How You View The World + Attitude = Success!
A funny thing happened to me recently that was a bit of an eye opener. A chance email coupled with an article I read from INC magazine really drove home an important message. And maybe sharing this might help others.
Depending on who I speak with about my stroke and past health issues, you can usually break the responses into two groups. The first feels horrible and see’s the very darkest of days and a bleak future ahead for me. Others are at the opposite spectrum and come back immediately with the comment that I look great and I am so lucky. Its either black or white…not a lot in the middle.
So over the last few days, I have worked on plans to revamp / adjust my business approaches and services after having my drivers license taken away (vision issues…not my rampant alcoholism / drug use). I also started looking at changing business models and looking at how I get business, what kind of clients I can best serve and about 3 million more ideas.
I shared this planning with a friend in the US who was surprised I was so engaged in moving ahead and not worrying to much about the bad going on but focusing on the positive and next steps for “my” future. Call me an eternal optimist but I really do see so much opportunity that I simply haven’t had a chance to experience.
On many occasions I make reference to the concept of “My Glass Is Half Full.” Its pretty simple, I focus on the positive in the glass versus the other 50% that simply isn’t there anymore. Its not a new quote or concept. But living it each day takes focus and an attitude that is positive.
So this morning, I am reading an article from INC Magazine ( I get their article feed on my Facebook page) and they linked to bestselling author and life coach Srikumar Rao who has been helping entrepreneurs and business executives transform the way they work for decades. One quote that caught my eye was;
“One of the strategies is, don’t label things good or bad. If you don’t label them good or bad, you do not feel depressed, because stuff is the way it is,” Rao says. “All of the focus is not on feeling terrible about what happened, but simply [asking] ‘Where do we have to go from here?’ ”
The full article is here: http://www.inc.com/graham-winfrey/how-to-respond-when-your-business-bottoms-out.html
He is so right about this. For me personally, it hit home when it was pointed out to me how I managed to keep going and stay focused. Regardless of some of the negative issues in my life. There are not a lot but trust me…Robin Williams is not the only person who suffers from depression. Whats sad for him is he was not able to deal with it better, resulting in his death. But thats a discussion for another post.
When I get some bad or negative news, I look at the clock. It might be 10am in the morning. Now I can feel crappy, eat poorly, feel sorry for myself, cry, share my pain with others and by 6pm, my day has been pretty crappy. Or….I can accept the news, allow myself 10 mins or so to go through the emotions and then say, “I want make the very best of the time between 10:06 and 6pm tonight. It doesn’t mean that my problems go away. But I MAKE THE CHOICE on how I react to the crappy news. Why would I choose to feel like crap? From a rationale perspective, the feeling bad and sorry for myself simply doesn’t make a whole bunch of difference except for a couple of items:
- If I am miserable it spills out and affects people around me. Sort of like sharing a bad case of the flu!
- Negative feels, sorrow and bad news bottled up equals bad health. Headaches, stomach problems, general “shitty” feelings.
- You can’t think clearly when negative and certain drugs I take for my health will react negatively to feeling bad. Why make my situation worse.
Now, I certainly didn’t change over night but, one thing did affect me. Prior to my stroke, I struggled with worries about money, success, whether I had 10 toes or 11 toes (it turns out I have 10 – it was just fluff from my socks). When I had my stroke and was laying in the hospital, my memory sucked and I really struggled to multitask and focus on more than a few things. And guess what? I forgot how depressed I was. In fact, I could remember about 3 things at a time…maybe 4. So let’s see, #1 was remembering to get up and pee in the morning. #2 was thinking and focusing on breakfast. #3 was leaning over and telling my wife I loved her so much and I missed my cat and my kids (in that order :+). That was pretty much it. I really couldn’t think to much or focus on more. Big energy went into walking to the end of the hall and not spilling my miniature packages of peaches on my pyjamas (I was forced not to go commando in the hospital).
So you can see above, by ignoring or forgetting my day to day worries and focusing on good stuff, it changed my attitude. And this leads to the last part of my story. When I got home, of course the realities slowly revealed themselves. But I had changed. This past week, when I said goodbye to my driver license, I focused on how great a shape I be in with ongoing walking. I would get to see more friends and life would not be over.
When I saw my Doctor a week ago, I mentioned that one day when my vision gets bad enough that I can’t see anything, well I can still listen to books, dictate to my computer and work like everyone else that is totally visually impaired. The next step one day could be total paralysis if I had another, more serious stroke. So even on my back, blind with tubes in me, my mind would be alive and I would not give up. Thats why how we see the world and the attitude we have NOW is so critical.
Last thoughts – look at your typical day and decide HOW you want to spend it. For me, it might be watching the GlobalTV News at 6pm. I can listen and watch…..but what do I see? Car accidents in Vancouver, nightly reminders of ISIS, Iraq deaths, labour disruption and examples of the gloomy Teacher / Govt negotiations. Now these can affect me, but I can get a quick overview online in less than 3 mins. And then focus my extra 25 mins on stuff that makes a difference in the world or helps my family.
So read this post and feel free to share with friends. If you don’t see the value in it….don’t get depressed or feel sorry for Gordie. Run out and kiss your neighbour or plant a tree and feel good!