Do you have a good attitude? I believe that we can all answer this question if we are frank with ourselves.

Lent starts today and I will definitely fast from any bad attitude(s) that may surface. I say this because my attitude is within my control—as are my thoughts, speech and gestures. In fact, we could say that my attitude—derived from the state of my soul, mind and emotions—affects how I think, speak and move.

Having a good attitude goes a long way, a very long way even, toward succeeding—one could say thriving—in life.

It’s easy for me to tell when someone has a good attitude. In fact, I’m impressed when I see someone with a good attitude and silently prompt myself to be like them.

Humble beginnings

I once read a story about a man who started out sweeping someone’s floor at a time when 25 cents was a lot of money. He didn’t just sweep the floor, though, he went the extra mile and cleaned between the back of the closet and the wall, where no one would normally notice. His boss, however, observed this detail and was extremely impressed. The result was that the conscientious worker got a raise. This man eventually became a millionaire. I believe that his good attitude contributed to his success in life and that if we do likewise, consistently, we too can become highly successful.

Shortcuts are easy and most people take them. Having a good attitude, however, means not taking a shortcut. It means doing the right thing even when we believe that no one is watching, or when we think no one will notice.

Take initiative

I recently took it upon myself to start going through our office filing cabinet. Many of the files looked worn and torn and there were duplicates and even documents stuffed in the wrong folders, willy-nilly. No one asked me to do this; I’m doing it because I spend time in the office; like orderliness; and want to be able to find what I seek quickly, in the correct file. Consequently, I ordered new letter-sized folders from the secretary, labels, and went at it. Methodically moving through the filing cabinet is a spiritual process that involves patience and discipline. One of the benefits of this mini-project is that I am learning about the history of the department and what others have thought, said and done before me. Had I decided not to take this initiative, I would have been poorer in knowledge pertaining to the organization, and less able to take initiative in other aspects of my position.

Step up to the plate

Having a good attitude also means being willing to humbly step up to the plate.’ Since most people take shortcuts except you, then it’s no surprise that when something vital that needs to be done isn’t getting done, you ‘step up to bat.’ Stepping up to the plate doesn’t mean doing someone else’s job; it means demonstrating awareness, good will and readiness to take on that which needs to be taken on. If you do this, you have a good attitude.

If you consistently display a good attitude, there will come a day when you will be asked to ‘swing the bat.’ This means that senior management will recognize your good attitude and will entrust you with greater responsibility. This has to do with stepping up a rung on the proverbial ladder. Although it appears that you have no power as to whether or not you’re promoted, the opposite is true. Remember, the man who swept the floor became a millionaire. Something obviously happened between sweeping the floor and becoming a millionaire. Promotion happened; and not just his first raise. The man was elevated from sweeping floors to working in industry.

The key to consistently maintaining a good attitude is perseverance. There will always be small irritants and inconsistencies in human behavior and in life. If you persevere, however, in consistently demonstrating a good attitude, your promotion, success and upward mobility is guaranteed.

Your promotion may not happen the way you think. Remember, there is a spiritual component involved in consistently displaying a good attitude which means that promotion can happen both vertically or via a lateral shift.

The 10 factors involved in having a good attitude

  1. Humility
  2. Awareness
  3. Readiness / Preparedness
  4. Willingness to attend to minutiae
  5. Hindsight—being able to look back
  6. Foresight—being able to look forward
  7. Taking opportunities when presented
  8. Exercising control over thoughts, speech and gestures
  9. Patience
  10. Discipline / Perseverance