Saturday, May 16, 2009

Keep your ears stiff

A German acquaintance said that to me today. I'd never heard the phrase but I suppose the American equivalent is hang in there.

Attitude is everything or as Abraham Lincoln was credited with saying - Most people are about as happy as they decide to be. Have you ever noticed that unhappy people tend to wear it like their only coat, holding tight to all their misery, sharing with anyone who can't get away quick enough. Oh sure, stuff happens to us all making us angry, miserable, in pain and any number of things that can ruin a perfectly good mood. The difference is that unhappy people use any less than perfect event to add another layer to their misery, like adding a rumpus room onto their house and then accumulate all the junk that goes into it.

Happy and successful people by their very attitude save a lot of that grief. They're strong enough they don't get trapped into playing another person's game, if only because miserable people steer clear of them. I had a boss that hated good cheer. When he treated me with disrespect I upped the joy - to everyone but him. I'd like to say he came around and it's now a successful relationship but far from it. However, there's not much he can do because my work output is excellent and others have noticed. Okay, that's not always the best way to handle things because ultimately he is my supervisor and does my evaluations and approves various requests but I finally filed charges against him and I did that because I simply got brave enough to do so. Really, it took a lot to risk it because I had to assure myself I was worth the respect and not live in fear of losing a salary especially in this economy.

It's hard to do the right thing because it's not always appreciated and occasionally there are repercussions. But by respecting yourself enough to take the risk and understand the potential consequences often the lesson learned and the progress made will outweigh and downside. Yes, it might not. That's why it's called experience.

I often hear things happen for a reason. Maybe. It's a good debate and conversation over a glass of wine. I tend to prefer we make our own luck. And that's all about attitude. Face forward and take a giant step. Then when you fall back it might be only a small step. That's progress.

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