By John Wood
American motivational speaker and author Earl Nightingale (1927-1989) used to tell the following story …
A couple, she tired of the cold weather, he wanting to be able to fish year round, moved from Minnesota to a house across the street from him in Florida.
Several months went by.
Then, one day he noticed the couple was packing up to leave.
Nightingale walked across the street and asked the man why they were leaving.
The man told him they were moving because his wife “hates it here.”
After a few questions as to why, the man revealed the reason his wife was so unhappy in her new neighborhood:
“She hasn’t been accepted here,” he said. “The other women in the community have left her strictly alone. She’s made no friends. She hasn’t been asked to participate in any of the community activities.”
Nightingale thought for a moment and asked if she had let people know that she’s interested in taking part in community activities.
The man thought for a moment and said, “No, she’s been waiting for them to ask.”
Nightingale’s reason for telling this story is to demonstrate that, in life, whatever actions, feelings, or moods we convey to the world will be mirrored back to us.
He adds that while the women in the community should have reached out to the man’s wife, they didn’t because they thought she was reclusive. They thought she was someone who was not interested in making friends.
The community was giving her back a reflection of herself.
Nightingale relates this story (in his celebrated audio program “Lead the Field”) to demonstrate a point that, in a large part, our attitude towards others, determines their attitude towards us. Our attitude is “our way of telling the world what we expect in return.”
He goes on to talk about how the common denominator of all successful people is that each one possesses a great attitude.
No big surprise really.
People have been talking about the importance of having a positive attitude for years. Abraham Lincoln famously once said that “A man is about as happy as he makes his mind up to be.” Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
If one has a poor attitude about learning, chances are you’ll be a poor learner. But, if you have a great attitude about learning, odds are you’ll be a great learner.
In a nutshell, a poor attitude leads to poor results, a great attitude leads to great results.
So what actions, feelings, and moods do YOU convey to the world? Are they that of a successful, positive person who gets results for clients?
Or, does the world see you as someone who is unsure of themselves and lacks confidence in their abilities?
Or, does it vary day-to-day? One day you’re up, the next you’re down?
If you feel your attitude could use improving, I invite you to read and put into action the following 12 tips I’ve put together, for the most part based on Earl Nightingale’s advice from “Lead the Field”:
American psychologist and philosopher William James (1842-1910) once said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”
Whether you’ve been copywriting for six months or six years, just out of high school or near retirement age, have a history of success or a history of failure behind you, you possess the power to make your life better.
As pastor, author, and educator Charles R. Swindoll writes, “Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstance, then what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”
If you incorporate the lion’s share of these tips into your life, you can’t help but convey a more positive, cheerful demeanor to the world.
Not only will you feel better about yourself in your personal life, good things are bound to happen in your career as well. Because as Nightingale reminds us, people will give their love, respect, and their business to someone who makes them feel like they’re important, loved, and respected (#12).
This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Writer’s Life, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on how to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/the-writers-life/.