Pollyanna or Eeyore?

How’s your attitude today?

Olympic Medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton talks about attitude this way: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” His words run so true in my experience. Anytime I have failed at something, or lost my passion, it has been because I have lapsed into a bad attitude.  Same with you?

You may call me a Pollyanna, but I have decided to keep my attitude positive in life, work, family.  (Well, to be honest, I do not and never will have a good attitude about gridlock traffic, but otherwise, I am pretty positive.)

Throughout our lives we have many experiences that have the potential of shaping our attitudes – toward the positive or the negative. Family, health, money, education, and much more.  It is up to us to decide whether these external factors will influence us positively or negatively.

Henry Ford believed that attitude was essential to success. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” When you have a positive attitude about a task, you are less likely to spend your time complaining, blaming, or wishing things were different. Instead, you are focused on doing whatever is needed to accomplish your task.

A positive attitude is contagious, too, isn’t it? I love being around positive people and find energy from their positive presence.  I bet you do, too.  And boy do I hate being around negative people.  It makes me feel heavy, sluggish, lacking energy. Just thinking about those cartoon characters, Eeyore or Sad Sack, makes me tend to slump just a little.

Another inventor, Thomas Edison, had a great attitude about failure, commenting that he now knew one more substance that wouldn’t work in his light bulb. He viewed failure as a step forward! And we should too. When our co-workers, friends, family experience a set back, we need to be there with the positive spin to help them keep that “I can do this” attitude. What if you don’t keep a positive attitude in your work? How many of your efforts will fail because you don’t respond positively to the inevitable challenges?

So I leave you with this question to ponder: When you think about your own attitude, is it helping you or is it holding you back?

An idle mind

I have spent the last 36 hours or so being subjected to our health care system. To make a long story short, I went to the ER with some scary symptoms. They checked me out, all came back fine, but they insisted I stay overnight so they could do some more tests to make double-dog sure.

I estimate that I spent, maybe, three hours total getting one of the many tests, vital sign checks, medical history interviews, etc. necessary for my care and diagnosis. The rest of the time? I waited for things And waited, and waited. Bored does not begin to describe my state of mind. I even turned on that devil’s workshop, daytime television, for a bit before I came to my senses.

I normally spend my days with too much to do – never enough hours in the day. But when I found myself in this medical holding pattern, I was unable to remember anything that I needed to do (or at least anything that I could do from a hospital bed).

It seems like I should have been able to figure out how to spend the time productively. But not so much. I checked Facebook several times, and Twitter several more. I cleaned out all my unread email messages, and sent a few emails. I looked up a couple of things on the Internet. Read a few blogs. And way too much navel-gazing.

But I would not call any of that particularly productive. My typically too-full mind was totally blank. Tomorrow when I return to work, I will think of a dozen or more things I should’ve, could’ve done. And I will probably kick myself for not thinking of them today.