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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Positive Atitudes Should Not Be Denied

In our world it is easy to look around and focus on the negative. Maybe, you're at a job you don't love or maybe you're feeling a lot of pressure. No matter the reason, you may not be able to change your working environment however, you can change your attitude towards work by taking a few steps.

A few years ago I worked as a one-on-one assistant in a special needs classroom. The first year I worked at the school the teacher I worked under was amazing. She encouraged me to be independent, asked my opinion on items with this particular student and encouraged my leadership abilities in the classroom.  The next year, I was placed with a different teacher but worked with the same student. 

It was evident early on in the year, that the expectations with this teacher were very different than the teacher the year before. However, it quickly became personal. The teacher made negative remarks about me as a person not me as a worker. I became frustrated, negative and withdrawn. Getting up to go to work was an extreme chore.  

Then, one day towards the end of the school year a friend of mine invited me to a women's bible study. Although, this was not something I would usually attend I decided it would be a nice change of pace. The lady that was running the session, started by discussing a job where she was in a similar position as I. She told her story of how her job was affecting everything in her life. And how she finally realized she needed a change.

She began the necessary work to change her attitude and the way she felt towards her employer. She put in the time to change her outlook towards things in her life. She worked on thinking positive thoughts.  She completed activities that helped her find balance, such as Yoga and women's groups. 
A short amount of time had passed and she woke up early in the morning, excited to go to work. She entered work everyday with a smile on her face. 

When she reflected on things a year later she realized nothing had changed except her attitude. Her boss treated her exactly the same. Customers still complained. Her job was the exact same as it was before. But she changed by changing her negative thoughts to positive thoughts.

Here a few suggestions to help change a negative attitude to a positive:

1. Wake up every morning and before you open eyes think of something that makes you happy.

2. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought about your job turn it into a positive and then move on.

3. Spend time with positive people at your work place.

4. Smile, even if you don't feel like it.

5. Make a habit of leaving work at work and enjoy your outside time. It can help you feel refreshed when you are there.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Wow, I can't believe that we are already on week 11. I am so glad you have continued to work with your group up to this point. If you are just joining us, hope you look back and review the weeks before. This week we will be focusing on reality and facing the future.

Start this week by telling yourself that it is, "time for a reality check." When we are in a current position we may not be facing the reality we are in. We need to stop and face reality in order to ask ourselves the tough questions.  However, once you do this it can help you map out the future of where you are going.  This chapter in Monday Morning Choices suggests talks about a manager who went to his Vice President and asked for a new opportunity as a sale representative he was told no because he didn't use his, "slack time productively." Once Carl faces reality he has options in order to help him chart the next course of his life. Facing reality will give us the building blocks we need in order to face today what we need to change for tomorrow to create the reality we want. Checking in with reality can be a change.

Facing reality can cause some uncomfortableness in your world for a short time. However, there are rewards for facing the reality you are in. For example, you learn more about yourself, you can step out of the rut you are in.

"Choosing reality takes courage. It takes strength of conviction and a passion for progress," (David Cottrell, Pg. 159)

Checking in with reality is active not passive. Things that David Cottrell suggests, "that you can do to check in with reality is to check in with reality everyday. Look for truth all around you and in every situation. Reality may not always be the easiest path."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday Morning Choices #12

 This week we will finish up by focusing on, "The Legacy Choice... Give Your Gift."

Our Final Week with Monday Morning Choices has arrived.  I hope you have found this segment helpful and renewed yourself in your career and your life.

It is important for anyone to succeed that they at some point in their life have a mentor to help them out. It is just as important that you give back to the world by becoming a mentor as well. You can do this in a variety of ways, through your community or boy scouts, where and how does not matter.  Being a mentor is what matters.

A mentors responsibility it to bridge the gap between past experiences to help support future decisions.  Without people who are willing to become mentors to those around them individuals would not have access to important information. However, don't give to others because you want some thing in return, David Cottrell says, "give because it is the right thing to do," (David Cottrell, Pg. 167).

You do not have to make large sweeping changes you only have to start where you are.  Be nice to the people around you, help a co-worker in need or support your boss when they make a difficult decision.

Your legacy is sacred and you do not know when or who it will help. Take the time to pass on your wisdom to others.  David states that your, "legacy is priceless." It is a gift that should be cherished and shared with the people around us because they deserve to have people around them that have been in the same place as they have.

"Your legacy is your gift to pass on."

Find people who spark your inner fire.

Thank you David Cottrell for you 12 weeks of wisdom.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday Morning Choices #10

The Criticism Choice... Embrace Tough Learning

It can be lonely at the top because there is always someone who is willing to criticize you.  However, this section in the book suggests that criticism can give you what you need to rethink a position you took.

However, this section is not talking about analyzing the criticism that people may make about the way you look or other trivial items.  Criticism isn't always a bad thing and can be the catalyst needed for change to happen.  When analyzing criticism or when trying to figure out the importance of the criticism you must first ask yourself some questions. For example, who is the person offering the criticism and are they trying to hurt or help?

