As a child, I was often frustrated about things over which I had no control; my bedtime, what I could or couldn’t eat, do and in some cases, even say. I couldn’t wait to be an adult so that I could make my own decisions and have control over everything. As an adult, I now realize that the only thing over which we really have control is our attitude. While I certainly wish we could control customers, traffic, weather and a slew of other things, we simply cannot.
The silver lining upon this realization is that having control over our attitude and thoughts can yield huge impactful positive results. Dale Carnegie once said, “I know with a conviction beyond all doubt that the biggest problem you and I have to deal with… is choosing the right thoughts. If we can do that, we will be on the high road to solving all our problems.”
People with positive attitudes tend to be more popular and successful in all areas of their lives because their positive energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Many are envious of them because they always seem so happy and easygoing, however it’s not easy. It requires a conscious effort to stay positive no matter the circumstance. There is no secret to their success; positive people simply choose how to react to situations and vote for the ‘glass is half full,’ every time. They make the best of every day and live it as if it were their last.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” By applying a few of the following Dale Carnegie Human Relations principles to your life on a regular basis, you too can exert control over your thoughts and benefit from a positive attitude:
- Principle #1 -Don’t criticize, condemn or complain– You may not be pleased with a person or situation, but criticizing him or her, or complaining about it will only exacerbate things. Instead, try offering to help solve the problem or simply let it go without commenting.
- Principle #5 – Smile- It’s amazing how our moods can improve when we smile. Putting a smile on your face is like wearing a billboard that boasts, “I am happy, approachable and have a great attitude.”
- Principle #10 – The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it – There are no winners in arguments. Usually the person ultimately deemed ‘right’ feels badly for hurting the other person’s pride, and the ‘loser’ feels badly for having lost the argument. Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree.
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