The place to start a positive attitude is with the little things. If you can learn to appreciate them and be grateful for them, you’ll appreciate the big things as well as everything in between.—John Maxwell

When our plans do not work out, we can begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities. We start carrying around a backpack of doubt, which gets heavier and heavier, which causes us to worry and visualize a negative image of ourselves.

Imagine spending four years completing a degree in opera, only to realize that it is not where your passion lies. For most people, this type of setback would forever keep them from pursuing their dreams and place them on a path of living in fear. A path of being afraid of not being good enough, fearing that they have wasted their time, or being afraid to chase their dreams.

So, what is the problem with developing a positive attitude? It is simple; when we allow doubt, worry, and fear to consume our thoughts, we have no room to cultivate a positive attitude.

Resistance to change is an attitude issue. Focus on developing change and transition management skills because most change happens at once, but transiting to the change takes time. Once a change happens, you must focus on transitioning to the change to make it the new normal.

Here is an example of someone who could have allowed the ups and downs of life to consume them with doubt worry and fear, which would have kept them from being inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame.

Born on January 12, 1952, Phil Perry at 17 was discovered by a group of nuns in their Catholic Church when they heard him singing in the choir in East St. Louis. He went on to sing with the Montclairs from 1971 to 1975.

After the Montclairs disbanded, Phil moved to California to work as a singer and writer. He experienced several ups and downs, so we know he is human. During an interview, Phil shares that these ups and downs helped them to understand that God did not give him success quickly so that he would not lose it quickly. He needed to learn how to hold on to what he gained by working through his hardships.

Phil became a backup singer and sang for Johnny Mathis, Chaka Khan, Don Grusin, Dave Grusin, Freddie Herbert, Najee, Barbra Streisand, June Pointer, Fourplay, George Benson, and many other individuals and groups.

Phil shared the secret to what got him through the ups and downs of singing backup. He said, “I never looked at singing backup vocals as a step backward. I saw each performance as an opportunity to learn something. I tried to give my best effort to whoever thought enough of me to hire me to begin with, so I never looked at it as a step down. I looked at it as an opportunity to learn and add my voice to the creation of a song that they apparently couldn’t do by themselves; otherwise, they would not have called me.”

When Perry referred to his style, he said that his style of singing was believability, passion, honesty, power, and tenderness. On his journey, he has produced over 10 solo albums, with many awards and was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame in 2019.

You can still hear Phil singing with passion and power at

So, what was the cornerstone that enabled Phil Perry to have a productive and passionate career for the past five decades? What kept him smiling and believing in himself and his abilities? Why were so many brand-name singers, artists, and bands looking to hire Phil and add his voice to their recordings in a way that no one else could?

I believe it was his positive attitude, and as Phil said himself, “it was my believability in me.”

To develop a high-performing team, its foundation must be a positive attitude, and its believability and passion for its purpose.