Criticism is a part of our lives and it is important that you use it to your benefit and not as a hindrance.  However, you need to protect your self-esteem as well, do not let people attack your self-esteem. Learning and moving forward from the advice can help take you to where you want to be.  It is important that you allow yourself to here the suggestions around you because although, one way may work it may not work for everyone.

"Learn to use criticism, not become defensive."

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Morning Choices Week #9

Week 9:
Welcome to week #9. We are rounding down are Monday Morning's and I hope that you have found this information valuable. I also hope you continue to work with your group to refine and reflect on your choices throughout the year.

The Relationship Choices.... Connect with Success.

This weeks work starts out with a story about bees. They survive in the winter because they all work together. While a bee is not always in the center of the ball warm, the entire hive works together in order for everyone to be successful. The point, success cannot be achieved without the work of everyone and you cannot achieve long term success without help. 

A study completed by, Carnegie Foundation found, "that 85% of a person's success is determined by what the researchers called ability to deal with people and attitudes (David Cottrell).

Most individuals are looking for a variety of things from their relationships with others and you may have learned about relationships from a variety of people in your life. This however, does not matter. What matters is that you have strong healthy, positive relationships with others.

Cottreell in this chapter mentions that trust is a very important component in a relationship. However, communication and a caring for other people's dreams and goals are also important in building strong relationships with others. 

In our lives we our like the five people we spend the most time with. This is not always a positive thing. Hang out with people who are achieving or desire the same success you desire.  Building relationships and keeping strong relationships take time and effort. If you are not willing to put in the time, chances are that relationship will not be a sustainable one.  

This week focus on who you spend the most time with. Ask yourself how you foster this relationship and what you could do to improve the relationship.  

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday Morning Choices #8

Overcoming adversity

It doesn't matter who you are, how old you are, male or female or your political views at some point in time you have come up against adversity. But what you do with this makes the difference between success and failure. 

"The difference between successful people and average people is that successful people make a conscious choice to spend their time attacking the problem."

We always have a choice. What choice will you make next time you are faced with adversity?

You can look around at your friends, co-workers or family and pick out which ones have faced adversity and overcome it and which ones let it take over their life. If you want positive rewards you have to make the choice to let the past be the past and move forward with the future no matter what situation you are facing. 

This week focus on moving forward one positive step at a time. 

Chris Novak, in the book conquering adversity suggests you do six simple things to overcome adversity.

1. Affirmation
Take inventory of what you have lost and what you have left. Don't get into the mind set that you have lost it all. 
2. Expectation
Don't focus on the why, focus on what you are going to do to move forward. 
3. Communication
Believe that the people the around you can help and don't be afraid to ask them for help when you need it. 
4. Locomotion
Don't stop, move forward.
5. Collaboration
Take people with you on your journey forward. 
6. Celebration 

Find time to celebrate in order to restore your sense of hope and positive energy.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning Choice # 7


Your Attitude!

This is week #7 of, "Monday Morning Choices." I believe this is one of the most important sections you will read. Without a positive attitude other changes cannot occur. If you look in the face of negativity and pessimism you believe the changes you have made to this point are not working. You may revert back to your old self because you have not enjoyed the weeks of success. Or you do not see your change as benefiting you.

It does not matter what happens in your life or what other people do to you because you have the power to chose your attitude.  I'm sure many of you have heard about the, "The Fish Philosophy." There is a fishing company in Seattle, called the Pike Place fish market.  The company started by asking themselves who they wanted to be, how they were going to get there and what it meant once they were there.  What they decided was that they wanted to be, "World Famous." And although, some might see working with fish  boring and gross the employees there see it another way.  And they live by three philosophies. One of them is, "choosing your attitude."

Choose to be enthusiastic in everything you do and choose to be around people who live there life that same way.  In the book, Monday Morning Choices," he challenges you this week to think about people you admire, do any of them have a negative attitude?  The answer is that there probably isn't anyone because successful leaders are ones that have positive attitudes.

Yes, bad things in life happen and sometimes we are overwhelmed with those bad things. But we can choose how we react and we can choose the attitude that takes us to the next choice we make after those bad things happen. How quickly you recover from the negative in your life is a direct choice of the attitude you choose to have.

"The Force Multiplier"

Positive, enthusiastic people give energy to the people around them. While negative people take away the energy from their co-workers and their work environment. You want to stand next to the people that are passing out positive energy and helping you to build on your positive attitude. If you are unable to find these people in your work force, then you must become the person that is handing out positivity. 

You must chose optimism all the time. David Cottrell states, "it's easy to chose optimism when times are good." However, you have to chose this state all the time and remember when there are setbacks they are only temporary and you can overcome them. With optimism comes choices and with choices you can be back on track before you know it.

This week focus on your attitude in good times and bad. Reflect what goes well this week and what didn't go well. What was your attitude in each of those situations? And how did you feel after the setback.

We cannot choose the events that happen to us, but we can choose to smile at the opportunity we receive when the wind stops blowing.

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