive words–call them whatever you want, but this is extremely helpful in making the shift to a more positive attitude. If you have a goal in your mind and the first thought that creeps in is “there’s no way that I’ll be able to do this…” then that’s a good sign that you need an attitude adjustment. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be complicated, and it all starts with the words we use.
Instead of saying, “I can’t” say, “I can.”
Instead of saying, “I’m not good enough” say, “I am good enough.” (or smart enough, attractive enough, strong enough, etc.)
Instead of saying, “this will never work” say, “I will find a way to make this work.”
Instead of saying, “people are rude, selfish jerks” say, “people are kind and generous.”
Being more personal, here’s the mantra that I repeat to myself all day, every day: “the world is conspiring in my favor.”
Here’s the most critical point of all:
All of the quotes above are equally true, but it’s your attitude that has the power to determine which one becomes real.
If your habitual way of thinking is to automatically find reasons why something won’t work, why you’re not good enough, and that the world is filled with selfish jerks, then that is the reality that you’ll see.
You can start changing your default setting today by consistently choosing different words, and using those words to eventually create a new habit. Just like anything, it takes committed practice to make it happen, but it is possible to make a 180-degree attitude change–I’m living proof of it.
And believe me, it is so worth the effort.
The Most Important Person in the Room
These days, my goal is to make the world a better place based on my conscious presence in it. In other words, I want to be the dude who makes you feel better as soon as I walk into the room.
So, which person are you?
Are you the person who makes people feel good when you walk into a room, or do you make them feel good as soon as you walk out of it?
The answer to this question is rooted deeply in the attitude that you choose each and every day.
This isn’t a choice to be taken lightly, either–the world needs positive vibes, radical kindness, and genuine happiness more than ever. You know this and I know this.
That’s why our attitudes are our most important assets. They are literally the starting point of everything meaningful in our lives and in this world.
But this isn’t about everyone else in the world, this is about you–and it’s your turn to walk into the room.
Which attitude will you choose?
Do you believe in the power of choosing the right attitude? Don’t hesitate to jump into the comment section below and make your voice heard!