I had a chance this week to see a great speaker, Brad Montgomery. He bills himself as a humorist, which he is, but his message was very relevant to our situation today.
The talk was about how we either choose to have a positive outlook on our job (or life, for that matter) or a negative outlook. This personal choice then drives whether you enjoy what you do and help to uplift those around you, or… are a “sucking vortex of negativity.”
Brad had a three-step process for shifting your attitude and outlook towards the positive.
- Pay attention to the positive things. Notice even the minor little details which make your situation more interesting. My company gives me free coffee – how cool is that? I have a pretty nice PC that does everything I need and hasn’t crashed for years – how cool is that? The weather is great today, and I have a chance to interact with some of my friends. Awesome!
- Make the choice in your attitude. Yes, it is your choice – no matter what happens, you get to choose your response. I talked about this some in a previous post, and it’s very true. It’s amazing what happens when you start responding to the positive and downplaying the negative, and your attitude has an effect on those around you. How do you tend to respond when someone asks you how it’s going?
- Play. In other words, engage with activities that bring you joy (and won’t get you fired ). I was part of a group a few years ago which started shooting rubber bands at each other at random times during the day. No harm done, and it helped each of us to have a break from the hard work of the day. And we got pretty good, too – my favorite technique was bouncing rubber bands off the ceiling tiles to land on the other person’s keyboard.
I totally support this idea of shifting one’s attitude. Look at it this way: Even if it doesn’t actually make your job easier (although I bet it will), it will make your job more enjoyable. And it will do the same for others around you.