Are you ready for 2013? There may be a lot of pessimism in the news, but with the right attitude, next year is setting up to be great. Some say “attitude is everything”. Others say “attitude is the only thing.” I offer one prediction regarding your attitude for the upcoming year.
Everyone will gravitate toward people who portray a positive attitude and will shun those who lack it. The past few years have left people feeling emotionally tired and they do not have a lot left in their tank to offer help to others.
In general, people want to help. Lending a hand or offering encouragement can be personally rewarding, especially when they witness a positive impact from their efforts. Increases the level of need over the past few years has provided all of us more opportunity to help others. Decrease in opportunities over this same time frame have left people discouraged and frustrated. These feelings of discouragement and frustration deplete our emotional tank leaving us with the belief that we do not have as much to give. This, of course is a lie.
Everyone has something to give, but I want to focus a bit on the receiver. There are times in everyone’s life when they simply need a hand up, out, or through a situation. Giving and receiving help create rich relationships and strong communities. The social interdependence we have with others should be very rewarding and affirming. But to do your part, you need to have an attitude that attracts people rather than places further drain on their emotional reservoir.
When our attitude goes downhill, our mind becomes egocentric. In other words, It’s all about me. It comes across as, “Can you help me?” “Can you listen to me?” Can you spend time with me?” There is nothing wrong with asking these types of questions when you have need, but they will be most effective when your positive attitude underlies them. It is difficult to believe you are even going to accept meaningful help if your attitude reflects an egocentric attitude.
Portray your positive attitude with everyone you meet in 2013 by considering these suggestions.
Prepare to engage people. Unless you are holed up in your basement or in front of your T.V., you are going to see people. Begin your day by creating a mental picture of who you might see and how you will greet them. Look forward to seeing someone by focusing on those you may encounter rather than worrying about what they think of you.
Acknowledge everyone. It is easy to blow off those you do not know, or believe cannot, or will not help you. Avoid the ranks of the arrogant and simply acknowledge another person’s presence. It is basic human decency to say hello. You are not in middle school anymore. Acknowledging other people will not destroy your social status.
Listen to what they say. Most people start with a rote greeting such as, “hi” or “how are you”. They may simply be responding in a manner of the previous point. You may get a stronger response if you take the risk and ask a short question that goes beyond the weather.
Respond to what you hear. You will respond to other people based upon what you hear. If you are listening to your own mental consciousness, you will respond out of your egocentric hearing. The quality of your response will come through if you prepare as mentioned above. If you listen carefully, they may provide an opportunity for you to invest in them.
Commit to follow-up. Even if the things you commit to do is internal and not a verbal committed, do it. This will demonstrate that you remember other people and is sure sign of your positive attitude. It also demonstrates many other good qualities, but at its core, follow-up demonstrates that you are not simply hung up on yourself. Giving is always more beneficial than receiving.
Your positive attitude will positively impact other people. It will provide them with encouragement regardless of your circumstances. You will be adding to their emotional reserves rather than drawing from it. Are you ready for 2013? Your willingness and ability to be optimistic as demonstrated by your positive attitude will provide you with an answer.
What do you believe is most important in preparing for 2013?